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-Roger Brooks

Roger's 10 Favorite Places in America

Having spent a lot of time on the road (250 days a year – until 2020) Roger has visited thousands of communities in all 50 states. Here you’ll see his top-ten all-time favorite places across America, and he’ll show you WHY and HOW they actually made the list, providing ideas you can emulate so that your destination can be the golden child of travel publications, media influencers, Instagrammers, and travelers far and wide. Fun, educational, and inspiring places you can add to your bucket list, you won’t want to miss this presentation!


Does your "place" make our list? What "places" are on your list? We want to know your favorites, send your favorites to


Video Timeline:

The Runner-Ups: Other favorites & stiff competition - 01:46

Ten of Roger’s Favorite Places – 15:07

  • 10. Cape May, New Jersey – 15:25

  • 9. The Bourbon Trail, Kentucky – 18:24

  • 8. Savannah, Georgia – 23:05

  • 7. Put-In-Bay, South Bass Island, Ohio – 25:44

  • 6. The San Juan Islands of Washington – 30:30

  • 5. Blowing Rock, North Carolina – 34:28

  • 4. Cannon Beach, Oregon – 39:27

  • 3. Shipshewana, Indiana – 44:25

  • 2. Nantucket, Massachusetts – 49:10

  • 1. Central Oregon (Bend | Sunriver | Sisters) – 56:18

Up & Coming Destinations: The next great destinations – 01:00:56


To learn more about the Destination Development Association, visit our website:

To download the slide deck for this presentation, click here

INTRODUCING The Destination Assessment with a twist:
The Recovery Assessment Program

As we look to the future, we all want to find the best ways our communities can get back on their feet and on the road to recovery. The most effective starting point is to bring Roger Brooks into your community to perform a Recovery Assessment.


Similar to our Destination Assessment, Roger will spend nearly a week in your community and develop suggestions to help you with your efforts. The week culminates with a “Findings & Suggestions” workshop that can be filmed, live-streamed, or attended with social distancing protocols.


The Recovery Assessment will get local leaders and businesses pumped up, excited, and empowered with dozens of low-cost remedies and fresh ideas that can be implemented immediately to help get your economy back on track. Each solution will be geared to your specific community, and founded on solid research, national and local guidelines, and real-life examples.


The Recovery Assessment will show you what can be done right now to bring your tourism, downtown businesses, attractions, and activities back to success.

To learn more about our Destination Assessment program, click here

SHIFTHAPPENS: Looking to the Future post COVID

In this eye-opening, engaging and inspiring keynote address, new for 2020, Roger unveils the ten keys to re-energizing every city and town, and the important role that downtowns and tourism play in looking to the future. Enjoy this quick 2-minute preview from the virtual presentation Roger made to the Downtown Colorado communities.


For tourism conferences:

  • This Ain't Your Grampa's RV

  • The Five Fastest Growing Tourism Trends

  • The Five Most Important Tourism Amenities

  • The Top Five Marketing Priorities for Promoting Tourism Destinations


For municipal & downtown conferences:

  • The Resurgence of downtowns

  • The 20 Ingredients of an Outstanding Downtown

  • Breaking Down the Silos: Creating a Winning Team

  • The Future of Cities (The Hottest Trends in Placemaking)

To look at other popular presentations, click here.


Certified Speaking Professional

Keynote Presentations & Workshops

One of North America's most popular keynote speakers on the topics:

  • Trends and realities that are reshaping cities everywhere

  • The resurgence of downtowns

  • The changing demographic and what it means to your future

  • How to become a sought-after visitor destination

Roger Brooks will inspire and empower your audience with engaging stories, laugh-out-loud humor, and step-by-step instructions leading to incredible success. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm," and Roger lives by this motto. A leading urbanist, futurist, and downtown innovator, Roger is leading the charge in the creation of great places you'd want to invest in, live in, and visit.

Author of the popular book Your Town: An Amazing Destination and the upcoming book The 20 Ingredients of an Outstanding Downtown, Roger is not only THE placemaking expert, but a motivational speaker that will get your audience pumped up for the entire conference. Perhaps best of all, every attendee will leave the conference with actionable items they can implement the moment they arrive back home. 

