Best Places to Vacation in May and June

When to go where

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••• Sunset facing San Francisco Bay. Susan Breslow Sardone

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Wondering when to go where for the best vacation experience in May or June? As spring turns to summer in the northern hemisphere, flowers burst into bloom and travelers can enjoy warm days and cool nights.

Of course, the weather is always variable, and higher elevations will be cooler than low-lying areas. Odds are you will find some of the best weather during May and June when you spend your honeymoon or vacation in:

NORTH AMERICA

California

Stretching from the magnificent redwoods in the north down to the beautiful beaches in the south (and connected by ultra-scenic Highway One), California's a great place to vacation in May and June, especially if you've got a pair of hot wheels to transport you from place to place.

  • Northern California
    • San Francisco - if you've never been to the City by the Bay, you owe it to yourselves to experience this foodie mecca, ride the cable cars, and explore the many attractions
    • Calistoga - want to get down and dirty? Consider wallowing in a mud bath
    • Napa Valley - inside California Wine Country, Napa visitors can walk from tasting room to tasting room without needing a car
    • Mendocino - the best-known destination along the northern coast
  • Central California
    • Carmel-by-the-Sea - one of the prettiest and most charming spots along the Central California coast
  • Southern California
    • Los Angeles - if you can put up the traffic, it's worth seeing Hollywood and browsing the shops along Rodeo Drive
    • Palm Springs - a desert hideaway for California celebrities for generations, Palm Springs entrances with its wealth of Midcentury modern architecture
    • Catalina Island - a great place for a day trip by boat

    TROPICAL DESTINATIONS

    • Caribbean - for the best prices and the best weather, keep this on your vacation list till the end of May
    • Central America - a tropical climate and great beaches are drawing increasing numbers of travelers to countries in Central America, particularly those with resorts in:
      • Belize - affordable accommodations on the beach and in the jungle rainforest
      • Costa Rica - spanning the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, this peaceable, biodiverse country offers both beach and mountain adventures
      • Panama - continuous development and the mechanical marvel of the canal 
      • Honduras - few northerners visit here, but the amazing diving and laid-back attitude of Roatan island inspires underwater-adventure travelers to visit this particular destination

      EUROPE

      Visit Europe as early as you can in May or June to avoid the crowds. The weather should be perfect in these destinations that couples adore.

      • London - where the monarchy, culture, and live theater reign
      • Paris - where every romantic honeymoon starts
      • Venice - so beautiful and delicious
      • Dublin - begin your tour of Ireland here
      • Monaco - sun yourselves by day, gamble in the Monte Carlo casino by night
      • Santorini - is there any place more romantic than this Greek island/
      • Scotland - start in Edinburgh but don't pass up the heather-filled countryside and Isle of Skye
      • Spain - sunny Barcelona on the water is a lover's paradise; just make sure you don't pass up the opportunity to see Seville as well

      EXOTIC DESTINATIONS

      • Japan - treat yourselves to a holiday in a traditional Japanese ryokan, where bathing is an art
      • Tokyo - this crowded, dizzying city can get very hot in summer, so arrange your vacation here before summer arrives

      Sure Things

      • Year-round, the weather's just about perfect in Hawaii
      • Somewhere around the world, every month of the year, a cruise ship is sailing someplace wonderful.

      Beat the Crowds

      If golf and or boating are your thing, consider Bermuda, where waters may still be chilly but the welcomes are warm.

      Plan an Anniversary Getaway in... May | June

      Not the Best Time to Visit

      Theme parks - school's out, so amusement parks will be crawling with kids.

      Time to Consider...

      June brides and grooms, especially those who marry in the second half of the month, may face competing with family travelers for the best flights and hotels. To get the trip you want, consider consulting with a professional travel agent. In most cases, their advice and services are free and you won't pay any more than if you had booked the trip yourself.

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