Granville Island, a Trendy Urban Oasis

While very touristy, Granville Island is an exciting destination when visiting Vancouver, B.C.  Like an urban oasis, Granville Island is a trendy spot that offers something for everyone…from waterfront restaurants and cafes to a huge farmers market, galleries, boutique shops to artisans and street performers. Whether it’s a holiday or a just a sunny weekend, the Island always seems to have something going on…it’s a dynamic destination with a vibrant and diverse mix of people and activities to be had by all. Granville Island is like the Town Square of Vancouver—where locals and visitors come together to be inspired and entertained by its unique atmosphere.

The Public Farmers Market is the focal point of the Island, and rivals that of its southern counterpart across the border…the Seattle Pike Place Market.   You can browse the aisles and sample local and exotic flavors from the  farmers, bakers, butchers and fishmongers.

Like any refined urban area, art is often the catalyst…at Granville Island this is no exception.  With a plethora of artisans, craftspeople and performers, Granville has a wonderfully robust art and culture scene.  Day or night, you can always find an eclectic mix of festivals, theater, street performers, musical shows and art exhibits to entertain you.

For more pictures of Granville Island, click here.

For a brief overview of the island, check out my video below:

Granville Island was once a major industrial manufacturing area, however since its redevelopment in the 1970s, it has grown into a  healthy community of artisans, craftspeople, restaurateurs and performers. Interestingly, the city of Vancouver was once called Granville until it was renamed in 1886.

View of Vancouver from Granville Island

The redeveloped of Granville was spearheaded by the Canadian government…it transformed the site into a ‘people-friendly’ place with various uses.  Today, the site is still owned and managed by the Canadian government.  The redevelopment originally cost the government $19 million and the site now generates an estimated $35 million per year in taxes. Not a bad ROI.

When visitors to Granville Island are cultured and shopped-out, the coastal location means there is a terrific menu of ocean sports and activities to satisfy every adventurous whim. Sailboats, motorboats, canoes and kayaks are all for rent. Spectator-oriented visitors will find interest in the competitive rowing teams and the Dragon Boat racers that practice in and around the False Creek area.

If you’ve been or happen to go to Granville Island, let me know what ya think.


Mike Shubic

Mike Shubic is a seasoned road trip travel video blogger, traversing the byways of the world looking for those hidden gems of the road. From unique destinations, unexpected discoveries, creative cuisine, intriguing inns to exciting attractions…the road is his page. The experiences are his ink. And every 300 miles, a new chapter begins. Whether you live vicariously or by example, Mike will do the exploring so you can have an adventure.


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