On our first day in Vancouver we were excited to try the culinary delights of Granville Island that we had heard so much about. Granville Island is a small area of land just across from downtown over an area of water called False Creek. From our hotel we had to walk straight along Hornby Street to the dock where we got the aquabus, a day pass for this was pretty cheap so we decided to get this for a full day of exploring.
Our first stop on the boat was Granville Island itself. The public market here is UH-mazing. It is primarily a food market (other bits and bobs such as crafts can be found in the surrounding buildings) that includes fresh fruit, meats, bakeries, pies, pizzas, seafood, cheeses, smoothies, confectionary, salads and all sorts besides. One of the kookiest stalls was devoted to different flavoured vinegars. While seating can be limited (especially in inclement weather) we still had breakfast, lunch and dinner there on our first day, bought stuff to make packed lunches later in the week and even went back on our last day for another lunch. The food is fresh, inexpensive by Canadian standards and delicious. It would be my top must do activity for anyone visiting Vancouver by a long way. I loved it!!
Once we had finally torn ourselves away from the public market we got on a boat to the next stop David Lam Park. Here we did a short coastal walk towards the next ferry pick up point past various statues out in the bay. Just inland of this is a one of the trendy neighbourhoods, Yaletown, with many little cafes and fancy places to eat.
A little way further around the creek we reached the Plaza of Nations where we disembarked again. Other than a casino or 2 sports stadiums, none of which we were too interested in at this point, there was not much to do here.
Travelling past the science dome at the top end of the bay we went across the water to The Village on the south bank. Here we wandered past the athletes’ village from the Winter Olympics although the buildings are now all used for other purposes. This area was slightly hipster-esque with a few craft breweries and while we resisted going into one of these, we did end up in a huge liquor store (on the square with the birds) where we may have made a couple of purchases including Fraser’s new obsession, Canadian ice-wine.
Our boat driver forgot to stop at our last new location but by this time we were starting to get a bit peckish again so heading straight back to the public market on Granville was fully appreciated for meal three of the day.
Our decision to get the boat hopping pass was pretty spur of the moment so we hadn’t done much research on each of the locations we visited. Had we done this I’m sure we would have done more than just wander however after the past few action packed days in Whistler the slower pace of things turned out to be quite a welcome change. On a pleasant day I feel this was a great choice of activity and the views around False Creek were pretty enough to make just that bit of the day worth it, in fact you can just pay to do a round trip on the aquabus which takes 20-30 minutes. Alongside that Granville Island public market is a must see, yes it is popular with tourists but this is for very good reason (p.s. best cheese and ham croissants ever)!!!!!
Have you been to Granville Island? Any favourite stalls? Did you take the aquabus?
Lovely pics of the best city in the world!
Granville Island is an absolute must and the food stalls are terrific … But the island is more than that. Local artists have shops, craft boutiques abound and it is just a great place to wander around. Most unexpected as it is located under a large road bridge
Yes we did wander around the rest of the island as well which was pretty cool, however we did get rather distracted by the food.
Great review of the False Creek area.
This area used to be an industrial waste land, until it was re-developed for Vancouver’s Expo 86, which opened May 1986 and ran for 5 months. The Plaza of Nations, while currently rather underwhelming, was the central hub at Expo 86, with the glass building being the BC Pavillion. Since the end of Expo 86 the area has been further redeveloped into what you described.
Great idea to visit Granville Island by Aqua Bus, as it is almost impossible to drive there and find parking, especially for our vehicle. Hence the reason, in my 35+ years in Greater Vancouver, I have only visited Granville Island about twice.
We are actually heading down to Vancouver today for a stroll around False Creek and Stanley Park.
Wow that’s really interesting. I didn’t know half of that information. Thank you.