If you look up "Things to do in Vancouver" there is no doubt that a visit to Granville Island is recommended. I'm not above tourist attractions, and a kids market was promised so we hopped a bus to check it out. Granville Island is a man made "island" which houses a cement factory and an indoor / outdoor marketplace. The Granville Island Public Market is very similar to The Forks Market in Winnipeg, with produce vendors set up in one area and local sundries and merchandise in another. It was packed in the indoor market and hard to navigate with kids in tow, but on the pedestrian friendly streets we took a quiet stroll looking at the industrial buildings and finding our way. We ate lunch at Bridges, which overlooked the docks before taking in some of the shops. My favourite one was the Granville Island Broom Co. where beautiful straw brooms of all shapes and sizes are handmade before your eyes. I bought a little golf shoe broom for home (yeah, I don't plan on ever golfing or using it - it's just cute).
So here is my honest review of what is touted as a must see attraction in Vancouver. My guess is that as the summer months roll in, the island has a lot more colour and action to offer fresh eyes. As it were, early April, the streets were pretty empty. The majority of the time we felt like we were wandering for a quite a while before we found something to stop into. Some galleries looked like maybe they were studios and not meant to be entered (especially with children). The majority of the shops (not including the beautiful Granville Broom Co. and an eclectic music shop) were heavily catered to tourists who were just looking for maple syrup or something with a flag on it. Not exactly what I had hoped for in the retail department. The Children's market seemed initially good, with the first few shops having an impressive collection of creative toys, wooden playthings, beautiful puppets and treats. Unfortunately the quality of the shops and merchandise deteriorated as we moved further away from the entrance. The play area on the second floor was (in my opinion) neglected, dated, dark, and included a glorified McDonalds style ball pit and slide area which was only accessible with a $10 per child entrance fee. Uhhh…what? There weren't a lot of people there, so maybe it isn't as big of a draw as the tourism sites would have us believe. Despite this, the kids played happily in the arcade for a while and found a couple things to buy. Overall, I had hoped for more from my Granville Island experience but it was still worth checking out. And again, the brooms were cool.
I hope you're enjoying seeing Vancouver through our eyes so far. When we travel I always search on sites like Trip Advisor for the opinions and suggestions of those who have gone before us. They are so helpful, but sometimes I want to get a better visual of the places I intend to visit. That's not always easy to find, so these types of posts serve as my contribution to the traveling community. Plus of course, the memories. I never was one for scrapbooking.