Bellevue Washington is a fast growing city in the Eastside Region of King County, Washington, across from Lake Washington from Seattle. Long known as a suburb of Seattle, it is now categorized as an edge city. The population is estimated to be 126,626 as of 2009.
Downtown Bellevue is undergoing rapid change. It is currently the second largest city center in Washington state with over 35,000 employees and 5,000 residents. Based on per capita income, Bellevue is the 6th wealthiest of 522 communities in the state of Washington. In 2008, Bellevue was named number 1 in CNNMoney’s list of the best places to live and launch a business. More recently, Bellevue was ranked as the 4th best place to live in America. The name “Bellevue” is French for “beautiful view”. So it might be a surprise that Bellevue was named of the America’s Smallest Cities! Here are 10 great things you can do while in Bellvue Washington.
1. Lake Washington Cruise from Kirkland
You can view beautiful scenery, views of Mt. Rainier, University of Washington’s Husky Stadium and luxurious waterfront homes of Seattle’s rich and famous on this live narrated cruise on picturesque Lake Washington. This is a great way to relax with your family!
2. Bellevue Botanical Gardens www.bellevuebotanical.org
With free admission this is a great place to take the family. The Bellevue Botanical gardens has 35 acres of gardens to roam and enjoy. Guided tours are available for purchase and are great to learn about the different plants and flowers. During Christmas they garden puts up a huge light show that is a must see!
3. Seattle Harbor Cruise
Enjoy a narrated cruise on Elliot Bay and Seattle Harbor, as well as spectacular views of the Seattle skyline and panoramic mountain ranges. They have a great special going on right now. If you book from now till the end of the year (December 31, 2010) you will receive 10% off!
4. Pike Place Market – Food and Cultural Walking Tour
Eat your way through Seattle’s most celebrated culinary landmark — Pike Place Market. Go behind the scenes on a walking tour to experience some of the city’s favorite market spots. Taste locally made foods and beverages, meet and interact with the exceptional people that give the market life and hear their humble, often humorous stories.
5. Winters House www.scn.org/arts/bellehist
Home to the Bellevue Historical Society, this large, Spanish-style villa was built in the 1920s. Now surrounded by the Mercer Slough Nature Park, the Winters House was the first home in Bellevue to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
6. Bellevue Downtown Park www.ci.bellevue.wa.us
In the center of the city this twenty-acre park attracts everyone from professionals and teenagers to families and senior citizens, all of whom want a bit of the outdoors on a nice day. Take a walk and view the reflecting pool, the rushing waterfall, a canal encircling a green meadow, and other picturesque treasures.
7. Village Theatre www.villagetheatre.org
The Village is Washington state’s fourth-largest regional theater, and the well-designed, intimate space is a great place to see a show. Mainstage productions are usually well-known musicals like “South Pacific” and “The Music Man.” Village Originals are new musicals. Kidstage productions, the culmination of classes and workshops for young children and teens, are generally much-loved classics like “The Velveteen Rabbit.”
8. Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art www.dollart.com
Doll and toy collectors should not miss this impressive private collection, which includes dolls, teddy bears, toys, and miniatures. In an ornate Victorian home, Ms. Whyel has accumulated more than 3,000 dolls and has won awards for her wonderful displays that describe the history of various dolls and toys. In addition, the museum shop is an excellent place to purchase a gift. Admission is $8 for adults and 5 for kids!
9. Chocolate Indulgence Walking Tour of Seattle
Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! If the mere mention of the word brings a smile to your face, this is the tour of Seattle you have been searching for. Explore the sweet side of the city as you visit some of Seattle’s best confectioners and chocolate makers on a Chocolate Walking Tour. With Bellevue being a suburb of Seattle this door is just a minute away!
10. The Theatre at Meydenbauer Center www.meydenbauer.com
This theater offers a variety of concerts and performances from groups such as the Bellevue Chamber Chorus, the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra, and Ballet Bellevue. Children’s theater and family-friendly concerts make the venue a hit with parents and grandparents.