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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Puget Sound, Seattle

Puget Sound, Seattle

How does billionaire mogul Christian Grey seduce Anastasia “Ana” Steele, his love interest, in the Fifty Shades trilogy? In many, many ways. A romantic jaunt on a private sailboat on Seattle’s Puget Sound was just one of the first. 960 1280

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Edgewater Hotel

Edgewater Hotel

Seattle’s picturesque (and waterfront!) Edgewater Hotel offers fans a way to have their own Fifty Shades-inspired steamy rendezvous. The hotel’s Shades of Romance package includes exploring the city in an Audi, a romantic sail on Puget Sound and a bottle of Bollinger Rose champagne. 960 1280

Edgewater Hotel  

Gliding in Georgia

Gliding in Georgia

Christian Grey, a man who loves his toys, surprises Ana in Georgia with a heart-pounding gliding excursion. 960 1280

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Heathman Hotel

Heathman Hotel

Heathman Hotel in Portland is the site of Christian and Ana’s first romantic romp. The hotel celebrates this honor by offering the Charlie Tango package, which includes drinks, private dinner and a helicopter tour of Portland. For just a touch of ambiance, you can get a bottle of wine, a grey tie (fans will know the meaning) and a rose in your hotel room for just $40. 960 1280

Heathman Hotel  

Escala

Where in Seattle would a billionaire like Christian Grey live? The luxury condo Escala is getting a lot of attention from fans as the character’s home in the trilogy, though the author took creative liberties (the residents don’t arrive via helicopter on the roof). Located in the Belltown neighborhood, the Escala’s luxuries include: a private spa, a dining room that seats up to 140 guests, a theatre and even a dog run (not that Mr. Grey would ever be domestic enough for a pet). The 5,100-square-foot penthouse has magnificent views of the Seattle skyline, Olympic Mountains and Elliot Bay, and only for a mere $6 million. 960 1280

Nickk88, flickr  

Brown's Hotel, London

Christian Grey surprises his new wife by taking her to her dream destination on their honeymoon: London. The couple stays at the Brown’s Hotel, a 5-star hotel that opened in 1837. Located in Mayfair, one of London’s most prestigious neighborhoods, Brown’s is known for its elite guests and old-world sophistication. 960 1280

The Rocco Forte Collection  

Cannes, France

Cannes, France

Fifty Shades Freed, the third and final book of the trilogy, begins with Christian and Ana’s steamy European honeymoon to the French Riviera aboard a luxury yacht. 960 1280

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Fair Lady

Christian and Ana's romance takes to the Mediterranean on this refit luxury motor yacht built in 1928. Modern luxuries and charming cabins make this the ultimate honeymoon escape for high-roller romantics. 960 1280

BURGESS  

Saint-Paul-de-Vence

Saint-Paul-de-Vence

During their honeymoon, Ana takes a shopping trip to the charming Saint-Paul-de-Vence -- a hilltop village in Provence that’s full of art galleries, boutiques and quaint cafés. 960 1280

Caterina Bernardi  

Le Saint Paul Hotel

Le Saint Paul Hotel

Located in the town Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Le Saint Paul Hotel is one of the few places outside of their bedroom where Ana and Christian spend time on their honeymoon. They have lunch and coffee on the hotel's charming terrace. 960 1280

Le Saint Paul Hotel  

Palace of Versailles, Hall of Mirrors

Palace of Versailles, Hall of Mirrors

During their honeymoon, Christian and Ana visit the Palace of Versailles and find themselves in the Hall of Mirrors, the most famous room in the 18th-century palace. 960 1280

  

Aspen, CO

Aspen, CO

Fans will not forget Christian Grey’s impressive Aspen getaway, a far cry from a bare-bones cabin in the woods. You might not have a private jet to get you there, but Aspen is the perfect spot for a romantic weekend, snow or no snow. 960 1280

Michael Hefferon  

Virgin Atlantic Airlines

Virgin Atlantic Airlines

The Mile High Club is so last year. A copy of Fifty Shades is the new way to heat up your next flight. Virgin Atlantic Airways is offering the steamy read in an audio version as part of their in-flight entertainment system. 960 1280

Virgin Atlantic  

Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville, home to the University of Virginia, was recently named one of National Geographic's 10 "World Wonders" thanks to Thomas Jefferson's design. Beyond the campus' Rotunda and nearby Monticello, the rolling hills and Blue Ridge mountains serve as a beautiful backdrop for the surrounding wineries and orchards. For its size, Charlottesville is incredibly well-read (it supports two weekly papers), has a plethora of art galleries, is overflowing with restaurants and attracts big-name talent to its open-air pavilion on the Downtown Mall. 960 1280

