Through the YMCA's new BOLD/GOLD program, Chattanooga youth will get to experience a variety of outdoor adventures this summer.

Vote for the best towns

Cast your ballot here.

Outside magazine Best Town in America competition is broken down by region and has six voting rounds.


Annapolis, MD; Bar Harbor, ME; Brattleboro, VT; Cold Spring, NY; East Stoudsburg, PA; Elmira, NY; Lake Placid, NY; Lebanon, NH; Middlebury, VT; New Haven, CT; Northampton, MA; Pittsburgh, PA; Portsmouth, NH; Providence, RI; Red Bank, NJ; New York, NY


Alpine, TX; Athens, GA; Beaufort, SC; Bentonville, AR; Birmingham, AL; Boone, NC; Charlottesville, VA; Chattanooga, TN; Fayetteville, WV; Houston, TX; Ocala, FL; Oxford, MS; Raleigh-Durham, NC; Savannah, GA; Tampa, FL; Roanoke, VA


Bellaire, MI; Berea, KY; Columbus, OH; Detroit, MI; Eau Claire, WI; Ely, MN; Evanston, IL; Indianapolis, IN; Iowa City, IA; Kansas City, MO; Milwaukee, WI; Rapid City, SD; Rochester, MN; Spearfish, SD; Yellow Springs, OH; Saugatuck, MI


Ashland, OR; Bainbridge Island, WA; Flagstaff, AZ; FT. Bragg, CA; Glenwood Springs, CO; Hilo, HI; Juneau, AK; Las Vegas, NV; Ogden, UT; Pagosa Springs, CO; Santa Barbara, CA; Santa Fe, NM; Sheridan, WY; Victor, ID; Whitefish, MT; Port Angeles, WA

Chattanooga is back in the running for Outside magazine's crown of "Best Town in America."

The initial round of voting begins today and lasts through Friday.

The Scenic City won the title in 2011. The magazine excluded winners and runners-up from the past three years for this year's competition. Sixty-four towns — or cities, in many cases, Las Vegas and New York, among them — are vying for the top spot in 2015.

The magazine's editorial staff selected 60 of the towns, and Instagram followers selected four through a social media-driven voting process on Instagram that included 108 towns. Turns out Chattanooga's current voting-bracket rival, Roanoke, Virginia, is one of the wild-card choices. The 64 towns are grouped by region in seeded brackets.

The "best town" is supposed to have "top-notch restaurants, vibrant farmers' markets, friendly neighborhoods and unparalleled access to hiking and biking trails," according to an Outside press release. "In short, the perfect jumping-off point for adventure."

Chattanooga businesses, from venture incubator The Lamp Post Group to independent outdoor retailer Rock/Creek, have been encouraging locals to vote. "ATTN: Chattanooga, we're up for Best Town Ever again! But to get the belt a second time, we need your help. Go vote!" Lamp Post Group wrote on its Twitter account today.

The first five rounds of voting last five days each. People can vote once per round per matchup. On May 29, the winners will advance until only two towns remain. The winner will be the town with the most votes on June 5.

The magazine says it plans to profile various towns within the final bracket. The final 16 towns will be featured in its September issue. In 2011, more than one-third of online voters chose Chattanooga as the winner.

Contact staff writer Mitra Malek at or 423-757-6406. Follow her on Twitter @MitraMalek.