Things to Do in May

While you wait for summer’s official arrival, there are still plenty of things heating up in May. Don’t miss May’s must-dos like the Kentucky Derby, National Bike Month, Cinco de Mayo and more.

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Santorini Caldera Lagoon, Greek Islands
Santorini Caldera Lagoon, Greek Islands

Santorini Caldera Lagoon, Greek Islands

I would gift my mother the $10,000, no hesitation. My mother went to Greece a very long time ago for a very short time — a few hours on a layover. Now that she’s a single mother and grandmother, I would accompany her back to Greece and hit all the must-see, off-the-beaten-path spots, including a stop at world-famous chef Lefteris Lazarou’s Varoulko restaurant in Athens. We’ll bypass the Parthenon and the Acropolis Museum (she’s seen them) and board a 100-foot, 2-masted schooner to sail to the beautiful islands of Hydra, Santorini, Mykonos and Naxos, which is said to be the hometown of none other than Zeus, king of all the Greek gods. – Rani Robinson, Managing Producer

Enter to win $10,000 in cash to pay for your next trip!
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Pailon Del Diablo Waterfall, Ecuador

Pailon Del Diablo Waterfall, Ecuador

One of my good friends got married this year and (being the amazing woman she is) spent her honeymoon volunteering in Haiti; she also spends half her year and all her extra money working toward improving Haitian education. So she's the person I'd give a $10,000 vacation, but a typical luxe beach retreat wouldn't be her and her new hubby's style. Instead, a high-adventure hiking and biking tour through Ecuador and the Galapagos would fit this couple’s outdoorsy personalities. From enjoying the snowcapped mountain views of the Andes to seeing wildlife up close in the Galapagos, this couple would deserve every unforgettable moment. – Kathleen Rellihan, Interactive Producer 960 1280

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Canal Grande at sunset, Venice, Italy

Canal Grande at sunset, Venice, Italy

I would give a gift of $10,000 to my parents, no question. They both just finished helping me plan my wedding, are nearing retirement and deserve every penny. They had to cancel a trip to Italy a couple of years ago because of an unexpected medical issue. They were heartbroken, and I know they would definitely use the money to finally take their much-deserved vacation to explore Italy. A stop in Venice would be a must for my mom so she could take a ride on a gondola, while the vineyards throughout Tuscany would be calling my dad’s name (although I’m sure there would be quite a few winery visits for them on this trip). They’ve done so much for their children and family, especially over these past couple of years, and they deserve their trip to Italy, plus so much more. – Kristen Kochanski, Photo Editor 960 1280

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Car on winding highway, Aspen Colorado

Car on winding highway, Aspen Colorado

I’d give $10,000 to my dad so he could go on the ultimate United States road trip. He’s already camped his way from Maryland to California, but the money would go a long way to ensure he could visit all 48 contiguous states. And maybe I could persuade him to upgrade his tent for a more luxurious camping experience. – Josh Levin, Digital Operations Manager 960 1280

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Downtown Beirut, Lebanon

Downtown Beirut, Lebanon

My dad would definitely be a deserving recipient of a $10,000 holiday gift for travel. He works long hours as a doctor and hardly ever gets to take a real vacation. I would send him on a trip to Lebanon, where he was born and raised. He hasn’t been back in more than 40 years, and I know it would mean a lot to him to return. With $10,000, our whole family could go and learn more about his roots, and our own. We’d explore the rebuilt city of Beirut, hike among the famous cedars of Lebanon, and meet relatives we never knew we had. My dad would especially love to visit the traditional souks (markets) and get some of his favorite authentic Arabic dishes — not to mention that oh-so-strong Lebanese coffee. – Hannah Prince, Digital Copy Editor 960 1280

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Canal in Copenhagen

Canal in Copenhagen

If I had $10,000 to give to 1 person for a trip of a lifetime, I would absolutely give that money to my wife. For years, she has talked about her time as a high school exchange student in Denmark (the food — the people — the fun!) and has never had the chance to go back. This gift would finally give her the opportunity she has waited decades for. Coincidentally, she has a surprising number of childhood friends who now live overseas. What a lucky problem to have for someone who likes to travel! With people to visit everywhere from Singapore to Prague, she could definitely put this money to good use. Oh, and let me be honest here: I selfishly hope to tag along on this European adventure! – Matt Dewhurst, Interactive Producer 960 1280

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Costa del Sol, Malaga, Spain

