Community info, Neighborhoods, Eastside, Mercer Island

Mercer Island Private Clubs and Recreation Facilities

In addition to the many public parks and recreation amenities, Mercer Island is home to several well-known private clubs and recreation facilities. Here is a quick run down on four popular venues.

Mercer Island Beach Club | 8326 Avalon Drive, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | 206-232-3125
The Mercer Island Beach Club is located along the water at the SE tip of the Island. Known for its beautiful waterfront facilities with spectacular Mt Rainier and lake views, MIBC members enjoy swimming, aquatic sports, tennis, fitness, and social activities.
AQUATICS: 8-lane competition pool; diving board; seasonally covered activity pool; and lazy river.
TENNIS: Six hard-surface tennis courts and one regulation-size pickleball court; full-time tennis pro; lessons, tourneys, and social matches; seating area to watch and dine.
FITNESS: 2,200sf fitness facility; state-of-the-art cardio and free weight equipment; locker rooms for men, women, boys, and girls, plus lounge; group fitness classes and personal trainers.
WATERFRONT: Sandy beach for kids of all ages; lifeguarded swim dock with water slide; six moorage docks with 74 boat slips; kayak and day sailor racks.
GROUNDS: 7.5-acre property with expansive lawns; two levels of view decks with picnic tables; six communal grills with sink and prep area, plus nearby fire pit; children’s outdoor play structure.
CLUBHOUSE: party room with expansive outdoor deck; large prep kitchen and bar window; Wave Café and seating area, serving light meals and snacks.

Mercer Island Country Club | 8700 SE 71st Street, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | 206-232-5600
The Mercer Island Country Club is located at the south end of the Island. Probably most known for its tennis facilities and tournaments, MICC also boasts swim, fitness and social activities.
TENNIS: 7 indoor courts and 8 outdoor courts; 7 pros; extensive tennis programs; USTA and women’s cup teams; MICC annual tournament; men’s night competitive program; women’s flights and monthly mixed-doubles nights. Classes for juniors with members competing in USTA and the Junior Eastside Tennis League.
AQUATICS: 8-lane, 25-yard pool with a spring diving board is covered about half the year to allow year-round use; swimming, diving and water polo teams; swim lessons, stroke clinics, lifeguarding classes and in-the-water social events.
FITNESS: Weight room and fitness studio feature state-of-the-art machines including LeMond spin bikes and TRX equipment. Six personal trainers and 13 instructors offer a wide range of classes for preschoolers through seniors.
SOCIAL: MICC’s offerings also include lounge areas, a child-care center, pro shop, outdoor BBQ and play equipment.

Stroum Jewish Community Center | 3801 East Mercer Way, Mercer Island WA 98040 | 206-232-7115
The Stroum Jewish Community Center on the east side of Mercer Island offers a variety of programs and activities for everyone from newborns to seniors. The J on Mercer Island is home to an Early Childhood School, a newly remodeled state-of-the-art auditorium, an upgraded Fitness Center, an indoor pool, and more. Membership to the SJCC is open to everyone regardless of race, religion, or national origin. We welcome everyone – you don’t have to be Jewish to join.
FITNESS: State-of-the-art HOIST strength equipment and Octane cardio machines in a 2,000 square-foot fitness center; highly qualified personal trainers; sports leagues; indoor running track; racquetball courts; drop in gym; more than 40 fitness classes for SJCC members.
AQUATICS: 25-yard indoor swimming pool with a 2 1/2-foot-deep preschool instructional area, adult lap lanes, and a certified lifeguard on duty at all times.
CULTURAL ARTS:  Newly renovated auditorium makes the J an even better artistic home for our community. In addition to the popular Seattle Jewish Film Festival, they offer a wider variety of arts programs, including concerts, theater performances, and lectures, so the greater Seattle community can come together to explore, enjoy, and engage in art.

