Some of the Northwest's most sought-after real estate lies on a six-square-mile island in the middle of Lake Washington. Mercer Island, with its beautiful wooded and waterfront settings, is an ideal location for those looking for an upscale rural environment with easy access to both Seattle and Bellevue business centers.

Featuring more than 475 acres of parkland and open spaces, Mercer Island offers a wide range of recreational activities, including a public boat launch and several beaches. Once considered a weekend retreat for Seattle's elite, Mercer Island homes are often nestled in deeply forested areas, with premium properties found on the water or with spectacular views of the lake, Mt. Rainer, or the Cascades. There are some condos, townhomes and apartments on Mercer Island, but most are single-family residences.

Although Mercer Island is home to some of the Seattle and Bellevue areas' highest-salaried professionals, residents say the Island's biggest asset is its educational opportunities. Both public and private schools on Mercer Island are highly regarded and its residents are considered among the most highly educated.


Square miles: 6.3
Parks: 30
Average commute time: To Seattle: 10 minutes; To Bellevue: 5 minutes

Sources: 1990 Census figures, 1997 King County Annual Growth Report, Northwest Multiple Listing Service, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1998 Greater Seattle InfoGuide.