30 US Places With Fabulous Weather in May
May weather across much of the United States is either too hot, or too cold, or too wet to feel perfect for most people. But you can find idyllic weather in many parts of the US, if you know where to look.
Excellent May weather does exist at a scattering of American beaches, mountains, cities and towns. Here are 30 of those places. These range from world-famous tourist destinations to quiet spots that most people have never heard of. All 30 are reliably warm and mainly dry.
These five cool spots aren't really chilly, just slightly cooler than room temperature. Daytime maximums often land in the 60s Fahrenheit.
1. Bridgehampton, New York
Bridgehampton, a hamlet on the south shore of Long Island, has some of the coolest yet driest May weather in New York state. The average high of 65 °F results in all but a few days with temperatures rising into the 60s or 70s. Rain shows up less often here than most of the state, with only one-third of days having any wet weather.
2. Bismarck, North Dakota
Bismarck is a place for people who like variety. During May it is as likely to have highs in the 80s as in the 50s. Yet pleasant temperatures are the ones most common at this capital city, with days usually peaking in the 60s or 70s. Rainfall for the month is normally a modest 2.5 inches.
3. Berkeley, California
Across the bay from San Francisco, along the stretch from Oakland through Berkeley to Richmond, balmy weather prevails during May. This northern portion of the East Bay area offers temperatures that are often in the 60s. It's also one of the driest places listed here, with less than an inch of rain sprinkled over three days.
4. Ocean City, Maryland
May temperatures at this Atlantic beach getaway usually peak in the 60s or 70s, although a few days can spike into the 80s. Meanwhile, rain for the month typically totals 3.8 inches.
5. Santa Cruz, California
Santa Cruz enjoys its most moderate temperatures of the year during May. Days are just as likely to warm up into the 60s as the 70s. Usually a few days this month will reach highs in the 80s °F. Rain this month does happen, but amounts to less than an inch typically falling over four days.
The 16 warm places here feature weather that's comfortable for just about anybody. Their temperatures mainly top out in the 70s Fahrenheit each day.
6. Lake McConaughy, Nebraska
The countryside around Nebraska's biggest lake hosts great weather for outdoor fun with temperatures during May in the 60s to 80s Fahrenheit. Compared to other places on this list, Lake McConaughy has a moderate amount of rain, averaging about three-and-a-half inches for the month.
7. Durango, Colorado
By May this high-elevation city, with its San Juan Mountains backdrop, has shaken off winter enough to bask in some delightful daytime temperatures which average 71 °F. Still, winter isn't entirely gone. Durango can get a little crisp even now, with 5 or 6 nights during the month dropping below freezing. But the lack of serious rain makes up for the frost.
8. Pinetop – Lakeside, Arizona
The picturesque forests, meadows, lakes and towns sitting high in the White Mountains are at the perfect elevation to find comfortable weather at this time of year in Arizona. Most days have highs in the 70s and rain normally shows up on just four days in the month.
9. Boise, Idaho
May days at Boise are nearly evently split between highs in the 60s, 70s and 80s, with a few only reaching the 50s °F. The city, set amidst arid hills, normally sees 1.5 inches of rain this month.
10. Decatur, Indiana
Decatur, a small community south of Fort Wayne, features May highs that average 72 degrees, with nights dropping to around 50. Rain appears here often without being excessive, totalling 4.3 inches falling over 13 days.
11. Des Moines, Iowa
May is the finest month for Des Moines temperatures when daily highs average 72 degrees. Iowa's capital city is rainier than most on this list at 5.2 inches spread out over 13 days.
12. Ruidoso, New Mexico
The mountain resort village of Ruidoso sits next to the Lincoln National Forest high in the Sierra Blanca range where this month it enjoys perfect temperatures. Perfect, that is if you don't mind a few frosty nights. But that's not much to put up with when the days average 73 degree maximums and are seldom wet.
13. Windsor, Illinois
Windsor is a farming community tucked into the corner of routes 16 and 32 in Shelby County, Illinois near Lake Shelbyville and Wolf Creek State Park. The town avoids the 90-degree weather that many parts of the state can get this month. It enjoys a daily maximum that averages 74 degrees along with a moderate amount of rain.
14. Potosi, Missouri
Not far from St. Louis, on the edge of the Mark Twain National Forest, the small town of Potosi avoids the 90-degree heat that can descend on the city this month. Plus Potosi gets a little less rain than many other parts of Missouri. Even so, the rural community is among the wettest places listed here, averaging a total 5.3 inches of rain for the month.
15. Columbus, Ohio
Columbus during May offers some of the year's most enticing weather. Still, people who'll enjoy the city most are those who don't mind regular rain. Nearly half the days are damp. Yet rain for the month typically amounts to barely four inches.
