Last Updated on June 13, 2022
As soon as you arrive in Vancouver, you will understand why it has been ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world. The city is surrounded by natural beauty, from the snow-capped mountains to the sparkling ocean. And there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, whether you are hiking through a forest or kayaking in the harbor.
At the same time, Vancouver is a modern and cosmopolitan city, with world-class restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. It is also home to a diverse population, with people from all over the world coming to live and work in Vancouver. Whether you are looking for an urban adventure or a chance to relax in nature, Vancouver has something to offer everyone.
With so many options of things to do in Vancouver, your visit would not be complete without spending a day exploring Granville Island.
About Granville Island
Located across False Creek from Downtown Vancouver, under the south end of the Granville Street Bridge, you will find what was once an industrial manufacturing area; there are even still cranes and rail tracks around, paying tribute to its old days of creating manufactured goods.
Many of Granville Island’s buildings have been preserved and repurposed to house the shops, artisans, and vendors who work on the island today. For example, the famous public market and big red barn were once industrial warehouses. Over 100 years ago, the kids’ market was a paint factory.
Today, Granville Island is now a hotspot for Vancouver tourism and entertainment and is a popular tourist destination, known for its eclectic shops, vibrant market, the plethora of activities, and stunning waterfront views.
There is something for everyone to do on Granville Island. Whether you are looking to explore Vancouver’s history or just enjoy a day by the water, Granville Island is worth a visit.
Table Of Contents
- About Granville Island
- Visit The Granville Island Public Market
- Admire Local Artwork
- Explore Public Artworks
- Granville Island Brewing
- Take Time To Enjoy The Waterfront Views
- Marvel At The Street Performers
- Take An Aquabus Across False Creek
- Go Paddleboarding Or Kayaking In False Creek
- Explore By Water Bike
- Check Out The Kids Market
- Catch Some Laughs At The Improv Centre
- Watch A Live Show At The Arts Club
- Grab A Bite At Sandbar Seafood Restaurant
- Indulge In Lee’s Donuts
- Buy Fresh Seafood At The Lobster Man
- Know Before You Go
Here are 15 fun things to do on Granville Island during your visit:
Visit The Granville Island Public Market
The Granville Island Public Market is one of Vancouver’s most beloved attractions. Located in the heart of the city, the market is home to a diverse range of businesses, from produce stores and seafood vendors to bakeries and crafts shops. Visitors can find everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to handmade jewelry and pottery. The market is also a great place to enjoy a meal or snack, with many of the businesses offering sit-down dining or take-out options.
Whether you are looking for a unique gift in the Granville Island shops, or simply want to explore Vancouver’s vibrant food scene, the Granville Island Public Market is sure to have something for everyone.
Admire Local Artwork
For art lovers, the real draw is Granville Island’s many art galleries. These galleries showcase the work of local and international artists, and they offer a wide range of styles and mediums. Whether you are interested in painting, sculpture, or photography, you are sure to find something that catches your eye on Granville Island. And with new exhibitions opening all the time, there is always something new to see. If you are looking for a dose of culture during your next visit to Vancouver, be sure to add Granville Island to your itinerary.
Explore Public Artworks
Granville Island is also home to a diverse collection of public artwork, ranging from sculptures and murals to more unconventional pieces like an outdoor piano. No matter where you explore on Granville Island, you are sure to find something interesting and new. And with so much artwork on display, it’s easy to while away an afternoon exploring all the island has to offer.
A standout piece is a chandelier under the north end of the Granville Bridge, which cost a whopping $4.8 million. A more reasonable art display is the silos, which are among the most photographed things in Vancouver. The six towers were once boring and gray but now feature colorful giants. Half of them ‘face’ False Creek.
Granville Island Brewing
Granville Island Brewing is a Vancouver institution. Since 1984, they have been brewing up fresh, locally made beer for everyone to enjoy. Located in the heart of Granville Island, the brewery is just a short walk from the bustling public market.
