In this article, we will look at the 30 best places to visit in the USA in May. You can skip our detailed analysis of America’s most beautiful tourist spots and go to the 10 Best Places To Visit in USA In May.
With over 230 million vaccine doses administered in the United States and about 28.9% of the population completely vaccinated, the travel industry shows signs of improvement, with improved travel intentions and increased consumer spending. According to recent CDC domestic travel guidelines, people who have been completely immunized with an FDA-approved vaccine will travel safely inside the United States. In Deloitte’s State of the US Consumer April 2021 study, the percentages of respondents willing to fly or stay in a hotel have increased dramatically from 29% and 38% at the end of 2020 to 40% and 50%, respectively. As vaccination rates rise and anxieties fade, people seem to be more willing to venture outside, which is good news for the hardest-hit industries like airlines, hotels, restaurants, and the local tourism industry.
Travel Industry Picks Up in 2021
The United States has so many diverse destinations, from coastlines to major cities, that it’s difficult to choose which ones deserve to be named the best places to enjoy the outdoors this spring. Domestic travel is expected to recover in 2021, according to TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP)’s survey, with nearly 70% of hotel clickers on TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) booking future domestic trips in the first week of January 2021, while the most common months for domestic vacations are still May through August. Even though travel has become a more challenging task, filled with anxiety about COVID-19 testing, six-feet social distancing, and mandatory mask requirements, Americans have expressed their desire to travel in 2021. Shares of TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) surged 160.7% over the past twelve months.
Changing Trends in the Travel Space
People’s perceptions of what it means to travel responsibly have been influenced by the pandemic. In a 2021 Airbnb, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABNB) travel survey, to consider traveling to a destination, one-third of Americans want the “vast majority of residents” to be vaccinated as well. The survey also stated that 51% of travelers prefer to be alone outside of major tourist areas, which is why Rodanthe and North Carolina have seen some of the highest year-over-year increases in searches for 2021. Furthermore, sustainable travel such as booking for alternative energy and green accommodation gained more popularity among travelers under 50 years old. Despite the pandemic disruption, online home rental platform Airbnb, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABNB) soared in its initial public offering (IPO) in December 2020. In its IPO debut on December 10, Airbnb shares finished the day up more than 112%, closing at $144.71, giving the home-sharing business a market cap of about $86.5 billion, more than double the value it sought in the IPO. The company now has a market cap of $102 billion, surpassing the biggest hotel chains globally, such as Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) with $47.1 and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (NYSE: HLT), with a $34.5 billion market cap. Shares jumped 19% year to date.
The majority of theme parks closed in 2020 will reopen in the summer of 2021, including The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE: DIS) Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, LEGOLAND California Resort, and New York’s iconic Coney Island. This results in a higher employment rate, especially in California, where California theme parks have lost 44,000 employees over the pandemic alone.
RV vacations have offered convenience and safety to American travelers when the pandemic started. In November 2020, the RV Industry Association recorded a 43.4% increase of RV shipments to 42,513 units, from the 29,644 units shipped in November 2019. Iowa-based RV manufacturer Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WGO) is one of the RV companies that benefited from the demand for recreational and towable vehicles since the pandemic started. The company’s revenue in 2020 came in at $2.4 billion, an 18% increase from $2 in 2019. Shares of Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WGO) climbed 100% over the past twelve months. As road travel eases in 2021, RV rental companies and manufacturers are confident that demand will continue to rise in the years ahead as they serve the millions of Americans who have begun working remotely due to COVID-19.
30 Best Places To Visit in USA in May
To give you the most accurate insights about the 30 best places to visit in the USA in May, we ranked each US state by the percentage of COVID-19 vaccines administered and also took into account the attractive destinations, things to do and food in these places. As American travelers shift to safe and sustainable vacations, our rankings were mainly based on CDC’s data tracker as of April 27. We will also include each state’s natural environment ranking by air and water quality and pollution.
If you’re looking for a safe and socially distanced getaway, here is our list of the 30 best places to visit in the USA in May.
30. Mackinac Island, MI
Air and Water Quality: 35
We start our list of 30 best places to visit in USA in May with Mackinac Island in Michigan. Visitors have considered this national landmark to be the perfect spring holiday spot for decades. There are no flashy cars and franchise hotels on the island. Mackinac Island is known for its world-famous Mackinac Island Fudge, historic Fort Mackinac, one-of-a-kind shopping, and a wide range of dining options.
As of April 27, Michigan administered 78.19% of 8,738,230 doses distributed in the state.
29. Mount Rushmore National Memorial, SD
Air and Water Quality: 11
Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota ranks 29th in our list of 30 best places to visit in USA in May. Make this the year to see Mount Rushmore, a giant sculpture of four presidents carved into the rock face in South Dakota’s Black Hills. Suppose you are looking for a place to stay. In that case, Holiday Inn Express & Suite Mt. Rushmore, operated by InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (NYSE: IHG), is one of the leading accommodations in South Dakota.
