It’s super easy to ride your bike to Granville Island from Stanley Park; it’s probably the most enjoyable way to get there. Here are the three ways you can safely and enjoyably cycle there.

1. Water Taxi

Time: 15 minutes (including 2-minute boat ride)
Pros: Fast, scenic, fun, flat, no traffic
Cons: Costs money

The quickest way is to take a short water taxi ride across to Granville Island from the seawall by Stanley Park. There are two companies: the False Creek Ferries and Aquabus. They have tiny docks at the south foot of Thurlow Street and Hornby Street downtown, right on the seawall, just a short ride south of Stanley Park. For less than $4 Canadian for a one-way fare, you can bring your bike aboard and literally 2-3 minutes later, you’ll arrive at Granville Island.

2. The Seawall

Time: 40 minutes
Pros: Free, fun, scenic, no traffic, entirely flat
Cons: Takes more time, pedestrians

If you just want to cruise leisurely, then continue along the seawall from Stanley Park and head east along the north shore of False Creek all the way past those water taxi docks, past Yaletown, all the way to the end of False Creek at Science World (Vancouver’s iconic Epcot-looking building) and then curve along back westward along the south shore of False Creek, past Olympic Village, past Charleston Park, and then you’ll arrive at Granville Island. This is such an enjoyable way to get there. This entire journey is 100% car-free along a designated bike lane where the only danger are pedestrians who don’t realize they’re strolling in the wrong lane.

3. Burrard Street Bridge

Time: 20 minutes
Pros: Fast, free, mainly flat along designated bike lanes
Cons: Traffic and intersections

If you want to cycle on designated bike lanes alongside traffic, you can cycle over the Burrard Street Bridge, and then continue along the bike lane on Burrard Street and cross Burrard along W 1st to Granville Island. If you plug directions into Google Maps and select the cycling option, this is the route they suggest.

Warning: Don’t cycle over the Granville Street Bridge!

Whatever you do, DO NOT cycle over the Granville Street Bridge. That’s about as fun as cycling over an an 8-lane interstate overpass.

Granville Street Bridge
The sidewalk along the Granville Street Bridge in March 2009. Granville Island is 27m (88 ft) below.

The Granville Street Bridge treacherous, there are no designated bike lanes, the narrow sidewalk that pedestrians and cyclists have to share is higher than a regular sidewalk and is barely wide enough for safe passing. If you fall off the high curb, you fall into a traffic lane with no shoulder. On a map it will look like the Granville Street Bridge takes you directly to Granville Island, but it doesn’t – the bridge goes right over it and you have to backtrack once you get to the other side, and then go under the bridge to access Granville Island. It’s the worst way to get there as a cyclist. Avoid at all costs with a bike.

Local’s Tip: Visit Granville Island before 5 pm

Granville Island essentially becomes a ghost town after 7 pm. Make sure you visit by 5 pm at the very latest, ideally going there in the morning or early afternoon when everything is open.

Have a tip about cycling to Granville Island from Stanley Park? Did you do this bike ride and have something to add? Write it in the comments below!

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