Summer is when Seattleites look longingly at our neighboring islands, imagining what it might be like to live there. Sunny ferry rides across sparkling water, the snow-capped Olympic Mountains standing sentry just beyond—who wouldn’t want to experience that every day? The “island suburbs” of Bainbridge and Vashon both offer spectacular views in a peaceful, forested setting, all within manageable (not to mention picturesque) commuting distance. When it comes to real estate, a wide range of house styles can be found on the islands, from woodsy cabins to midcentury modern ramblers to new-construction Craftsman homes. Bainbridge draws homeowners in search of a pastoral retreat that still offers plenty of amenities (Winslow bustles on weekends). Vashon entices people seeking an even more rural vibe. Homes on the islands are sometimes priced lower than comparable in-city properties (commuting costs are a factor), but all bets are off when it comes to houses located right on the water, which fetch top dollar, and top views.
Note: Some or all of these homes may have sold since publication. Listings and data courtesy of Zillow (zillow.com ).