In a blink-of-an-eye ferry ride from Seattle or Tacoma (a mere twenty minutes if you miss rush hour traffic) you can escape to island life. Destination: Vashon Island. About the size of Manhattan (but with a population that hovers near 11,000) the island really has it all—a thriving independent bookstore, a wildly popular Thai restaurant, farm stands and markets, a row of eclectic art galleries, a creamery-owned ice cream shop, a bakery, coffee roaster, and so much more.
More significantly, as of last July, the island has an uber-modern resort for the countless city dwellers seeking a small town, slow down weekend getaway. The first thing you’ll want to do when you arrive to the Lodges on Vashon is soak up that island air with a seat at their outdoor pavilion—it’s a rustic-chic alfresco living room straight out of Dwell magazine.
You’ll find a gas fireplace to cozy up cool evenings, warm wood picnic tables for dining, and Instagram-worthy hanging rattan chairs, each adorned with a sheepskin throw. The pavilion is one of two communal spaces—there’s also the Public House where you’ll find coffee and tea, a lounge room and a communal table for impromptu dinner parties.
Set on 4.5 acres (with ample trees) the resort consists of 16 one and two-bedroom freestanding lodges, each featuring a gas fireplace, kitchenettes, flat screen television, and high-speed Internet. The modern and minimalist décor plays well with the modular frames. The lodges are actually prefabricated buildings that were constructed off-site and then trucked to the island and assembled. And it works.
The proprietors, Jena Thornton and Scott Shapiro, enhance what could have been austere housing with whimsy and a touch of luxury. Most of the furniture and artwork throughout the lodges was sourced from island artisans and local shops—businesses located a short skip from the property. Bathrooms boast in-floor radiant heat, and in some, private outdoor showers with private patios.
While there’s a year-round allure to visit the island (renowned cideries: Nashi Orchards and Dragon’s Head Cider, lively art walks, and a charming Saturday Farmer’s Market, summertime is the sweet spot. In June, the Lodges will launch a summer concert series, and a line-up of monthly farm dinners through October in partnership with Circle Rock Ranch. They’ll also host food truck nights with Orca Eats, and sporty weekend retreats that range from bicycle touring to yoga and wellness. If you leave now, you just might catch the next ferry.