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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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

Getty Images  

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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Outlaw Run (Branson, Missouri)

Outlaw Run (Branson, Missouri)

Ready for a 68-mph adrenaline rush? Kick off July on the only wooden coaster to twist upside down with a record-breaking 3 inversions -- and a stomach-in-your-mouth 81-degree drop. Take advantage of Outlaw Run’s extended hours this month at Silver Dollar City. Can’t make it to Branson, MO, this July? Check out our complete guide to US amusement parks. 960 1280

Silver Dollar City  

Tour de France’s 100 Anniversary

Tour de France’s 100 Anniversary

Celebrate France’s biggest sporting event this month -- the Tour de France -- as it marks 100 years this July. The official kick-off takes place on the island of Corsica then crosses onto France’s mainland. Cruise the French countryside as you follow the grand event. Or if you can’t make it abroad, head to one of America’s top bicycling cities. 960 1280

REUTERS/Bogdan Criste  

San Fermin Festival (Pamplona, Spain)

San Fermin Festival (Pamplona, Spain)

Run for your life! Join hundreds of thousands of locals and tourists who flock to the northern Spanish city of Pamplona for the annual San Fermin Festival. At the stroke of noon on July 6, the celebration unfolds with 6 bulls and another 6 steers running down a half-mile stretch of narrow streets. The week-long events culminate in a final, grand fight in a bullring. 960 1280

ANDER GILLENEA/AFP/GettyImages  

Hemingway Days Festival (Key West, Florida)

Hemingway Days Festival (Key West, Florida)

Can’t make it to Pamplona this month? Head to Key West, FL,instead! Now in its 33rd year, Hemingway Days Festival honors the late author, who lived and worked on the southern coast of the island. The annual event includes its own “Running of the Bulls” -- this one with Ernest Hemingway lookalikes pushing fake bulls on Key West’s famed Duval Street. 960 1280

REUTERS/Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau/Handout  

California Wine Festival (Santa Barbara, California)

California Wine Festival (Santa Barbara, California)

Head to one of the biggest wine festivals under the sun! Celebrate wine harvest season this July with a visit to California wine country. Held this year in Santa Barbara, the 10th annual California Wine Festival showcases vintage wines, along with gourmet appetizers including artisan breads and cheeses. Cheers! 960 1280

Getty Images  

Alaska Cruise Season

Alaska Cruise Season

Escape the heat, and take in awe-inspiring glacial views, with a cruise to Alaska. Cruise ships dock alongside towns from Seward, along Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, to Ketchikan, in the Alexander Archipelago. Cruise ships also dock near Katmai National Park, where July is prime time to see bears gulp up Atlantic salmon on their run. And if cruise prices prove too high in July, fret not: Alaska’s prime cruise season stretches through September. 960 1280

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Amsterdam Fashion Week

Amsterdam Fashion Week

New York, Paris … and Amsterdam? Ja! Amsterdam Fashion Week began as an effort to put the Dutch capital on the fashion map. Nearly 10 years later, the twice-annual showcase of new and established fashion talent in the Netherlands is going strong. While you’re here hit the streets to truly experience Amsterdam. 960 1280

ADE JOHNSON/AFP/GettyImages  

Taste of Chicago (Grant Park)

Taste of Chicago (Grant Park)

This July don’t miss the world’s largest food festival -- yes, the largest! Held annually in mid-July, Taste of Chicago draws dozens of food vendors and participating restaurants to Chi-Town’s Grant Park. Now 34 years strong, the annual event attracts upwards of 3 million people each year -- and with foodie indulgences like the famous deep-dish pizza, we know why! 960 1280

star5112, flickr   

NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week

What’s the culinary capital of America? Our vote’s on the Big Apple. Head to NYC this July to savor the city’s culinary best during NYC Restaurant Week. Held in late July, this twice-annual event sees participating restaurants offer prix-fixe lunches and dinners. Be sure to check out buzz-worthy restaurants, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s newly opened ABC Cocina. 960 1280

