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Best Towns 2015: Wild-Card Round

Think you live in the best town in America? Prove it by entering your town in our Best Towns tournament. All you need is an Instagram account.

Upload a pic of your town to Instagram. It might end up in Outside magazine.
Upload a pic of your town to Instagram. It might end up in Outside magazine.

As the country begins to reopen, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.

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 May 4, 2015.

*Update: May 1, 2015: Thank you to all of the 108 towns who sent over 6,000 impressive pictures our way. Picking a winner wasn't easy, but without further ado: Congratulations to our wild-card round winners!

South: Roanoke, VA
Midwest: Saugatuck, MI
West: Port Angeles, WA
East: New York, NY

Important Dates

  • Voting starts at 8 a.m. EST on April 20, 2015.
  • Voting ends at 8 a.m. EST on April 30, 2015.


  1. Use the hashtag #BestTowns2015 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 2014 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 why your town deserves the wild-card spot. We’ll take that into consideration. But keep it to one or two lines. More than that and our eyes may glaze over.

Here's a Live Feed of Who You're Voting For:

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
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