Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Weekend Wanderings: Vashon Island

Getting on island time is truly a breeze when hopping over to Vashon for the day, weekend or a lengthier stay. Simply board the ferry in West Seattle (by car or bicycle), blink your eyes, and find yourself on a rural isle that’s roughly the size of Manhattan and marked by an artsy, carefree and hippie-tinged personality of its very own. If you only have 24 hours or so to explore Vashon, here are a couple gems you won’t want to miss. 

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Photo courtesy Lodges on Vashon

STAY

The Lodges on Vashon create the ideal blend of modern sophistication and Mother Nature-fueled zen. Each contemporary lodge boasts a perfectly-curated decor plus perks like keyless-entry technology, a king-size bed, gas fireplace and flat-panel TV; everything from the soaps to coffee have been sourced by the island’s best artisans.

The property also features two inviting communal spaces (think dreamy seating, lighting and a roaring fireplace), and the location can’t be beat. Stroll to nearby cafes, shops and restaurants, or hop on an e-bike to explore the island in style!

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Photo courtesy Stephanie Russo

EAT + DRINK

Grab morning pastries from Vashon Baking Company, heartier breakfasts from The Hardware Store Restaurant, healthy lunches (like rainbow-hued bowls and smoothies) at charming Pure Organic Kitchen + Juicery and afternoon ice cream at Glass Bottle Creamery. At dinnertime, head to Bramble House, opened by Top Chef alum Lia Lira, or Gravy, opened last summer by the former Cafe Presse chef de cuisine.

Want to be truly wowed? Book a dinner reservation at May Kitchen + Bar, where highlights range from the loveliest servers and ambiance to delectable Thai and Cambodian dishes. Be sure to order the fried watercress and otherworldly pad thai, which gets the added bonus of a fun tableside presentation.

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Photo courtesy Stephanie Russo

On Saturdays, visit the bustling farmers market to stock up on local eggs, meats, cheeses, crafts and sweet treats. Almost any day of the week, build your own picnic by stopping by “honor system” farm stands set up around the island.

Photo courtesy Danny Owens

Photo courtesy Danny Owens

Explore further by taking a tasting tour of locally made ciders, wines and spirits with stops at Nashi Orchards, Dragon’s Head, Seattle Distilling and Palouse Winery, where the Eclipse red blend comes highly recommended.

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Photo courtesy Stephanie Russo

PLAY

Active folks love the abundance of cycling, kayaking and SUPing available on Vashon. Kick back at one of many beaches like Point Robinson Lighthouse or sandy KVI, where breathtaking views of Mt. Rainier steal the show.

In the evenings, find live music any night of the week; for example, mingle with friendly locals in the lush back garden of Snapdragon Bakery and Cafe, also loved for its gargantuan cupcakes and tasty vegetarian dishes.

The best news of all? When the mainland beckons, you’re only a 20-minute ferry commute away from home. Bon voyage!

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Photo courtesy Stephanie Russo

 

 

About Corinne Whiting

Corinne, an east coast native who relocated here from the other Washington in 2011, was bit by the travel bug early on. She lived in Strasbourg, France (during her junior year at Georgetown University) and in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she got a masters degree in Cultural Studies. She feels very grateful to have explored incredible spots on our globe ranging from Bolivia and Egypt to Turkey and China, but there are passport pages yet to fill (and travel tales yet to be written!). After serving as associate editor at Where magazine in D.C. for five years, Corinne has embarked on a new adventure here in the PNW as a freelance writer and photographer, contributing to publications like National Geographic Traveler, the Alaska Airlines in-flight magazine, Amtrak's OnTrak, 1889 Washington, 1859 Oregon, Visit Seattle and so on. She loves exploring this incredible corner of the country while debunking the rain myths, upping her coffee quotient, hearing heaps of live music and finding her Zen near the water as often as possible.
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