Written by Dobrina Zhekova | September 1, 2022
Flanked by Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish, Bellevue is a vibrant city that draws visitors with top-notch cultural and dining scenes, museums, parks, and endless outdoor recreational opportunities.
Unlike Seattle, its more famous neighbor about ten miles west, Bellevue offers all the conveniences of big city life but at a decidedly more relaxed pace.
From the beautiful downtown area home to many restaurants, shops, and hotels to its scenic lakeshores and swimmable beaches, the Eastside, as locals refer to it, will keep you busy and well entertained.
What’s more, Bellevue’s proximity to Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport also makes it a great destination to stay while exploring the Emerald City.
With over 15 years of town car and limo service in the Seattle area, we’ve become experts on how to make the most out of your time here. That’s why we put together a handy guide on the best things to do in Bellevue and how to plan a memorable trip there, whether you are visiting on business or for pleasure.
Expert tip: What is the best time of the year to visit Bellevue? May to October brings mild to warm temperatures and little precipitation, with the hottest months being July and August.
There are thousands of hotel rooms in the city, with most of them conveniently located in Bellevue downtown, where a great restaurant, park, or bar is only a short walk or drive away. Here are our favorite places to call home-away-from-home in the area:
AC Hotel by Marriott Seattle Bellevue/Downtown
208 106th Place NE, Bellevue, WA 98004
Sleek modern interiors, high-end amenities, an on-site restaurant serving European and American fare, a gym and fitness center, a library, and a meeting and business center await guests of this contemporary hotel, situated less than 2,000 feet from Meydenbauer Center and two city blocks from Bellevue Downtown Park.
The boutique property features spacious rooms with work desks, premium bath toiletries and luxury bedding, free Wi-Fi, and oversize windows letting plenty of sunlight in.
For more information, go to: marriott.com
Hyatt Regency Bellevue
900 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, Washington, 98004
Boasting 732 guest rooms, including 39 suites with LCD flat-screen TVs, complimentary wired and Wi-Fi internet, large work desks with speakerphones, coffeemakers, and much more, Hyatt Regency Bellevue is a modern oasis at the heart of the city.
With nine dining concepts, including the award-winning Eques breakfast eatery and the local favorite, the renowned steakhouse Daniel’s Broiler – Bellevue, the property is also a major dining destination. Business travelers will certainly appreciate the eight meeting rooms, the executive boardroom that sits up to 12, and the 135-seat auditorium.
For more information, go to: hyatt.com
The Westin Bellevue
600 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004
This 4-star hotel sits centrally in Bellevue’s business district within the Lincoln Square complex and offers guests elegant rooms with balconies and beautiful views of Lake Washington and Seattle.
Unwind and recharge after a long day at the property’s Truce Spa before cozying up in front of the indoor fireplace at the Cypress Lounge & Wine Bar with a drink in hand.
Skybridges conveniently connect the hotel with The Bellevue Collection, the city’s premium shopping and entertainment destination.
For more information, go to: marriott.com
Hilton Garden Inn Seattle Bellevue Downtown
10777 NE 10th St, Bellevue, WA 98004
An indoor saltwater pool, a hot tub, and a perfectly landscaped courtyard garden transform this downtown hotel into a wellness paradise.
The sophisticated interiors in the lobby and the on-site restaurant with outdoor seating and city views are the perfect spots to enjoy a cocktail.
Need something more private for a meeting? The property also has dedicated meeting rooms and a business center.
The rooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs with cable channels, work desks, comfortable beds, and oversized windows.
For more information, go to: hilton.com
And if you prefer a private home, you can always check out the listings on Airbnb and VRBO.
Need a ride from or to your hotel? We specialize in business, individual, and group travel from and to Sea-Tac airport to any Bellevue address. You can make a reservation here.
The city’s bustling culinary scene rivals that of neighboring Seattle. So here’s where to grab a bite in Bellevue, whether you’re craving fresh seafood or a premium Wagyu steak.
Earls Kitchen + Bar Bellevue
700 Bellevue Way NE #130, Bellevue, WA 98004
The Bellevue outpost of Canadian-based family-owned upscale restaurant chain Earls is a downtown staple.
Patrons are welcomed in an elegant dining room and lounge with leather-upholstered seating and booths, discreet lighting, a large bar, and plenty of greenery.
The menu focuses on a selection of classic American, comfort fares such as crispy ribs, hearty clam chowder, and Cajun blackened chicken, as well as a number of delicious seafood and sushi options such as oysters, crispy shrimp sushi tacos, and lobster and shrimp ravioli.
The eatery also has a large selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes.
