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A favourite hangout among locals and tourists alike, Granville Island is one of those can’t-miss kind of places. Tucked away under Granville Bridge, the island is famous for its popular food market, theatres and artisan workshops. It didn’t always look like this though. In the early 1900s, the island was pretty much just factories, sawmills and manufacturing warehouses. Sounds pretty bleak, right? While many of these historic buildings still remain, they’ve been treated to a modern makeover and repurposed into food halls, shops and studios. In other words, it’s a hipster’s haven. But despite all its coolness, the neighbourhood has a distinctly old-world look and feel, with an ever-growing creative community of artists and craftworkers adding to its magical charm.
Perhaps the biggest selling point of Granville Island is the legendary Public Market. It’s often described as a ‘food-lover’s paradise’, and you’ll soon understand why when you see the endless stalls piled high with fresh produce, seafood and baked treats. When you’re not exploring the sights and sounds of the busy indoor market, you can catch a show at one of the island’s theatres, browse an art gallery or watch the rainbow-coloured boats bob along False Creek. There are some great boutique shops too if you’re looking to pick up a unique souvenir. What more could you possibly want?
Whether you go for the food, the theatre or the vibrant atmosphere, Granville Island will leave you with the urge to return again and again.
The highlight of Granville Island is the popular Public Market. A wander through this favourite foodie hangout is a treat for all the senses. Pick up some tasty nibbles to create your own picnic or take a seat in the bustling food court and drool over the colourful array of global cuisine - Italian Pizza or Japanese noodles, anyone? If you visit during June to September, make sure you hit up the farmers market and try some of the seasonal fruit and veg. There are some great seafood restaurants with waterfront views too, and let’s not forget the famous breweries and distilleries offering daily tours and tasting sessions. You won’t go hungry or thirsty here, that’s for sure.
But it’s not just the food that lures locals and visitors to Granville Island. Street performance is a big part of the appeal, with singers, drummers and dancers adding to the vibrant atmosphere. The island also plays host to several festivals throughout the year, including the iconic Vancouver International Jazz Festival which attracts some of the world’s best jazz musicians to the city every summer. Immerse yourself in the creative culture of the island by taking a stroll down Railspur Alley to peek inside the craft studios where artists, potters and glass-blowers master their skills. Or, if outdoorsy activities are more your thing, you can rent a kayak or paddle board and see the city from the water. The choice is yours.
Interested in soaking up the sights of Granville Island? Vancouver is automatically included as part of our Canada Western Self Drive base itinerary. You can then add other exciting destinations and create a bespoke trip that is tailored to your interests. Head over to our itinerary builder now to get started.
Granville Island is located on a peninsular across False Creek from Downtown Vancouver. You can reach the island by car, bus, ferry or on foot.
The island can be accessed at any time of day. Public Market is open seven days a week from 9am to 7pm, apart from public holidays. Most shops are open from 10am to 7pm.
There is no fee to access Granville Island, but bear in mind that certain attractions may charge admission fees.
The weather in Vancouver is generally mild during the summer, but there’s usually a breeze on the island so it’s a good idea to dress warmly.
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