Granville Island, the second most-visited tourist attraction in Canada after Niagara Falls, has a scenic location on False Creek across from downtown and tucked under Vancouver’s Granville Bridge. It’s claim to fame is a really well publicized covered food market.
Although many of the market vendors haven’t kept up with the maker-led revolution that’s torn through the rest of the Vancouver food scene, there’s still a certain je ne sais quoi about taking a boat there and reveling in the lively atmosphere. Other perks for families: a free water park, duck pond, and a Kids’ Market.
The most fun way to get to Granville Island is to hop on a rainbow water taxi. Vancouver’s vibrant fleet of Aquabus leave from Hornby Street in the West End every 5 minutes. If your small folk enjoy the boat ride as much as ours do, you may want to take a full 25 minute tour of all the False Creek ferry stops for a few dollars more, before disembarking at Granville Island.
Many aquabuses do take bikes, so again, hang onto your cycle because it will make getting to Kitsilano quick and easy.
As you approach the island on your aquabus, keep an eye out for Sea Village, an aquatic cul-de-sac of 13 brightly painted floating homes. Once you disembark, head to the vibrant Granville Island Public Market, a cliched but worth it stop with dozens of food vendors and craftsmen.
On your short walk over, don’t miss the neon 23-metre mural “Giants” painted on Granville Island’s concrete silos by Brazilian street artists OSGEMEOS.
Completed in late 2014, the public art shows where Vancouver is heading and highlights one of the last shreds of evidence of this tourist destination’s industrial past. It’s visible from Johnston Street between the sea bus landing and the Burrard Bridge.
Hornby Street Waterfront, Theaquabus.com