After April showers and surprise snowfalls, it’s time to unpack those hiking boots and flip-flops and get ready for a season of outdoor adventures. Whether your idea of a good time includes glamping in scenic Southwestern Montana or playing polo in the English countryside, you’ll find something to love on our travel bucket list for May.
Opened in April, the urban-inspired lounge showcases 360-degree views of the valley while enticing you with curated bites from celebrity chef Charlie Palmer. A cocktail bar and show kitchen create a lively atmosphere for all-day dining at the same time that stone fire pits, modern rocking chairs and starlit skies provide a cozy respite at the end of a day of vineyard visits.
If you’re looking for an even more serene scene, the rooftop spot also boasts a shallow ledge pool surrounded by plenty of loungers, an indoor-outdoor fitness studio and a small spa.
With your choice of glorious glamping sites along the Blackfoot River or plush vacation homes tucked among 37,000 acres of Montana wilderness, Forbes Travel Guide Recommended The Resort at Paws Up already takes your summer camping trip to the next level, but with the debut of the Island Lodge at Salmon Lake over Memorial Day weekend (May 26 to 28), your family vacation gets kicked up another luxurious notch.
Book a morning, afternoon or evening excursion to the lodge with your adventure guide to enjoy all manner of water activities — jet skiing, kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding and more — along with cocktail service, culinary creations and complimentary beer and wine. (Pro tip: Reserve the later session to also enjoy a chef-crafted dinner and a live musical performance.)
If you’re looking to add a splash of chardonnay to your Wild West escape, make the two-hour drive south of The Resort at Paws Up to Four-Star Triple Creek Ranch to sip wine among the scenic Bitterroot Mountain peaks during the luxe lodging’s 15th annual spring Vintner Weekends series.
Each weekend through May, the property will showcase a different winery with vintner-led tastings, pairing dinners and seminars in addition to all the outdoor activities Triple Creek is known for — from fly-fishing to horseback riding and guided nature tours.
This year’s iteration will feature the renowned Novak women of Spottswoode Estate (May 10 to 13), Doug Hill of Northern California’s Hill Family Estate (May 17 to 20) and, over Memorial Day weekend (May 24 to 27), Cyril and Blakesley Chappellet of their eponymous Napa winery.
Orange County, California
Join the fight to end child hunger in the U.S. with a picture-perfect afternoon of savory bites, sensational sips and spectacular views during Laguna Beach’s Taste of the Nation fundraiser benefitting the No Kid Hungry campaign on May 20.
Held at the elegant clifftop Five-Star Montage Laguna Beach, the annual event brings together the region’s top culinary talent — this year’s roster includes executive chef Craig Strong of Montage’s Five-Star Studio and TV personality Marcel Vigneron — for chef-led tastings, along with live entertainment and auctions, all overlooking the resort’s stunning oceanfront grounds.
But this isn’t a gathering you’ll want to leave early — following the main event is an alfresco after-party where you can watch the sun set over the California coast, participate in a champagne toast and mingle with the celebrity chefs.
Held at some of the Strip’s most iconic properties, including Four-Stars The Venetian and The Cosmopolitan and Forbes Travel Guide Recommended The Cromwell, the festival consists of classes, seminars and socials hosted by top-shelf toques such as Japanese-Peruvian fusion master Nobu Matsuhisa and the king of Hell’s Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay.
The weekend reaches a crescendo with The Grand Tasting at Caesars Palace (May 11), a gastro get-together featuring bites from more than 50 top chefs and sips from 100 of the best wine and spirit labels around the world.
While some of the most highly anticipated events are already sold out (sorry, Bobby Flay fans), a few new additions have just hit the itinerary, including a late-night hangout with Black Tap chef-owner Joe Isidori, where you can make your own version of the restaurant’s Instagrammable Crazy shakes, and a vodka and caviar happy hour hosted by the “Modern Mixologist” himself, Tony Abou-Ganim.
Grab a front-row seat to one of the world’s most challenging sailing competitions when the Volvo Ocean Race makes landfall in Newport around May 10 . Covering more than 45,000 nautical miles, the high-intensity race challenges sailors to circumnavigate the globe, making its only North American stopover in Rhode Island after leaving Alicante, Spain, in October.
From May 8 through 20, Fort Adams State Park transforms into a Race Village with live music and entertainment, interactive exhibits, pop-up food stalls, drink gardens and in-port racing, all centered around the schooners and sailors that just completed the grueling trans-Atlantic crossing.
Take in all the festivities without sacrificing any creature comforts by booking a stay at Castle Hill Inn, a race sponsor and Four-Star boutique property overlooking Narragansett Bay.
The Home Counties, England
Enjoy an elegant English countryside escape, horses and all, with Coworth Park’s Ultimate Polo Experience package — just in time for the 2018 polo season (May to September). But even before you’ve tried your hand at the sport of kings, this enchanting Five-Star manor will offer you the royal treatment with luxurious accommodations in a Mansion House room or Junior Suite with full English breakfast for two and helicopter transfers to and from the secluded property.
After a restful night, you’ll head to nearby Guards Polo Club for a half-day masterclass. You’ll also be granted access to watch a high-goal game at the venue.
End your day on an extravagant note with a tasting menu of beautifully plated British fare from noted chef Adam Smith under the burnished oak leaf chandelier in Restaurant Coworth Park.