Over the years, Richmond has quickly ascended the ranks of emerging cities and begun turning heads internationally for its stunning vistas and worldly food scene.
One thing we love about Vancouver’s closest neighbouring city is even after many repeat visits, we’ve really only scratched the surface of what there is to discover. So, if you’re contemplating a change of scenery, consider heading southbound to explore its treasure trove of lesser-known gems.
To make your life easier, we’ve put together a list of under-the-radar experiences that will keep your next staycation or day trip brimming with first-time experiences. From animated local events to delectable eats, allow yourself to be transported abroad — without leaving the Lower Mainland.
International Buddhist Temple
You probably already know that Richmond is full of historic monuments and heritage sites, but you may not know it’s home to the most expansive International Buddhist Temple in North America.
Stepping inside, it’s easy to mistake it for Beijing’s Forbidden City. The authentic Chinese imperial architecture gives way to a prism of vibrant tiles, vaulted ceilings, intricate iconography, and lush gardens.
Richmond is also a magnet for film productions — hosting roughly 50 a year. From Hollywood blockbusters to your favourite primetime TV shows, the city is a set go-to.
Once Upon a Time, Deadpool, Supernatural, The X-Files, and Godzilla are just a few of the smashes that were captured in Richmond’s distinctive setting. To imagine yourself in the middle of the action, you can tour your favourite set locations — and maybe even catch a glimpse of new productions taking place.
Like a trail of breadcrumbs (but better), you’re going to want to make sure you’re hungry before embarking on this mouthwatering tour of Richmond’s most delicious dumplings. Sample the many savoury varieties of this bite-sized delight, from 20 local restaurants with reputations for having some of the best dumplings around.
Unleash your inner foodie at popular joints like the Shanghai-inspired Xiao Long Bao, the seafood-laced dumplings of Har Gow, and the decorative dim sum of Siu Mai. Need to brush up on your dumpling knowledge? There’s even a catalogue you can consult.
In the summer months, Richmond is a gold mine of local festivals that animate the city with splashes of lively colour, vibrant music, and mouthwatering aromas and flavours. Among them is the Richmond Maritime Festival. Taking place on August 21 and 22, the festival takes place at the Britannia Shipyards site and will feature historic ships from close up, live music and performances, and a full fleet of local food trucks.
Of equal merit is the Richmond Grand Prix of Art happening on September 4 in Steveston Village, whereby artists can set up their easels and paint their way to a prize while art lovers admire from afar and enjoy the post-painting festivities.
As daylight dissipates, the air at the Richmond Night Market becomes electrified. An ode to the elaborate night markets and hawker stands of Asia, yet again you’ll feel transported to somewhere far off.
Shop until you drop under the stream of colourful lights and sample the authentic street food of over 70 food stalls and 100 retail vendors.
HK BBQ Master
Tucked in the back of a parking garage, HK BBQ Master is the place to go for Hong Kong-style honey BBQ pork, crispy roasted pork, soy chicken, and roasted duck.
As evidenced by its recent appearance on Netflix show Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner — starring actor Seth Rogen and Momofuku-creator David Chang — this Cantonese spot is high on the list of Richmond’s hidden foodie gems.
Larry Berg Flight Path Park
If you’re looking to reconnect with nature, Richmond has no shortage of green spaces to tap into. But if you have an affinity for airplanes Larry Berg Flight Path Park is your ticket. Located near one of Vancouver International Airport’s busy runways, it’s a great spot for a picnic with an interesting view.
Terra Nova Adventure Park
This innovative park is sure to spark your inner kid. It’s also one of the most unique ways to connect with Richmond’s wild side as the dynamic play environment — which includes ziplines and playgrounds — is steeped in farm fields and tall trees.
Don’t be surprised if you spot some local wildlife, like bald eagles and raptors.
Wine tasting on Lulu Island
This $7 million facility is one of the best spots to sample the fruits (literally) of the Lower Mainland. Once renowned for its icewines, today Lulu Island Winery has expanded its offering to include a variety of red and white wines.
The Tuscan-style property boasts multiple tasting rooms where you can spend an afternoon savouring their assortment of wines, alongside a tasty charcuterie platter.
To rediscover Richmond and start planning your next staycation, go to visitrichmondbc.com.