Mercerwood Shore Club | 4150 E Mercer Way, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | 206-232-1622
Mercerwood Shore Club is a relaxed, easy to access club located on the eastern shores of the Island in a spectacular waterfront setting. Since 1953, the club has been bringing families together to enjoy an endless variety of programs and activities for all ages.
AQUATICS: 25-meter pool with diving board for year-round use (enclosed in a heated bubble during the winter months); full variety of swimming programs for all ages; accomplished summer sports programs and coaching; Mercerwood Swim Team and Water Polo teams; competitive swimming, diving and water polo teams for kids ages 5 and up.
WATERFRONT: MSC enjoys over 500 feet of Lake Washington waterfront with a large grass picnic area, built in BBQs, fire pits, sandy beach, playground, swimming area, and boat launch with 36 moorage slips, offering moorage from April through October. There is also a private boat ramp adjacent to the dock and storage is available for paddle boards, kayaks, day sailers, and other personal watercraft.
TENNIS: Play tennis with a beautiful view of Lake Washington on the club’s four well-maintained outdoor tennis courts; courtside viewing and social area.
CLUBHOUSE: A new 6000 sq. ft. year-round club house features lounge areas, multi-purpose room, weight room, cardio studio, hot tub and wading pool for toddlers.

Community info, Eastside, Neighborhoods

Navigating your way through the neighborhoods of the Eastside



Navigating your way through the cities that make up the Eastside? Our guide to Eastside neighborhoods puts great resources at your fingertips. Click on each city to check out local amenities, restaurants, and schools for each neighborhood. Here’s a Google map overview to find your way around.

Medina and Clyde Hill
Hunts Point and Yarrow Point
Mercer Island

Community info, Magnolia, Neighborhoods, Seattle

Featured Community: Magnolia

Magnolia_Bridge-By M.O. Stevens via Wikimedia Commons
By M.O. Stevens, Wikimedia Commons

The location of the Magnolia neighborhood (map) in Seattle feels like a secluded island. Three bridges give you access to Magnolia, just west of Queen Anne, north of Downtown, and south of the Chittenden Locks in Ballard. This unique part of Seattle is on a natural peninsula, and the lack of major city thoroughfares through the neighborhood helps Magnolia retain in friendly quaint, atmosphere. Magnolia is part of the Seattle School District.

Along West McGraw Street is the main shopping area and the Magnolia trees that give this area its name. The naming was actually a mistake. Captain Vancouver recorded the Madrona trees that dot the bluffs near the water as being Magnolia trees when he was journeying on the Puget Sound. Being situated near the water means that there is abundant natural beauty in this area. Magnolia homes are famous for being among the most expensive, and many have incredible views. Owners of Magnolia homes love the park at the south end of the neighborhoods. Anyone can come here, though, and use the picnic tables and tennis courts.

120605-A-DT641-002The largest park in the city can be found in this area of Seattle. Owners of Magnolia homes often go to the 534-acre Discovery Park. Here, you
can wander the almost 12 miles of walking trails through waterfront hills, and rugged beaches with views of the Olympic Mountains. Most of the shoreline of Discovery Park faces the southwest, so this is a great place to watch the sun set over Puget Sound. While it has only been here since 1973, Discovery Park is now an important part of the area. Fort Lawton is still within the boundaries of the park, and this is where some military families are housed.

Another landmark of this neighborhood is the Palisade restaurant. As you walk up the steps of this Magnolia restaurant, you will realize that you’re in for a real treat. There is an all you can eat pancake and tropical fruit buffet, but it is great for lunch and dinner as well. The Sunday brunch here is the most popular Magnolia restaurant in the area. In addition the Palisade, there are many tasty local restaurants in the Magnolia area to chose from.

Far from the bustle of downtown and the busy pace of other Seattle neighborhoods, Magnolia is a place the offers you tranquility and scenic views. Lighthouse at sunset, Seattle, WashingtonWhile only three bridges connect it, this area of Seattle is an inextricable part of Seattle life. From a fine Magnolia restaurant to the hours of fun at Discovery Park, Magnolia will show you a taste of the good life in the Pacific Northwest.

