Granville Island, teeming with houseboats, studios and shop stalls, is one of North America’s greatest public-space success stories.
Locals, art students, and tourists flock here. People come for the fantastic Granville Island Public Market (open daily, 9am-7pm), with its fresh BC grown fresh produce, exotic imported flavors, ready-to-eat ethnic and specialty foods — everything from French cuisine to sushi, craft beer, and artisan saki.
Everything here is original – there’s not a chain or brand name in sight.
Then there are the theaters, restaurants, a boutique hotel overlooking houseboats (Granville Island Hotel), a Kids Only market, and a myriad of events including Writers Festivals and Winter Parades, as well as working studios like a broom craftsman, a paper-maker, and of course, jewelers.
You can find outdoor seating with pleasant views of False Creek and the West End although eclectic street musicians and annoying seagulls also seem to like these tables, and on those days, you may actually hope for rain.
Allow two or three hours if the weather’s good; allow more time for visiting museums.
Tip: Don’t even think of parking here during the weekend; instead, take the convenient False
Creek Ferries (www.granvilleislandferries.bc.ca), or an Aquabus (www.theaquabus.com), both operate small fleets of tiny boats that whisk you from the West End and trendy Yaletown.