Mother Nature can be fickle during spring, especially in the northern parts of the United States. For this reason, the month of May can be a great – and often less expensive – time to soak up some sunshine before the warm weather reaches home. Four beaches are at the top of the list of the warmest beaches in the U.S. during May.

South Padre Island

South Padre Island, at the southeastern tip of Texas near Brownsville, has long been known as a college spring break destination. The reason is simple: long stretches of sandy beaches, many restaurants and bars, and ample supply of resort and hotel rooms. Dive into an adventure – kiteboarding, windsurfing and personal watercraft rentals are plentiful here, and sports fishing is a favorite activity. Or relax along the clean beaches, enjoying the gentle surf and water temperatures of 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

Honolulu, Hawaii 

America's Pacific island vacation spot boasts warm temperatures not just during May, but virtually year-round; the average temperatures never dip below 80 degrees. Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, is the largest city in the state, home to the famous Waikiki Beach. Nearby is the world-renowned snorkeling destination Hanauma Bay, as well as the historically significant Pearl Harbor. The warm temperatures also hold true for the other Hawaiian islands. For instance, the beaches near Lahaina, Maui, once the royal seat of kings when Hawaii was a sovereign nation, have average May temperatures of 84 degrees.

Key West

This city at the westernmost end of the Florida Keys – and about 170 miles from Miami Beach along U.S. Highway 1 and Florida Route A1A – is famous for its relaxed atmosphere; bars and restaurants; and its most famous resident, Ernest Hemingway. As is the case for much of the Florida Keys, there is not a lot of surf here or huge sandy expanses, thanks to one of the most extensive living coral reefs that protect the area. That makes for calm, crystal-clear waters that are perfect for swimming, fishing and, of course, snorkeling and scuba diving.

Miami Beach

On the Atlantic side of the Florida peninsula is Miami Beach, the resort city known for its white-sand beaches, clear blue water and the Art Deco design along its most famous strand, South Beach. Miami Beach’s average May temperature places it among the highest in the United States. However, May is also one of Miami's wetter months, with an average of nearly 5 inches of rainfall. If looking for similar temperatures in Florida but with less rain in May, consider the beaches near Jacksonville, farther north along the Atlantic side of the peninsula. Jacksonville's average May temperature is also 83 degrees, but this area gets only half as much rain in May as Miami Beach.