Is it your first time in Bellevue, Washington? It was recently my first time, as well, and I looked up as much as I could online and through Instagram to find some favourite spots. We asked around during our stay for local’s favourites, too, and had a few of the same locations pop up over and over again. I’ve put together a list of 10 things to do in Bellevue, Washington, and highlighted where we stayed, too.
Before we left, someone said to me, “it’s a big city with a small town feel,” and I couldn’t agree more. There were busy moments — like the holiday Snowflake Lane parade we attended — but when we were going out during the day for a stroll, the city felt fairly empty.
Bellevue is way less hustle and bustle than Downtown Seattle, for sure. Bellevue isn’t even that far away from Seattle, so it could be worth it to stay in Bellevue, explore here, and then take a day trip into Seattle. We decided, not to do that, because we wanted to relax more and stay local.
After having our car valeted at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue, we decided to walk to all of the places that we wanted to explore. On the last day, after checkout, we drove around to locations just outside of Bellevue that we’d been interested in visiting.
So, let’s get to it, shall we?
Where to Stay in Bellevue, Washington
Disclosure: Our stay at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue was complimentary. All views and opinions are always my own. We would 100% stay here again and it’s such a pleasure to be able to share about our experience.
First, everyone at the hotel was been beyond friendly. From the bellmen to the front desk employees, the restaurant wait staff, and even employees who pass us by; literally everyone I encountered was such a pleasure.
When we checked into our room, we were blown away by the amount of space. We were given adjoining rooms that were connected with a living space in between. One of our rooms had a king bed, while the other room had two queen beds. There were three bathrooms within the entire space and a cooking area with a microwave and mini fridge.
This two bedroom suite had more than enough room for a family of five. Our son enjoyed having the office desk and computer in the room; it was our first time seeing that in a hotel room.
Our view was phenomenal. It overlooked Bellevue Square by Bellevue Collection, had stunning views of the lake, and in the distance you could even see the city of Seattle.
It was hard to leave after our two days; we could have easily stayed for a few more.
While staying at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue, we ate at their breakfast/brunch restaurant, Eques 425. They have a buffet-style brunch as well as a menu to order specific items. We had a variety of items and everything was delicious.
Some of our server’s favourite local places overlapped with the list I had already created and are included down below.
Our stay at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue exceeded expectations and I would always recommend to it others. My only note to consider before arriving is to look up where to enter for valet parking. Upon arrival, we circled the block a couple of times and realized we needed to be headed in the opposite direction to enter the front of the hotel for valet service. This could have easily been avoided on our part if we had looked into hotel entry before arriving — whoops.
10 Things to do in Bellevue, Washington during the Holidays
- Kelsey Creek Park and Farm: The Kelsey Creek Park and Farm is open all year for farm tours, classes, and more. During the holidays, they host a barn lighting, where you can drink hot cocoa to your heart’s content, make holiday crafts, and visit with Santa Claus.
- Bellevue Botanical Gardens: This year is the 25th anniversary of Garden D’Lights, which is the Botanical Gardens’ holiday light show. It runs from the end of November until December 31st.
- Fonté Café: This quaint little café is at the entrance of Hyatt Regency Bellevue. Fonté’s lattes were amazing; I love that we were able to head into the café in the morning and grab our favourite handcrafted espresso beverages before heading out for the day.
- KidsQuest Children’s Museum Gingerbread Workshops At the end of November, the Hyatt hosts Gingerbread Workshops for teams to decorate gingerbread houses. For the duration of the holiday season, people can check out Gingerbread Lane in the Hyatt’s lobby and vote for your favourite gingerbread house.
- Chism Beach Park & Newcastle Beach Park: If you enjoy going to the beach during the winter like we do, then you’ll love these two parks. There are great walks, awesome playgrounds for the kids, and of course: the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Any time is a great time for the beach.
- Downtown Outdoor Ice Rink: Is it really winter in the Pacific Northwest if you don’t go to an outdoor ice rink at least once? This outdoor rink is in Bellevue’s Downtown Park and is open until January 20th.
- Din Tai Fung: I asked locals where we should go to eat and Din Tai Fung was by-far the most-recommended restaurant. It’s a tradition Taiwanese restaurant with both vegan and vegetarian options. Make sure you try their sautéed string beans with garlic when you go!
- Snowflake Lane: Bellevue Collection puts on this nightly parade each year between Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square. It runs from the end of November until Christmas Eve, and features 16 floats, hundreds of performers, and fake falling snow. Don’t miss this magical parade: you can see Santa and Mrs. Claus, Toy Drummers, Jingle Belle Dancers, a bear, princesses, stilt walkers, and more! Read more about our visit to Snowflake Lane click here.
- Steve’s Doughnuts: This little family-owned bakery is in Snoqualmie; I would highly recommend visiting it on your way to see the falls. They have a delicious assortment of doughnuts and other pastries. Their doughnuts are all vegetarian and kosher, and the bakery is nut-free.
- Snoqualmie Falls: This waterfall and hiking spot is about a half-hour drive outside of Bellevue, and it’s more than worth it! It looks gorgeous during the winter when it’s frozen over.