Where Are The Best Small Towns In America?

Intrepid travelers are hitting the road to seek out the best small towns in America during Best of the Road, a one-hour Travel Channel special at 8 p.m. on July 25.

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Bert Kreischer of Trip Flip hosts the show, which documents the annual Rand McNally Best of the Road cross-country road rally in which road-tripping teams travel from Washington, D.C. to Seattle in search of the best small towns in America.

Americans across the country nominated more than 650 towns and voted for their favorites. Five teams of two travelers will set off in RVs with personalized road maps and destinations on June 15. For four weeks, each team will travel a different route across the country in search of the most fun, most patriotic, most beautiful, best for food, and friendliest town in America. Each team will eventually travel to their final destination, Seattle, by July 15.

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Lewiston, N.Y., Charlottesville, Va., Bloomington, Ind., Burnsville, Minn., Santa Fe, N.M., and Walla Walla, Wash., are competing for small town with the best food. Walla Walla, Wash., may have a leg up on the competition, as it was declared the friendliest small town in America last year. Each town will prepare festivals, tours, and community gatherings to try to convince the traveling team that their city is tops.

Rand McNally and USA TODAY kicked off the inaugural search for the best small towns in America last summer. They sent five teams of two from New York to Los Angeles to take photos and videos, write blogs, meet locals, and share their stories online.

Last year, Addison, W. Va., Burnsville, Minn., Costa Mesa, Calif., Gulfport, Fla., and Visalia, Calif., were nominated for best small town with the best food and Lafayette, La., won. Glenwood Springs, Colo., took the title for most fun small town in America, Rapid City, S.D., was deemed the most patriotic small town in America, and Sandpoint, Maine, was declared the most beautiful small town in America last year.