Travel Tuesday: Vashon Island, WA

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Growing up some of my favorite moments were during the surprise road trips my parents planned, just this past weekend when they were in town for the holidays we made our way to Suncadia. During the trip both my sister and I commented on how much we love road trips. The ability to unplug, breathe fresh air and see something new. I remember when my family first moved to Washington in 2004, we immediately set out exploring the city on the weekends. Before we knew it we had made the city home, and we knew more of the region than many native Seattleites 😊

Yet somehow during all these years I had never made it to Vashon Island. A couple of months ago that was finally remedied and now I keep dreaming about escaping to the island and dwelling in a sweet cottage. Did you know that Vashon Island, WA is just a quick ferry ride from downtown Seattle (during the week) or West Seattle (on the weekend)? There are woodsy trails and scenic drives on the island just begging for you to experience. Even during a rainy weekend, the island reveals it's got it's own kind of magic✨

The Lodges at Vashon.

I have heard that up to 40% of those who live on the island are artists, which once you visit is absolutely not a surprise. Below is a list of some of the thriving creatives, entrepreneurs, boutiques and restaurants that the island is host to.

Snapdragon Bakery and Cafe

Snapdragon opened its doors in February of 2012. Adam Cone and Megan Hastings are the creative minds behind this endeavor. It is an Island favorite serving rustic and comforting vegetarian food. Did I mention there amazing pastries and cozy fireplace?

Meat & Noodle/Lauren Garaventa

Meat & Noodle is a private club that meets regularly to discuss soup. Hearty bowls of noodle soup have been served to its members since May 2013. Everything in the bowl, give or take an optional squirt of Sriracha, is local—the noodles made by friends; pieces of locally raised pork confited low and slow; a colorful smattering of assorted herbs and edible blossoms; sweet radishes picked from a nearby farm; and a restorative broth three days in the making from bones that farmer and butcher Lauren Garaventa had saved from an earlier slaughter. The dinner started at Garaventas home and then expanded to unique venues around Vashon as well as at well-known restaurants in Seattle.

Lauren Garaventa owns and operates Needle Creek Farm and plans to open her own restaurant, bar, and butcher shop on Vashon as a way to establish a blueprint for ethical, sustainable meat programs in small restaurants. The brick-and-mortar will serve as the official space for Meat & Noodle to continue to thrive.

Fresh smoothies from Pure.

Pure

Owned by Stephanie Morris and opened in 2010. Pure is an organic cafe & juicery, All menu items are plant based and gluten-free.

Glass Bottle Creamery Ice Cream Shop

Glass Bottle Creamery is a retail store selling local raw milk, kefir, eggs, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. All of our dairy products are sourced from Vashon Island and the Puget Sound region, and the ice cream is made down the street at their sister business, Vashon Island Baking Company.

Pastries from Vashon Island Baking Company.

Vashon Island Baking Company

Vashon Island Baking Company is Vashon’s premier bakery. Featuring a rotating selection of hand-made pastries baked daily, in addition to birthday cakes, pies, cupcakes, and seasonal chocolates. Vegan and gluten-free selections are available.

Ingredients are fresh and locally sourced whenever possible. Island-grown vegetables are used in their quiche and hand-picked fruits are used in many of the pastries.

Giraffe, Lifestyle Boutique

Giraffe’s curated collection consists of goods from artisans from over 45 countries as well as artists from the PNW. Everything in the store has a unique journey and story and provides an opportunity to know more about the world and how our choices can make a positive impact on the global good.

Owner Priscilla Schleigh grew up in Washington. Blessed with a natural gift for sewing and design, Priscilla was invited to teach at a trade school in Haiti. Her time in Haiti planted the seed for her interest in Artisans and Fair Trade. After running her own millinery business, representing and working with local artists, her dream of owning Giraffe came true. Through Giraffe, Priscilla shares her passion for the artisans, telling their stories over a cup of tea and weaving the threads that connect us to people around the world.

Vashon Island Apolis bag featured by Giraffe.

Nashi Orchards

Nashi Orchards uses sustainable practices to grow the finest Asian and European Pears and heirloom apples to handcraft perry and hard cider. They carefully control fermentation to preserve some of the natural sweetness, use 100% juice pressed at their winery and do not add sugar or flavoring.

Nashi grows numerous varieties of Asian Pears, Perry Pears and Apples from which the perry and hard cider is made. The orchards and surrounding farm and forest are home to St. Croix sheep, Bouvier de Flander dogs, barn cats as well as an abundance of birds and other wildlife.

Read my detailed blog post on The Uncommon Union.

Award-winning perry at Nashi Orchards.

Seattle Distilling

Seattle Distilling is a family business. And they care deeply about what they make. Their process is honest and intentional: to use the best local and sustainable ingredients they can find, and to make spirits right – from scratch – grain to glass.

King Caramel

Handmade and hand-wrapped caramels. Owned by islander Hedy Anderson. Before starting King Caramel, Anderson was a handbag designer and had a popular line called Hedy Handbags. She was unhappy with her work and after some prodding from friends began selling her caramels at farmers markets. The caramels can now be found at DeLaurenti and many other specialty retailers.

All Photos By: Danny Owens