Bob Mical, flickr  

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Centered around Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), there's no question that Savannah is an eclectic town with a never-ending supply of culture. But aside from its rich Southern history and gorgeous antebellum architecture, its home to the (too?) rich home cooking of Paula Deen at The Lady & Sons, an ever-rotating selection of craft brews at The Distillery and the decadent pralines at River Street Sweets. And if that's not enough, the beach at Tybee Island is only 30 minutes away. 960 1280

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Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

Washington isn’t all politics. With nine colleges and universities, the capital is also a large college town, with a seriously diverse range of neighborhoods. U Street beckons with Ben’s Chili Bowl, and Georgetown is a great place for a pre-exam sugar high, courtesy of Georgetown Cupcake. A sports fix is also within easy reach, thanks to D.C.'s and the surrounding area's major sports arenas: Verizon Center, Nationals Park, RFK Stadium and FedEx Field. But nothing beats the National Mall, the 2.5-mile-long stretch of green where you can enjoy everything from a game of soccer to an outdoor “screen on the green” movie. 960 1280

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Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts

OK, so Boston isn’t exactly a “town”… but with an estimated 250,000 college students and some 80 colleges and universities, the city sometimes feels like one giant campus quad. Boston is a city with a lot of history and even more pride -– anyone who’s ever been to a Sox game can attest to that. Just be sure to avoid the city come September 1st… Boston’s notorious “moving day,” when a mass influx of students pick up the keys to their new apartments and head back to college. 960 1280

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Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

The Twin Cities is home to more than a half dozen colleges and universities, including the University of Minnesota’s main campus. Go Golden Gophers! There’s always something to do when studying isn’t a priority. Head to the Metrodome to catch a Gophers, Vikings or Twins game. Visit the Weisman Art Museum, West Bank, Guthrie Theater and the Walker Art Center. Sample tasty cuisine at the hip Loring Pasta Bar and Annie’s Parlor in Dinkytown. And explore the Mississippi River, Minnehaha Falls and Lake Calhoun to witness the area’s natural beauty. 960 1280

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Chapel Hill, N.C.

Chapel Hill, N.C.

Known as “The Southern Part of Heaven” and home to the University of North Carolina Tarheels, Chapel Hill’s main strip -- Franklin Street – is the place for tailgating after parties, first-date dinners at Top of the Hill, boutique shops and Sunday strolls. As the University continues to grow and expand, so does the surrounding area: adding new shops, delis and inns to the already popular downtown Chapel Hill. 960 1280

VisitNC.com – Bill Russ  

Morgantown, W.V.

Morgantown, W.V.

Nestled in the beautiful mountains of north-central West Virginia and along the banks of the Monongahela River, Morgantown is home to the West Virginia University (WVU) Mountaineers. Students and visitors enjoy outdoor adventure all year long with nearby rafting, hiking and skiing. Named “Best Party School in the United States” by the Princeton Review in 2012, WVU is infamous for its off-campus parties and post-game celebrations held on Sunnyside’s Grant Avenue. A Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system connects the University’s three campuses and makes game-day tailgating at Mountaineer Field both easy and safe. 960 1280

J. Robinson, flickr  

Boulder, Colorado

Boulder, Colorado

Where else can students wake up, go for a quick hike, stop by campus for a class, and hit the slopes by the afternoon? Even if outdoor activities aren’t your thing, there’s something for you. Go for a stroll down Pearl Street, a pedestrian mall lined with shops, world-class restaurants and fire-juggling street performers. No matter what you do here, there's a good chance your activity of choice will be set against the stunning backdrop of the Colorado rockies. 960 1280

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Athens, Georgia

Athens, Georgia

You may think of the University of Georgia as a typical southern school -- and in many ways it is -- but Athens, isn't a typical college town. The historic downtown has fostered artists, hipsters and musicians such as R.E.M. and the B-52s. And if you look beyond the frat houses in the neighborhood of Five Points, you'll find old Georgia mansions and upscale restaurants. 960 1280

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Berkeley, California

Berkeley, California

You gotta take in the view of the Bay Area from atop the 307-foot-tall Sather Tower, in the heart of Berkeley’s campus. Once you descend, your next mandatory stop is Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley’s lively commercial strip with local attractions like the historic Fox Oakland Theatre. Want to see an outdoor show? Head to the 8,500-seat Greek Theatre. Keep the outdoor fun going -- pony and carousel rides, anyone? -- at Tilden Regional Park. Like any A-list college town, Berkeley is big on sports, with nearly a dozen sports facilities that cater to track and field, soccer, field hockey, water polo and more. 960 1280

