Mercer Island

Beautiful parks, recreational activities and new experiences for people of all ages are a few highlights Mercer Island offers. Home to over 24, 000 residents, it is an island and a city in King County, Washington.

Mercer Island sits at the very center of Lake Washington and is connected by bridge to Bellevue and Seattle.

Earlier legends surrounding Mercer Island, Washington claim that the island is home to evil spirits. Thus, Duwamish Indians who lived in the greater Seattle area would stay away from the island. There are also stories that the island sinks into the lake every night and would rise again in the morning.

Yet, pioneer settlers and families took their chance with the infamous island and began building their homes there. Early settlers included two Snoqualmie villages on the western side of the island. White settlement in the Puget Sound region began afterwards. Indigenous people settled in the area between 1870 and 1880.

The region was frequented by brothers Thomas Mercer and Asa Mercer to pick berries, fish and hunt. It is believed that the region was named after one of these two brothers - Judge Thomas Mercer. By 1885, more families began to settle in the area including Charles and Agnes Olds, the island's "first family". As times passed, more homesteaders began to migrate into the island.

The island's population grew gradually as people and goods began to cross Lake Washington. It wasn't until the year 1940 when the population in the area began to propel after the world's largest concrete floating bridge opened between Mercer Island and Seattle - The Lake Washington Floating Bridge.

Today, Mercer Island offers over 47 acres of park, nature and open spaces. Several historic spots attract domestic and international tourism to the area. Among the top destinations in the area includes Luther Burbank Park where several Shakespeare plays take place during the summer. The Roanoke Inn, the island's longtime pub is not only a local attraction but one of the best Mercer Island restaurants in the region.

Hospitality is also a booming industry in Mercer Island. There are plenty of AirBnB options in the region, even more than hotel offerings. Wine tasting, art galleries and shopping districts will keep you entertained as you explore and conquer the rest of the island.

Starting a family in Mercer Island is quite convenient too. The Mercer Island School District currently has seven schools on the island. St Monica School, the French American School of Puget Sound and Northwest Yeshiva High School are also located in the city.

Interestingly, there are quite a number of notable people who call Mercer Island, WA their home. Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, has a permanent residence in the area. Howard Lincoln, former chairman of Nintendo America also lives in the region. Former President Barack Obama's mother, Ann Dunham also calls Mercer Island her home.

Mercer Island is an excellent place to live, with easy access to various conveniences and amenities from the two large cities on either its sides - Bellevue and Seattle. Although the cost of living can be quite high, the quality of life it offers is quite impressive too. It is a very idyllic place to raise a family, retire or go to as you escape the hustle and bustle of city living.

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