A beautiful enclave of Seattle, Bellevue bustles with Microsoft employees and professional athletes. A picture perfect town of multi-million dollar homes overlooking Lake Washington, it’s an ideal vacation for those looking to enjoy nature, exclusive shopping, and art.
This storied area exhibits a true commitment to green space, resembling more of a park than a city. Yet even amidst all this luxury, deals abound. The Red Lion Hotel Bellevue offers many amenities with a price attractive to the budget traveler. By providing guests free WiFi and parking, it lures the budget-conscious traveler from staying in downtown Seattle. Located only 10 miles from Seattle, guests can still enjoy the sights and sounds of the Emerald City, but can also choose to leave it all behind for the more affordable hotels in Bellevue. (Image by Amar Raavi)
Bellevue serves up its own delicious smorgasbord of activities. From craft breweries to its burgeoning art scene, visitors will have plenty to do without leaving this perfect place.
The Bellevue breweries, pubs, and restaurants are noted for their delicious ales and ciders. Many craft brewers select locally sourced ingredients because they know this land of artesian wells and glacier-fed rivers produces a robustly distinct flavor.
Bellevue’s arts scene is coming into its own. From its permanent 120+ piece Art Walk to the soaring sculptures of its Biennial Bellevue Sculpture Exhibition, this city knows (and appreciates) the arts. The Bellevue Arts Museum showcases artists and craftsmen of the Pacific Northwest. It also engages the community through programs, exhibitions, and events including ARTSfair, one of the largest fairs of its kind, held annually on the last full weekend of July. The museum is closed on Mondays and offers free admission the first Friday of the month.
For guests who love live performances, the Theatre at Meydenbauer Center is just the ticket. Throughout the year, this 410-seat theater hosts performing arts groups that reflect Bellevue’s multi-cultural community.
For families, the KidsQuest Children’s Museum and the Eastside Heritage Museum provide interesting opportunities for hands-on learning. During Fraser Cabin Heritage days (third Saturday of the month, April-October, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.), activities such as grinding corn, churning butter, and collecting eggs, give visitors a greater appreciation for pioneer life.(Image by Gillett’s Crossing)
The Bellevue Farmers Market (open Saturdays June-November) is a great place to grab some farm-fresh goodies, including veggies and flowers, as well as homemade soups, breads, and crepes. After sampling the local fare, why not continue the shopping experience at one of Bellevue’s spectacular shopping venues such as the Bellevue Collection (with 250 retailers) or the Shops at the Bravern (modeled after a European village with a distinct, Pacific Northwest touch, of course).
Bellevue offers many ways to enjoy nature from its beautiful Downtown Park to the U-pick blueberry fields, and the miles of trails and boardwalks of Mercer Slough Nature Park.
Interest in this idyllic spot along Lake Washington continues to grow. Bellevue is no sleepy suburb of Seattle, but a destination unto itself, and with many non-stop flights it’s also an ideal flight destination.
What are some of your favorite spot in Bellevue to visit? Let us know in the comments below!
Christina R. Green is a Hipmunk writer with a passion for the Pacific Northwest. She loves 1960s roadside motel signage, campy tourist attractions, and kitsch. Currently a resident of Treasure Island, Florida, one day she plans on taking an extended road trip in search of Bigfoot, Mothman, Babe the Blue Ox, and all of the amazing legends that fuel our imaginations and stitch together our communities.
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Feature Image via Flickr by Wonderlane