Presenting The 2013 Winners

Below are the winners in Rand McNally’s 2013 search for America’s Most Beautiful, Most Fun, Friendliest, Most Patriotic, Best for Food, and (new this year!) Best for Geocaching small towns.

Sponsored by:
Sam Good Geocaching

Most Beautiful

Winner

Jefferson City, Missouri

The attractions most highlighted here include Missouri River views; a classic, domed capitol building; and a beautiful main street. Jefferson City also received the third most votes overall.

Judges’ Take:

“Jefferson City’s essay used colorful language to bring out the beauty and charm of the town, from its proud historical connections to its lovely capitol and other elegant buildings.”

More about Most Beautiful...

Most Fun

Winner

Corning, New York

Corning’s supporters must really think it’s fun: it was a finalist in this category last year, too! Maybe it’s the Finger Lakes location and all those area wineries, or maybe it’s the famous glassworks and all those great boutiques and restaurants.

Judges’ Take:

“Corning’s energetic video and essay submissions showcased a community that not only knows how to have a good time, but that also knows how to ensure visitors will enjoy themselves, too.”

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Friendliest

Winner

Kewanee, Illinois

Topping the category is this northwestern Illinois town, where colorful murals celebrate civic pride and history and where good cheer, genuine courtesy, and community service are cited as hallmarks.

Judges’ Take:

“After reading Kewanee's essay and watching its video, I wanted to get in my car and experience the friendliness of this town right away!”

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Most Patriotic

Winner

Gallup, New Mexico

Honoring veterans is big here. So is honoring indigenous culture. The town is near both Zuni and Navajo reservations, and it hosts one of the country’s oldest and largest annual Native American gatherings. It’s also the place to learn about the Navajo Code Talkers who played a critical role in secure communications during WW II.

Judges’ Take:

“Gallup’s poignant submissions showed us a place that acknowledges the heroic contributions of diverse cultures; that sees patriotism in small, everyday acts as well as in monumental, historic deeds; and that has an overall patriotic philosophy of its very own—Gallup Strong.”

More about Most Patriotic...

Best for Food

Winner

San Mateo, California

Variety and ethnic diversity figure big on the menus in this bayside town just south of San Francisco. The finalist topping this category also has lots of food trucks and produce and specialty markets, including one with a “must visit” bakery.

Judges’ Take:

“San Mateo won us over with the diversity of its culinary options and with all its online activity, which showed strong community support for the restaurateurs. The town clearly has ‘something for everyone’ and is dedicated to providing its patrons with the best.”

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Best for Geocaching

Winner

Helena, Montana

Geocaches on the Helena GeoTour are so rewarding that even locals swear they learn new things about their town. As one poster put it: “People have reported that [geocaching here] is fun, hard [with] different terrains.” What else would you expect from a Rocky Mountain town in Big Sky Country?

Judges’ Take:

“I was convinced by the words taken directly from the geocaching community: this is an authentically engaging place to geocache. You can feel the historical connection to the gold treasure hunters from long ago while using today's satellites and smartphone apps. The gorgeous scenery just adds to the adventure!”

More about Geocaching...


2012 Town Winners

Bardstown, KY
Most Beautiful

Gainesville, TX
Most Patriotic

Santa Fe, NM
Best Food

Delray Beach, FL
Most Fun

Murray, KY
Friendliest

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