The incorporated city of Richmond (population 185,000) sprawls across Lulu Island at the mouth of the Fraser River. Most visitors to Vancouver  cross the island on their way north from the United States on Highway 99, or to and from the airport or Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal.
On Lulu Island’s southwestern extremity, the historic fishing village of Steveston is a lively spot worth a visit. In the 1880s it had more than 50 canneries and was the world’s largest fishing port. The harbor still holds Canada’s largest fleet of commercial fishing boats.
On the harbor front you’ll find the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site (12138 4th Ave., 604/664-9009, daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m. May–Aug., Thurs.–Mon. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sept.–mid-Oct., adult $7.80, senior $6.60, child $4), a cannery that operated between 1894 and 1979. Much of the original cannery has been restored. In addition to canning-line exhibits and demonstrations of the various machineries, an audiovisual presentation is offered in the Boiler House Theatre, and the Discovery Area is set aside for children.
A short walk from the old cannery is a redeveloped stretch of harbor front where casual visitors and local fishermen mingle at fishing-supply outlets, shops selling packaged seafood products, boutiques, and restaurants. Below the main wharf, fishing boats sell the day’s catch—halibut, salmon, crabs, mussels, shrimp, and oysters—to the general public at excellent prices.
Naturally, seafood is the specialty at harbor-front restaurants, all of which have outdoor tables. My favorite is Sockeye City Grill (3800 Bayview St., 604/275-4347, daily 11 a.m.–9 p.m., $13–27), with tables spread out along the waterfront.
To get to Steveston, take Highway 99 to the Steveston Highway exit, then head west, passing by a magnificent Buddhist temple. The town center is south from the Steveston Highway along the Number 1 Road.