Richmond’s parks, trails, and gardens burst into a spectacular life with an abundance of fresh foliage and vibrant flower action at this time of year.
In fact, for many locals and visitors, spring only starts when the cherry blossoms erupt on countless city trees––attracting camera-wielding fans from far and wide. Cameras are also recommended for an equally beguiling outdoor spectacle. Whale watching sets sail here every spring, with Steveston-based operators ready to zip you by boat for magical meet-ups with orcas, seals, eagles and more.
Local farmers’ and artisan markets unfurl across Richmond at this time of year, and they are a great way to rub shoulders with regional makers and producers. But keep your appetite primed for another unique outdoor event. Launching every spring, the huge Richmond Night Market is a sensory extravaganza of vendors, live performances and steam-shrouded food stands serving everything from authentic Asian dishes to adventurous fusion cuisine.
Still hungry? This is a great time of year to dive into the fresh-catch seafood sold from the backs of the bobbling boats lining Steveston’s Fisherman’s Wharf––spot prawns included. And while you’re here, consider a sunny day stroll around the adjoining village, where boutique shops and independent restaurants await.
Events and Festivals
- Lansdowne Centre Carnival
- Spot Prawn & Seafood Celebration
- Steveston Famers & Artisans Market
- The Kwantlen St. Farmers Market
Food and Beverage
Nature & Trails
Nature & Trails
Geocaching: seek, clamber, find treasure, repeat.
For an exciting, inexpensive, and satisfying family-friendly day out, it’s hard to beat geocaching. Use a smartphone or other GPS device to find hidden treasures around the city in caches (usually a small waterproof container with a logbook and writing tool, sometimes a couple of trinkets). Under its dedicated GeoTour program, Richmond has 2 separate geocache series: the Geo-Quest series of 30 caches and the Canada 150 series of 20 caches. Caches are located in parks, on trails and at community facilities across the city. Download a digital GeoTour passport or pick up a printed copy from the Richmond Nature Park’s Nature House. Use this to record your progress. For more information on Richmond’s popular GeoTour program, click here. For more handy tips, here’s a link on Geocaching.
Iona Beach Regional Park
This beautiful natural setting lies just northwest of Vancouver International Airport. It overlooks Vancouver Island to the west and Vancouver to the north. Trails here are beachside, or are sandy and unmarked. The beach is long, rugged, and sits amid the Pacific Flyway, making it a hub for thousands of migratory birds. There’s also a 4-kilometre (2.5 mile) jetty with a walkway extending out into the Strait of Georgia—a wonderful place to watch planes.
Richmond Nature Park
Four walking trails totaling over 5 kilometres wind their way through 200 acres of raised peat bog, allowing good opportunities to view a spectrum of plants and animals in their natural habitat. Each season brings with it something new, like owls in the autumn and hummingbirds in the spring. The park’s Nature House is open daily and has an interpretive centre featuring displays, a working beehive, and a gift shop.
Garden City Community Park
Here, you’ll find the Arboretum, a collection of over 100 species of trees from around the Pacific Rim planted within a 2-acre area. Aside from the walking trails through this beautiful canopy, you’ll find a popular playground that was partially designed and built by kids aged 5 to 16.
The West Dyke Recreational Hiking Trail
12km round-trip 2 hours to walk
Running from Steveston to the Middle Arm of the Fraser River, this walking and cycling trail is a popular sunrise and sunset-watching destination. It also offers handsome views of the regional mountains to the north. Click here for additional trail information; click here for a route map.
The Middle Arm Recreational Trail and Waterfront Greenway
11km round-trip 2 hours to walk
This scenic trail offers views of Sea Island and the Vancouver International Airport (YVR), and the imposing North Shore Mountains. It begins at the north end of the West Dyke Trail and runs along the waterfront to Cambie Road (a short walk from the Canada Line’s Aberdeen Station). Click here for additional trail information; click here for a route map.
The Railway Greenway Tail
Round-trip 10km 1.5 to walk
Running north and south from the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site to the Middle Arm Dyke Trail, this route fuses pastoral and neighbourhood pit stops. Look out for the nearby historic Branscombe House, Imperial Landing and, of course, Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site. Click here for additional trail information; click here for a route map.
The Steveston and South Dyke Trail
Round-trip 12m 2 hours to walk.
Start at Garry Point Park and head east. As you leave Steveston’s charming boardwalk waterfront, you’ll enter the South Dyke agricultural area, a rural swathe of produce and berry fields. You’ll pass the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, Imperial Landing, Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, Gilbert Beach, London Heritage Farm, and Finn Slough. Click here for additional trail information; click here for a route map.
The East Richmond/Queen’s Canal Recreational Trail
Round-trip 18.4km four hours to walk
Running alongside the North Arm of the Fraser River, this lively shoreline walk starts where No. 6 Road nears River Road. It then weaves eastwards along the waterfront to Hamilton Highway Park. You’ll enjoy vistas of the boating community with marinas, float homes, boat-builders, and more. Click here for additional trail information; click here for a route map.
