Exploring Granville Island : A Vancouver Hot-Spot

Last Updated on May 6, 2021

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We love playing tourist in our hometown. There are so many activities and sights to see that are often overlooked just because it is where we live. It had been years since we ventured into Granville Island for more than just dinner and show, and we had been itching to really wander around and get lost among the busy streets in the popular shopping district in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Located across False Creek from Downtown Vancouver, under the south end of the Granville Street Bridge, you’ll find what was once an industrial manufacturing area; there are even still cranes and rail tracks around, playing tribute to its old days creating manufactured goods.  Today, Granville Island is now a hotspot for Vancouver tourism and entertainment.

The fun way to get to Granville Island is to hop on an Aquabus, a passenger ferry, that provides frequent, daily passenger services to all the major attractions around False Creek. It is a great way to see Vancouver from the water, instead of being stuck in a car fighting Vancouver traffic. All routes are wheelchair, stroller, bicycle and pet accessible, which is fabulous as we need a stroller, when possible, to make life easier on outings with the girls. Granville Island is accessible easily by car, but why drive when you can relax on the water instead? Scenic tours are also available and are another great option for tourists.

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Taking the Aquabus to Granville Island is the most fun way to start your experience.
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Great views on the water sure beats fighting traffic in a car.
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False Creek views

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Madison was thrilled to ride the Aquabus
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So many sights to see!

One of the big highlights of Granville Island is the Public Market, featuring a mixture of a farmers’ market, day vendors, and artists offering local Vancouver goods. Some of the retailers are permanent, while the majority are day vendors selling  a variety of artisan cottage-industry foods and handmade crafts. Taking one walk around the market, your senses will be in overdrive as you see just how delicious everything looks and how amazing the handmade crafts are. We couldn’t help but sample some NYC Chocolate Cheesecake, fudge and gelato. Our sweet tooth was certainly satisfied.

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Could you really turn down fruit that looks this amazing?

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Chocolate and Mango. So delicious, especially on such a hot day!

There are also plenty of other sights to see and activities to entertain around Granville Island. Rent a boat, kayak or paddle board and get out on the water. If getting on the water doesn’t tickle your fancy, grab some food at the Market or one of the many restaurants and catch a show. It’s Fettback family tradition each Christmas to go to Granville Island for dinner and a performance at one of the theatres. There is so much talent in Vancouver and the theatres really showcase how incredible the arts are, right on our doorstep.

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Rail tracks still around the Granville Island streets
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Granville Island Marina
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Open Art Museum – “Every city needs art and art has to be in the centre of the people” – Osgemeos
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Even Pirate ships sail the False Creek waters! Looks like a fun adventure.
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Love all the quirky, artsy signage
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Your kids, or the kid in you, will love wandering the Kid’s Market. It has over 25 shops, services and activities for children and their families.
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One of the great stages on Granville Island

Granville Island is a great place to explore for the day when you’re in Vancouver. There is so much to see that you can easily spend a good part of a day here, if not the full day. There’s so much history within Granville Island, along with a colourful artistic community and it really adds to its intrigue. No visit to Vancouver is complete without spending some time at Granville Island.

 

What is one of your favourite hot spots in Vancouver?