The 17 best places to go this May

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The Best Places To Travel In May

Looking for May vacation ideas? From art festivals to mega shark encounters, here are the best places to take a vacation in May.

Some of the world's biggest events, like the Cannes Film Festival, Kentucky Derby, Indy 500 and Cinco de Mayo take place this month. Other destinations, like Namibia and Western Australia, offer spectacular wildlife encounters. And then there's that crazy "chase a wheel a cheese down a hill" tradition in England.

Check out the slideshow below for the 17 best places to travel this month.
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Where to go - May 2015
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The 17 best places to go this May

1. Namibia

The weather is dry and sunny, and there's less vegetation, making it a great time to spot animals on a safari.

Photo via Alamy

2. Milan and the Italian Lakes

Expo Milano kicks off May 1 and is expected to draw more than 20 million visitors to World's Fair events. A short train ride or drive from the city, the Italian Lakes (Maggiore, Lugano, Como, Iseo and Garda) offer a beautiful (and not too crowded) escape.

(Photo via Getty Images)

3. Bermuda

Beach season really ramps up in May here -- as do hotel prices. There are also some big events on the island this month, including the popular End-to-End charity walk from one end of the island to the other.

(Photo via Getty Images)

4. Western Australia

Ningaloo Reef is considered one of the best places to swim with whale sharks, and May is prime shark season. These peaceful animals can grow up to 40 feet long, making them the world's largest fish.

(Photo via Alamy)

5. Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville goes all out for the Kentucky Derby, which takes place the first weekend in May. Even if you don't have tickets to the race itself, there's plenty going on around the city over the weekend.

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

6. Indianapolis, Indiana

A little north of Louisville, there's another big race this month: the Indy 500. The event takes place in late May, and there's a full lineup of festivities on tap.

(Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

7. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Memorial Day and the start of summer mean the beginning of high season at the popular beach town. Earlier in the month you can find lower hotel rates.

(Photo via Getty Images)

8. Orlando, Florida

Spring break crowds are gone by now, and this month there are a number of new attractions in the city, including the opening of an enormous Ferris wheel called the Orlando Eye and the I-Drive360 entertainment complex.

(Photo via Getty Images)

9. Valais, Switzerland

In the Swiss canton of Valais, spring means cow fighting season. The bell-clad Heren cows lock horns to become "queen of the queens" in a series of matches that culminates in May in the town of Aproz.

(AP Photo/Keystone, Dominic Favre)

10. Brockworth, United Kingdom

The annual Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling draws competitors from far and wide to chase a wheel of cheese down a grassy hill. (Note: after frequent injuries, the event now takes place unofficially -- so you can still watch it.)

(Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

11. New York, New York

May in New York can bring lovely weather, plus this month you can check out the new Whitney Museum building, which opens to the public on May 1. Round out your visit with a show on Broadway -- the newest Tony nominations just came out.

(Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage)

12. Maui, Hawaii

Same heavenly weather, minus the crowds and higher prices. May is one of the best times to visit Maui's beaches, Hana Highway and Haleakala volcano. Plus, this month's Celebration of the Arts Festival in Kapalua is a great way to learn about the island's cultural heritage.

(Photo via Getty Images)

13. Cannes, France

Okay, so huge crowds and high prices during the Cannes International Film Festival aren't every traveler's cup of tea. But if you want to rub shoulders with celebrities, this is the place to be.

(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

14. Sydney, Australia

The world's largest light festival also brings music and innovations down under during VIVID Sydney. This year's event will feature a water show with lasers and fountains, plus talks and performances by influencers from around the worlds.

(Photo by CulturalEyes - AusGS2 / Alamy)

15. Venice, Italy

One of the world's premier art events happens every two years in Venice. This year the event begins in May, with film, theater and dance exhibitions as well.

(Photo by Marco Secchi/Getty Images)

16. Mexico

Celebrate Mexico's 1862 victory over the French at a Cinco de Mayo event. The festivities are biggest in Puebla, where the famous battle took place.

(AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

17. Anaheim, California

Geek out on Star Wars Day (May 4 ... get it? May the fourth be with you?) at Disneyland's Star Tours 3-D motion-simulated ride. You can travel to Hoth, Tatooine or more than 50 other places in a galaxy far, far away.

(Photo by ZUMA Press, Inc / Alamy)

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