Above photo credit goes to .curt. via Flickr
Hey Sassy Peeps!
For a nice vacation without a lot of expense, visit Bellevue, Washington. The city has parks and outdoor activities for the whole family, along with a thriving arts scene. Located across the lake from Seattle, this town offers activities for everyone to enjoy.
Rain falls no matter the season, but the sunshine is in greater supply during the summer. However, summertime is also tourist season, so to find your best bargains on hotels, visit during the winter or spring. It will be rainy and cool at times, so pack extra layers.
Art and Culture
The Bellevue Arts Museum has no permanent collection, so you’ll see new pieces during every visit. Talk with the artists who show their work or take a tour of the grounds. Admission is free on the first Friday of every month.
The Bellevue Botanical Gardens sits on 53 acres of restored woodlands and cultivated gardens. Walk the Lost Meadow Trail, visit the Rhododendron Glen, or relax at the Japanese Yao Garden. All the plants are native to the Pacific Northwest, and admission is always free. Check out the gardens at night during November, December, and January for the Garden d’Lights, a breathtaking winter wonderland featuring millions of lights.
Public art is on display throughout the city. The Downtown Bellevue Art Walk features over 120 works of art inside buildings and on the streets. Pickup an ArtMap from city hall or the Meydenbauer Convention Center.
Lots and Lots of Parks
Bellevue, Washington is full of parks. Begin with the Downtown Park in the heart of the city. You’ll see business people enjoying lunch on the luscious, green lawns. Walk the half-mile promenade trail shaded with trees. The park canal features a 240-foot-wide waterfall, and the park offers a magnificent view of Mt. Rainier.
Just a few minutes from downtown is the Mercer Slough Nature Park, a 320-acre area with wildlife, agricultural fields, forests, and wetlands. Take the boardwalk to the blueberry farm and pick some fresh berries. Try hiking or biking the many trails that wind through the park or take a canoe for an enjoyable trip down the river.
Dating back to the 1930’s, Kelsey Creek Park and Farm features large barns, rolling paddocks, and a large play area. At the farm, you can see animals like ponies, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, rabbits, and various waterfowl. Bring lunch and relax at the picnic tables, and remember there is never a fee for admission.
Other parks with swimming, fishing, and water-sports include Chism Beach Park, Newcastle Park, and Enatai Beach Park. Wilburton Hill Park and Robinswood Park aren’t on the water, but they do offer walking trails, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
Window Shopping and More
Bellevue Square, built in 1946, offers 180 retail stores and restaurants. Look through Macy’s, Nordstrom, and other stores or enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants. A children’s play area offers kids some fun while their parents look around.
Bellevue offers many activities for budget-conscious travelers, plus beautiful views of Mt. Rainier and the Seattle skyline. When you visit, always remember to bring an umbrella.
Sassy Peeps, Have you ever visited Bellevue, Washington? If so, did you love it? Inquiring minds want to know.
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