THE BEST WAY TO VASHON ISLAND, WASH.
From LAX, Alaska, United and Virgin America offer nonstop service to Seattle. Southwest offers direct service (stop, no change of plane), and Alaska, United, Delta and Southwest offer connecting service (change of plane). Restricted round-trip fares begin at $310.
To reach Vashon Island, drive north on Interstate 5 from the airport and take the West Seattle Bridge exit (exit 163). Follow the signs to the Vashon Ferry and the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal. The fare is $24 for a car with two passengers, but the return ride to Seattle is free. There is also a passenger (foot or bike) ferry that leaves from the main ferry terminal in downtown Seattle. If you decide to take the passenger ferry, arrange to be picked up at the Vashon terminal.
WHERE TO STAY
Betty MacDonald Farm, 11835 99th Ave. S.W., Vashon Island; (206) 567-4227 or (888) 328-6753, http://www.bettymacdonaldfarm.com. $125-$160 a night, plus tax, for two. For more than two people, an additional fee may apply.
WHERE TO EAT
There are several good restaurants as well as shops to stock your kitchen.
The Hardware Store, 17601 Vashon Highway S.W., (206) 463-1800, http://www.thsrestaurant.com. Formerly a real hardware store, this local favorite serves fresh local seafood and comfort classics such as buttermilk fried chicken. Dinner entrees from $17.
Casa Bonita Mexican Restaurant, 17623 100th Ave. S.W., (206) 463-6452. Reliable and fresh; the to-go menu is an exceptional value. Entrees $5-$13.
TO LEARN MORE
Hikes and walks. Vashon is rural by design, and the hikes and walks through its parks and on its beaches are varied and immersive. There are brochures and maps on the ferries and at most of the businesses in downtown Vashon, and you can check out an interactive map of park trails at http://www.vashonparkdistrict.org/section_facilities/facilities_parks_walkingTrails.
Galleries and art studios. Vashon boasts a thriving arts community. Every May and December, there's an organized Art Studio Tour, and the rest of the year, the event's sponsors keep its site up to date with a map of participating galleries. vashonislandartstudiotour.com/Spring2011
Wineries. Vashon is home to a small but well-regarded group of wineries; tours are picturesque and tastings generous.