Having grown up on Vashon Island, it is a place that will always be near and dear to my heart. I try to get over there as often as I can, and when I do I stay at The Lodges on Vashon, which I love not only because my sister is the manager, but because they offer a truly unique experience fusing modern style with the natural environment.

The Lodges on Vashon Island are the perfect point to pivot around the Island for a weekend adventure.

The Lodges come with personal touches and local products found only on the Island, with packages that include a Sip Vashon winery tour and Vashon adventures for biking and kayaking. They also have a stellar event space for weddings and hosting corporate and wellness retreats.

Next time you visit Vashon Island, I recommend a stay at the Lodges. This month, I tapped my lovely sister for more Islander insight, and she outlined a few of her must-visit spots that will help you make the most out of your weekend getaway:

What to Eat & Drink:

Most Under the Radar Food Spot

No trip to the Island is complete without a stop at Zamorana Mexican Food. They use fresh, local ingredients and put their hearts into every plate that comes out. Not sure where to start? The red snapper tacos are always delicious!

Best Community Restaurant

Snapdragon is a true crowd pleaser, offering options for vegans and vegetarians, as well as tasty plates for carnivores, too. A fresh salad or warm soup with yummy bread never disappoints. It’s a great local hangout so if you know anyone on the Island you just might run into them there.

Healthiest Café

There is no doubt that Pure Organic Café is the place to be. They have healthy, organic food options and source their ingredients fresh from local vendors and farms. Order a juice, wellness shot and miso soup, which will have you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.

New Addition

Prepare to roll up your sleeves and dive into delectable food at Gravy, a great new addition to the Island’s thriving restaurant scene. Every Sunday they do a rib dinner complete with three huge ribs, macaroni, collard greens and cornbread—need we say more?

Open on a Monday Night

Chef Wally Bell started his culinary career in the famous Moulin Rouge at Newcastle, England and spent many years training in some of the best hotels in the Scottish Highlands, and small, intimate restaurants in the south of England and France. Now he brings bold flavors to The Sugar Shack, a restaurant that is truly solid gold.

Vashon Brewing, AKA “Cliff’s Pub”

Owned and operated by a longtime Island resident, Vashon Brewing is sure to impress the beer enthusiast and even those that don’t have as much love for the hops. They bring in live music every Thursday plus they are the only place on the Island to find Kombucha on tap and “Bangers and Mash”.

Beaches to Visit:

For Fun in the Sun

Located east of the intersection of Vashon Highway and 204th, KVI Beach (also known as Point Heyer) is an ideal locale for an afternoon picnic or day in the sunshine, with opportunities for viewing wildlife and walking along the shoreline at low tide.

At Sunset

Nothing quite compares to Lisabeula Beach at sunset. The shoreline becomes flooded in gorgeous orange and red hues, and because it is a small and quiet beach, it makes for a wonderful place of respite to reflect on another day passed.

Events & Attractions:

Strawberry Festival

The annual Strawberry Festival is a draw for both locals and visitors, and will be held July 20th to 22nd this year. Highlights include a beer garden, pancake breakfast and vendor/artist booths. The Grand Parade will be held Saturday at 11:30am with the Tom Stewart Classic Car Parade on Sunday at 11:45am.

Joe’s Picks:

Lavender Hill Farm

Lavender Hill Farm is a wonderful place for all things lavender with some pretty amazing places to stop and take photos amidst the rolling purple hills. They grow over twenty types of lavender that can be purchased from the store or “u-cut” style, in addition to face creams, body lotions, and other lavender-centric products.

Gorgeous Bouquets

Stepping into Herban Bloom Flowers is almost like arriving in Paris, as a French flair meets locally sourced flowers crafted into stunning bouquets whether you’re searching for a small surprise for a friend or to elevate an event to the next level. Their shop also includes a variety of hand-selected gifts to suit any occasion that are always fun to browse.

Best Coffee

For the best cup of coffee, head to cafeluna, a specialty coffee house with an unbeatably fun vibe. They also offer a variety of tasty treats and I tend to find myself purchasing two pieces of spice cake so I can enjoy one in the moment and savor the other on the ferry ride back to Seattle.