The Magnolia Voice daily news blog will keep up-to-date on all things Magnolia. Magnolia has its own Chamber of Commerce located at 3214 West McGraw Street Suite #301B Seattle, Washington 98199. Queen Anne & Magnolia News is another terrific resource for local news and information. The Magnolia Community Center is located at 2550 34th Ave W, 98199. Currently they are open 1 pm to 9 pm Monday, Tuesday and Friday; 10 am to 9 pm Wednesday and Thursday; 10 am to 5 pm Saturday, closed Sunday. Magnolia Playfield stretches for several city blocks and includes or is adjacent to Magnolia Community Center, Blaine Elementary School and Mounger Pool. The playfields are well used for football, softball and soccer.

Community info, Neighborhoods, Woodinville

Featured Community: Woodinville

The city of Woodinville is located in northeastern King County and southeast Snohomish County. It is most known for its Wine Country region that has now expanded to include local distilleries and breweries. From the notable Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery to small boutique wineries scattered around the valley and “Warehouse” District located in north Woodinville, Woodinville offers visitors to taste celebrated, awarded wines, some of which are only available directly at the wineries. Wine tours, chef-inspired paired wine dinners, fundraisers, and local outdoor concerts are among the many Wine Country events hosted annually.It’s up there

Woodinville is a charming mix of residential areas located in 7 distinct geographical neighborhoods, light industrial areas, Tourist District, and retail-centric Town Center.  Woodinville is a convenient home-base, with its easy access to highways and transportation, for anyone seeking to explore the Puget Sound region. Located East of Seattle and North of Kirkland, the Woodinville community enjoys the advantages and convenience of being near several major metropolitan centers while maintaining the livability of all that is great about small town life. Both the Northshore School District and Lake Washington School District serve the residents of Woodinville in award winning style.

Residents of Woodinville come by their love of everything green naturally, and are passionate about the city’s environment and its beautiful woodland landscape. Surrounded by the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and the rugged beauty of the Olympics and Mount Rainier, Woodinville is committed to preserving its natural beauty. The climate is ideal for those who enjoy spending time in the great outdoors. Woodinville enjoys vast amounts of open space, city parks, multi-purpose fields, playgrounds, walking, biking, hiking and running trails, a skateboard park, tennis and basketball courts open all year long. The surrounding area offers lakes, rolling hills and mountains for the outdoor enthusiast. No matter what your passion is, you won’t have to go far to enjoy hot air ballooning, equestrian trails, backpacking, canoeing, fishing, rock climbing and wildlife watching adventures.

Molbaks Nursery, the largest and most comprehensive nursery in the Greater Puget Sound Region, draws garden enthusiasts throughout the state of Washington. Two of the most highly rated restaurants in the Northwest – The Herbfarm and The Barking Frog—are conveniently located in Woodinville. Over 100 wineries are located in, or near, Woodinville, including Chateau St. Michelle.  The popular summer concert series at St. Michelle’s amphitheater brings internationally renowned music acts to Woodinville.

An active calendar of small-town festivals, celebrations, and events occur throughout the year in Woodinville. Residents enjoy the Summer Concert Series at DeYoung Park and Cottage Lake Park. The Harvest Happening and The Great Pumpkin Hunt is a seasonal festival in late October. The Woodinville Lights Festival is a month-long celebration in December.  In the spring, the family-friendly annual Basset Bash parade and All Fools’ Day celebration is enjoyed by young and old. The population of Woodinville, per the 2010 Census, is approximately 11,000 residents.

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Community info

Featured Community: Ballard

Ballard has become one of the hippest and most coveted neighborhoods in Seattle…especially for first-time homeowners. The close proximity to the burgeoning tech industry in neighboring Fremont makes Ballard an extremely convenient place to call home and construction is booming to accommodate the growth this Seattle neighborhood is experiencing.

