May is the perfect time to get away. Lovely, warm sunny days give way to fresh spring nights, and with great pre-season deals, you’ll miss the high travel traffic of June, July and August. From sunny Southern California to the Big Island, the breathtaking Italian Amalfi coast or the rich history and culture of Croatia’s Dubrovnik, here’s four good reasons to escape this month.
With the temperatures in sunny Southern California already rising, it’s all about beach weather during the day and cool comfortable breezes at night. For plenty of sand, surf, authentic Mexican food and locally brewed beer, make a beeline for the San Diego shores. But it’s not all beach bums and tacos in this town – it’s full of art, culture and outdoor activities, not to mention the world famous San Diego zoo. Or, head a couple hours up the coast and discover the ‘American Riviera’, aka the city of Santa Barbara. Nestled in between the Pacific Ocean and the steep Santa Ynez Mountains, the Mediterranean climate, Spanish architecture and beautiful sights make this a top tourist destination. From the the famous Mission Santa Barbara church built in the 1820’s and perched on a hill overlooking the city to the massive MOXI art, science and technology museum, fish and chips on Stern’s Wharf – the oldest continuously operating wharf on the West Coast – or a stroll through the scenic Botanic Gardens, there’s lots to love about this saint of a city.
Where to stay in San Diego or Santa Barbara
The Big Island, Hawaii
The largest of the chain of islands that make up the state of Hawaii, Hawaii Island, or ‘The Big Island’ is filled with such wild, rugged and natural beauty, it almost has to be seen to be believed. Visit Kilauea, the most active volcano in the world, and watch the trails of meandering, red hot magma trickle over imposing cliffs, where it hisses and smokes as it hits the ocean below, definitely a sight of a lifetime. Whether it’s the hidden coves with natural spring water pools or the many white, black and even green sand beaches, the wide open lava fields that give way to dense jungle paths or the mangoes that fall to the ground from arched trees making a sticky-sweet orange carpet amongst the surrounding green foliage, the kaleidoscope of striking scenes and incredible nature you’ll encounter on the Big Island will make you feel like you’ve just landed in a totally different world. Once you go Big, you’ll never go back.
Where to stay on The Big Island
The Amalfi Coast
This famous southern Italian coastline is synonymous with great beauty, glitz, glamour, incredible sights and world-class cuisine. Whether it’s for a special occasion or simply to experience this spectacular part of Italy, this is one place that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. The pretty pastel colored fishing villages that dot the hillsides above the plunging cliffs and sparkling blue hues of the Mediterranean below are the legendary, dramatic sights that have inspired many artists, musicians, writers and poets – and it’s no wonder. With the smell of lemon trees and flower blossoms in the air, the spring is the best time to visit this string of towns, from the very posh Positano to the petite town of Amalfi that takes 20 minutes to walk from end to end, the breathtaking gardens of the heights of Ravello to the sweeping views of Sorrento. And for those who are not weary of a thrill ride, get behind the wheel on the gravity-defying road that stretches from the Bay of Naples to the Gulf of Salerno and cruise your way from end to end.
Where to Stay on The Amalfi Coast
In Croatia’s major coastal city, Dubrovnik, warm weather comes earlier here than the rest of Europe, so May is an ideal time to discover this historic, magical place. Looming on the edge of the the sea, Dubrovnik is filled with art, architecture and cultural influences in many forms, from Napoleonic forts to Venetian Palazzos, Roman columns and Slavic churches. Named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979, the city’s unique Old Town is surrounded by immense stone walls that date back to the 16th century. Take a cable car ride up to Mount Srd or get lost in the city’s many winding streets, shop along the limestone paved pedestrianized Stradun or wander through the open aired Gundulić Square Market where you can pick up produce, local artisanal products and crafts.
Where to stay in Dubrovnik