Ah, Richmond, BC! Nestled in the heart of British Columbia, this vibrant city is a treasure trove of attractions, activities, and adventures waiting to be discovered.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor, a seasoned traveller, or looking for a quick sojourn outside of Vancouver, Richmond has something for everyone.
From the city’s historical sites to its mouth-watering Asian cuisine, let’s dive into the best things to do in Richmond, BC.
Since you’re visiting our site, I’m gonna assume that Vancouver is already on your radar. So, let me introduce you to its vibrant cousin – Richmond, BC. Located a stone’s throw from Vancouver, Richmond is most famous for being the home of the Vancouver Airport (YVR).
But I’m here to show you that it is so much more. As the most Asian city in North America, Richmond is a delightful blend of East and West where history, culture, and gastronomy come alive.
From the serene shores of Steveston Village to the aromatic corridors of the Golden Village’s countless restaurants, Richmond is a testament to Canada’s multicultural spirit. So, while you’re in the vicinity, why not take a detour and let Richmond surprise you?
Here’s a look at a few of my favourite things to do in Richmond, BC.
Things to Do in Richmond, BC
- Take a glimpse into Richmond’s history.
- Embark on a culinary journey.
- Embrace Richmond, BC’s natural beauty.
- Shop ’till you drop.
- Activities for families.
Take A Glimpse into Richmond’s Rich History
Richmond is more than just a bustling urban center; it’s a living testament to Canada’s rich tapestry of cultures, histories, and artistic expressions. From its deep-rooted origins as a fishing village to its transformation into a vibrant multi-cultural city, Richmond’s journey is a captivating tale waiting to be told.
Visit Historic Steveston Village
Often dubbed as the crown jewel of Richmond, Steveston Village offers a perfect blend of the old and the new. As you stroll through the quaint streets of this picturesque harbour town, you’ll be transported back to a time to when the Fraser River salmon run dominated the local economy.
The village’s fishing heritage is evident at Fisherman’s Wharf, where you can buy fresh seafood from fishermen’s boats. If you’d prefer to be a little more hands-off, Pajo’s is a great spot to grab fish and chips. And there are also several fantastic sushi bars that recall the area’s strong Japanese heritage.
As someone who grew up in a commercial fishing family, this area is near and dear to my heart. So, I’d encourage you to check it out.
Related: 16 Unique Things to Do in Vancouver
Learn About Steveston’s Fishing Heritage at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery
You can dive deeper into Richmond’s fishing legacy at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery. This national historic site offers a peek into the West Coast’s fishing industry from inside what was once the largest of Steveston’s 15 former canneries.
Interactive exhibits, guided tours, and hands-on activities make it a must-visit for families and history buffs alike. You can check out an old canning line, walk through a herring reduction plant, or pick up some souvenirs at the gift shop.
Canada’s largest commercial small-craft fishing port is right outside the door. And who knows, you might even catch a glimpse of my family’s boat while you’re there!
Related: Vancouver’s 11 Best Museums
Celebrate Richmond’s Olympic Legacy
Remember the thrill of the 2010 Winter Olympics? Want to relive those golden moments? Well, lace up those sneakers and head over to the Richmond Olympic Oval.
Once the epicentre of speed skating events, this iconic venue now houses the Richmond Olympic Experience. Here, you can dive into interactive exhibits, get up close with Olympic memorabilia, and feel the adrenaline rush all over again. It’s like a time machine, but cooler!
But wait, there’s more! The Oval isn’t just a walk down memory lane. It’s transformed into a buzzing hub for fitness and sports. Whether you’re into rock climbing, basketball, table tennis, or ice skating, there’s something for every athlete.
Embark on a Culinary Journey through Asia
With over 800 restaurants, Richmond’s food scene is legendary, especially when it comes to Chinese cuisine. With 74 percent of the population being of Asian descent, there is no better place in North America to sample cuisine from every corner of the Orient.
Savour the Flavours of the Richmond Night Market
From the bustling lanes of Hong Kong to the serene tea houses of Kyoto, the essence of Asia converges at one place in Vancouver—the Richmond Night Market. A haven for foodies and culture enthusiasts alike, this market promises an authentic Asian experience.
