Vashon Island is a haven for artists, nature lovers, and people seeking the small-town life. Since it’s close by Seattle, it’s perfect for a short trip during the lazy summer months.
The island is easy to access from West Seattle, with ferries running across the South Puget Sound every 20 to 60 minutes. The views of the Olympic Range are stunning as you cross, so have your camera ready!
Vashon is about 37 square miles and boasts 11,000 total residents. But don’t be fooled by its size: there are plenty of activities! And the best part is that they are all near you once you are on the island. Here are 10 of the top things to do in the summer in Vashon.
1. Indulge in an iced coffee and croissant
To start your day, visit the Snapdragon for some baked goods. It is located on Main Street and close by other town activities. Welcoming, artsy, and full of delicious smells, this café is beloved by locals and visitors.
2. Kayak from Jensen Point
Of course, kayaking is a superb way to tour an island. You can rent kayaks from the Park District at Jensen Point, which juts out into Maury Island Aquatic Reserve. You’ll encounter jellyfish and seals near you in the waters. You can also venture up wooded inlets or drift while watching the birds overhead.
3. Cycle the island roads
One of the most popular things to do on this island is cycling. Bikes are available to rent from numerous places, and the locals will especially appreciate it if you cycle. The country lanes are ideal for cyclists, and they provide lovely views of quaint farms and forests nearby.
4. Eat strawberries
If you’re on the island in July, you shouldn’t miss the Strawberry Festival, where you can sample the scrumptious red fruit. There are also many other things to do nearby, such as seeing the car show and listening to live music.
5. Pick your own lavender
The Lavender Hill Farm opens its fields every summer to people who want to spend an hour leisurely cutting the fragrant stalks. They grow 20 types of lavender and will help you create wreaths to take home.
6. Buy vegetables from a farm stand
As you transverse the island, you’ll encounter many farm stands alongside the road. Take the opportunity to stop and purchase some of their fresh organic produce. The farm owners are always happy to share local island stories.
7. Visit a café
The island has many excellent cafés to visit for your lunch break. Stop by the Café Luna for a quiche or get your classic summer burger from Zombiez.
8. Picnic in Point Robinson Park
Point Robinson is one of the island’s landmarks, but it’s even more enjoyable in the summer with a picnic. Buy some fruits or cheeses from the Saturday Farmers Market, then head to the park for an outdoors lunch.
9. Hike in the Island Center Forest
363 acres of the island’s center are dedicated to sustainable forest management. This nature preserve has over 9 miles of beautiful trails through wetlands, forests, and meadows that are perfect for hiking.
10. Take a photo on an exercise bike
In keeping with the island’s quirkiness, end your visit with a photo shoot on an exercise bike overlooking the Tramp Harbor. Locals periodically leave and remove decades-old equipment along the road here, creating a wacky but lovable panorama.