Banff is one of those iconic places that’s likely pinged your radar over the years, even if you haven’t realized it. The name may ring a bell but maybe you can’t quite point to it on a map. And you might know it’s a good spot for skiing, but maybe you don’t realize that summer is actually the bigger draw. Banff may not be as far away as you think. You may be within only 6 degrees of separation. Just like with Kevin Bacon, only this is Canadian Bacon… and the points are higher! Remember that craze? Asking yourself, I wonder what [enter celeb’s name]’s Bacon number is? Even Kevin himself was playing the game! And the craze spread so far and wide, that search engines started providing Bacon scores for searches like ‘Bacon number +(person’s name)’. And if that wasn’t enough, the competitions began. People were on a mission to find the highest Bacon number out there. Which, if you’re curious, that honor seems to have gone to a Mr. William Rufus Shafter with a solid 10.0, according to a recent Google search. The point is this: The Canadian Rockies, and even Banff itself, is likely to have a pretty high Bacon number – that is, if you were the Bacon. Let’s count the ways –
1. You probably know, or know of, a Canadian
You may know a Canadian. But even if you don’t, it’s hard to listen to music, to curl up to a movie, or to flip through the TV channels without coming across a Canadian. Don’t forget to count the biggies like William Shatner, Jim Carrey, Michael J Fox, Keanu Reeves, Celine Dion, the Sutherland father and son duo – Kiefer and Donald – and of course Pam Anderson. But there’s also the younger gen like Rachael McAdams, Drake, Michael Buble, and Seth Rogen to name a few. And then there’s the Ryans – of the Reynolds and Gosling vintages, naturally. The Biebers. The Folks from SNL. Then from Friends. And from Sex and the City. There’s the Hockey legends. And the Rock legends. And the list goes on and on. Now, add a point for every Canadian in your life. Got your score yet? We’re guessing you may have already beat Mr. Shafter’s winning number!
2. Skiing is now global
Are you a skier or a snowboarder? Or do you tele? Or cross country ski? Chances are – if you’ve hit the slopes somewhere in the world, you’ve been on the hill with someone who’s skied in Banff. Banff is home to extraordinary terrain. The mountains are big. They reach above treeline with dramatic peaks – kind of a unique blend of the Alps in Europe, the Sierras in Cali, and the Rockies in Colorado or Utah. Banff’s backyard includes the world-class resorts of Sunshine, Mt Norquay, and Lake Louise – all of which are on the Ikon Pass, which of course means people can ski throughout the US and Canada on a single pass. Not to mention, that same pass provides access to resorts in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and Japan. And moving a little further west across Canada (from Alberta to British Columbia) we mustn’t forget another mega ski resort – Whistler Blackcomb. Now a part of Vail, their Epic Pass grants access to the mega-mountain as well as resorts across the US, Canada and Australia + an extensive list of partner resorts around the globe. The Ikon and Epic passes have made skiing global. So even if you’ve yet to ski in Banff, or Canada for that matter, chances are – you’ve shared a chairlift with someone who has. Another point for you.
3. It’s all Natural
Ever been to Yosemite National Park? Or to the mighty Yellowstone? Or somewhere in between? National Parks are iconic, critically important spaces to our environment, to the nature they preserve, and to the animals who call them home. For many, they provide a much-needed refuge to escape from the city and the noise of it all. A space to take time, and to recenter. And to have a little fun while we’re at it! Banff is in the heart of Banff National Park, where you can expect to see a mighty, a very-mighty, nature. A nature that’s home to grizzlies, elk, sheep, mountain lions, or cougars as we say here, and of course, to wolves. So next time you find yourself swinging your picnic basket on your way to Jellystone with Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo, add a point.
4. We’re together at great heights
Have you ever summited something? Maybe you’ve trekked to the top so you can fly down to the bottom? Maybe you bike? Or hike? Or climb? Or camp? All of these things have one thing in common – being outdoors, and likely in the mountains. And trust us – being outdoors has never been so in. It’s a place to recharge, and escape. To stay, and to play. If you’ve found yourself climbing to new heights, you’re not as far away as you think. After all, those same Rocky Mountains you see from the 14ers in Colorado, are the same ones that reach up through Alberta, Canada – and into Banff. So really, the Canadian Rockies are just a summit away. Go ahead. Take a point. You’ve earned it.
5. Did someone say bacon?
No, no – simply eating bacon is too obvious – we’re going to make you work a bit harder than that for this next point. Pencils down please. Did you know that mountain towns are often hot spots for foodies? Foodies and locally sourced ingredients? So if you love food – the mouth-watering, send your taste buds skyrocketing, fill your belly yummy, with a dash of home-style comfort, then look no further. Foodies, take out your forks, and get ready for locally sourced, organic, gluten-free, unique and robust options right here in Banff. Sure you can always find the rack of meat and the bison burgers that you may crave, but the town has all kinds of options that may surprise you. An insider fav is Canada’s Castle, the Fairmont Banff Springs. It’s in the heart of town and it has over a dozen dining locations offering everything from a Chop House, to Italian cuisine, to bars with poke bowls and zesty apps, and just about everything in between. While you may not have dined in Banff yet… if you’re a foodie at heart, go ahead – give yourself a point. Or double up if you’re feeling enthusiastic. We won’t tell.
6. History follows us
Ever been to a historic railway town? Or an old logging town? Or even a castle? Be it Minturn Colorado, or Truckee California, or even the Loire Valley in France – history follows us. Banff is a historic town, with a rich background influenced by people from all over the world. And the pieces of their own history that they brought with them. It’s home to Canada’s Castle – inspired by a Scottish Baronial Castle from the 1600s. And it’s a historic town that was founded in the country’s early years as railways and travelers expanded out west. It’s a town that has a country flare, with a heart for the outdoors, a passion for wellness, a humility that feels inviting, and topped with a quick splash of grandeur. It’s where people from all walks of life can – just be – and their history becomes intertwined with the town. If you’ve ever seen a castle, or been to an old historic town – add another point. And if you long to find a place where new, meets old, meets the outdoors – then you’ll feel right at home here. Go ahead. Pack your history. We’ll wait.
Well, that’s a wrap!
While our friend Mr. Shafter may have reached a fine 10.0 on the Bacon-meter, we have a hunch you’ve blown way past that. But you may need a few minutes to tally your points? 3, plus 2, plus 4, carry the 1, over to the 5 – we know how it goes. But no matter where your number actually lands – we hope you see just how close you actually are to Banff. So save your bacon – come for a visit!