Comparing Downtown Banff to Downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee


I’d imagined Banff since CorelDraw included a font with its drawing application named “Banff” back in the 1990s. In my mind, it was a quaint little town, much as folks in other parts of America and beyond probably imagine Gatlinburg, Tennessee before their first visit.

In an effort to foster even stronger relations between our two great countries, Ken and I are offering this comparison of Banff and Gatlinburg, much as we did two years ago when we compared Times Square, NY to Market Square in Knoxville.


Our Canadian friends win this one hands-down. Food in Banff is really good, with every option imaginable. And there are enough restaurants to keep patrons from having to wait long periods to get tables. Winner: Banff.

Jerky StoresG-jerky

We didn’t see a single jerky store in Banff … and we looked. Where do locals and visitors find alligator jerky, kangaroo jerky and other jerkies to fill their cravings. I suppose they head down to Tennessee for that. Winner: Gatlinburg.


Let’s face it. Both towns are surrounded by beautiful mountains. But when it comes to jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring mountains, Banff comes out on top with snow-covered peaks year-round.

Downtown Banff, Alberta is surrounded by huge mountains, covered in snow year-round.

Camouflage, Wifebeaters (tank tops) and Similar Attire

Can you believe it? We didn’t see a single camouflage shirt, hat, slacks or gunbelt in Banff. Not even a tank top shirt. And this was mid June! And you call yourself a tourist attraction. Winner: Gatlinburg



While it’s hard to compare the Dukes of Hazards Museum and Ripley’s Aquarium to the clubs and outdoor restaurants that line Main Street Banff, Gatlinburg does possess its own charm. However, for adults who forgot their camouflage, Banff wins.

Wedding Chapels


We didn’t see a single chapel in Banff. What’s a young couple, in love, supposed to do? Use a church or something? No. Head south to Gatlinburg. (Disclaimer: the minister who baptized me as a young boy left his wife and children to move to Gatlinburg with a young female church member to open a wedding chapel in Gatlinburg, so I may be somewhat prejudiced in this category). Winner: Gatlinburg.


Yes, we saw Jenifer Aniston and Chris Pratt in Banff, but let’s face it: Gatlinburg always has Dolly Parton and Paula Dean. Winner: Gatlinburg.



Author: Kevster

Kevin Slimp

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