Island Living

Island Real Estate

If you enjoy stunning vistas, easy access to shorelines and a bit of seclusion, island life may be for you. Washington's Puget Sound region is home to roughly 30 fully inhabitable islands that offer a unique alternative to living on the mainland. They range from developed communities just miles from Seattle to remote sanctuaries near the Canadian border. With help from the right agent, it's possible to score some amazing island real estate. There are many affluent island neighborhoods that are perfect for nature lovers, weekend dwellers and those who just want to get away from the city.

Life as an Islander

Island Real Estate 1 The islands in the Pacific Northwest are known for having tight-knit communities with friendly residents. While being completely surrounded by water may paint the image of isolation, most of these communities are quite close to mainland cities. This gives residents the best of both worlds — an island lifestyle that's within hours of urban amenities.
The islands of Whidbey, Camano, Fox, Bainbridge and Mercer all have bridges that connect to the mainland. Most of the smaller isles stay linked together via the Washington State Ferries. A typical boat ride to the shore is less than 30 minutes.

Island Communities in Western Washington

Whidbey Island: As the largest island in Puget Sound, it features numerous beaches, campgrounds and boutique shops.
Camano Island: Nestled between Whidbey and the mainland, Camano Island boasts uncrowded shorelines and a wonderful artist community.
Bainbridge Island: This island, which sits just over Elliot Bay from Seattle, was once named the second-best place to live in the U.S. by Money magazine.
Mercer Island: Located in Lake Washington, the affluent Mercer Island is very accessible to Seattle via the I-90.
Fox Island: This tranquil isle in Puget Sound's South Basin is known for its iconic lighthouse and pavilion.
Vashon Island: Since Vashon Island connects to Tacoma and Seattle only by ferry, it maintains a charmingly rural character.
San Juan Island: As the most populous island in the San Juan archipelago, it features many resorts, a busy harbor and historical buildings.
Orcas Island: This island is home to Moran State Park, which offers 38 miles of gorgeous hiking trails.
Lopez Island: With its quaint villages and beautiful driftwood beaches, it's no wonder that Lopez Island is a popular summer getaway.
Decatur Island: Since it's only accessible by private plane or boat, Decatur Island has an exclusive character that's appreciated by residents.
Blakely Island: Similar to Decatur to the south, this isle is home to just a few ultra-private residential enclaves.
Shaw Island: At about 10 square miles, Shaw Island is the smallest of the San Juan Islands to be served by the Washington State Ferries.
Guemes Island: This semi-private island is home to two parks, multiple boat launches and a rustic resort.
Lummi Island: Located just across the bay from Bellingham, Lummi Island is known for its artist community and stunning views.
Hat Island: With its nine-hole golf course and express ferry, this private isle is an ideal place for a vacation home.
Marrowstone Island: This narrow island features a winery, goat cheese farm and historical marine fort.
Harstine Island: Nestled within the Case Inlet in South Puget Sound, this island is especially popular with cyclists and beachcombers.
Anderson Island: This southernmost isle in Puget Sound is home to a unique swimming hole, historic garden and beautiful marine park.

Island Communities


Island Attractions

The typical Washington island is lined with both sandy beaches and rocky shorelines. Just inland, you may find rolling hills, rustic trails and villages dotted with seafood restaurants. During the summer, many of the island beach towns attract weekenders who enjoy staying at historic inns and B&B cottages. Of course, residents have access to stunning seaside vistas on a regular basis. Since most of the communities feature plenty of boat launches and marinas, islanders can take their vessels out whenever the mood strikes.

Buying and Selling Island Real Estate

Island Real Estate 2Since Puget Sound is home to so many islands with residential villages, the opportunities for buyers are greater than you might expect. However, it takes a bit of patience and research to find the right home. Once you make a purchase, you can expect your island property to steadily grow in value.

The agents at VDB Waterfront are familiar with the unique market of island real estate. Our professionals can help buyers and sellers get the most from their investments.

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