Launched in 2017, the search for Nicest Places has resulted in thousands of stories of a kinder America.

A panel of eight experts in “nice” will work with the Reader’s Digest editorial team to select the 50 finalists.


(NEW YORK, NY) May 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Reader’s Digest is launching its third annual search for the “Nicest Places in America,” a national crowd-sourced effort to shine a light on places where people are kind and treat each other with respect. In an era of unprecedented cultural and political divide, “Nicest Places” is Reader’s Digest‘s response. 

Nominations are being accepted at through May 31. Nicest Places can range from small towns to big-city neighborhoods, businesses, community centers, military bases, libraries, places of worship and anywhere else where the spirit of “nice” prevails. Finalists will appear in an upcoming issue of the magazine with the winner to be featured on the cover. 

“While there is plenty of media shining a light on everything that is wrong with America, we’re showcasing everything right by sharing the stories of places where neighbors are friends, strangers are welcomed, and everyone is treated with civility and respect,” said Reader’s Digest Editor-in-Chief Bruce Kelley. “Over the past two years doing this, we’ve learned that Nicest Places are all around us.”

Nicest Places 2019 comes with a new twist. In 2017 and 2018, Reader’s Digest announced 10 finalists and then let America vote on a winning place to be featured on the cover. In 2019, there will be 50 finalists, one from every state, to be named the 50 Nicest Places in America. Then, America votes on the top 10 to be featured in the magazine, and one to be on the cover of the November issue.

This year, Reader’s Digest is teaming up with Nextdoor, the social network that helps neighbors around the world build real-world connections, stay informed and lend a helping hand to neighbors in need.

“At Nextdoor, we have a front row seat to the incredible acts of kindness and real-world connections being made in neighborhoods across the globe,” said Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar. “It is a delight to team up with Reader’s Digest to not only elevate these incredible stories but to inspire more kindness in the world.”

Launched in 2017, the search for Nicest Places has resulted in nearly a thousand nominations filled with stories of a kinder America. In 2017, the heartwarming story of the winning place, Gallatin, Tennessee, was of a growing city struggling to heal painful racial divides when faced with tragedy. In 2018, the winning Nicest Place told the story of Yassin Terou, a Syrian refugee whose falafel restaurant has become an engine of kindness and charity in Knoxville.

The search will run in three phases: collection of nominations; announcement of finalists and public voting; and unveiling of the winning place on the cover of the November issue of Reader’s Digest.

Reader’s Digest is partnering with local and national organizations to drive the Nicest Places search in addition to Nextdoor, including Feeding America, Catholic Charities, BYUtv’s Random Acts, National Association of Counties, Urban Libraries Council, Kind Campaign, American Booksellers Association, Weave, and the Good News Network.