16. Hermiston, Oregon
Near where the Columbia River flows by the McNary Dam on the Oregon – Washington border the days in May are dry and temperatures pleasant. Nearly half the days peak in the 70s °F, with the rest just as likely to land in the 60s as in the 80s. The area usually receives less than an inch of rain for the month, scattered over eight days
17. Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
May is probably Ocracoke's best month for weather with its fine mix of temperature and precipitation. The remote island, decked in a quaint town and expansive Atlantic beaches, sees most days with highs in the 70s. Nights are not much cooler, with lows often above 60 degrees. Rainfall on an average of eight days rounds out the month's appealing climate.
18. John Redmond Lake, Kansas
Southwest of Kansas City, John Redmond Lake and its several parks offer a great getaway in warm temperatures where the highs average 76 °F. This area does get more rain than most listed here, but the precipitation is also more concentrated. Normally only nine days in the month see some wet weather.
19. Lynchburg, Virginia
A small city tucked into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Lynchburg enjoys average highs of 76 degrees during May. Despite the eastern mountain location, this month's rainfall usually amounts to just four inches.
20. Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville nestles into the Blue Ridge Mountains at the western edge of North Carolina. The mountain air takes a little longer to heat up in spring. That means the city avoids the 90-degree days that can already happen in much of the rest of NC during May. Daily highs average 76 °F.
21. Frederick, Maryland
Tucked up against farmland and the Blue Ridge Mountains, the attractive city of Frederick has an equally attractive May climate. The days usually warm to above 70 °F with enough rain to keep the landscape green.
These nine places provide a bit of heat, without getting unbearably hot. On most days in May the temperature rises to between 80 and 90 °F.
22. Gainesville, Georgia
In northeast Georgia, on the shore of Lake Lanier, is Gainesville, yet another Blue Ridge foothills city with outstanding weather. It's a bit warmer than the others. Here's where May's highest temperatures commonly land in the 70s, and more often reach into the 80s. Rain is typically confined to nine days this month.
23. Kingsport, Tennessee
The hills, cities and lakes in the northeast corner of Tennessee enjoy fine temperatures and relatively little rain during May. The great weather extends from Kingsport to Morristown and Jefferson City near Cherokee Lake. Daily highs here frequently reach the 80s while slightly cooler days are also common.
24. Mammoth Spring, Arkansas
This town on the Ozark Plateau in northern Arkansas basks in warm weather during May. Mammoth Spring has highs mainly in the 80s and 70s with lows in the 50s. While fewer than one-third of the month's days have rain, it normally totals over five inches.
25. Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky
Southeast of Lexington, among lushly forested hills flanked by long lakes the temperatures here are quite comfortable, although variable during May. While it most often warms up into the 80s, days in the 60s are not uncommon. Rain does fall regularly to keep those hills lush.
26. Dauphin Island, Alabama
On this barrier island along the Gulf of Mexico you can count on every day warming up to at least 70 °F. A moderate amount of rain does fall on Dauphin Island's sandy beaches. But the precipitation arrives relatively infrequently, averaging seven days for the month.
27. Pascagoula, Mississippi
At Pascagoula, flanked by Gulf Coast estuaries, the temperature climbs to at least 70 °F every day in May. Although with 5.9 inches of rain in a typical May, it's the wettest place on this list. Fortunately all that precipitation passes by quickly, taking up just seven days out of the month.
28. Boothville, Louisiana
Just before the Mississippi River empties into the ocean, the river's banks offer some superb weather in May. Here the days consistently get above 69 degrees, while the nights are nearly as warm as those at Waikiki. Less than four inches of rain tops off the excellent climate.
29. Galveston, Texas
The coastal island city of Galveston enjoys temperatures in the 80s most days during May while nights drop down into the 70s F. It's also fairly dry here, typically seeing rain on only five days. The good weather continues southwest on the barrier islands through to Port Aransas.
30. Waikiki, Hawaii
While Waikiki has several months a year with terrific temperatures, none is as dry as May. The Oahu vacation destination averages just an inch of rain this month, making it one of the drier places on this list. The beach is perfect for anyone who thrives in 80-degree heat, as usually only one day this month doesn't make it over 79 °F.
Temperature and rainfall data for the 30 places with great May weather have been brought together on one webpage. There you can easily compare May temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit and Celsius, as well as monthly rainfall measured in inches and metric units, plus much more.
How the List was Made
This list came together by sorting through detailed temperature and precipitation data for 7465 locations in the 50 states and sifting out the ones that have a fabulous May climate. The data are long-term weather averages based on measurements collected from 1991 to 2020.
The choicest places all have daily high temperatures throughout the month that land within almost everybody's comfort zone. None of these locations normally endures extended May temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. At most they have six days that don't make it over 60 °F. And all average less than six inches and 13 days of rain for the month.
True, everyone has their personal preferences when it comes to climate. The ideal temperature for one person can leave someone else cold. So to help you find the place that's just right for you, these are listed from coolest to warmest, based on their average maximum temperature for May. Things heat up as you move down the page.
You can also get the essential weather data for these exceptional May climates pulled together in a series of tables.
NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). Climate Normals.