It's simply Granville
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - When Vancouverites crave food and entertainment, they board a rainbow-colored Aquabus for the short ferry across False Creek to Granville Island. A cement plant and metal-sided buildings hint at Granville's late-19th-century roots as a gritty, smoke-belching industrial park, but food and art have been the 37-acre island's primary products since it underwent redevelopment in 1979.
Some folks come to rent sailboats, powerboats, canoes, or kayaks. But Granville's biggest draws are more than 300 mostly arts-related businesses and the sprawling Granville Island Public Market, a cornucopia of local and specialty foods such as farm-fresh produce, fresh seafood, and rare teas.
Between the main market and the food court, it's possible to nibble through a global menu, while the less adventurous can feast on organic smoothies, salads, and soups.
Outside, along the waterfront, and on street corners, buskers entertain with music and magic.
Magic is made, too, in the dozens of galleries and studios that are the heart of Granville Island. Glassblowers and woodworkers, metal sculptors and totem carvers, potters and jewelers, fiber and textile artists, hat and shoe designers, even sake makers and brewers, all demonstrate and sell.
Then add an arts school, two theaters, the Kids Market, with more than 25 child-friendly shops and services under one roof, and the largest free waterpark in North America.
Granville Island, Vancouver, B.C., 604-666-5784; www.granvilleisland.com.