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Vashon Island or Vashon-Maury Island is an island near Seattle in the Puget Sound region, the largest island in Puget Sound south of Admiralty Inlet. There are no bridges to connect the island with the mainland, a big factor contributing to the island's relative isolation and rural character.

Historic Point Robinson Lighthouse
  • Island Center Forest, 10612 SW 188th St (several trailheads are located on different sides of the park). Ten miles of multi-use trails lead visitors through 440 acres of consisting of forested stands, meadows, the Mukai Pond and the Meadowlake wetlands which form the headwaters of Judd Creek. Island Center Forest is habitat to a variety of wildlife, including more than 70 bird species.

Get in[edit]

Vashon Island is accessible by ferry, boat and plane. Ferry terminals are located on the northern and southern ends of the island. There is also a small municipal airport.

By boat[edit]

By ferry[edit]

  • Washington State Ferries (WSF), +1 206-464-6400, toll-free: +1-800-843-3779. Ferry terminals on both ends of Vashon Island:
    • 1 Vashon Island ferry terminal at Point Vashon on the northern end of the island has ferry service to Southworth, Fauntleroy, and even a foot ferry (King County Water Taxi) that goes directly Downtown Seattle. Vehicle and passenger service is offered to Fauntleroy Terminal in West Seattle and Southworth and passenger only service is offered to downtown Seattle.
      • King County Water Taxi (Vashon Island Terminal). Offers service between Pier 50 on the downtown Seattle waterfront and Vashon Island Ferry Terminal with amazing views of the city as a passenger only ferry. Adults ORCA fare $3.50, Cash or ticket fare $4.00, Seniors (65) $1.75 Youth (6-18) ORCA Youth Card fare $2.75 -Cash or ticket fare $4.00 - Children (5 and under) Free.
    • 2 Tahlequah Ferry Terminal on the southern end of the island has ferry service to Point Defiance in Tacoma.

By private boat[edit]

Vashon Island is extremely convenient when exploring Puget Sound located between major harbors in Tacoma, Seattle and the Kitsap Peninsula. However not much guest moorage is available so its best to plan ahead.

  • Quartermaster Marina, 23824 Vashon Hwy SW, +1 206-463-3624. The marina has little guest moorage but it is available.
  • Quartermaster Yacht Club, +1 206-463-3309. just north of the marina, has facilities available to members of reciprocal yacht clubs first 48 hours is $.25 per foot.

By plane[edit]

  • Vashon Municipal Airport (FAA Identifier: 2S1), +1 206-463-3142. small airport for private planes

By bus[edit]

King County Metro, Kitsap Transit and Pierce Transit have buses connecting Vashon Island to Seattle, Tacoma, Port Orchard, and other nearby places. The bus stops are at the ferry terminals where ferries from Vashon Island arrive into their respective counties:

King County Metro From Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal

  • RapidRide C. South Lake Union, Downtown Seattle, West Seattle, Alaska Junction, Lincoln Park, Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal, and Westwood Village. Travels primarily along Fauntleroy Way SW & California Ave SW in West Seattle

Kitsap Transit From Southworth Ferry Terminal

  • 85. Mullenix Park & Ride, Olalla Valley Park & Ride, Harper Church Park & Ride, Southworth Ferry Terminal. Operates during weekday rush hours only and make limited stops. Check schedules
  • 86. Port Orchard Ferry Dock, Port Orchard Armory Park & Ride, Mile Hill, Manchester, South Colby, Harper Church Park & Ride, Southworth Ferry. Connections to Bremerton by another ferry from the Port Orchard Ferry Dock. Click here for ferry schedules between Port Orchard or Annapolis to Bremerton.
  • 184. Local shuttle, down Sedgewick Rd, to the Harper Church P&R. Operates during the weekday peak hours and is synchronized with the ferry schedules.

Pierce Transit From Point Defiance Ferry Terminal

  • 10. Tacoma Community College (TCC), Westgate Shopping Center on N 26th & Pearl, Point Defiance Ferry Terminal & Park
  • 11. Downtown Tacoma, Proctor District on N 26th & Proctor, Point Defiance Ferry Terminal & Park. Some of the buses continue as the #41 bus going towards Tacoma Dome from downtown Tacoma. Not all. Therefore, board the #41 bus going towards downtown at the Tacoma Dome Station to get to Point Defiance Park/Ferry Terminal. May or may not require transfer check with driver.

Connections to Amtrak, Greyhound, Flixbus, Sound Transit and other long distances buses are in downtown Seattle and the Tacoma Dome

Get around[edit]

By car[edit]

Most people experience the island by car with the Vashon Hwy SW being the main north south travel route through the island, however don't be afraid to get off this road and experience the less traveled side roads, especially roads that offer views of the water.

Vashon Island's street designation is a continuation of King County's street designation system from West Seattle (SW), beginning at 1st Ave S & Yesler in downtown Seattle. The major roads are somewhat in a grid, with north-south roads called Avenues that suffix the directional and east-west roads being Streets that prefix the directional. There are occasional irregularities: Ways are long roads that don't always conform to the grid, Drives are long, circuitous routes, and there are the very short Place or Court that dead ends on one end of the road. Most roads are numbered with a few that are named. The "downtown core" for banking, shopping, eating and for bars on Vashon Island is clustered around the intersection of SW Bank Rd & Vashon Hwy SW (main north-south thoroughfare through the island).

