Bellevue, Washington is an absolutely beautiful city filled with many attractions and great shopping and dining opportunities. So if you’re looking for the best experiences in Bellevue, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll tell you all about our favorite things to do in this fun and vibrant city. Don’t miss out – explore Bellevue today!
The Best Things to Do in Bellevue
Bellevue Downtown Park
Open to the public for free, Bellevue Downtown Park is a central place for celebration, play, or quiet reflection. This stunning 21-acre park is a unique asset to the city of Bellevue. The park features a wide dirt promenade next to rushing water, with benches for sitting and gazing downtown at the skyline. For daytime strolls or picnics, Bellevue Downtown Park is the ideal place. At night, light from the nearby office buildings illuminates the space and downtown can be heard over the rush of water as well.
The park’s Inspiration Playground is an art-inspired place for kids to climb and play. The park hosts many community events, including Fourth of July fireworks and outdoor movies.
Bellevue Arts Museum
If you’re planning a trip to Bellevue, or happen to be in town during the week, it’s worth checking out this interesting museum that shows how art is created behind the scenes. Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM) features regional artists, as well as established and emerging international artists. Located near Downtown Park in Bellevue’s downtown district, the museum preserves and interprets the artistic legacy of Bellevue’s past while promoting visual arts education in the region. The museum also has permanent ceiling and wall installations.
When the BAM is open, self-guided and private tours are available. The museum offers kids, teens, and adults educational workshops, lectures, and presentations. Admissions are also free every first Friday of the month.
Bellevue Botanical Garden
Bellevue has many natural attractions, but the Bellevue Botanical Garden has the most Pacific Northwest flora. This Main Street garden is open from dusk to dawn and offers free admission for its visitors.
Bellevue Botanical Garden’s Rock Garden has been a regional treasure for years. Apart from the ever-changing horticulture and landscaping collection, which is curated and masterfully maintained by garden professionals, there are also many reasons why people loved to visit the garden. The Dahlia Display, the beautiful perennials, hardwood forests, and native shrubs encompassing the garden are just some of the visitors’ favorites. A wide variety of flowers also bloom every month, which ensures there’s always something new blooming. Sculptural trails wind through well-manicured gardens that include annual displays, rock and water plantings, pathways, and sculpture gardens. There is something for everyone to enjoy in this outdoor space with its sunny days, lush green surroundings, and views of Snoqualmie Mountain Range across Lake Washington.
Mercer Slough Nature Park
At 320 acres, Mercer Slough Nature Park is the largest park in Bellevue. There are over 7 miles of trails including a water trail to canoe and a 2.6-mile bike path throughout this wetland environment where blue herons roam egrets flock, and beavers abound. The park’s blueberry farm sells seasonal produce as well. The 1929 Mission-style Winters House Visitor Center is on the National Register, and there’s even a trail that connects these two beautiful park attractions.
Meydenbauer Beach Park
Bellevue’s Meydenbauer Beach Park is a must-see attraction in the city. This natural gem is also a historical landmark, with its beautiful views and rich history. Meydenbauer Beach Park began with a ferry landing for the Seattle to Bellevue route on Lake Washington’s Meydenbauer Bay. From there, it grew as a popular picnic spot for boat owners and daytrippers. This historic ferry stop also helped shape Bellevue into what it is today.
Meydenbauer Beach Park is now a residential area. But locals and tourists can still enjoy the sand or have a picnic there. Meydenbauer Beach Park is also a popular summer swimming spot with warm water and lifeguards. The park’s tiered walkway leads to the water and a modern playground attracts kids there to play around and have fun. Also, a walkway in the park leads to Meydenbauer Bay, where you can get a picturesque view of Lake Washington as well.
Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park
10 miles southeast of Bellevue is Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. This wild area has 3,000 acres and 35 miles of trails, the perfect place for those who like the outdoors, hiking, and a wide room to roam around. Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park prohibits mountain bikes in order to protect its wildlife and wildlife habitat. However, there are trails that do allow horseback riding, and many trails offer views of Lake Sammamish and the Cascades.
