If you’re planning a visit to Surrey, British Columbia, you’re in for a treat. As one of Canada’s fastest-growing and most multicultural cities, Surrey boasts an array of unique and entertaining activities to suit every taste.
Surrey is one of the 21 municipalities in metro Vancouver. It is located on the lower mainland on the south side of Fraser River in North America. To be honest, I had not heard of Surrey until I was invited to visit. However, it will soon be the largest city in British Columbia by population and a lot is going on in this up-and-coming region.
I visited Surrey in September and explored a good number of the best things to do in Surrey BC, in around 36 hours. Here are my highlights from the tasty spice trail, the public art walk, the beautiful urban forest of Green Timbers Park, and much more.
11 Best Things to Do in Surrey BC
Table of Contents
- 11 Best Things to Do in Surrey BC
- 1. Taste the Spice Trail
- 2. Have a Heritage Rail Adventure
- 3. Visit Cloverdale
- 4. Explore Crescent Beach
- 5. Check out the View from Blackie Spit
- 6. Go for a walk through Green Timbers Urban Forest Park
- 7. Visit Historic Stewart Farm
- 8. Take the North Surrey Public Art Walk
- 9. Learn all about the Honeybee
- 10. See the Pretty Holland Park
- 11. Visit Tynehead Regional Park
- Where to Stay in Surrey BC
1. Taste the Spice Trail
If you’re looking for a culinary adventure in Surrey, British Columbia, look no further than the Surrey Spice Trail. This was the best thing I did when visiting the city of Surrey, BC and I highly recommend it.
There are more than 100 languages spoken in multicultural Surrey. The Spice Trail started during COVID and includes mostly small owner-operated restaurants. Cuisines range from Afghan to Mexican to Nepalese and many more in between.
I started my day on the Surrey Spice Trail at Guacamole Mexican Grill. Run by a husband and wife team originally from El Salvador (the husband is also a talented singer and musician – if you ask nicely he may perform) Guacamole is best known for its stuffed pupusas (a flat bread from El Salvador) and their tacos. Unsurprisingly, the guacamole was also excellent.
Our second stop was Momo n Wings. Only in Canada could you find a Nepalese/Sports Bar fusion restaurant! The interior is definitely more on the sports bar side with high ceilings and wooden booths. It’s a big menu with soups, momos, chicken wings, Nepalese-style Chilli, Tandoori and a lot more. There are also a number of choices for vegetarians and halal eaters.
We enjoyed some fantastic noodles, vegetarian curry and grilled fish but for me, the highlight of the meal was definitely the momos.
My third and final stop on the Surrey Spice Trail was Afghan Kitchen. The restaurant was started by an Afghan refugee who resettled in Canada. All of the dishes on the menu are from his mum. The restaurant offers the chance to dine in a traditional Afghan manor with comfortable pillows placed on Afghan rugs (plenty of standard seating options are also available).
The food at Afghan Kitchen was fantastic. We started with dips and the most delicious fluffy bread. Our mains were a mix of succulent chargrilled lamb, grilled beef, a dahl-style curry and fragrant rice with dates.
There are more than 70 restaurants and growing on the Surrey Spice Trail. I love that the trail emphasizes small restaurants and based on the three I visited, you are unlikely to have a bad meal following the Surrey Spice Trail.
2. Have a Heritage Rail Adventure
As a complete contrast to the Spice Trail, how about returning to 1910? Start your tour in the recreated original station. Then head on board a fully restored BC Electric interurban tram. Next up is watching a movie in an old interurban car. Try out the velocipede or the Quad – Car for a quick work out.
The Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society operates the railway and is open from May to October. They offer a 1-hour Heritage Rail Adventure, which starts from Sullivan Station. The Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society is a 100% volunteer-run organization.
3. Visit Cloverdale
You may find that Cloverdale looks a little familiar. That is because this cute town with its historic main street has been a Hollywood favorite. Cloverdale was the location for the TV show Smallville about Superman’s early years as well as the Superman and Lois series plus quite a few other tv shows and films that don’t feature Superman.
In addition to its historic main street, Cloverdale is home to Surrey Museum, the Honeybee Centre, sports fields, the Cloverdale Rode is held in May each year and the BC Vintage Truck Museum.
4. Explore Crescent Beach
Pretty Crescent Beach is located in South Surrey and was first promoted as a resort area in 1912. Its waters are generally calm so it’s a great place to try out paddleboarding or kayaking. Two areas are roped off for swimmers.
Crescent Beach is also the perfect place for bird watching and whale watching between April and October. If you’re feeling active hire a bike and ride along the seashore or take a stroll along the scenic trails and enjoy the beautiful views. The beach offers loads of outdoor activities. Crescent Beach also is also a good place to watch the sunset in British Columbia with outstanding views of the Vancouver skyline.
If you’re visiting on a Saturday check out the Crescent Beach Farmer’s Market for produce from local farms and artisan goods. If you’re after lunch or dinner with a view the Hooked Fish Bar is a great option or Cotto Al Mare for Italian.
