Panoramic view of Winslow Harbor on Bainbridge Island, Washington, on a beautiful sunny day.

The Most Beautiful Islands in Washington

Washington is home to miles of natural beauty, whether that be along the coastline or further inland amongst the mountains. Nestled along the Pacific Ocean, Washington offers over a dozen adorable islands, from inhabited oases', to ones still overrun with nature and wildlife. Accessible by boat, kayak, or ferry, these islands provide endless opportunities for sightseeing, birdwatching, fishing, swimming, and exploring. They are also within ferry distance to the neighboring islands of British Columbia, including Vancouver Island, which can be accessed by those with a passport. And with stunning views all around of the Olympic Mountains and the Puget Sound, their beauty is unrivaled.

Marrowstone Island

Marrowstone Island on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State. Marshland with saltwater and wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest.

Marrowstone Island on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State.

Marrowstone is mainly known for its old military base, located at the Fort Flagler Historical State Park. Here you can tour the military facility and learn all there is to know about the island's history. The park also offers two camping areas, including the lower camping area and the higher camping area. The lower area is located right next to the water, making it perfect for swimming and beachside picnics.

For those hoping to camp on the island, there is also Smitty's RV Park if you wish to bring a trailer instead of a tent. Smitty's is also close to the amenities of the island. This includes restaurants like the Beachcomber Cafe, an adorable place to stop for an iced latte. There is also the Marrowstone Vineyards, a lush winery surrounded by picturesque views of the mountains. Speaking of the mountains, both the Olympic and Cascade ranges are visible from Marrowstone, as well as magnificent views of the Puget Sound.

Throughout the various parks and beaches in Marrowstone, you can find fishing piers, crabbing areas, picnic tables, and sandy coasts great for swimming. At Kinney Point State Park, take advantage of prime beachcombing territory. You can also find places to kayak and paddleboard, as well as attend kayak tours. The island also has bathrooms, fire pits, playgrounds, and basketball courts. And with easy access by bridge to Indian Island and the nearby towns of Irondale and Port Townsend, it's a great weekend getaway.

Bainbridge Island

Aerial view of winding harbor with Bainbridge Island, Mount Rainier, and Seattle in the background.

Aerial view of winding harbor with Bainbridge Island, Mount Rainier, and Seattle in the background.

Bainbridge Island is a major tourist destination in Washington, mainly due to its ferry access to Seattle, and a bridge to the mainland at Agate Point. But this doesn't diminish its beauty. In fact, it complements it by providing travelers with the opportunity to experience the island to the fullest.

Hosting art walks and summer concert series, it draws in crowds and keeps them satisfied with dozens of outdoor activities. At Bainbridge Gardens, walk the six-acre nursery. Battle Point Park offers an impressive and imaginative playground, and Fay Bainbridge Park is perfect for picnicking and camping. Point White Pier offers fishing and crabbing, as well as places to set sail in your kayak or paddleboard. There are also dozens of trails and nature preserves scattered around the island that are begging to be explored.

In the main inhabited area of Bainbridge, you can sample some delicious adult beverages at Bainbridge Brewing, Finn River Cider, and Bainbridge Vineyards. For those with kids or who don't drink, try something new at Storyville Coffee or at Restaurant Marche, a French-inspired restaurant with amazing patio views. There is also Harbor Public House, with a stunning patio offering chances to view the sunset. Want to stay the night? Choose from rental cottages, adorable inns, and quaint bed and breakfasts, or try something different and book an overnight sailboat stay.

Getting around the island also couldn't be easier with Kitsap Transit, as well as bike and kayak rentals.

Anderson Island

Anderson Island School on Anderson Island, Washington.

Anderson Island School on Anderson Island, Washington. By Ben Cody, Wikimedia Commons

Anderson Island is a 20-minute ferry ride from the community of Steilacoom or can be accessed by either boat or kayak. Here, you can explore endless parks, swim in untouched lakes, or fish at the marina.

Anderson doesn't have much for businesses, which in turn keeps the island peaceful. There is a general store and gift shop offering the necessities, as well as a cafe for a sweet treat or pick me up. The Rivera Lakehouse Restaurant is also here to make dinner easy, with beautiful views of the lake. Anderson Island doesn't have any hotels but is home to a fantastic little campground where you can pitch a tent and talk the night away around a bonfire.

In the morning, partake in your hobbies with tennis, pickleball, and basketball courts, or hit the trails either by foot or bike. At Florence Lake, spend the afternoon swimming or exploring the water by jet ski. There is also the opportunity to waterski or kneeboard if that's more your style. With a good handful of coves and bays, find the perfect driftwood beach to watch the sunrise and sunset, as well as admire the views of the Puget Sound.

Fox Island

Aerial photograph showcasing the picturesque Fox Island Bridge connecting Gig Harbor and Fox Island in Washington State.

Aerial photograph showcasing the picturesque Fox Island Bridge connecting Gig Harbor and Fox Island in Washington State.

