August 3, 2020

Good things, as they say, take time. There’s no shortage of that in Langley, as the community has been here, building up this place that we love for quite literally hundreds of years, and we’re not ashamed to say that we’re proud of what has been built. This year, as we’re safely opening our doors to visitors, people from around the Lower Mainland are rediscovering the roots of the Lower Mainland and educating their families by exploring the history and heritage that’s right here in the heart of the Fraser Valley.

Credits: Kwantlen First Nation

We may no longer spend our days panning for gold, but there are quite a few things that have remained the same over the years. First, this has always been the traditional territory of the Katzie, the Kwantlen and the Matsqui people. Their rich heritage has formed the foundation for this place that so many people are now fortunate to call home. Next, Langley is still that hub of trade and activity. It’s where people come together to share a meal, to tell stories, and to trade goods and merchandise (although today, most places prefer Interac over beaver pelts).

Those traditions, in addition to still-standing structures, artifacts, and tales passed down from generation to generation, make up just a few reasons why Langley has become such a hot spot for people looking to experience, and learn about where we came from and how this place came to be.

When people think about a day trip out to Langley, naturally one of the first things that comes to mind is the world-famous Fort Langley experience. It truly does live up to its reputation as one of the most immersive, and eye-opening experiences where visitors can taste, touch, and hear about the people and the events that came together here.

Fort Langley National Historic Site, however, is much more than a singular destination – the team there is constantly hard at work, creating new events, attractions and opportunities for guests to learn and try something new. Just to name a few, there are opportunities to climb the rustic baton towers, pan for gold, and even shop the village farmer’s market.

Outside of the walls of the Fort, opportunities to experience BC’s roots continue. People looking to deepen their understanding of local indigenous culture will love Sxwimele Boutique and Gifts as well as the walking tours provided by the Coast Salish Arts & Cultural Society. When you’ve worked up an appetite, you’re going to want to check out the leləm’ Cafe where traditional food meets modern flavours. You need to try their wildly popular fried bannock taco while you’re in town.

For people looking to learn more about a specific topic’s history, Langley can offer you the BC Farm Museum, the Canadian Museum of Flight, and the Lower Mainland’s original CN Station in its original form. Would you believe that there’s even a museum dedicated to the history of the telephone?

Credits: @pullenphotography on Instagram

There are more than a few ways to learn about the history of this land, and one of our favourites is to taste it. Winemakers say that where their grapes are grown is as important to the finished product than the grapes, or any of their production methods. If that’s true, then raise a glass to history class at one of Langley’s many wineries and tasting rooms. To kick off your vinicultural education, start where it all began, at Township 7, where they’re pouring their award-winning Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. No doubt you’ve spotted this next winery’s unique labels in your local wine store – Backyard Vineyards has a beautiful array of wines to taste that explore varietals like Cabernet Franc, Rosé and even a bottle that they’re calling “porch wine”.

Right now, all of our local wineries are doing tastings by appointment – to pick the ones that are right for you, see the Libations page on our website here.

Learning about our roots, whether that’s in the form of an exhibit, an experience, or a tasting flight, is a gift that we can give to ourselves that only grows in value over time. There really is no better way to spend a day than with the people who we love, discovering something, all within a short drive from home. We’d love to see you out and about here in this historical place that we’re so fortunate to call home. The next time that you’re planning to visit us, drop us a message on Facebook or Instagram, we’d love to help make your stay extra special.

To see what other people have been discovering for themselves, check out the 55,000+ posts that have been shared with #LangleyFresh.