Sunset Travel Awards: FAQs

Answers to common questions about our 2016 Sunset Travel Awards program

Why is Sunset offering the Sunset Travel Awards program?

Sunset has been the authority on Western travel since its inception in 1898 as a promotional magazine for the Southern Pacific Railroad to attract tourists and would-be land buyers to the American West. In more recent years, our readers have repeatedly asked for a program such as this one to spotlight the very best travel experiences in our footprint.

How much does it cost to enter?

The registration fee for paid categories is $400 for the first category and $75 for each additional category entered. To qualify for the discount, the subsequent entries must all pertain to the same physical location. (For example, a chain of hotels may not receive the discount for entering multiple properties operating under the same brand name.) Registration fees will not be refunded under any circumstance, including voluntary withdrawal from the competition.

When is the entry period?

Entries will be accepted at beginning October 5, 2015. The deadline for entries is January 18, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time. Late entries will not be accepted.

My business/town is located outside the West. Can I still enter?

No. Sunset and focus exclusively on the 13 Western states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming), plus British Columbia, Canada.  Entries for towns or businesses operating outside these regions will not be eligible.

Can I pay by check, money order, or PayPal?

Unfortunately, we can only accept credit card payment (Visa, Mastercard, and American Express) at this time. We hope to add additional payment options to next year’s competition.

Do I need to send pictures with my entry?

Yes, a minimum of one photo is a required component of your entry, and you may submit up to five. The maximum file size per photo is 10MB, and they must be .jpg format.

How long should my entry essay be? What should it include?

This year, we’ve given each category 11 writing prompts—questions whose answers will help us find our finalists and winners.  Please keep each of your responses to 300 words or less. Entry questions will be available at starting October 5, 2015.

Can I mail my entry information or payment?

No. Only entries and payments submitted through the form at will be considered.

When will finalists and winners be announced?

Finalists will be announced by the end of February 2016. Winners will be announced in late July, when the August issue of Sunset lands in mailboxes. 

What is the prize?

Winners will be featured in the August 2016 issue of Sunset magazine as well as on and on Sunset’s social media pages. All finalists will be featured on from the time of announcement until we open for entries again in late 2016. An official Sunset Travel Awards winner tool kit with digital icon will be sent to all winners for use on their own promotional materials.

Can I modify my entry after it has been submitted?

No. Once an entry has been submitted, it may not be edited. Please take care to review your entry information before submitting.

What are the Sunset Travel Awards categories?

Best Adventure Town
Best Beach Town
Best Bed & Breakfast
Best Desert Hotel/Resort
Best Food Town
Best Girlfriends Getaway Destination/Spa
Best Hotel/Resort for Families
Best Hotel/Resort for Pets
Best Hotel/Resort Restaurant
Best Island Destination
Best Luxury Camping
Best Microbrewery or Distillery
Best Mountain Hotel/Resort
Best Outdoor Music Venue
Best Shopping Destination/Street/Center
Best Tasting Room or Vineyard Experience
Best Train Experience
Best Waterfront Hotel/Resort
Best Wine Country Hotel/Resort
Best Wine Country Town

Can I submit my business to more than one category?

Yes! You may submit your business or town in as many categories as you like.  Registration for the first category is $400, while subsequent entries for the same location are $75 each. 

I have a question that wasn't answered here. Do you have a contact email address for the Sunset Travel Awards?

Yes. Please email with any additional questions.

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