Scouted Destinations - The Scout Guide

2020 Readers’ Choice Scouted Destinations


Top Scouted Destinations

Last fall, we asked our readers to rank their favorite destinations in seven categories: Winter Escape, Artistic Haven, Weekend Getaway, Metropolitan Mecca, Outdoor Oasis, Wedding Destination, and College Town. Over the coming year, we’re excited to take you on an in-depth exploration of these 2020 Readers’ Choice Top Scouted Destinations, where you’ll discover when to go, why you’d visit, and what to do when you get there.



WHY MAKE HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA, your destination for an art-centric getaway? Known as “Rocket City” for its contribution to the space program, Huntsville is the perfect combination of right and left brain, and the winner of the Scouted Cities Contest’s Artistic City category. As The Scout Guide Huntsville editor and owner Dawn Pumpelly explains, Huntsville’s arts history is closely intertwined with their growth in the more scientific fields. “When Huntsville saw an influx of German immigrants who came to build our rocket industry in the 1950s and 60s, we also saw a genuine appreciation and a love of the arts,” Dawn says. “From the symphony to the ballet to the children’s theater, we see their philosophy of art and science going hand-in-hand and creating ripples to today.”

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WHY MAKE BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA, your destination for a college town weekend getaway? The Bayou State’s 322-year-old capital, and home to Louisiana State University (LSU), is the winner of the Scouted Cities Contest’s Weekend Getaway category, and as The Scout Guide Baton Rouge editor and owner Kaleigh Porcelli explains, Baton Rouge is filled to the brim with rich history, Cajun cuisine, and championship-winning teams. “While the entire athletic department is recognized as leaders in their respective categories, LSU football in particular is a major cornerstone of Baton Rouge, as it draws enormous crowds year after year,” Kaleigh says. “And if you’ve been lucky enough to experience the magic of a Louisiana Saturday night in Death Valley (LSU’s stadium), it’s easy to understand why.” Tiger fans are often recognized as some of, if not the most, dedicated fans you’ll find in the whole country. They’re also known for extending great Southern hospitality to visiting fans. On game day eve, private tailgaters and local establishments begin setting up their areas all around LSU’s campus to create one of the most unique and well-sourced tailgate experiences offered in the world of college athletics.

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WHY MAKE ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, your destination for outdoor adventure? The beloved town is the winner of the Scouted Cities Contest’s Outdoor Adventure category, and as The Scout Guide Asheville editor and owner Meagan Harris explains, encompassed by the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville lends itself to an unforgettable outdoor experience. The area’s offerings cater to everyone, whether they’re seeking a relaxing scenic overview or an athletically vigorous day of hiking, mountain biking, fishing, camping, and more. There are no off seasons in Asheville, but locals find the spring, when everything is in bloom, and fall, when you can take in the beauty of the changing colors of the leaves, especially appealing times to visit. After your time in the wild, there are plenty of post-adventure ways to unwind, from visiting the local breweries to taking in the local art scene. Ready to plan your adventure getaway? Here, Meagan shares her favorite local finds and activities for making the most of your visit.

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WHY MAKE SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI, your choice for a metropolitan getaway? This beautiful Midwest city—The Gateway to the West—is the winner of the Scouted Cities Contest’s Metropolitan City category, and as The Scout Guide Saint Louis editor and owner Stacey Goltermann and associate editor Amy Jo Mitchell explain, the city has a little bit of something for everyone. “There are endless adventures for the whole family, from attractions and activities including fabulous food, gorgeous parks, lively music, spirited sports, and a variety of arts venues and museums,” Stacey says. With a rich history rooted in commerce, architecture, and culture, there are many diverse neighborhoods to explore—each with a unique feel and appeal—and people that exude Midwestern charm, making Saint Louis a city you’ll want to return to again and again.

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WHY MAKE CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA, your choice for a wedding destination? The historic central Virginia town is the winner of the Scouted Cities Contest’s Wedding Destination category, and as The Scout Guide Charlottesville co-editors Susie Matheson and Christy Ford explain, between the picturesque venues, a range of hotel options, and an impressive food scene, this bucolic college town in The Old Dominion is the perfect mix of small town charm and big city amenities. Whether you dream of a big southern soiree set in one of the many stunning vineyards or a chic affair at a downtown social club, there is truly an option to fit every couple’s taste.

Ready to plan your dream wedding? Here, Susie and Christy share their favorite local finds, vendors, and activities for making the most of your special occasion.

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WHY MAKE AUSTIN, TEXAS, your choice for a weekend getaway? The Lone Star State’s capital and home to The University of Texas is the winner of the Scouted Cities Contest’s Weekend Getaway category, and as The Scout Guide Austin editor and owner Leigh Ann Kalman explains, while visitors come for the storied South Congress and Sixth Street areas, it’s the laidback lifestyle and culture of friendliness that’s quintessentially Austin that draws them in. From shopping to enjoying the active life on the greenbelts and lakes to taking in live music and some of the best food Texas has to offer, there’s always something going on and much to experience. So consider yourself warned: after a few days, Austin will get under your skin. “There’s a reason why visitors come for a weekend and quickly become locals,” Leigh Ann says. “You can’t help but fall in love with this place.”

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WHY MAKE JACKSON HOLE your choice for a cold-weather vacation? The famed western Wyoming town is the winner of the Scouted Cities Contest’s Winter Destination category, and as The Scout Guide Jackson Hole editor and owner Jill King explains, when the snow starts to fall, it’s the place for anyone who loves alpine getaways, heart-pounding downhill thrills, and backcountry adventures on- and off-piste. There are plenty of cozy fireside après-ski drinks-and-dining options, too—all of it bathed in the twinkling white lights of Jackson Hole’s signature quaint downtown.

Ready to plan your winter getaway? Here, Jill shares her favorite local finds and activities for making the most of the winter months in Jackson Hole.

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