Need an easy daytrip? A 20-minute ferry ride away from the Fauntleroy terminal in West Seattle, Vashon Island is close enough that a spontaneous visit is possible yet far enough to make you feel as if you taken a break from the city. From the ferry dock on Vashon, take Vashon Highway Southwest into town, and enjoy the scenic mix of coastal views and agrarian paradise. Stop by The Hardware Store Restaurant for a late breakfast or lunch. The kids’ menu offers the usual suspects: chicken strips, burger, cheese ravioli or grilled cheese.
After lunch, you can poke around some of the local shops or consider a visit to one of the lavender farms on the island. You can visit the Saturday farmers market or buy fresh eggs from one of the many farms on the fresh egg map. There are 18 parks on Vashon Island, so you have your choice of easy hikes, beach walks or even a visit to the Point Robinson Lighthouse. End the day at Café Luna for a coffee (milk for the kids) and pastries or grilled sandwiches. It’s known for being the island hangout, so you feel like a local–or just plot your return trip.
—Hsiao-Ching Chou