Granville Island is situated under the Granville Street Bridge, just south of downtown Vancouver. On weekends and warm days this colorful market comes alive with performers, musicians, tourists and locals. There are dozens of shops containing unique, locally-made items. Jewelry, wood crafts and artwork are some notables. There is also a large food market selling beautifully fresh produce, flowers and European meats and cheeses. The Granville Island Market is a nice place to sit and have lunch, if you can find a table.
Granville Island Vancouver
Granville Island Vancouver was not always the laid-back and colorful market that it is today. Previously the area had been a run-down industrial area, with its transformation beginning in the late 1970’s. Shops and galleries started to move into the old factories and warehouses, preserving the industrial look. Today the only industry left in Granville Island is a cement plant.
Some of the Granville Island events that take place year-round are comedy shows and plays, gallery and art shows, the Public Market, and outdoor entertainment. The Bard on the Beach Shakespearian Festival happens every summer at Vanier Park, an easy walk from Granville Island Market.
After you’ve had your fill of the Granville Island Market, check out the highly-recommended train museum. This museum has the largest collection of toy trains in the world on public display. Other notable attractions within walking distance are the Maritime Heritage Museum and the Planetarium.
The Granville Island Brewery is a worthwhile stop for beer lovers. Located at the entrance of Granville Island (street-side), this brewery offers tours to the public from June through September. These guided tours including tasting of the brewery’s additive-free beers.
Granville Island Vancouver is easily reached by Aquabus, a mini ferry that travels up and down False Creek. The Aquabus stops in the West End, Yaletown or Kitsilano, and drops you right at the market. You’ll find it less hectic to take this mode of transportation rather than driving, as parking spaces are hard to find on Granville Island, especially on weekends.
If you like the sound of staying in the heart of Vancouver without the downtown hassles, you may enjoy the atmosphere at the Granville Island Hotel. The hotel is located on the harbor side and has a restaurant with beautiful views. Many rooms have water views as well. The Granville Island Hotel is a place enjoyed by both humans and their pets, with pet-friendly rooms and even a specialty pet store.