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A jam packed city that’s not Seattle

Spend a day exploring Bellevue

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When thinking about big cities in Washington the majority of people automatically think of Seattle. However, located down the 1-90 corridor from Seattle is the often overlooked city of Bellevue. Perched above Lake Washington it offers stunning water views, vast green parks immersed in city skylines, shopping and of course great food!

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Once you make the 44-mile journey from Joint Base Lewis-McChord we would recommend starting your day at Blazing Bagels. With a large variety of different flavored bagels and cream cheese and an assortment of bagel breakfast sandwiches, it's the perfect place to fuel up for the day. After picking up your bagels it's time to head to one of the vast green parks, Bellevue has so carefully entwined into the middle of city life. 

Bellevue Downtown Park is a 20-acre park located less than a mile down the road from Blazing Bagels in the heart of Downtown Bellevue. A 10-acre lawn is the perfect place to bring a blanket and enjoy your bagels and then play catch, or kick a soccer ball around. Surrounding the lawn is a ½ mile walking loop bordered by a mote that is perfect for walking a few laps as well. A great playground for the kids is also available, but it's important to note due to COVID-19 it's currently closed, but check back regularly for changes. However, this beautiful lush park surrounded by the skyscraper skyline makes it still worth the visit and is the perfect place to be socially distanced. 

Located right next door to the park is Old Town Bellevue. With cute little boutiques and shops it's the perfect place to meander through and explore. Did we mention there is a Fran's Chocolate? After you spend time looking through the shops, it will be time for lunch. And you're in the right spot. Many of the restaurants in this area have expanded their patio dining (weather permitting) to allow more socially distanced outdoor dining. We would recommend Monsoon East, who serves up some delicious Vietnamese cuisine. 

After lunch is done, it will of course be time for a sweet treat. Molly Moons is a must grab treat while in Bellevue. Serving up delicious ice cream that is made using 90% of ingredients sourced from the Pacific Northwest and a flavor list that includes, Cold Brew Coffee, Rose Milk Tea and "Scout Mint" you will be sure to find a flavor you love. 

Located less than half a mile from Molly Moons is another great park that is a must visit, Meydenbauer Park. This beach park offers stunning views of Lake Washington and the perfect place to dip your toes in the water and sand. If you prefer to get your steps in while viewing the water, there are walking paths available as well. 

After you've soaked in the views of Lake Washington and before making the journey home, it's always fun to browse Bellevue Square. With 180 retail merchants and tons of food options if you're in need of a snack, this mall truly has something for everyone. Crate and Barrel, Anthropologie and Fireworks are just a few options to browse.

If you find that you spend a little longer in Bellevue Square than planned (it's easy to do so) and are now thinking of staying in Bellevue for dinner, there are plenty of options. Some of our personal favorites and ones that are offering take out as well are Din Tai Fung, Japonessa or 520 Bar and Grill. And of course, if weather is still permitting and it's early enough, you can grab take out and head back to Bellevue Downtown Park to complete your day.

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