Yes, it is an urban oasis in a big city, not that Vancouver even requires an urban oasis. It is vibrant and diverse, mush like the rest of Vancouver. The top of the list is the Public Market. It is the best such inner city market I have ever seen, anywhere in the world. Is it cheap? No. Is it diverse? Yes. Is it fun? Most definitely!!!
The second best thing to do here is to grab a bite. It does not matter if it is coffee and a sweet roll, or a nice seafood cocktail. The variety and freshness are abundant, as is the enthusiasm of the vendors. They treat you well, the experience is totally enjoyable.
Grab a beer or a cup of coffee. Check your watch. If it before 11am, have the coffee. Anything after 11am is fair game for beer, or booze. Personally, I go for a coffee and some of their great baked goods, as the French influence on their pastry is significant. It is a touch of Paris without the BS.
Then, sit back and watch the artists of Granville take over. it is the Greenwich Village of Canada. While it is not cheap, it is certainly diverse, and of high quality. I just am not a big fan of Canadian art. They seem to have a very basic or Bohemian approach to their work which just does not appeal to me. But that’s me. Perhaps you will uncover the greatest artistic find of the century. Now speaking of art, I am told the music up here is quite avant-garde. I cannot say one way or the other, but perhaps I will find out.
Granville Island is located across False Creek from downtown Vancouver. You may have viewed the spectacular scene during the Olympics when Bob Costas and Al Michaels did a piece on False Creek and its environs. It was once an industrial area, and has transformed into a tourist, entertainment, and shopping venue. In fact, the city of Vancouver was once called Granville. Granville today has the public market, marina, boutique hotel, art institute, design center, improve, and numerous art galleries. In other words, perfect for both locals and tourists.