Best Places To Travel In May In The USA

best places to visit in may

April showers bring May flowers, and a whole lot of sunshine on top of that! Cool nights and clear, calm days make May the perfect shoulder season month to find great deals on destinations around the U.S. and enjoy the perfect late spring weather.

Take advantage of May’s only major holiday with a Memorial Day Weekend excursion, or avoid the crowds by blocking out another week to enjoy the sights while fewer tourists are around. So where are the best places to visit this spring? Read on, we’ve got you covered with trip ideas for all types of adventurers so you can pick the best place to travel in May!

Greater Zion

May Is Great For: Enjoying Utah’s Natural Beauty in Zion and Bryce Canyon

Utah starts to see more tourists visit in May as the temperatures warm. The great weather before hurricane season makes it an excellent month to experience the Zion National Park, lush with spring flowers blooming on trails and in valleys before the dry season, and the Virgin River rushing through Zion Canyon with crystal clear water.

What To Do

Ready to get your adventure on before the busy summer months? Explorer Chick’s Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks & Glamping Weekend is the perfect getaway to kick off your travel season! Check these two amazing Utah parks off your list and spend your evenings glamping in photo-worthy digs among your group of outdoor adventure goddesses.

Hike up the famous Angel’s Landing Trail with stellar views and some of the best vantage points in any of the U.S.’s national parks. Take in the secluded beauty of the night sky as you kick back by the campfire after days full of desert-inspired stoke.

Southern Utah

May Is Great For: Endless Outdoor Activities In Southern Utah

Average temperatures in the southern parts of the state hover in the 60s and 70s during the day and rarely fall below the 40s at night, making for warm, sunny days exploring all things outdoors and cool, comfortable nights.

Moab is an ideal destination for outdoor adventures like hiking, camping, mountain biking, and stargazing. It’s just a few miles from Arches National Park, where you can experience nearly 2,000 natural sandstone arches on countless hikes or on scenic drives right from your car. Just 30 miles from the town lies even more Utah desert magic in Canyonlands National Park, riddled with sandstone hoodoos and mind-blowing slot canyons carved by the Colorado River.

What To Do

Want to see serious desert magic in Southern Utah? Join us in May for Explorer Chick’s epic National Parks and Moab Hiking Weekend to explore the area and visit both Arches and Canyonlands. Let us take care of permits and planning for you to enjoy incredible Utah icons with fewer crowds!

Trek along stunning hiking trails in Canyonlands’ Needle District, then relax in Moab and enjoy the best local food with your new group of adventure friends before you set out for another day of stoke-worthy hiking to Arches iconic Delicate Arch.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

May Is Great For: Seeing The Great Smoky Mountains Without The Summer Crowds

Great Smoky Mountains National Park spans the state line between North Carolina and Tennessee and takes the cake annually for the most visited national park in the U.S. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, mainly due to the over 20,000 different species of plants and animals that call it home.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is one of the gateway towns to the Great Smoky Mountains. Average temperatures in May are perfect for that first taste of summer weather on the East Coast, with days in the mid-70s and nights barely below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The downtown area of Gatlinburg is chock full of restaurants, shops, and countless attractions like horseback riding and ziplining—all without the tourist crowds in mid-May.

What To Do

May marks the true start of summer in the Great Smoky Mountains. Visiting this time of year lets you experience the beautiful scenery of the mountains with good weather and fewer people, since most tourists visit in the peak tourist season through June, July, and August.

Join our all-women’s Hiking Weekend in Great Smoky Mountains National Park! You’ll hike by day along the lush, green trails of the park and enjoy the glamping accommodations of your DREAMS come evening in the vibrant city of Gatlinburg, filled with live music, delicious food, and historic buildings of Appalachia. After taking in the scenic views of the mountains, you and your fellow adventure babes will kick back and enjoy a private tour along the Tennessee Whiskey Trail. Make sure you try the local moonshine!

