Vashon Island

Vashon Island

The trip to Vashon Island begins to impress long before arrival on the island. One must first wind their way from Seattle across the West Seattle Bridge, to the southern edge of the neighborhood, sidling up against Lincoln Park, down to Fauntleroy, once a vacation destination of wealthy Seattleites. Here the trip moves to a new mode of transportation, boarding one of Washington’s great ferries and floating across the water.

Vashon Island stays relatively rural, despite its proximity to Seattle, because it is only accessible by these ferries. That rural-ness, however, is what makes this a great get-away day trip for someone in Seattle.

Vashon Island has about 11,000 permanent residents. It has, in the past had some industry, including the roaster for Seattle’s Best Coffee and sports equipment company K2, however, both have now left the island. Most residents that are not working the land in some way or artists must commute to the mainland to work.

Vashon Island has long been known as an artists’ retreat, a quirky, eccentric place that is just a little bit different than the mainland. This attitude can be seen in the variety of stores, eclectic restaurants and businesses that are on the island. The island is home to a variety of dairy farms, strawberry farms, orchards, and most recently a few vineyards and wineries.

A great day can be had by car on Vashon, meandering along the roads, seeing the natural beauty, visiting the various shops, farms and wineries. There are great views of Seattle and Puget Sound from various points on the island. However, there is much more that can be seen by bicycle, often the chosen form of transportation for day-trippers. Whatever the method of transport, it is always pays to get out or get off and see the beaches, the parks and the little details. One of the best times to visit Vashon is during their Saturday Farmers’ Market, which features many of the artists, farmers, wineries and restaurants for which the island is known.