by Shuyi Shang, Accounting Community Manager at Bento for Business
March and April suck. How do I know? Tax season. I work with accountants and CPAs every day, and recently you guys have just been…MIA.
But hey! It’s finally, officially over, and I have great news. May is maybe the best time of year to travel in the US, especially if you’re looking for a relaxing holiday (and I bet you are). It’s post-spring break and pre-summer vacation. Crowds are light and lots of spots are offering deals to drum up business.
In other words: it’s the perfect time to get away, recover, and recharge. Here are some great spots that you may not have thought of.
Olympic Peninsula, WA
Great for: outdoor enthusiasts, music lovers, history buffs
Average May Temperature: 46° / 26°
Washington state has a lot to offer besides the Seattle coffee scene: Olympic National Park, Hoh Rainforest, beaches, and a 136-mile backcountry biking trail are just the start. A May visit may be chilly, but you can check out the Irrigation Festival in the small town of Sequim (history nerd alert) or the Juan de Fuca Musical Festival.
Vero Beach, FL
Great for: beach bums, beer enthusiasts, golfers
Average May Temperature: 85° / 66°
Vero Beach and surrounding Indian River County in May is light on the crowds and big on the relaxing activities. The town has three independent breweries, nearly two dozen nearby golf courses, and, of course, beaches. Whether your the surfing type, the kayaking type, or the fishing type, Vero Beach can deliver.
Hocking Hills, OH
Great for: stargazers, outdoor enthusiasts
Average May Temperature: 72° / 48°
Tired of your phone pinging at you? There’s a good chance you won’t even get a signal in Hocking Hills. In addition to the kind of great hiking (waterfalls, cliffs, caves) that makes you feel like a founding father, this town has one of the nation’s last remaining dark sky areas. It’s also home to the brand-new John Glenn Astronomy Park, where you can get a pretty stunning view of the night sky, with or without the help of a telescope.
Sonoma Valley, CA
Great for: wine enthusiasts, outdoor enthusiasts
Average May Temperature: 77° / 47°
If you’re looking to do a good deed while you sip wine and enjoy some R&R, consider visiting California’s Sonoma Valley. The area was hit hard by last year’s wildfires, but is now open for business—and in need of tourists to make up for lost revenue. Twist our arms, right? Oh, and the other reason May is a great time to visit Sonoma: crowds tend to be light, meaning you’ll probably get more one-on-one time chatting with winery owners, and sample more wines!
Oh, and there’s good cycling.
Gulf Coast, MS
Great for: golfers, outdoor enthusiasts, budgeteers, beach bums
Average May Temperature: 76°
If you’re into stretching a dollar (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), Mississippi should be on your travel list. Its Gulf Coast area has everything people love about beaches (boating, fishing, kayaking, etc.) along with pretty much everything else (golfing, casinos, great restaurants). Take a ferry to Ship Island for a low-key day exploring a place that’s probably completely unlike your office.
Great for: Herman Melville
Average May Temperature: 65° / 48°
Before that average low scares you off, consider the lure of a Windjammer Cruise. Not for everyone, sure, but if you’re looking to get away, you can take a three-day (or longer) ride and get up close and personal with whales, visit tiny islands, and eat devastatingly fresh seafood. Tip: aim for the end of May. Memorial Day weekend is the official start of sailing season.
Blue Ridge Mountains, GA
Great for: outdoor enthusiasts, arts & crafts lovers
Average May Temperature: 76° / 50°
Head to Blairsville-Union County, and you’ll be in genuine “hidden gem” territory without being too far from civilization (a two- or three-hour drive from major cities like Atlanta). This pristine area has lakes (Nottely and Winfield Scott), hiking, camping, and, yes, waterfalls. May is also a great time to visit for the Spring Arts, Crafts, and Music Festival.
Willamette Valley, OR
Great for: outdoor enthusiasts, wine enthusiasts, skiers
Average May Temperature: 68° / 44°
Yes, the ski season is still going on in May here—at some resorts, at least. And if you’d rather just say nope to the slopes, consider the micro-boutique winery scene, which is not a thing I ever thought I’d write. But really: it’s cool. One more thing to love: at Bells Up Winery, one of the owners is a burnt-out tax attorney, so he will totally feel your pain.
About the Author
Shuyi Shang works closely with accounting partners (Bento Expense Experts, a.k.a. BEEs) at Bento for Business, a QB-friendly solution that combines Visa debit cards with a desktop/mobile platform to control and track employee expenses. She loves her QBO community and is a regular participant of the weekly QBOChat on Twitter.