May Checklist: Best Events are Outdoors

  • Concert at SunFest

    SunFest Music and Arts Festival in West Palm Beach, FL

    May 1-5 Summer is all about music festivals, and the season starts off with a bang at SunFest in West Palm Beach. Five days of outdoor concerts will be headlined by Train, the Smashing Pumpkins, the Offspring and American Idol winner Phillip Phillips. Other festivities include fireworks, floating Captain Morgan party barges and a Youth Park for families.  West Palm lies an hour north of Fort Lauderdale.

    Photo courtesy of B Rosen

  • World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest part of Memphis in May festival

    World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in Memphis, TN

    May 16-18
    As part of its Memphis in May festivities, the city will be hosting the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest at Tom Lee Park. Hundreds of teams from Tennessee and across the country will fire up the smokers and compete for $110,000 in prize money.  Go queue up for 'cue! 

    Photo courtesy of ddaarryynn

  • Racing toward the finish line

    Kentucky Derby in Louisville, KY

    May 3-4 Anyone with a serious need for speed should love the month of May – a month jam packed with racing events. One of the most prestigious is the Kentucky Derby, dubbed "the fastest two minutes in sports." This event is about more than just the horses, however. It's about dressing to the nines, sipping mint juleps and enjoying the southern charm of Louisville.

    Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau

  • Dancers in Market Square

    Cinco de Mayo in San Antonio, TX

    May 5 You'll find Cinco de Mayo celebrations throughout the country, but with a sizable Mexican community and vibrant cultural heritage, San Antonio hosts one of the best. The city's historic Market Square typically fills with more than 50,000 festival-goers who come to watch folklorico dancing, listen to mariachi and Tejano music, eat Mexican food and sip margaritas.

    Photo courtesy of Visit San Antonio

  • Outside the theater

    Seattle International Film Festival in Seattle, WA

    May 16-June 9 Seattle International Film Festival is the largest in the United States with more than 150,000 attendees annually. For 25 days, Seattle locals and visitors are treated to screenings of more than 250 feature films and 150 some shorts with films representing approximately 70 different countries.    

    Photo courtesy of Seattle International Film Festival

  • Beer samples

    Florida International Beer Festival in Orlando, FL

    May 18 This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Florida International Beer Festival, and attendees can celebrate with samples from more than 100 craft breweries from across the globe paired with food samples from local Orlando restaurants. Free sodas, water and live entertainment come with the price of your ticket.

    Photo courtesy of JMR_Photography

  • Performers on stage

    Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival in Gettysburg, PA

    May 16-19 The semiannual Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival takes Gettysburg by storm this month with live performances on two stages, bluegrass workshops for kids and adults, camping, food vendors, arts and crafts and a Bluegrass Jam Camp for attendees who play the guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bass or resonator.

    Photo courtesy of Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival

  • Chocolate covered strawberries

    Long Grove Chocolate Festival in Chicago, IL

    May 3-5 The village of Long Grove, located 35 miles northwest of Chicago, celebrates the season with a weekend full of chocolate. The $5 admission fee gets you in the door, where you'll be able to sample a crazy variety of chocolate products, like martinis, beers, olive oils and chocolatey desserts. There will be live music on four different stages and a children's area with rides, face painting and a balloon artist.

    Photo courtesy of Garry Knight

  • Indy 500

    Indy 500 in Indianapolis, IN

    May 26 For fans of IndyCar racing, it doesn't get any bigger than the Indy 500, the world's largest single-day sporting event. Drivers come from across the country to race 500 miles – that's 200 laps around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway track – topping out at speeds of over 200 miles per hour.

    Photo courtesy of Just_Bryan

  • Al Jarreau

    Newport Beach Jazz Festival in Newport Beach, CA

    May 31-June 2 Newport Beach, California warms up at the end of May when jazz greats descend upon the city for three days of jazz music in two outdoor amphitheaters. Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Al Jarreau, Brian Culbertson and Najee will be headlining at the small, intimate venues on the grounds of the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach.

    Photo courtesy of Adhi Rachdian