What could be better than grabbing a beer after a day of exploring the market? The brewery has a large taproom where you can try their latest creations, and they also offer tours of the facility. Whether you are a local looking for a new spot to grab a beer or a visitor to Vancouver wanting to try some authentic Canadian beer, Granville Island Brewing is worth checking out.
Take Time To Enjoy The Waterfront Views
Wander the cobblestone paths to where you can enjoy views of False Creek as well as watch boats come in or go out, and people doing watersports pass by.
A beautiful city view combined with delicious food makes for a perfect day, so take your lunch out into the sunshine and enjoy.
Granville Island is the perfect place to spend a day exploring and taking in the incredible scenery.
Marvel At The Street Performers
While walking through the city, it is always enjoyable to stop and watch the street performers. There is such a diverse range of talent on display, from musicians and magicians to acrobats and jugglers. And it is always impressive to see how these performers can command the attention of a busy crowd.
What is even more amazing is that many of these performers are not professionals; they are simply passionate about their craft and enjoy sharing their talents with others.
Whether they are raising money for a cause or simply entertaining passersby, street performers add a touch of magic to the everyday. So next time you are wandering around Granville Island, take a moment to enjoy the show. You might just be surprised by what you see.
Take An Aquabus Across False Creek
The Aquabus is a fleet of small ferries that connect various points along Vancouver’s False Creek. The Aquabus is a great way to see the city from a different perspective, and it is a fun and easy way to get around. There are several locations to catch an aquabus, and from there you can hop on board for a short ride across the water. The Aquabus typically runs every 15 minutes, so you will not have to wait long for your ride.
Once you are on board, you can sit back and enjoy the views of the city skyline and the mountains in the distance. The Aquabus is a great way to see Vancouver’s gorgeous scenery while getting around town.
You could drive to Granville Island, but taking an Aquabus is the most fun!
Go Paddleboarding Or Kayaking In False Creek
False Creek is a vibrant, bustling area of Vancouver that is perfect for exploring by paddleboard or kayak. There are plenty of places to rent both paddleboards and kayaks, and there are also several guided tours available if you’re not confident going it alone. Once you are out on the water, you will be able to explore all sorts of nooks and crannies that you would never be able to see from dry land. There is plenty to explore. And if you get tired of paddling, you can always stop for a picnic lunch or at a popular restaurant for a delicious meal.
If exploring by boat is more of what you fancy, you can also rent a boat from Granville Island Boat rentals. Or, there are plenty of boat tour operators in the city, so you can easily find a tour that fits your schedule and interests. On a boat tour, you will get great views of Vancouver’s skyline and natural landmarks like Stanley Park and Lion’s Gate Bridge. You might even spot some wildlife.
Explore By Water Bike
Water bikes offer a unique and fun way to explore Vancouver. Water bikes are like regular bicycles, but they have paddlewheels instead of pedals. To get started, simply hop on the bike, and start pedaling. The paddlewheels will propel you forward, and you can use the handbrakes to slow down or stop. Water bikes are a great way to see Vancouver from a different perspective, and they are perfect for exploring the city’s many waterways.
Vancouver Boat Rentals offers rentals on Granville Island between June to September.
Check Out The Kids Market
If you are looking for a fun place to take the kids, the Kids Market on Granville Island is the perfect spot. Not only will they be entertained by the lively market atmosphere, but they will also get to discover all sorts of new and exciting things.
With two floors of fun, you will find an arcade, a play structure, virtual reality, bumper cars, and stores full of every toy your kid could imagine. While it is not a cheap visit if you take part in all the extras, it is possible to have great fun with just $10 in the arcade.
Catch Some Laughs At The Improv Centre
There is nothing like a good laugh to brighten up your day. And there is no better place to find laughs than at The Improv Centre. Located on Vancouver’s Granville Island, The Improv Centre is the city’s premier comedy club. With a line-up of top-notch comedians, it is no wonder The Improv Centre is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
Whether you are looking for a night of belly-laughs or just want to enjoy a few chuckles, The Improv Centre is sure to have something for everyone. So next time you are in need of a pick-me-up, be sure to catch some laughs at The Improv Centre.