Ballard is located in the northwestern part of Seattle, Washington. To the north it is bounded by Crown Hill, (N.W. 85th Street); to the east by Greenwood, Phinney Ridge and Fremont (along 8th Avenue N.W.); to the south by the Lake Washington Ship Canal; and to the west by Puget Sound’s Shilshole Bay. The neighborhood’s landmarks include the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (known locally as the “Ballard Locks”), the Nordic Heritage Museum, the Shilshole Bay Marina, and Golden Gardens Park. The neighborhood’s main thoroughfares running north-south are Seaview, 32nd, 24th, Leary, 15th, and 8th Avenues N.W.; East-west traffic is carried by N.W. Leary Way and N.W. 85th, 80th, 65th, and Market Streets (east- and westbound). The Ballard Bridge carries 15th Avenue over Salmon Bay to the Interbay neighborhood, and the Salmon Bay Bridge carries the BNSF Railway tracks across the bay, west of the Ballard Locks.

Ballard enjoys a healthy microbrew industry, and contains several industrial brew pubs. The district is home to local tasting rooms, trendy restaurants and new multi-use buildings that include both residential and retail. In Ballard, the sidewalks are bustling with people walking their pets, strolling down the street window shopping and groups of people meeting up for a meal. Ballard Avenue, a nationally registered historic district, hales back to the area’s blue collar roots. Visitors are treated to plaques lining the avenue that tell this district’s story. Ballard Avenue now contains shops, restaurants, boutiques and features an active nightlife. The year-round Ballard Farmers Market also calls this avenue home. Ballard’s Market Street, on the other hand, is the neighborhood’s modern business district. It also contains shops and restaurants (many with sidewalk cafes), the Majestic Bay movie theater and urban green spaces. The monthly Second Saturday ArtWalks is an event showcasing the wares of local artists being sold at galleries, studios and shops that line Market Street.

Ballard houses a vibrant working waterfront. Fisherman’s Terminal is home base for the North Pacific Fishing Fleet. The terminal also offers a collection of delicious dining options and is a great place to purchase the freshest seafood. The Ballard locks, officially named the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, were built in 1916. The Ballard locks enable boat traffic to move from freshwater Lake Union to the salt water of Puget Sound— this is a 26-foot grade change. A popular tourist destination, the Ballard locks contain a salmon fish ladder that is fun to visit when the fish are moving from the Puget Sound back to freshwater. Shilshole Bay Marina offers moorage space for 1,500 recreational boats, plus a boat ramp and sailing schools. The marina includes a waterfront promenade, which features fabulous views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains beyond. Promenade users can stroll over to Golden Gardens, a popular beachfront park.

The neighborhood’s Nordic Heritage Museum is internationally acclaimed, and features both historic and fine art exhibits. In addition, musical performances, children’s activities and other cultural events are held at the museum. Ballard’s Sons of Norway Leif Erikson Lodge is still going strong after 100+ years old— Sons and Daughters of Norway lodges work to promote the history, culture, and language of Norway. Ballard’s Scandinavian culture is also celebrated annually on May 17th, when the neighborhood celebrates Syttende Mai (Norwegian Constitution Day). Syttende Mai includes a parade, possibly the largest one outside Norway, and is highly anticipated every year.

Ballard-Locks-iStock_000020098186_FullThe Hiram M. Chittenden Locks located in Ballard provide a link for boats between the saltwater of the Puget Sound and the fresh water of the Ship Canal connecting to Lake Union and Lake Washington. The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, often called the Ballard Locks, link salty Puget Sound with the fresh waters of Salmon Bay, Lake Union, Portage Bay and Lake Washington. Both tourists and locals enjoy watching the parade of sailboats, motorboats, tugs, barges and yachts passing through. Pass a sunny day watching boats of all shapes and sizes come into the locks, and the water level is adjusted to allow their safe passage to the lake or sound.