Cougar-Squak Corridor Park connects Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park to Squak Mountain State Park. This narrow park and valley connect the two Issaquah Alps public spaces and offer 15,000 acres of forest to explore.
Lake Sammamish may be a puddle compared to Lake Washington, but it provides important recreational opportunities for Bellevue and its surrounding communities. Marymoor Park, on Lake Sammamish’s north end, is in Redmond and hosts great outdoor concerts. North of the lake is a public water-skiing slalom course.
Vasa Park Resort on Bellevue’s eastern Lake Sammamish shore has picnic areas, boat launches, diving boards, and waterslides. Vasa Park is popular for camping and RV parking. Issaquah’s Lake Sammamish State Park offers year-round outdoor activities as well.
18 Holes of Golf
Looking to play golf? Bellevue’s top golf courses are just nearby. Advanced tee times are recommended for these courses, which serve the entire region and not just Bellevue.
The Golf Club at Newcastle is less than 12 miles from downtown and has some of the best Pacific Northwest golf. This public club has 36 championship holes. And 350 acres sit atop Cougar Mountain Regional Park. This high vantage point offers stunning views of Seattle’s skyline, Mount Rainier, and the Olympic Mountains.
Bellevue has multiple golf courses to play around. This nearby public course has cheaper rates. It has beautiful scenery and well-kept greens. There’s also a driving range.
On the east side of town, the city oversees the Crossroads Par-3 Course. This nine-hole putt-and-chip course is open from April-October. It’s a great place for a quick golf outing for both experienced and new players.
Mount Rainier National Park
The park has waterfalls, mountain meadows, and hiking trails. NW Carbon River Entrance is closest to Bellevue, but SW Nisqually Entrance is more popular. The Nisqually entrance is a two-hour drive and features a visitor center and is open year-round.
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie Forest
There is a wide variety of opportunities for outdoor recreation on the Eastside, and one of the reasons for this is Bellevue’s close proximity to the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. There are hundreds of pathways spread out across the forest that are suitable for hikers of practically any ability level.
However, you are not restricted to only going on hikes. This popular region of the state can be explored in a variety of ways, such as going river rafting, seeing wildlife, biking, or taking scenic drives. If you find yourself in Bellevue, you’re in a fantastic spot to do some sightseeing.
Kelsey Creek Park and Farm
You’ll understand the appeal of Kelsey Creek Park and Farm as soon as you catch a glimpse of the park’s picture-perfect white barns. You may explore the natural marshes, meadows, and woodlands that make up this park which spans an area of 150 acres via the many trails and bridges that are scattered throughout.
The farm provides visitors with the opportunity to observe and learn about a wide variety of animals, such as sheep, goats, pigs, horses, and chickens. Bring a picnic with you, and spend the afternoon here for some fun that the whole family can enjoy.
Larsen Lake Blueberry Farm
The Larsen Lake Blueberry Farm is a great place to go with your family. You can pick blueberries there. Pick as many as you can carry in a bucket! There are lots of different kinds of blueberry bushes, and you can find the right one for you.
There is a produce stand open every day, so you can get your fruits and vegetables even when blueberries aren’t in season. After you’ve gotten your produce, you can either relax by the pond or watch the birds.
Chism Beach Park
Discovering this secluded, sandy beach was like finding a hidden gem. Chism Beach Park is a favorite among the community and is located in a wooded region on Lake Washington. It features breathtaking vistas of the Seattle skyline, an abundance of picnic spots, a playground, and the Burrows Cabin, which is Bellevue’s oldest building that has been preserved.
Chism Beach Park is an ideal location for anyone who wants to have some family fun because it offers a sufficient amount of space for people to stretch out and lounge, as well as opportunities to go swimming and fishing during the summer months.
Newcastle Beach Park
Newcastle Beach Park is a good area to tan and swim in town. Set 20 minutes south of the downtown, its sun-kissed sands and stunning green spaces are on Lake Washington.
With its many amenities, peaceful swimming places, and sandy beach, the park is a favorite family getaway. The vast facility has a playground, picnic spots, and a nature trail through woodlands and bushes. Along its 300-foot floating dock, tourists can fish, sunbathe, or jump into the lake.