As a fairly recent new resident to the area, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing many new things, and have brought an outsiders view to my work which complemented that of my coworkers; most of whom were born and raised in Langley. I had to learn the routes throughout the community; how to get to the grocery store, where the local farmers market is, which the best exit off the freeway is to get to where I needed to go, and so on. Because of my many exploratory travels, I had the opportunity to discover a lot about a place I really knew nothing about.
As a small-town girl from Northern BC, it seemed to me that Langley had it all! I noticed the great shopping opportunities, from the numerous unique local shops to every big box store you could need, a variety of fun attractions such as the Greater Vancouver Zoo and Fort Langley National Historic Site, to the lesser known, but just as interesting BC Farm Machinery and Agricultural Museum and Canadian Museum of Flight. Not only does Langley have all the conveniences as its popular hot-shot neighbour Vancouver, but it also provides some spectacularly beautiful rustic experiences in the rural countryside.
Not only does the local Circle Farm Tour include the perfect agritourism attractions to make every big city dweller question their current residence, but even the vast number of Christmas tree farms in the community was an eye-opener. How the ‘Horse Capital of BC’ outnumbers Christmas tree farms in the ‘Spruce Capital of the World’ I’ll never know. After two years of exploring the lay of the land and meeting many local residents on the job, it seems to me that not only is there a lot to learn about for someone new to the community, but many local residents are unaware of some of Langley’s lesser-(and better)-known treasures too. I’ve compiled a list of things I bet you probably didn’t know you could find in Langley. I do hope that some of these things are known to you, and that others may surprise and delight you.
A two headed calf (photo above) that was born in Brooks Alberta is on display at the BC Farm Machinery and Agricultural Museum in Fort Langley. During your next visit don’t forget to bring your camera to take that memorable self-shot of you and this darling baby cow(s?). Also unique on site are large collections of barbed wire and license plates.
Vista D’oro Farms & Winery’s flagship “D’oro” is a fortified walnut wine that every wine connoisseur needs to taste. It’s a blend of North Okanagan Marechal Foch, Central Okanagan Merlot & Cabernet Franc, Fraser Valley Green Walnuts and Okanagan Brandy. I am definitely no connoisseur, but green walnuts?! I thought this was quite a unique product, and after my first tasting at this south Langley winery, I was hooked.
Every community has its past. Historic tales of love and mystery abound wherever you go, however nowhere else can you experience it quite like you can in the community of Fort Langley. As the ‘birthplace of British Columbia’ Fort Langley’s past residents have been heard and even seen around certain buildings and locales throughout the community – just ask the employees of the Fort Langley National Historic Site. Book yourself on one of this year’s Grave Tales tours and ‘see’ for yourself…
If you’re a movie buff, you just may know about this local find already. On display at the Canadian Museum of Flight is the Lockheed CF-104 Starfighter, also known as the “missile with a man in it”. A Canadian made aircraft, the CF-104 was built to defend against its relatively poor maneuvering counterparts in the 1950’s. Wondering where you have seen this high speed flying machine before? Probably in a scene from Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian. Interesting tid-bit – There are 3 local pilots who have flown the 104 in the Royal Canadian Air Force! Also at the Canadian Museum of Flight is the only displayed Handley Page Hampden in the world.
Langley is known to many as the “Horse capital of BC”. Because of the passionate equestrian community in Langley, we are home to the Thunderbird Show Park, an equestrian show jumping facility ranked second of 25 facilities in North America. As there are numerous horse owners in Langley, it only makes sense that businesses should adapt themselves to cater to horses and their needs. One such pub has done just that. The Artful Dodger pub at 24th Ave and 200th St offers horse owners a paddock to latch their horses to while inside enjoying a mug of brew. How handy is that? An environmentally friendly mode of transportation has just become much more practical!