As a native of New Westminster, a suburb about 20 minutes away from Downtown Vancouver, I can definitely understand wanting to leave it constantly, but as much as I try it is place that keeps drawing me in. Perhaps it is the tight-knit community, the really odd monuments to Tin Soldiers, and Victorian houses, if you’re planning a “staycation” I recommend checking out the best spots in the city rightfully earning the moniker “The Royal City”. But a warning: don’t call it New West-minister. It’s “-minster”.

The Tin Solider
New Westminster is home to the world’s tallest tin soldier. Why? I still have no clue. It is quite frightening to see at night and it may leave you feeling underwhelmed, but at least now you can cross that off your long list of “Monuments to Check Out” list. I know you have one. The World’s Largest Hockey Stick can wait. 
Located at the New Westminster Quay

“Bridal Avenue” on Columbia Street
We are home to an impressive amount of bridal galleries in the lower mainland. Nothing about New Westminster says, “Marry Me” much less “I do.” but it is an interesting spectacle. Especially if you’ve gone on a TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress and you’re feeling lonely. Be sure to take off your shoes at the entrance though because I hear they don’t take too kindly on you if you step on one of the dresses. 
Begins at Columbia Street and Eighth Street

The Rest of Columbia Street 
If you’re not feeling the lace and white taffeta, check out the rest of Columbia Street, which is home to the best Salvation Army in Vancouver which is also in one of the most beautiful renovated spaces on Columbia. You can also visit Lofty Living, for tons of things to fill your home with (they specialize in Parisian-themed trinkets). Almost next door is Karmavore, New Westminster’s very own vegan shop and deli. Afterwards, if you’re keen, check out Drink Urban Lounge, which in a way is New Westminster trying to act like Vancouver, but the staff are pretty friendly. Perhaps some champagne after trying on all those dresses? 

“Antique Alley” on Front Street 
Front Street is a place you’ll recognize without even trying. It has been used in many movies like Shooter, iRobot, and most recently Twilight: New Moon. Yeah, check out where Bella hops on a random dude’s motorcycle! In all seriousness, Front Street is a great place to see the underbelly of New Westminster, a great view of the Fraser River, and it is home to a dying breed of antique shops. 
Begins at Front and 6th Street

Sixth Avenue and Sixth Street
This cross street is most famous in New West because it is home to New West’s most prominent commercial spaces and food venues. Tamarind Hill is honestly the best Thai I’ve had. Ever. The personality and tastes at Pho Chung Nam is honestly the best Vietnamese pho I’ve ever had. And their bubble tea? Always fresh, never powered. Incredibles Consignment is a nice, rarely hit up vintage store. Anny’s has the best poutine and maple twist cones in the Lower Mainland. 

Waffle House (Formerly the Jiffy Wiffy Waffle House)
The Waffle House caters to the best of New West: my friends who frequent this establishment and the elderly and pensioners who come to have some pretty damn good waffles. I love these waffles. I’ve told the own Robert that the Waffle House was my Disney Land, nothing could ever go wrong at the Waffle House. Wait, was that a Breakfast at Tiffany’s reference I screwed up? Oh well. I’m pretty sure he didn’t mind. 
636 6th Street, New Westminster

~ Aimee Laurel
Follow me on Twitter @aimeecynthia