Costa del Sol, Malaga, Spain

I would definitely give my mom a $10,000 gift to travel on a luxury cruise ship. She would probably feel more comfortable visiting the Caribbean, but I would encourage her to expand her travel horizons and take an all-inclusive luxury cruise around the Mediterranean that would include stops at ports of call including Lisbon, Portugal; Costa del Sol, Spain; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Portofino, Italy; and Rome. Of course, I’d drop everything to travel with her. My dream would be to whisk her away and be her guide in some of my personal favorite places, such as Paris; Barcelona, Spain; and Salvador, Brazil. She rarely takes time to pamper herself, so a little forced rest and relaxation never hurt anyone, right? And honestly, she probably deserves more than a $10,000 gift. – Kwin Mosby, Managing Producer 960 1280

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Wanderlust festival in O’ahu, Hawaii

Wanderlust festival in O’ahu, Hawaii

If I HAD to give someone close to me (other than myself!) $10,000 to travel with, it would definitely be my brother. A yogi, my brother works tirelessly on his craft, teaching on an everyday, almost-every-hour basis, which leaves him with hardly any money and, even worse, hardly any time to travel. That would all change with this $10,000 gift of travel. The first place that comes to mind for someone like my brother — someone who loves yoga, music and adventure sports — is Hawaii during the Wanderlust O’ahu festival. It’s the perfect opportunity to relax, be of a peaceful mind, exercise and take in all the beautiful surroundings Hawaii has to offer. – Ben Breslerman, Interactive Producer 960 1280

Amanda Bjorn for Wanderlust Festival  

Jetliner over New York

Jetliner over New York

I would give a friend a $10,000 gift to travel so that he can join me on my round-the-world adventure trip. We would begin in London and continue on to Budapest, Hungary; Nairobi, Kenya; Bali, Indonesia; Brisbane, Australia; and Honolulu, HI, before heading home. While I’ll be sitting in business class, the $10,000 isn’t enough for an equivalent ticket, so he would be sitting in economy — but that would leave enough remaining money to enjoy some quality food, hotels and booze around the world. – Arthur Hsu, Video Project Manager 960 1280

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Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany, Italy

My younger brother is getting married in December, and I'd love to gift him and his fiancée a $10,000 honeymoon in romantic Italy. Whether they choose to do a cycling tour through the Tuscan countryside, complete with wine tastings and cooking classes, marvel at the Venetian architecture aboard a luxurious water taxi, or charter a yacht on the Italian Riviera — or, better yet, all 3 — it would surely be a trip to remember. After honing their culinary skills, I'd expect they'd show their appreciation stateside with a homemade pasta dinner. – Sara Gilliam, Senior Producer 960 1280

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Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany, Italy

My younger brother is getting married in December, and I'd love to gift him and his fiancée a $10,000 honeymoon in romantic Italy. Whether they choose to do a cycling tour through the Tuscan countryside, complete with wine tastings and cooking classes, marvel at the Venetian architecture aboard a luxurious water taxi, or charter a yacht on the Italian Riviera — or, better yet, all 3 — it would surely be a trip to remember. After honing their culinary skills, I'd expect they'd show their appreciation stateside with a homemade pasta dinner. – Sara Gilliam, Senior Producer 960 1280

Zoonar/ P.Jilek/ Getty Images  

Photos

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the 3 pyramids in the Giza Necropolis. 960 1280

  

Egyptologists believe the sphinx represents the likeness of King Khafra, who is also credited as the builder. 960 1280

  

Greater Cairo encompasses various historic towns and modern districts. A trip through the city feels like time travel. 960 1280

  

Abu Simbel is comprised of 2 massive rock temples that were originally carved out of the mountainside. 960 1280

  

The Temple of Luxor is located on the east bank of the Nile River in the city once known as Thebes. 960 1280

  

The Temple of Karnak is probably the second-most visited historic site in Egypt, runner up to the Giza Pyramids. 960 1280

  

Saqqara is the oldest known complete hewn-stone building. 960 1280

  

Bermuda

Their first international trip "has Emily written all over it"-- Bermuda, an island of turquoise waters, pink sands and tiny bikinis. She and her bachelors explored quaint St. George’s, competed in a sailboat race at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and walked under a lucky Moon Gate, which legend says blesses young lovers. 960 1280

