National Geographic Traveler magazine has bestowed an exclusive honour on Banff by naming the beloved Alberta location one of its Best of the World destinations for 2017.
Not only did Banff earn a spot as the only Canadian destination among only 21 worldwide locations on the list chosen by experts at the renowned magazine, it graces the cover with an iconic image of the Moraine Lake, a picturesque glacial-fed Rocky Mountain locale in Banff National Park that has inspired painters, photographers and Instagrammers for generations.
It’s a timely piece of news for Canada’s oldest national park, which is taking centre stage as Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2017, during which admission to the country’s national parks will be free of charge.
“It’s no secret that 2017 marks Canada’s sesquicentennial celebration of cool,” said George W. Stone, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler. “But we love Canada for little reasons as much as landmarks and milestones. So our story is about how an outward journey to Banff leads to an inner sense of happiness.
“The magic comes from person-to-person interactions with big-hearted Canadians, from First Nations community leaders to horse-packing guides to park rangers to some of the country’s newer citizens, who hail from foreign lands but find a happy home in Canada. We aimed to honour the inclusive feeling of Canada, a warm embrace that brings a human-scale equivalent to those majestic landscapes.”
Banff earned a spot on National Geographic Traveler’s list through a competitive process that called on the expertise of the magazine’s network of editors, writers, and explorers. The magazine has the largest audience of any travel magazine.
Banff National Park is Canada’s original national park, founded in 1885, and is renowned for its Canadian Rocky Mountain beauty, wildlife and recreational opportunities. It is visited by more than four-million travelers every year.
While those attributes have made Banff a traveller’s favourite, Stone said the magazine’s experts were drawn to Banff because of the warm welcome extended to visitors by Albertans.