Your time at UFV shouldn’t only be consumed by studying and going from lecture to lecture. The province of BC is one of the most biologically and culturally diverse cities in North America so passing up that opportunity is like passing up a lottery ticket. From hiking to cultural festivals and events, the lower mainland has it all. This list will include places that aren’t necessarily the top things for a tourist to do but more so a local or at least folks who’ll be staying in BC for a while. So, without further introduction, the top five places you visit within the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver area before graduating.
Enjoy the Outdoors at Mill Lake Park
If you’re lucky enough to stay in BC for summer classes, then you should definitely go and visit Mill Lake Park. It’s the biggest and most cared for park in the Abbotsford region and has plenty of things to do as well as places to relax and reflect. Going during the winter is fine, but the best experience is during the spring when everything is blossoming or during the late fall to see all the warm autumn colours at the park. For any students attending UFV with children you can take them to Mill Lake as they have a choice of 3 playgrounds to play at as well as a water park. The park also has a boardwalk and some picturesque benches to rest at. Going for a jog around the lake is about 2.3 km, so it’s not too bad, especially on a clear day when you can see Mt. Baker in the distance. There are plenty of other visible and hidden features, so go check it out when you have the chance.
Another great local attraction is Maan Farms; they have embraced the duality of humanity of wanting to be one with nature yet being socially connected at the same time. During the summer, you can find yourself having a reserved and private spot for you and your friends to have a very aesthetic picnic. Maan Farms also offers an artisan box full of fruits, cheeses, and baked goods and offers their very own sangria. If that’s not yours, you can also go to their strawberry fields and pick your own berries made locally. Once autumn rolls in, you can jump right into their corn maze or hunt for the right pumpkin in their pumpkin patch. Maan Farms is a local favourite. Coming here is a great way to get connected with the community as well as make some new memories.
Stanley Park may possibly be the most recognizable feature of Vancouver due to its proximity to the city and because there are so many attractions within the park itself. There’s so much to see and do at the park that you can take multiple days to explore it. Highlights include the Vancouver Aquarium (closed due to COVID), Prospect Point Lookout with a café and a gift shop, the boat launch and restaurants, and lastly, the plethora of trails and parks to hang out at around the park. However, the most prominent feature of Stanley Park is the 28 km seawall greenway that’s pedestrian and biker friendly. Going there on a hot summer day is a very popular thing to do and is highly recommended.
Vancouver Public Library
Taking the time to go out to the Vancouver Library should be a high priority for anybody living on the mainland. The architecture of the building is quite similar to that of the roman colosseum. The true beauty of the library is inside. With a plethora of books and reading stations, you’ll never see the end. If that doesn’t get your attention, Blenz Coffee and the Vancouver Public House Pub are connected to the main compound.
Richmond Night Market
The Richmond Night Market is famous for a huge selection of Asiatic foods from Korea to Singapore and also has a wide variety of entertainment and stores to entertain you and your friends. If there’s anything you should do during your summer nights within the greater Metro Vancouver area, it’s this. The atmosphere is completely different from what you would typically expect to see downtown. If you go with a group of friends, you can reserve online and get a discount while doing so. Planning isn’t really necessary but be prepared to wait a bit at the entry gate. In all, the Richmond Night Market may feel like home for some Asiatic students, so if you have the opportunity, you should go when it opens.
These are the top five things that I truly recommend as a local to BC and as someone that wants to show how diverse and beautiful our province can be. All these locations are just the tip of the iceberg. However, there are countless things to do in and around the greater Vancouver area that you might as well take a semester off to explore all of it.