WASHINGTON, June 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Air Force Memorial, a national place of pride, in Arlington, Va. was the setting on June 15 for the kickoff of Rand McNally's second annual Best of the Road® Rally, in collaboration with USA TODAY and Travel Channel. Celebrating the great American road trip and the official start to summer, five teams of traveling duos were handed the keys to cars equipped with Rand McNally's TripMaker® RVND™ GPS navigation devices as they hit the road on a four-week, cross-country adventure in search of the Friendliest, Most Beautiful, Best for Food, Most Patriotic and Most Fun towns in America.
A one-hour television special featuring the "Best of the Road" will premiere on Travel Channel on Wednesday, July 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. In addition to the television special, Travel Channel will capture each team's off-the-beaten-path adventures as they travel with the Best of the Road® RV. Exclusive footage of the road warriors and outtakes not featured in the special will be available on TravelChannel.com and BestoftheRoad.com.
Weighing reviews, photos and videos posted by each team on www.bestoftheroad.com during their travels, judges will choose a winning team on July 15 in Seattle. Rand McNally will reward the team with $10,000.
MEET THE TEAMSFrom dozens of entries, five finalist teams were selected based on creativity/originality, quality of submission, fit to contest theme and public appeal. The teams, and their categories, are:
MOST FUN: Fresh Travelers: Patricia Serrano and Anna Haas from New York City and Nashville. A big city girl and her college roommate show off their dynamic perspectives and share their off-the-beaten track findings. Patricia, a travel blogger, and Anna, a musician, take great pride in the stories they share on their blog.
MOST BEAUTIFUL: Two for the Road: Dusty Green and Nikki Green from Spicewood, Texas. Natives of the Texas Panhandle, the two recently made their love for travel part of their careers by crisscrossing the U.S. and Canada producing marketing materials for dentists and orthodontists. Dusty and Nikki are passionate about sharing their adventures from the road and feel fortunate to do what they love.
BEST FOR FOOD: Road Bros: Mike Shubic and Brian Cox from Phoenix and Dunedin, Florida. Whether traveling by car or RV, these two seasoned road trippers are no strangers to letting the road guide their journeys. Mike and Brian, savvy social media and travel bloggers, are in it to win it!
MOST PATRIOTIC: Midlife Road Trip: Sandra McKenna and Rick Griffin from Palm Harbor, Florida and Jonesboro, Georgia. Friends united by Twitter through a passion for food travel and adventure, Sandi and Rick spend their travels exploring and inspiring others to do the same. The social media enthusiasts stay in touch from the road wherever they go.
FRIENDLIEST: Rogue Riders: Jennifer Jordon and Robert Schatz from Denver and Detroit. For the past year, the road-tripping duo has traveled light in their '95 sedan and homemade trailer taking only the essentials. Writers by profession, Jennifer and Robert are looking for new ways to express their passion for the open road.
ON THE SEARCH TO FIND THE BEST OF THE ROAD The winning towns will be announced on July 16 at the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Annual Convention in Seattle. Top towns will be highlighted on www.bestoftheroad.com and in the 2013 Rand McNally Road Atlas, as well as on USA TODAY's Travel site.
The Best of the Road Rally promotional sponsors include Honda, Choice Hotels, Fleetwood RV and Destination Marketing Association International.
For more information and to follow each team's whereabouts throughout the Best of the Road contest, visit www.bestoftheroad.com and http://travel.usatoday.com.
About the Best of the Road® – Rand McNally has earned the reputation as a trusted source in maps, directions and travel content with its best-selling Road Atlas and annual Best of the Road online guide. Its celebration of the Great American Road Trip has given way to an online guide of the Best of the Road and features top attractions in more than 20 categories --- from the Best Beach to the Best BBQ. This year, Rand McNally is revving up, in collaboration with USA TODAY, for an all-new the Best of the Road search with content created by travelers online and published in the 2013 Rand McNally Road Atlas. For more information about the Best of the Road, visit www.bestoftheroad.com.
About Rand McNally – Rand McNally is the most trusted source for maps, directions, and travel content. Rand McNally's products and services include online travel community bestoftheroad.com and RVer microsite bestoftheroad.com/RV; interactive travel referral service, Tripology; America's #1 Road Atlas; and TripMaker® RVND™ GPS for RVers; IntelliRoute® truck routing software and navigation devices; TruckPC and the TND™ 760 Fleet Edition mobile communication solutions for the transportation industry; and the leading geography-based educational resources for the classroom. Consumers, businesses, truckers, and educators depend upon Rand McNally to help navigate today's world. www.randmcnally.com
About USA TODAY – USA TODAY is a multi-platform news and information media company. Founded in 1982, USA TODAY's mission is to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation. Today, through its newspaper, website and mobile platforms, USA TODAY connects readers and engages the national conversation. USA TODAY, the nation's number one newspaper in print circulation with an average of more than 1.8 million daily, and USATODAY.com, an award-winning newspaper website launched in 1995, reach a combined 5.9 million readers daily. USA TODAY is a leader in mobile applications with more than fourteen million downloads on mobile devices. The USA TODAY brand also includes USA TODAY Education and USA TODAY Sports Weekly. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).
About Travel Channel – TRAVEL CHANNEL (http://www.travelchannel.com) is a multiplatform travel lifestyle brand with the core mission of providing inspiring and compelling programming that takes viewers beyond their everyday destinations, making the unfamiliar familiar, whether it's around the world or around the block. A dual feed network that is also available in HD, Travel Channel is the world's leading travel media brand, and is available in over 94 million U.S. cable homes. Owned and operated by Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), Travel Channel has offices in Chevy Chase, MD, and New York, NY. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI) also owns and operates HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country.
Press Contacts:Weber Shandwick for Rand McNallyJessica Parker, email@example.com, 212-445-8263 Sadie Ellison, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-445-8153 212-445-8303
USA TODAYHeidi Zimmerman, email@example.com, 703-854-5304
SOURCE Rand McNally