Vashon Island is a gem. A short and lovely ferry ride from Fauntleroy in West Seattle will drop you off on this beautifully rural island. And once you arrive, you're definitely on island time. After landing in Vashon the drive along Vashon Highway SW reminds me of being in Wisconsin. Deer eating along the side of the road. No stop lights (I don't think anywhere on the island). And no stop signs until you hit downtown.
My favorite day in Vashon goes like this: Once landing immediately make your way to Snapdragon and pray to God they still have a cheesey roll left. Load up on as many as you think necessary along with some other sweets (see below).
This is where you can choose your own adventure! If you want more park time head to KVI Beach or Maury Island Marine Park. If you're over it, head back towards town and stop at Dragon's Head Cider. Vashon is home to a few cideries. Dragon's Head Cider is delicious (Prosecco like) and the farm is relaxing. You can hang out in their small tasting room (say hi to Karen!) or grab a bottle (Pippin and Perry are my favorites) and wander the grounds. Maybe bust into a cheese roll or two.
Now it's the time you've been waiting for. You made dinner reservations (and it's a must) a month ago at May Kitchen, the best Thai food in the Puget Sound, for real. The fried watercress, chicken wings (they're not on the menu but often have them) and the green curry with tofu are musts. The pad thai is pretty tasty too (and they make it table side). The food, service and atmosphere of May Kitchen is so outstanding it's worth the ferry ride for dinner.
Check the ferry schedule and if you have some time grab a nightcap at the Hardware Store. They also have great lunch (a killer fried chicken salad) if a cheesy roll won't cut it for you. Then, head back to the ferry terminal.
Or (another choose your own adventure) - spend the night! The Lodges on Vashon are amazing and a perfect getaway in the middle of winter. Each lodge is its own little building complete with a fireplace in the living room, another relaxing room off that with a hideabed, a small kitchen and master bedroom (you could easily fit 4 people in one lodge). The communal hang area is freaking awesome. An outdoor fireplace, those birdcage swing things, white lights, heat lamps...pretty much everything I dream could be in my backyard (if I even had one). The best place for my now husband to propose to me at, especially when he put the ring in that clam shell I found (and thought I left) at the beach.
Then it's back on the love boat! One of the great things about Vashon being so close to Seattle is that ferries run about every half hour.