The Eastside’s hub with a booming commercial core and many residence optionsSeattle’s neighbor to the east, Bellevue, is an affluent suburb with many opportunities for living, working, and playing.
HistoryBellevue saw its first homesteaders in the late 1860s when William Meydenbauer and Aaron Mercer decided to move from Seattle to the east side of Lake Washington. They farmed the land and their success drew more people to follow their lead. By the mid 1900s, the area was known for its berry farms and ‘beautiful view’—Bellevue, in French. The construction of the I-90 bridge brought more visitors and residents, who could now live on the east side and easily commute to their jobs in Seattle. City planners spent a great deal of time making a high-class downtown area, a tradition that has spread throughout the city. Today, Bellevue embodies everything one would look for in a thriving suburb.
VibeBellevue is the king of the Seattle suburbs. Even through tough financial times, construction has barely slowed in the downtown business district and high-end retailers are constantly moving in. Further out into the neighborhoods, generously sized houses and quiet streets are abundant. Here, it’s an easy commute to either Seattle or Redmond. In general, the prevailing attitude here is, “Why live in Seattle when you could choose Bellevue?”
Activities and AttractionsThere are many rich experiences to be had in Bellevue. The downtown area offers the most densely packed opportunities, from shopping to fine dining, even seeing a comedy show or going bowling. Other hubs, like Crossroads to the east and Factoria to the south, also have plenty to do and see without having to deal with traffic and parking. Venues like the Meydenbauer Center, the Bellevue Arts Museum, and the KidsQuest Children’s Museum are all great stops for people of all ages. And, for a throwback to Bellevue’s early days, don’t miss the Mercer Slough Blueberry Farm, where you can pick all of the fresh berries you want for a ridiculously cheap price. There are plenty of much-buzzed-about restaurants to bring to your attention. In Lincoln Square, Din Tai Fung, a world-famous Taiwanese place that specializes in dumplings, opened late in 2010. Several popular eateries that first made their homes in Seattle have moved to the east side, too: Black Bottle ‘gastropub’, Purple Café and Wine Bar, Wild Ginger (Asian fusion), El Gaucho steakhouse, Blue C Sushi, Boom Noodle, and Top Pot Doughnuts to name a few (OK, to name a lot). Bellevue knows how to design a park, too. Take Kelsey Creek Park, for example. With its two historic barns, classes and tours for kids and adults, and even farm animals grazing about it’s a great farm oasis in the middle of a bustling city. Of course, there are the standard hiking and walking trails and places for picnics. Then there’s Bellevue Downtown Park with its manicured expanse of lawn, waterfall feature, and the skyscrapers of downtown as a backdrop.
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