Best Towns 2016: Wild-Card Round

We’ve already picked 60 of the best towns in America to brawl it out in our annual competition. But we need four more to complete the starting round, and we’re looking for your input. If you have a favorite town with easy access to trails and wilderness, farmers’ markets and craft beers, great neighborhoods and friendly neighbors, it’s easy. Just follow the simple guidelines below and upload your photos to Instagram. Outside readers could deem your favorite town the “best town ever” when they start voting on the completed bracket on April 25, 2016.

*Update: April 22, 2016: Thank you to all of the towns who sent over 800 impressive pictures our way. Picking a winner wasn't easy, but without further ado: Congratulations to our wild-card round winners!

Mountain: Mammoth Lakes, CA
Culture: Imperial Beach, CA
River: Billings, MT
Beach: Grand Marais, MN

Important Dates

  • Voting starts at 8 a.m. EST on April 14, 2016.
  • Voting ends at 8 a.m. EST on April 22, 2016.


  1. Use the hashtag #BestTowns2016 on each entry. 
  2. Include the full name of your town and state in the description. 
  3. You can enter as often as you want.
  4. If your town was one of the top 16 on our 2015 Best Towns list, sorry, it’s time to give someone else a chance.


  1. First and foremost, enter frequently and encourage your friends to enter as well! We’ll keep a tally of the number of posts each town gets.
  2. Beauty, composition, and vibe in the photo all count. Dull, ugly, or ill-framed images will be skipped.
  3. The number of likes an image gets matters.
  4. In the image description, tell us in a sentence or two why your town deserves the wild-card spot. 

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