New Westminster Uncovered: Your List of Top 8 Things To Do

9 Min Read
Dec 19, 2023

Step into the heartbeat of British Columbia - New Westminster, a city where every corner whispers tales of history and every experience is an adventure in itself. Our guide is an open invitation to uncover the best this historical gem has to offer. 

From the embrace of historic landmarks breathing life into bygone eras to the pulse of modern marvels showcasing the city's dynamism, New Westminster caters to all. Immerse yourself in this charming city, and explore it's hidden gems. Peel back the layers to reveal family-friendly activities, outdoor escapades, and can't-miss events that show the true spirit of New Westminster.

Join us on a journey through top-rated destinations, providing an insider's perspective on the city's best offerings. This guide is your passport to an unforgettable adventure in one of British Columbia's most enchanting cities. Welcome to the magic of New Westminster!

1. Visit New Westminster Pier Park

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Nestled along the scenic banks of the Fraser River, Westminster Pier Park stands as a testament to innovative urban design and natural beauty.

This award-winning park, celebrated as the top boardwalk near Vancouver in 2015, offers a unique blend of both land and aquatic features, supported impressively by 3,600 pilings. It's a space where the river's mighty presence meets the city's vibrant life.

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As you step into this 2.5 km linear waterfront park, the connection to the Fraser River is undeniable.

The park seamlessly merges with the Waterfront Esplanade Boardwalk, creating a continuous pathway that invites both locals and tourists to meander, reflect, and engage with the environment.

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What makes Westminster Pier Park a must-visit destination in New Westminster are its diverse amenities. The 325-meter waterfront boardwalk is perfect for leisurely strolls, offering elevated viewpoints that present breathtaking vistas of the river.

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the lush greenery, with gardens, trees, and a spacious festival lawn that becomes a hub of activity during various events.

Location: New Westminster Pier Park - Google Maps

2. Step Back in Time at Irving House

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Irving House, a true gem in the heart of New Westminster, invites visitors on a captivating journey into the past.

This stately Victorian-era home, standing as a symbol of the city's early prosperity and optimism, offers a glimpse into the life during a transformative era in the colony's history. As you step through its doors, you're transported back to a time of elegance and change.

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Constructed in the mid-19th century, Irving House is more than just a historical building; it's a portal to understanding the social and cultural fabric of early New Westminster.

Each room within the house is meticulously preserved, showcasing authentic furnishings and decor that reflect the lifestyle and tastes of the period. Visitors can wander through the grand rooms, imagining the lives of those who once called this place home.

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The house's architecture itself tells a story of craftsmanship and attention to detail prevalent during that era.

The exterior, with its intricate woodwork and classic Victorian design, makes Irving House a photographer's delight and a history enthusiast's dream. Inside, the rich wood paneling, ornate fireplaces, and period-appropriate artworks add to the immersive experience.

Location: Irving House - Google Maps

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3. Experience Paddlewheeler Riverboat Tours

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For a truly unique experience in New Westminster, consider a voyage on a Paddlewheeler, navigating the historic Fraser River with style and charm. Paddlewheeler River Boat Tours offers an unforgettable opportunity to relive a piece of river history while enjoying the scenic beauty of the area.

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The highlight of their fleet is the M.V. Native, a stunning 100-passenger replica of the paddlewheelers that were once the lifeline of the Fraser River from the 1860s to the 1920s.

This majestic vessel captures the essence of that bygone era, offering passengers a blend of historical allure and modern comfort. As you board the M.V. Native, you're not just stepping onto a boat; you're stepping back in time.

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The range of cruises available caters to every taste and interest. From leisurely lunch and dinner cruises that let you dine in a unique setting to scenic sightseeing tours that transport you to the charming Fort Langley, there’s a cruise for everyone.

Each journey on the river is more than just travel; it’s an exploration of the river's history and its enduring significance to New Westminster.

Location: Paddlewheeler Riverboat Tours - Google Maps

4. See a Movie at Landmark Cinemas

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In the heart of New Westminster, movie enthusiasts can find their haven at Landmark Cinemas, a premier destination for catching the latest blockbusters.

This modern theater, known for its comfortable setting and state-of-the-art facilities, offers an exceptional movie-going experience that goes beyond just watching a film.

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One of the highlights of Landmark Cinemas is their attractive ticket packages, making it an accessible option for everyone. Whether you're planning a family outing, a date night, or a fun evening with friends, these discounted ticket options provide a great opportunity to enjoy the latest releases without breaking the bank.

It's a thoughtful way to ensure that everyone can partake in the joy of cinema.

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Adding to the overall experience, Landmark Cinemas offers themed food combos that cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences. These combos not only enhance the movie-watching experience but also allow patrons to immerse themselves more fully in the film's world.