Each presentation is developed from the ground up specifically for your area, using local examples and stories, fitting your conference theme and the goals you'd like to achieve. 

Did you miss Roger's interview on EH? Canada Travel Talk Show? Don't worry, here's your chance!


"Everyone - and I mean everyone - in attendance enjoyed Roger's presentation. Many, many of the Main Street managers came up afterward to express to me their enjoyment of the presentation. Our email group has been filled with comments about how great Roger was. I could go on and on, but the best way to sum it up is that the keynote presentation was a complete success - not only from the enjoyment aspect but also from the learning aspect."

- Ray Scriber - Director, Louisiana Main Street

"Thank you, Roger, on behalf of the Kentucky League of Cities for the incredible and amazing sessions you provided for our conference and expo. Our cities are so often bogged down by the day to day, that the leaders forget the power of vision and change. Our cities and our state are so much better for what you shared with all of us!"

- Jessica Miller, Kentucky League of Cities

"I had the genuine pleasure of seeing you at the OTIA Conference in Tulsa. Your presentation was not only outstanding, but worth the entire registration fee for the whole conference!

- Bill Jeffers, Discoveryland, Oklahoma


Washington Association of Cities | Kentucky League of Cities (3 Times) | Keep America Beautiful | Main Street North Dakota | Anchorage Economic Development Corp. | National Business Improvement Association (Canada) | Numerous Governor's Conferences on Tourism | National Trust for Historic Preservation | California Downtown Association | Utah Planning Association | Disney Institute | Main Street America | American Farm Bureau | Switzerland Vacation Day | Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia |Canadian Badlands Tourism Development Conference| Economic Development Association of British Columbia | Professional Association of Innkeepers International Annual Conference | Northern Ireland Tourism Conference | Jamtland Harjedalen Tourism (Sweden) |


THE definitive guide for everyone working to make the place they call home a more vibrant, sustainable destination to visit, live, and invest in. 


Full of photographic examples, inspiring case histories, and practical steps, this book is both educational and entertaining. This indispensable guide showcases the 25 immutable, never changing rules to make your town an amazing destination. 


Rewritten and updated, the book contains new information, and more real-world examples and has been reorganized so the book acts as a to-do list to making YOUR TOWN the next amazing destination. 

Buy it today on Amazon! 

Paperback version 

Kindle version

Downtowns are back and more important than ever! Based on the research of 2,000 downtowns and downtown districts of all sizes, this book showcases the most common ingredients that contributed to the success of 400 of the best downtowns in Canada and the U.S.


This is THE RESOURCE for anyone who wants to turn their downtown into the community living room, the showcase that will attract new jobs, investment and residents, and will become a primary visitor attraction. 

Keep an eye out for release information!

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coming in 2020!



- Speaker sheet: Focus on the future of cities

- Speaker sheet: Tourism topics

- Speaker sheet: Downtown topics

- Speaker Sheet: Corporate Engagements

- Roger's A/V requirements (keynote addresses)

- Roger's Conference Program bio

- Ways we can help brochure


Contact Natalie for more information and scheduling.


In addition to inspiring and empowering audiences with his Keynote Presentations and Conference Workshops/Break-outs, Roger is also hired to help communities reach their potential by providing customized consulting through Destination Assessments, Fast-Track Community Action Plans, Branding Development & Marketing Action Plans, as well as single or multi-day consulting trips. Learn more about these services below. 


We look forward to working with you!

- Ways We Can Help Brochure

On July 31, 2019, Roger was the keynote speaker at the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation's Annual event and was introduced by July Taylor, CEO of the Anchorage Regional Hospital. Julie was part of the team that Roger worked with in Caldwell, Idaho prior to relocating to Anchorage. 

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You will love what Roger Brooks can do for your conference and/or your community: A world-renowned leading urbanist, city builder, futurist, tourism expert, acclaimed speaker, thought leader and destination advisor. Speaking topics include tourism trends, sustainability, smart cities, downtown revitalization and development, place-branding, placemaking, and destination marketing. 



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