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Explore the Island
Granville Island on False Creek just across from Vancouver itself is an interesting spot to visit especially when the weather might be threatening rain has it did on the Saturday we visited. They have a number of shops you can browse through, a really nice public market with wonderful smells and sights. Buskars are encouraged here so you will see your fair share of entertainment of various types.
The public market is open everyday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. There is also a marina for those of you who may want to boat there and various small theatres.
Picture #1 - Main Entrance Under the Granville Bridge
Picture #2 - One of the Entrances to the Public Market
Picture #3 - One of the Small Ferrries you can Catch from the Mainland
Picture #4 - An Umbrella Shop
Picture #5 - Some of the Buskars in the Public Market
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Granville Island Brewing Company
The Granville Island Brewing Company was established in 1984. It is British Columbia's oldest microbrewery and they offer brewery tours to visitors every day at noon, 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm. The tours cost $9.75 and include four tasters. If you don't feel like going on a tour, you can simply go to their tasting room and try out a few beers - most of their beers have been named after local neighborhoods (English Bay Pale Ale, Gastown Amber Ale, Kitsilano Maple Cream Ale, Robson Street Hefeweizen...) and thus make for pretty cool souvenirs (you can get them at the brewery's store). The Kitsilano Maple Cream Ale turned out to be my favorite one!
- Beer Tasting
Welcome to Granville Island!
Granville Island is a man-made island built around 1915 for industrial purposes. It lies underneath the Granville Street Bridge, in False Creek. Many factories were established on the island, but starting in the 1950s, many closed down, burned down, or simply moved to a new location. Activity on the island dwindled down until a group of citizens decided to give it a new life in the 1970s, and turned it into a great example of urban redevelopment.
Today, the old factories and warehouses are still there, but the have become home to many restaurants, specialty shops, theatres, galleries, a kids market, the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, the Granville Island Brewing Company and the famous Granville Island Public Market. What makes spending a few hours on the island so much fun is that although its purpose has changed, it is still quite easy to picture life as it must have been during its industrial era. There is always plenty of activity going on, whether it be music by street performers or a show organized by a local radio station, kids playing in the park, visitors getting their picture taken, and so on - because another cool thing about the island is that it offers you a really great view of downtown Vancouver so don't forget your camera!
The Granville Island Public Market probably is the island's biggest draw. With over 100 stands, it offers an amazing selection of fresh products (fruits, vegetables, fish, cheese, cold cuts, pasta, bread, desserts, flowers and more) at a reasonably good price. There are also some crafts stands, and a food court that offers a great selection of food from all around the world. The market is open every day of the week, from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. I would strongly suggest going to Granville Island on foot as driving and parking on the island is no easy task!
- Theater Travel
- Food and Dining
It has stores, galleries, artist's studios and it houses the world famous Grandville Public Market where you also find restaurants. Outside the Market you find the center for the performing arts, music, dance and theater.
Enjoy the Harbor
Granville island is a magical place and a must see for any visitor to Vancouver. It is considered to be part of downtown Vancouver.
It is physically connected to the city by a causeway from the south that provides no hint of the treasures that await visitors. Its humble origins are philosophically far removed from what it has become, a sophisticated home to performing arts, art education, dining, artists' studios and workshops, art galleries and a fabulous public market that offers the widest array of fresh food in the Lower Mainland as well as a favourite place for people to meet, eat and spend some time in a safe and relaxing environment.
Its location close to two of Vancouver main city bridges, at the place where English Bay becomes False Creek. Having exciting water views from any point along its perimeter contibutes to the sense that this is truly a unique space in more than just a local context.
There is a surreal aspect to the various juxtopositions apparent on the island. Marinas that have working fishing vessels as well as luxurious hi-tech personal pleasure craft. A cement plant that fits in visually as a unique element. Views of False Creek condo towers with marinas at their base suggesting Miami or other holiday centres. Within this context one can find a child friendly collection of attractions including A Kid's Market, a waterpark and playground, a Floating Village of houseboats and tiny colourful ferries taking people back and forth among points on the waterfronts.
