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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Lollapalooza (Chicago)

Lollapalooza (Chicago)

Head to Chicago's historic Grant Park for a 3-day, ultimate jam session featuring artists from a variety of genres, including alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock and hip-hop. Past performances have included Charlie XCX, Tyler the Creator, Kings of Leon, Eminem and Lorde.   960 1280

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La Tomatina (Bunol, Spain)

La Tomatina (Bunol, Spain)

Tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes are the star of this annual tomato-throwing festival. La Tomatina, possibly the world's biggest food fight, has been held in the town of Bunol in the Valencia region of Spain since 1945. Let loose and start throwing, just make sure to bring a pair of goggles -- more than 100 tons of over-ripe tomatoes will be thrown into the streets! 
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PGA Championship (Kohler, WI)

PGA Championship (Kohler, WI)

Love golf? Tee up and head to this annual golf tournament, one of the 4 major championships in pro golf. This year's PGA Championship takes center stage at Whistling Straits in Kohler, WI. 960 1280

Kohler  

Happy Birthday, Hawaii!

Happy Birthday, Hawaii!

Do your patriotic duty, and honor the Aloha State with a visit this month -- August 21 marks Hawaii?s admittance as the 50th state. Lap up the waves on Oahu's North Shore; and for culinary fare, we've got the inside scoop on 4 ways to eat like a local on Oahu. 960 1280

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Elvis Week (Memphis, TN)

Elvis Week (Memphis, TN)

Shake, rattle and roll! Memphis, TN, marks its annual Elvis Week celebration each August. There's always something for Elvis fans, including the big draw each year, the annual Elvis Tribute Artists contest. Who will be crowned the King? 960 1280

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Maine Lobster Festival (Rockland, ME)

Maine Lobster Festival (Rockland, ME)

The annual Maine Lobster Festival kicks off this month, and you won't want to miss a moment of it! Over the course of the 5-day festival, more than 20,000 lbs. of lobster will be served -- lobster rolls, lobster wraps, lobster Caesar salad? Did we say lobster? Plus, see the annual Lobster Crate Race, cooking contest and the Maine Sea Goddess coronation! 960 1280

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Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival (Seattle)

Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival (Seattle)

Get a full dose of culture during Labor Day weekend. Head to Seattle for this music and arts fest -- it's one of the largest in North America. Bumbershoot began in 1971; today the annual gathering draws artists in film, music, spoken word, theater, dance, visual arts and more. Like we said, it's big. 960 1280

Christopher Nelson  

US Open Tennis Tournament (Queens, NY)

US Open Tennis Tournament (Queens, NY)

The stars of tennis hit the court for one of the oldest tennis championships in the world. First held in 1881, the US Open is the fourth and final tennis major of the year’s Grand Slam tournaments -- and the only one held in North America. The cash prize can has been more than $24 million. See the high-stakes action in Flushing Meadows, Queens, NY. 
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Cowal Highland Gathering (Dunoon, Scotland)

Cowal Highland Gathering (Dunoon, Scotland)

Nice legs! See big, brawny men in flowing Scottish skirts compete in the largest Highland games in the world -- the Cowal Highland Gathering. Also known as the Cowal Games, the annual event is held in the Scottish town of Dunoon, attracting more than 23,000 spectators to celebrate Scottish and Celtic culture. 960 1280

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Hatch Chile Festival (Hatch, NM)

Hatch Chile Festival (Hatch, NM)

Chile aficionados, get your peppery fix at the Hatch Chile Festival. The annual fest kicks off at the end of August, and showcases mouthwatering (and burning) chile-packed dishes such as creamed corn, burritos and cheeseburgers. Thank Hatch Valley?s volcanic soil, plentiful sun and 4,000-foot elevation for their chiles' tasty perfection. 960 1280

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Burning Man (Black Rock Desert, NV)

Burning Man (Black Rock Desert, NV)

