Do you have a place that you love more than anywhere in the world? A place that evokes a happy tornado of memories of being little and growing up, of times with friends and family and good coffee, pastries, flowers and gorgeous views?
For me this place is Granville Island in Vancouver, BC.
I’ve loved visiting this little ‘island’ of crafts and food in Vancouver since I was a little girl when we’d spend a Saturday morning drinking hot chocolate with my mom, dad and sister at Blue Parrot Coffee with our legs dangling off the chairs and our hot chocolate would arrive in tall glasses under a mound of chocolate drizzle and whip cream. I remember wandering around, crossing our fingers hoping that we’d get to go to the Kids Only Market or that the playground would be dry and open and I remember seeing so many neat crafts and boats and beautiful things.
Now, I love walking through the fruit stalls and art stands with my own kids and it’s neat seeing them play at the Kids Market and the playground where I used to play, and we stop at my favorite flower shop where they pick out flowers for whoever we’ll be visiting that day. As my kids are mesmerized with the florist nimbly bundling the flowers into a magical bouquet, I just take it all in and it’s easy to feel just perfectly happy and at peace.
If I ever feel like my world needs to be centered I come here with people I love and my world feels right again. I think everyone needs a place like Granville Island.
So during winter break my husband took me for a ‘staycation’ to the Granville Island Hotel and I almost forgot to tell you about it.
But it is a truly lovely hotel. (We’ve been here so many times before to eat at Dockside which is a seafood restaurant with stunning views in the hotel, but I’ve never stayed at the actual hotel before and wanted to so badly!)
I would pick a room with a view if you have them available when you book. We ended up with a perfect window and it really felt like I was living in my favorite place for the day. It’s neat to wander around Granville Island at night too. I’m not sure if these lights are on all year or just in the wintertime though. ( I will try and go back soon for more research….)
We took a little Aquabus to meet friends for drinks downtown. (I wish we had a fleet of these in Seattle, how cool would it be to use a little water taxi to cross the Fremont Canal or go from Ballard to University Village….)
And we came back to our own little island where we woke up to spectacular views.
And of course, coffee, pastries and family were waiting for us in the morning. (We met up with family at the Vancouver Fish Company for the first time and it has a great kids’ menu and gluten-free options too!)
I can’t recommend a trip to Granville Island more.
(PS. S I did finally try Lee’s Donuts. They are perfect.)