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Why Choose Vashon Island?
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The Vashon Community
From whimsical art to fine art, pottery to painting, plus plenty of dance and music, you will find that Vashon has a rich cultural life! Vashon Center for the Arts, the center of our cultural programming, is the oldest non-profit arts organization in Washington state. The community turns out in force for our First Friday Art Walk every month. All the galleries and most businesses host art shows, free refreshments, and even live entertainment. The local park district also sponsor dozens of arts related programs and classes and there are several private schools of dance and music. Vashon also boasts a community theatre group and opera company! We also have our own radio station playing music and entertaining local programming.

There are many charming vacation rental establishments on the Island that offer you the opportunity to stay awhile and get to know our wonderful community. Explore the possibilities! Some of these establishments offer weekly rates too.

Vashon Island boasts several subscription farms. Most are organic and offer fruit and vegetables of the season to subscribers. The Vashon Island Growers Association is a non-profit farming organization that hosts a Saturday market at the Village Green each week.

Farm animals are everywhere on Vashon. Cows, goats, sheep and chickens are very popular and, of course, there are hundreds of horses. There are four "pony" clubs active here and several boarding farms and performance arenas. There is also a large equestrian park with trails and jumps. Of course there are also hundreds of domestic pets as well. Vashon Island Pet Protectors , our local animal rescue group, works hard to insure that Vashon's furry friends are well cared for. We also are proud that other specialized animal rescue organizations make their home here. BaaHaus is a small non-profit that takes in farm animals. We are proud to be long time supporters of these great organizations.

There is still an active farming community on the Island, as well as many wholesale and retail nurseries. Vashon-Maury is a great growing area for all kinds of crops. The community celebrates its farming heritage each year with a huge Strawberry festival in July.

There are many recreational opportunities on Vashon. Kayaking is popular as is all types of boating. There is both a private yacht club and a public marina with many sailing events throughout the year. There is a fine golf club and the park district offers a full spectrum of sports activities and classes. There are miles of trails for hiking or walking. Birding is very popular and the National Audubon Society has named Quartermaster Harbor a nationally Important Bird Area (see the Vashon-Maury Island Audubon Society). Gardening is a major outdoor activity with Master Gardeners and the Vashon Garden Club eager to offer help. A regionally significant garden tour occurs on Vashon every spring.

Vashon offers over a dozen wonderful parks. Some offer waterfront or beach access, while others offer public space for activities and events. The Vashon Park District also owns many acres of open space and wildlife preserves for the bird watcher or hiker, and sponsors a full range of sports and activities for youth and adults. Our local Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust also owns over 2,000 acres that are open to hiking, horseback riding and birdwatching. Plenty of bicycle trails too. A good example would be the Friends of Point Robinson Lighthouse on the east end of Maury island.

The Island is home to many great restaurants and cafes that offer a lot of options for a good meal. From Northwest cuisine to Chinese; from Mexican to Thai, guaranteeing that everyone will find something to enjoy. We have sophisticated regional fare as well as kid friendly home cooking. There is also the required espresso and wine café (Cafe Luna) as well as several smoke free lounges (Red Bicycle Bistro & Sushi). Our stores and shops offer everything most peoples need. We have two large grocery stores (Thriftway) all the home improvement and supply items you need (Island Lumber and Ace Hardware) and specialty stores for clothing, music, housewares, gifts, pharmaceuticals, books and specialty items. Vashon Chamber of Commerce is a good resource for locating businesses on Vashon Island.

Vashon Island Schools are among the best in the state. Part of the reason for that is the involvement from the entire community. Local island businesses and non-profits, as well as individuals give significantly to the schools to make sure the needs of Vashon-Maury children are met. The local library, part of King County's huge system, offers support to education. There are also some excellent private schools (Harbor School) on the Island as well as many good pre-schools.

Vashon Island has become a popular place to retire and the community has developed many services specifically to serve the senior population. There is an active Senior Center with dozens of activities, and the community built a beautiful assisted living and skilled nursing facility, Vashon Community Care.

The Island is very kid friendly. There are several parks with play equipment and activities for children. In addition to programs sponsored by the various schools and churches, there are park programs and many private dance and music programs.

Most of the major Christian denominations are represented on the Island as well as a Jewish congregation, a Russian Orthodox monastery, the Puget Sound Zen Center and other spiritual and faith groups.

Most national service clubs are represented on Vashon (Vashon Island Rotary Club) and have dozens of events and projects every year that add to the quality of life here. You are not a stranger here for long. Just raise your hand at a community meeting and volunteer to help and you're IN! Activism is rewarded and treasured on our island and even our County Councilman, Joe McDermott says that Vashon Island issues take up half his staff's time, even though we represent a tiny population of the district.


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