Banff named one of the world’s top travel destinations for 2017

Red canoes at glacial Lake Louise with Victoria glacier, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Arterra/UIG via Getty Images

If you’ve never been to Banff, Alta., you should definitely go. That’s according to National Geographic, which named the Rocky Mountain town one of the top 21 travel destinations in the world for 2017.

National Geographic Traveler magazine recently announced its annual Best of the World list, which highlights 21 must-see places to visit in 2017. The magazine’s editor in chief George Stone said this year’s list “represents a carefully curated selection of forward-leaning places that reveal the bright future of travel.”

Banff was the only Canadian location to make the list. The town is also featured on the cover of the magazine, with a picture of Moraine Lake situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks within Banff National Park.

READ MORE: Why Banff tourism is booming with a busting economy

Stone said a trip to Banff leads to an inner sense of happiness.

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“The magic comes from person-to-person interactions with big-hearted Canadians, from First Nations community leaders to horse-packing cowboy guides to park rangers to some of the country’s newer citizens, who hail from foreign lands but find a happy home in Canada,” Stone said.

“We aimed to honour the inclusive feeling of Canada, a warm embrace that brings a human-scale equivalent to those majestic landscapes.”

Alberta’s minister of Culture and Tourism said he could not be more thrilled about the prestigious honour.

“Alberta is a place of incredible scenery, people and spirit. We wholeheartedly agree that Banff is one of the world’s must-see destinations. It is one of many locations in the Rocky Mountains and Alberta that offers visitors a great vacation experience,” Ricardo Miranda said in a media release.

In 2017, entrance will be free to all national parks to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

READ MORE: Not everyone pleased with free entry into Banff National Park for Canada’s 150th

Here are the other 20 destinations to make this year’s list:

  • Anchorage, Alaska, USA
  • Baja California National Marine Parks, Mexico
  • Canton Uri, Switzerland
  • Cartagena, Colombia
  • Central India’s National Parks
  • Chengdu, China
  • Cradle of Humankind, South Africa
  • Ecuador’s Cloud Forests
  • Finland
  • Georgia, USA
  • Guadeloupe Islands
  • Hamburg, Germany
  • Kauai, Hawaii, USA
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Malta
  • Marrakech, Morocco
  • Moscow, Russia
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Seoul, Korea
  • Via Dinarica, Western Balkans


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