Point Robinson Lighthouse, and its still-flashing light, has stood watch over Puget Sound since 1915.
Julia Kuskin

Explore galleries, sandy beaches, and woodsy trails on this Washington isle just a shout from Seattle

Kathryn True

[P]Part of the allure of Vashon Island is that it's not overrun with day-trippers. (And don't worry: We're not advocating that it should be.) But as long as you respectfully convert to Island Time, locals welcome you to explore its sandy beaches, woodsy trails, and galleries. [CP][P] A popular bumper sticker proclaims KEEP VASHON WEIRD, revealing the heart of this artistic community, just a shout from Seattle. [CP][P] Now the secret's out: Vashon is for visitors too. (Ideally those who ditch their cars and pedal the 5 miles from the ferry into town.) [CP][P] [B "GETTING THERE"] [CP][P] [ARTICLE_IMAGE 1 R] [XLINK "http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries" "[B "Washington State Ferries"]" "" "_new"] ([SPECIAL_CHAR {36}]4.30 round-trip to walk on, [SPECIAL_CHAR {36}]1 bicycle surcharge; from [SPECIAL_CHAR {36}]18.50 round-trip to drive on; 206/464-6400) run frequently from the Fauntleroy Terminal in West Seattle. If you drive, consider renting some wheels at [B "Vashon Island Bicycles"] (closed Mon; [SPECIAL_CHAR {36}]20 per day; 206/463-6225). Visit [XLINK "http://www.vashonchamber.com" "vashonchamber.com" "" "_new"] for more info.


[CP][P] [B "GO"] [CP][P] [XLINK "http://www.vigavashon.org" "[B "Vashon Farmers Market"]" "" "_new"] Pack your pannier with just-picked greens, island cheese, and local wine. INFO: 10[SPECIAL_CHAR {150}]2 Sat year-round, 2[SPECIAL_CHAR {150}]5 Wed Jul 16[SPECIAL_CHAR {150}]Oct 15; Vashon Hwy. S.W. at Bank Rd. S.W.; 206/267-8146. [CP][P] [B "Point Robinson Park"] For beach walks and Mt. Rainier photo ops, bike 6 miles south of town to the eastern tip of Maury Island [SPECIAL_CHAR {151}] attached to Vashon by a narrow road. INFO: Free lighthouse tours 12[SPECIAL_CHAR {150}]4 Sun through late Sep and by appointment (206/463-6672); rent the Keepers' Quarters from [SPECIAL_CHAR {36}]1,050 per week; 3705 S.W. Point Robinson Rd.; [XLINK "http://www.vashonparkdistrict.org" "vashonparkdistrict.org" "" "_new"] or 206/463-9602. [CP][P] [ARCHIVELINKS] [B "SIP"] [CP][P] [B "Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie"] Rare Heirloom Coffee, slow-pressed. INFO: 19529 Vashon Hwy. S.W.; 206/463-9800. [CP][P] [B "Gusto Girls"] Toast summer evenings with spicy ginger martinis on the patio. INFO: [XLINK "/sunset/travel/article/0,20633,1638565,00.html" "[SPECIAL_CHAR {36}][SPECIAL_CHAR {36}]"]; 17629 Vashon Hwy. S.W.; 206/463-6626. [CP][P] [B "EAT"] [CP][P] [B "The Monkey Tree"] Locals' fave for its bread-zucchini gnocchi and raspberry-rosemary iced tea. INFO: [XLINK "/sunset/travel/article/0,20633,1638565,00.html" "[SPECIAL_CHAR {36}]"]; closed Wed; 17817 Vashon Hwy. S.W.; 206/463-4635. [CP][P] [B "SHOP"] [CP][P] [B "Heron's Nest"] Pottery, jewelry, and fabric art from many of the 300-plus artists who live on Vashon and Maury Islands (more info at [XLINK "http://www.vashonalliedarts.org" "vashonalliedarts.org" "" "_new"]). Closed Mon; 17600 Vashon Hwy. S.W.; 206/463-5252. [CP][P] [ARTICLE_IMAGE 2 R] [B "Kronos"] "Where did you get that?" gifts. 17610 Vashon Hwy. S.W.; 206/463-0061. [CP][P] [B "Giraffe"] Bright orange house packed with fair-trade food and recycled fashions like telephone-wire bangles. 9905 S.W. 174th St.; 206/463-1372. [CP][P] [B "STAY OVERNIGHT"] [CP][P] Make your kids' night and sleep in a tipi or covered wagon at Vashon's [XLINK "http://www.vashonhostel.com" "[B "AYH Ranch Hostel"]" "" "_new"] (from [SPECIAL_CHAR {36}]20; 206/463-2592). [CP][P] [B "DON'T MISS ..."] [CP][P] [B "Birding"] with expert Ed Swan (tours by appointment; [SPECIAL_CHAR {36}]35 per hour; 206/463-7976).[CP][P] Hit the [B "Vashon Island Strawberry Festival"] (Jul 12[SPECIAL_CHAR {150}]13; [XLINK "http://www.vashonchamber.com" "vashonchamber.com" "" "_new"] 206/463-6217) for parades, crafts, sno-cones, and, of course, sweet berries. [CP][P] [XLINK "http://traveler.sunset.com/" "Sunset Traveler: Where to go and what to do in the West [SPECIAL_CHAR {187}] "] [CP]

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