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Vancouver, B.C. or bust

Vacation is a time to relax and take in the sights and one of the best places in the Northwest to do that is Canada’s own Granville Island.

This out of the way place is nestled near the center of the city under the Granville Bridge. This quaint community offers a wide variety of shops, galleries and recreation, all within walking distance.

One of the highlights of the area is the Granville Island Hotel. The Hotel is described by the visitor’s center as the classic story of the “work in progress.” Originally intended to be a place where seafarers could cruise in for a shower and a place to rest called a “boatel,” the hotel has morphed into a hot spot for drinking and dining.

The brewery on Granville Island was the first in British Columbia and remains one of the leaders of the pack. Now making microbrews this is one of the best times a traveler can have on the island. The brewery maintains a retail shop and a taste and test facility for visitors.

The most impressive aspect of the area is the wide variety of art galleries and artisan shops. They offer everything from hand crafted jewelry, glass blowing and fabric makers to an authentic European luthiery or instrument maker.

Granville Island is a popular getaway for more than eight million travelers per year from all over the world. Not only do Canadians like the island but close to 71 percent of the visitors come from outside of B.C.

While on the island visitors can park for free and spend their time walking the island as opposed to driving around. Public transit is available for those places that are a little too far and the Granville Island is linked to the rest of the city by regular five-minute ferry routes.

If you are wondering about the weather during the holiday season, Granville Island is very similar to Portland. The rain falls often but the temperature is very mild. So, if you plan to travel up to the island remember to bring a sweater and rain gear.

During the months of November and December visitors can look forward to a variety of events and festivals. November boasts the Vancouver New Play Festival and in December travelers are treated to the Festival of Song and Winter Solstice Lantern Procession.

To make reservations in the Granville Island Hotel either log onto their Web site at

See you at the island.