Granville Island, Kits Beach, 4th Avenue
i. Today’s adventure starts with a must-see in Vancouver: Granville Island . If you are staying downtown, you can take the small ferry over from various sites to the Granville Island dock. False Creek Ferries
According to site history, reviewed by Chief Janice George, Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), the Granville Island area was first a sizeable sand bar on which the Salish people hunted, gathered, and came together for cultural activities.
The British Columbia Mill Company built a sawmill here in 1863. Fast forward to the 1970’s and the area was an ‘industrial wasteland’. It was at this time that the city started the transition to the vibrant food and art hub it is today. Wander stall to stall through the market looking for artisanal coffees, teas, smoothies, fresh out of the oven croissants, and pyramids of berries. Bring a cooler if you want to pick up some unique ingredients for dinner.
If the weather is cooperative, you can enjoy your breakfast outside, watching the goings on down the inlet, and over in the West End. Those with young ones, might want to check out the Kids Market, the pond and, in a normal summer, the Granville Island Water Park
Throughout the Island, you’ll find artist studios and small shops, and outdoor murals. Granville Island is also home to talented buskers, seasonal festivals, and a variety of performing arts theatres with ticketed performances.
Notice a lot of hubbub around a certain stall in Granville Island? That could well be Lee’s Donuts – one of the market’s original inhabitants, and creators of all sorts of deliciousness. Here’s a look from Food Insider:
ii. Head out of Granville Island, turn west, and follow the soon beach-front path to Vanier Park. As you near the bottom of the Burrard Street Bridge, you’ll see the beautiful Kitsilano K’aya’chtn totem pole, created by Master Carver Darren Yelton. Kitsilano K’aya’chtn – Creators Vancouver
iii. Soon, you can make your choice of three museums. Find your way to the front of the H.R. Macmillan Space Centre, fronted by George Norris’ wonderful crab fountain. Here, you have two options:
On the left upon entering, you have the HR MacMillan Space Centre proper, home to theatre experiences, like the Planetarium Star Theatre, and live science demonstrations in GroundStation Canada Theatre. You can also try some hands-on activities in the Cosmic Courtyard Exhibition Space.
On your right in the building, you’ll find the Museum of Vancouver MOV | Museum of Vancouver . In it, you’ll find permanent and scheduled exhibits rooted in the history of Vancouver. Until Summer 2022, do check out Neon Vancouver – rescued signs that were included in the more than 19,000 that were once housed in Vancouver.
iv. For those who are more interested in life on the water, go back to the waterfront, head a bit west and you’ll find the Vancouver Maritime Museum , focused on maritime life and history of the Pacific and Arctic oceans.
v. If you’re ready for more time outside, there is plenty to do along the Kits Beach Path depending on the season – playgrounds, basketball, tennis, restaurant. Come summer, you’ll find lots of deliciousness at the concession stand, and local farmers selling berries and corn. And – usually from the end of May to September – you’ll be able to swim in the striking Kitsilano Pool, Vancouver’s only pool created with saltwater. It’s heated, 137 metres, and offers a gorgeous beachside view. You’ll find locals doing their lengths in the morning, and kids playing on the slides as the day wears on. Kitsilano Pool
vi. Finally, cap off your day by heading up to 4th Avenue – it’s a steep hike up a few blocks of hill if you’re walking. What used to be Vancouver’s Sixties hub for hippies, is now blocks of retail, restaurants, and grocery stores – some local, some national outposts. Shop West 4th
Here’s a look at Kitsilano from Destination Vancouver:
Have a fun day in Granville and Kits!
Header Photo: Elizabeth Newton