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UPDATE ON ROUND TWO: Boone Leads Savannah, Voting Ends at Midnight

Don’t forget to vote online at outsideonline.com/vote.


After falling behind Savannah by several hundred votes, Boone voters pulled together and made a fantastic comeback in the last remaining hours of round two voting, which ended at midnight last night.

By making it to the third round, Boone made it into the September issue of Outside Magazine.

Now it’s time to take on Athens, Georgia in round three.  We have a good lead so far, but don’t slow down!

Here’s our full story on round three voting and results from round two.

Share the link on social media and KEEP VOTING for our town!

By Jessica Isaacs

Stakes are high in the second round of Outside Magazine’s Best Towns 2015 competition as Boone takes on Savannah, Georgia, which took home the most votes of all towns in the South during the first round.

After grouping the towns by region, Outside Senior Editor Jonah Ogles and his team of travel editors based in Santa Fe, New Mexico built the initial bracket out of 64 competitors. Participating towns are vying for the top regional spots in the first four rounds, and the penultimate round of voting on May 24-28 will find one from each region — West, Midwest, South and East — in the semifinals.

The bracket-style online voting tournament kicked off with its first round of voting last week. Facing off against Ocala, Florida, Boone earned a total of 14,833 votes and came out on top, securing its spot in the second round.

Round two picked up on Saturday, pitting Boone against Savannah, Georgia, which earned an impressive 19,353 to take out Houston, Texas in the first round.

Three days in to the second round, Boone had a slight lead over Savannah.

But don’t get too comfortable, voters!

Ogles told High Country Press this morning that voters can expect tough competition as the remaining 32 contenders take off in the second round.

“There were a lot of close contests that went down to the last hour going back and forth on the vote tally, and that’s not uncommon, especially in the first round,” Ogles said. “As we go on, you’ll see a lot of really close contests.”

There’s a lot on the line in the second round, Ogles said, because every town that wins this time will have a spot in the magazine in September.

“We will talk about the final 16 towns and, of course, the winner gets a blown out presentation,” Ogles said. “If a town really wants to have a nice photo and write-up in the magazine, this is the round they need to win.”

If you want Boone to make it into Outside’s September issue, make sure you vote online. Encourage your friends to do the same by spreading the word on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #BooneNC and #BestTowns2015 — and don’t forget to include the link to vote at Outside online.


  • Savannah, Georgia (19,353) defeats Houston, Texas (2,889) with 87 percent of votes
  • Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina (15,386) defeats Bentonville, Arkansas (3,803) with 80.18 percent of votes
  • Boone, North Carolina (14,833) defeats Ocala, Florida (5,505) with 72.93 percent of votes
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee (13,751) defeats Roanoke, Virginia (9,423) with 59.34 percent of votes
  • Beaufort, South Carolina (12,913) defeats Birmingham, Alabama (5,456) with 70.3 percent of votes
  • Charlottesville, Virginia (12,409) defeats Fayetteville, West Virginia (6,259) with 66.47 percent
  • Athens, Georgia (12,148) defeats Tampa, Florida (7,441) with 62.01 percent of votes
  • Oxford, Mississippi (7,749) defeats Alpine, Texas (7,334) with 51.38 percent of votes

View first round results in all four regions here.


Last year’s Best Towns pulled in a little more than one million total votes throughout the entire competition. More than half of that were earned in the first round alone this year, Ogles said, as more than 650,000 votes were cast online between May 4-6.DocWatsonFacebook750

“The goal of this whole contest is to let people know that it doesn’t really matter what state you’re living in, you can find a town nearby that is pretty active and makes being active an important part of civic life,” Ogles said.

While cities and towns from across the country were included in both the 2014 and 2015 brackets, Ogles said North Carolina is home to many places that live up to Outside’s ideals.

“If we were to do a state contest, North Carolina would be really high on the list,” Ogles said. “With the combination of mountains and beach, I think of it as being kind of the apex of the east coast.

“We could pick any of two dozen towns in North Carolina to be on the list and they wouldn’t feel out of place.”

The city of Asheville ranked among the top ten towns last year, earning enough votes to secure its place at number six in Best Towns 2014. As a past winner, Asheville was excluded from this year’s bracket.

The Raleigh-Durham area is the only other N.C. town competing with Boone on the 2015 bracket.


Check out our other headlines to read more about the competition:

Boone Leads Ocala in ‘Best Towns’ Competition, Voting Continues

Boone to Compete for Best Town in America, Social Media Campaign Underway

Boone’s Contenders in “Best Towns” Competition Announced

Online Voting for #BooneNC in #BestTowns2015 Competition Starts Monday