Imagine spending a week in a remote desert, cut off from the outside world, to experience and celebrate life. Get your chance at Burning Man -- the largest outdoor festival in North America. Each year, the annual event, held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, welcomes more than 60,000 people. You might want to switch your cell phone to airplane mode for this one. 960 1280

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Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (Sturgis, SD)

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (Sturgis, SD)

Drive through South Dakota?s famed Black Hills, and meet 400,000 hardcore bikers and babes at the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The annual event takes place the first week of August, with the usual motor-roarin? fanfare and bad-ass leather. But what we want to know is: Do you have what it takes to win this year's Best Redneck Tattoo Contest? 960 1280

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State Fair Season

State Fair Season

State fair season kicks off in August; see the stars of the season like the Orange County Fair (pictured), which draws more than 1.5 million fairgoers, or the Minnesota State Fair, which Andrew Zimmern calls his own slice of heavenly obsession. With state fair staples like ice-cold lemonade and fried treats, we can see why. 960 1280

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World’s Longest Yard Sale! (127 Corridor Sale)

World’s Longest Yard Sale! (127 Corridor Sale)

Proving one man's trash is another man's treasure grab a wad of cash for the World's Longest Yard Sale! Held the first or second week in August, this frugal-shopper's dream stretches more than 690 miles -- from its birthplace in Jamestown, TN, all the way north to Addison, MI, and south to Gadsden, AL. 960 1280

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August Doins Rodeo (Payson, AZ)

August Doins Rodeo (Payson, AZ)

Slip on a pair of boots, and head to the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo. First held in 1884, the August Doins Rodeo takes place each August in Arizona’s cool mountain town of Payson. Hold on to your hats, you’re in for some heart-stopping action! 960 1280

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Dreamliner

Dreamliner

First Dreamliner Commercial Flight
All Nippon Airways (ANA) piloted the first commercial flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Tokyo’s Narita airport to Hong Kong on Oct. 26. The world's first major airliner to use composite materials for most of its construction made its debut after years of delays and billions of dollars spent over budget. The inaugural flight was filled with aviation enthusiasts who paid thousands of dollars for a seat and raved about the plane’s amenities.
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Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene Shuts Down East Coast
Hurricane Irene came ashore at North Carolina on Aug. 27 as a Category 1 storm. The huge, slow-moving tempest traveled up 1,100 miles of US coastline, leaving a trail of destruction resulting in 45 deaths and losses of up to $7 billion. The severe weather crippled travel along the East Coast, where more than 10,000 flights were cancelled, much of Amtrak’s service between Washington, DC, and Boston was suspended and many highways were closed.
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Arab Spring

Arab Spring

Arab Spring
On Jan. 25, Arab Spring uprisings spread from Tunisia and other North African countries to Egypt, culminating in the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak 17 days later. While Egyptians rejoiced at the peaceful coup, the fallout crippled the tourism industry, the country’s largest source of revenue and jobs. Even as tourists began to return to landmarks such as the Pyramids at Giza and Cairo’s Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, Egyptians again took to the streets in November, protesting the interim military government.
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Flip Cam

Flip Cam

Cisco Ceases Production of the Flip Video Camera
On April 12, Cisco announced that it was ceasing production of the Flip video recorder, a device that revolutionized the digital video camera market and became the trusty companion of travel bloggers worldwide. Cisco purchased Pure Digital Technology Inc., the inventor of Flip, in a $590 million deal in 2009.
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Earthquake and Tsunami

Earthquake and Tsunami

Earthquake and Tsunami Hit Japan
On Friday, Mar. 10, Japan’s eastern coast was rocked by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake, one of the largest ever recorded, then slammed by a ferocious 23-foot tsunami. The initial disaster killed thousands of people and wiped out entire towns and villages. Survivors endured weeks of aftershocks and rolling blackouts, while explosions and radiation leaks at the Fukushima nuclear plant caused worldwide panic. Measurement of the economic, environmental and human toll is ongoing.
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LOT Polish Airlines

