What I Love About Downtown Bellevue

Bellevue skyline & park fountain 8-2017I love its diversity . . .

Downtown Bellevue has become a city for families. A decade ago it was a rare sight to see children lined up at school bus stops downtown. Now you can see dozens of children waiting for school buses on several corners throughout the central business district. The increased “stroller count” confirms that couples who may have moved downtown several years ago are choosing to remain downtown and raise their families in the city.

While many new residents, singles and young families, are embracing urban living,  working “seniors” are also moving downtown, transitioning from suburban homes where they raised their families to the city, drawn to the convenience and energy of an urban lifestyle vs. moving to age designated, sometimes isolated, suburban communities. The walk-ability to shopping, dining, arts and entertainment venues and medical services is  appealing to any age. Nearly 40% of Bellevue’s population is made up of young-at-heart 45-70 year olds who are still working or are active retirees. Continue reading

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Bellevue’s Parks

Bellevue Downtown Park canal 8-2017I moved to Bellevue 30 years ago and have lived downtown for the past ten years. I love living here and one of the things I love most are the beautiful and diverse parks throughout the city. I’m lucky enough to live within walking distance of ten parks which I visit frequently with my two pups. Did you know . . .

  • Bellevue has 2,700 acres of parks and open space with 80+ miles of multi-use trails
  • 45 parks have playgrounds
  • 6 waterfront parks have seasonal lifeguards
  • 17 parks have reservable picnic areas
  • 16 have tennis courts and six have pickleball courts (3 indoor and 3 outdoor)
  • Bellevue has an aquatic center, a tennis center and two golf courses (Bellevue Golf Course and the Crossroads Par 3 golf course)
  • Kelsey Creek Farm is home to ponies, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs and more

There are nearly 100 city maintained parks. The Dowtown Park, the city’s crown jewel, recently reopened after a one year closure for a major upgrade. The park is a 21 acre oasis in the heart of downtown Bellevue offering views of Mt. Rainier and the downtown skyline. A 1/2 mile groomed promenade circles a canal which is bordered by trees and dozens of benches and a 240’waterfall. The expanded Inspiration Playground provides innovative play space for children of all ages and abilities plus a fun water play space which was very popular this summer. Continue reading

Lessons Learned from the Beach

Haystack Rock

I love technology  –  it has made the real estate business easier in so many ways. With smart phones and tablets its easy to stay connected with other brokers, clients, appraisers, lenders, etc. Its been a crazy market over the last 24+ months and often its necessary to respond immediately to offers and counteroffers (as well as the occasional clients who expect 24/7 connectivity).

I’ve just returned from a week in Cannon Beach  – its definitely my happy place. Technology makes it easy to stay connected, even when you travel, but I held to my commitment to only check email and voice mail twice a day. I enjoyed a fabulous week that was work and stress free. Continue reading

Another New Restaurant Downtown

Yet another new restaurant, Henry’s Tavern, is scheduled to open August 30th at Lincoln Square. Henry’s Tavern is best known for its wide selection of beers on tap, its frosted bar rail to keep beers cold and a vast menu. This will be the sixth Henry’s Tavern for Restaurants Unlimited, Inc.

logo-henrys

 

Henry’s opened in Portland in 2004 and expanded to Seattle in 2013 with a Sodo location. This is the second Bellevue location for Restaurants Unlimited, Inc.  –  the other is Palomino. The restaurant will be 11,000+ square feet with a 700 square foot patio and a keg wall – a two tiered glass cooler that has all kegs on display.

Bellevue Lake to Lake

 

Take a look  –  here’s the June edition of the City of Bellevue’s Lake-to-Lake video. There’s a great overview and update about the Meydenbauer Bay Park construction, Bellevue’s gold courses and more.

The Meydenbauer Bay Park, scheduled for completion fall 2018, is going to be a fabulous addition to the city’s access to the lake and the connection it will create to the Downtown Park and beyond.

What to Do in Bellevue this Weekend

The Memorial Day holiday weekend marks the beginning of summer and outdoor activities. After the brutal winter and spring weather, any opportunity for outdoor activity will be welcome. While many people have holiday plans to visit ocean or mountain destinations, don’t forget there’s a lot to do in town. If you’re looking for some local activities here’s a partial list of what’s available in Bellevue.

  • With nearly 100 parks and recreation facilities, Bellevue offers plenty of green space. The city maintains 96 miles of trails and six beachfront parks.
  • Bellevue Aquatic Center has a lap pool, warm water pool and party room
  • Robinswood Tennis center offers programs and lessons for all ages
  • Crossroads water spray playground is a favorite destination for the younger set
  • Explore the lake  –  the SE 40th Street boat launch provides boat access to Lake Washington
  • Tune up your golf game  –  the Crossroads 9 hole/par 3 chip and putt course is great for beginners and the Bellevue Golf Course offers a more challenging       18 hole/par 7 course plus a 46 stall driving range
  • Visit the Mercer Slough – take a guided nature walk or canoe tour
  • Bellevue Botanical Gardens has 17 acres of display gardens, natural wetlands and woodland trails
  • Bellevue Arts Museum – visiting and permanent exhibits cover a wide range of arts and crafts and design elements
  • Shop til you drop at Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square, Old Main Street or The Bravern. You’ll find world class shopping, dozens and dozens of fine and casual dining options offering indoor and patio opportunities for lunch, dinner sweets, snacks and libations, cinemas, comedy and bowling.

There’s no need to leave town to find something fun and interesting to do during the next 3 days – just make it a safe holiday weekend.

Bellevue’s Lake to Lake Bike Ride

bike

flickr/Conal Gallagher

Saturday, June 3rd is the fifth annual Lake to Lake Bike Ride. Two routes are available – both start and finish at the Lake Hills Community Park. The mostly flat 9 mile Greenbelt Loop takes riders through Bellevue’s award winning park system. A more challenging ride, the Lake Loop, follows a 22 mile route. Both routes are approximately 80% on-road and 20% off-road gravel surfaces.

Event pre-registration ($15) is available or $20 the day of the event. Participants receive a custom t-shirt. Registration opens at 8:00 AM and first riders depart at 9:00 AM. To register visit http://parksreg.bellevuewa.gov/ (activity code #117822) or call call 425-452-6885. For more information, or to volunteer for the event, visit the event website at http://bellevuewa.gov/lake-to-lake-bike-ride.htm, call 425-452-4882 or email bikeride@bellevuewa.gov. The event benefits Bellevue Youth Camp Scholarship Fund.

Rain or shine . . . this is a great opportunity to for kids of any age to enjoy a non-competitive recreational ride to explore the city’s award winning park system and lake views. Te event is recommended for ages 9 and up. Riders under age 9 must be in a      tag-a-long or trailer.