If you — like us — have been craving a change of scenery, you might be surprised to find it’s in closer range than you thought. This summer, Richmond’s raw natural beauty is on full display and we’ve scoured the region for the best warm-weather activities to fill that nagging travel void.
Just 20 minutes from downtown Vancouver, Richmond is one of those places that’s got a little bit of everything for everyone. Whether it’s a diverse dining scene or wanting to immerse yourself in nature, you’ll find it all (and everything in between) within this eclectic city.
Feeling ready to explore your own backyard? To further fuel your wanderlust, we’ve put together a two-day itinerary brimming with curated activities for the ultimate day trip or weekend getaway.
What better way to start the day than with a hearty fusion of brunch classics meets international favourites, like paellas, egg benedicts, and handmade Shanghai dumplings — just a few of the specialties on offer at the Cannery Café in Steveston Village.
Next, enjoy the serenity of Paulik Park where you can slow down and take in the wonders of the natural world within the 1.5-acre perennial garden and its beaming botanicals. Walk-off breakfast (mostly so you can make room for an equally delicious lunch) on one of the trails within this whimsical woodland and discover the public art scattered throughout.
Equally worth exploring is Minoru Park in downtown Richmond. Here, you can take it easy with a promenade around its serene lakes, gardens, and tree-lined trails — or kick things up a notch with a game of tennis or basketball at one of its many courts.
If you’re in need of some reinvigoration before embarking on an afternoon of activities, drop by Rocanini Coffee Roasters to savour a cup of Richmond’s thriving coffee scene.
From Steveston, you can hit the water for a whale-watching adventure and observe some of the local wildlife, including sea lions, herons, eagles, orcas, and (if you’re lucky) majestic humpback whales as they relish their natural habitats.
Since you’re likely to have worked up an appetite by now, pick up lunch at local favourites Pajo’s Fish & Chips or Win Win Chick-N for a picnic at Garry Point Park where — on a clear day — you can spot Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
By night, be sure to explore Fisherman’s Wharf — a dreamlike spot to catch the sunset while you catch up on the region’s history at the Britannia Shipyards and the Gulf of Georgia Cannery historical sites.
Naturally, it only seems right that the day should end with more food, given that you’re in a multicultural metropolis known for being a culinary oasis. If you’ve ever been curious as to why that is, Richmond has a dynamic, multi-ethnic population to thank for its diverse food scene.
Head to Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant for dinner on the patio and revel in the novelty of waterfront dining. If you’re in search of something more low-key, Britannia Brewing Company has village charm, cold beer, and great food in spades.
Day one will be hard to top, but we think it’s doable. For an energizing breakfast, you’ll find tons of healthy, savoury options at Goodbowl. If you’re feeling more inclined to give into your sweet tooth (you are on vacation after all), Damien’s Belgian Waffles never disappoints.
Since Richmond has over 800 restaurants, you can expect opportunities to feed your stomach and nourish your soul at every turn. The local industry has also worked tirelessly to implement new safety measures and procedures so you can safely dig in.
But enough about food! Nature is also in abundance in Richmond, including the city’s 80 kilometers worth of trails waiting to be explored by bike. Surrounded by pathways, Steveston is the perfect jumping-off point for an afternoon of biking and taking in the magnificent views of the ocean and nearby Fraser River.
Reward yourself for a vigorous morning with some banh mi from Bánh Mì Très Bon, an authentic Vietnamese restaurant specializing in freshly-made sandwiches and French desserts.
Did someone say beach day? Head over to Iona Beach Regional Park for an afternoon filled with beachside walks, bird watching, and sunbathing. McDonald Beach Park is just as lovely a spot to sit and enjoy lunch, with the added benefit of being dog-friendly. The park is teeming with laidback trails where you can take your pooch for a stroll — you’ll be sure to spot tons of planes and boats along the way.
In the event of crummy weather, never fret, there’s even an indoor beach. 6Pack Beach is the ultimate place to enjoy beach activities, like volleyball and archery tag, without the threat of rain.
Bask in that golden hour light from a local vineyard, like hidden gem Country Vines and its unique, handcrafted wines made on their family farm. Opt for the full experience with a tasting or savour a bottle and some snacks al fresco.
Alternatively — if you haven’t yet had your fill of the local craft beer scene — you can venture into the world of hops and malts at Fuggles & Warlocks. Vintage video games are aplenty at this hipster-loving locale (over 5,000 of them, actually) — as are beer tastings and artisanal snacks.
To travel afar, near, you can start planning your next trip at visitrichmondbc.com.
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