Cozy Island Getaways Around the Puget Sound
The stretch right before Thanksgiving often feels like one of the hardest periods in the work year—the weather is turning colder and damper, and many of us feel tired, a little burned out, and badly in need of a pause. This last weekend, Pickett Street enjoyed a team retreat on Vashon Island, and the team highly recommends that you take some time out for yourself, too!
If you’re longing to get away, but don’t have the time or money to go far, you might consider that the Puget Sound area is known for its gorgeous islands. With the currently chilly fall weather, islands can offer weekend getaways or day trips with plenty of opportunities to bundle up and enjoy fresh air, views, and good food.
Vashon is home to several delightful farms, orchards, and wineries, like Nashi Orchards and Palouse Winery. It’s rumored that Vashon’s May Kitchen and Bar offers some of the best Thai food in Washington State.
Also, don’t forget to check out the island’s mysterious tree bike.
Whidbey Island has some truly gorgeous parks and trails, including Washington’s most visited state park, Deception Pass. With a historic lighthouse and lovely views, Fort Casey State Park is also worth visiting.
Grab local cheeses and loganberry pie at Greenbank Farm, or some Penn Cove mussels in Washington’s second oldest town of Coupeville, founded in 1852. For kids and those who are kids at heart, enjoy salted caramel ice cream at Kapaws Iskreme. (They do ice cream right—a single is three scoops, and a double is five scoops!)
The San Juans includes a whopping 172 islands and reefs. If the weather is nice, I highly recommend getting out on the water with one of the many kayaking tours.
While whale watching tours are closed this time of year, you can still learn about the local wildlife at the Whale Museum in San Juan Island’s Friday Harbor. Or, immerse yourself in harvesting and then eating fresh shellfish at Westcott Bay Shellfish Co. (Note that during the winter season, the farm is only open on Saturdays, from noon to 3pm.)
On Orcas Island, hike the beautiful Turtleback Mountain or through Moran State Park, which features five lakes, a nature preserve, and opportunities for my personal favorite—”glamping.” After your hike, grab a plum, blackberry, ginger, or other kind of hard cider at Boathouse Cider Works.
Bainbridge Island is an easy 30-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle. Plus, the return trip to Seattle is free for walk-on passengers.
Bainbridge offers visitors a myriad of activities, including the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art and the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial. It’s also worth checking out Bloedel Reserve, the island’s stunning botanical gardens and Northwest woodlands, or hiking around the Grand Forest’s eight miles of lush trails.
The main street also offers several adorable shops and eateries. My family loves wandering around Eagle Harbor Bookstore, daydreaming about future travels in The Traveler, picking up new board games at Calico Toy Shoppe, and ending our shopping at Blackbird Bakery’s with mouth-watering soups and fresh herb rolls.
Happy island hopping, readers! If you’re looking for more recommendations about things to do in the Puget Sound area, or help with local real estate, get in touch with Pickett Street at firstname.lastname@example.org or (425) 502-5397.