The suburb of Medina, a quiet enclave on Lake Washington, is a paradise for billionaires.
On the eastern shore of Lake Washington, Medina is a sleepy residential enclave across the water from Seattle. It was incorporated in 1955. At first glance, the roughly 1.4-square-mile city of about 3,000 people is decidedly unassuming. It has a rural feel. There is little need for traffic lights. There is almost nothing commercial here (restaurants, shopping and entertainment are in neighboring Bellevue, a roughly 148,000-person city to the east.) Yet hidden behind the hedges and gates on Evergreen Point Road—Medina’s main drag—are some of America’s priciest mansions, belonging to the likes of such tech titans as Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. For those who decide to visit, make sure to behave: Since 2009, Medina has had 24-hour security surveillance that captures that the license plate of every car entering town.
Event of the year
Medina Days is an annual community celebration. In past years, the multiday summer event has included everything from a neighborhood slow-pitch softball tournament to a parade to a carnival at the Medina Dog Park to a Beach Party with fireworks.
Membership to have
Medina’s Overlake Golf & Country Club has roots dating back to 1927. Its clubhouse was renovated in 2017. There is an Arthur Vernon Macan-designed 18-hole golf course in addition to popular tennis, swimming, and social activities.
Advice for the buyer
There are no cheap houses: The lowest priced property right now is $2.1 million. Evergreen Point Road is the preeminent address—especially on the west side of the street, which is on Lake Washington. Docks and private beaches are must-haves.
Notable stops and shops
Medina Grocery & Deli
This grocery store, one of the few shops in Medina, has served the community for more than 100 years. There was a public outcry when the original building was torn down in 2005 due to decay, but the new structure is largely identical to the old one.
The area is about a 10-minute drive away and south of Bellevue’s Downtown Park. Main Street, with its old-fashioned lamp posts and brick sidewalks, is lined with independent restaurants and boutiques. For dinner, Cantinetta is known for its homemade pastas (order the pappardelle alla Bolognese). For brunch, Gilbert’s on Main has massive servings of omelets and pancakes; locals bemoan the $5.50 coffee.
Wells Medina Nursery
A wonderland for home gardeners, this nursery was founded in 1971 by Ned Wells, who wanted to bring interesting plants to the Northwest. His two daughters, Wendy and Lisa, now run the five-acre operation.
A new build, this house with a wood and stone exterior and metal roof is located on .6 acres. It has a series of outdoor decks and a walkout patio off the back; one of the decks has a fireplace and a grill area. A mother-in-law suite is attached but still completely private. Agents: Ric Mangialardi and Rip Warendorf at Windermere Real Estate.