SKOKIE, Ill., July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Rand McNally and USA TODAY have been working together to find the best of America – the best small towns, most patriotic places, friendliest folks – and this year you can connect with the country and its people without leaving home. Travel Channel came along for the ride this summer, capturing everything from pie-eating contests to marching band parades, to share a one-hour television special featuring the "Best of the Road." Tune in to Travel Channel on Wednesday, July 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.
The second annual Best of the Road® Rally has been four weeks of truly inspirational, joyful, and captivating road tripping! Five traveling teams, equipped with Rand McNally's TripMaker® RVND™ GPS car navigation, have uncovered countless gems across America, while sharing blogs, videos, photos, tweets, and Facebook posts to keep us all "in the know."
Each team has visited all six towns in their designated category for Most Fun, Best for Food, Most Patriotic, Most Beautiful and Friendliest. In it to win it, the towns rolled out the red carpet and police escorts, handed over keys to cities and hosted marathon restaurant crawls. Catch up with the teams as they wrap up their cross-country adventures:
MOST FUN: Fresh Traveler: Patricia Serrano and Anna Haas
Patricia and Anna take fun very seriously. The girls bungee around on a vertical trampoline, become royalty at a medieval tournament and race around on jet skis. For more highlights from team Fresh Traveler, visit: http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/fresh-traveler/
MOST BEAUTIFUL: Two for the Road: Dusty Green and Nikki Green
Dusty and Nikki brave the elements of Tropical Storm Debby in Tybee Island, but still managed to find the amazing qualities of Tybee, including a meeting with the local alligators. They shared the most jaw-dropping scenery along the way, and managed to get a postcard shot of a beautiful full moon gracefully and very unexpectedly over the red rocks in Sedona. For more highlights from Two for the Road, visit: http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/two-forthe-road/
BEST FOR FOOD: Road Bros: Mike Shubic and Brian Cox
Mike and Brian packed their appetites for this road trip with marathon-dining days. From BBQ to Mediterranean, these guys ate their way across the country. But that's not all they did. They received the Key to the City from two towns, took a powerboat ride at Niagara Falls and received a warm welcome with police escorts and parades in Lewiston, NY. For more highlights from Road Bros, visit: http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/road-bros/
MOST PATRIOTIC: Midlife Road Trip: Sandra McKenna and Rick Griffin
Sandi and Rick set off to find the Most Patriotic towns, and they found perfect strangers that moved them, "in such a way it touched us to the core. People reminded us all to be thankful for our freedoms as Americans and honor our soldiers and veterans every day." For more inspirational moments with Sandi and Rick, visit: http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/midlife-road-trip/
FRIENDLIEST: Rogue Riders: Jennifer Jordon and Robert Schatz
Jen and Bob tour America with a big smile on their faces as they are greeted with parades of people. The two came in with an open mind for what the "friendliest" town meant and found local vibes and culture that no town can manufacture. Bob threw the first pitch at a baseball game, Jen valiantly lost in a pie eating contest and they attended a college pep rally. Joplin showed their true colors that helped them rebound from the tornado devastation. For more highlights from Jen and Bob, visit: http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/rogue-riders/
JUDGING AND ANNOUNCEMENT
Weighing reviews, photos and videos posted by each team on www.bestoftheroad.com during their travels, judges chose a winning team this past weekend in Seattle. Rand McNally will reward the team with $10,000.
The winning towns will be announced tomorrow (July 17) at the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Annual Convention in Seattle. Top towns will be highlighted on www.bestoftheroad.com and in the 2014 Rand McNally Road Atlas, as well as on USA TODAY's Travel site.
The Best of the Road Rally promotional sponsors include Honda, Choice Hotelsand Fleetwood RV.
About the Best of the Road® – Rand McNally has earned the reputation as a trusted source in maps, directions and travel content with its best-selling Road Atlas and annual Best of the Road online guide. Its celebration of the Great American Road Trip has given way to an online guide of the Best of the Road and features top attractions in more than 20 categories --- from the Best Beach to the Best BBQ. This year, Rand McNally is revving up, in collaboration with USA TODAY, for an all-new the Best of the Road search with content created by travelers online and published in the 2013 Rand McNally Road Atlas. For more information about the Best of the Road, visit www.bestoftheroad.com.
About Rand McNally – Rand McNally is the most trusted source for maps, directions, and travel content. Rand McNally's products and services include online travel community bestoftheroad.com and RVer microsite bestoftheroad.com/RV; interactive travel referral service, Tripology; America's #1 Road Atlas; and TripMaker® RVND™ GPS for RVers; IntelliRoute® truck routing software and navigation devices; TruckPC and the TND™ 760 Fleet Edition mobile communication solutions for the transportation industry; and the leading geography-based educational resources for the classroom. Consumers, businesses, truckers, and educators depend upon Rand McNally to help navigate today's world. www.randmcnally.com
About USA TODAY – USA TODAY is a multi-platform news and information media company. Founded in 1982, USA TODAY's mission is to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation. Today, through its newspaper, website and mobile platforms, USA TODAY connects readers and engages the national conversation. USA TODAY, the nation's number one newspaper in print circulation with an average of more than 1.8 million daily, and USATODAY.com, an award-winning newspaper website launched in 1995, reach a combined 6.6 million readers daily. USA TODAY is a leader in mobile applications with more than fourteen million downloads on mobile devices. The USA TODAY brand also includes USA TODAY Education and USA TODAY Sports Weekly. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).
About Travel Channel – TRAVEL CHANNEL (http://www.travelchannel.com) is a multiplatform travel lifestyle brand with the core mission of providing inspiring and compelling programming that takes viewers beyond their everyday destinations, making the unfamiliar familiar, whether it's around the world or around the block. A dual feed network that is also available in HD, Travel Channel is the world's leading travel media brand, and is available in over 94 million U.S. cable homes. Owned and operated by Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), Travel Channel has offices in Chevy Chase, MD, and New York, NY. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI) also owns and operates HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country.
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SOURCE Rand McNally