As of April 27, South Dakota administered 79.15% of 859,215 doses distributed in the state.
28. Rehoboth Beach, DE
Air and Water Quality: 29
Rehoboth Beach in Delaware ranks 28th in our 30 best places to visit in the USA in May. Rehoboth Beach has long been a favorite spring and summer holiday spot for families. From amusement rides and water slides, Rehoboth Beach offers a family-friendly Spring vacation. As of April 27, Delaware administered 80.1% of 903,465 doses distributed in the state.
27. Cleveland, OH
Air and Water Quality: 34
Cleveland, Ohio, ranks 27th in our 30 best places to visit in the USA in May. Cleveland offers visitors a wide variety of attractions, from The Cleveland Museum of Art to family-oriented attractions such as the Greater Cleveland Aquarium and Cleveland Zoo. As of April 26, Ohio administered 80.22% of 10,062,385 doses distributed in the state.
26. Shawnee National Forest, IL
Air and Water Quality: 44
Ranking 26th on the best places to visit in the USA in May is Shawnee National Forest in Illinois. This vast 280,000-acre national forest in southern Illinois is both the state’s most stunning natural attraction and its best-kept secret. Among the activities travelers can enjoy in the forest are camping, hiking, and horseback riding. As of April 27, Illinois administered 80.56% of 11,286,585 doses distributed in the state.
25. Yosemite National Park, CA
Air and Water Quality: 47
Ranking 25th on the best places to visit in the USA in May is Yosemite National Park in California. Yosemite National Park is in full bloom in May, making it the most beautiful time to visit, wherein the park comes alive with wildflowers, waterfalls, and wildlife. Among the activities you can enjoy while visiting Yosemite are hiking, biking, and chasing waterfalls.
California is also home to stunning Lake Tahoe and Instagram-worthy Big Sur. The Golden State also houses the biggest theme parks in the US, such as The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE: DIS) Disneyland, Universal Picture’s Universal Studios Hollywood, SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.’s (NYSE: SEAS) SeaWorld.
As of April 27, California administered 80.75% of 36,101,260 doses distributed in the state.
24. Hersheypark, PA
Air and Water Quality: 40
If you’re looking for a unique experience, head on to the most talked-about amusement park in town, The Hershey Company’s (NYSE: HSY) Hersheypark. The park was established in 1906 as a recreational area for Hershey’s employees, but it has since grown to draw tourists from all over the world. The 90-acre amusement park is the closest we’ll ever be to Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. After being closed down during the pandemic, the park reopened on its 115th season of Hersheypark on April 2, 2021. Hersheypark ranks 24th in our list of the 30 best places to visit in USA in May.
As of April 27, Pennsylvania administered 81.31% of 11,822,805 doses distributed in the state.
23. Churchill Downs, KY
Air and Water Quality: 22
It may not be too late to reserve a seat at the finest 2021 Kentucky Derby event, which will be held at Churchill Downs outside of Louisville, Kentucky. The Kentucky Derby, which takes place on the first Sunday in May and attracts a large crowd, is the state’s most prominent festival and one of horse racing’s most prestigious races. At Churchill Downs, capacity for the Kentucky Oaks and Derby is limited to 40% to 50% reserved seats and up to 60% in some private sections. Around 15,000 fans will be allowed in the infield, with a total attendance of approximately 45,000, down from 150,000 during pre-pandemic seasons. The financial impact of the Kentucky Derby is estimated to be $34.6 million this year, less than a tenth of the $400 million that the event normally generates. Churchill Downs ranks 23rd in our list of 30 best places to visit in USA in May.
Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN), the industry-leading racing and gaming entertainment firm, recently unveiled its online sports betting app in neighboring states.
As of April 27, Kentucky administered 81.55% of 3,747,885 doses distributed in the state.
22. Fontenelle Forest Nature Center, NE
Air and Water Quality: 6
Ranking 22nd on the best places to visit in the USA in May is the camping site Fontenelle Forest Nature Center in Nebraska. The park offers regularly scheduled programs such as group hikes, kid’s camp and Science programs, and station-based activities during Wild Summer Days. As of April 27, Nebraska administered 81.69% of 1,690,180 doses distributed in the state.
21. Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, OR
Air and Water Quality: 21
Don’t frown if you can’t join Tulip Festival 2021 in the Netherlands, you may attend Oregon’s 2021 Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival. The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival is one of Oregon’s biggest spring attractions, with 40 acres of full bloom tulips that run from March 19 to May 2. The Iverson family created The Wooden Shoe, a family-owned tulip farm, in 1974. The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Oregon ranks 21st in our list of the 30 best places to visit in USA in May.
As of April 27, Oregon administered 81.75% of 3,557,915 doses distributed in the state.
