Bellevue, WA is only a short 15 minute drive from Seattle, WA and is rapidly becoming a metropolitan area of its own. With a wide array of restaurants, shopping, and recreational activities for everyone to engage in, Bellevue is becoming increasingly popular for residents of the Seattle area. Bellevue has many attractions that will keep you entertained and never searching for something to do.
Bellevue has earned a name in its own right, being the headquarters for companies such as Expedia, HTC, and Drugstore.com. Microsoft has also recently moved into the city, taking over several of the high-rise towers in downtown Bellevue.
Whatever the reason is that brings you to Bellevue, there is sure to be something that catches your interest. This list highlights the top 10 best things to do in Bellevue in the categories of shopping, parks, activities, and nightlife.
TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN BELLEVUE:
If you’re an avid shopper, look no further than Bellevue for things to do. With two major shopping complexes in downtown, you’re sure to find the things you’re looking for while happily shopping the afternoon away.
1. The Bellevue Collection / Bellevue Square:
The Bellevue Collection consists of three shopping centers in downtown Bellevue: Bellevue Square, Bellevue Place, and Lincoln Square. The Bellevue Collection is currently one of the nation’s top retail complexes.
Bellevue Square boasts over 200 shops and restaurants, in addition to three major department stores (Nordstrom, Macy’s, and JCPenney). The prices here range from affordable to luxurious, from nationwide chains to boutique shops. Whatever your shopping needs are, Bellevue Square is sure to satisfy.
Bellevue Place is home to the Hyatt hotel, a number of high-end boutique shops, and a few restaurants. If you’re a steak lover, Daniel’s Broiler, located in Bellevue Place, is highly recommended.
Lincoln Square is the newest addition to The Bellevue Collection. It is home to the Westin hotel, a spa, and six restaurants with cuisine ranging from Irish pub food to seafood, pasta, and Chinese. Located on the third floor of Lincoln Square is Lincoln Square Cinemas, a 16-screen theater boasting comfortable, leather reclining seats. IMAX movies are also available for viewing here.
2. The Bravern:
If you prefer shopping for high-end brand names, The Bravern will satisfy your needs. The Bravern is a high-end shopping center located a few blocks east of Bellevue Square. It is anchored by Neiman Marcus and is home to a number of luxurious brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, and Hermès. The Bravern also has a few upscale restaurants, including John Howie Steakhouse and Wild Ginger.
Bellevue is no stranger to parks, with over 100 residing in the city. If you enjoy the outdoors, you are sure to enjoy these parks as a fun and relaxing activity. Take your dog on a walk, set up a picnic, or pick blueberries with your family or significant other.
3. Bellevue Botanical Garden:
Visit the Bellevue Botanical Garden for a beautiful walk through 53 acres of gardens. wetlands, and seasonal flowers. Admission is free throughout the year except during the annual Garden d’Lights event. Garden d’Lights is a light display in the garden throughout the month of December. Walk through a beautiful garden of lights in the shape of flowers, shrubs, fish, and other decorations. Admission is free for children under 10 and only $5 for those over the age of 10.
4. Meydenbauer Beach Park:
Located near downtown Bellevue, the Meydenbauer Beach Park provides an area for picnics, fishing, and swimming. In the summer (end of June through Labor Day), lifeguards are on duty during the day. Come here to relax, have a picnic, or just enjoy the view.
5. Mercer Slough Blueberry Farm:
During the summer, visit Mercer Slough Blueberry Farm and pick your own blueberries! This is a great way to enjoy the Seattle summer with your family or significant other. After blueberry picking, enjoy them on the spot or bake them into delicious pies and other desserts! If you’re not into picking your own produce, the farm also sells seasonal produce and flowers.
6. Downtown Bellevue Park:
Take a break from shopping at Bellevue Square and walk around Downtown Bellevue Park (located across the street from JCPenney). The park is popular for dog owners, joggers, and walkers in the summer. In the winter, visit the park and skate in the ice rink specially built for the holidays.
Bellevue is not short on things to do. In the summertime, it is easy to spend the entire day outdoors enjoying the sunshine. On less than perfect days, spend a few hours indoors watching a play or symphony. There is always something to do in this area.
7. Meydenbauer Center:
Located in the heart of Bellevue, Meydenbauer is a convention center and performing arts theater. A wide variety of shows are available, ranging from the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra to The Nutcracker Ballet. Visit their website for complete event listings and tickets.
8. Bellevue Golf Course:
If you’re a fan of golf, summer in Bellevue has perfect golfing weather. Visit the Bellevue Golf Course, where prices range from $18-$37 for a round. If you’re new to the sport or would like to brush up on your golfing skills, individual and group lessons are also available.
Recently, Bellevue has become very popular for things to do at night. Lincoln Square itself has two highly-rated venues that are open until the early morning hours for those who enjoy dancing and drinking the night away.
9. The Parlor Collection:
Located on the third floor of Lincoln Square, The Parlor is a popular nightlife spot for the 21+ crowd in Bellevue. On the weekends, DJs spin popular music for those on the dance floor. For those who prefer an alternative to dancing, the lounge-like atmosphere has a number of pool tables and tables for those who would like to just sit, chat, drink, and eat. Best of all, there is no cover charge!
The Parlor also has a comedy club that brings in comedians from all over the country every week. The featured comedian changes weekly, but past headliners have included Rob Schneider and Nick Cannon. Comedy show ticket prices range from $15 – $35.
10. Lucky Strike Lanes:
Lucky Strike Lanes, located on the second level of Lincoln Square, is another popular destination on the weekends for the 21+ crowd. Although it is a bowling alley and video game arcade during the day, it transforms to a hip lounge and nightclub at night. Dance and drink the night away! If you’re looking for a more intimate party, reserve their VIP room, which has four private bowling lanes and plush chairs for you and all your closest friends to party and bowl all night long. There is no cover charge to enter.