It’s that time of year when T-shirts become wardrobe staples and the sunny weather beckons you outdoors. But summer in Richmond is also perfect for picnicking on the cool grass or at a local tree-shaded picnic table.
Read on for some of our favourite picnic destinations in the city. And if you’re an outdoor-dining newbie, check out our handy tips for making your alfresco meal run smoother than a rich serving of creamy potato salad.
Garry Point Park
12011 7th Avenue
With its huge expanse of invitingly soft grass, Garry Point Park is a favourite outdoor hangout near Steveston Village. It's an ideal spot to spread your blanket and unpack your hamper of treats. You’ll also find a handful of picnic tables near the 75-acre park’s entrance if you don't fancy sitting on the ground, and there are some great areas along the waterfront where you can find a bench or a spot on the beach.
Tip: This park is famous for its rustic beaches and ocean vistas. Save time to stroll its circuit trail and check out Kuno Garden and Scotch Pond.
Takeout ideas: Along with a seasonal concession stand serving fresh-made fish and chips and heaping scoops of ice cream, there’s no lack of takeout options nearby. Whether it’s a poke bowl from Purpose Smoothie, a slice of pizza from Pizza Factory (or a pie to share), or some fried chicken from Win Win Chick-N, there’s something for everyone.
There are plenty of great places to picnic at Garry Point Park. | Photo: Tourism Richmond
7191 Granville Avenue
This highly accessible, tree-lined park in Richmond’s city centre is full of fragrant flowerbeds and enticing walking routes. But it also has 20 picnic tables if you fancy dining alfresco without sprawling on the grass. Minoru Park's city centre location means you’re close to dozens of local restaurants, making it the perfect spot to turn up with takeout and enjoy an impromptu outdoor feast.
Tip: The park’s cool playground is popular with kids. It's also walking distance to the Richmond Art Gallery, which recently re-opened.
Know before you go: There's some construction happening at Minoru Park until September 2020, but it shouldn’t impact your enjoyment of the park. The Minoru Artificial Turf Field within the track is being replaced, and a one-way walking route has been implemented around the track.
Takeout ideas: Pick up something from the newly opened Free Bird Table & Bar, such as their Nashville hot chicken sandwich; or head over to Harold’s Kitchen & Bar to pick up a delicious teriyaki rice bowl or a classic cheeseburger.
Garden City Community Park
6620 Garden City Road
Loved by families for its excellent playground (the climbing nets are guaranteed to work up an appetite), this 17-acre Richmond green space has seven picnic tables and a large picnic area that sees plenty of sunny-day dining action. Be sure to add an hour or two to your visit so you can check out Garden City Community Park's other charms after your picnic.
Tip: Garden City’s two-acre arboretum area showcases dozens of Pacific Rim tree species. Look out for everything from Garry Oaks to Monkey Puzzle trees.
Takeout ideas: Down the street and around the corner is the Richmond Public Market, where you can pick up bubble tea, Taiwanese chicken nuggets, hand-pulled noodles, and more. You can also pick up some fresh fruit for dessert from the produce stands on the first floor!
Garden City Community Park is the perfect place to do some exploring and enjoy a picnic. | Photo: John Lee
Larry Berg Flight Path PArk
Russ Baker Way
If you fancy spreading a picnic blanket out on the grass and gazing at airplanes as they fly overhead and land just ahead of you, this unique Richmond green space is the place to be. Larry Berg Flight Path Park is tucked just past the perimeter fence at Vancouver International Airport, and it's an inviting area with plenty of space for your picnic blanket (there are also picnic tables and benches to perch at).
Tip: The information panels here will help your spot specific planes, while the soft-surface globe invites kids to clamber on top and travel the world on foot.
Takeout ideas: There are a couple great restaurants not too far away. Head over to the Flying Beaver Bar & Grill and get them to pack up their Buffalo chicken wrap or their famous wild BC salmon burger for a nice picnic meal. Alternatively, the nearby Fairmont Vancouver Airport is offering a special Summer Picnic Cruise Kit, priced per person. There’s even a children’s meal option available!
McDonald Beach Park
3500 McDonald Road
Located on the north shoreline of Sea Island, this 26-acre away-from-it-all park has legions of loyal fans but it rarely feels crowded. Offering ever-changing views across the busy Fraser River (boats and log booms included), many of its 17 rpicnic tables are tucked under a cooling waterfront canopy of leafy trees.
Tip: There’s a boat launch at this park, as well as a popular off-leash area where dogs can frolic in the water.
Know before you go: This park closes at sunset (or around 9:00pm during the summer), and the designated BBQ areas are open!
Takeout ideas: This park is just minutes away from McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport, where a new food hall has some great options. Snag fresh sandwiches with house-made sauces from Chachi’s, or a heaping bowl of salad goodness from Dirtbelly. Top it off with a glass of juice from the aptly named restaurant, Freshly Squeezed.
Enjoy great views wile you picnic at McDonald Beach Park. | Photo: Tourism Richmond
Most of our suggestions have public washrooms. And if you’re not planning to bring a blanket, they each provide picnic tables as well. Keep in mind that tables can be popular during peak times, though; consider dining off peak or bringing a blanket just in case they're full when you arrive.
While coolers are less photogenic, they’re also more practical than picnic baskets. Pack cold or frozen drink containers to keep everything cool (it’s also important to stay hydrated when you’re out in the sun). Be sure to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and wet wipes or napkins. And, after finishing your feast, make sure you properly dispose of your garbage and take everything home with you.
Finally, if you’re planning a full summer of picnicking in Richmond, click here for a handy list of additional Richmond picnic locations.