For more information, go to: earls.ca
500 Bellevue Way NE Ste 212, Bellevue, WA 98004
Located on the second floor overlooking the Bellevue Collection shopping center, the Bellevue branch of this legendary Seattle restaurant was designed with seafood lovers in mind.
From classic fish & chips prepared to crispy perfection with Blue North Pacific Cod to North By Northwest Seafood Chowder with wild Alaska Coho salmon, Alaska halibut, and Blue North Cod, the food is always fresh and full of flavor.
Also on the menu—is a long list of small batch white and red wines from boutique Washington wineries.
For more information, go to: dukesseafood.com
88 102nd Ave NE, Bellevue, WA, 98004
Enjoy classic Italian fare and beautiful park views at this popular Italian eatery in Bellevue downtown. The timeless decor will transport you to Europe’s elegant cafes with its opulent chandeliers, classic bistro chairs, exposed wood beams, and plush booths.
On the menu—Smeraldo family’s homecooked dishes such as risotto, fettuccine with pesto and prawns (all pasta is handmade on-site every day), grilled veal rib with rosemary and seasonal vegetables, and prime beef tenderloin with gnocchi.
For more information, go to: carminesbellevue.com
Bellevue Brewing Company
12190 NE District Way, Bellevue, WA 98005
If you’re in the mood for a cold beer, head to the new Bellevue Brewing brewpub at the Spring District that, according to the company, has “the largest outdoor dining patio in Bellevue.”
Choose from a rotating list of brews, hard seltzer, and cider. The Scotch Ale and Sudo Crazy Hazy IPA are a must, and if you’re the adventurous type, then opt for the Oatmeal Stout.
The brewery partnered with the award-winning Cascadia Pizza Co. to operate the bar and restaurant so that patrons can pair their drinks with mouth-watering wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas and bread.
For more information, go to: bellevuebrewing.com
Japonessa Sushi Cocina Bellevue
500 Bellevue Way NE. Ste 130, Bellevue, WA 98004
With access to the Pacific’s freshest catch of the day, Seattle’s sushi and seafood scene is second to none.
That, combined with Bellevue’s colorful demographics, results in a vibrant mixture of cuisines. Case in point? Japonessa Sushi Cocina blends Japanese and Latin flavors to offer patrons sushi rolls with a South American twist.
Crispy stuffed jalapenos, spicy seafood ramen, and salmon Karaage tacos prepared with lettuce wrap will make for a memorable meal in Bellevue.
For more information, go to: japonessa.com
Looking for a limo rental to celebrate a special occasion in Bellevue? As Seattle’s premier transportation service, we have a stylish limousine fleet for you to choose from, and we offer affordable rates that won’t break the bank. We can also drive you to and from any restaurant of choice in the area and provide transportation for group business events.
With an eclectic collection of department stores, independent boutiques, and vintage shops, Bellevue’s shopping scene has something to offer every type of customer and budget.
The Shops at The Bravern
11111 NE 8th St, Bellevue, WA 98004
This open-air shopping mall has all your luxury needs covered. From the glitzy designer boutiques of the likes of Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Gucci, and Tod’s (as well as an expansive Neiman Marcus) to fine dining restaurants like John Howie’s Steak, Mariposa, and Wild Ginger, the Shops at Braven is Bellevue’s top luxury designer shopping destination.
Another reason to visit? The development is home to a beautiful collection of sculptures, glass artworks, and paintings by local artists.
The Bellevue Collection
575 Bellevue Square, Bellevue, WA 98004
This shopping mall, located at the heart of downtown Bellevue is the perfect spot to shop for a gift or clothing (in case you forgot to pack something). It has more than 200 shops, including Nordstrom, Crate and Barrel, Macy’s, Tiffany & Co, 50 restaurants, a movie theater, and much more.
The sprawling development is conveniently connected to three hotels (Hyatt Regency Bellevue, The Westin Bellevue, and W Bellevue) via skybridges, so you don’t even have to step outside if the weather is bad.
Pike Place Market
85 Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98101
Legendary Pike Place Market is always a good idea. Located only about ten miles from downtown Bellevue, it caters to travelers looking for truly unique finds.
The iconic building houses hundreds of artisans, food stalls, and one-of-a-kind shops and businesses selling everything from souvenirs to exotic foods.
Expert tip: If you’re planning to visit Pike Place Market, try to get there before noon from Monday until Thursday. As Seattle’s most famous landmark, the market can get incredibly crowded on weekends and afternoons.
If you need a ride to your shopping destination, give us a call at (206) 261-1191 or make a reservation.
Bellevue is a year-round destination where you’ll find the best of the Northeast. From water sports and hiking to seasonal festivals, the city doesn’t disappoint.
