Bellevue, a bustling city in Washington state, is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbor, Seattle. However, those who take the time to explore Bellevue find a world of unique experiences and attractions.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Bellevue offers an array of activities that cater to all ages and interests. From picturesque parks to cutting-edge cultural experiences, this guide will uncover the top things to do in Bellevue.
Outdoor Adventures in Bellevue
Bellevue Botanical Garden: A Floral Paradise
Nestled in the heart of the city, the Bellevue Botanical Garden is a serene oasis. Spanning 53 acres, it features various gardens such as the Yao Garden, a nod to Bellevue’s sister city in Japan, and the Rhododendron Glen. It’s a perfect spot for nature lovers and those looking for a peaceful retreat.
Meydenbauer Bay Park: Fun by the Water
Meydenbauer Bay Park is a gem for outdoor enthusiasts. With its beach, swimming area, and beautiful views of Lake Washington, it’s ideal for a family day out. You can rent a kayak, go paddleboarding, or simply enjoy a picnic by the water.
Bellevue Arts Museum: A Hub for Art Lovers
Art enthusiasts should not miss the Bellevue Arts Museum. This museum showcases contemporary art, craft, and design through an array of exhibitions and programs. It’s a space where art and community intersect, offering a thought-provoking experience.
KidsQuest Children’s Museum: A World of Exploration for Little Ones
For families with children, KidsQuest Children’s Museum is a must-visit. This interactive museum encourages learning through play with exhibits like the “Waterways” and the “Backyard”. It’s a place where kids can unleash their creativity and curiosity.
Shopping and Dining in Bellevue
Bellevue Square: Shopper’s Delight
Bellevue Square, located in the heart of downtown, is a shopping haven. With over 200 stores, it caters to a wide range of tastes and budgets. From luxury brands to unique local boutiques, it’s a one-stop shop for all your shopping needs.
The Bellevue Collection: Culinary Adventures
Adjacent to Bellevue Square is The Bellevue Collection, known for its dining scene. Whether you crave fine dining or a quick bite, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss local favorites like Din Tai Fung for mouthwatering dumplings or The Lakehouse for a farm-to-table experience.
Exploring Bellevue’s Parks and Nature
Mercer Slough Nature Park: A Green Escape
Mercer Slough Nature Park, a 320-acre wetland, is perfect for nature enthusiasts. You can hike the trails, join a guided canoe tour, or visit the blueberry farm during the summer. It’s a great way to experience Bellevue’s natural beauty.
The Crossroads Park: Family Fun and Community Events
Crossroads Park is a hub of activity, offering a playground, water play area, and sports facilities. It’s also home to community events like the Bellevue Youth Theatre and seasonal farmers’ markets.
Kelsey Creek Farm: A Step Back in Time
Kelsey Creek Farm is a hidden gem in Bellevue, offering a slice of rural life amid the city. This park and farm feature barns from the 1930s, home to ponies, sheep, goats, and chickens. It’s a perfect spot for families, especially those with young children, to learn about farm life, animal care, and the history of agriculture in the area. The park also has walking trails and picnic areas, making it a lovely spot for a day out in nature.
Bellevue Zip Tour: Thrilling Adventure in the Trees
For those seeking a bit of adrenaline, the Bellevue Zip Tour in Eastgate Park provides an exciting treetop adventure. The zip lines offer breathtaking views of the surrounding forest and a unique perspective on the area’s natural beauty. Suitable for ages 9 and up, it’s an adventurous way to spend a day outdoors and experience Bellevue from a different vantage point.
The Theatre at Meydenbauer Center: A Cultural Beacon
The Theatre at Meydenbauer Center is Bellevue’s premier performing arts venue. It hosts a variety of performances, including ballets, concerts, theatrical productions, and cultural events. The theater’s state-of-the-art facilities and diverse programming make it a key destination for arts and culture enthusiasts.
Bellevue Downtown Park: An Urban Oasis
Bellevue Downtown Park is a meticulously designed urban park that provides a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. With a large circular walking path, a picturesque waterfall, and a reflective pond, it’s a popular spot for walkers, joggers, and those looking to relax. The park also hosts outdoor movies and concerts during the summer, making it a central gathering place for community events.
Lake Sammamish State Park: A Lakeside Retreat
Just a short drive from Bellevue, Lake Sammamish State Park offers a plethora of outdoor activities. With its expansive lakefront, it’s a popular spot for swimming, boating, and fishing. The park also has hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and a playground, making it an ideal destination for a day trip full of fun and relaxation.
Golf Courses and Clubs: For the Golf Enthusiasts
Bellevue is home to several prestigious golf courses and clubs, such as Bellevue Golf Course and Glendale Country Club. These venues offer beautifully maintained greens and fairways, along with amenities like pro shops and dining facilities. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, these courses provide a great setting to enjoy a round of golf.
Wilburton Hill Park: Exploring Nature and History
Wilburton Hill Park is another excellent outdoor venue, known for its botanical garden and historical significance. The park, which includes the Bellevue Botanical Garden, also features sports fields, a play area, and walking trails. It’s a spot where history, nature, and recreation converge, offering something for everyone.
Seasonal Events and Festivals
Bellevue hosts a variety of seasonal events and festivals that highlight the city’s diverse culture and community spirit. From the Bellevue Arts and Crafts Fair to the Strawberry Festival and the Snowflake Lane holiday celebration, these events bring together locals and visitors for celebrations filled with food, entertainment, and cultural exhibits.
Bellevue, a city that masterfully blends natural splendor, cultural richness, shopping havens, and diverse culinary delights, has something to captivate every visitor. Whether your interest lies in embarking on an outdoor journey, immersing yourself in the local arts and culture scene, or simply enjoying a relaxed day out, Bellevue stands as a city that promises satisfaction.
Keep in mind, the points mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all that Bellevue has to offer.
Anyway, asking a local mover can be even more beneficial so you can get even more familiar with the city, from things to do to whether is it worth it for living.
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