Bounded by the Fraser River and the Salish Sea, this island city just south of Vancouver is blessed with picturesque landscapes. And while it’s celebrated for its cultural heritage and formidable spread of Asian cuisines, Richmond also has plenty of experiences that get you outside and enjoying its stunning Pacific scenery. As spring brings warmer weather and longer days, it’s time to explore the city’s many parks, cycling trails, and recreational activities, all framed by settings of natural beauty.

Nature parks and shoreline trails

Photo: Tourism Richmond

With blossoming flora and wildlife returning from migration, spring is prime time to take advantage of Richmond’s vast natural playground, which includes 140 parks and over 30 miles of trails. Spend an afternoon following the network of four winding paths that make up Richmond Nature Park. Totaling three miles, they run through forests and marshes and past tranquil ponds. Signs and interpretive displays give info about species found within the park, as well as ongoing conservation efforts.

To take in unobstructed views of downtown and distant snowcapped peaks, go for a walk, jog, or bicycle ride along the 2.5-mile Iona Jetty. Part of Iona Beach Regional Park, the jetty is located at the mouth of the Fraser River where it meets the Strait of Georgia. Birdwatchers will appreciate the variety of shorebirds and seabirds that frequent the structure, while anglers can try their luck by casting off the jetty in search of fish and crabs.

The 63 acres of Terra Nova Rural Park protect several different ecosystems — meadows, wetlands, and forests — making a great choice for a leisurely stroll or picnic. The cluster of historic buildings standing in the northeast corner of the park, including the Parsons House, Mellis House, Edwardian Cottage, and Cannery Store, pay homage to the area’s earliest settlers and honor the city’s fishing heritage. Let the kids burn some energy on the playground’s popular zip line, swirly slides, and climbing courses while you wander through the community garden, where residents cultivate fruits, vegetables, and flowers.


One Richmond trail not to miss is the 3.4-mile Middle Arm Recreational Trail and Waterfront Greenway, which traces the Middle Arm of the Fraser River and is a scenic route to walk, jog, cycle, and rollerblade. It connects different parks, neighborhoods, and viewpoints — expect stunning looks out to Sea Island and the North Shore Mountains. Along the way, stop at the Richmond Olympic Oval, gaze out at Swishwash Island from Dover Beach, and admire the public art piece titled Water #10 Vertical, a three-ton stainless-steel sculpture by Chinese artist Ren Jun installed at the corner of Cambie and River Roads. To take the journey further, Middle Arm also connects to the popular West Dyke Recreational Trail, providing access to Steveston Village.

Crowned by a giant globe sculpture, Larry Berg Flight Path Park celebrates the role of air travel in fostering global connections and cultural exchange. Positioned perfectly in line with the end of the south runway at Vancouver International Airport, the park is the ideal spot to see planes taking off and landing while picnicking on its greenspaces.

Richmond’s seasonal events

Photo: Tourism Richmond

Spring in Richmond welcomes the return of several highly anticipated events that give locals and visitors the opportunity to get outdoors, enjoy the fresh air, and celebrate the new season with cultural and culinary experiences.

The Richmond Night Market, situated one block from Bridgeport station on TransLink’s Canada Line SkyTrain system, takes place every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and statutory holidays from late April through early October. As the largest market of its kind in North America, it attracts over a million visitors each year, as well as 100+ food vendors. Gorge on Night Market favorites like tornado potatoes, sizzling noodle plates, and mango sticky rice, and wash it all down with a bubble tea. Then, turn your attention to the live music and dance performances on the main stage or weave through the stalls of handmade jewelry, cute stationery sets, and bedazzled cellphone cases.

Each May sees the return of two local-favorite farmers markets. The Kwantlen St. Farmers Market is held each Tuesday — rain or shine — at Minoru Plaza and gives Kwantlen Polytechnic students a platform to develop their own agricultural businesses within the local community. And make sure to enjoy a morning out shopping for artisan goods, treats, craft beer, and wine at the long-running Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market, which happens every other Sunday in Steveston Village.

While in the neighborhood, budget time to visit Athiana Acres, a regenerative farm committed to land restoration and enhancement through agricultural practices like cover cropping and crop rotation. The farm also cultivates various vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers, which are sold at its weekly markets each Saturday beginning in June.

Even more outdoor fun

Photo: Tourism Richmond

Spending time outside in Richmond is about more than trails and markets. But those sweeping Pacific views? They come standard no matter what you’re up to.

While navigating lush fairways and water features along the 18-hole course at Mayfair Lakes Golf & Country Club, golfers can gaze at the distant North Shore Mountains. Challenging yet playable, the lakes and waterways come into play on 13 of the holes. After a day on the green, enjoy a meal at the onsite Lakeside Grill, serving West Coast favorites like seafood chowder and roasted rack of lamb.

Whale watching season typically runs from April to October, and spring is the perfect opportunity to witness greys and humpbacks in the waters off Richmond. Board a zodiac with Steveston Seabreeze Adventures to spend up to five hours exploring the scenic Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands. Keep your eyes peeled for orcas, sea lions, bald eagles, and porpoises. Just like us, these iconic creatures know the truth: Spring is the time to be in Richmond.