Dan's cottage near Vashon Island's Fern Cove estuary is a perfect place to drop totally (or just partially) off the grid, while traveling less than 10 miles from Seattle's city center. The steep, lengthy path from the road to the house sets the tone - it's an effort to get here, so why not stay for while - but once you take in the view of Colvos Passage during a summer sunset, you'll quit your whining and start unwinding.
The house was in perfect order when I arrived and pre-trip communication with Dan was very thorough and speedy. All of the little things - cleaning supplies, bath towels, extra stocks of paper towels, toilet paper, and even a coffee French press - were well thought through and I didn't want for anything while there. He's also recently installed a cable modem, so you've got ridiculously fast wireless internet – if you want it. I didn't use the loft upstairs but it's a fun, cozy space and the master bed is super-comfortable. Even on the hottest summer days, the place cools off almost instantly once the sun is down - just crack a window or two.
When the tide is out, walking the shore is a popular activity here, and if you bring a paddleboard or small water craft, the cove's waters are typically very calm.
Lots of flowering plants. During my week stay, I had several regular hummingbird visitors hanging out on the guardrail wires on the deck. Herons, hawks, and a bald eagle or two completed the air show.
I'd recommend without hesitation to anyone looking for an incredibly convenient escape from the city and who wants to explore the far out mystery that is Vashon Island from a sturdy, welcoming base.