A sleepy Vancouver suburb no more, the town of Richmond has come into its own with a thriving foodie scene, cosmopolitan charms, and plenty of alluring natural attractions.
1. Richmond Night Market beckons tens of thousands of hungry fairgoers on weekends (from May 11 through Oct. 8 this year). They come in search of Canadian takes on international food—think Thai curry poutine—and authentic Asian street grub such as Korean rice cake skewers and Japanese octopus balls.
2. Stroll or cycle along sloughs and dikes from the quaint Steveston quarter, a harbor-front cluster of 100- year-old stores, to London Heritage Farm. Visitors get a firsthand glimpse of bygone days at the four-acre site filled with farming and household equipment from the early 20th century.
3. The 63-acre Terra Nova Rural Park features a community garden, natural habitats for migrating birds, and wide boardwalks for viewing Pacific sunsets. Its play area includes a tandem zip line, a 32-foot-high tree house, and an aerial rope walkway.
4. With wildlife guides on board, Vancouver Whale Watch ferries passengers onto the Salish Sea to spot orcas, humpbacks, and other majestic whales amid striking maritime scenery. Harbor seals and bald eagles may also put in appearances.
5. The Richmond Olympic Oval, home of the speed-skating events during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, now operates as a public multisport arena. At the museum you can test your skills and accuracy on interactive hockey and soccer nets.