Listed below you will find some of the highlights of New Westminster. Our Greeters are more than willing to take you to some of these places. However, our Greeters also want to show you the things that are hard to discover on your typical highlights page. They will be able to tailor your greet in order to allow you to experience our city in a more authentic and personalized way.
Food and Drinks
New West has become a culinary destination of sorts in recent years. More and more world-class restaurants are choosing to call this city home and we’re not complaining! Here you can enjoy a wide array of foods. From the eateries of the River Market (i.e. plant-based joint, Amaranthus or the Asian street-food inspired, Longtail Kitchen) to Colombia Street’s renowned, El Santo, the sky’s the limit. Grab a drink at one of the Royal City’s alcoholic establishments such as Steel & Oak Brewing Co. or the Pacific Breeze Urban Winery. Or, simply grab your go-to beverage from one of the many coffee shops in the area. Old Crow Coffee Co, The Hideout Cafe and Truffles Fine Foods are all great places!
El Santo, Old Crow Coffee Co., Steel & Oak Brewing Co., River Market, Piva Modern Italian, Pacific Breeze Urban Winery, Wild Thyme, Kelly O’Bryans Neighbourhood Restaurant, Hyack Sushi, Pizzeria Ludica, Longtail Kitchen, Amaranthus
Arts and Culture
New West is also home to a vibrant arts and culture scene; premium performance destinations such as the Massey Theatre, Columbia Theatre and the Anvil Centre Theatre are highly-praised venues. Come here to catch anything from a theatrical production to a concert or intimate comedy show. Also, our art galleries have a lot to offer. The Van Dop Gallery, Anvil Centre’s Community Art Space, and the New Media Gallery are all potential options, as new attractions are always in rotation. In addition, there are many pieces of public art to be found around the city. Some are easily viewed, while others are more discreetly placed. Consider walking to and from destinations one day to discover some of these hidden pieces.
Festivals and Events
Unbeknownst to many, New Westminster plays host to some fantastic festivals year-round. Fridays on Front is a fun-filled festival equipped with food, drinks, and live music. It runs Friday evenings in July and August and is meant for children and adults alike! Uptown Unplugged, Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Festival, the Grand Prix, and the Pride Week festivities are additional events in effect, just to name a few. To see a full schedule of all upcoming New West festivals and events, click here.
Museums and Heritage
As the original capital city of BC, New West is steeped in a long and fascinating history; just walking down Carnarvon St, you’re able to see a variety of old historic buildings integrated into the new complexes. This fascinating intermingling creates a very unique and eclectic blend of timelines and cultures. Learn more about the city’s conception and subsequent reconstructions by stopping by the New Westminster Museum and Archives (located in the Anvil Centre). After, continue into this living museum of a city by visiting Samson V. Located next to the Inn at the Quay, Samson V is the last surviving wooden steam-powered sternwheeler. This interesting relic was originally built for the Federal Department of Public Works in the late 1930’s, but now it serves as a mini-museum. As well, don’t forget to check out some of the Heritage homes in the Queen’s Park neighbourhood. Irving House is one of the earliest community heritage sites in British Columbia, dating back to 1865. Guides within the home dress in traditional attire of the time period and walk you through the stories of the building’s old inhabitants.
Learn more about the past of British Columbia’s oldest park. Queen’s Park was officially established in 1887. The park has seen everything from large provincial exhibitions, to visits from British Royalty and army barracks during the two World Wars. Furthermore, stop by Pier Park, one of our newest public parks that opened in 2012. Sitting upon previously industrial land, Pier Park is helping to revitalize New West’s waterfront area.
New Westminster is increasingly becoming a premier shopping destination for Greater Vancouver. Columbia Street features the largest concentration of bridal stores in the region and many vintage boutiques are situated here, too. The city is home to unique small AND large shopping experiences. From the little shops in and around Downtown (Mila+Paige, Good Omen, etc.), to the larger Royal City Shopping Centre or Queensborough Landing Shopping Outlets, something will surely peak your interest. Be prepared to do some serious window shopping!
Whether it’s strolling along the Quay, taking photos with the iconic Tin Soldier, or learning about the history of the city’s mighty river at the Fraser River Discovery Centre, you are sure to find something in New West that you and your family will enjoy. There are also many different child-friendly programs and events happening throughout the year. Inititiatives such as Tinypreneurs help to educate kids, while also allowing them to tap into their creative and entrepreneurial sides. Regular New West Farmers Markets offer something to enjoy for all members of the family.
There are five Expo line SkyTrain stations located within the city of New Westminster, making it easily accessible from the rest of Metro Vancouver to transit to and fro. From Downtown Vancouver’s waterfront station, you are able to reach New Westminster station in just 30 minutes. And most importantly, you’ll be able to make the trip without needing to make any transfers! Note: from Vancouver, you will need to purchase a two-zone ticket, unless you’re travelling after 6pm or on weekends.
New Westminster is often described as a neighbourhood of neighbourhoods, with each borough giving off its own distinctive personality. Enjoy the sights and smells of the downtown area by walking along Columbia Street, before enjoying a stroll along the Quay. After that, consider checking out Sapperton, the oldest community in New Westminster. This historic distillery district allows visitors to experience a small town charm with all the benefits of big city amenities. The Uptown area and the West End are also important for experiencing the full scope of the city; Uptown offers a wide array of local, family-owned diners and businesses, while the West End is occupied mostly by young families. And last but not least, Queensbourough offers a wide assortment of retail offerings at its outlet mall. Regardless of the section you visit, you’re bound to experience the city’s charm.