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Rosewood Tucker's Point

Rosewood Tucker's Point

The bachelors arrived on mopeds at the gorgeous Rosewood Tucker’s Point, an 88-room British colonial-style luxury resort. On a 1-on-1 date, Emily and Doug enjoyed a candlelit dinner in the wine cellar at The Point, the resort's fine dining restaurant. 960 1280

Rosewood Tucker's Point  

Cliff Jumping

Cliff Jumping

What's a bigger rush than falling in love? Nate, John and Emily found out when they went cliff jumping on Dive Board Island. 960 1280

Justin De La Ornellas, flickr  

Crystal Caves

Crystal Caves

The awkward 2-on-1 date continued with an intimate dinner among the stalactites and reflecting pools of Crystal Caves. Accidentally discovered in 1905 by 2 teenagers during a game of cricket, the caves have become one of Bermuda's biggest attractions. 960 1280

teachandlearn, flickr  

London

Upon arriving in London, the bachelors settled into the Amarillo Suite at the May Fair Hotel, which boasts some of the best suites in the city. 960 1280

The May Fair Hotel, London  

The May Fair Hotel, London

The May Fair Hotel, London

The 5-star hotel was first opened in 1927 by King George V. Good enough for a British royalty and The Bachelorette? We're booking now … 960 1280

The May Fair Hotel, London  

Double Decker Bus Tour

Double Decker Bus Tour

Emily was a wealth of knowledge as she and Sean whizzed by Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and St. Paul's Cathedral on a double-decker bus. Wait, so you don't have producers feeding you trivia? You can rely on a guide from the same tour company. 960 1280

Frederick Dennstedt, flickr  

Hyde Park

Hyde Park

You don't have to profess your love on "Speaker's Corner" like Sean to enjoy a romantic picnic in Hyde Park. 960 1280

VisitBritain  

Royal Shakespeare Company

Royal Shakespeare Company

If you enjoyed the guys' performance of Romeo and Juliet, taking in a show at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon will be infinity more authentic. (No offense, Arie.) 960 1280

MylesMc, Wikimedia Commons  

Afternoon tea at the Chiswick House

Afternoon tea at the Chiswick House

Emily and Jef's 1-on-1 date got off to a rocky start at the Chiswick House, but chances are you'll have a much better time sharing afternoon tea at the magnificent estate without Jean, their etiquette coach, hovering over you. 960 1280

Jim Linwood, flickr  

London Eye

London Eye

The 2 capped off the night by sharing dessert onboard the London Eye. Visitors can hire private capsules to take in the stunning skyline, too, but if you opt for the Cupid's Capsule, let’s hope you enjoy the champagne and truffles more than Emily and Jef -- who left their dessert untouched. 960 1280

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Croatia

Croatia

Next, they journeyed to Croatia, where the bachelors were rightfully blown away by the charming clay rooftops and gleaming Adriatic Sea. 960 1280

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The old town of Dubrovnik, Croatia

The old town of Dubrovnik, Croatia

Emily and Travis "felt like [they] went back in time" as they strolled the narrow, cobblestone streets within Dubrovnik's city walls. 960 1280

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Balancing stone in Dubrovnik

Balancing stone in Dubrovnik

Legend has it that those who can stand on the Dubrovnik balancing stone and take off their shirt at the same time will be lucky in love. Not surprisingly, Travis' refusal to try left him standing without a rose. 960 1280

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Prague

Next, Emily checked into the Aria Hotel Prague. Popular with Hollywood stars, each of the hotel’s 4 floors is dedicated to a different genre of music: jazz, opera, classical and contemporary. 960 1280

Aria Hotel  

Goldenwell Hotel

Goldenwell Hotel

Meanwhile, the guys checked into the Golden Well Hotel, where Chris famously suffered a meltdown about his lack of time with Emily. 960 1280

Goldenwell Hotel  

Prague boat tour

Prague boat tour

Emily and John's 1-on-1 boat tour through picturesque Prague is as romantic as it looks. Private Prague Guide even offers private boat tours when the city is lit up at night. 960 1280

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Lennon Wall

Lennon Wall

Since the 1980s, disgruntled young Czechs have filled the Lennon Wall with graffiti and lyrics from Beatles songs. So what do Emily and John paint? The Bachelorette boat race, of course. 960 1280

Jose Mesa, flickr  

Krivoklat Castle

Krivoklat Castle

Emily took Doug, Chris and Sean to Krivoklat Castle, one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. A popular, romantic wedding site, you can also tour the legendary prison and torture chamber if you're not worried about ruining the mood. 960 1280

