Seven hidden gems of North America you need to visit in May


North America is a vast continent with a plethora of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. While our home continent has countless well known tourist destinations, discovering those that are less frequented but no less worthy of a visit is very rewarding. May is the perfect month to explore some of the lesser known places as the weather is mild, the crowds are thinner and the prices are lower. From remote islands to stunning national parks, there are plenty of destinations that are worth a visit. Here are seven hidden gems that you should add to your May travel list. 

For the art lover: Taos, New Mexico. This vibrant and artistic community in the high desert of northern New Mexico, Taos is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by tourists. Visitors relish stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, hot springs and delicious Southwestern cuisine. May is an ideal time to visit Taos with sunny days and comfortable temperatures, and the crowds are thinner. Visitors can explore the town’s art galleries, museums, adobe architecture and historical sites or hike in the nearby mountains. 

For the outdoors enthusiast: San Juan Islands, Washington. This Pacific Northwest archipelago lies between Washington and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Visitors can explore the islands’ pristine beaches, hike and bike through forests and observe whales, sea lions and dolphins. Take a ferry to Orcas Island, where you can hike to the top of Mount Constitution for panoramic views of the islands and surrounding mountains. May is an ideal time to visit, as the weather is mild and the crowds have yet to arrive.

To harken back to another era: Mackinac Island, Michigan. Mackinac Island is a charming and picturesque destination located in Lake Huron. It’s a delightful getaway frozen in time. The island is free of cars, so visitors explore by bike or on foot. It’s famous for its Victorian architecture, fudge shops and horse-drawn carriages. May is the perfect time to visit before the peak summer season, with mild weather and beautiful spring blooms.

For wine and food aficionados: Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada. An up-and-coming wine region located in southeastern Ontario, Prince Edward County is home to picturesque vineyards, quaint towns and stunning waterfront views. The area’s legendary shellfish include lobsters, oysters, mussels and scallops beyond compare. May is the perfect time to visit before the summer crowds and while the vineyards are in full bloom.

For off-the-grid history: Cumberland Island, Georgia. A barrier island off the coast of Georgia, Cumberland Island is a secluded paradise that offers breathtaking scenery and a glimpse into America’s history. The island is home to wild horses, abandoned Gilded Age-era mansions and 17 miles of pristine beaches. Visitors can only reach the island via a 45-minute ferry and explore the island on foot or by bike. May is primetime for birdwatching and blooming wildflowers, and the temperatures are not yet uncomfortably hot. 

For small-town hospitality: Door County, Wisconsin. The remoteness of this charming area keeps it off the tourism radar, but it’s still known for its picturesque lighthouses, quaint small towns and delicious cherry pie. Its friendly, welcoming atmosphere and laid-back lifestyle make Door County an ideal destination for those seeking a slower pace of life. Mild May weather means that the trees and flowers are in bloom, offering a beautiful, colorful backdrop to any outdoor adventure. 

For sun and sand lovers: Isla Holbox, Mexico. A tranquil and secluded island off the Yucatan Peninsula, Isla Holbox is the perfect place to unwind and escape the crowds. May is the beginning of whale shark season, when you can swim with the gentle giants in the turquoise waters. Water sports and white sand beaches are plentiful. The San Isidro Labrador Festival in May celebrates the island’s fishing heritage with traditional dances, music and local cuisine.

North America is full of hidden gems that are just waiting to be explored. Whether you are looking for stunning landscapes, abundant wildlife or tranquil waters, May offers a great time to visit some of the continent’s lesser known destinations. So, contact your favorite travel advisor and make plans to discover North America’s beauty. 

About Beverly McLean 21 Articles
Beverly McLean, CTC, is affiliated with Covington Travel and can be reached at 757-286-5233 or e-mail