10 Things You Absolutely Must Do if You're New to Bellevue WA
If you’ve just moved to Bellevue, or if you’re visiting in anticipation of moving there, you’re in luck. Bellevue is one of the largest cities in Washington, a beautiful location with tons to do and loads of character. Here are 10 things you must check out according to the top real estate agents Bellevue, WA residents rely on for city know-how.
Walk Around Downtown
Downtown Bellevue is quite manageable on foot and offers both green park space and high-rise towers. You will love the plethora of shopping, fine dining, and entertainment, all in an upscale environment.
Don’t miss Bellevue Downtown Park, 20 acres of lush landscape where you’ll also find community events, summertime outdoor movies, and views of a waterfall, Mt. Rainier, and city skylines.
Many people stop downtown while visiting the city to hunt for a home, thinking they’ll wind up in a more suburban setting. But the proximity to so many activities and the vibrancy of the city center enchants them, so don’t rule out downtown as a place to live. Maybe you’ll be another urban sophisticate who falls in love with downtown Bellevue!
Bellevue Arts Museum
Within blocks of Bellevue Downtown Park, you’ll find another urban oasis: the Bellevue Arts Museum, often just written as “BAM.” With exhibits from both local and international artists, this museum offers private and self-guided tours. Open from Wednesday through Sunday, don’t miss this downtown gem.
Shopping in the Bellevue Collection
Shoppers will never be disappointed with the selection in Bellevue. Within the downtown district, you’ll find three prime shopping areas known together as the Bellevue Collection.
With hundreds of retailers at your disposal, Bellevue Place, Lincoln Square, and Bellevue Square will have you oohing with delight. Over the winter holidays, add Snowflake Lane, a winter wonderland, to your list too.
Boat Ride on Lake Washington
You’ll notice that much of life in Bellevue is oriented to Lake Sammamish in the east and Lake Washington in the west. The latter is the larger of the two lakes--in fact, the second-largest lake in the state--across which lies the city of Seattle.
You can rent boats from many of the marinas in Bellevue or head to nearby Kirkland to hop on a larger southbound cruise from there. You’ll get great views of Bellevue from the water, where you can check out the various Lake Washington neighborhoods--ideal if you’re looking at property in those areas.
Bellevue Zip Tour
Not for the faint of heart, the Bellevue Zip Tour connects a half dozen zip lines, two suspension bridges, and two hiking trails to offer a unique view of Bellevue in a natural setting among Douglas firs and leafy maples. If you’re traveling with squirrely kids age nine and up, the Zip Tour is a great way to blow of steam and spend time outdoors.
Book your Zip Line Tour in advance as this is a popular attraction. Ask about rules and regulations regarding appropriate wardrobe, weight requirements, and safety. Younger kids need to be accompanied by an adult, while teens may be able to participate as long as a parent is present nearby.
Bellevue Botanical Garden
In spite of all the natural phenomena around the city of Bellevue, you still don’t want to skip the Bellevue Botanical Garden. A gorgeous arrangement of rock gardens and floral displays, the Bellevue Botanical Garden provides tours or you can wander on your own to learn about native plants and the environment. This spot is perfect for slowing down life amidst the bustling city, whether you’re a local or a visitor.
Mercer Slough Nature Park
For a longer stroll, head to the Mercer Slough Nature Park, where you can enjoy six miles of trails on 320 acres. You can also canoe in the park, visit the Blueberry Farm, stop at historic Winter House, and learn about local flora and fauna at the Environmental Education Center.
Mercer Slough Nature Park isn’t just a tourist attraction. Locals living in the area frequent the park too. From there you can easily head to nearby Beaux Arts Village and Newport Shores, two tiny neighborhoods with beautiful homes.
Lake Sammamish State Park
Lake Washington’s little cousin, Lake Sammamish, is one of the places to be for outdoor recreation and water sports enthusiasts. There, you’ll find water skiing slalom courses and outdoor adventure classes.
At the southern end of the lake in Issaquah lies Lake Sammamish State Park, which offers waterfront activities for everyone. Take a picnic or go for a swim there since this state park has a beach, diving boards, and water slides.
Meydenbauer Beach Park
Meydenbauer is one of Bellevue’s most popular neighborhoods. Set on the shores of Lake Washington, it used to be a ferry landing and is now a beach and marina community.
In warmer weather, lifeguards are on duty at Meydenbauer Beach Park, so you can take a dip. Otherwise, enjoy a picnic on the shore and then stroll through the neighborhood, which is just adjacent to the beach. You’ll love the mix of waterfront condos and pretty homes that make this area so desirable.
KidsQuest Children’s Museum
Are you new to Bellevue or visiting with kids who need a place to run around on a rainy day? The KidsQuest Children’s Museum is the perfect diversion. With exhibits and hands-on activities for lovers of math, science, engineering, technology, and art, this jewel of a museum offers classes, summer camp, and workshops for the whole family, regardless of age. There’s even a two-story Atrium Climber for those future mountaineers.
By now, you’re aware that Bellevue has a lot to offer visitors and new residents alike. With something for people of all ages and interests, it’s easy to see why this is a popular destination in the Pacific Northwest.
If you’re looking for homes for sale in Bellevue, WA, you’ll love the selection and diversity, which matches the variety you can enjoy in the city’s many fantastic activities. Get in touch when you’re ready to see properties in Bellevue, and soon you’ll be enjoying Bellevue’s many features as a local!