March 16th, 2011
Granville Island is one of the brightest jewels in Vancouver’s crown. It’s also one of Vancouver’s top attractions to visit. It began life as a sand bank, was later turned into an industrial area and by 1980 was transformed into a people friendly site with various uses, from parks to housing to public spaces. Today it is a favorite spot for Vancouver locals and tourists alike, to live, eat, shop and to be entertained.
Located right in the heart of the city of Vancouver under the Granville Street Bridge, Granville Island offers something for everyone. Perhaps it is best known for its large, enclosed Public Market (great activity for rainy days). Prepare to have your senses stimulated at the sights and smells of a huge variety of glorious food, from artistic presentations of fruits and vegetables, to cheeses, fish, meats, breads and pastries, and soups to international choices in the food court, which accurately reflect Vancouver’s proud multi-cultural makeup.
There are also many artisans in the market who sell homemade foods and unique handicrafts – no big box stores on Granville Island.
Outside the Public Market but still on Granville Island you can find a community of craft studios such as jewellers, art galleries, glassblowing studio, a sake maker, B.C. Potters’ Guild Gallery, and a woodworking studio, a boutique hotel,a water park for children, and a university, to name just a few.
Then there are 2 major theatres, a marina where you can rent a boat, anchor your own, or just watch the action, a brew pub, a wine store, and fine restaurants.
And almost any time you visit Granville Island, you’re likely to catch a free performances of some very high quality entertainment. Buskers (licensed) are a main attraction and include magicians, musicians, and jugglers. Perhaps best of all, there’s sitting outside on a sunny day and just watching the world go by.
Granville Island is really easy to get to. It’s a nice walk from downtown or from the Manor Guest House. There are also the False Creek Ferries and the Aquabus that provide ferry service from downtown Vancouver, the west end and Kitsilano.
Word of caution: when you go to Granville Island, be prepared to be wowed.