Thursday, October 28, 2021

Marco the beautiful



USA TODAY and Rand McNally have discovered what Marco Islanders already knew, Marco Island is one of the most beautiful places in America! A Best of the Road contest, sponsored by USA TODAY and Rand McNally, received over 600 nominations in six categories: most beautiful, most patriotic, friendliest, most fun and best for food and points of interest en route. Those nominations have been pruned down to 30, and Marco Island is joined by Pacifica, California; Coral Gables, Florida; Baker City, Oregon; Franklin, Tennessee; and Sandpoint, Idaho, in the most beautiful category.

According to a USA TODAY press release, in May,” …five teams of two travelers each will hit the road from New York City, landing in Los Angeles on July 15. Along the way, each team will visit six towns…” in one of the assigned categories.

The teams will not know their assigned categories until the morning of June 23! Marco Island will be notified of the team’s route shortly thereafter.

The three week pilgrimage can be followed on At the end, each team will choose the number one town in each category, and the winners will be announced on July 22. According to the sponsors, the towns will be highlighted on the Rand McNally website and in the 2013 Rand McNally Road Atlas as well as on USA TODAY’s Travel site. The winning team will take away $10,000 in prize money.

A reported excerpt from a voter about Marco Island was: “…enjoy warm breezes, spectacular sunsets and white sand beaches, all set in a location that is easily accessible.”

Get ready, Islanders. When the team comes down incredibly beautiful Collier Boulevard (thanks to our city council, staff and volunteers) and roams the beach they will have an unmatched experience.

The Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce is leading the effort to win the contest. It has created a committee led by Police Chief Thom Carr and includes members Sandi Riedemann and Donna Niemczyk of the Chamber, Bob Pfeffer and Jada Shibley of the Marriott and Gretchen Baldus of the City of Marco. More members will be added. The five winners will be announced July 22nd.


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