Voting is now open for the winner of Reader’s Digest’s 2019 Nicest Places in America Contest, where participants nominate towns, cities, organizations, and businesses across America for the title of kindest, nicest place in the nation.
Nominations were sent in from around the country, including several strong independent bookstore contenders, and now Reader’s Digest editors and guest judges have chosen the 50 finalists. RD readers and other contest participants have characterized these nominees as places where people believe in kindness, civility, and each other; neighbors help each other out; and strangers are welcomed as friends.
Now, the public has until Sunday, July 21, to vote online for the winner, who will be announced in mid-October and appear on the cover of Reader’s Digest in print and online for millions of readers. All 50 nominees can be found on an interactive map on RD.com; click on a state to cast your ballot and to view an explanation for why the nominee was chosen.
This year’s nominees include the Maury Loontjens Memorial Library in Narragansett, Rhode Island, with staff who continue to go above and beyond despite the library’s embattled status; Las Cruces, New Mexico, a town near the U.S’s southern border that cares for the 1,600 refugees from Mexico and Central America sent there by Customs and Border Protection; Cedar House in Abilene, Kansas, a women’s sober living facility that started in the home of a former addict and boasts a food bank, micro-farm, and greenhouse; and Kitsap Pensinula in Washington, where each April, the 24-hour Kitsap Great Give elicits a flood of donations for local nonprofits.