Top 20 Washington State Trips

Point Robinson Lighthouse

Point Robinson Lighthouse

Point Robinson Lighthouse has a gorgeous setting on Puget Sound in Washington State.

Point Robinson Lighthouse is 1.5 hours from Seattle on the east end of Maury Island, and is still a working navigational aid.  

Stay overnight at the Keepers Quarters A or B, or book a lighthouse tour.

The 10-acre park at Point Robinson has picnic tables, a saltwater marsh, secluded wooded trails, and miles of sandy shoreline to explore. 

Getting there

Take the ferry to Vashon Island, then drive across the landbridge to the east of Maury Island to the Point Robinson LighthouseThere are two ferries to Vashon Island; the Fauntleroy Ferry (20 minutes) in West Seattle, or the Point Defiance Ferry (15 minutes) at Tacoma.

5 best things to do at Point Robinson Lighthouse

1. Climb to the top of the Point Robinson Lighthouse.

Point Robinson Lighthouse has a superb setting on a sandy spit with distant views of Mt Rainier across the East Passage. It was completed in 1915 with a octagonal tower standing 31 feet high, and a light visible at a distance of twelve miles. Check tour schedule for the Point Robinson Lighthouse.

In 1886, there wasn't much out here, only a fog signal, Quarters A, and a barn. The fog signal was in an L-shaped building with a 12-inch steam-powered fog whistle on its roof, that blasted a 6 second whistle followed by a 52 second pause. Two years later a 25-foot open light tower with a continuous red light was constructed infront of the fog signal.

The lighthouse and rest of the buildings came over twenty years later, including Quarters B (1908)  the oil house (1913), Point Robinson Lighthouse (1915) and finally the historic garage (1919). 

2. Savor incredible views from an overnight stay at Quarters A.

Imagine waking each morning to gorgeous views of Mt Rainier and Puget Sound, or spending relaxing summer days out on the front porch watching the passing parade of ships, with the occasional orca spotting, and ospreys and bald eagles soaring by.

Quarters A is available for rent near the Point Robinson Lighthouse, and has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, with two queen beds and two twin beds. It can accommodate 6 people, and up to 8 if you request roll away beds.  Book here.

The nearest restaurants and cafes are a 15-minute drive away in downtown Vashon Island.

Quarters A was completed in 1886 when there was only a fog signal at the Point, nearly 30 years before Point Robinson Lighthouse was constructed! 

The families of both the Head and Assistant Lighthouse Keepers had to squeeze in here, until Quarters B was constructed in 1908.  Growing ship traffic from early pioneers on Puget Sound in the late 19th Century, made it essential to have some type of navigation aid at Point Robinson, so they initially had to make do with the fog signal.

Quarters A endured years of brutal storms, and was in very bad shape and at risk of demolition. However in 1920 the building was thankfully renovated, and enlarged with an addition out front.

3. Get a smaller group together for a stay in the Head Keepers Quarters B.

The smaller Quarters B is actually part of a duplex, with the vacation rental on one side, and caretaker's residence on the other.

It's perfect for smaller groups, with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, and one queen bed and two twins.  It can accommodate 4 people, and up to 6 if you request roll away beds.  Book here.

Quarters A and B are fenced off, enabling guests some degree of privacy.  There are fabulous views from the homes, and a lovely place to relax out on the front porch.  The rentals are maintained by the Vashon Park District, who secured a lease from the U.S. Coast Guard in 1997, and do a great job of maintaining these buildings for generations to come.

Quarters A and B are just steps from the Point Robinson Lighthouse.  Imagine looking out at the magical glow of the lighthouse each night!

The bulkhead of logs was placed there to protect the Keepers Quarters from the rising tides. The land was also raised by a few feet, and grass was planted.

4. Visit the gift shop in the historic garage.

The garage was actually the last building constructed here in 1919, and is used as a gift shop today.  It's amazing to think that there was no road to Point Robinson until 1919, and that it was previously only reachable by boat.  For many years it was a very isolated outpost, where supplies could only be delivered by boat.

5. Explore the beautiful trails around Point Robinson Lighthouse.

Here's a map of some of the beautiful trails around Point Robinson, including a North and South Loop Trail up on the bluff, a Beach Trail, and Meadow Trail.

The upper parking lot at Point Robinson Lighthouse requires a more strenuous 10-minute walk down to the lighthouse, whereas the lower parking lot is just steps from the lighthouse.

Walk the dramatic long strewn beaches around Point Robinson Lighthouse, with distant views of snow-capped Mt Rainier. 

Check out the makeshift driftwood shelters on the beach.

Fun things to do near the Point Robinson Lighthouse.

The Point Robinson Lighthouse is on Maury Island, connected by a landbridge to Vashon Island.  Visit adjacent Vashon Island and explore the small township of Vashon with a great selection of restaurants.  Point Heyer on Vashon Island is lovely, with a sandy spit that juts out into Puget Sound.

Tacoma is south of Point Robinson lighthouse, but requires a 15-minute ferry crossing on the Tahlequah Ferry to Point Defiance.  Find the 10 BEST Things to do in Tacoma, including great museums like the Glass Museum, LeMay Car Museum, WA History Museum, and Art Museum.  Kids will also love the Children's Museum.

Head out to Point Defiance at Tacoma to enjoy breathtaking views of Puget Sound.  There are plenty of trails, a popular beach, zoo, japanese garden, and rose garden.  If you're in the mood for a meal, visit the new restaurant complex on the waterfront at trendy Point Ruston.  There's also a splashpad and playground for kids.  

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