Stop by the fish ladder, built to allow salmon to pass between fresh and salt water. Glass panels make it possible to view the fish as they navigate their way through the ladder, adjusting to different levels of salt each step of the way. Occasionally, a clever sea lion will hang out, waiting for his next meal. For the historically-minded among you, the locks’ official name is, “Hiram M. Chittenden Locks,” and was built in 1911 so that coal and timber could be easily transported by boat.

Seattle‘s “Hidden Treasure” – The beauty of Greenwood is in its contrasts. It’s a kind of old-fangled neighborhood with a trendy edge, a place where coffee shops mix with espresso bars, where young families live among senior citizens. In Greenwood, it is still possible to buy a little bungalow on a quiet street without breaking the bank, or open a small business with little more than a dream and watch it thrive in the shadow of chains and superstores. This is a community that comes together for block parties and tree plantings, for holiday caroling and Seafair parades, a neighborhood that is redefining itself as a destination for arts and antique hounds who patronize the growing number of shops, galleries and cafes along the main drags.

The local Chamber of Commerce is not far off in dubbing Greenwood “Seattle’s hidden treasure.” It sits just north of Phinney Ridge and the Woodland Park Zoo, and though it has its own flavor and identity, Greenwood’s commercial district overlaps Phinney’s and the two communities do much of their neighborhood planning together. The intersection of North 85th Street and Greenwood Avenue is the heart of the neighborhood, the place where banners are strung to highlight special events, such as the Greenwood/Phinney Art Walk in May, or the Greenwood Classic Car & Rod Show in June. Many of the brick storefronts look as they did in the 1920s.  They are occupied by an eclectic mix of merchants, selling everything from antiques and collectibles to comic books and clothes. The upper floors frequently are leased out as apartments.

Most everything is within walking distance, and there is easy access to Metro.  There is a city library near the center of town, a post office, even a mini city hall.  “Hey, how many neighborhoods have their own city hall?” asks community organizer Patty Fong. “It makes you feel like you’re somebody.” Greenwood’s proximity to downtown Seattle (about 15 minutes by car), to Green Lake (a short bicycle ride), to supermarkets (it has two) and a variety of restaurants (Japanese, Italian, Thai, Mexican, Indian, Greek and Chinese) contributes to its growing popularity.

Greenwood Elementary School, long a fixture in the community, lies a few blocks west of the commercial district, at the corner of Northwest 80th and Third Avenue Northwest (Part of the Seattle School District). It is a stately brick building, graced by broad oak trees and ivy that dates to 1905 and still attracts grateful students from bygone days. The school, which has about 300 students, continues to enjoy widespread support from the community, with local seniors coming daily to read to kindergarten students and parents teaming up with teachers to help in the classroom.

An interesting mix of architecture can be found here — from brick ramblers and old Tudors to 1950s-style split-levels and small frame bungalows. They have pretty gardens and window boxes brimming with colors of the season: purple and pink petunias, cherry red geraniums, royal blue lobelia and bright yellow pansies. Portions of this article from SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER.

Community info, Schools

Back to school? Check out the latest school reports here!

We’ve compiled school district info and ratings for schools throughout the greater Seattle-Eastside region in one place to make your research easier. Click here for links to each school district. You can also use this site to see which schools serve which neighborhoods…and which neighborhoods are part of which school districts. We’ve made all of the connections for you to make analysis a breeze.


