Welcome to Richmond, British Columbia!
Next door to Vancouver and nestled where the Pacific Ocean and the Fraser River meet is the city of Richmond, BC, home to the iconic Richmond Olympic Oval, 26 brand-name hotels and the Vancouver International Airport. This thriving multicultural destination city with a population of 193,255 offers a growing range of cultural, heritage, culinary and leisure experiences for all ages and abilities.
This is a city of contrasts where the Far East meets the West Coast. Waterfront boardwalks, a flourishing Asian culture, local farms, National Historic Sites, whale-watching tours, seaside trails and some of the best West Coast sunsets – there is so much to explore.
The influence of Richmond’s 65 per cent Asian-Canadian population can be seen in the city’s Asian-inspired malls, specialty grocery stores, many temples and 375+ Asian restaurants. The city is famous for having the best Chinese food outside of China, and the place to start is in the bustling Golden Village. You can eat your way through this authentically Asian district -- Vietnamese noodle soups, Malaysian curries, Chinese hotpot -- along Alexandra Road, nicknamed “Food Street” by locals. Within a four-block radius, there are 300+ shops and services including Asian specialty grocery stores, jewelry stores, art galleries and the latest designer fashions from Hong Kong, Tokyo and Taipei.
For a truly West Coast and heritage experience visitors must go to one of British Columbia’s most charming getaways, Steveston Village in the southwest corner of Richmond. In the early 1900s, Steveston was one of the busiest fishing ports in the world. Today it’s an exciting destination for West Coast shopping, dining, and entertainment. Stroll Fisherman’s Wharf, home to the largest commercial fishing fleet in Canada. Enjoy the views and local seafood at one of the waterfront patios along the wooden boardwalk. Go on a whale-watching adventure to see Orca Whales, porpoises, sea lions, eagles and other wildlife. Nearby Garry Point Park is a favourite with families thanks to its sandy beaches, picnic areas, kite flying conditions and spectacular summer sunsets.
Top 10 things to do in Richmond:
1. Visit the Historic Fishing Village of Steveston
One of BC’s most charming getaways, Steveston, located in the southwest corner of Richmond, is a family-friendly neighbourhood and charming destination for West Coast shopping, dining and exploring. Established in the early 1800’s during the fishing cannery boom, the now historic village is still home to Canada’s largest commercial fishing port. Stroll Fisherman’s Wharf and buy fresh seafood or visit the very popular Steveston Farmers and Artisans Market in summer.
2. Explore the Golden Village
Heralded as a Mecca for all things Asian, the Golden Village is a bustling commercial district in the heart of Richmond with three Asian malls featuring the latest designer fashions from Hong Kong, Tokyo and Taipei, authentic Asian grocery stores and cultural attractions. Within a four-block radius, there are 300+ shops and services including 200 Asian restaurants on Alexandra Road or “Food Street”. Located between Aberdeen and Lansdowne Canada Line Stations.
3. Go on a whale-watching adventure
Have you ever seen a whale up close? You can from Richmond! Go on a whale-watching adventure or tour with professional naturalists from April to October to see Orca Whales, Killer Whales, porpoises, sea lions, bald eagles, seals and other wildlife. Two local operators – Steveston Seabreeze Adventures (www.seabreezeadventures.ca) and Vancouver Whale Watch (www.vancouverwhalewatch.com) – offer daily whale watching excursions with an over 90% sighting success rate. Both companies are based out of Steveston Village in southwest Richmond.
4. Walk through the International Buddhist Temple
Step into the peaceful and beautiful world of the second largest Buddhist Temple in North America. This temple has many impressive statues including the 26-metre-long (85-foot) Seven Buddha Mural. Drive up No 5 Road known as the “Highway to Heaven” and find another 20 temples, mosques and churches. 9160 Steveston Hwy, 604-274-2822, www.buddhisttemple.ca
5. See Steveston’s two National Historic Sites
Step back in time and visit Steveston’s two impressive National Historic Sites celebrating BC’s fishing past. Built in 1894, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, the largest of 15 salmon canning plants, is a tribute to the fishing industry through fascinating, child-friendly interactive displays and exhibits. Drop by Britannia Heritage Shipyard, featuring 11 buildings that tell the story of the multicultural lives of workers and their families. 12138 Fourth Avenue, 604-664-9134, www.pc.gc.ca/gulfofgeorgiacannery
6. Try bird watching at Iona Beach Regional Park
With over 90 parks and greens paces, Richmond holds the bragging rights as one of the healthiest cities. Go cycling, picnicking, or bird watching at Iona Beach Regional Park, and watch 300 species of birds feed and rest on Iona’s beautiful sandy beaches. Iona Island, near Vancouver International Airport, www.richmond.ca/parks
7. Walk or bike the dykes
The 80 km of connecting dyke trails virtually encircle Richmond and are used by walkers and cyclists to access heritage sites, dykes and parks. Pick up a trail map and explore Richmond’s seaside trails. All the trails are relatively flat, so travellers of all ages and abilities can experience these beautiful natural environments. www.richmond.ca/parks
8. Take part in Richmond’s festivals and events
With its multicultural population and fascinating history, Richmond’s annual festivals and events are high-energy, family-friendly and full of culture. Three of the most popular annual events include the Chinese New Year celebrations, the Steveston Salmon Festival, and the Asian-inspired Summer Night Market. www.tourismrichmond.com
9. Sample Richmond’s wineries
Did you know that Richmond is home to three wineries? They produce delicious fruit wines in fresh flavours like blueberry and cranberry. Drop by for a tour and tasting. Lulu Island Winery (www.luluislandwinery.com), Sanduz Estate Winery (www.sanduzwines.com), and Isabella Winery (www.isabellawinery.com)
10. Tour the Richmond Olympic Oval
Now that the 2010 Olympic Winter Games are over, this iconic venue is being transformed into a world-class, multi-purpose international centre of excellence for sports, health, and wellness. Tours are available. No reservations required. www.richmondoval.ca
Other Useful Information
Getting around Richmond:
Tourism Richmond (link to http://www.tourismrichmond.com/visitors/listing.aspx?folder_id=244)
Translink (link to www.translink.ca)
Festivals and Events:
Tourism Richmond Festivals and Events (link to http://www.tourismrichmond.com/visitors/listing.aspx?folder_id=262)
Visit Tourism Richmond’s website www.tourismrichmond.com, one of our Visitor Centres, call toll free at 1-877-247-0777, or email: email@example.com
Tourism Richmond Visitor Centre (Annual) Hwy 99 - 11980 Deas Thruway
Steveston Visitor Centre (Seasonal) 3rd Avenue and Moncton Street