Watch A Live Show At The Arts Club
The Arts Club on Granville Island is a great place to catch a live show. The theatre has a rich history, dating back to the early days of Vancouver’s arts scene. Today, the Arts Club is one of the city’s most popular performance companies, attracting top talent from across Canada and around the world.
Whether you are a fan of musicals, comedy, or drama, you are sure to find a show that is worth watching at the Granville Island Stage.
If you are looking for an enjoyable evening out, be sure to check out the Arts Club on Granville Island, paired with dinner at one of the delicious restaurants.
The Arts Club includes three stages in Vancouver. In addition to Granville Island, you can also see performances at the Newmont Stage in Olympic Village, or The Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, in the South Granville neighborhood.
Grab A Bite At Sandbar Seafood Restaurant
Sandbar Seafood Restaurant on Granville Island is a must-try for seafood lovers. The restaurant offers a wide variety of seafood items, from fresh fish to oysters and crab. The menu is also constantly changing, so there is always something new to try.
The service is outstanding, and the staff is always happy to help with recommendations. The atmosphere is casual yet refined, making it the perfect place for a date night or a family meal. Best of all, the food is delicious. Whether you are looking for a light lunch or a decadent dinner, Sandbar Seafood Restaurant is sure to please.
The Sandbar is one of our favorite places to go for a meal on Granville Island.
Indulge In Lee’s Donuts
If you are ever in Vancouver, be sure to check out Lee’s Donuts on Granville Island. The donuts are mouth-wateringly good – they are fluffy and light, with the perfect amount of sweetness. And the selection is incredible, with everything from classic flavors like chocolate and honey dip to more adventurous choices like cookie monster.
Plus, the shop has a great vibe – it is always busy but never chaotic, and the staff is always happy to chat and help you choose the perfect donut. Whether you are looking for an afternoon pick-me-up or a dessert for a special occasion, Lee’s Donuts is worth a visit.
Keep in mind that you may have to stand in a really long line to get your hands on some of these donuts. It is always worth the wait.
Lee’s Donuts is known as Vancouver’s best and most iconic donuts and is located inside the Granville Island Public Market.
Buy Fresh Seafood At The Lobster Man
The Lobster Man is one of the original tenants of vibrant Granville Island. They have been in the business of selling live shellfish since 1977 and are Vancouver’s premier destination for live lobster and crab. They sell fresh seafood of all kinds and ready-to-eat seafood staples. Their most famous offering is their delicious lobster rolls.
If you love seafood, you will love The Lobster Man.
Know Before You Go
Is Granville Island An Island?
Despite its name, Granville Island is not an island. It is located on a peninsula that was created when a railway spur was built in the early 1900s. Today, the area is home to a range of businesses, including art galleries, restaurants, and theatres. Granville Island is also a popular spot for fishermen, as it is surrounded by water and has several good fishing spots.
How To Get There
You can drive to Granville Island, but the most fun way to get there is by taking an Aquabus across False Creek!
The Aquabus is a fleet of small ferries that connect various points along Vancouver’s False Creek. The Aquabus is a great way to see the city from a different perspective, and it is a fun and easy way to get around.
Parking At Granville Island
There is parking available on Granville Island, but during peak times it is limited. Take the worry about parking away by taking public transportation, or an Aquabus.
Is Granville Island Worth visiting?
The island is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and market stalls, as well as the Granville Island Public Market, which sells fresh produce, seafood, and other local specialties. There is also a kids’ market, complete with a giant slide and a carousel, making it the perfect place to bring the family. Granville Island is also home to several theaters and art galleries, making it a great place to catch a show or browse local artwork. And with its scenic location on False Creek, it is easy to spend an afternoon exploring all that Granville Island has to offer.
If you are looking for a place to spend an afternoon or day in Vancouver, be sure to check out Granville Island. With its variety of shops and restaurants, as well as its lovely waterfront setting, it is easy to see why this spot is so popular. And if you need some inspiration for what to do there, we have got you covered.
Love it? Pin it for later!