Flight Path Park

Last week, a reader told me about a place in Richmond I’ve passed many times but had never noticed.  Flight Path Park is on Sea Island, right across from the BCIT Aerospace Centre and directly below many an airplane’s path.

Flight Path Park

With mighty mountains in the distance and YVR’s runways spread out before you, you can watch as planes and helicopters come in for landing, AND have a picnic!

Flight Path Park

My friend Alejandro agreed to join me for the afternoon, specifically with the goal of making a short video (his girlfriend Marnie helped me with the first 365 picnic film – these two clearly love their outdoor lunches).

Flight Path Park

We picked a splendid day for it.


Wanting to keep the whole thing near the airport, we picked up lunch at The Sideslip Café, which is in the Avitat building near YVR’s South Terminal.

Sideslip Cafe

It’s open for breakfast and lunch, and while they do a lot of catering (including in-flight), you can also get takeout or dine in.  The menu is pretty simple – a variety of breakfasts, burgers, sandwiches, paninis, soups, and salads; we opted for a roast beef panini ($6.99) and meatloaf burger ($6.99), with a side of pea soup ($2) and coleslaw ($3.25).

Sideslip Cafe

With our lunch ready to go, we drove back to the park and set about making our film, the premise of which we decided on approximately 30 seconds before we started filming it (I like to think spontaneity adds colour).  Because we’d forgotten a picnic blanket, we used Alejandro’s bouldering crash pad which, as you’ll see in the video, can conveniently be worn as a backpack!

Flight Path Park

The park has an open field, as well as a number of picnic tables and a paved kids’ area with a battered windsock at its centre.

Flight Path Park windsock

From the flagpole, directions are marked out towards various domestic and international cities, and there’s a plaque describing all the different planes that fly out of YVR.

Yellowknife sign at Flight Path Park

Perfect for those who like birdwatching, but prefer the birds to be made out of metal.

Flight Path Park plaque

Lunch was pretty basic, but filling.

picnic lunch at Flight Path Park

The meals came with bags of potato chips, and our favourite sandwich of the two was the roast beef panini.

potato chips

It wasn’t exactly glamorous looking, but it was hearty, and had a yummy spread of horseradish in it.

roast beef panini

The meatloaf burger was enormous, but unfortunately the meat itself was rather dry.

meatloaf burger

Oddly enough, it has inspired me to make meatloaf at home in the near future, because while this dish so often gets laughed at, when it’s good, it is SO GOOD!


The soup was tasty, and the coleslaw was exactly what we expected – mayo-y and crunchy.  Sideslip Café doesn’t do fancy food, but it is an easy way to pull together a picnic.

soup and coleslaw

We hung around for a while longer to film, then decided to stop in at the River Rock Casino; I’ve often found the bus platform below the Canada Line is a good plane watching area.

planes overhead the Canada Line

We watched a few more from there, then headed home so Alejandro could edit this little diddy together.  What a talented guy.  Enjoy!

*Flight Path Park is getting a facelift!  Click here to check out the plans.  Also, a huge thank you to Karen for the tip!


The Sideslip Cafe

5360 Airport Road South, #100 Richmond BC


Cash and cards accepted

Vegetarian options available (including a falafel burger and veggie panini)