GET TO KNOW VASHON-MAURY ISLAND
Vashon-Maury Island is a unique destination in Puget Sound just 15 minutes by ferry from Seattle and Tacoma Washington. Get to know this eclectic community through our website with business listings, updates on our blog, links to news and events, advice on visiting the Island and so much more.
Latest Blog Posts
Check out the latest from our local blog with articles written by our staff and from volunteers.
2021 Yearly Rundown
Places to Stay on Vashon
Vashon Island has many great locations to lay your head for an evening or two. From the popular KVI Beach House to the Lodges that give you quick access to all that is happening in town we’re sure you’ll find the perfect place to stay while your visiting us.
When visiting Vashon-Maury Island, you’ll find many places to find what you need, and then some. From our local thrift shop Granny’s Attic to Northwest Sports for outdoor clothing and footwear. Check out our local Pharmacy while you’re here for some local Vashon shirts, mugs, hats, and various gift items.
Places to Eat on Vashon
Whether you’re finishing off a day of wine touring or enjoying a day at the beach, you’ll find that your palette will be sufficiently satisfied. From the historical Hardware Store restaurant to the prestigious Bramble House, or one of the top 100 Restaurants in America according to Open Table – May’s Kitchen and Bar Foodies and restaurant connoisseurs will find great satisfaction from the many Vashon-Maury restaurants to choose from.
Places to Drink on Vashon
Wine touring is a popular activity here on Vashon Island and with many award winning wineries to choose from including Palouse Winery just on your right as you arrive on Vashon Island, you can’t go wrong. Not to mention our famous Seattle Distilling company located here on the Island, and Dragon’s Head Cider for a light and refreshing hard cider. Be sure to visit Vashon-Maury during CiderFest this October.
What is Vashon Island?
Vashon Island is a peaceful community located on one of the Pacific Northwest’s Puget Sound Islands. Made up of two islands separated by a bridge overstretching an ithmus (a narrow piece of land connecting two larger areas across an expanse of water by which they are otherwise separated), Vashon and Maury. Most refer to the Island as simply “Vashon”, long time residents refer to it (or the two rather) as “Vashon-Maury” to encompass both islands, and Maury residents will often refer to their peace of the rock as “Maury”. The Island stretches from West Seattle to Tacoma with many activities and things to do. Access via ferry on both the North and South tips make it the destination location for families, couples and singles alike. With a population of around 10,000 residents, summer residents and additional visitors to the Island you will find a great sense of community and eclectic mix of artists, musicians, small business owners and well minded friends.
Plan Your Visit
From the best restaurants to happenings on the Island, how to navigate the ferries and the buses and where the best hikes and beaches are.
What is there to do on Vashon Island today?
Vashon Island has many things to choose from to do on the Island. In the summer time you can find yourself going on a hike a mountain bike ride, or riding your horse throughout the many trails we have or even enjoy some time at the equestrian park for some practice time in the arena.
You can bike around the island on your own bicycle, or rent one at Vashon Adventures or Spider’s Ski and Sports. You can even bring your kayak or SUP, or rent one at Vashon Watersports. There are many beaches to enjoy (as long as you are familiar with public and private ones).
We are a foodies paradise with many restaurants to choose from, and to follow-up your meal you can enjoy a show at Vashon Center for the Arts or a fun movie at our Vashon Theater. There are plenty of fun happenings at Open Space and don’t forget to get some shopping in for Vashon memorabilia at our Pharmacy (and gift shop).
There are a lot of local artists on the Island. You can shop at Starving Artists Works (SAW) or enjoy an art tour of the many studios. We even have our very own event the first Friday of every month in which our local establishments highlight local artists works with music, dancing and art tours.
Whatever it is you would like to try while visiting Vashon, we are sure you’ll have a great time while you’re here.
Is Vashon Island Expensive?
Vashon’s waterfront spans roughly 80 square miles with most of that being waterfront properties. Vashon’s waterfront homes can price upwards of 40% more than the median cost of ~$750k though in November of 2021 the median price was up 14% compared to the previous year (according to Redfin).
Rentals on the Island can run roughly $2,000 for a 2 bedroom home, with yearly rentals being very scarce. Unfortunately this is pricing a majority of our residents off of the Island. Though there is some action being taken to alleviate the high rents for qualifying residents.
Is Vashon Island Safe?