Vashon Island lies approximately between SW 108th St (10800 block) and SW 307th St (30700 block, next to Tahlequah Ferry Terminal) southwest of downtown Seattle (Yesler), which run east and west. The east shores of the island are approximately 8700 block (87th Ave SW) west of 1st Ave S while the west shores of the island are approximately at the 14700 block (147th SW) from 1st Ave S. Vashon Hwy SW goes north and south as a major thoroughfare or main street through the island. Therefore, the house numbers increase from east to west and from north to south.

By bike[edit]

Although Vashon is popular with bicyclists, the hills can be intimidating for inexperienced riders and the sometimes tight roads make sharing the road a challenge. The Vashon Highway has ample space for bikers along its shoulder however due to the large amounts of car traffic this might be less desirable for some bikers.

Codfish Dock House in Dockton

By public transit[edit]


Vashon offers many parks and beaches open to the public

  • Blake Island State Park (in Puget Sound between Seattle and the Kitsap Peninsula and north of Vashon Island). Vashon Island is a popular launching point for this nearby state park that was the birthplace of Chief Seattle and still offers Native American dancing for visitors.
  • Bike in a Tree (near the corner of Vashon Highway and SW 204 St). A bike swallowed up in a tree. This is the actual bike in a tree woven into the story "Red Ranger Came Calling" by Berkeley Breathed
  • Robinson Point Park and Lighthouse, 3705 SW Pt. Robinson Rd., Dockton. A 10-acre shoreline park with a lighthouse. There are a few hiking trails and picnic tables. The keeper's quarters of the lighthouse have been restored and are available for weekly rental.


Sea kayaking[edit]

Sea kayaking can be a rewarding way to explore the islands miles of coastline allowing the paddler a closer and slower look at their surroundings and making Vashon one a popular areas to kayak in Puget Sound. Thick forests of majestic pine and deciduous trees and hundreds of creeks and estuaries dot the coastline. Harbor Seals, Otters, Sea Lions, Bald Eagles and Blue Herons are common sites while the occasional viewing of an Orca or Grey Whale is not out of the question.

Kayak trails[edit]

Organized trails offer overnight camping options and maps of appropriate and scenic travel destinations.

  • Cascadia Marine Trail. This inland sea trail is a National Recreation Trail and designated one of only 16 National Millennium Trails by the White House. Suitable for day or multi-day trips, the Cascadia Marine Trail has over 50 campsites to visit. People can boat to the campsites from many public and private launch sites or shoreline trailheads Vashon Island.

Kayak rentals[edit]

Scuba diving[edit]

purple seastar found on Colvos Passage

Scuba diving the cold waters of Puget Sound takes a bit more gear and training than other warm water locations, but the rewards are incredible. The area contains some of the best diving in the world and many areas are accessible from the Vashon Island. Many dive sites are completely covered with colorful sea creatures that defy description. Giant Pacific Octopus are common, along with friendly wolf eels. Colorful sponges, sea cucumbers, sea stars, soft corals, anemones and fish can be seen on nearly every dive. The state offers a guide to parks with launch sites HERE[dead link]


The town of Vashon has a large variety of stores that would appeal to the average tourist including many arts and crafts made by locals.

  • 1 Vashon Pharmacy, 17617 Vashon Hwy SW (Town Center), +1 206-463-9118. M-F 9AM-7PM, Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 11AM-1PM. It's not just a pharmacy. Vashon Pharmacy is more like a huge gift shop.
  • 2 Vashon Thriftway, 9740 SW Bank Rd, +1 206-463-2100.


  • 1 The Hardware Store Restaurant, 17601 SW Vashon Hwy (SW corner of Bank Rd and the Highway), +1 206-463-1800. A nice restaurant in the oldest commercial building on Vashon
  • 2 Pop Pop Bottle Shop, 17618 Vashon Hwy SW (in the middle of town, in the blue and red building). Tu-Th 11AM-8PM, F-Sa 11AM-9PM.


  • 1 Sporty's, 17611 Vashon Hwy SW (in the middle of town, on the west side of the main highway; footballer player is painted on the sign and is hard to miss), +1 206-463-0940. Daily 7AM-11PM. Islanders call this location Sporty's. It is a bar commonly filled with members of the elderly community.
  • 2 Camp Colvos Brewing, 17636 Vashon Hwy SW, +1 206-408-7309. M-F 1PM-8PM, Sa noon-8PM, Su noon-7PM. Beer, cider, meat pies and other food.
  • 3 O'Sole Mio Pizza and Bar, 17607 Vashon Hwy SW (signed as '"Pizzeria Mario" above the door), +1 206-408-7826. Daily 11AM-9PM. New York-style pizza, with a bar in the back that has booths and bar seats.


A short ferry ride from Seattle or Tacoma, Vashon Island is a popular and easy get away from city life with many popular B&Bs to choose from.


  • 1 Vashon Library (King County Library System), 17210 Vashon Highway SW (southside of Ober Park), +1 206-463-2069. M 10AM-6PM, Tu W noon-8PM, Th F 10AM-6PM, Sa 11AM-6PM. Vashon Island is in King County, and its local library benefits from King County's well-developed library system with many resources available including wifi. Vashon Library (Q69764256) on Wikidata

Go next[edit]

Seattle is to the east via ferry, Kitsap Peninsula is to the west via ferry and Tacoma is to the south via ferry.

This city travel guide to Vashon Island is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.