12 Best Things to Do in Bellevue, Washington

Bellevue, Washington

Feng Wei Photography / Getty Images

Located just to the east of Seattle and separated by Lake Washington lies the college town of Bellevue, which makes a great side trip from Seattle and a good base for exploring the rest of the Puget Sound region. Enjoy Bellevue's thriving downtown scene, natural outdoor spaces, and family-centric locales, such as the Children's Museum and the Public Market. Hanging out in this hipster town will give you a true feel for the Pacific Northwest, complete with metropolitan amenities and the Olympic Mountains looming in the distance.

01 of 12

Embark on a Zip Line Adventure

Bellevue Zip Tour

Bellevue Zip Tour

14509 SE Newport Way, Bellevue, WA 98006, USA
Phone +1 206-295-5494

Adventurous types will love the Bellevue Zip Tour experience, which includes riding seven zip lines through Eastgate Park's canopy, crossing two suspension bridges, and hiking through a forest full of Western Hemlocks, Broad Leaf Maples, and Douglas Firs. Note that tours take place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and for safety reasons, you must weigh between 60 and 250 pounds to participate.

02 of 12

Play Board Games While You Brunch

Mox Boarding House

Mox Boarding House

13310 Bel-Red Rd, Bellevue, WA 98005, USA
Phone +1 425-326-3050

Gamers, rejoice! Whether you're a fan of classic board games or are more into role-playing scenarios a la Magic: The Gathering or Dungeons & Dragons, stop by Mox Boarding House for a chance to play and shop for all your favorites. You can even enjoy a full menu of house-made food and craft cocktails while you play games from the complimentary game library in one of the open play spaces, perfect for a quick round with friends, family, or fellow gaming enthusiasts.

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Pick Your Own Blueberries

Blueberries picked at Larsen Lake Blueberry Farm near Bellevue, Washington

rsseattle / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Larsen Lake, Bellevue, WA 98007, USA

Located just 10 minutes from downtown Bellevue, Larsen Lake Blueberry Farm offers visitors the opportunity to pick their own berries straight from the fields from mid-July to early September each year, depending on the weather. You can also pick up freshly cut flowers and just-picked seasonal fruits and veggies. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Check the website for hours of operation, which vary throughout the season.

04 of 12

Spend Some Time Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Kayaking in Mercer Slough Nature Park

Getty Images / John & Lisa Merrill

12001 Main St, Bellevue, WA 98005, USA
Phone +1 425-452-2750

Located between Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish, Bellevue is home to many parks and outdoor spaces. Enjoy the views, stroll along the waterfront, or take a scenic hike through nature.

At Mercer Slough Nature Park, one of Bellevue's largest parks and lake Washington's largest wetlands, you can enjoy seven miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, a canoe launch, and a blueberry farm. The park even boasts a unique interpretive canoe trip and a place to purchase seasonal blueberries from the farm.

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05 of 12

See a Show at the Meydenbauer Center

Meydenbauer Center

Matthew Rutledge / Flickr / CC BY-NA 2.0

11100 NE 6th St, Bellevue, WA 98004, USA
Phone +1 425-637-1020

The Meydenbauer Center performance venue hosts shows and art education programs that are put on by a number of cultural organizations. The 410-seat theatre offers an ever-changing calendar that includes everything from classical music concerts, plays and musicals to ballet and dance recitals, and documentary and film showings.

Catch a show by the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra, Lyric Opera Northwest, the Bellevue Chamber Chorus, or The Attic Theatre. An events calendar and ticket information is available on the website so you can see what's playing while you're in town.

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Visit the Bellevue Arts Museum

Bellevue Arts Museum

Wikimedia Commons 

510 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004, USA
Phone +1 425-519-0770

Focusing on fine craft and design, this downtown Bellevue museum displays the work of artists from both the Pacific Northwest and around the world.

