What You Should Know Before You Move to Vashon

So many visitors come to Vashon and fall in love with the Island and it’s people. However, before making the commitment to move potential Vashonites should get to know it’s quirks along with it’s gems. Most residents recommend booking an Airbnb or VRBO rental for a week or even a month in the winter months to fully understand what living on the Island is like. Summer is another excellent time as commutes can be worsened by summer tourists.

Regardless of the difficulties island life my entail, the residents on Vashon are warm and welcoming. There are plenty of activities to enjoy and lot’s of ways to get out an enjoy socializing.

Advice From Vashonites

Frequently Asked Questions

How difficult is it to commute from Vashon?

If you work in Downtown Seattle then Vashon is a fairly easy commute. The buses all follow the Vashon Highway (spanning North to South of the Island) and end up on the North End ferry. Morning and evening routes connect you with the King County Passenger ferry that runs a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening Monday through Friday. If you’re looking to commute to Bellevue, Redmond, Tukwilla, or other nearby cities in which you would need to drive, then you’re in for a bit of a tougher commute. There are limited car ferries in the morning and evening commutes have you waiting in line (especially during tourist season). With the West Seattle Bridge being closed, your car commute is now a bit longer than before. If you plan to commute by car, we recommend getting up early, and plan your commute time to spare you the frustration.

Is Vashon Island expensive?

Some residents will tell you that it is, and some will tell you that the cost of living on Vashon is comparable to Seattle. It’s all a matter of perspective. The median cost for a house on Vashon Island in November 2021 was reported to be $822k where Seattle was at $897. Property taxes also fall in-line with King County with roads and other levis complicating taxes ultimately pricing some of the longer term residents out of their homes.

Rentals for housing on the Island unfortunately faces a similar story. Rent for a 2 bedroom home can run $1.700 on up to $2,500 per month (depending on the square footage and location). There are a few low income apartments on the Island, but the waiting period for availability stretches for months.

There are organizations working to alleviate the cost of living and lack of affordable rentals on the Island. If you can get into one of the programs it is well worth the effort.

How safe is Vashon Island?

The Vashon community is close knit and therefore look out for one another. While we’re close to the city (and the impending crime) we still maintain our small town feel. One could leave their car door unlocked and the front door unlocked while making a quick trip to town, but it is recommended to lock up at night and while gone for long periods of time. Some residents have been reporting break ins for their barns and storage buildings, and there has been the rare reporting of a strange man entering a home while the senior residents were at home.
While Vashon is considered a safe community, it is always good to error on the side of caution just as you would in any place.

Are there bears and other predators on Vashon?

With Vashon being an Island, the likelihood of there being bears, cougars, or other predators is slim, however there have been sightings here and there.

Coyotes are especially prevalent on Vashon and reported to have been seen quite often. Some coyotes have been bold enough to attempt to “play” with large dogs while in their backyards.

Regardless of there being sightings or not, it is advised that you keep your dogs on leash while walking our many trail systems, and keep your pets indoors at night. Farm animals such as chickens, rabbits, goats, sheep and some cows should be kept safe as well to avoid the occasional predator attempting some easy pickings.

Vashon Natural Medicine


Vashon Athletic Club

Water District #19

Island Pump & Water System Service


Burton Auto


Vashon Self Storage


Vashon Pool

Bearded Lady Housecleaning Services


Vashon Pharmacy

Langley Fine Gardens

Island Security Self Storage LLC

Jake Johnson Enterprises, INC

John L. Scott Real Estate (Vashon)


Eyeland Optical & 20/20 Eyecare Centers-Vashon

Friends of Vashon Library

CFM Carpet & Upholstery Cleaners

Friends of Mukai

Fern Cove Natural Medicine

Honeybee Play School