There are so many reasons why 10.5 million people come to visit this magical, nostalgic, creativity-rich peninsula known as Granville Island each year. We’re listing only 8 of them.
Whether you’re a Vancouver local or a tourist from out of town, there’s nothing quite like a day spent on Granville Island. The fact that this neighborhood boasts an unusually potent concentration of artists and artisans is only part of its special appeal. It’s also a place where delectable cuisine and unique opportunities for fun are in no short supply.
That’s what this list focuses on: fun. Based on our experience of working on Granville Island for years now, these are the experiences we would most recommend to visitors intent on having a really, really good time.
Looking for a fun culinary experience? The Granville Island Public Market has been called Granville Island’s crown jewel, and we honestly get it. Part of the reason it’s so amazing is its dozens of food vendors serving up seafood, pastries, meats, veggies, specialty foods…whatever you can imagine. This Granville Island Market food tour takes you straight to all the unmissable options. (Pssst, you can get a VIP backstage pass here.)
Ever seen a glass blower at work? It’s miraculous and totally thrilling—if the blower doesn’t do it exactly right, the whole piece falls apart. That’s why a visit to the Vancouver Glass Studio is in order for a fun day on Granville Island. You can watch the glass blowers at work, take a glass blowing workshop, and check out their gorgeous collection of glass art pieces.
There is only one rice farm in all of British Columbia, and it’s in Abbotsford, an hour outside of Vancouver. And this incredible farm’s Japanese short grain rice becomes a fine, smooth sake at Granville Island’s Artisan Sake Maker. How cool is that? We recommend that you go and enjoy a sake flight, followed by ice cream made with kasu, the fermented rice mash that remains after sake is made.
Is there a dessert that’s more fun than a macaron? We really doubt it! And these colourful, bite-sized French delicacies don’t get any better than the ones crafted with love by Bon Macaron. You can attend a macaron-making workshop (or book a private session) at this iconic patisserie most Saturdays.
- Dine while overlooking False Creek
For scenic views and some of the best food on Granville Island, we recommend making a reservation at one of the restaurants overlooking False Creek. In particular, the spots on the northwest side of the Granville Island Public Market are excellent.
Much of Granville Island’s magic is due to its waterfront character. Naturally, there are a lot of marine activities to choose from, including renting a kayak or a seadoo from Vancouver Water Adventures.
- Dine at Sandbar
This one is for seafood lovers. In our opinion, one of the best culinary experiences you can have on Granville Island is at Sandbar. Try their sushi or their signature seafood boil, all while enjoying stunning waterfront views.
Since the 1960s, a collection of floating homes on False Creek, known as Sea Village, has constituted Vancouver’s most unique neighborhood. Located on the northeast end of Granville Island, this is a really fun place to tour and check out the homes, which are incredibly varied in architectural character.
That’s our game plan for maximum fun in Vancouver’s most delightful neighborhood. We hope you have the time of your life!