The market has grown exponentially since its inception in 2000. It now offers over 110 food booths and countless vendors, offering visitors a taste of Asian street food and a shopping experience that rivals the great markets of Asia.
The market is the largest of its kind outside of Asia and attracts over 1 million visitors a year, so it is not to be missed. It runs from April to October, next to the River Rock Casino.
Hit up Richmond’s Golden Village
Richmond’s Golden Village isn’t just a neighbourhood; it’s a vibrant tapestry of cultures, a gastronomic paradise, and arguably the true heart of Vancouver’s Chinese community. If you’re looking for authentic Asian cuisine, Vancouver’s Chinatown isn’t even comparable.
What truly sets Golden Village apart is its unparalleled array of Asian restaurants. The choices are dizzying, from bustling dim sum parlours and spicy Szechuan eateries to serene tea houses and dessert cafes. If you’re a foodie, the area offers the most authentic Asian culinary experience in North America.
Here are a few recommendations:
- Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant – An upscale restaurant featuring a contemporary take on dim sum specialties, seafood dishes, and soups. Not to be missed!
- HK BBQ Master – Unassuming storefront underneath a Real Canadian Superstore that sells the most authentic Hong Kong BBQ on this side of the Pacific. The Roast Pork with crispy skin is next level.
- Manzo Izakaya – If you want an authentic Japanese experience, look no further. Famous for dozens of different robata skewers that pair perfectly with an iced cold Asahi.
- Chengdu Spicy Restaurant – My go-to spot for Szechuan-style hot pot, dumplings, and noodles. Just make sure you can take the heat!
- Empire Seafood Restaurant – Some of the best dumplings on the Dumpling Trail (I go for the Xiao Long Bao). But the massive menu seemingly has every Chinese dish under the sun.
- Aberdeen Centre Food Court – This ain’t your typical mall food court. You’ll find an endless collection of stalls that should satisfy every palette in your group. And the best part? It’s easy on the pocket!
Related: The 15 Best Restaurants in Vancouver
Take a Trek Along Richmond’s Dumpling Trail
If you’ve got a soft spot for dumplings (and let’s be real, who doesn’t?), Richmond’s got a treat for you. Introducing the Richmond Dumpling Trail – a culinary journey that’ll take your taste buds on a world tour, all within the heart of Richmond’s Golden Village.
Of the 16 succulent spots on the list, a few standouts include Empire Seafood Restaurant for its ethereal har gow, Dinesty Dumpling House with its melt-in-your-mouth xiao long bao, and Szechuan House for a spicy kick with their Szechuan-style dumplings.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg! If you’re looking for a guide, download the Dumpling Trail Brochure and get tasting!
Related: The 8 Top Vancouver Food Tours
Embrace Richmond’s Natural Beauty
Richmond is a city where urban landscapes seamlessly blend with nature’s wonders. Beyond its modern facade, Richmond boasts a plethora of lush parks, serene waterways, and outdoor adventures waiting to be discovered.
Embark on a Steveston Whale-Watching Tour
Imagine being aboard a boat, the salty breeze tousling your hair, the vast expanse of the Pacific stretching before you. And then, a majestic splash breaks the horizon – a stunning killer whale, in all its glory, dancing in its natural habitat.
This isn’t a scene from a movie; it’s what awaits you on a Steveston whale-watching tour from Fisherman’s Wharf. You’ll get a front-row seat to one of nature’s most awe-inspiring spectacles. And the best part? Sightings are guaranteed. Otherwise, you get your money back!
The waters here are teeming with life, from playful pods of orcas to gentle humpbacks and even the occasional minke or grey whale. And with free downtown shuttles available, you have no excuses!
Peep the Views at Steveston’s Garry Point Park
If you love panoramic views, Garry Point Park is the place to be. Spanning over 75 acres, this waterfront park offers unparalleled views of the Fraser River and the Gulf Islands, making it a favourite spot for photographers and sunset chasers.
Families can enjoy picnics, fly kites, or relax and soak in the beauty. There is even a small beach where you can take a dip in the mighty Fraser. And if you’re visiting in spring, the cherry blossoms are a sight to behold!
