Vancouver's Granville Island is a lovely destination for spending an afternoon at the public market.
Once a hub of grimy waterfront industries such as anvil casting and cement making, Granville Island, on False Creek near downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, has become a vibrant gathering place. Open every day, the island’s Public Market overflows with Northwest produce, flowers, salmon, and prawns, with all the accompanying colors and smells.
Browse museum-quality artworks by Northwest Indians at Eagle Spirit Gallery. You’ll need nearly $10,000 to capture a carving of giantess Zunukwis being embraced by an octopus, but unlimited ogling is free.
Surprisingly small silkworms spin raw material in a terrarium near a busy loom at Silk Weaving Studio. Find scarves, shawls, dresses, and ties.
Kites, puppets, costumes, ice cream, a video arcade, and an indoor playland attract large (but short) crowds to Kids Market.
Chefs in training create fully formed masterworks at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. Try line-caught Arctic char served over quinoa and cream corn in a maple chili pear relish.
Fine-food emporium Oyama Sausage generates some of the market’s boldest flavors to go: cave-aged Gruyère cheese, duck prosciutto, wild boar sausage.
Climb a long flight of stairs at the Sandbar Restaurant for a fresh seafood meal and a lofty view of the water.
At Granville Island Brewing, a glass of honey lager or maple cream ale—more smooth than syrupy—tops the day with a flourish.
This article was first published in January 2012 and updated in February 2019. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.