What is Destinate? Destinate is a mobile website that leverages the power of the USA Today Network to help travelers find great local restaurants just a few miles off the highway. Recommendations are made by USA Today Network writers so travelers can eat local and eat well wherever they roam.
How did it come to be? The Destinate concept began when Liz Johnson, then a food editor at the USA TODAY Network's lohud.com, went on a driving vacation. Finding places to eat was easy. Finding good places to eat was almost impossible. She asked food writers across the USA TODAY Network to contribute to a database of great local restaurants near the highway in communities across the United States. As the story grew, Johnson decided to enter the project in USA TODAY Network’s Innovation Challenge, an incubator for new ideas. She assembled a team of journalists from New York, Wisconsin and Florida. A test site using chatbot technology and geo-location was produced, recommending restaurants along a route from New York City to Burlington, Vermont. Destinate won the 2016-17 Innovation Challenge, and now the mobile website has expanded to its second market: the four major interstates in Florida.
Tell us how we're doing: We'd love to hear from you! If you have comments or questions about Detinate, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd especially enjoy feedback on using the site.
The Destinate team:
Suzy Fleming Leonard, managing editor (Florida)
Steve Bradley, content editor (New York)
Dan Higgins, engagement editor (Wisconsin)