Tsawwassen and Ladner provide visitors with a break from urban life. Nestled between river and ocean, these towns have lots of options for relaxation. Take a stroll or bike ride on a dike beside the river or sea, buy wild local salmon at Superior Fish Market, do some shopping in boutiques, play a round of golf or kayak through a quiet slough with only Steller sea lions and great blue herons for company. These are just a few of the attractions of Ladner Village and Tsawwassen.
In Ladner, traffic is light, terrain is flat and the town’s surrounding horse and agricultural farms will give visitors the urge to get out and walk or bike. Downtown is ladened with historic buildings, friendly restaurants and hometown merchants. Have a drink or bite to eat while you watch boat traffic on the peaceful and picturesque Ladner Slough. The Ladner and Tsawwassen leisure centers offer plenty to do on the rare rainy day.
The Ladner Village Market is a fun local stop, this farmer’s market operates on a “make it, bake it, grow it” vendor model (p. 40).
Exercise enthusiasts can be found doing laps on the stairs at Fred Gingell Park on English Bluff Road in Tsawwassen. These stairs treat visitors to views of the Georgia Strait and the Gulf Islands as well as provide a top-notch cardiovascular workout.
Rent a kayak at Ladner Slough and paddle through the backwaters of the Fraser River. Great blue herons and eagles soar overhead while you explore small islands and marshlands abutting the waterway. Walk or bike the dike on River Road west to Georgia Strait; alternatively, ride the dike from Beach Grove around Boundary Bay. This flat gravel trail goes on and on under silent skies for 20 kilometers.
Both communities are located on the Pacific Flyway, and the surrounding lands are vital stopovers for millions of birds on their annual migration. One of the best places to observe all kinds of birds is at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Ladner. Take River Road West, and turn right for the bridge to Westham Island. Just before the bridge is a small park where often visitors have a close-up view of Steller sea lions sunning on the docks.
Between Tsawwassen and Ladner are acres upon acres of blueberry fields; stop at one of the roadside stands for a fresh hit of anti-oxidants. Highway 17 divides the two communities and also leads to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal taking travelers to Vancouver Island and various Gulf Islands.
Tsawwassen is located on the north end of the same peninsula occupied by Point Roberts. More suburban than village, the main thoroughfare, 56th Street, is rich with restaurants, boutiques and food markets.
The huge Tsawwassen Mills outlet shopping center is a major addition to the shopping scene. If you feel like a little downtime, head to Centennial Beach for a swim and sprawl on the soft sands of Boundary Bay. Miles of sand flats warm the waters of afternoon tides to a comfortable 80°F/26°C.
Tsawwassen and Ladner are sweet small towns with a spectacular views of the Georgia Straight and avian migrations. Come and take it all in.
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