Exploring Vashon Island, Washington

vashon island things to do

The ferry ride out to Vashon Island

While visiting Seattle I realized that I had never taken a ferry ride out to any of the islands in the Puget Sound. Although the ferries are slightly costly, I decided to throw caution in to the wind and figure out which island I wanted to visit. I would be traveling with my friend Meg so I found us a suitable island that had things that both of us would like, a lighthouse for me and wine tasting for her… well OK the wine tasting was for both of us. I’m an only child – I plan most things to revolve around me.

vashon island things to do

It was a little early in the day for my rum

We loaded on to the ferry at the Fauntleroy terminal and paid the $13.95 USD one way fee. Once we had parked the car I talked Meg into walking around the ferry. We found a spot inside but I of course was not seated long. I am convinced I was a pirate in a past life and always find my way outside while riding on boats, letting the sea spray hit my face as I reminisce over my scalawag days.

It was not the warmest of days, so I ventured out on to the deck alone while Meg huddled by the doorway back to the cabin. Meg doesn’t have any scalawag days, so there was no need for sea spray or reminiscing.

vashon island things to do

The nature trail down to Point Robinson Lighthouse

We arrived to Vashon Island, slightly colder than we were before, but ready to explore. Our first stop was the Point Robinson Lighthouse. There was a short nature trail that we walked down from the parking lot to the lighthouse. I would recommend if you are talking on this trail to not wear sandals, specifically ones with wedges… like Meg did 🙂

vashon island things to do

I think the orange cone adds a little somethin’ to the photo

Once we reached the lighthouse we were greeted by wide spanning views of the Puget Sound and a collection of driftwood along the shoreline. The lighthouse was built around the late 1880’s and signifies the halfway point between Seattle and Tacoma. In addition to the lighthouse there are two keeper houses and a gift shop.

To find the Point Robinson Lighthouse from the Fauntleroy ferry landing head south on Vashon Highway SW. Turn east on SW Quartermaster Dr. Follow to a T intersection, turning right on SW Point Robinson Rd. Follow to Robinson Point Park. The lighthouse is typically open Sundays from noon to 4pm.

Our next stop was for wine tasting at Palouse Winery. I found the name of this winery a bit deceiving as we were no where near the Palouse area. The Palouse can be found on the eastern side of Washington state, reaching into Idaho. Vashon Island is about as west as you can get in Washington state. Turns out the winery sources their grapes from the eastern side of the state, hence their name. This is common practice by wineries throughout Washington, and even Idaho, as the eastern side of Washington state has dynamite growing conditions for vines.

Meg and I found ourselves a spot in the wine tasting room, which was outfitted with wine barrel tables and high pub style chairs. The tasting room was a slimmed down setting but suitable for tasting. Meg still too this day retells the story of how she used the restroom inside the winemaker’s house. Tastings are offered Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 5pm for $10 to $15. I of course tried all the different wines as I like both red and white whereas Meg prefers only white wines. True to fashion my favorite wine was the blend, the Eclipse Red, in which a bottle of it also made it’s way home with me.

The Palouse Winery is located at 12431 Vashon Highway SW Vashon Washington 98070.

We made our way back to the “mainland” via the ferry after we enjoyed a nice day on Vashon Island. I was surprised by our visit Vashon. It may be a small island of about 37 square miles but there was plenty to do and see along with a fun boat ride out to the island.

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