Fox Island is accessible by bridge and is perfect for those with children. A family-friendly getaway, it offers playgrounds, group activities, and easy-to-handle trails.

At the Tacoma DeMolay Sandspit Nature Preserve, you can set up along the beach and enjoy a picnic while beachcombing and wading through the water. Cedrona Cove is perfect for swimming, and the Fox Island Fishing Pier is great for hanging your legs over the side and casting a line. There is also a public boat ramp if you wish to head further out to sea or explore the nearby tiny island of Tanglewood. Fox Island also offers sunset sailing tours, and when the tide heads out, take advantage of the tide pools, where you're sure to find something interesting.

Did you forget to pack something? The grocery and deli store might have just what you're looking for or just be a great place to stop for a snack.

Don't forget to catch the amazing mountain views as well from almost anywhere on the island, including the beauty that is Mt. Rainier.

Vashon Island

Lighthouse on Vashon Island, Washington State.

Lighthouse on Vashon Island, Washington State.

Vashon Island is both gorgeous and easy to access. You have four ferries to choose from, including one to Port Defiance, Southworth, Fauntleroy, and Seattle.

Perfect for a girl's trip, romantic getaway, or destination wedding, the island is home to some delectable wineries, including the Vashon Winery, which has been operating for over 30 years. There is also Enso Brewing Company, which is excellent for some laid-back drinks. Throughout the island, you can find adorable restaurants and cafes, all with their own charm and some with fantastic patio views of the water and surrounding greenery.

The island also has no shortage of parks and trails. And with the ability to rent watersport gear, getting around is both simple and fun. Hike the Shinglemill Creek Trail through lush forests, or take in the insane mountain views at the Point Robinson Lighthouse. Maury Island Regional Park makes a fantastic picnic spot, and make sure to have your eyes and cameras ready to catch the breathtaking sunsets at Lisabuela Beach. Brought your own watercraft? Take advantage of the boat launch at Jenson Point. And for those looking to get their feet wet, Point Heyer has excellent sandy beaches.

Whidbey Island

Double Bluff Beach on Whidbey Island, near Freeland.

Double Bluff Beach on Whidbey Island, near Freeland.

Whidbey is an adorable weekend getaway spot or the perfect place to rent a beachfront cottage for the summer. With picturesque views of the Olympic Mountains and the Puget Sound, as well as views of neighboring islands, there's no shortage of amazing places to snap some photos.

You can arrive on the island by ferry, either from Port Townsend or Mukilteo. When you arrive, take advantage of the town amenities, such as Bailey's Cornerstore, offering everything you may need for a great trip. There are also a handful of breweries, cafes, and restaurants. Orchard Kitchen is a unique farm-to-table dining experience, and Prima Bistro offers a patio perfect for watching the sunset. If you're looking for accommodations, the Admirals Nest Hotel has stunning views, or you can experience the Auld Holland Inn, a Dutch-themed resort with a giant windmill built into the front.

Get out into nature with the various parks and trails. The Admiralty Head Lighthouse is a sight to behold, and Ala Spit County Park Trail provides nearby island views. The bluffs at Barnum Point make you feel like you're on top of the world, and Camano Ridge Forest is a dog-friendly trail system full of things to sniff. If you want to try something new and exciting, consider the Canopy Tours Zipline or a jet boat tour.

The island also plays host to activities like clamming, crabbing, and fishing, as well as kayaking. And if you time it right, make sure to stop in at the charming and welcoming farmer's market for a locally made treat.

Cypress Island

Ferry passing Cypress Island, Washington.

Ferry passing Cypress Island, Washington.

Mainly undeveloped, Cypress Island is a part of the San Juan Islands and is only accessible by boat. There is no ferry service to the island, which means you are only able to arrive either by your own vessel or by water taxi. Water taxis can be booked from Anacortes and are capable of transporting you, your gear, and, of course, your furry friend if you wish to bring them along.

Covered in trails and secluded beaches, there is no shortage of beauty here. At Pelican Beach, you can beach comb, picnic, and set up camp for the night. Camping areas here aren't serviced and only provide pit toilets, which means you must leave it how you found it. All garbage must be brought back to the mainland with you. There is also the Cypress Head Campground. Both these areas are on the beach and provide amazing views of the neighboring islands as well as the waves as they crash against the shore.

With no light pollution from streetlights and businesses, nightfall on Cypress is the definition of peaceful. So set up a driftwood fire and listen to nothing but your thoughts, the water, and perhaps the stories of those you brought along with you. But remember, there is nothing here in terms of a grocery store, restaurant, or hotel, so everything you need has to be packed and brought with you.

Explore Washington's Island Paradise

With over 400 islands, Washington State has no shortage of places to explore. From the secluded and natural to more incorporated tourist destinations, these stunning islands are mainly only accessible by boat, whether that be ferry, private charter, or kayak, making them a fantastic experience and a perfect way to get out on the water. Offering opportunities for peaceful camping, world-class fishing, and thrilling watersports, Washington's coast is sure to please both the eyes and the soul.


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