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Bardstown declared ‘Most Beautiful’ finalist

Bardstown is a finalist in the "Most Beautiful" category of the Rand McNally/USA TODAY “Best of the Road” contest that will decide the 2012 Best Small Towns.

BARDSTOWN, Ky. (June 19, 2012) — Bardstown, the “Bourbon Capital of the World,” is a finalist in the Rand McNally/USA TODAY “Best of the Road” contest that will decide the 2012 Best Small Towns.

Bardstown is one of six small towns selected as a finalist in the “Most Beautiful” category. Its competition is fellow Kentucky small town, Danville, and these cities: Sedona, Ariz.; Jim Thorpe, Penn.; Baker City, Ore.; and Tybee Island, Ga.

“With about 300 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places — 200 alone in the historic downtown district — and nearly 20 unique bed and breakfast inns, plus historic venues like Old Bardstown Village, I feel Bardstown really deserves this recognition,” said Dawn Ballard Przystal, vice president, tourism expansion and marketing of the Bardstown-Nelson County Tourist and Convention Commission. “Add to this the charm of Courthouse Square, all the downtown shops, restaurants and attractions and our very clean streets and parks and I feel we have a very strong chance to win.”

Bardstown is currently in the midst of preparing for the arrival of the “Best of the Road” Road Rally teams. The teams will visit all the small town finalists to see just what they’re made of and why they should be named the best in their category.

On June 15, the Road Rally teams met in Washington, D.C., for the event kick-off. Each team learned which category they were assigned (Most Beautiful, Most Patriotic, Best for Food, Friendliest and Most Fun) and then sent on their way. The husband-and-wife team, Two for the Road, is heading to Bardstown.

Although it is not yet known when the Two for the Road team will arrive, Bardstown plans to roll out the red carpet for the Greens, welcoming them with Southern Hospitality as befitting the “Bourbon Capital of the World” and showing off all Kentucky’s second oldest city has to offer.

Ultimately, all the Road Rally teams will finish in Seattle, Wash. In the meantime, they will have four weeks to write their blogs and reviews, make their videos from the road and view photos of the trip before deciding the 2012 Best Small Towns in America.

The 2012 Best Small Towns were chosen from over 650 competing destinations, with four finalists returning from the 2011 Rally. The 26 new small towns, including Bardstown, bring plenty of pride to the competition.

Visit www.BestoftheRoad.com to see all the finalists in their categories and to browse each unique stop’s photos and reviews.