The crime rate in Vashon is somewhat higher than the national average of all communities in America from the largest to the smallest. However, at 15 crimes per one thousand residents, Vashon is not among the communities with a very high crime rate.
The chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Vashon is 1 in 69. Based on FBI crime data, Vashon is not one of the safest communities in America. Relative to Washington, Vashon has a crime rate that is higher than 44% of the state’s cities and towns of all sizes.
Is Vashon Island Nice?
We like to think of our community as being nice, however there will be the occasional run-in with a resident is you cut them off at the four way stop or steal their parking at Thriftway.
Long term Islanders will often ask you how long you have lived here to get a feel for how dedicated you are to living here. 2 or more years, and we know that you are here for good. In which case, we are more likely to buy you a cup of coffee and make conversation that if you have only been here a short time.
So, as you can see, we are very nice people and very welcoming, however we must feel safe that you’re just as invested in sticking around as we are.
Is Vashon Island a good place to live?
Vashon takes a bit of an effort to make a go of living here full time. The ferries are an adjustment and a true lesson in patience. Not to mention the West Seattle bridge being down, adding to the complication that keeps us on the Island more.
The cost of living can be a bit of an adjustment, and, while we have many shops to choose from, you aren’t always going to be able to find the things you need readily. You delivery drivers will become your closest friends, and will even provide you nice dog with a biscuit now and again.
The schools are some of the best in the Seattle area, and the community of families is close knit. We have many restaurants to choose from for an evening out, a well as many activities to keep you busy.
In conclusion, if you can adjust to the Island way of life, Vashon can be a good place to live.
Can you swim on Vashon Island?
Vashon Island has three swimming pools to choose from. There is the public Pool just outside of uptown, the pool for Vashon Athletic Club members to use, and the swimming pool available to the Golf and Swim Club closer to the South end of the Island.
Of course there are plenty of public beaches for you to take a dip in the 40-50 degree Fahrenheit saltwaters of Puget Sound if you dare.
Do you need a car on Vashon Island?
One does not necessarily need a car to get around Vashon Island, though it does make your life a bit easier if you do.
There are buses that run along our Vashon Highway from the Tahlequah ferry terminal to the North end ferry terminal. Buses often coincide with the commuter ferry times, especially the passenger ferry that take commuters to the downtown Seattle dock Monday through Friday.
The residents are always happy to provide you with a lift should you need one. Just post what you need and the time on the Vashonites Facebook group, or you can let Jana know you need a ride and she’ll walk you through the Uber app for her to pick you up.
Is there Uber on Vashon Island?
There is an Uber on Vashon Island, however it is a bit tricky on how you go about getting your ride set up. Due to the Island being surrounded by water and the need to take a ferry to get here, the Uber app doesn’t adjust for the mote that surrounds us. Therefore, drivers on the mainland will unknowingly pick up your ride request and get frustrated when they realize they need to take a boat to get to you.
Your best option is to contact Jana (you’ll have to get her number through the grapevine on the Island) and she will walk you through how to request a ride and she picks it up directly.
Does Vashon Island have a Downtown?
Vashon Island most definitely has a “Downtown”, however, the locals refer to it as “uptown”. It’s a term that was coined many, many years ago and tends to get used as new folks enter our sphere.
Uptown is located in the heart of the Island. Just under 5 miles from the North end ferry dock and 9 miles from the Tahlequah (South end) ferry terminal.
How long is the ferry to Vashon?
The ferry routes from both the North End and South End docks are roughly 15-20 minutes each (depending on the weather and the tides).
Things to do on Vashon Island
There are so many activities on Vashon Island. From visiting Point Robinson Park; enjoying one of the many natural trails like Shingle Mill, touring and tasting many of the Island’s wineries, cider, beer and spirit breweries; or sampling one of the many highly rated restaurants Vashon offers many things to do near you that will fit any lifestyle and taste.
For over 100 consecutive years Vashon Island has been home to the famous Vashon Island Strawberry Festival and this year is just as grand with hundreds of booths throughout Vashon Island’s Downtown, amazing food, grand parade, and more.
When you think of Vashon Island, do K2 Skis, Wax Orchards apple cider and Maury Island Farm jams come to mind?
If so, it’s been too long since you last hopped a ferry to the rural getaway Vashonites call the “Heart of Puget Sound” for its location midway between Seattle and Tacoma.
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