Why Vashon Island, WA is so appealing

Nowadays we lead such busy lives and sometimes you feel the need to get away from the rat-race. If you want to step back in time, Vashon Island is the place to visit. This small Island, only 13 miles long and eight miles wide, is situated in Puget Sound and is only a 15 minute ferry ride from West Seattle or 20 minutes from the ferry port in Tacoma. The lifestyle here is slow-paced yet the island has all the activities you need for a relaxed break.

Take your car to the island, ride a bus or rent a bicycle because Vashon Township is five miles south of the north end ferry terminal and a 10 mile drive north from the south end ferry dock. Drive to downtown Vashon via the main highway through natural beauty and abundant, lush forestry that is ideal for walking, hiking, biking and horse riding.

The island has several beaches dotted around its 45 miles of shoreline. Lisabuela Beach on the west side of the island has a rocky beach with picnic spots, BBQ pits and a camping area. On the other side of the island is KVI Beach, a great place for building sandcastles on the shores of a pond, which is surrounded by sand grass and driftwood. This is a perfect place for bird watching. Close by is the Burton Adventure Recreation Center, which offers an outdoor skate bowl, BMX trails and a disc golf course.

Water sports enthusiasts should check out Jensen Point Park, a picturesque park on the Burton Peninsula that has a shallow, sandy, cobblestone shoreline and a grassy picnic area where you can rent a kayak, row boat or motorized boat. This is one of two boat launches on the island, the other is nearby the north end ferry terminal.

This compact island is riddled with hiking trails, some that hug the shoreline and others that meander through a nature preserve, which is a working forest in the Island Center Forest. With more than nine miles of trails that encircle a pond, wetlands and meadows, you have the chance come face to face with many varieties of wildlife as they wander near you.

For a less active day, choose a trip to one of the local wineries for a tour and wine tasting. At the Island Heritage Museum housed in a building dating from 1907 you will discover the cultural and rural history of the island. On gloomy days, browse the many art galleries and art centers or take a tour of the Seattle Distilling Company.

This small, diverse island has everything close by, so you can easily visit the many highlights in just a few days. Or choose to come in summer and stay at one of the delightful lodges or hotels and stop by the Strawberry Festival, which takes place every July and which first began in 1912. Wherever you choose to stay, there is sure to be a variety of places of interest near you.

All these island activities create a good appetite and you will not be disappointed in the island’s restaurants and eateries, most of which are around the downtown area, although many others are scattered around the island in the vicinity of points of interest. Choose a simple coffee stand, a small café or a local bakery. Select International cuisine, a gluten-free or vegan restaurant or a pub and pizza place. Wherever you decide there will always be an excellent venue of your choice nearby. This secret hideaway island is a picture perfect place for singles, couples, families or honeymooners.

Jenny Mathews
Author: Jenny Mathews

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