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10 Things To Do at Granville Island in Vancouver – Everything You Need To Know

Granville Island is an iconic spot in Vancouver for shopping, dining, entertainment, and sightseeing. No matter what you’re looking for, you’re bound to find it at Granville Island. Here are 10 awesome things you can do at Granville Island! 

Granville island sign under the granville bridge in vancouver

Where Is Granville Island?

Granville Island is technically not an island, but rather a Peninsula between Downtown Vancouver and the Vancouver mainland. Granville Island is located underneath the Granville street bridge.

You can bike or walk across the Granville street bridge, or take an Aquabus water taxi from one of the many locations along the seawall. Busses also run from Downtown Vancouver and the Vancouver mainland to Granville Island. Granville Island is also accessible by car, but this popular tourist spot fills up quickly in the summer and on weekends, so arrive early because parking is limited. 

Aquabus water taxi in granville island vancouver

1. Shop at Local Vendors

There are endless shops and booths to explore at Granville Island filled with creative items from local businesses and artisans.

Net loft building at granville island vancouver

You can find unique apparel and accessories, housewares, books, pottery, fine arts, games, art supplies, and more among the dozens of unique shops located in the Net Loft, Public Market, and on Duranleau and Johnson Street. 

jewelry and art store at granville island in vancouver

2. See Local Entertainment

Granville Island is a great spot to see some local entertainment. You can find buskers playing live music around Granville Island and other street performers on practically any given day. 

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Busker playing guitar at granville island in vancouver

There are also several theatres located on Granville Island to see current theatre productions, like the Waterfront Theatre, and the Granville Island Stage, Arts Club Theatre Company. There is also a popular music venue called the Red Gate Revue Stage where you can go for some late-night entertainment. 

Granville Island theatre in vancouver

3. Sightseeing Around Granville Island

Even if you go to Granville Island just to people watch or window shop, you’ll find that there is plenty to see. Throughout Granville Island is plenty of striking public art and even a community of one-of-a-kind houseboats. 

houseboats at granville island in vancouer

Granville Island is a historic landmark, filled with converted warehouses and factories from its development in 1916[1]. Granville Island started with a purely industrial intention, and eventually flourished into the booming arts center that it is today. Remnants of Granville Islands’ history remain today and make for some great sightseeing. 

painted concrete silos at granville island in vancouver

4. Walk the Seawall

The Vancouver seawall wraps all the way around Granville Island, and it’s a great way to get to and from the island, or even just explore the surrounding area. 

the vancouver seawall near granville island lined with flowers

The Vancouver seawall offers gorgeous views of the downtown shoreline. If you continue walking west along the seawall from Granville Island you’ll conveniently end up at Kitsilano Beach, one of Vancouver’s most popular beaches. The seawall is a great way to explore the city. 

view of downtown vancouver from the seawall near granville island

5. Eat at the Granville Island Public Market

One of the main reasons so many people flock to Granville Island is all of the amazing food. Check out the public market for tons of tasty of baked goods, coffee, specialty products, and a diverse variety of cuisines from food vendors. 

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Granville island public market in Vancouver

Granville Island Public Market is packed full of different food vendors offering a variety of cuisines from Mexican, to Vietnamese, and everything in between. 

Crowd of people at the granville island public market in vancouver

You will see a lot of locals doing their grocery shopping here as well. Granville Island offers several produce vendors for fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as local butcheries, and freshly caught fish, including traditional First Nation’s smoked and candied salmon. 

sunshine produce at granville island public market in vancouver

6. Visit an Art Gallery

There are several art galleries showing the works of local artists and artisans on Granville Island. 

art gallery full of sculptures in granville island vancouver

You can find art galleries exhibiting contemporary art, paintings, sculptures, Indigenous art, and finely made jewelry. Along with the public art and murals around Granville Island, there is plenty of art around to inspire you.  

art gallery full of paintings in granville island vancouver

7. Grab a Drink

There are several restaurants around Granville Island where you can grab a bite and a cocktail. Additionally, you can find artisanal distilleries and liquor stores like Artisan SakeMaker, and The Liberty Distillery which distill quality spirits like whiskey and gin. Or, just stop at the Granville Island Brewing Taphouse for a locally brewed pint and burger, or to grab some beers to bring home with you. 

Granville Island Brewery taphouse in vancouver

8. Watersport Rentals

If you’re up for an adventure, you can rent a boat or a water bike from Granville Island Boat Rentals. You can also rent boat tours so you can just sit back and enjoy the scenery. From Vancouver Water Adventures on Granville Island, you can also rent Seadoos, kayaks, and paddle boards if you feel like being more active on the water. 

Boat rentals at granville island in vancouver

9. Go Whale Watching

Wild Whales Vancouver located on Granville Island offers amazing whale-watching excursions. You’ll see the city of Vancouver in a completely different light, and be exposed to marine life like Orca whales, seals, porpoises, and otters! 

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Pod of orcas being watched by whale watchers on a boat in british columbia

10. Bring the Kids! 

Granville Island isn’t all about the parents, though it’s pretty great for them too. There are tons of activities to do with the kids as well! In fact, there is a whole market on Granville Island dedicated to all things kids. 

Kids market granville island in vancouver

The kids market has shops with kids’ toys, and books, as well as a playground outside. There is also a playscape inside, as well as an arcade! A Vancouver local myself, I loved playing here as a kid. 

Playscape inside granville island kids market in vancouver

If the weather is nice, there is also an outdoor playground near the False Creek Community Center and a Kids Water Park that operates on weekends from May to June 30, and all week long from July to September. 

View of the Granville street bridge from granville island

Whether you are a kid, a kid at heart, a foodie, or a shopaholic, you will definitely enjoy your time at Granville Island! 

Article Sources:

  1. Granville Island. “It Started with a Mud Flat