Where to Visit in May

We all know how the saying goes: “April showers bring May flowers.” The last of winter is (hopefully) behind us. Flowers are blooming. The birds are singing. And the sun is setting much later, allowing for longer days. Read below to check out where we recommend visiting in May.

Ibiza, Spain

It’s no secret that this Balearic Island in the Mediterranean Sea presents a top-notch nightlife scene that’s oh-so-alluring to millions of visitors year after year who love a night out. After taking its much-needed siesta, Ibiza quickly bounces back and heats up for its wildly busy summer season. Aside from its buzzing nightlife, the Spanish isle attracts travelers to the laidback seaside village of Santa Eulalia’s Hotel Riomar, Ibiza, the calming yoga retreat at Cala Xarraca’s Six Senses Ibiza, and the pristine sandy shores of Ses Salines, which shows a different side to its hectic reputation. 

Why visit in May? It’s almost Ibiza’s busiest season. Before you know it, there will be millions (and we mean millions) of tourists flocking to the serene Balearic beaches to party long into the night.

Where to Stay: Recently reopened for the season on April 3, Ibiza Gran Hotel is a luxe five-star stay with 187 loft-style accommodations that boast breathtaking views of the Bay of Ibiza, Dalt Vila (Ibiza’s old town, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site) plus Formentera. Modern coastal interiors dress each poolside suite: crisp, white base layers; wood decks; and natural light spill into each space. When it’s time to dine, the hotel hosts a Michelin-starred restaurant, La Gaia by Óscar Molina, which features Mediterranean cuisine created with locally-sourced ingredients.

Cannes, France

Epitomizing the French Riviera’s elevated fare, Cannes is France’s prestigious seaside town that deserves your attention (and at more of a capacity than just the eponymous film festival). It’s famed beachfront Boulevard de la Croisette packs high-end boutiques, haute restaurants, and palatial hotels. Chilled cocktails and sun rays can be enjoyed beachside at places like the famed Carlton Beach Club. After a day on the sand, head to Luigi: a chic supper club that pairs fine dining with live music in a refined, burgundy-heavy space that evokes 1950s vibes. 

Why visit in May? The très chic Cannes Film Festival happens at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. It runs from May 16-27. That said, visiting before or after the film festival during May is also optimal, being that you beat summertime crowds. 

Where to Stay: Mondrian Cannes is a new elegant 75-key boutique hotel on the upscale shop-lined Boulevard de la Croisette. Contemporary, beach-inspired design permeates sunlit corridors: light blue, wave-patterned carpets and neat white walls spawn an airy guestroom feel.

Naples, Italy

Overlooked by the jaw-dropping Mount Vesuvius, Naples is another one of Italy’s cultural capitals. From visiting the proximate archeological ruins of Pompeii to scouring its cobblestone streets hosting the world’s oldest pizzerias (fun fact: Naples is the birthplace of Neapolitan pizza), this hectic yet authentic Southern Italian city should be on your list. To kick start your pizza search, consider stopping by Pizzeria La Notizia, Antica Pizzeria Bandi, and Pizza Fritta de Fernanda — all of which famed American actor and filmmaker Stanley Tucci visited in his travel & food docuseries Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy.

Why visit in May? Il Maggio dei Monumenti — one of Naples’s most important cultural events where theatrical performances and art exhibitions take place upon the reopening of the city’s celebrated historical monuments — kicks off on May 13th and runs until mid-June. 

Where to Stay: Housed in a historic building, ROMEO Napoli is a five-star luxury hotel boasting 79 contemporary-style guestrooms and suites. Each has unmatched views of the dramatic Mt. Vesuvius, the dazzling Gulf of Naples, or the city itself. 

Southold, New York

Credit: The Shoals

Southhold is a quiet, enclave along the Long Island Sound that’s known for its rich maritime culture and friendly small-town spirit. From rural wineries including Sparkling Pointe Vineyards and Winery to tranquil beaches such as McCabe’s Beach, Southold has all the makings for an ideal summer getaway.

Why visit in May? If summering in the Hamptons is your dream and you want to avoid the crowds, May is a great time to visit as it’s before the rush of Manhattan escapists looking to decamp the city. 

Credit: Jeremy Garretson

Where to Stay: Set on the North Fork of Long Island, The Shoals is the Peconic Bay’s chicest waterfront hotel that’s accessible by land and sea (really, it helms 20 boat slips making it a social hub for locals and tourists alike). Acclaimed architect Thomas Juul-Hansen honored the property’s nautical history by integrating marina design elements: cedar-shingle exteriors, earth-toned rattan headboards, and windows overlooking the marina immerse guests into the New England summer atmosphere.

Perthshire, Scotland

Located in the heart of Scotland, Perthshire (also known as “Big County”) is a historic countryside county steeped in Scottish history. When dreaming of rolling green fields going as far as the eye can see, one could say that Perthshire embodies this exact vision. Consider visiting the town of Aberfeldy’s restored 16th-century Castle Menzies which transports you back to Europe’s Medieval Ages.

Why visit in May? Each May, ‘Whisky Month’ is celebrated in Scotland. Referred to as “uisge beatha” or “water of life” in Gaelic, whisky has been produced in Scotland for generations and is known as the country’s iconic national drink. Celebrate with an exclusive whisky tasting from Scotland’s oldest working distillery, The Glenturret, at the Gleneagles’ Century Bar and American Bar.

Where to Stay: Nestled in the bucolic Scottish countryside, Gleneagles is a luxury boutique hotel that’s reminiscent of a rural, family-owned estate. Elegant design decorates the 205 guestrooms and 28 suites, especially the pièce de résistance Royal Lochnagar Suite that’s suitable for royalty.

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