Richmond, set about 25 minutes south of Vancouver, is more than just a suburb. This shipping-industry city has boutique shopping and 80 kilometres of flat-dyke trails. The First Nations settled in the area to fish and collect berries, and they were still here when a group of European farmers first settled in the area, around the Fraser River. While it was not an easy task to farm the land here, Richmond would become known for its diverse array of crops.
The European settlers had to build dykes in order to have any success with cultivation, and many of these have now become trails. Waterfront trails, bike lanes and interior trails draw Richmond visitors outside. A popular 6-kilometre route is Stevenson and South Dyke, which takes approximately an hour to walk around, taking Richmond visitors through the Steveston fishing village. The agricultural area outside of Steveston features seasonal fields and views of the river and Mount Baker. During the walk, Richmond tourists can stop at Garry Point Park, a 39-acre park on the waterfront with a Japanese garden; the Gulf of Georgia, a historic site and former salmon cannery; or Imperial Landing, another waterfront park, featuring British Columbia Packers artifacts and signage.
Indoors, the arts and theatre scene is something Richmond tourists will find of note. The Arts Centre downtown brings the arts to both children and adults via classes and performances. The centre is located on the second floor of the Richmond Cultural Centre, alongside the library, museum, archives and art gallery. The gallery exhibits contemporary works by artists from around Canada, while the museum houses an archaeology display as part of a rotating array of exhibitions on the history and environment of Richmond.
The Gateway Theatre is northwest of the Cultural Centre, between Minoru Park and the Richmond Hospital. The theatre not only houses the Gateway Academy for the Performing Arts, but is also a rental venue for businesses and community groups. Minoru Park is in the city centre of Richmond, and has walking paths, as well as sports facilities like two bowling greens, five tennis courts and a basketball court.
Shoppers will want to visit the Richmond Centre, just north of Minoru Park and the Cultural Centre. This mall has more than 240 different shops and restaurants including Sephora, La Vie en Rouse and Guess. The sweet fishing town of Steveston Village sports a number of local shops and restaurants, such as the Gudrun Tasting Room, a favourite for its French contemporary menu, wine list and jovial atmosphere.
Big River Brew Pub, southeast of the city centre on the banks of the Fraser River, is a venue for relaxed dining and beer drinking. The brewing action can be viewed through large glass walls, and a range of beers are on tap. Mad Greek Restaurant, just north of the City Centre, features contemporary Greek food in an rustic, friendly setting. The restaurant opened in 1997 as a small 40-seat eatery and has since expanded into a 160-seat dining destination.