Take time to enjoy.
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Take a walk.
We started our day with a grease filled breakfast at Central Kitchen & Eurobar, walked down Robson Street to Richards towards Granville Island. Once we found the AquaBus we made our way to the island. It was a rainy day, typical of Vancouver but still a nice day. We stopped at many of the little local shops and shopped. You must check out the hat store in the Net Loft Shop & Galleries, great hats and the floor moves. We met a couple later that evening from Vancouver who told us the lady that owns the hat store is a flamingo (sp?) dancer and moves the tables and chairs to dance. And that yes ... its typical for these dancers to have a floor with some bounce in it. Im glad I wasn't going crazy, I thought I was seasick from the 3 minute Aquabus ride over. HA.
We stopped at The Granville Brewery and did the typical beer tasting. Ate some calamari at The Keg.
- Food and Dining
- Arts and Culture
Welcome to the Island of fun!
Granville Island is a great place to spend the day. You can browse the shops, chill out on the deck, watch the boats on False Creek and just generally relax. There are many festivals happening on Granville Island all year round, and some great food to eat. It is just a great place with a lot of action and fun for adults (Granville Island Brewery) and Kids (the large children's area is great for them).
First things first - Granville Island is *not* a real island, although it once used to be. It's a tiny peninsula located on the shore of False Creek, south of downtown Vancouver.
Granville Island is worth visiting because there's a lot going on in a very small area. It has a large public market, the Kids Only market, lots of public art studios and art galleries, a prestigious art college (Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design), several small performing arts theatres, boat yards and rentals, one hotel, a good selection of restaurants (with some of the best patios in the city), and a lot of one-of-a-kind boutiques. Oh yes, and the buskers. I recommend Granville Island for its unique atmosphere where you can wander through the alleys discovering neat places around every hidden corner.
Granville Island is most famous for the Granville Island Public Market, and a trip to Granville Island would not be complete without a visit. It's a great place to buy fresh local products like gourmet pasta and sauces, cheeses, meats, pastries and desserts, fish and seafood, poultry, flowers, spices, chocolate, coffee, and more. It's a foodie's paradise for both locals and visitors. Many people come to the market to pick up ingredients for picnics.
If you're planning to visit, go in the morning or the afternoon. The market closes at 7pm every day, and most of the stores close at that time too. Only come to Granville Island in the evening if you plan to have dinner or see a local production at one of the theatres. Don't come after 7pm to windowshop or to find a vibrant nightlife scene because it's very quiet and there are more interesting parts of the city to visit during the evening.
I feel that Granville Island should be considered a "must see" Vancouver attraction for first time visitors as it gives you beautiful scenic views, good food, and a fun atmosphere. If you only have one day in Vancouver for example, then Granville Island should always be in there.
- Family Travel
- Food and Dining
The Granville Bridge was built in 1954. This bridge can be somewhat intimidating to walk across. The narrow pathways on either side of the bridge can be reached only by crossing access ramps where motorists seem intent on building up as much speed as possible. Getting off the bridge is just as exciting when you have to cross an off ramp. For your efforts you’ll get a panoramic view of downtown view of Vancouver’s high rises, marinas and the Burrard Bridge to the west. On the south end of the bridge you’ll be passing over Granville Island, an interesting destination in its own right. As you’re passing over the island you’ll wonder if there isn’t some easy way to get down to the island, but unfortunately, you’ll have to go all the way to the south end of the bridge and then work your way back.
- Hiking and Walking
Granville Island By Water Taxi
Granville Island has been transformed from a dirty industrial park to a farmers market and collection of artists galleries. The businesses may have changed, but the original buildings are still there as are the railroad tracks. Enjoy a lunch outside on a warm day, and you will probably be entertained by a local musician and children playing the engrossing but ultimately futile game of “Catch a Sea Gull”. The galleries are really great and include special one-of-a-kind pieces. The best part about the island is how much it promotes art from local Canadian artists. The island has dozens of galleries and studios with the works of these artists. Sometimes art can be difficult to appreciate, but one gallery that has a wide range of art that should appeal to everyone is the Crafthouse Gallery. It houses a variety of artworks in a range of mediums from several different artists. The collections are always changing, so there is something fresh to see all the time. Granville Island is popular with both locals and travelers. If you are visit on a crowded weekend, you really should leave your car behind and get their by a water taxi from Aqua Bus (http://www.theaquabus.com/). It is a relaxing way to get there with the added bonus of a short cruise around this lovely, ever-changing city.