Red River Gorge, Kentucky

May Is Great For: Backpacking Kentucky’s Unspoiled Wilderness

If you’re going to pick a month to visit Kentucky, May is definitely your best bet. Spring is the tail end of the rainy season, with the average temperature topping out at 76 degrees during the day. The best hikes in Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest can be enjoyed much more in May than in the sweltering summer temperatures, and before the out-of-school crowds arrive in peak season. The Red River Gorge National Archaeological Area is bursting with hiking, backpacking, and rock climbing opportunities.

What To Do

Ready to take on the wilderness and backpack your way to some of the best outdoor sightseeing in the south-central U.S.? Explorer Chick’s Red River Gorge Backpacking Workshop is a hands-on, fully immersive experience in the great outdoors. The park is full of winding trails leading to GORGEous view points featuring natural wonders like sandstone cliffs and bridges and cascading waterfalls.

Over the weekend you’ll learn what to pack, how to cook, set up camp, filter water, and more! All surrounded by like-minded women looking to get down and dirty and cross TRUE backcountry camping off their bucket list.

You’ll get to sunrise hike to the famous Hanson’s Point with the girls with the option to day hike to other attractions throughout the park. We’ll provide the gear, the friends, and the know-how, all you have to do is get there!

backpacking in red river gorge

Catawba, Virginia

May Is Great For: Exploring The Rolling Mountains of Virginia

Even after the college spring breakers have gone, May is one of the busiest times of year to visit the pristine beaches of Virginia, with more comfortable temperatures than the sweltering mid-summer. Many hotels along the coast have high prices and the beautiful beaches tend to fill fast with summer crowds, even in spring.

Cooler temperatures in the mountains bring forth colorful flowers and fresh air perfect for exploring outdoors. May is a marvelous time to plan a hiking trip in the pristine wilderness of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, or pack your tent and enjoy an evening camping under the stars.

What To Do

If you’re looking for brag-worthy hiking with a badass group of babes, Explorer Chick’s Wilderness Survival Training Weekend in Virginia is designed with YOU in mind! Beat the summer heat on some of the most amazing hikes in the region.

Take on the epic McAfee Knob, Tinker Cliffs, and Dragon’s Tooth hikes between learning crucial wilderness survival skills in our hands-on outdoor classroom. Get empowered with our Backcountry Personal Self Protection course, then kick back at our lodge nestled in the enchanting woods on this women-only, small group adventure.

Where to Get Travel Information

Before planning a trip it’s important to do your research. You don’t want to show up with no idea what to do, or worse—to not be able to do the things you planned! Knowing the difference between high season and low season in an area will prepare you for major crowds or having the place to yourself at the best destinations.

Make a list of local shops, sample the local wine, or plan a day trip to the area’s capital city. Though it takes some extra thought and planning, doing your research will help you get the most out of your experience and really have a wonderful time.

Here are some good places to get travel information when planning your next adventure:

  • Check for any U.S. Travel Advisories
  • Look for the Best Airlines, closest airports, and direct flights to your destination
  • Research Travel Insurance to cover your costs, gear, and emergencies 
  • Compare prices for Rental Cars
  • Secure permits and entry passes for National and State Parks
  • Check out the local Chamber of Commerce and attend a fun event locally
  • Research historical sites and other destinations of interest

Ready to Get Hiking This Spring?

Say goodbye to the cold and snow! Come enjoy the most comfortable weather of the year. Indulge in all things outdoors with a once-in-a-lifetime spring adventure through Explorer Chick! Our thoughtfully curated itineraries find that perfect sweet spot between epic excitement and relaxing enjoyment. Join us to start exploring in small groups with amazing women just like you—totally stoked about adventure and ready to GTFO there!

join us on a hiking trip

Meet the Writer

April Brightman

April is an adventure lover and freelance writer based in New England, with a passion for public lands, wild places, and all things outdoors. She loves camping in any form and spends as many weekends as she can hiking New Hampshire’s highest peaks, or road-tripping with her sweet dog Marley. If not in the mountains, you can find her planning her next expedition or caring for one of her far-too-many-houseplants.

Favorite outdoor adventure: National Parks Hiking and Road Trips!

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