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Lexington Barbecue Makes 2013 Best Travel, Food List

6:54 PM, Dec 30, 2013   |    comments
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USA Today Weekend

The editors of 10Best and USA WEEKEND present the year's best in travel, food and fun!

Barbecue enthusiast and 10Best Contributor Sally Walker-Davies compiled this savory list of some of America's most prestigious and entertaining BBQ competitions.

1. Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest - Memphis, TN; $100,000+ in prizes; Miss Piggie Idol contest.

2. The American Royal World Series of Barbecue - Kansas City, MO; state champs among the 500 competitors.

3. Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue - Lynchburg, TN

10K prize; day of festivities at the Distillery.

4. World's Championship Bar-B-Que - Houston, TX; bands, beer, brisket and rodeo.

5. International Bar-B-Q Festival - Owensboro, KY; spring 'cue war with a side of burgoo.

6. The Big Pig Jig - Vienna, GA; 25,000+ attendees; Miss Jiggy Piggy pageant.

7. World Barbecue Championship - Las Vegas, NV; winners showdown from several competitions.

8. Sam's Club National BBQ Tour Championship - Bentonville, AR; head-to-head of Sam's Club champions.

9. Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle - Washington, DC; glitzy two-day affair with 40K prize and celebs.

10. Barbecue Festival - Lexington, NC; pig races, pig sandcastles and 100K attendees.


Liberty Travel chose the nominees for Best All-Inclusive Caribbean Resort, and after 4 weeks of voting by our readers, the 10Best Readers' Choice winners were revealed.

1. Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort - Cancun; celebrity concerts free to all guests.

2. Occidental Grand Aruba - Aruba; sumptuous dining; beautiful casino.

3. The ROYAL - Playa del Carmen; beach butlers; walking distance to 5th Ave

4. Hard Rock Cancun - Cancun; eat, party and sleep like a rock star.

5. Hermitage Bay - Antigua; 2:1 staff:guest ratio; intimate setting.

6. Excellence Playa Mujeres - Cancun; gourmet temptations; rooftop plunge pools.

7. Sandals Whitehouse Village & Spa - Jamaica; free scuba diving; glass-bottom boats; 14 reefs.

8. Majestic Elegance and Majestic Colonial - Dominican Republic; culinary abundance; butlers; private beach areas.

9. Hilton Papagayo Resort & Spa - Costa Rica; bungalows come with amazing views.

10. Beaches Turks and Caicos - Turks and Caicos; European ambience and a huge waterpark.

America voted like mad for 10Best's nominees in our Readers' Choice contest for Best Iconic American Attraction.

1. Graceland - Memphis, TN; Lisa Marie Presley was "humbled" by this win.

2. Mount Rushmore - Keystone, SD; 1930s tourism booster which still works.

3. National Civil Rights Museum - Memphis, TN; site of MLK's tragic assassination.

4. Grand Canyon - Williams, AZ; America's must-see-it-to-believe-it feature.

5. Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island - New York, NY; the first lady of New York.

6. Las Vegas Strip - Las Vegas, NV; big stars, big lights and big dreams.

7. 9/11 Memorial - New York, NY; incredibly moving memorial at ground zero.

8. Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco, CA; recognizable star of film and television.

9. The Alamo - San Antonio, TX; hallowed ground near the Riverwalk.

10. Cable Cars - San Francisco, CA; iconic transport in a beloved city.


Kelly E. Carter of The Jet Set Pets chose the nominees for this 10Best Readers' Choice category. Here are voters' 10 favorite U.S. pet-friendly resorts and hotels.

1. El Portal Sedona Hotel - Sedona, AZ; fenced yards and free pet-sitters.

2. Red Mountain Resort - St. George, UT; offers hikes with shelter pets.

3. The Benjamin - New York, NY; pet mini-bar, on-call vet, BarkBox goodies.

4. Fairmont - Washington, DC; pet treats by the Executive Chef during afternoon tea.

5. Hotel Monaco - Alexandria, VA; yappy hour; no fees for guest pets.

6. W Hotel Midtown - Atlanta, GA; yappy hour; walking distance to Piedmont Park.

7. Loews Coronado Bay Resort - San Diego, CA; doggie surf lessons; room service for canine menu.

8. The Little Nell - Aspen, CO; puppy jet lag kit; free book on peti-quette.

9. The Loden - Vancouver, BC; walk to Stanley Park; free Modern Dog magazine.

10. Galleria Park Hotel - San Francisco, CA; eco-friendly dog bowls; yappy hour with big views.


10Best went to Kerry Woolard - a 10+ year wine industry veteran and wine educator - for this oh-so-useful list of great wines under $25.