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Madison, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin

Madison is Wisconsin’s capital city, and it’s also the largest city in the Dairy State. According to Forbes magazine, Madison ranks 16th in education and falls in the top 50 list of cities with the highest number of Ph.D.s per capita. The city is home to few colleges and one university, the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Aside from hitting the books, students and locals can enjoy fun, local activities, which include checking out a concert on Capitol Square, taking a swim in Lake Mendota or visiting the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. 960 1280

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Tempe, Arizona

Tempe, Arizona

Located in the middle of four major cities in Arizona (Mesa, Gilbert, Phoenix and Scottsdale), Tempe is known as one of the more diverse cities in the state. Step right out of the classroom into the beautiful Arizona sun. The number of pools is endless, the sunbathing is top notch and the mountainous scenery with palm trees lining the streets isn't too shabby either. Arizona State's campus is highlighted by dozens of bars and restaurants that line Mill Avenue. And that's not all, a 5-minute ride down the road will land you right in the heart of downtown Scottsdale. 960 1280

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Telluride, Colorado

Telluride, Colorado

Aspen's chilled-out neighbor, Telluride has the perfect recipe for a summer getaway: laid-back culture, outdoor adventures and plenty of summer festivals including its legendary Telluride Bluegrass Festival. The best way to take in the sweeping views: a 3-mile gondola ride. 960 1280

Telluride Tourism  

San Juan Islands, Washington

San Juan Islands, Washington

Summer on Washington's San Juan Islands is idyllic with dry clear days and wildlife- watching galore, including orca whales, which gather near the islands every summer. 960 1280

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Summer Olympics, London

Summer Olympics, London

If you’re the type who needs to be in on the action, then head to London (along with everyone else in the world) for a less-than-quiet summer getaway at the Summer Olympics. Even if you can’t score tickets, you can still soak up the excitement with live broadcasts of Olympic events in locations such as Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park. 960 1280

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Sanibel Island, Florida

Sanibel Island, Florida

Escape to the unspoiled and quiet beaches of Sanibel Island, only 15 miles west of Fort Myers -- but a world away from the rest of Florida's crowded and chaotic coastline. 960 1280

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Vieques, Puerto Rico

Vieques, Puerto Rico

Vieques, Puerto Rico’s “secret island,” has neither the high-rise resorts or even the traffic lights of a place like San Juan. So you’ll have the beach to yourself in this national wildlife refuge. And check out the Bioluminescent Bay at night to see glowing microorganisms light up the ocean. 960 1280

Mark Donoher, flickr  

Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden

Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden

Swedes are known for traveling to warmer climates during their cold winters, but in the summer many stay put to enjoy the temperate weather and extra hours of sunlight (the sky doesn't darken until 10 p.m.). Cafés and most attractions stay open to take advantage of the late-night sun. 960 1280

Oleksiy Mark  

Roatan, Honduras

Roatan, Honduras

Some of the best scuba diving in the Caribbean can be found in Honduras’s Bay Islands, off the world’s second-largest barrier reef. Roatan is the largest of the islands, with butterfly and iguana farms, canopy tours, small villages and idyllic beaches to entice both divers and non-divers alike. 960 1280

Dennis Sabo  

Newport, Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island

Don’t forget about America’s smallest state, Rhode Island! While the rest of the US battles record-heat days in summer, Rhode Island stays cool with New England breezes. Head to Newport to sample the legendary seafood -- lobster, lobster and more lobster. 960 1280

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Montreal, Canada

Montreal, Canada

Montreal is full of European charm, but a lot closer and more affordable than Paris. And summer is the best time to go to enjoy the balmy weather, foodie culture and outdoor cafes. 960 1280

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Coast Starlight

Coast Starlight

Leave the car in the garage this summer and board the Coast Starlight, which links the greatest cities on the West Coast -- LA, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. You’ll ride through spectacular scenery in style, with sleeping cars, fresh cuisine (served on real china and table linens) and a daily tasting of local wines. 960 1280

Reuters  

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Gearing up the for the 2014 Soccer World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeriro keeps moving up the hotlist of South American tourism. Shedding its reputation as a dangerous city, Rio is claiming more of the spotlight with its stunning beaches and lively culture. 960 1280

Celso Pupo Rodrigues  

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park, Montana

Last summer was Yellowstone. This summer head to Glacier National Park, along Montana’s northern border, for a nature lover’s paradise: dramatic mountains, sapphire lakes and rivers, and unforgettable hiking trails. 960 1280

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