20 Fun Things to Do in Granville Island

Granville Island’s waterfront location, combined with plenty of boutique shops and restaurants, makes it the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

Whether you want to enjoy a meal at one of its fine restaurants, visit charming art galleries, or go for a stroll along the island’s cobblestone paths, this bustling area has something for everyone.

Here’s a guide to the top things to do in Granville Island and how to make the most of your visit.

1. Visit the Granville Island Public Market

The Granville Island Public Market is a great place to get some souvenirs, try some new foods, and find unique gifts for friends and family members.

The market is home to more than a hundred shops and vendors, so you’re sure to find something that suits your tastes.

Sample fresh seafood or pick up some gourmet treats at one of the many specialty shops.

The market is open daily but is busiest on weekends, so plan accordingly!

ukama gallery granville island vancouver
photo by Ukama Gallery

2. Admire Local Artwork

Granville Island is home to many art galleries, so if you love art you’ll definitely want to check out some of these unique venues!

From sculptures and paintings to pottery and jewelry, there’s something here for everyone with an appreciation of art.

You’re sure to find your new favorite artist or impress a friend with an incredible piece of art for their home.

Browse through the various galleries on Granville Island and get inspired by all of these talented artists.

3. Grab a Beer at Granville Island Brewing

Check out the Granville Island Brewing‘s tasting room to sample its locally-brewed beer or have a meal in the casual taproom.

You can also take a tour of the microbrewery to learn more about the process and history of the beer.

This local brewery is the perfect place to grab a pint and hang out with friends after a long day of exploring.

If you’re a beer lover, then you’ll definitely want to check out Granville Island Brewing.

4. Zip Around the Water on a Boat

One of the best ways to see Vancouver is from the water, and Granville Island is no exception!

Rent a boat at Granville Island Boat Rentals and cruise around the island leisurely or get up close and personal with nature by kayaking along False Creek.

Both options are great for families and individuals alike, so it’s easy to find one that suits your needs.

granville island waterfront
photo by granville island

5. Stroll Along the Waterfront Pathways

Granville Island is a great place to enjoy being outdoors, so if you’re looking to get some fresh air you’ll have plenty of options.

Take a stroll along the cobblestone paths that weave through the island and make your way over to the water’s edge, where you can enjoy views of False Creek and watch boats come and go.

You can follow the path around the edge of the island or explore nearby parks and neighborhoods that offer great views of downtown Vancouver.

If you’re looking for a bit of exercise, the pathway is also a great place to run, bike or rollerblade.

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6. Indulge in Lee’s Donuts

Lee’s Donuts is a beloved donut shop in Vancouver and has always been known for their fresh, homemade-style donuts and large selection of classic toppings.

If it’s your first time visiting this place, try the classic Honey Dip donut. This is one of their top-selling items and is perfect for a quick snack!

Lee’s Donuts is a great place to stop by if you’re in the mood for something sweet and delicious.

7. Go Paddleboarding on False Creek

If you’re looking for a more active way to enjoy your time on Granville Island, paddleboarding is a great option.

You can find companies that offer guided tours, rent stand-up paddleboards or you can even bring your own gear.

Explore and enjoy incredible views of Vancouver and take in all that Granville Island has to offer.

the lobster man fresh sea urchin
photo by the lobster man

8. Buy Fresh Seafood at The Lobster Man

If you’re looking for fresh seafood to make dinner with tonight, The Lobster Man is a great place to find it.

This specialty seafood shop is located right in the heart of Granville Island and offers a wide range of seafood, fish and shellfish.

You’ll also find everything you need for a great picnic including fresh oysters, clams, mussels and more.

9. Grab a Bite at Sandbar Seafood Restaurant

Sandbar Seafood Restaurant is a must-visit if you are looking for a fun, casual atmosphere while enjoying some quality seafood.

On the inside, it’s a very lively atmosphere with an abundance of seating and an open kitchen that gives customers an excellent view of the chefs in action.