- Food and Dining
- Arts and Culture
I went to Granville Island twice on my visit, the first time being shortly after I arrived in Vancouver and the 2nd time the next morning with Rob and JoAnn.
When we arrived on day 1 of my visit, I was a little hungry, my plane was delayed due to the terrorist arrests and added security checks not to mention the lack of food on flights these days (thanks for the 1/4 ounce bag of pretzels!). I suppose I could have dipped into the JUMBO bag of Garrett's popcorn I was bringing Robert but then I would have telltale orange cheese stains on my fingers...
Anyway, when we started walking through the section with all the fast food options, I figured it was best just to grab something here but made a bad choice with a fried sampler from a fish place. Everything tasted like it had been fried in oil that had been used for days and way too much coating on everything. After feeding the gulls the rest of our lunch, we hopped on the Aqua Bus over to Yaletown.
On day 2 of my visit, Jo Ann (jag17) wanted to see Granville Island so we stopped by on our walking tour and visited the Granville Island Public Market, one of the high points of Granville Island, stocked full of meats, cheeses, fish, fruits and vegetables, baked goods, too bad we weren't hungry just yet.
And just so Rob doesn't think I wasn't paying attention to his tour, Granville Island is a wonderful example of a multifunctional venture, with businesses coexisting with the tourist elements. And even if he didn't say so, I thought Granville Island was a great example of what you can do with a declining industrial area, the warehouses and factories transformed into galleries, shops and restaurants. Many cities have tried this with varying degrees of success, Vancouver's is probably one of the most successful.
The Granville Public Market is a huge indoor market. It is a fabulous place to pick up super fresh produce, seafood and baking. There are also lots of fresh flowers, great cheeses, sweets.... it's a foodie's paradise. Open till 7:00 pm.
Also in Granville Island is the Kid's Market. This place is a child's dream come true - all the shops are geared towards kids. There is an outdoor water park nearby where kids can splash around a bit for free. Mom and Dad can grab a coffee and cop a squat on one of the nearby benches. Family in paradise.... are you seeing a recurring theme here? lol. I LOVE Granville Island!!!
This is a great place to wander around and window shop. There are so many artists' shops here, you won't believe it. The quality of one-of-a-kind art pieces that are available for sale here is phenomenal. If, however, you are on the sort of budget that I am, hopefully you can be as content as I am by just looking at the art. I love galleries, and the artists' shops in Granville Island are a great opportunity to tour dozens of galleries in the same day - for free! And I'm sure you'll manage to find a little something to take home as a keepsake that will fit into your budget.
And don't forget the Granville Island Brewery! It's here too. You can do a tour of the brewery, if you're interested.
- Beer Tasting
- Family Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Some may consider Granville Island a tourist trap, but we really liked their public market. We think it's a great place to go as a group and try different foods from all the vendors. Parking is horrendous. We'd recommend parking right outside the entrance and walking in.
Exploring False Creek
Oh, so much to do here... Granville Island is worth a visit. There is a public market, restaurants arts venues, shops of all kind, a hotel, you can rent kayaks and go for a paddle around the creek...Also check out the house boats, they are lovely. Then you can also rent a bicycle or inline skates and go around false creek. Views are spectacular.
- Hiking and Walking
Granville Island and False Creek
Granville Island is located in the center of Vancouver and has sever markets to encounter as well as the Seawall and several wharfs. The shops are varied in nature and you can find pretty much anything that you are looking for from Organic food markets to pottery to art. The aquabus runs from False Creek to downtown and can talk to here. There is also the Seawall in which you can talke a walk along the water.
PS Parking can be a bit of a challenge on the weekend!
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