1. 2012 Watkins Family Winery Sauvignon Blanc, $24: lively; tangy; crisp; passionfruit and pineapple.

2. 2011 Foradori Teroldego Rotaliano, $23: fresh; raspberry, violet, almond and toast.

3. 2003 R Lopez de Heredia Vina Gravonia Crianza Blanco, $23: perfectly aged white rioja; an uncommon gem.

4. 2011 Mount Beautiful Pinot Noir, $20; silky; full-bodied; black cherry, violets and dried herbs.

5. 2011 Christian Thirot-Fournier Domaine des Vieux Pruniers Sancerre, $20;

you'll taste citrus, floral, stone, nectarine and pear.

6. 2011 Bodega Colomé Estate Malbec, $22; firm wine with cherry, fig, spice and mineral notes.

7. 2010 Fonterutoli Chianti Classico, $23; lively; dark cherry, plum, spice and mineral.

8. 2011 Cédric Vincent Beaujolais $20; hints of red cherry, strawberry, banana and black pepper.

9. 2010 Seghesio Family Vineyards Sonoma Zinfandel, $24; highly-awarded; full and spicy with berries, mocha, earth.

10. 2011 Jean Daneel Signature Chenin Blanc, $23; highly awarded signature wine; fruity with slight woody note.


Shopping expert and 10Best Contributor Taryn Scher was our go-to for this timely list of best retail brands at outlet stores.

1. Tory Burch; preppy boho styles, accessories, shoes and bags.

2. Ralph Lauren; classic styles; high-end labels within the brand.

3. Michael Kors; deeply discounted handbags; great wardrobe finds.

4. Puma; gear; sneakers and shoes; visors under $10.

5. J. Crew; bright chinos; sweater sets; playful accessories.

6. Kate Spade; colorfully stimulating; great shoes; bags; jewelry; clothing.

7. Swarovski; sparkly paradise for bling lovers.

8. Lululemon; yoga enthusiasts' paradise.

9. Theory; "perfect black pants" at a fraction of retail.

10. Coach; classic leather handbags for less than $100.


Family travel expert and author Candyce Stapen chooses the 10 best places for grandparents, adult children and their kids to explore together.

1. Alaska; calving glaciers; whales; bears; wilderness.

2. Washington, DC; free museums; moving monuments; baby panda.

3. Maui, HI; snorkel, surf and swim; new resorts, condos.

4. Yellowstone National Park, WY; geysers; bison; hiking; horse rides.

5. Colonial Williamsburg, VA; learn from Redcoats and rebels.

6. Seattle and San Juan Islands, WA ; whale watching; island cycling; city museums.

7. Kiawah, SC; ocean swimming; mangrove kayaking.

8. Toronto, Canada; new aquarium; waterfront festivals.

9 . Riviera Maya, Mexico; cenotes; native culture; all-inclusive resorts.

10. Seaworld , Orlando, FL; penguins; mild or wild rides.


Chris Chase of USA TODAY Sports named the 10 best moments in sports in 2013.

1. Auburn beats Alabama; wildest finish ever?

2. Heat survive Finals Game 6; late shot kept Miami's repeat alive.

3. Ravens win Super Bowl; lights shut down, Baltimore didn't.

4. Andy Murray wins Wimbledon, esnding 77-year British drought.

5. Sox win bizarre Series game; the interference heard 'round the world.

6. Bruins' Game 7 comeback -- Two goals in 31 seconds sent Boston to Finals.

7. Wild Masters finish ; Scott and Cabrera had thrilling playoff.

8. Louisville cuts down nets ; Cardinals rallied around teammate's injury.

9. Diana Nyad; fom Cuba to Florida, into history.

10. Peyton's record day ; Manning opened season with 7 Tds.

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