Getty Images   

National Ice Cream Month

National Ice Cream Month

This July we all scream for ice cream. Celebrate National Ice Cream Month -- designated a national holiday by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 -- with a trip to America’s coolest ice cream shops. And why not head to the granddaddy of them all -- Bassetts Ice Cream in Philadelphia -- the oldest ice cream company in the US, founded in 1861! 960 1280

bigbirdz, flickr  

Calgary Stampede

Calgary Stampede

Our “Neighbor to the North” marks its birthday this month. Get in on the festivities during the Calgary Stampede! This 10-day event is Canada’s largest annual rodeo, and one of its largest festivals to boot. Billed as the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” the rodeo draws more than 1 million visitors each year. 960 1280

Mario Tama/Getty Images  

Gettysburg’s 150th Anniversary

Gettysburg’s 150th Anniversary

Retrace one of America’s biggest moments. This July the Battle of Gettysburg marks its 150th anniversary. Tour Gettysburg and its historic town, and take in battle reenactments of events that culminated in more than 51,000 casualties and the setting for President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. 960 1280

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images  

Bastille Day … in New Orleans

Bastille Day … in New Orleans

Viva La France! Come July 14, celebrate France’s Independence Day. See the skies above Paris’ Place de la Bastille light up with fireworks. Can’t make it to Grand Paris this July? Head to the Big Easy, where Bastille Day celebrations occur in the “most French of American cities,” in and around the French Quarter and the French-founded St. John neighborhood. 960 1280

Frank Stansbury  

Macy's 4th of July Fireworks

Macy's 4th of July Fireworks

Pop! Boom! Bang! July spells independence, with glorious fireworks nationwide. Celebrate Independence Day with a visit to the annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display over the Hudson River. And if NYC’s not on your itinerary, check out more of America’s best fireworks displays -- in St. Louis, Addison, TX, and Chicago’s Navy Pier. 960 1280

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images  

African Safari

African Safari

"Something definitely on my bucket list is to go on an African safari. If we're faced with the apocalypse, hey, I might as well stare down a rhinoceroses or a lion. If it's the last thing I'll ever see, I'd love to watch the sun set and the stars come out over the African hillside. But in all honesty, if my days were really numbered, I'd probably be sipping wine in a Parisian pied-à-terre even though it's a lot less wild." -- Sara, Producer 960 1280

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Go Bare in Bora Bora

Go Bare in Bora Bora

“I’d spend my end of days on this island paradise in French Polynesia. I’d be wearing next to nothing and enjoying unlimited tropical drinks and fresh seafood. I’d walk the beaches, said to be as white and soft as baby powder, and swim in the clear blue waters of the lagoon and surrounding barrier reef. In the evening, I’d retire to one of those over-the-water bungalows where I could watch the fish through the coffee table and fall asleep to the sound of the waves below. What a way to go!” -- Jodi, Site Director 960 1280

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Hike the Inca Trail

Hike the Inca Trail

“It's no surprise that, being a travel editor, my bucket list is long ... it's an occupational hazard. Things have moved up and down on my list, but there is one trip that's always been set in ink: Hike the Inca Trail. While I know there is a comfortable train that goes directly from Cusco, Peru, to Machu Picchu, there is something very end-of-days about making the same arduous 4-day, 30-mile trek through the Sacred Valley that the ancient Incas once made. The most memorable travel moments are the ones that don’t come easy, right?” -- Kathleen, Producer 960 1280

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Virgin Galactic Space Program

Virgin Galactic Space Program

“World coming to an end?! Hurry, sign me up with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space program fast! Oh, shoot! The first flight out isn’t until 2013? Guess that means Branson is betting the world won’t stop spinning come Dec. 21. A ticket aboard this flight will cost a cool quarter mil, but with a passenger list that reportedly includes Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie this is one trip I wouldn’t want to miss. Oh yeah, plus it would be pretty cool to see the Earth from outer space.” -- Lisa, Producer 960 1280

