Down by the River
Check out ~ New Westminster
Don’t be fooled by the name. In actuality, New Westminster is one of British Columbia’s oldest, most influential cities. In fact, for eight years of our colonial era it was the capital city and the first in the province to become incorporated.
Take that, Victoria!
Today, New Westminster (or New West, as locals often call it) remains as vibrant and bustling as it is picturesque, with some of the best shopping, scenic walks, and dining experiences in Metro Vancouver. And the best part? It’s less than thirty minutes away from Surrey…
The newly re-vamped River Market at the Quay is home to a variety of shops and eateries and of course, a market where you’ll find fresh fish, organic vegetables, artisan breads, and meats. There are restaurants here, too. Wild Rice Restaurant, for example, features Chinese food served family-style in the center of the table.
Walk off your meal with a stroll on the boardwalk! Westminster Quay Boardwalk hugs the Fraser River along one of its most idyllic stretches of the famous waterway. If your interest extends beyond a stroll, the Samson V Maritime Museum (aboard the last steam paddle wheeler to service Western Canada!) and the Fraser River Discovery Centre both contain a wealth of interesting, interpretive exhibits demonstrating the river’s impact on British Columbia.
Columbia & Front Street each feature a variety of unique antique and furniture stores. On Antique Alley (Front Street), you’ll find a wide variety of nostalgia items, electronics, furniture, and collectables. Is love in the air? Bridal stores abound in New West. For those who’ve already made it down the aisle, nesting urges can be satiated at The Urban Gypsy, where you’ll find solid hardwood furniture handmade by Indian and Asian artisans.
Queen’s Park is a local favourite for running and walking. It’s a great vantage point from which to enjoy some of the city’s heritage homes. This is home to Rainbow Playland as well – a kid’s dream-come-true that includes a petting farm, spray pool, adventure playground and endless picnic tables…
New Westminster is easily accessible from Surrey by both road and public transit. Take the SkyTrain from Surrey Central or King George Station and you’ll find an excellent photo-op from the heights of the Skybridge.
Photo Credit: City of New Westminster