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  • Writer's pictureBe Vancouver Staff Writer

Granville Island: One of the best summer experiences during the pandemic

This past weekend, our staff writers visited Granville Island twice to take in the hot, sunny weather on the edge of False Creek.

It was a fun time; while it is a classic go-to for Vancouverites, spending a day at Granville Island still feels like a new experience.

We spent two days in the area this past weekend; once on Friday and another on Sunday.


Credits to Reuben Dongalen Jr.

We arrived at Granville Island on Friday at 9:30 a.m. in the morning, and it was quiet with very few people around. We walked around the entire island, starting from the pier of boats, all the way to the back of Sandbar. If you're looking to clear your head and take a tranquil stroll, we suggest an early morning visit and a coffee to fuel you along!

After our quick stroll, we took a social-distanced walk with our masks on through the Granville Island Public Market; there's one entrance, and plenty of traffic arrows taped to the ground to alleviate the traffic of people for safety precautions.

Most shops were open, which was nice to see considering how much the pandemic has affected local, small, mom-and-pop shops and businesses in the area.

We stopped by one of our favourites for that morning wake-up call; a nice iced coffee and a London Fog at Blue Parrot Coffee. They've also got delicious sandwiches and freshly baked pastries that go nicely with your cup of joe!

Afterwards, we thought to take the Aquabus since there were very few people on it, and my goodness did we forget how beautiful and peaceful the boat ride was.

Credits to Reuben Dongalen Jr.

We took the round trip, starting from Granville Island, down to Olympic Village, and back. The view was incredible, and we even managed to see a sea lion swimming right up close!

It's quick and easy, and if you didn't pre-book, all good! The drivers or a rep will ask where you'd like to go, step onto the boat, and will accept payment as they drive off from the pier.

Once we finished our 40-minute round trip around False Creek and Olympic Village (we decided to stay on the boat, but you can get off at different stops and walk around for 15 minutes before the next boat arrives), we made our way to the lineup in front of Lee's Donuts!

We got a box of a half-dozen of Granville Island and Vancouver's famous donuts! Two honey dip, two PB&J, one matcha, and one jelly-filled! If you want the best donuts in the Lower Mainland, they're in our top five (maybe we'll make a donut list soon, too).

It was a short, three-hour visit, but it was a great way to start our day!


We opted to come back during the weekends at prime time, heading out on a Sunday arriving around 12:30 p.m.

This time, it was significantly busier, including a huge lineup at the front of the Public Market to get in; we decided to skip on the wait and head for lunch.

We decided to dine-in at Popina Vancouver, home of one of the best burgers in town.

We sat in their patio area which had a quick, efficient, contactless ordering process that was a pleasant surprise. Scan the barcode, place your order/food items into a cart as if you were ordering through Uber Eats or SkipTheDishes, pay, and they bring it to you. Remember, each table is maximum 6!

Our group ordered the whole nine, ordering their double cheeseburger, their crispy free-run chicken sandwich, their two-piece fish and chips that were HUGE, pairing it alongside some of their delicious cocktails.

We enjoyed the food, the experience, and the refreshing drinks as we watched the boats pass by on False Creek.

After lunch, we did a stroll again taking photos of the bridge, False Creek, and walked through the Art Works Wonders Studio, and the various art galleries on the island.

To Sum It Up...

While we only spent three to four hours at the Island each day, it was a fun way to spend time with our friends and loved ones. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the various restaurants and shops on the island, grab dessert after, enjoy the boat ride, consume some amazing pieces or arts and culture, listen and watch live performances and buskers, and even grocery shop at the Public Market! Its a Vancouver Gem, and you can have a different experience each time you do. We plan to return later in the month for an evening visit to hit up some of the restaurants, patios and options for Dinner.

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