From barn owls to salmon and blue whales to frogs, Richmond’s wildlife is thriving. It’s the West Coast; after all, we’re famous for it. Keep your eyes open, and who knows what you’ll see. Please always remember to be respectful of wildlife, keep your distance at all times, and never feed any wildlife you come across, no matter how cute they are. Wild animals need to stay wild to thrive.
Birders’ Paradise Found
Richmond is located along the Pacific Flyway, a major migratory route for many birds. It is one of British Columbia’s great birding capitals—an island city studded with unique, easy-access spotting opportunities. You may see bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, and barred owls. Keep an eye out for resident seabirds, including sandpipers, killdeer, gulls, and our most iconic bird, the Great Blue Heron. From winter visitors to a year-round rotation of raptors, shorebirds, waterfowl, the area’s parks and shorelines host one of Canada’s most diverse avian populations. Here’s our birding map to help you identify each local and migratory species and the BC Bird Trail for all of your province-wide watching.
Epic, Beautiful, Unforgettable
The majesty of watching these giants of the sea in all their glory while your boat skips along BC’s coastal waters, it’s an unmatched experience. While Orcas are often the main attraction, humpback, gray, and minke whales can be seen depending on the time of year. Keep an eye out for the Orcas of the Salish Sea, three pods (families) of resident Orcas that live and play in the waters off the BC and Washington coast. Steveston Seabreeze Adventures and Vancouver Whale Watch both offer incredible and informative tours. Tours depart daily from Steveston (April to October). Keep an eye out for seals, otters, eagles, and other birds along the way!
Fishing—the quintessential Pacific experience
Whether you’ve never fished or you’re a seasoned angler, Richmond has something to satisfy your fishing needs. Steveston Seabreeze Adventures offers popular small-group charters from Steveston with all equipment and expertise provided. If you have gear and prefer your own pace, Richmond has five major shoreline fishing locations to consider: Imperial Landing, No. 2 Road Fishing Pier and Float, No. 3 Road Sports Fishing Pier, No. 7 Road Pier, and Mitchell Island Pier. If you require any equipment, Berry’s Bait & Tackle is the place to go.
Take a walk on the wild side.
Richmond is full of wildlife habitats—Wetlands, bogs, and lush greenery serve as important ecosystems that host numerous species of plants and animals, and birds. You might spot turtles, otters, and several other land mammals, not to mention the whales out in the open sea, along with diverse species of fish and marine life. While you explore the parks, here’s a few of the creatures you might spot!
- River otters
- Sea lions
Richmond Nature Park is a great place to escape and observe wildlife. It has
80 hectares of raised peat bog, forest, and pond habitats house colourful hummingbirds, dragonflies, and bog flowers in the spring and summer. Come fall, the fascinating fungi cover the forest floor. Check out these brochures detailing the birds, butterflies, and plants found throughout the park or visit the Nature House for more information.
The Best Time of Year is All Year Long
If events are your passion, Richmond has many to choose from. Chinese New Year—also known as Lunar New Year—is one of Richmond’s Chinese community’s most important events. The next Chinese New Year is February 1, 2022.
Richmond has lots of spring break activities at attractions, historic sites, and community centres. There is always a full slate of kid-friendly things to see and do, like the Lansdowne Centre Outdoor Spring Carnival.
May to September
The Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market is held on certain Sundays, featuring fresh produce, handmade jewelry, artisan crafts, and live entertainment. The market is located in the parking lot across from the Steveston Community Centre.
May to October
On weekends, the Richmond Night Market offers clothes, gadgets, and other merchandise alongside booths serving sweet and savoury street food and exotic drinks, all set to a soundtrack of live music, vocal merchants, cultural performances, and carnival games.
Doors Open Richmond is an annual arts, culture, and heritage festival that offers free activities and experiences to visitors and locals of all ages at up to fifty partner sites. These include National Historic Sites, museums, places of worship, art studios, city facilities, and specialty businesses.
Canada’s “biggest little birthday party” used to draw more than 70,000 people to Steveston every year. It kicks off with a pancake breakfast and parade, followed by various exhibits, live music, and performances. The highlights are the salmon barbecue, where more than 1,200 pounds of fresh salmon is grilled over open fire pits and a jaw-dropping fireworks display.
Don’t miss Steveston’s Winter in the Village during December. It’s an annual ritual for many families who wander the twinkling, festive streets, getting into the spirit of the season.
Share Your #RichmondMoments This Spring
Share your stay with us on Instagram tag us at #RichmondMoments for a chance to be featured on our Instagram (@VisitRichmondBC). See below for a small taste of Pacific. Authentic. Richmond’s locals and visitors.