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Bellevue and Eastside

There’s no shortage of main streets, culture, dining hot spots, and leafy waterside trails worth exploring just outside Seattle’s borders in its surrounding communities. One of these places just east of the city is Bellevue, which definitely merits a day trip.
 
Bellevue is just a short drive across Lake Washington, along the longest floating bridge in the world. The city is a green wonderland with nearly 100 parks dotting its landscape between lakes Washington and Sammamish, offering a downtown neighborhood with plenty to do.
 
Sayaka Ito
Start with a trip to the Bellevue Arts Museum. The curiously shaped, red-toned aluminum and glass building features numerous rotating exhibitions, the majority of which celebrate Northwest crafts and design artists. Don’t miss a trip to the roof, where the elliptical Court of Light explores architect Steven Holl’s interest in the seasonal change of light.
 
A short walk from the museum is The Bellevue Collection, where 250 restaurants, major stores and chic boutiques draw those who like to window shop and people watch. The downtown core is extremely walkable, something that becomes obvious when exploring Bellevue Square, which is peppered with boutiques and shoe shops, high-design home furnishings stores, art galleries and more.

In November and December, Snowflake Lane, a favorite local holiday celebration, fills the streets with live toy soldiers, carolers and sparkling light displays. Come summertime, Bellevue’s beauty takes over.

Toward the dinner hour, downtown Bellevue starts to bustle as locals and visitors head out for the evening. The area offers more than 140 restaurants and cafes, happy hour hot spots, billiards and bowling lanes, upscale cinemas and performing arts.
 
Just outside of town is one of the most breathtaking golf courses in the country at the Golf Club at Newcastle. It’s common to lose sight of a golf ball here, taking in panoramic views of Mount Rainier, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains and Lake Washington.
 
Orvalrochefort
 

 
Or, take a short drive to Snoqualmie Falls, a breathtaking waterfall that at 268-feet is a hundred feet higher than Niagara Falls. The Historic District has many restaurants and shops to enjoy, while a ride on an antique train at the Snoqualmie Depot will delight visitors of all ages. The area also holds many opportunities for outdoor activities including parks and over 30 miles of family-friendly trails.

Eat in Bellevue and Eastside

Purple Cafe and Wine Bar
430 106th Ave NE Bellevue WA 98004
Phone: 425 502-6292
Website: http://thepurplecafe.com
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Purple Café and Wine Bar pairs a global wine selection with a menu that combines classic American styles with seasonal Northwest ingredients.

bin on the lake
1270 Carillon Pt Kirkland WA 98033
Phone: 425 803-5595
Website: http://binonthelake.com
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Northwest $$$. Wine bar and restaurant features 80 wines by the glass, delectable cuisine and views of Lake Washington from every table. HA

Ruth's Chris Steak House - Bellevue
565 Bellevue Square Seattle WA 98004

Website: http://ruthschris.com
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Steakhouse $$$. Serving US prime steaks, live Maine lobster, fresh King salmon and vegetarian friendly. Lunch, dinner, happy hour daily. HA

Wild Ginger at the Bravern
11020 NE Sixth St, Ste 90 Bellevue WA 98004
Phone: 206 838-4314
Website: http://wildginger.net
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Bellevue's best Asian restaurant featuring authentic Chinese, Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, an award-winning wine list, happy hour and dim-sum. HA

El Gaucho-Bellevue
450 108th Ave NE Bellevue WA 98004
Phone: 425 455-2715
Website: http://elgaucho.com/el-gaucho-bellevue.html
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The Northwest's legacy for premium steaks and seafood. Dinner nightly 5pm-close. Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30am-3pm. HA

Stay in Bellevue and Eastside

Hotel Bellevue
11200 SE Sixth St Bellevue WA 98004
Phone: 425 688-3207
Website: http://thehotelbellevue.com
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67 rooms, $$-$$$$. Named one of the "Top Best 500 Hotels in the World" and "Top Best 100 Hotels in the US and Canada," by Travel & Leisure World's Best 2006. HA TDD

Trailer Inns of Bellevue RV Park
15531 SE 37th St Bellevue WA 98006
Phone: 800 659-4684 Reservations
Website: http://trailerinnsrv.com
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100 sites, $. Open all year. Big rigs welcome, pull thrus to 65'. Indoor pool, spa, free cable and wireless. No one is closer than Trailer Inns. Pets ok.

Country Inn & Suites Bothell
19333 N Creek Pkwy Bothell WA 98011
Phone: 425 939-5504
Website: http://countryinns.com/bothell-hotel-wa-98011/wabothel
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166 guest rooms, including suite options, lounge onsite with dinner menu available, complimentary breakfast buffet. Complimentary high speed Internet, banquet space to accommodate 150 people, located off of Interstate-405 with access into downtown Seattle, only three miles from Woodinville Wine Country.

Redmond Inn
17601 Redmond Way Redmond WA 98052
Phone: 425 883-4900
Website: http://redmondinn.com
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137 rooms, $$. Newly renovated. Free Wi-Fi. Restaurant, indoor whirlpool, seasonal outdoor pool. Free local calls, local shuttle, parking, breakfast, fitness club. No pets. HA TDD

Hyatt Regency Bellevue
900 Bellevue Way NE Bellevue WA 98004
Phone: 425 698-4255
Website: http://bellevue.hyatt.com
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733 rooms, $$$-$$$$. Luxury hotel w/in mixed-use complex. Shopping mall, restaurants, lounge, HSIA, room service, concierge, valet/laundry. Connected to full-service health club. HA TDD

Play in Bellevue and Eastside

Oz Car Service
677 120th Ave NE, Ste 199 Bellevue WA 98005
Phone: 206 271-6999
Website: http://ozzyservices.com
 

Fast, reliable transportation to and from the airport, flat rate in towncar or van. Available for hire. Group rates. Accept credit cards.

Pocket Picks, LLC
218 Main St, Ste 724 Kirkland WA 98033
Phone: 425 298-7558
Website: http://pocketpicks.com
 

Pocket sized cards featuring information and offers for restaurants, shopping and attractions. Free at 150 hotels in the area.

Bellevue Arts Museum
510 Bellevue Way NE Bellevue WA 98004
Phone: 425 519-0770
Website: http://bellevuearts.org
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BAM features world-class art, craft and design exhibitions, is conveniently located in downtown Bellevue and open seven days a week. HA

Woodinville Whiskey Co.
14509 Woodinville Redmond Rd NE Woodinville WA 98072
Phone: 4254861199
Website: http://www.woodinvillewhiskeyco.com
   

Woodinville Whiskey Co. crafts handmade bourbon and rye whiskey under the mentorship of David Pickerell, former master distiller of Maker’s Mark. Tasting room and tours available daily.

City of Kirkland
123 Fifth Ave Kirkland WA 98033
Phone: 425 587-3014
Website: http://explorekirkland.com
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Panoramic waterfront with beaches, parks, marinas and historic downtown. Fine dining, boutique hotels and vibrant arts scene ensure sophisticated flair.

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Quick Info


There are two main driving routes (over two different bridges) from Seattle: 1) I-90 east to I-405 north. 2) I-5 north to WA-520 east, then south on I-405.
 
Sound Transit Express bus 550 takes passengers from downtown Seattle to Bellevue.