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Gulfport's "Best of the Road" Headquarters


Gulfport is a Finalist in the Best for Food catagory


As you know, Gulfport is one of the six finalsists on the Rand McNally "Best of the Road" competition in the catagory of "Best of Food"!

The entire town is excited about this honor and the chance to win!

Information provided below is from Rand McNally/USA Today. Please read thoroughly, and read the Gulfport specific updated info below:

Best of the Road

Frequently Asked Questions for Towns

Updated: June 9, 2011

What is Best of the Road?

Rand McNally and USA TODAY are searching for the best small towns in America. During the month of May, over 20,000 people nominated over 600 towns on bestoftheroad.com. Towns were nominated in one of five categories:

  • Most Beautiful
  • Most Fun
  • Friendliest
  • Most Patriotic
  • Best for Food

How did my town become a finalist?

Six finalist towns were selected in each of our categories.

Four of those towns were selected by popular vote and our panel of judges chose two additional towns based on ratings and reviews.

What happens next?

On June 23 in New York City, five teams composed of two travelers will be assigned a category to find the Best of the Road in a cross-­?country road rally ending in Los Angeles on July 15. Each team will visit and review six finalist towns in their category via blog posts, video and photos on bestoftheroad.com and their social media networks.

When will the winning towns be announced?

The five winning towns will be announced on July 22 at the Destination Marketing Associations International (DMAI) conference in New Orleans.

Which team will be visiting my town?

What’s exciting is that the teams will find out their assigned category on the morning of June 23, only moments before they depart New York. So, we’re keeping it a secret until June 23.

What day will the team arrive in my town?

The teams are required to visit the top six towns in their assigned category, but they have the freedom to choose their own route upon departure and duration of time in each town. However, the teams will be provided with suggested routes and we expect that the teams will work through the town finalists from East to West over the course of three weeks.

When will I know more information about the team’s route?

You will likely be contacted within a few days of the June 23 departure from New York.

What should we do when the teams visit?

Roll out the red carpet! The teams will be evaluating each town to determine which is the best small town in their category. Teams will speak with local officials and residents to get to know the community. The teams will take into account their experience at sporting events, beaches, concert halls, festivals, amusement parks and restaurants -­?-­?-­? even an impromptu parade -­?-­?-­? among other local sights distinctive to that town. Throughout the road rally, teams will be comparing comments and reviews posted on bestoftheroad.com to validate their accuracy. At the end of the rally, the town will be judged by the reviews, videos and photos developed by the team while on their adventure.

Are we allowed to give the teams gifts?

Towns are under no obligation to provide the teams with any gifts and our teams are expressly prohibited from receiving gifts of significant value or monetary compensation. However, the towns are certainly encouraged to show their hospitality as best as possible.

Can we provide the teams with hotel accommodations?

We are excited to announce that the Carlson Company has signed on as our hospitality sponsor. Teams will be provided accommodations at Country Inn and Suites hotels and, in some cases, Radisson Hotels along their route. If there is a Country Inn or Radisson near the finalist towns, teams will most likely be staying there. In towns without a Carlson Company hotel in close proximity, towns are welcome to offer teams accommodations.

What do the winning teams receive?

Each of the five teams has received a “most expenses paid” cross-­?country road trip. Rand McNally, USA TODAY and our sponsors are providing the teams with cars, hotel rooms, gas, video cameras and spending money for their trip. The team who visits the most sights and develops the most creative, original and descriptive reviews of the finalist towns in their category will receive a cash prize of $10,000. The winning teams will be announced on July 15.

What do the winning towns get?

The winning towns will be featured in the 2013 Rand McNally Road Atlas and on bestoftheroad.com as well as highlighted on USA TODAY’s Travel page. Winning towns will also be announced at the 2011 DMAI conference in New Orleans on July 22. What should we do now? Get ready! Plan the party. Alert the local media.

Can I publicize my town as a finalist in the inaugural Best of the Road?

Absolutely! We’re as thrilled as you are that your town has been selected as a finalist for the inaugural Best of the Road. We have high-­?resolution images available for you to use if you would like to promote your town’s honor on your Web site, letterhead or office.

Who do I contact for more information?

For general questions, please send an email to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For media inquiries, please contact:
Lauren Lane at 212-­?445-­?8303
or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Gulfport Specific "Best of the Road" Information:

The Best of the Road team coming to Gulfport is The FunFinders.

Jim and Bonnie Parr

"We're Jim and Bonnie Parr. Jim is a natural clown around kind of guy. He's a big Elvis fan and takes his karaoke box with us every where we go to entertain. I'm Bonnie and was going to clown school when I met Jim. We do a lot of work in our community with the homeless and our church and the clown spirit we share helps us bring joy wherever we go. We can make anything FUN and spend all of our time doing exactly that for many people that are less fortunate than us." Read more...>>

We can help The FunFinders and Gulfport win by participating as they post on their social media: facebook, blog (theParrClowns.com), and twitter!


The FunFinders blog:


They will be here during the 4th of July weekend!

Please join in the fun and find out about Gulfport's "Best of the Road" event on facebook here!

15 Gulfport restaurants are participating in this exciting event by offering their own “Best of the Road Sampler Plate” and include:

Backfin Blue Café, Habana Café, Isabelle’s at Peninsula Inn & Spa, Island Flavors and ‘Tings, La Cote Basque Winehouse, O’Maddy’s Bar and Grille, Peg’s Cantina & Brewpub, Neptune Grill, Pia’s Trattoria, Smokin’ J’s BBQ, Stella’s Deli, T & Me Tea Co., Tangelo’s Grille, Village Pub and Yummy’s.

You can download the Best of the Road Sampler Menu below by clicking the image:

Best of the Road Sampler Menu

"Best of the Road Sampler" Contest!

If you are enjoying the samplers offered by Gulfport's restaurants, you may want to enter the contest sponsored by Gulfport! Magazine, LocalShops1, and GulfportFlorida.us by downloading the entry form and having wait staff initial each restaurant's box as you visit all 15 restaurants!

Best of the Road Sampler Contest entry form

For more information

Contact Lori Rosso at 727-343-4445
or rsvp@seabreezemanor.com.

The Sea Breeze Manor Bed and Breakfast
Voted "Best of the Road" for "Best Romantic Hotel"


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