PHOTOS: Bay Area is among 10 finalists for ‘America’s Best Restroom’


(NEXSTAR) – If you can hold it for a little while longer, there’s a really nice bathroom just a few hours from where you live.

Cintas is currently accepting votes for its America’s Best Restroom Contest, an annual celebration of the cleanest, most captivating facilities in the country. This year, the top 10 finalists include everything from posh portable toilets to picturesque public restrooms, each exhibiting their own aesthetic, hygienic and (in one case) poetic appeal, according to Cintas.

“We’ve got a diverse list of facilities from across the county vying for the title of America’s Best Restroom,” said Cintas marketing manager Sean Mulcahey of the 10 finalists, first announced in July. “The public is expecting a higher hygiene standard in public restrooms, and we’re proud to spotlight these unique restrooms that are well-maintained without sacrificing aesthetic quality.”

Now in its 20th year, the America’s Best Restroom contest seeks to highlight the best and brightest in the business with an emphasis on cleanliness and innovation, according to Cintas, a corporation that supplies uniforms, cleaning products and restroom supplies to businesses. Past winners include a self-cleaning restroom in Colorado Springs, a “spotless” Buc-ee’s bathroom in Texas, and the facilities at the Nashville zoo, which feature floor-to-ceiling windows looking into the primate and python enclosures.

This year’s finalists are nothing to turn up your nose at, either.

Core24 GVL – Greenville, South Carolina

This bathroom at Core24 GVL, a downtown gym in the city of Greenville, was honored by Cintas for its artsy vibe. The spacious women’s restroom features not one, but two setups for post-workout selfies, including a spray-painted mural and a flowery wall illuminated by neon lights.

The ladies’ room at the Core24 GVL gym in South Carolina. (Cintas)

Fancy Flush – Santa Rosa, California

This portable toilet “rivals some of the most exquisite private bathrooms,” according to Cintas, which made special note of its dual-restroom suites, dimmable lighting and ambient mood music, as well as an exterior “inspired by tiny home cottages with a French Country flair.”

A Fancy Flush portable toilet in Santa Rosa, California. (Cintas)

JFK Airport’s Terminal 4 – New York, New York

Walking into an airport bathroom can be a dicey proposition. But JFK’s Terminal 4 restrooms, on the east side of the Customs Arrival Hall, are among some of the city’s best, Cintas says. “Inside, bright white terrazzo flooring, marbleized walls, and delicate wall sconces combine for a look and feel of understated elegance.”

The interior of a Terminal 4 restroom at JFK airport in NYC. (Cintas)

Nan Thai Fine Dining – Atlanta, Georgia

The “zen-like restrooms” at Nan Thai have delighted customers for years, according to Cintas. The facilities earned special praise for elements including candles, stones, and flowers, lending to its “modern yet organic” look.

A view of the restroom at Nan Thai Fine Dining in Atlanta. (Cintas)

Planet Word – Washington, D.C.

If you have a passion for language, you’ll love the bathrooms at Planet Word in Washington D.C. Thanks to the words plastered across the walls of the museum’s bathrooms, visitors can continue to brush up on their language arts in the lavatory, learning new bathroom euphemisms or definitions of animal dung.

The bathroom at Planet Word in Washington, D.C. (Cintas)

Pump House – Kannapolis, North Carolina

This “spotless” public restroom in downtown Kannapolis is situated on a downtown street, surrounded by sculptures, swings, a seating area and even an illuminated fountain. It’s also a great spot to “hang out,” according to Cintas, as it’s near restaurants, businesses and a brewery.

Pump House in Kannapolis, North Carolina. (Cintas)

Steamboat Springs – Steamboat Springs, Colorado

The public bathroom on downtown Steamboat Springs, with its butterfly-pitched roof and mixed-material façade has enough “visual appeal” to become a contender in 2021. It’s also heated year-round, which is a plus in Steamboat Springs, where the winters are freezing and the nights are chilly.

A public bathroom in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. (Cintas)

The Fed Community – Clarkston, Michigan

A “fun surprise” awaits diners heading to the restroom at the Fed. In the ladies’ room, guests are greeted into the bright, airy space with a floor-based message: “You are beautiful.” Over in the boys’ room, visitors are welcomed with darker tones and the words “hey handsome” spelled out in the tile.

The entrances to the two bathrooms at the “Fed” in Clarkston, Michigan. (Cintas)

Two Cities Pizza – Cincinnati, Ohio

Countless folks have relieved themselves inside a New York City subway car, but Two Cities Pizza in Cincinnati has managed to recreate that experience in probably the nicest way possible. The entrance is designed to look like an NYC subway platform (albeit clean) and the bathrooms are modeled after subway train cars, complete with graffiti, ads and station announcements over the speakers.

The interior of the Two Cities Pizza restroom in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Cintas)

William S. Craycraft Park – Mission Viejo, California

The facilities at William S. Craycraft Park just might be as picturesque as the park itself, with new tile, wood lap siding and stucco wainscoting. Impressively, it was also designed to be able to accommodate 540 guests per hour, just in case a swarm of park-goers descends upon the facilities all at once.

The William S. Craycraft Park bathroom, in Mission Viejo, California. (Cintas)

The finalists, chosen from submissions received by Cintas, were determined on the basis of hygiene, visual appeal, innovation and unique design elements, according to the company. The winner of this year’s contest will be awarded with an UltraClean restroom cleaning from Cintas and $2,500 towards facility services or supplies. The ‘Best Restroom’ of 2021 will also earn itself a permanent place in the Best Restroom Hall of Fame.

The contest ends Aug. 20. Fans of a particular first-rate finalist can currently submit their vote at

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