If you live in the city, there’s nothing better than a rural getaway to escape the stresses of urban living. And if you live in Seattle or Tacoma, you don’t need to go far. Be transported to a simpler way of life in only 15 minutes with a ferry ride to Vashon Island. There’s a lot to explore: small-town life, secluded beaches, award-winning cideries and honor-system farm stands, to name a few. What’s better? You can also look forward to discovering some of the best food in the Northwest along the way. Here’s how to hit all the highlights in a weekend.
Kick off your Vashon Island weekend with lunch at The Hardware Store, a rustic-chic bistro whose old wooden floors and other charms are vestiges of its previous life. Fill up, because you’re about to get active. The best way to explore the natural beauty of the island is with a 3-mile walk on the Shinglemill Creek Trail, which winds you through a forest and verdant gullies before dropping you on the secluded shores of Fern Cove for great views of Colvos Passage and the Kitsap Peninsula.
Post-hike, there’s nothing better than relaxing into a wine tasting at Vashon Winery, conveniently located across the street from the trailhead. Once your stomach starts growling, make your way to May Kitchen & Bar for a long and lingering dinner. Just don’t forget to make a reservation; this is one of the most popular spots on the island, with some of the best—and most authentic—Thai food you can find in the Northwest.
After a good sleep and a filling pastry from the Vashon Island Baking Company, it’s time to hop on an e-bike from Vashon Adventures and explore the rest of this beautiful—and hilly—island. Thanks to the electric assist, you won’t even break a sweat as you enjoy a relaxing pedal along quiet rural roads that lead you to a variety of cideries, wineries and parks. Along the way, don’t miss the many charming farm stands that adorn the island. In true small-town fashion, they’re run on the honor system; take what you like and leave cash in a box.
On your way back to town, enjoy a late lunch at Snapdragon; the vegetarian restaurant woos even the most ardent of meat lovers with mouthwatering comfort food and is a fitting end to a relaxing—and filling—weekend. As you head to the ferry, take heart. The accessibility of this rural getaway makes it easy to return—and often.
When you go
About the Island: vashonchamber.com
>> The Lodges on Vashon, lodgesonvashon.com
>> Vashon Adventures, vashonadventures.com
>> Vashon Winery, vashonwinery.com
>> Dragon’s Head Cider, dragonsheadcider.com
>> Nashi Orchards, nashiorchards.com
>> The Hardware Store, thsrestaurant.com
>> May Kitchen & Bar, maykitchen.com
>> Vashon Island Baking Company, vashonislandbakingco.com
>> Snapdragon, vashonsnapdragon.com