Mercer Island has a diverse group of neighborhoods spanning many generations of home building. Lush and green, the Island offers and abundance of parks and recreation opportunities on and off the water. Just a hop, skip and jump from the hustle and bustle of the city, Mercer Island has a true small town community feel where neighbors connect with neighbors. Here’s a sampling of some of the Island’s many neighborhoods (click to see photos and info):
Downtown Home to most of the island’s condo and apartment dwellers, Downtown is known for its walkability. The island’s central business district is located in Downtown along with many restaurants, coffee shops and business catering to passersby. The Downtown core is well served by transit to Seattle and Bellevue and is the future site of a light rail station anticipated in 2023.
East Seattle Mercer Island’s East Seattle was considered the first real neighborhood on the island and is steeped in rich history. The homes in this neighborhood range from charming bungalows to luxurious waterfront properties. There are numerous public water access points, viewpoints and landings—providing excellent waterfront access for recreation like wildlife viewing, picnicking, swimming/wading, kayaking and canoeing and watching Seafair activities.
First Hill The First Hill neighborhood is located south of I-90, separating East Seattle from the north end of the island. This popular walking and biking neighborhood offers some of the most scenic views on Mercer Island. Throughout First Hill, there are stairs and trails which lead to the beach and the downtown business district. The homes which dot First Hill offer stylistic variety, with most of the homes originally built between the 1940s and the 1960s.
Mercerdale One of the greatest walking neighborhoods on Mercer Island is Mercerdale. The neighborhood features modest 1950/1960 suburban-style homes and is located west of Island Crest Way. It is fortunate to be home to three well-loved island parks: Mercerdale Park, Hillside Park and Homestead Field. Mercerdale Park is where many of Mercer Island’s large annual events are held, including Mostly Music in the Park, Summer Celebration, the Mercer Island Farmers’ Market and Holiday Tree Lighting & Fireside Munch.
North Mercer North Mercer is a waterfront neighborhood people like to call home for a long time. The street end beach access is attractive to people who love the water. This neighborhood is located north of I-90 and is one of the neighborhoods containing the Lid Park built on top of the freeway. Bicyclists can access the I-90 bike trail from North Mercer. Luther Burbank Park is located in this neighborhood, as well as the popular Community at Mercer View.
Shorewood The Shorewood neighborhood is home to the Shorewood Heights Apartments, the largest apartment complex on Mercer Island. Legend has it that most of the island residents have lived at the Shorewood complex at least once! The South Luther Burbank trails are accessed through Shorewood, which is located just off of I-90.
Brook Bay A highly coveted waterfront neighborhood on the west side of the Island. Comprised mostly of very large and nicely updated homes with waterfront or water views, this neighborhood has long been a draw for potential homeowners. The westernmost homes front along the water’s edge and benefit from spectacular sunsets gleaming across the water.
Forest Ave Forest Avenue features some of the best Western Views on Mercer Island, along with some the most luxurious high-end homes and expansive private waterfront accesses. Miller Landing, one of several developed “street ends” on Mercer Island, provides excellent waterfront access for recreation like wildlife viewing, picnicking, swimming/wading, kayaking and canoeing.
Gold Coast As the name suggests, the north end Gold Coast neighborhood is lovely. It consists exclusively of waterfront properties. The iconic island watering hole, The Roanoke Inn, is located in this neighborhood. Faben Point and Roanoke are two of the more prominent landmarks along the Gold Coast. Residents benefit from the gorgeous Lid Park, which spans over the I-90 tunnel across northwest Mercer Island with easy to access the I-90 bike trail.
East Mercer Home to one of the most unique settings on Mercer Island, East Mercer features a rain forest setting, with deep ravines and steep hill sides. The homes here range from smaller cabins to luxury waterfront houses. Mercer Island Shore Club and Mercer Island Beach Club (MIBC) is located here. Their private member facilities include pools, tennis courts, fitness centers, beaches, volleyball, pickle ball and basketball courts, boat launch ramps and picnic areas.
Ellis Pond A peaceful secluded pond is the namesake of this beautiful mid-island neighborhood.
Mercerwood Home to some spectacular Eastern views, Mercerwood was the first post WW2 tract development built on the island. The prevalent home style in this neighborhood dates from the 1950s and early 1960s. Mercer Island High School, City Hall, Police Department, Library, Stroum Jewish Community Center and the Mercerwood Shore Club is located along the eastern shoreline.
Parkwood & Mercer Firs Parkwood is aptly named, with its close proximity to Pioneer Park, Deane’s Children Park (also known as Dragon Park), Island Crest Park and 53rd Place Open Space. Both Parkwood and Mercer Firs are planned communities featuring decent territorial views, thanks to the greenbelts that border three sides of the neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are near Island Park Elementary.
Fruitland Acres & El Dorado Beach Club One of Mercer Island’s best kept-secrets, the Fruitland and El Dorado neighborhoods are a sweet little slice of Island living. Covenant Shores, a local retirement community billed as a “haven for nature lovers”, is also located in this area.
Groveland The Groveland neighborhood started out as a summer bible camp, and while some of its historical cabins still are standing, most were torn down to build larger homes. The home styles in this neighborhood are eclectic, ranging from charming summer cabins built in the 1950s to newer waterfront mansions. Groveland Beach Park is located in this neighborhood.
Mercer Island Estates The Mercer Island Estates neighborhood is close to two island schools – Lakeridge Elementary and Islander Middle School. This planned community, dating back to the 1960s, features many split level homes popular when the community was created. Pioneer Park borders the northern side of the neighborhood. Mercer Island Estates is adjacent to the South End QFC Village Shopping Center, where the immensely popular south end Starbucks is located. The Mercer Island Country Club is located here.
Scalzo and Mercer Terrace This mid-Island neighborhood is light and sunny; the homes here are often split levels and daylight ramblers built in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Pioneer Park’s Northwest Quadrant is just northeast of the neighborhood. The Southend Shopping Center, the Fire Station and Islander Middle School are close as well.
Southend The South end of the Island enjoys sunny exposure and a tranquil setting. Its many diverse neighborhoods connect this community together. Pioneer Park is a beautiful place to enjoy a stroll through nature’s immense beauty.
Tarywood Tarywood Estates is the most well-known part of the Tarywood neighborhood. The homes in Tarywood Estates are typically the Buchan or Hammond architectural style, which have a NW Contemporary feel. Clark Beach Park is a popular place to swim and play with lawn, docks, picnic and bbq areas.
The Lakes A very popular south end neighborhood, The Lakes is a Buchan planned community built in the 1980’s with man-made lakes central to the neighborhood. Close to The Lakes are the South Mercer Playfields, Lakeridge Elementary School and Islander Middle School. The neighborhood is in close proximity to the Mercer Island Beach Club. Social activities are prevalent in this area. Halloween trick-or-treating is a huge annual activity that draws children from all over the island.