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Granville Island is a hub for those looking for a chill yet bustling vibe. From its public market and plenty of shops for unique souvenirs to tons of quaint cafes and restaurants, this sandspit (more like a peninsula than an island) is south of downtown Vancouver. And it’s the perfect part of any travel itinerary.

The history of Granville Island dates back to the 1900s, and until the 1970s this neighborhood was largely industrial area. Since then, we’ve seen Granville Island transform with each passing decade into a cultural destination with theaters, art galleries, French pastries, sake tastings, and more.

Although other artistic districts and buildings have been established around the city over the years, Granville Island maintains its own one-of-a-kind charm. You won’t find another place close to the waterfront that sees art mixing with maritime heritage with a dose of indigenous culture.

Aboriginal Art Vibe

One thing Granville Island has in abundance is Aboriginal art for discovery. Visitors can explore nearby shops including Eagle Spirit Gallery, Granville Island Treasures, and Inukshuk Gallery. The Raven and the Bear as well as Wickaninnish Gallery are excellent places to realize indigenous art.

Act it Out Vibes - Acting and Theater

More than just a place to view artwork, Granville Island is also where one can go to experience performance art. Youngsters from 2 to 22 years old can head to the Arts Umbrella for art, design, dance and theater fun while others have their pick from the Arts Club Theatre Company, Theatre Wire, Axis Theatre Company and Boca del Lupo.

Taste the World in One Place Vibes - Food & Drink

Imagine if you could taste delicacies and signature cuisine from all over the world in one place. Now you can on Granville Island! Start at the Artisan Sake Maker to put your own spin on Japan’s traditional liquor, then head to the Bon Macaron Patisserie for a taste of Italian and French sweetness. Make sure you don’t miss out on Bubble Bombs, Siegel’s Bagels, and Maples’ Sugar Shack all in and around the Public Market (with lots more to see)!

Crafts and Gifts Vibes - Souvenirs and Craft Supplies

Are you interested in creating crafts and gifts with your own special touch or looking for ready-made selections? Don’t miss Beadworks, Maiwan Granville Island, and Funk Shui Felt for supplies and gifts. Also browse The Crystal Ark, Vancouver Studio Glass and Aurum-Argentum Goldsmiths for irreplaceable one-of-a-kind souvenirs.

About the Author:

Jessica Lin

Although she's a true West Coast gal at heart, Jess grew up bilingual, having moved extensively as a child and split her childhood and much of her adult years between Asia and North America. She is proud to be a connoisseur of the cultures and traditions of both East and West.