During your visit, browse ceramics, textiles, jewelry, and sculpture exhibits that rotate throughout the year. You can also attend various talks, tours, workshops, and kid-friendly programs. Don't miss the outstanding gift and bookstore, great for grabbing a classy piece of vacation memorabilia.

07 of 12

Day Trip to Snoqualmie Falls and Beyond

Snoqualmie Falls

TripSavvy / Chris VR

6501 Railroad Ave, Snoqualmie, WA 98065, USA
Phone +1 425-326-2563

Bellevue's neighboring towns and national forests offer daytrippers access to many activities just outside the city limits. Hop in the car and take a 30-minute drive to Snoqualmie Falls, a small park that overlooks a grand waterfall and a misty river canyon.

Directly to the north lies Woodinville, western Washington's primary wine region. Tour over 20 vineyards and enjoy wine tastings—just make sure you have a designated driver or can call Uber for a lift home.

Outdoor enthusiasts will love the hiking and biking trails at Marymoor Park on the Sammamish. Nearby, downtown Kirkland boasts charming local shops, galleries, and eateries along the Lake Washington shore.

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Hit the Beach

Clyde Beach Park

 David Herrera / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

2 92nd Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004, USA
Phone +1 425-452-6885

Although Bellevue has no direct access to the ocean, heaps of sandy beaches along the shores of Lake Washington offer a great way to cool off and enjoy nature.

Check out Enatai Beach Park, home to a swimming area, swimming dock, and seasonal canoe and kayak rentals. Nearby, Chism Beach Park is larger and has lifeguards on duty. Meanwhile, Clyde Beach Park, located off Lake Washington Boulevard, offers a convenient option for an afternoon dip.

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09 of 12

Stop and Smell the Flowers at the Botanical Garden

Bellevue Botanical Garden

krishanu_seal / Getty Images

12001 Main St, Bellevue, WA 98005, USA
Phone +1 425-452-2750

Operated by the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society, Bellevue Botanical Gardens is made up of several different gardens, as well as a visitor's center and an educational facility.

Stroll through a plethora of fragrant flowers and trees—stop to smell the fuchsias, rhododendrons, various wildflowers, and mountain hemlock trees, and discover species of ground crops you didn't know exist. Top off your visit with a trip to the garden store, which features garden-inspired gifts.

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Visit Animals at a Farm

Kelsey Creek Farm

Wikimedia Commons 

410 130th Pl SE, Bellevue, WA 98005, USA
Phone +1 425-452-7688

Located just inside Mercer Slough Nature Park sits Kelsey Creek Farm, a historic family farm facility that provides education and the experience of seeing farm animals up close.

Children can take a pony ride, pet a chicken or bunny, or take part in a number of other sensory farm programs. If you feel so compelled, you can contribute to help the animals by adopting a critter and supporting its maintenance and feeding throughout the year.

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Take the Family to the KidsQuest Children's Museum

The Kid's Quest Children's Museum

Wikimedia Commons 

1116 108th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004, USA
Phone +1 425-637-8100

The Kid'sQuest Children's Museum isn't just for little kids. With adult programming and STEAM-powered (science, technology, engineering, and math) summer camps, school-age children and their parents can get in on the fun.

Visit the Art Studio, the Recycle and Rebuild shop, the Learning Lab, and the Atrium Climber, or drop your little ones off for an afternoon program while you enjoy some downtime at the neighboring Bellevue Library.

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Eat at a Public Market

Delicious waffles at Crossroads Bellevue

Crossroads Bellevue

Crossroads, Bellevue, WA, USA

Shop, dine, or enjoy a vintage carousel ride at Crossroads Bellevue, the city's own public market. The facility's food-hall-style international restaurants provide fast and affordable authentic cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere.

Shop the local boutiques and national chains that reside on the premises, or hit up Stone Gardens, the area's finest rock climbing facility. The Bellevue Farmer's Market also sets up shop here every Tuesday afternoon from June through September, offering a peek at the region's finest produce.

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12 Best Things to Do in Bellevue, Washington