Imagine sipping a themed drink or munching on snacks that resonate with the movie you are watching—this attention to detail makes each visit to Landmark Cinemas a unique and memorable event.

Location: Landmark Cinemas - Google Maps

5. Attend a Show at the Massey Theatre

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Massey Theatre, a cornerstone of cultural vibrancy in New Westminster, beckons those seeking a blend of artistic talent and community spirit.

This 1,260-seat proscenium theatre, renowned for its varied shows and performances, offers a rich tapestry of artistic expressions that cater to a wide array of interests and tastes.

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From enthralling theatrical productions to mesmerizing musical performances, Massey Theatre's calendar is replete with events that promise to captivate and entertain.

The proscenium stage, with its classic design, provides an intimate yet grand setting, ensuring that every seat in the house offers a splendid view and an immersive experience. Whether you are a fan of drama, comedy, dance, or music, this theatre has something to enchant everyone.

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Adding to its allure, Massey Theatre also serves as a vibrant hub for the arts, hosting exhibits that showcase both local and traveling artists.

These exhibits offer a window into the creative minds of artists, displaying a range of mediums and styles. It’s a place where art lovers can converge, explore, and engage with the works of talented individuals.

Location: Massey Theatre - Google Maps

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6. Walk through Queens Park

Queens Park, nestled in New Westminster, is an idyllic retreat for those seeking a blend of natural beauty and recreational activities.

This amenity-rich park serves as a green haven in the city, offering a plethora of options for relaxation and sports alike. Whether you're looking to unwind in nature's lap or engage in active pursuits, Queens Park is the perfect destination.

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The park's network of trails invites visitors to stroll, jog, or cycle amidst lush greenery. These pathways are not just routes for exercise; they're avenues to tranquility, winding through scenic landscapes that rejuvenate the mind and body.

For families, the park is a delight, with well-equipped playgrounds that offer kids a safe and fun environment to play and explore.

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Picnic enthusiasts will find Queens Park particularly appealing. With numerous picnic areas dotted across the park, it's an ideal spot for a family outing or a relaxing day out with friends.

The sports fields and the 3,500-seat arena, hosting hockey, ice skating, and lacrosse, add to the park's allure for sports fans.

Location: Queens Park - Google Maps

7. Dine at Local Eateries

New Westminster's culinary scene is a vibrant mosaic of flavors, and at the forefront is Piva Modern Italian, a contemporary Italian restaurant that epitomizes the city's gastronomic diversity.

This stylish eatery, nestled in the heart of New Westminster, is a testament to the fusion of modern culinary techniques with traditional Italian flavors, all while emphasizing local ingredients.

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At Piva Modern Italian, every dish is a work of art, crafted to tantalize the taste buds and offer a unique dining experience.

The menu boasts a range of modern Italian fare, from exquisitely prepared pastas to delectable main courses, each infused with a touch of local flair. The restaurant's commitment to quality is evident in every bite, with fresh, locally sourced ingredients playing a starring role.

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Complementing the exquisite food is an impressive selection of wines and dazzling cocktails, making Piva not just a place to eat, but a destination for a complete culinary journey.

The ambiance, with its contemporary decor and welcoming atmosphere, adds to the overall experience, making it an ideal spot for a romantic dinner, a family gathering, or a casual meal with friends.

Location: Piva Modern Italian - Google Maps

8. Visit the New Westminster Museum

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For those keen on delving into the historical tapestry of New Westminster, a visit to the New Westminster Museum is an enlightening and essential experience.

Spread across three unique locations – Anvil Centre, Irving House, and the Samson V Museum, the museum offers a comprehensive look into the city's past, present, and evolving identity.

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The New Westminster Museum & Archives boast an impressive collection that includes over 36,000 objects, 50,000 photographs, and 500 linear meters of archival records.

This vast collection serves as a treasure trove of information, providing insights into the local history and heritage of New Westminster. Each exhibit, carefully curated and displayed, tells a story of the city's journey through time.

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At the Anvil Centre, visitors can explore a permanent exhibition that traces an incredible 10,000 years of local history, leading up to the year 2010.

This immersive exhibit offers a chronological journey through New Westminster's development, highlighting key events, cultural shifts, and historical milestones. The blend of historical artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays makes the learning experience both educational and engaging.

Location: New Westminster Museum - Google Maps

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To Sum It All Up

As our journey through the diverse and vibrant city of New Westminster comes to a close, it's clear that this city has something special for everyone.

From the serene walks in Queens Park to the historical immersion at Irving House, from the modern culinary delights at Piva Modern Italian to the nostalgic voyages with Paddlewheeler Riverboat Tours, New West truly offers a kaleidoscope of experiences.

Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, a foodie, or just someone looking for a new adventure, New Westminster welcomes you with open arms and a variety of activities to explore. Each location and activity we've covered is a piece of the city's rich tapestry, inviting you to delve deeper into its unique charm.

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