On arriving at Granville Island either by car or by the many Water Taxi’s laid on, for just $5 departing from the south shores of Downtown Vancouver, the first thing which will hit you will be the eclectic music which reaches your ears as you wander around finding your bearings. The crooning ballads of Frank Sinatra and the lively jig of a kaleigh band are just some of the many delights CraveCanada sampled! However the musicians are not the only people there to entertain the public.
From face painters for the children, to thespians and comedians for the adults, entertainers roam the streets looking to ensure that when everyone remembers Granville Island, they remember it with a smile.The centre piece of island is the ultimate shopping experience in the public market. It is an assault on all the senses, the smell of the freshly baked bread, the shocking colours of the fruit stalls, the melodic sounds of the street entertainers and tasty treats you get to sample from the stall holders. This market can’t help but make you want to be the next Jamie Oliver and buy all this fresh exotic produce to throw the ultimate dinner party, even if you can’t cook!
You will find everything from green grocers, to butchers, to bakers, to fishmongers, to ethnic food sellers, to sweet stands, to florists and in order to recover from the experience, some lovely casual eateries selling a wide variety of food.
But this island isn’t just about food! Oh no, on this island you can buy anything for anyone! You can peruse the many nautical based shops and buy anything from a wetsuit and kayak to a compass and old decorative anchor. In the Net Loft you can spend countless hours wondering who you could give that odd looking hat to as it cannot just be left in the shop, and who would appreciate a piece of native art which is just to fascinating not to give someone with the story of where it stems from.
When you feel like you have literally shopped ‘til you are nearly dropping, take a break and visit one of the many artist’s studios. From it’s redevelopment in the 1970’s, Granville Island has enticed a number of artists to it’s empty sheds, which have now become haven’s for all things art related. Visit one of the number of studios for painters, glass workers, print makers and potters and feel amazed by the uniqueness of their skilled craftsmanship. Also based on the island is the renowned Emily Carr Institute which feeds the desires of the many students who attend to study traditional arts like painting and sculpting and the modern arts involving computer aided design.
So having thoroughly exhausted yourself seeing the many delights of the island, why not unwind in one of the many restaurants and bars to be sampled? These bars are simply great to sit in and relax and watch the world go by as well as sample some of the best culinary delights in the whole of Vancouver. The atmosphere is relaxed, and as always in Canada, you are accepted in your jeans and trainers after a hard days shopping or in your best bib and tucker to celebrate a special event in one of its top-rated restaurants.
All in all, a brilliant family day out!