Picking the contestants for our sixth annual Best Town Ever contest wasn’t easy. We looked for places with great access to trails and public lands, thriving restaurants and neighborhoods, and, of course, a good beer scene—all while excluding the winners and runners-up from the past three years to make room for hidden gems, underdogs, and towns on the rise. Then we asked our Instagram followers to nominate their favorite towns—Imperial Beach, California; Mammoth Lakes, California; Grand Marais, Minnesota; and Billings, Montana, came out on top.
Who will advance in the tournament? That’s up to you. Scroll down to the Vote Here section to vote for your favorite towns. This year, we've organized the contest by the type of town—river, culture, beach, and mountain burgs will battle it out until there's one of each remaining. Then they'll face each other for the overall title. The first five rounds of voting will last five days each, starting on April 25, 2016 (12 a.m. EST). You may vote once per round per matchup. The winners will advance until only two towns remain (May 20, 2016). The winner will be the town with the most votes on May 27.