Explore Nature and Bellevue’s Parks
Since two lakes flank Bellevue, water sports are an essential past-time here. Soak up some Vitamin D on a sunny day at Chesterfield Beach Park, which has a small swimmable beach with a dock.
Chism Beach Park, an 18-acre park situated on the shore of Lake Washington, has a sandy beach, picnic tables, and a play area for kids, so it’s perfect for spending the day if you’re in town with your family. Need something more active? Rent a stand-up paddleboard or a kayak and explore the lakes up close.
If you packed a good pair of walking shoes, hit the hiking trails at Mercer Slough Nature Park or head to Seattle’s Washington Park Arboretum for a stroll among towering oaks, maples, and hundreds more plant species.
Or immerse yourself in the beauty of the Northeast in the Cascade Mountains, and trek along the 1.4-mile hike to breathtaking Snoqualmie Falls.
Back in Bellevue, take some time to appreciate Bellevue Downtown Park and Willburn Hill Park, where you’ll also find the Bellevue Botanical Garden, a 53-acre urban oasis.
Expert tip: If you visit Bellevue in the summer, check out the event calendar of Bellevue Downtown Park, and don’t miss the free outdoor movie series.
Golfing in Bellevue
Golf enthusiasts can practice their swing at Medina’s beautiful Overlake Golf &Country Club, a 132-acre site with an 18-hole course that dates back almost a hundred years ago.
The facility is open to guests and features a six-lane pool with a spacious deck, a 3,000-square-foot fitness center, and a restaurant, among others.
Another option is Bellevue Golf Course, located in Bridle Trails, north of downtown Bellevue. The 18-hole course is open year-round and features a 46-stall heated, fully lighted driving range.
Players of all ages and golfing skills are welcome here, so if you’d like to improve your technique, instructors are also available.
Museum Hopping in Bellevue
If you happen to be in town when the weather is not cooperating, then explore Bellevue’s bustling cultural scene.
Start with Bellevue Arts Museum. The three-story, 36,000-square-foot Steven Holl-designed building houses an excellent contemporary art collection and offers an exciting calendar of year-round events, including its signature open-air art fair, which each summer brings together the finest artisans and crafters from across the country.
Traveling with kids? Then, don’t miss the KidsQuest Children’s Museum. This educational facility has a hands-on approach to learning that your little ones will certainly appreciate. Combining art, science, and technology, the museum allows children to discover day-to-day life through interactive methods.
Art aficionados should not leave Bellevue without paying a visit to Hall Spassov Gallery in downtown Bellevue. It holds monthly exhibitions and events with local and international artists and has an exciting roster of artworks for sale.
Get Pampered at a Spa
If you’ve been in meetings or sightseeing all day, the best way to unwind is with a relaxing massage or body treatment at one of Bellevue’s spa and wellness centers.
Yuan Spa blends Western technologies with the healing practices of the East, and the result will leave your body and mind invigorated. The sprawling spa offers hydrotherapy services, including a eucalyptus steam room, an "ice cave," a heated Himalayan salt room, and much more.
Truce Spa, on the 4th floor of the Westin Hotel, focuses more on beauty services such as nail care and facials. However, you can also book a rejuvenating massage or a spa ritual that combines face and body treatments.
Starline Town Car & Limo Service specializes in local transportation services, so whether you’re heading for a spa appointment, a dinner reservation, or sightseeing, we are the premium, most reliable car service in Bellevue and Seattle.
Bellevue is the place to be during the holidays. The city lightens up with decorations, festivals, markets, and holiday events taking place in different parts of the city.
Snowflake Lane at The Bellevue Collection
Get in the Christmas spirit with the Snowflake Lane at The Bellevue Collection. Festive music, dancers, and toy drummers put on a dazzling show at 7 PM every night on the streets of downtown Bellevue between Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square.
Santa also makes a special cameo only on December 25, so bring your children and snap a photo.
Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink
More than 9,000 square feet of real ice make Bellevue’s downtown ice rink the largest in the area. The best part? The facility is covered, so you can enjoy an ice skating session even if it’s raining.
If you’re a beginner, take advantage of the free skating lessons led by professional ice skaters throughout the season.
Every year, Bellevue’s Botanical Garden welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors for its annual holiday light show. Over half a million shining lights designed in different shapes invoking plants and wildlife create a whimsical atmosphere in the beautiful garden.
Expert tip: Book your tickets for Garden d’Lights online in advance since they are not sold at the door.
Take the stress out of getting around Bellevue and Seattle by booking our car service to accompany you everywhere you go. And if you are in town with a group to celebrate a wedding or another special occasion, reach out for a quote on our limousine service, concert and dining car service, or a party bus.