A shoppers paradise
Hop on the adorable mini-tugboat ferry that criss-crosses False Creek for specialty foods, boutique storefronts, and 100% kid fulfillment.
The peninsula, once an industrial manufacturing area, isn't really and "island" but feels just as special. There's almost a feeling of going back into a time, to a simpler and more romantic era.
Our first stop was the Public Market, arguably the epicentre for Vancouver's culinary enthusiasm.
The goods tell their own stories: strawberries straight from Fraser Valley, Okanagan cherries, fresh Coho salmon and live Dungeness crabs. No wonder Vancouver top chefs are often spotted shopping here for high-quality and rare ingredients for their menus. Luckily, even the casual visitor can partake in the abundance with a visit to the market’s food court where delis, restaurants and lunch counters feature a variety of cuisines. We oped in for the guided tour of the market to get the insiders insight.
After filling up at the market, we set out to do some shopping. It needs to be noted that there are two types of trips to Granville Island when you have kids... 1. You tell them about the Kid's Market and 2. You never ever tell them about the Kid's Market and avoid that area like the plague.
The Kids Market is a treasure trove of little toy shops, maybe 15 or 20, all selling a different fare and covering all ages. There is also an adventure zone that is perfect for the younger set.
For the older more disconcerting child, there are many other shops on the island to find a little something to take home. Our favorites include:
1. PaperYa - cute paper shop with a dazzling array of gifts and books. Great for the crafty kid.
2. Dragonspace - for all your dragon needs, obviously.
3. Grandville Island Hat Shop - fit for the ultra fashionable
After doing our shopping, we decided to take a tour of one of the many artist studios in residence. On any given day you can see artisans work, weaving, painting, blowing glass and making pottery.
Before heading off to our next stop, we cooled off at the adorable little splash pad behind the market and ate coconut ice cream from a cute vintage pink milk van!