Half Moon Bay Owlet: Thousand-Yard Stare
Became a Fall Fellow for Obama

Pacifica, California Cleaned Up for Rand McNally's "Most Beautiful," but Sandpoint, Idaho Really Cleaned Up

The Rand McNally Road Crew came to Pacifica on July 11 and 12 to compare us with five other communities for Most Beautiful Town. We did not win first place, but we were a runner-up. Please join us in our ongoing efforts to protect our natural resources here in Beautiful Pacifica.

Pacifica Beach Coalition
650.355.1668 Office
415.309.5856 Cell



sacbee.com Sacbee / PR Newswire

Published Thursday, Jul. 21, 2011 SKOKIE, Ill., July 21, 2011 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Rand McNally, in collaboration with its exclusive media sponsor USA TODAY, crowned the first five winning towns the Best of the Road® in its inauguralsearchat the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Annual Convention in New Orleans. The winning towns will be highlighted on www.bestoftheroad.com and in the 2013 Rand McNally Road Atlas, as well as on USA TODAY's Travel site.

Narrowed down from more than 600 submissions, 30 top towns in five categories --- Most Beautiful, Most Patriotic, Friendliest, Most Fun, and Best for Food --- were selected for review during the inaugural Best of the Road Rally. Equipped with brand-new Saab vehicles and Rand McNally RVND navigation devices, five teams of amateur travelers completed a three-week cross-country road trip, for a combined 25,000 miles traveled, personally visiting the six top towns in their assigned category.

To showcase their journey and share town experiences, the teams posted photos, videos and blog posts on ontheroad.bestoftheroad.com, Facebook and Twitter. During a presentation of their "traveler's journals" on July 14 in Los Angeles, each team consulted with the judges panel to determine which town would be crowned the winner in their category. The winners are:

MOST BEAUTIFUL: Sandpoint, ID–reviewed by The McNavigators, who said the unofficial motto is "enjoy the great outdoors, connect with friends and keep life simple."

MOST PATRIOTIC: Rapid City, SD –reviewed by Captain and Clark, who described the town as "a place where people from across the world and country can learn about America's past, become inspired by its present, and find hope in its future."

FRIENDLIEST:  Walla Walla, WA – reviewed by Gone with the Wynns, whodescribed it as "a town so nice they named it twice; a culturally diverse small town with happy faces everywhere you go."

MOST FUN: Glenwood Springs, CO– reviewed by TraveleingJules and TravelingJoan, who dubbed the town "a mountain of fun and an adventure capital, with endless ways to get your adrenaline pumping."

BEST FOR FOOD:  Lafayette, LA– reviewed by The Fun Finders who learned the true taste of Cajun food to be "flavorful, not hot or spicy" and that after a meal, the best dessert is "Cajun dancing."

"Each of the top 30 towns truly provided an unforgettable experience during the Best of the Road Rally and it was hard to narrow it down to just one winner in each category," said Dave Muscatel, CEO of Rand McNally. "We're grateful to the residents of the finalist towns and their fans for showing tremendous enthusiasm and support in our inaugural search."  

The winning towns were presented by Rand McNally and USA TODAY to an audience of attendees at the convention's "Industry Spotlight" seminar. Destination Marketing Association International served as a promotional sponsor for the inaugural Best of the Road Rally, along with Saab Cars North America, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, Fleetwood RV and Shell.

The winning team from the Best of the Road Rally, Gone With the Wynns, was announced on Friday, July 15 during a finale ceremony at The Americana at Brand in Los Angeles. At the ceremony, the duo was awarded the title as well as a $10,000 check and a 2011 Saab 9-4X.

For more information on Best of the Road contest, visit www.bestoftheroad.com and http://travel.usatoday.com.

About the Best of the Road®Rand McNally has earned the reputation as a trusted source in maps, directions and travel content with its best-selling Road Atlas and annual Best of the Road onlineguide.  Its celebration of the Great American Road Trip has given way to an online guide of the Best of the Road and features top attractions in more than 20 categories --- from the Best Beach to the Best BBQ.   This year, Rand McNally is revving up, in collaboration with USA TODAY, for an all-new the Best of the Road search with content created by travelers online and published in the 2013 Rand McNally Road Atlas. For more information about the Best of the Road, visit www.bestoftheroad.com.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

In the words of Dr. Phil, how's that working out for ya?

Pacifica is neither a leader in environmental preservation nor does it have a sustainable economy.

Failure on both counts, thanks to the PSD leadership.

Pacifica had the opportunity for the Rand McNally visit through no other means than an Internet vote.

Which we lost. But the self-delusion will help us when San Mateo County takes over and cleans house.

It was the protection of the hillsides and coast that provided Pacifica with the opportunity to present itself as one of the Most Beautiful small cities in the USA.

Sustainable development is the ability to create an environment that is respectful of resources and provides for those who inhabit it now and in the future. San Francisco and Santa Monica are two of the most sustainable cities in the state. They are also thriving.

Not sure why some continue to maintain that it's an "either-or" proposition (development or environment). Those who support sustainable development are opting for a balance that offers ecological, social, AND fiscal stability and growth.


This is how Pacifica lives, not in the mega mansions.

Righto, Steve, I'm sure that what they were hoping to see was lots and lots of Pacifica McMansions. We do have some, but the fog was a bit thick that day. If only...