As you meander through its well-maintained trails, you’ll be greeted by the gentle rustling of tall grasses and the soothing sounds of waves lapping the shore. And be sure to check out the Fisherman’s Memorial Needle,a poignant tribute to fishermen who lost their lives at sea.
Related: The Best Parks in Vancouver
Take the Kids to Terra Nova Rural Park
Have you ever wondered what Richmond, BC, looked like before the urban sprawl? Step into Terra Nova Rural Park, and you’ll get a good idea. Once a bustling piece of farmland, this gem now stands as a testament to Richmond’s agricultural roots.
For the kiddos, the Terra Nova Adventure Play Environment is a dream. Think treehouses, slides, ziplines, and all sorts of play structures that blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings. It’s like Mother Nature built a playground herself!
But there’s more to this park than play. Wander along its waterfront trails and pathways, and you’ll be transported to a time when life moved gentler. So, be sure to make a pit stop at Terra Nova Rural Park for a journey through time with a touch of fun!
Related: 9 Things to Do in Stanley Park
Shop ’til You Drop
Richmond, BC, is your dream destination if you want to indulge in some retail therapy. The city is a shopper’s paradise; with everything from high-end boutiques to large chains and unique Asian shopping malls, there’s something for everyone.
Snag Some Deals at the McArthurGlen Outlet
McArthur Glen is the place to be if you’re looking for designer deals without designer price tags. This open-air outlet is home to over 80 stores, from Versace and Armani to Old Navy and the Nike Store.
The outlet centre is located beside the Canada Line’s Templeton Station, just 20 minutes from downtown and 10 minutes from Richmond Brighouse. It is also just two stops from Vancouver International Airport, making it a great option to kill time on a layover.
So what are you waiting for? With the planes flying overhead, it’s not just shopping; it’s an experience!
Related: The Best Shopping in Vancouver
Check Out Richmond’s Asian Shopping Malls
Looking for a more unique shopping experience? Then why not head to one of Richmond’s famous Asian malls? You’ll feel like you’ve left the continent, only you won’t need your passport!
Aberdeen Centre, Yaohan Centre, and Parker Place offer a mix of fashion, food, and fun. Each will provide you with a treasure trove of finds, from the latest tech gadgets to timeless tea sets. And I promise the food courts will put Panda Express to shame!
Whether you’re looking for traditional Chinese herbs or the latest in Asian fashion, these malls have it all. So dive into a world where East meets West, and every corner holds a delightful surprise.
Activities for Families
While many of the activities I’ve mentioned are enjoyable for visitors of all ages, children aren’t necessarily the target audience. So, here is a quick look at some of my favourite Richmond activities for families.
Experience Richmond, BC With Kids
If you’re plotting your next big outing with the little ones, Richmond, BC, is calling your name. The area is packed with activities that’ll have them grinning from ear to ear, this city is a playground for all ages.
Here are a few of the most popular options:
- WCA Carnival – West Coast Amusements brings their travelling carnival to the parking lot outside Richmond’s Landsdowne Mall every spring. You’ll find rides, midway games, food, and music that’ll be sure to every kid’s liking. In 2023, the event lasted from March 30th to April 10th.
- Planet Lazer: Allow your children to channel their inner warrior and engage in a friendly laser tag battle. With state-of-the-art equipment and themed arenas, it’s an experience you won’t forget.
- TBC Kart Racing: Feel the adrenaline rush as you race against time in a thrilling go-karting session. Whether you’re a pro or a newbie, go-karting in Richmond is a must-try.
- Richmond Extreme Air Park: Let your children jump, flip, and bounce at Canada’s largest trampoline park. With over 42,000 square feet of trampolines, this park is a hit among kids and adults alike.
- Watermania: This family-friendly aquatic facility has a 57-metre competition pool and 3,000 square foot fitness centre. But for the little ones, the interactive wave pool, waterslides, and diving boards will be the main attraction.
Things to Do in Richmond FAQs
All set for your trip to Richmond, BC?
Delving into the things to do in Richmond, BC, we’ve uncovered a city that’s vibrant, diverse, and brimming with life.
From the historic charm of Steveston Village to the culinary wonders of the Dumpling Trail, Richmond beckons with promises of new discoveries.
So, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning traveller, Richmond always has something new to offer.