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Curacao

Curacao

While Emily may be the first Bachelorette in history to pass up the beautiful fantasy suites, she still got her fairytale on the island of Curacao with an intimate proposal at night in the cobblestone courtyard of the Kura Hulanda Resort. 960 1280

Kura Hulanda Resort  

London

London

London, England
When the 2012 Summer Olympics get rolling in July, millions of visitors will descend on the British capital. The first event ticket application window has closed, but officials plan to release more during the winter. While you’re in London, don’t miss the Making of Harry Potter studio tour at Leavesden Studios, where all 8 Harry Potter films were shot. The tour officially opens in spring 2012.
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Necker Island

Necker Island

Necker Island
Sir Richard Branson’s exclusive island getaway in the British Virgin Islands suffered a devastating fire in summer 2011 that destroyed the resort’s Great House. Actress Kate Winslet famously helped save Branson’s 90-year-old mother from the inferno, carrying her down slippery stairs in the midst of hurricane-force rain and wind. The Great House is scheduled to be rebuilt by the end of 2012, and in the meantime, 7 luxurious Balinese homes dot the island and are currently open for business.
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Titanic

Titanic

North Atlantic Sea
April, 15, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the maiden voyage and sinking of the Titanic. At least 2 companies are offering memorial cruises with itineraries that include key ports of call, as well as experts, family members’ descendants and memorial services at the wreck site. Two expedition ships will go a step further, offering guests the opportunity to dive to the wreck in submersible vehicles. Cost is approximately $66,000 per person for divers and $12,000 for non-divers. Visitors to the Titanic’s embarkation port of Southampton can tour the Sea City Museum, which is slated to open in 2012.
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Belize
According to legend, the world will end in 2012 because the ancient Maya calendar, which spans 5,000 years, mysteriously ends on Dec. 21. Belize will host several events on and around the predicted apocalypse. The ruins of Xunantunich will be the location of Belize’s main event on Dec. 21, where festivities will include a concert and light show on the ruins, plus a fire ceremony to usher in the next 5,125 years.
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New Zealand
2012 will usher in epic levels of fanboy drool in anticipation of the first installment of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit films, set for release in December. Why not celebrate with a jaunt to the island nation where it all began with the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy? Visitors can ride a jet boat or fly in a helicopter to tour the trilogy’s shooting locations. Then hop over to the town of Matamata on the north island where Jackson is currently filming in nearby Hobbiton.
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Guimarães, Portugal
This city in northern Portugal has been dubbed the European Capital of Culture in 2012. Building on an already robust arts scene, 2012 will see the city showcasing the work of creative artists from Portugal and across Europe. Don’t miss a tour of the medieval old city, a Unesco World Heritage Site, where you can wander a maze of red-roofed, colonnaded buildings, palaces and a central castle.
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Michael Runkel  

New York City
If you haven’t been to NYC lately, 2012 would be a good time to visit. The Conrad New York, slated to open in early 2012, is the city’s newest all-suite luxury hotel. Located in the heart of lower Manhattan's Battery Park City, the future hotel boasts views of the Hudson River, is adjacent to the Hudson River Park and is a great base from which to explore lower Manhattan neighborhoods like SoHo and TriBeCa, as well as the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
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Curacao
Celebrating its first year of independence since the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, Curacao is a cosmopolitan Caribbean island where flavors of both Europe and the West Indies mingle with white sand beaches, turquoise seas and vital coral reefs. Take a spin around the capital, Willemstad, where gabled colonial architecture is splashed with playful Caribbean color, then grab a snorkel and mask and take a dip in the Curacao Underwater Marine Park.
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Spaceport America
Travel to the middle of the New Mexico desert to tour Spaceport America, the world’s first commercial spaceport. Follow the Sun Tours offers exclusive public access to the site, with tours that include visits to the vertical launch area and vertical mission control building, as well as construction areas like the airfield, spaceport operations center, fuel storage complex and iconic terminal hangar facility. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic plans to begin flying paying customers into space from the facility before the end of 2012.
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Spaceport America  

Oman
We can’t ignore the fact that this little gem on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula and its capital city, Muscat, is on all sorts of 2012 must-see lists, including those from Lonely Planet and National Geographic. While neighboring oil-rich countries are erecting skyscrapers, Oman is adding an opera house and planting desert gardens amid the capital’s white stone buildings. We want to go to there.
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