Vibrant and beautiful, Bellevue was founded by European Americans in the late 19th century. Located east across Lake Washington from Seattle, Bellevue is also flanked by Lake Sammamish, as well as the cities of Redmond and Kirkland, home to tech firms Microsoft and Nintendo. Voted as CNN Money’s number one place to live and start a business, Bellevue’s economy has been on the rise since the installation of the Lake Washington Floating Bridge in 1940. The Bellevue Arts and Crafts Fair is one of the regions’ most popular events, and the city has stunning panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains and the Olympic Mountains.
Places to Eat:
Bellevue has a number of excellent eateries ranging from authentic Mexican food trucks to trendy gastro pubs. Head to the northeast Bellevue neighborhood of Tam O’Shanter and try El Maestro Taco. This popular food truck serves up some of the city’s favorite Mexican food, and with an outdoor seating area and some of the best taco in Bellevue, El Maestro Taco is certainly one to try. Great for groups or a quick meal on the go, this favorite local gem has an affordable carne asada plate and tasty tacos pastor. Top off your meal with their homemade horchata, and enjoy the casual and friendly environment of El Maestro Taco.
If you’re looking for a hip and trendy place to have a craft cocktail or late night snack, try north Bellevue’s Lot No.3. Located on 106th Avenue, Lot No.3 offers some of the most creative and unique food east of Seattle. Comfort food specials like their spice jar cake and skirt steak sandwich make Lot No.3 a favorite of locals and visitors alike, and the full bar and extensive whiskey selection makes this place a hipster hotspot. Lot No. 3 has cozy outdoor seating, late night menu options, and breakfast and brunch on the weekends. Locals love their pretzel appetizer, and their friendly service and affordable prices will have you coming back for more.
For some of Bellevue’s best Mediterranean food, try Mediterranean Kitchen located on Bellevue Way Northeast. Moderately priced menu items and large portions make this local favorite one of the region’s best, and with popular dishes like chicken shawarma and shish tawook, you’ll be back before you know it. Open for lunch and dinner, Mediterranean Kitchen’s casual atmosphere offers beer and wine and an excellent selection of kid-friendly menu items.
For delicious food in Southwest Bellevue, head to Square Lotus on Factoria Boulevard Southeast. Open for lunch and dinner, Square Lotus offers some of the city’s best Vietnamese food and serves up entrees like fried rice and papaya salad. Great for groups and kids, this casual local favorite has a wide variety of vegetarian menu items and a considerable beer and wine list.
Places to Stay:
Bellevue has a number of comfortable and affordable places to stay including the Silver cloud Inn Bellevue/Downtown, the Hyatt Regency Belleve, and The Westin Bellevue. Southwest Bellevue is home to the Hilton Bellevue Hotel. Located on 112th Avenue Southeast, the Hilton Bellevue Hotel offers a lobby coffee shop, high speed Internet, and great customer service. If you’re travelling through via Interstate 90, try the Extended Stay America Seattle/Bellevue/Factoria or the Embassy Suites Seattle/Bellevue.
If you’re in the mood for a romantic vacation or weekend getaway, downtown Bellevue’s Hotel Bellevue is a great option. Part of the Bellevue Club, this ritzy and upscale boutique hotel has a swimming pool and a number of excellent restaurants onsite. Try a cocktail at Cosmos Lounge and head to the hotel’s spa. Comfortable beds and top-notch service compliment the Hotel Bellevue’s classy downtown vibe.
Things to Do:
Natural beauty is bountiful in Bellevue, and a number of the city’s best attractions can be found in the form of parks and lakes. Just a short drive away is the Cougar Mountain Regional Wild-land Park. Great for observing local animals, plants, and birds, this park has a number of accessible hiking and mountain biking trails. Lake Sammamish is to the east of Bellevue, and the city is bordered on the west by Lake Washington. Both sites offer swimming and beach-side fun.
If you head south of Bellevue and Seattle, be sure to check out the Museum of Flight. The history of old war planes abounds at this educational and entertaining museum, and kids and adults alike will appreciate the walk through Air Force One and the various exhibits detailing the history of aviation in America and beyond.
Bellevue is easily accessed by bicycle, and the city has a number of designated lanes and paths. Interstate 405 and Interstate 90 serve as the city’s primary arteries of automobile transport, and the Seattle Tacoma International Airport serves the city. The King County Metro and the Sound Transit system provide bus service throughout Bellevue and Seattle, and the East Link Light Rail plans to run from Seattle to Mercer Island and Bellevue in the near future.