Top 20 Washington State Trips

Vashon Island

Vashon Island is a quiet, picturesque island near Seattle.

Vashon Island is 18-miles south-west of Seattle across Puget Sound.

Take the Fauntleroy Ferry (20 minutes) from West Seattle to Vashon Island, or the Point Defiance Ferry (15 minutes) from Tacoma to Vashon Island.

Lovely Vashon Island is a thickly wooded island with enchanting country roads and miles of saltwater coastline. This peaceful island is a haven for artists, hippies and organic farmers, with a permanent population of just 11,000.  It's one of the larger islands in Puget Sound, and is 13 miles long by 8 miles wide.

Ride the ferry over to Vashon Island, then explore the popular bookshop, historic coffee roasterie, beautiful beaches, a lighthouse, and wineries. Stay overnight at  the Artist's Studio Loft,  Maury Cottage,  Kingfisher Cabin, and trendy Lodges on Vashon.  The Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters (pictured) is also available to rent.

Savor island life in this bucolic setting, away from the hustle of the big city.

10 best things to do on Vashon Island

1. Visit the small township of Vashon, with restaurants, a brewery and a charming bookshop.

There are a number of beautiful restaurants in the township of Vashon, on Vashon Island.

Enjoy scrumptious comfort food in the friendly, rustic interior of The Hardware Store Restaurant, a former hardware store. The upscale Earthen Bistro is two blocks away and the perfect choice for a weekend brunch.  Bramble House offers farm-to-table fare in a beautifully renovated home, and Gravy is a southern restaurant with yummy comfort food and small plates.

Camp Colvos Brewing is a wonderful place to relax in the heart of Vashon, with tables in a beer garden on a large patio. Enjoy Cornish Beef Pies, Pretzel and Cheese, Tater Tots, and Meatball Sandos.

After feasting on local fare, stroll along the main street to enjoy the excellent selection of literature at the Vashon Bookshop.

2. Stop for a coffee at the Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie.

The Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie is 1-mile south of Vashon in the historic heart of the island. The Roasterie is housed in a charming 100-year old building with a warm, eclectic interior, and has a homely feel with antique shelving filled with jars of herbs, spices and teas. 

Purchase fresh roasted coffee or custom blended tea, herbal apothecary, pure essential oils, organic food items, and food to go.  There's also a gift section with books, mugs, cups and french press coffee makers.

3. See charming Burton on the picturesque Quartermaster Harbor.

The tiny enclave of Burton is 3-miles south of the Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie, and consists of a few buildings like a post office and general storeStop by the Lavender Hill Farm with an enchanting setting in a cottage overlooking the harbor, and purchase lavender products like soap, syrups, wreaths, face creams and body lotions. This home is available to rent.

4. Climb to the top of Point Robinson Lighthouse.

Point Robinson Lighthouse has a spectacular vantage point over Puget Sound and Mount Rainier, a saltwater marsh, walking trails, and a log-strewn sandy beach. The historic Point Robinson Lighthouse is open for tours on Sunday afternoons in summer months.  The two Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters are available for rent (3705 SW Point Robinson Rd, Vashon, WA).

The Point Robinson Lighthouse has an octagonal tower standing 31 feet high, and was completed in 1915.

Quarters A and B are available as vacation rentals

This is the Assistant Keeper's Quarters A, built in 1885/1886.

5. Stroll along stunning Point Heyer, KVI Beach.

Point Heyer has a glorious location on a sandy spit, and a saltwater marsh attracting abundant bird life. Look out for the 131-meter red and white radio tower at the end of the spit owned by Fisher Broadcasting (on-street parking is available near 7800 SW 204th St, Vashon, WA).

6. Enjoy award winning wines at the wonderful Palouse Winery.

Palouse Winery is conveniently located a few minutes south of the ferry terminal. Stop by the rustic tasting room inside a beautifully renovated garage, and enjoy the ambiance and gorgeous views from the lovely garden. This award winning winery has been voted the best winery in Puget Sound. Check hours.

You can also travel further south down the highway to the unpretentious Vashon Winery, with reasonably priced wines.

7. Take your kids to the wonderful playground at Ober Park.

Ober Park is centrally located at the north end of Vashon township. It has an awesome playground in a beautiful lawned area with picnic tables, and kids can enjoy swings, slides and a fun climbing tower.

8. Explore beautiful hiking trails on Vashon Island.

Stoy by the Vashon Park District Headquarters near Ober Park (usually open weekdays) and pick up a hiking trail map.

9. Stop by the Vashon Heritage Museum.

This small museum is in a 1907 heritage building in the township of Vashon, originally constructed as a church by Norwegian immigrants. See vintage photographs, artifacts, and first hand accounts of island life, including Vashon's native peoples, early settlers, and the internment of Japanese residents during WWII. Check hours.

10. Visit Vashon Island Art Studios to purchase stunning art.

There are over 300 artists living on Vashon Island, accounting for nearly a third of the population!  This stunning island is the perfect source of inspiration for exquisite artworks, including paintings, drawings, pottery, jewerly, textiles, glass works and more. 

Attend the bi-annual Vashon Island Art Studio Tour in May or December (check schedule), or make an appointment with an artist to drop by their studio.  Here's a map of all the fabulous studios on Vashon Island.

Things to do near Vashon Island

Take the 15-minute ferry crossing to Tacoma south of Vashon Island (check departure times for the Tahlequah Ferry to Point Defiance).  Explore museums at Tacoma, like the Glass Museum, Washington State History Museum, LeMay Car Museum, and Art Museum. 

If you have children, take them to the FREE Childrens Museum of Tacoma, or the Zoo at Point Defiance.  Point Defiance also has stunning coastal trails, a playground, rose garden, japanese garden and beach. 

To finish off the day, stop by the trendy new waterfront development at Point Ruston in Tacoma.  There's a splashpad play area for kids, and pirate ship themed playground.  Adults can enjoy the good selection of restaurants at Point Ruston, with soaring views of Mt Rainier.

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