By the STC Puget Sound Chapter Bellevue is one of the most beautiful places to visit. Its winter rains (and occasional morning showers) provide the water that keeps it green most of the year. Across Lake Washington from Seattle, Bellevue has sweeping views of Lake Washington to the west, and Cascade Mountains to the east. Here are some fun facts about Bellevue:
- Bellevue is consistently ranked as one of the healthiest and safest cities in America, as well as a top city for outdoor activities.
- Downtown Bellevue is the second largest city center in Washington, with more than 1,300 businesses, 45,000 employees, and 10,200 residents.
- One of the country’s most diverse cities, more than 39% of Bellevue residents were born outside of the United States.
- Tech companies thrive here. Bungie, Concur, Expedia, Microsoft, Pokemon, T-Mobile, and Valve all have major presences or are headquartered in Bellevue.
- The city boasts more than 100 parks, with terrains ranging from manicured meadows to beaches and forested wilderness. Bellevue is a great place to walk around. You can check out the Historical Walking Tour map and plan ahead. This is a self-guided tour that you can do on your own or with some new friends. Visit the Bellevue Botanical Garden and enjoy some of spring’s most dazzling flora displays. The Botanical Garden covers 10 acres of woodlands, meadows, and wetlands. Take a walk along the trails at the Mercer Slough Nature Park. This park is accessible to those with hearing disabilities and has some interactive exhibits. At 320 acres, Mercer Slough Nature Park is Lake Washington’s largest remaining wetland. Lushly populated with hundreds of plant species and traversed by over 170 species of wildlife, this nature getaway is full of life. Ducks, herons, robins, red winged black birds, slugs, garter snakes, and butterflies are frequent visitors. Come here to enjoy some fresh air and serenity while sneaking peaks of the downtown Bellevue skyline. For those of you who prefer the creative arts there is the Bellevue Arts Museum – The Bellevue Arts Museum traces its roots back to street fair art in 1947. In 1983 it moved to the third floor of Bellevue Square, a short skywalk from the Hyatt. Exhibitions on view during the Summit will include Altered States by Nicole Gordon, Playa Made The Jewelry of Burning Man that includes jewelry created by more than 60 artists, and architect Steven Holl’s Making Architecture that considers three distinguishing aspects of Holl's architectural work. This museum is closed on Monday and Tuesday, so arrive early to take in these shows! Events The Puget Sound Chapter will be organizing a couple of events but if you want to venture out on your own here’s a few suggestions for live music and entertainment: Bake's Place Bar & Bistro – 108th Ave NE – They serve food and offer bands on Friday and Saturday night. They were voted the #1 Best Nightlife Spot in Bellevue. Civility and Unrest – Truly a hidden gem! It is a sophisticated bar in the front and a speakeasy in the back. Check their event page to see what live music they may be offering. Be sure to visit their website so you’ll know where to find this unique experience. The Bellevue Collection is made up of Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square, and Bellevue Place, all just a short walk from the Hyatt Regency. You’ll find dining and entertainment options of all kinds, and an Amazon Books. Look for more information about Bellevue and that other nearby city, Seattle, in the next blog. All of us from STC’s Puget Sound Chapter look forward to seeing you at the Summit in Bellevue in May!