Rand McNally’s Best of the Road Rally revealed what 30 of the best small towns in America have to offer from the Friendliest to the Most Fun. If you’re looking for a scenic getaway or an all-American road trip, consider one of the Most Beautiful or Most Patriotic town finalists.
Coral Gables, Florida’s source of beauty lies in the local nature, architecture, and culture. The town is home to the renowned University of Miami, the historic Biltmore Hotel, and the world-class Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens. Visitors can savor time golfing at the country club, boating through waterways, relaxing at the Venetian Pool, or shopping at Merrick Park.
Marco Island, FL is celebrated for the Ten Thousand Islands off its coast and incredible sunset views. The town boasts an immense diversity of wildlife from dolphins to manatees to birds and offers jet ski, catamaran, and boat tours through the environment. This Gulf coast area features plenty of water recreation and great local seafood right on the beach.
Franklin, TN is a small, friendly town outside of Nashville full of Civil War history. The Main Street flows through small boutiques and eateries, a setting which provides a quaint, slow-paced feel. Franklin’s known for The Factory, a complex of 10 depression-era buildings that once accommodated four factories and now house antique and art shops, event venues, and restaurants.
Baker City, OR is nestled between the Elkhorn, Blue, and Eagle Mountains for majestic views of the great outdoors. The town offers tours down the Oregon Trail and the beautifully restored Geiser Hotel. Visitors are encouraged to try the local digs downtown particularly Barley Brew Pub.
Sandpoint, ID has a notoriously overwhelming view from the Long Bridge into town with Schweitzer Mountains creating the backdrop and Lake Pend O’Reille perfectly supplementing the setting. Visitors can take a ski lift up 6800 feet for the majestic view or try a boat cruise down below.
Pacifica, CA hosts parks and beaches with coastal, mountainous views and noteworthy sunsets. Only 15 minutes outside of San Francisco, the city cherishes its smaller town feel. Visitors love Rockaway Beach, the Pacifica Pier, Pedro Point, and Skyline Blvd.
Clarksville, TN is the proud home of the 101st Airborne Division. This town completely rallies around their military and wrote more celebratory reviews than any other town on Best of the Road. The city has volunteer welcoming patrons for soldiers returning from service and organizations like Bikers Who Care that support the troops. They even have children in a neighborhood color guard who help a veteran raise his flag on every holiday.
Peachtree City, GA is a residential area containing 90 miles of golf cart trails. The people here are friendly and welcoming, hosting honorary celebrations for fallen soldiers arriving at the local airport. There isn’t a local base, but citizens are proud of the fact that most have served or have family serving in the military. Locals have preserved WWII memorabilia including planes the local Dixie Wing still flies.
Williamsburg, VA houses the history of America’s birth with buildings from the 1600’s, citizens reenacting colonial times, and landmarks representative of our country’s lineage galore. The first chapter of American settlement took place here and today’s locals replicate and share this story with all who come.
Fort Leonard Wood, MO is a community of soldiers, civilian volunteers, and veterans alike surrounding one of the most prominent Army posts. The small town is united in patriotism and demonstrates service both overseas and in emergencies on American soil.
Rapid City, SD hosts both Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial, two must-see national landmarks. The town is as beautiful as it is patriotic, surrounded by the Black Hills, and is the home of Ellsworth AFB.
Emporia, KS prides itself in founding Veterans Day, which they celebrate with a full week of festivities. Locals support the troops and celebrate America with events and fundraisers. Tour the All Veterans Memorial in addition to other memorials, a museum, and the local zoo.
Check out the rest of our finalists in the Friendliest, Most Fun, and Best for Food categories.