Evenings at Granville Island are enough to turn even an early bird into a night owl.
With one of North America’s best Public Markets, and close to 200 artisans, artists, makers and retailers across the 40 acre “island”, it’s a common misconception that Granville Island is a daytime destination. The truth is, it comes alive at night – especially at this time of year.
The atmosphere completely shifts—the spring’s perfect balance of levity and tranquility ramps up as a lively ambience takes over the Island’s surrounding restaurants, patios, cocktail lounges, taprooms and coffee shops. Festivals, live music and events pour onto the street and lend Granville Island an exhilarating energy. Soak it all in: the vibrancy, the glow of late night twinkling lights, while the relaxed pace of the island brings you a new kind of happiness. If you haven’t experienced it for yourself, now’s the time.
If it’s non-stop laughs you’re after, check out the theatrical and musical antics at the Improv Centre. Shows run every night, and because it’s improv it’s really never the same show twice. That means going every weekend is totally doable. Just be prepared to laugh until your belly hurts – or check out a performance at one of the seven theaters on the Island. There are 27 different performances in July alone as well as three festivals, and with Granville Island hosting festivals year round, there’s always something happening at night with many of the performances free (as is parking after 6pm).
This summer take in the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Indian Summer Festival, Newworks Dance Festival, Vancouver Pride Festival (with an outdoor lounge open until 2am), the Flamenco Festival; live music at the Granville Island Brewery and the Sandbar, and theatre performances at the Arts Club, Boca de Lupo and more. Later this summer join us for the Fringe Festival and in the early fall the Writers Festival (not just any book festival, this festival has scotch tastings!)
On another night check out one of Granville Island’s bars. For spirits, stop by The Liberty Distillery. Here you’ll find hand crafted cocktails in their cozy bar, made with their award winning vodka, gin and whiskey. Across the island at the Granville Island Hotel, Dockside lounge offers an excellent selection of wines by glass and west coast nibbles, and at The Sandbar, live music plays nightly in their main floor lounge. Vancouver Fish Co, lounge looks out at the hustle and bustle of the entrance to Granville Island, and if you like to take in a drink before 6 pm, Artisan Sake Maker offers tasting flights and Japanese cocktail appetizers in Railspur Alley. Don’t miss the patio at Bridges new reincarnation, Tap & Barrel Bridges, or go for a picnic of fish and chips from Tony’s Fish and Oyster Bar!
The island at night feels like another destination entirely—transforming into a hotspot for culture and entertainment. Between the music, food, and live performances, the hours will fly by. But don’t worry—there’s always tomorrow. And the next evening. Night owls: this is your spot.
Visit granvilleisland.com to plan your visit today.