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SANDPOINT, Idaho Two Northwest towns took top national honors being named some of the best in the country.

Writers for USA Today's Best of the Road Rally ranked Sandpoint, Idaho as the most beautiful spot in the U.S. Famous for Schweitzer Mountain skiing and snowboarding, judges said the unofficial motto of the town should be enjoy the great outdoors, connect with friends, and keep life simple.

USAToday also ranked Walla Walla, Washington as the friendliest town in the nation. Writers described it as a town so nice they named it twice; a culturally diverse small town with happy faces everywhere you go.

Other winners included Rapid City, South Dakota as the most patriotic, Glenwood Springs, Colorado as most fun, and Lafayette, Louisiana as best for food.

From more than 600 submissions from people across the country, judges actually visited each of the top towns in the U.S. for themselves, using five teams of amateur travelers who went on a three-week cross-country trip.

Washington's state rankings

Best of the Road also named their favorite towns in several different categories for each of the 50 states. Here's how Washington's towns broke down in each category:

Friendliest:

  • Walla Walla
  • Richland
  • Wenatchee

Most Beautiful:

  • Walla Walla
  • Pullman
  • Kennewick
  • Wenatchee
  • Sequim
  • Leavenworth
  • Benton City
  • Richland
  • Uniontown
  • Coulee Dam

Most Fun:

  • Walla Walla
  • Pasco
  • Sequim
  • Winthrop

Best for Food

  • Walla Walla
  • Poulsbo
  • Union Gap
  • Wenatchee
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