Community info

Featured Community: Kirkland

Kirkland Homebook_Page_1
Click to see Kirkland Neighborhood Profile

Kirkland, a community of over 80,000 people, is fortunate to have a vibrant downtown area located on the waterfront of Lake Washington.  Its proximity to I-405 and 520 provides easy access to Seattle, Bellevue and the Eastside.  Kirkland has so much to offer residents and visitors:  the arts, outdoor recreation, vibrant dining options, and unique local shops. The award-winning Lake Washington School District serves the residents of Kirkland with outstanding local schools. The charm of Kirkland, combined with readily available urban amenities, makes Kirkland an excellent city to reside in. In fact, 87% of residents polled rated Kirkland a good or excellent place to live.  Kirkland was also named one of the Best Overall Neighborhoods by Seattle Magazine in 2008 and 2009. Check out our Kirkland video.

Kirkland’s economy features a robust mix of corporate headquarters, light industrial, small business and manufacturing. High-tech and home-based businesses are also on the rise in Kirkland. It’s innovative and positive atmosphere, along with several commercial districts like Downtown, Carillon Point and Totem Lake, has enticed internationally recognized companies like Google, Allyis,Nintendo and Inrix to set up shop within the city. In the downtown core, the Heathman Hotel is a scrumptious place to unwind in luxury.

Thirteen distinct residential neighborhood areas, each with its own unique character, make up theCity of Kirkland. Each neighborhood possesses a healthy, active neighborhood association.  Throughout the city, its small town feel, sense of history and its residents’ strong appreciation for quality of life is visible. Kirkland enjoys numerous city parks, open markets and community events. The tree canopy throughout the City of Kirkland encompasses over 21,000 trees lining the city’s streets.  Trees are abundantly located in Kirkland’s parks and private landscapes.  The city’s urban forest enhances the natural Pacific Northwest beauty which is a strong facet of Kirkland’s identity.Kirkland’s neighborhoods include Bridle Trails, Central Houghton, Everest, Evergreen Hill, Finn Hill, Highlands, Juanita, Lakeview, Market, Moss Bay, Norkirk, Rose Hill, and Totem Lake.

Community info

Featured Community: Mercer Island

Mercer Island is a friendly active, and vibrant city centrally located smack in the middle of Lake Washington between Seattle and Bellevuewhere it benefits from easy access to both metro areas via I-90, which runs across the city’s north end. The Island’s premier location on the lake, its small-town community feelincredible local recreation opportunities, and nationally recognized school district make Mercer Island a truly exceptional place to live.

A sampling of Mercer Island’s annual events include the Mercer Island Half MarathonSummer Celebration, Mostly Music In The Park summer concert seriesSeafair Hydroplane Races and Blue Angels Airshow, and Mercer Island Farmers Market.

The Island’s reputation for multi-million dollar waterfront estates is only partially true. While it does benefit from both many high-profile residents and large beautiful estates, it also has a large number of mainstream neighborhoods that create a very connected community of families. With a median price point well above one million dollars, Mercer Island is definitely not a starter community—although many young families, having grown up on the Island themselves, eventually make their way back. See a glimpse of some of the many Mercer Island neighborhoods, along with pictures and descriptions, on or check out the many local happenings via the Mercer Island Pulse.


Community info, Eastside

Bellevue and Kirkland offer modern style and convenience on the Eastside

It’s no wonder Bellevue and Kirkland, along with many other Eastside cities (Redmond, Issaquah, Duvall, Mercer Island, Renton, Samamish, and Woodinville), are drawing younger, high-tech crowds. With so many new technology start-ups blended with long-standing icons, the Eastside continues to be a mecca for growth in the Seattle area region. Here’s a look at a few of the Eastside’s many neighborhoods.

Click here to view the Eastside.


Which Seattle-Eastside Neighborhood Should You Live In?

Ballard hip, West Seattle views, or Kirkland serenity? Introducing an easy way to research and compare neighborhoods throughout the Seattle-Eastside area, including maps, photos, links and more. “ is a labor of love by the team at Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island, developed to give consumers easy to access tools to enable them to learn more about potential communities within our Seattle Metro area” says the company’s owner Julie Barrows. The website relies heavily on relevant links to great resources that locals know, but others might not. It’s beauty is that it is all assembled in one easy to access place.