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TravelDestinationsNorth America

Best Towns 2016: The Contenders

The 60 towns that will go head-to-head in a winner-takes-all contest to find the best place to live in 2016

Throughout the pandemic, 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.

These towns stand out for their great access to trails and public lands, thriving restaurants and neighborhoods, and, of course, a good beer scene. Starting on April 25, you’ll be able to vote on which you think deserves to win.

But first, we’re asking our readers to nominate their favorite towns, in a nine-day long wild-card contest that ends on April 22.


Bolinas, CA 
Los Angeles, CA 
Bellingham, WA 
Cape May, NJ 
Wilmington, NC 
​Ketchikan, AK 
​Ludington, MI 
Miami, FL 
Milwaukee, WI 
​Duxbury, MA 
​Islamorada, FL 
​Fairhope, AL 
​Yachats, OR
Bayfield, WI 
Pacific Grove, CA  


Milford, OH  
​Phillipsburg, MT 
St. Louis, MO 
Portland, OR  
​Salida, CO 
New Orleans, LA 
Nevada City, CA 
Livingston, MT 
Boise, ID  
Bend, OR  
Gunnison, CO  
Charlotte, NC  
Leavenworth, WA  
Sioux Falls, SD 
Harper’s Ferry, WV 


Silver City, NM 
Salt Lake City, UT  
Durango, CO  
Jackson, WY  
Sun Valley, ID 
Steamboat Springs, CO 
Sedona, AZ  
Tucson, AZ 
Bishop, CA 
​Waynesville, NC 
Waterbury, VT  
Marquette, MI 
Jim Thorpe, PA 
Staunton, VA 
​Talkeetna, AK 


Cleveland, OH 
Ojai, CA 
Taos, NM 
Atlanta, GA 
Princeton, NJ 
Austin, TX 
Seattle, WA 
Denver, CO 
Amherst, MA 
Chapel Hill, NC 
Brunswick, ME 
​Hanalei, HI 
Aspen, CO 
Savannah, GA 
Beacon, NY 

Check Out Last Year's Winners:

The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S.: 2015

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Filed To: Best Towns