The menu offers up classic dishes like seafood towers and seared scallops as well as more unique options like cajun fried oysters and har gow (Chinese shrimp and pork dumplings).

Sandbar also has a full bar so you can pair your meal with a drink or two.

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10. Marvel at the Street Performers

There is no shortage of live music acts or performers at any given time on Granville Island.

In the small, cobblestone courtyard of Granville Island, you’ll find some of the city’s best street performers.

If you’re looking for some live entertainment, swing by this place to watch them perform and marvel at their resilience and talent.

granville island art sculpture
photo by granville island

11. Explore Public Artworks

Granville Island is home to many public artworks, including sculptures, murals, and mosaics that artists have created for display on the streets or in parks throughout the island.

This artistic oasis is full of eye-catching pieces that will make you want to keep exploring what’s around every corner!

12.Take an Aquabus Across False Creek

Aquabus is a public ferry service that runs between Granville Island and Olympic Village, with multiple stopping points along False Creek.

They do offer an all-day pass; hop on and off the ferry at your leisure.

The Aquabus is a great way to easily navigate False Creek and explore Granville Island at the same time.

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13. Eat at Dockside Restaurant

If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, Dockside is the perfect place to stop in.

Voted one of the best patios in the city, it’s a great place to chill out with friends over some delicious food and drinks while enjoying beautiful views of False Creek and Granville Island.

If you’re looking for something a little more casual there are plenty of eateries nearby, but if you want something a little more upscale, Dockside won’t disappoint with their amazing food and city skyline.

14. Watch a Live Show at the Arts Club

The Arts Club in Granville Island is a unique way to see what live theater and the performing arts are all about.

If you’ve never been, this is a great opportunity to try something new.

With special performances held regularly and a diverse range of activities throughout the week, you’re sure to find something that appeals to you.

chocolatas granville island
photo by chocolatas

15. Indulge in Artisinal Chocolates

There’s no greater pleasure than a chocolate-filled day. ChocolaTas is a small, family-owned chocolatier; dazzling flavors and creative shapes are the mark of their quality.

Shoppers can find everything from salted caramel treats to rich and creamy truffles; options are endless.

With a passion for chocolate and a love for sharing with others, ChocolaTas is one of the best places to indulge when you need your sugar fix!

16. Granville Island Water Park

Located near the entrance, the Water Park at Granville Island provides a cool escape with many different water activities to indulge in.

It’s a great way to beat the summer heat, have fun with friends and family, and get some exercise at the same time.

The best part about this park is that it’s free for everyone. Make sure to bring your bathing suit and tons of sunscreen!

17. Get Your Caffeine Fix

If you’re looking for an afternoon pick me up, whether it’s espresso or cappuccino, JJ Bean is a great place to stop by.

Located within the Public Market, this local coffee chain offers a wide selection ranging from dark roasts, single origin, and even cold brew coffee on tap.

Whether you want a smooth latte or just a cup of joe, this is your spot!

If coffee’s not your thing, check out The Granville Island Tea Company instead.

18. Catch Some Laughs at The Improv Centre

If you’re looking for a great night out with friends, then The Improv Centre is a fun place to go.

This improv theater prides itself on creating an atmosphere where creative minds can thrive and where people from all walks of life can come together to laugh.

If you’re looking for some laughs this weekend or just want to try new things out, check out the Improv Centre.

benton brothers fine cheese granville island
photo by Benton brothers fine cheese

19. Benton Brothers Fine Cheese

If you are looking for some top-quality cheese that you won’t find in your local grocery store, then Benton Brothers Fine Cheese is the place for you.

This local shop pride themselves on offering an extensive selection of small production cheeses that are fresh off the wheel.

Grab a bottle of wine and some artisanal cheese and you’re in for a good night!

20. Check Out the Kids Market

A market for kids! What a concept. This indoor market at Granville Island has a plethora of toy shops and eateries.

It includes live entertainment, interactive activities and a variety of vendors offering fun experiences. Best of all, it is completely free to browse!