Seattle is surrounded by many beautiful islands that are only short ferry rides away. They can be magical places. We needed to go somewhere fun and relaxing, so we recently took a day trip to Vashon Island. Other local islands are better known as tourist destinations, but we had long wanted to go to Vashon. They are known for their Saturday Farmers’ Market and small island farms, first rate coffee and liberal politics, and for being home to many writers, artists, and the friendliest people.
We don’t own a car, so we grabbed a Zip Car and were out. The best leg of the journey is a twenty minute ferry ride. It’s just enough time to get out of your car, get some wind in your hair, and snap a few photos of course 🙂 That short ferry ride makes Vashon a different land and blesses it with a laid back vibe.
As soon as we hit their farmers’ market on the Vashon Village Green, we found some of that island magic. It has such a great sense of community, full of friendly faces and easy conversation. Everyone was busy with island-grown foods and flowers, crafts, and services as varied as knife sharpening and henna tattoos.
The little market was also alive with an experienced band playing Irish and American folk music. Rain started to fall while the sun was still shining; everyone just kept on dancing and downing their market-fresh brunch. We joined them, buying a steaming bowl of yummy vegetable curry and rice from an Asian food stand. Lunch was served in a real bowl and with real spoons which we were expected to return sometime later. Here is a clip of it.
Before we got to Vashon, I swore left & right how I would not buy too much produce from the farmers’ market, because I had so much at home, from friends’ gardens and my own local market. Of course once I was there, I could not resist the perfect white squash and a bag of greens loaded with beautiful, edible flowers — those had to come home!
We enjoyed some of Vashon’s downtown — here a bookstore and cafe, there a bakery and chocolaterie, and then an antique shop named Treasure Island — how perfect! We moved on to a delicious, all-vegetarian bakery & cafe called Monkey Tree. I couldn’t recommend Monkey Tree highly enough, the place itself was beautiful and every bite of the FOUR things we ordered was amazing.
Monkey Tree was the last of the places we’d researched in advance, so from there we wanted some locals’ advice for more adventures. Asking around for the best destinations is my favorite way to visit anywhere new. Monkey Tree was also about to close, but a baker and an owner pointed us to a sweet, well enough hidden beach that the locals love. We took our picnic to that beach, thanks to the ladies at Monkey Tree!
We stopped to refuel at the brilliant Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie and Cafe to grab some coffee …
We overheard two local girls chatting outside the Roasterie:
Girl #2: Nah.
Girl #1: Why?
Girl #2: I picked and ate a lot this morning…It all could seem too perfect, but I got to experience what these girls were talking about … as we were walking around the beach we decided to try some wild berries … wow! they were yummy 🙂