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All the reasons why I loved visiting Steveston when I lived in Vancouver.
Once upon a time, there was a seaside neighbourhood in the Vancouver area called Steveston. It’s known for transforming into Storybrooke a.k.a. the fictional town in the TV show, Once Upon a Time. My cousin and I would religiously watch the series with a glass of wine in hand when I lived in Brisbane. I mean, Hook and Prince Charming are just too good to look at.
Steveston is roughly a 40-minute drive from downtown Vancouver. It’s accessible via public transport, but it will just take you quite a while to get there. However, it’s definitely worth it. It’s a quaint town that reminded me of photos I had seen of American seaside villages. There were many colourful wooden buildings with hand-crafted signs hanging from above the doors. It seemed so detached from the architecture and pace of Vancouver’s city, yet you really aren’t that far away.
Steveston is a place for wandering. Just wander and snap, wander and snap. There are boutiques and souvenir stores selling local and handmade products. The Fisherman’s Wharf is beautiful on a sunny evening. My sources tell me in the morning you can also buy fish straight off the boat from the local fisherman. Now that’s fresh!
Check out my other favourite day trips from Vancouver
Things to do in Steveston
Enjoy some seafood
One of my favourite smells is that of a fresh sea breeze. I definitely got my hit that night as we sat on the patio of Sockeye’s City Grill and ate our seafood platters. Between five of us, we shared two platters that included cod, halibut, calamari, oysters, prawns and fries. With some freshly cracked pepper on top, it was a great way to try all different types of the local catch. Be wary though, the restaurants ain’t cheap. Because they use the locally caught produce and the fact Steveston is basically a tourist mecca, expect some inflation. But hey, it’s pretty.
Have gelato for dessert
After dinner, we grab some gelato and frozen yoghurt from Timothy’s around the corner. They have a lot of flavours and fresh waffle cones (my favourite).
Walk along the pier
Definitely walk off your meal with a wander along the pier, no matter the time of day. We finished our evening with an impromptu photoshoot by the waterside. We posed, seriously and hilariously and took too many group selfies. But hey, I got my sunset shot. Perfection.
Check out other attractions
Other things to do in Steveston include checking out the independent shops and visiting Steveston Museum and the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site (now a fishing museum). Garry Point Park is another place to visit for sunset photos in Steveston as well. Before driving home we also stopped at Steveston Community Park, as it has some very fun activities and playground equipment. What are you meant to do but swing, jump, slide and whirl?
Spot Once Upon a Time filming locations
Even though it’s basically summer holidays for Once Upon a Time as well, there were places I saw that I remember from the show. This included the main street they film many scenes on and the pier where Hook’s boat is docked. I felt the same when I visited Warner Bros. Studios last year — putting pieces of the puzzle together.
Even if you’re not a fan like myself, you still need to visit Steveston. I’m so glad I got the chance to visit Steveston before I left Vancouver. It’s my kind of place: serene, beautiful and by the sea.