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Mercer Island is both the name of a city and the island that said city sits on. You can find the island, and thus the city, within the confines of the Seattle Metropolitan Area. To be more exact, Mercer Island lies east of downtown Seattle and can be found in Lake Washington. Its total area is nearly 13,000 square miles, and the residents number approximately 22,700 according to the 2010 census. That makes the island the most populated lake island that you will find anywhere in the United States.
Mercer Island was settled in the 1870's. In 1889, the old Calkins Hotel was built. A mysterious fire largely laid the Calkins Hotel to waste, and the structure was razed in 1908. This didn’t stop people from visiting Mercer Island. The steamboat landing continued to function, and soon enough, the island become a popular place to summer. In due time, the city of Mercer Island began to grow, and its increasing popularity led to the construction of the East Channel Bridge. This bridge, which opened in 1928, served as a connection between Mercer Island and Bellevue. Twelve years later, the Lacey V Murrow Memorial Bridge was built. This bridge, which just so happens to be the second-longest floating bridge on the planet, is for eastbound traffic and connects the island to Seattle. Next to it is the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge, which handles westbound traffic.
Now that you know a little something about Mercer Island history, you might shift your interest to things to do in this welcoming city in Seattle. Recreational pursuits reign supreme, thanks to the fact that the island offers more than 450 acres of parkland and open spaces. Among the most popular parks to visit on Mercer Island is Luther Burbank Park. It covers just under 80 acres, and along its waterfront portion are a fishing pier, a beach, and a public boat dock. Other Luther Burbank Park features include tennis courts, picnic facilities, barbecues, an off-leash area for dogs, and an amphitheater.
Between the various parks and open spaces on Mercer Island, you will find all kinds of delights. There are hiking trails, for example, and plenty of spots to enjoy such activities as frisbee tossing and kite flying. Families with younger children can also take advantage of the island’s numerous play structures. As for other ideas for things to do on Mercer Island, the annual Summer Celebration event takes place on the weekend following the 4th of July. Also worth highlighting is the fact that the island plays a key role in the Blue Angels performances that are related to Seafair. For those who might be wondering, Seafair is a very popular Seattle festival that starts in July and sees its various celebrations being held across the general area.
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