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Penguins in the Falklands

Penguins in the Falklands

“Most people probably wouldn’t know where the Falkland Islands were if you asked them, which gives me all the more incentive to visit these isolated islands just off the southernmost tip of South America. The main reason I'd like to visit the Falklands is the chance to meet a penguin … or a few thousand. Five different species live on the tiny islands. And they're not afraid of humans; so I wouldn't have any problem getting a perfect photo op.” -- Amanda, Producer 960 1280

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Daydreaming in Fiji

Daydreaming in Fiji

“When I find myself daydreaming, there is only one place I go -- to the secluded, white-sanded, clear-watered beaches in Fiji. For me it’s the perfect place to relax in the sun, far away from the rest of the world. The island nation in Melanesia, located in the middle of the South Pacific, spans more than 330 islands, making it an ideal place to escape with your loved ones or simply spend time alone far away from the rest of civilization.” -- Ben, Producer 960 1280

  

Backpacking in the Outback

Backpacking in the Outback

"Taking a dive in the Great Barrier Reef, climbing to the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge or just people watching and relaxing au naturel on Lady Jane Beach are all fun things I imagine my trip Down Under would include. However, if my days were numbered, I’d go on a balls-to-the-wall adventure and backpack my way through Australia’s Outback. Exploring natural beauty like Ayers Rock, Alice Springs, Kakadu National Park and the diverse wildlife would maintain my Zen state even though the Earth is about to fall off its axis, go hurling into space or just become a hot ball of sizzlin’ mess." -- Kwin, Managing Producer 960 1280

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See the Maldives

See the Maldives

"Working at Travel Channel has opened up a Pandora’s box; my bucket list will now take a Mega Millions-sized fortune to realize. The top of my list are the Maldives. Sadly, this stunning collection of 1,190 tiny islands and atolls may become the first nation to disappear into the water if climate change persists. It’s only a matter of time before my dream of scuba diving in the islands’ reefs becomes a distant wish, so my lottery win better be imminent!" -- Allee, Producer 960 1280

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Bouldering in Rocklands

Bouldering in Rocklands

“I made an afternoon trip to South Africa’s Rocklands a few years ago and the memory of those few hours there still hasn’t escaped my mind. The region is a massive collection of boulders in the country’s Cederberg Wilderness Area, just north of Cape Town. With the impending apocalypse upon us, I’ll spend my remaining moments climbing boulder after boulder with my trusty Nalgene flask filled with Talisker 18 for one final adventure in pebble wrestling.” -- Arthur, Video Project Manager 960 1280

  

Shopping in Dubai, UAE

Shopping in Dubai, UAE

"Let me tell you, Dubai is no joke -- we’re talking luxury at its finest! Besides being home to Burj Khalifa, which currently holds the title of the world’s tallest building, the city is a stone’s throw from the Palm Islands, the world’s largest artificial islands now being called the eighth wonder of the world. The UAE city has been on my bucket list for about 10 years, and once I find reasonably priced direct flight, I’m packing my bags. Whatever else Dubai has up its sleeve, I’m already looking forward to running around Dubailand and the Mall of Arabia like a kid in a candy store." -- Vanessa, Photo Editor 960 1280

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Dinosaurs in Patagonia

Dinosaurs in Patagonia

“Dinosaurs intrigue me. Maybe it’s because they ruled the Earth for such a friggin long time -- 160 million years. Granted, it may sound a bit odd to spend the end of days roaming the halls of Museo Carmen Funes, a small natural history museum in Patagonia, pondering the last days of a species that went extinct 65 million years ago. But looking up at the fossils of the biggest, most fantastical giants to have ever roamed the Earth would definitely transport my imagination to a place far, far away.” -- Lisa, Producer 960 1280

Claudio Bustos, flickr  


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