Seriously, I was talking to a media person covering the Rand McNally visit and was told that the funniest part of the tour was some Pacifica booster pointing through the fog at all the gorgeous sights that would have been visible except for the fact that the fog revealed none of them. It might have made for an excellent comedy routine.

If there were a contest for best physical setting, Pacifica would be in the running. But it's hard to be considered "beautiful" when so many buildings are empty and rundown.

Some Brazilian favelas look spectacular when viewed from a distance. Up close, it's another story. Pacifica is San Mateo County's version of a favela.

When we band together and squash the Pacificans for Sustainable Development types, who are so opposed to building that they won't even allow mere building improvements, maybe then we'll have a chance to turn this city into something special.

Who are the hippies? And why do they need cleaning?

Now if we can only clean up some of the hippies around town!!

I agree with Ian and Cindy! Our town pulled together on short notice to make it look the best that it could. I do believe that we would have won if the McNavigators had visited over the Fourth of July this year or during Fog Fest. We have a great combination of small town with beautiful scenery near one of the most popular destinations in the world.

I saw on bestoftheroad.com that they will be doing a 2012 Road Rally. I hope that we Pacificans can work together to win the Most Beautiful Town in 2012.

I'm proud of how our community came together for this; our town hasn't looked this good in years. Let's keep it up!

"Pacifica is a hidden beauty. It has wonderful beaches, views and open space. There are many opportunities to hike and explore."

"Beautiful beaches, friendly people and a gem of a county park...wonderful walking trails and amazing sunsets."

"Coming over the crest of the road to see the Pacifica hills and Montara Mountain to the left and the Pacific Ocean stretching out forever to the right never fails to take my breath away."

"Spectacular coastline on sunny days with fabulous fog drifts over the coastal mountains other times."

"It's quirky, laid back, and those who are blessed to live here are surrounded by green mountains, beautiful valleys and the gorgeous Pacifica coastline!"

"The most beautiful thing about Pacifica is the people. They are generous and giving and the beaches, trails and mountains are a bonus!"

These are just a few of the 470+ comments that resulted in Pacifica coming in FIRST in the POPULAR vote for Most Beautiful small city during the online voting for the USA Today/Rand McNally Best of the Road event. I'm honored to have spent time planning for the visit and sharing Pacifica with the McNavigators, JoAnne and Dan Schaub. The weather wasn't on our side (fog is one thing, but rain that completely hid the coastline and vistas -- groan), but leading up to and during the visit we pulled together with wonderful Pacifica community spirit and positive attitudes. I hope that the momentum will continue with the community focused on the positives Pacifica offers.

Loeb you and your cohorts ran the city into the ground. From the Friends of Pacifica, Save our Hills, to the new groups sprouting around town.

Look which city was dead last on the redevelopment chart Pacifica.

Maybe your memory is slipping a bit, or a bit selective in what you remember but you were on the city council quite some time ago.

I remember the city being just as broke and dysfunctional as it is now.

Just to be clear on the facts: The old wastewater treatment plan was not state-of-the-art or a never-before-used design. It was exactly the opposite, a standard system that had been used many times before but for a different purpose. It was the wrong type of plant. The city thought it bought a sewage treatment system. What it got was a water treatment system that never worked properly for wastewater treatment.

This new Vallemar plant was also "state of the art." Never-before-used design. The City Council fell for "state of the art" once again.

It almost fell for Whole Energy "state of the art" also.

The sewer laterals are one bit of the problem. The city sewage pipes are also crumbling.

It's true that the sewer lateral problem has been around for a long time. It's not true that the city was "just as broke" when I was on the City Council. We were never faced with cutting millions of dollars out of the budget and cutting police and fire. These are different times with a very different economy. Many cities are in dire financial straits.

It's also true that the old wastewater treatment plant was a mistake from the beginning. It turns out that what was sold to a much earlier City Council was an off-the-shelf water treatment plant, not a wastewater treatment plant. That's why the council I was on sued the company that sold it to the city. They settled for $2 million.

I believe the City of Pacifica had the same problems and was just as broke when Mr. Loeb and his cohorts ran City Hall.

The old wastewater treatment plant was a mistake from the beginning, if you have lived here long enough to remember the stench that covered most of Sharp Park.

Build more trails and they shall come.

Leave the entire infrastructure to fail; grant money and/or federal or state money will fix all the problems.

If there is evidence that the sewer laterals are a source of E. coli, I'd like to see it. I'm not aware of it. I also don't know of evidence that E. coli is on our beaches or other open spaces. E. coli is at the mouth of San Pedro Creek, but the source was identified as the creek itself, mainly due to animal feces and primarily from birds. If you go to the San Mateo County Health Department, Environmental Health web page, and click on the beach closures link, you will see that Pacifica State Beach at Linda Mar is not currently listed as having elevated levels of indicator bacteria, but San Pedro Creek does have elevated levels and is currently posted with an advisory warning sign. http://tinyurl.com/yjs8atk

Most of the houses in Pacifica have leaky sewer laterals -- lines to the sewer that leak heavily into our streams, open spaces, and beaches. This is a continuing source of E. coli and other waste on our beaches and open spaces.

Perhaps Pacifica Beach Coalition can take a lead in helping correct this not-so-visible source of disease.

Why didn't the beach coalition do anything during the 7.5 million gallon sewage spill? Or when our "state of the art" sewage treatment plant was fined?

Pot Kettle Black

How will we get rid of all that E. coli?

Lots of folks out weeding and grooming areas around town. Nice work, everyone.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)