Putting Delray Beach on the Map: Rand McNally and USA Today’s Most Fun Small Town in America!
DELRAY BEACH, FL- July 17, 2012
On July 17, 2012 at 3 P.M. local time, Delray Beach was named the Most Fun Small Town in America according to Rand McNally and USA Today’s Second Annual Best of the Road Competition.
Rand McNally and USA Today began their second annual quest to find the best small towns in America on May 4, 2012. The start of this process involved nationwide online voting by the public to pick 30 of the best small towns representing five categories. To ensure a great voter turnout, the Downtown Development Authority and a host of other organizations spread the word through a variety of media resources. Once towns were chosen, five traveling teams of two would be responsible for uncovering the best America had to offer in the categories of Best Food, Most Patriotic, Most Beautiful, Friendliest and Most Fun. After the online voting period, Delray Beach was chosen as one of the six finalists for Most Fun Small Town in America. The other towns in contention included Corning, New York, Santa Claus, Indiana, Denton, Texas, Buena Park, California and Geneva-on-the-lake, Ohio. Team Fresh Traveler, Anna Haas and Patricia Serrano, were chosen to visit these six towns and ultimately decide who deserved the title Most Fun Small Town in America
The weekend began bright and early with sunrise yoga on the beach with Jai Healing Hearts. After feeling rejuvenated, our visiting travelers were given a quick tour of historic Delray Beach and then promptly returned the shore for some outdoor fun. Delray BeachWatersports treated Team Fresh Traveler to the best of the best- diving the 100 year old ship wreck just off the cost and sailing the pristine Atlantic waters. After a non-stop morning, the travelers needed to refuel with a scrumptious lunch at Caffe Luna Rosa with a equally delicious view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Before the evening Road Rally, the Fresh Travelers stopped at Sandbar for a quick mixologylesson. They learned how to concoct some signature South Florida cocktails and took their feet off the accelerator for a moment, soaking in the pure, calm and breezy feel of this small beach town. After this brief recharge, they headed down to Old School Square for the evening Road Rally where country music sensation and hometown girl Amber Leigh performed for a crowd of Delray Beach fans. Mayor Woodie McDuffie delivered a heart-warming speech about why he loves Delray Beach and Jorge Pesquera rallied the crowd with the ever-improving stats on tourism in Palm Beach County. The city welcomed the two visitors with open arms and allowed them to discover that what makes Delray Beach so unique are the people who call it home. Immediately following the big announcement, the City of Delray Beach received this heartfelt message from Fresh Traveler Anna Haas. “We’re so happy for you guys. It was such a hard decision, but we just kept feeling our hearts pulled towards Delray. At the end of the day, it’s not just the activities, it’s the people. You guys deserved the title.”
The evening continued to Old School Square Museum where they were greeted by plundering pirates, in accordance with their current exhibit, Ahoy Maitz! Pirates & Treasures. After escaping the pirate’s grasp, our travelers moved down to Worthing Park for the final installment of the Road Rally. Citizens of all ages came out to support Delray Beach, meet the Fresh Travelers and be entertained by the extremely talented students from the Drew Tucker Music Academy for Kids. The night was a glowing success and would not have been possible without the great citizens of Delray Beach.
Team Fresh Traveler had only two days to spend in Delray Beach, and according to contest regulations, one of those days must be unplanned. Therefore, the second day of their stay was completely up to their discretion. The Team was able to discover Delray Beach for themselves with an early morning trip to Sea Turtle egg hatching sites along the beach, Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga Bootcamp by Sutrafit Adventures, an intracoastal sailing with Delray Boat Club and relaxing massages at the Seagate Hotel & Spa.
Their stay in Delray culminated with a 1950’s themed dinner at the Sundy House on SwintonAvenue. After a trip to Kismet Recycled Vintage Clothing and Naked Hair Salon to complete the authentic feel of the night, the duo was ready to drive down Atlantic Avenue in a 1957 Chevy Convertible. The evening was capped off with a performance by Anna Haas atKevro’s Art Bar. The mixture of Mad Men and salty sea air was intoxicating, and the perfect way for these travelers to say goodbye to our Village by the Sea.
After waiting on pins and needles for two weeks, Delray Beach received word of their win and could not be more honored. Delray will now be featured on a Travel Channel Special on the Best Small Towns in America, airing July 25th at 8/7 central. The Town will also be displayed in the 2013 Rand McNally United States Road Map, along with winners from the other categories. We can truthfully say Delray Beach has been put on the map.
For more information on the Rand McNally USA Today Best of the Road Competition, visit http://www.bestoftheroad.com/