LOT Polish Airlines

LOT Polish Airlines Makes Emergency Landing in Warsaw
No one was hurt when a LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 767 flying from Newark, NJ, with 230 people onboard made an emergency landing at Warsaw's airport after its landing gear failed to deploy. Live television footage showed the plane sliding on its belly, sparks flying as it hit the runway, then being covered in flame retardant foam.
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Royal Wedding

Royal Wedding

Royal Wedding, England
Britain’s Prince William married Catherine Middleton in a lavish ceremony at London’s Westminster Abbey on April 29. More than a million tourists flooded England’s capital to witness the nuptials, spending tens of millions of pounds on refreshments, hotels, attractions and souvenirs. Meanwhile, highlights for the TV audience of 2 billion people worldwide included Kate’s much anticipated gown designed by Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton, the crazy hats worn by female wedding guests, and the bride’s sister and maid of honor, Pippa.
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Volcano

Volcano

Eruption of Puyehue Volcano, Chile
On June 4, Chile’s Puyehue volcano erupted, spewing plumes of ash 6 miles into the atmosphere. Dozens of South American flights were scrapped and 6 airports in Argentina were closed as clouds of volcanic ash rode the wind toward the Atlantic Ocean. Thousands of people were evacuated from surrounding rural communities in the southern Andes mountain chain.
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Qantas Airlines Strike
On Oct. 29, Qantas Airways, the world’s 10th largest airline, grounded its entire fleet around the world and locked out striking employees. The airline said it made the move because it could not meet the "extreme demands" of 3 unions representing pilots, mechanics and ground staff. The airline resumed flights 2 days later after an Australian tribunal ordered an end to the dispute that affected nearly 70,000 passengers.
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Flooding

Flooding

Unprecedented Flooding Slams Australia and Thailand
Massive floods hit 2 of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations this year. In January, much of south and central Queensland, Australia, experienced its worst flooding in half a century, triggered by unusually heavy monsoon rains. In Thailand, unusually heavy rainfall in September, October and November resulted in flooding across 64 of the country’s 77 provinces. Bangkok’s main international airport remained open throughout the flooding, but the domestic airport was shut on Oct. 25 as floodwaters covered the runway and began seeping into terminal buildings.
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Virgin Galactic Begins Taking Reservations
If you’re sitting on an extra $200,000, why not join the 430 would-be amateur astronauts who have already signed up for a Virgin Galactic suborbital flight? The deposit is only $20,000, and since the company has yet to reveal an exact launch date, you have time to save up for the rest. If that’s still a little much, buy a T-shirt on the website for just $40.
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Virgin Galactic  

World Bodypainting Festival

World Bodypainting Festival

Since 1998, Carinthia, Austria, has hosted the colorful World Bodypainting Festival. Artists from more than 40 different nations do their best to stun, entertain and win the title of “World’s Best Bodypainter.” In addition to workshops and demos, the 3-day festival also includes music concerts, a Runway & Body Art Fashion Show and fireworks synchronized to music. 960 1280

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Queenstown Winter Festival

Queenstown Winter Festival

More than 45,000 people flock to Queenstown, New Zealand, for perhaps the biggest winter celebration in the southern hemisphere -- the Queenstown Winter Festival. Since 1975, this gold mining camp, turned sophisticated city, comes alive during balmy, but cool temps (44°F - 46°F) in June. The 10-day celebration of winter has more than 75 events, including ski races, ski jumping, colorful parades and exhibitions. 960 1280

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Gay Pride Month

Gay Pride Month

June is Gay Pride Month. Make a trip out of the annual LGBT celebration and travel to World Gay Pride, held in a different location every year like Rome, London and Toronto. Head to San Francisco for the largest Pride festival and parade in the US, or save your money and pack your bags for Sao Paulo, which hosts the largest Gay Pride celebration in the world. 960 1280

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Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic

Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic

Soar to new heights in California’s beautiful Wine Country. The Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic draws thousands of people to this 2-day event in Windsor, CA. On Saturday and Sunday, set your alarm clock early to make sure you’re awake to catch approximately 30 colorful balloons launch around 6:30am. 960 1280

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Chicago Blues Festival

Chicago Blues Festival

Chicago is the place to visit in June, especially if you’re a fan of the blues. The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues music festival in the world. During 3 days, more than 500,000 people converge on Grant Park to hear well-renown performers like B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, KoKo Taylor and Otis Rush (pictured) perform on the festival’s 5 stages. 960 1280

by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images  

Dragon Boat Races

Dragon Boat Races

Visit Hong Kong to experience the excitement of the Duanwu Festival, celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar. The Festival includes dragon boat races in Aberdeen -- one of the first places to host these races in Hong Kong. Fishermen believe that rowing dragon boats during the Duanwu Festival will bring them luck. 960 1280

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Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

From indie rock to reggae, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, draws thousands of fans to hear notable acts like Bob Dylan, Arcade Fire, Bruce Springsteen, Jay-Z, Tool, The Beach Boys and The White Stripes. During this 4-day music festival, bands, rappers, musicians and singers perform from around noon until 4am or later at Great Stage Park, which is located on a 700-acre farm. 960 1280

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Midsummer Festival

Midsummer Festival

Apart from Christmas, the Midsummer Festival is the most important holiday on the Swedish calendar. Flowers in your hair, dancing around a maypole, singing songs while drinking schnapps and eating pickled herring is all part of this special celebration. We recommend visiting Leksand to experience the largest midsummer festival in Sweden. 960 1280

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Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Explore the incredible Inca ruins of Peru’s Machu Picchu, often called “Lost city of the Incas.” Take an adventurous climb to see the Temple of Condor and Sun Gate -- the end point for the Inca Trail. Visit in June to take advantage of the dry season and to avoid the heavy crowds in July and August. 960 1280

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Father's Day

Father's Day

Don’t forget about Dad this month. Spend some extra time with your father figure by planning a trip to go fly fishing, rock climbing or skydiving. For a getaway minus the adrenaline-pumping thrills, we have a few Father’s Day travel ideas like a brewery tour in Portland, OR, or game of golf in Myrtle Beach, SC. 960 1280

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Glastonbury Music Festival

Glastonbury Music Festival

Since 1970, music fans and art lovers have swarmed to Pilton, Somerset, England, to attend the Glastonbury Festival. Only 1,500 people attended the first festival, and today more than 170,000 people flock to Worthy Farm -- owned by festival organizer Michael Eavis -- to hear leading pop and rock artists as well as other forms of art, including dance, comedy, theater, circus and cabaret. 960 1280

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Gettysburg Fest

Gettysburg Fest

The Battle of Gettysburg -- the bloodiest battle in American history -- is known as the turning point in the American Civil War. Today, locals and tourists don’t have to be history buffs to enjoy the annual Gettysburg Fest. This 5-day festival has more than 50 live performances on 7 stages, 7 art shows, culinary experiences, movie premieres and more. Over the past 6 years, more than 3,000 artists, musicians and performers --The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, blues artist Robert Cray and world-renowned guitarist/singer John Pizzarelli -- have been featured at the festival. 960 1280

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Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

June marks the official start of summer, and what better way to welcome the Summer Solstice than by joining thousands of people at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. It’s not uncommon for groups to celebrate by performing impromptu ceremonies that include samba bands and drummers. No amplified music is allowed here. 960 1280

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Wimbledon Tennis Championships

Wimbledon Tennis Championships

Arguably the most famous tennis tournament in the world, the Wimbledon Championships have been played since 1877. Starting towards the end of June and lasting approximately 2 weeks, or until all events are complete, tickets for Wimbledon are always in fierce demand, especially with pro tennis players like Andy Murray competing. 960 1280

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