20. Newport, RI
Air and Water Quality: 8
Spring season in Newport city includes walking to Newport’s 3.5-mile Cliff Walk, driving windows rolled down on Ocean Drive where you’ll meet ten miles of commanding coastline meets one winding road, and visiting daffodil field spring welcomes the arrival of 1.2 million daffodils around town. These are only some of the highlights of your next vacation on Newport, which ranks 20th on the best places to visit in USA in May.
As of April 27, Rhode Island administered 81.87% of 1,065,185 doses distributed in the state.
19. Ocean City, MD
Air and Water Quality: 16
Ranking 19th in our list of 30 best places to visit in USA in May is Ocean City in Maryland. With its pristine sand and 10-mile-long beach for swimming and boogie boarding, Ocean City is one of the popular family vacation spots in the US. Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.’s (NYSE: HLT) Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront Suites offers rooms with Atlantic Ocean views and accessibility to nearby attractions in Ocean City, such as Jolly Roger Amusement Park.
As of April 27, Maryland administered 82.14% of 5,544,960 doses distributed in the state.
18. Las Vegas, Nevada
Air and Water Quality: 46
Ranking 18th in our list of 30 best places to visit in USA in May is the gambling capital of the world, Las Vegas, Nevada. While many visitors come to drink and gamble, Las Vegas provides the opportunity to participate in some heart-pounding events, such as the SkyJump at The Stratosphere Hotel. Tourists started to return to Las Vegas in June 2020, and the city has been steadily reviving since then. In early March, some of Las Vegas’ major resort casinos, such as MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), reopened 24/7 after months of midweek closures.
As of April 27, Nevada administered 82.86% of 2,396,080 doses distributed in the state.
17. Greenwich, CT
Air and Water Quality: 30
Ranking 17th in our list of 30 best places to visit in the USA in May is the charming town of Greenwich in Connecticut. Greenwich offers a perfect place for a romantic weekend getaway in one of the lovely Victorian B&Bs or a quick trip with the kids to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk to witness sea turtles or otters.
As of April 27, Connecticut administered 83.26% of 3,716,115 doses distributed in the state.
16. Space Needle, WA
Air and Water Quality: 17
Ranking 16th in our best places to visit in the USA in May is Seattle’s iconic landmark Space Needle. The Space Needle, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, was created in 1962 and has since symbolized Seattle’s revolutionary and forward-thinking spirit. As of April 27, Washington administered 83.6% of 6,667,750 doses distributed in the state.
15. Coney Island, NY
Air and Water Quality: 7
One of the best places to visit in USA in May is Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. The Coney Island Amusement District is excited to welcome tourists back to its parks beginning April 9 after being forced to close for the entire 2020 season due to COVID-19. The popularity of the seaside playground derives from the combination of its many individual attractions, including the classic wooden Cyclone rollercoaster, the New York Aquarium, and an NYC staple Nathan’s Famous Coney Island hot dog.
As of April 27, New York administered 84.29% of 17,625,975 doses distributed in the state.
14. Shenandoah National Park, VA
Air and Water Quality: 4
Shenandoah National Park in Virginia ranks 14 on the list of the best places to visit in the USA in May. The park stretches about 75 miles along the crest of Virginia’s the Blue Ridge Mountains. The lush green of the landscapes is particularly eye-catching during the spring months, making for some incredible photo opportunities.
As of April 27, Virginia administered 84.35% of 7,521,285 doses distributed in the state.
13. Manchester, VT
Air and Water Quality: 28
While fall foliage is what makes Manchester famous, the small town nestled in the spectacular Green Mountains of Southern Vermont has a lot to offer in springtime. The streets of Manchester are lined with cozy inns, world-class shops, and charming boutiques, and not to mention an overflowing supply of Vermont Maple Syrup. Manchester ranks 13th on the list of best places to visit in the USA in May.
As of April 27, Vermont administered 84.83% of 633,640 doses distributed in the state.
12. Maui, Hawaii
Air and Water Quality: 1
Maui Island in Hawaii ranks 12th on the list of the 30 best places to visit in USA in May. Maui is one of the most beautiful Hawaiian islands, with Makua Beach providing excellent snorkeling opportunities. From waterfall hunting to stand-up paddleboarding, Maui offers fun activities for adrenaline junkies. The months of April through May and September through November are ideal for visiting Maui.
Among the most luxurious hotels in Maui is Grand Wailea Maui, A Waldorf Astoria Resort managed by Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., and The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, owned by Marriott International, Inc.
As of April 27, Hawaii administered 85.2% of 1,370,040 doses distributed in the state.
11. Aspen, CO
Air and Water Quality: 41
Ski resort town Aspen in Colorado ranks 11th in our 30 best places to visit in the USA in May. Although the ski season ends in mid-April, springtime, also known as après ski season, transforms Aspen into a spring skiing paradise with bluebird skies and longer sunny days. Activities such as fly fishing and biking are also enjoyed during spring in Aspen.
As of April 27, Colorado administered 85.36% of 4,968,480 doses distributed in the state.
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Disclosure: None. 30 Best Places To Visit in USA in May is originally published on Insider Monkey.