5. Check out the View from Blackie Spit
Blackie Spit is the park at the end of Crescent Beach. It features picnic areas, nature trails, and two fully fenced dog-off leash spaces. Take a stroll along one of the beautiful nature trails (the total trail is 5 kilometers) and watch for the various species of birds that call Blackie Spit home. Blackie Spit Park is one of the top bird watching areas of Canada and hundreds of different bird species are recorded each year.
There are some fantastic views of Mud Bay Park and the North Shore Mountains from Black Spit. And make sure to check out the work of artist Tina Farmilo. Memory Stones is a series of poetic phrases, symbols, and references you can find on stones throughout the park.
The park operates from dawn until dusk, with washrooms and the parking lot gate closing at 6 pm.
6. Go for a walk through Green Timbers Urban Forest Park
More than 50% of Surrey’s landmass is made up of green spaces. The beautiful Green Timbers Urban Forest Park is located in the heart of Surrey but it feels like it is a million miles away from any type of urban dwelling. It is one of the biggest parks in Surrey with over 10 kilometers of nature trails.
The heart of Green Timbers is the regularly stocked fishing lake. It’s designed for new and experienced fishermen. However, you don’t have to be into fishing to enjoy this beautiful lake.
Green Timbers has several picnic areas and is also home to the Surrey Nature Centre. The center offers a range of programs and workshops throughout the year.
7. Visit Historic Stewart Farm
If you want a fun and educational experience in Surrey, British Columbia, consider visiting the Historic Stewart Farm. This picturesque site offers a glimpse into the life of a Surrey family circa 1900.
The beautifully restored farmhouse features a variety of artifacts and exhibits covering life during the early 20th century. Once you have explored the farmhouse, head out to the beautiful park with its beautiful lawns and heritage gardens.
Historic Stewart Farm is open for free drop-in visits from Wednesday through Sunday.
8. Take the North Surrey Public Art Walk
If you’re a fan of art and exploring the outdoors, you should definitely check out the North Surrey Public Art Walk. This self-guided tour in Surrey, British Columbia, allows you to admire numerous public art installations spread throughout the area at your own pace and is one of the most fun things to do in Surrey.
This walk is also a great way to explore North Surrey. I was able to start at my hotel, The Civic, as one of the installations (Launch) hung from the ceiling inside the hotel. Then I visited City Hall and the Surrey City Center Library for the next two stops. All three of these buildings are located on the same square.
Holland Park is home to several stops on the Art Walk. Then, tick off the last two spots when you leave Surrey as they are located under and in the Surrey Central Skytrain Station.
The entire walk takes approximately 60 minutes, depending on how much time you spend appreciating each piece.
9. Learn all about the Honeybee
The Honeybee Centre offers honey products, tours, gifts, education, and experiences. Walking into the Honeybee Centre, you’ll be greeted by a well-stocked honeybee store with fresh honey and local gifts. You can learn all about honeybees and their importance in the ecosystem at the center.
The Honeybee Centre is open daily from 10am to 6pm. They run a range of workshops and programs throughout the year so check out their website to see what is on when you are visiting.
10. See the Pretty Holland Park
Lovely Holland Park is located in the heart of North Surrey. This is a genuine urban oasis with beautiful flower gardens, expansive green lawns and attractive water features. Concerts, festivals and events are all held at this popular park.
When I visited, I most enjoyed seeing the stops on the Surrey Art Walk located in Holland Park. These include Were it Not For You as part of one of the park’s water features, the Floraforms and Seeds of Change and the Protecting the Future, Serving the Present statue.
11. Visit Tynehead Regional Park
Tynehead Regional Park in Surrey, Canada covers 260 hectares. It has extensive walking trails, lots of lush forest and is renowned for its salmon hatchery. Visitors can learn all about the salmon’s life cycle, a vital part of British Columbia’s ecosystem. This is also a great spot for bird watching, wildlife photography and for any nature lover..
Where to Stay in Surrey BC
When I visited Surrey, I stayed at the Civic Hotel, part of the Autograph Collection. The Civic is one of the tallest skyscrapers in town so there are some great views to be had from the rooms. The design aesthetic features warm tones and each floor of the hotel represents a different region of British Columbia.
I loved my room at the Civic. It was modern and open but still felt quite cosy. Most importantly the bed was huge and very comfortable. The room also had a small but decent-sized desk and a small built in chaise lounge. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer a fantastic view of Surrey.
I had a terrific buffet breakfast at the hotel’s Dominion Bar and Kitchen. The Prado Cafe is located in reception and serves great coffee and snacks.
The hotel also has a 25-metre outdoor pool, a hot tub and a 24-hour fitness center. Plus it has a fantastic location next to the Surrey City Center Skytrain station.
Surrey is a fantastic day trip from downtown Vancouver or why not stay the night? The Spice Trail is more than enough reason to visit this emerging area. When you add in the number of nature experiences that can be had so close to an urban center, you’ve got the perfect trip.
My visit to Surrey BC was funded by the Surrey Tourism Board (thanks guys) but as always my opinions are my own. This article does contain a couple of affiliate links. That means if you click through on some of the links and end up making a purchase I may receive a small commission. This helps me to keep this website running.