Miles of roads and rural bike paths are the primary attractions to draw mainlanders to quiet Anderson Island. The restored Johnson Farm (9306 Otso Point Road), founded by John Johnson in 1881, has tours weekend afternoons in the summer. Also here is the pilothouse from the Tahoma, the island’s ferry from 1943 to 1954.
Anderson Island Historical Museum (253/884-2135) has local historical items on display. Both the farm and the museum have irregular hours, so call to get current information.
There are a handful of places to stay on the island. The kid-friendly modern log house at The Inn at Burg’s Landing B&B (8808 Villa Beach Rd., 253/884-9185, www.burgslandingbb.com , $90–140 s or d) gives guests panoramic views of Mount Rainier and the Cascades. A covered deck with a hot tub overlooks the backyard fire pit and tree-dotted lawns leading to a private beach.
Watch herons glide over Little Vega Bay from the porch at Anderson House on Oro Bay (12024 Eckenstam-Johnson Rd., 253/884-4088 or 800/750-4088, www.non.com/anderson , $150 s or d, no kids). This beautifully restored 1920s Scandinavian farmhouse rests on a pasture surrounded by old-growth forests and an estuary. All four guest rooms have private baths, and a full breakfast is included.
For the more self-sufficient, August Inn (14117 Lyle Point Road, 253/884-4011, www.augustinn.com ) rents a self-contained home that sleeps six for $249, plus two studio suites for $159 d. All three are right on the water, with private entrances and decks.
Pierce County operates the small Anderson Island–Steilacoom Ferry (253/798-7250), which leaves Steilacoom Dock about every two hours. Round-trip summer fares are $19 for car and driver, $4.70 for passengers and pedestrians. The ferry also visits tiny Ketron Island (no public facilities).