Beat the Heat at Bellevue’s Beautiful Beach Parks

Grab your beach towel, bucket, floaty toy and sunscreen and head for one of Bellevue’s beautiful beach parks on the shores of Lake Washington. The beaches are free and many of them are staffed by lifeguards on Summer afternoons. In addition to swim docks and sandy beaches, many of the parks also include play areas and picnic tables. See you at the lake!


1. Chesterfield Beach Park

SE 25th St, Bellevue, WA 98004

Located slightly north of Beaux Arts Village on the shores of Lake Washington, Chesterfield Beach is a small public park (0.6 acres) at the end of a neighborhood street. Originally only a small ferry and fishing dock, the area is now been a popular recreation spot featuring a designated swim area with seasonal lifeguarding service as well as a picnic area. Although it may be small, the park boasts beautiful views and a quick, serene getaway from the suburbs surrounding it.


2. Chism Beach Park

9600 SE 11th St, Bellevue, WA 98004

This beautifully landscaped 18-acre beach park is the perfect location to hold a family or group gathering, take in the natural scenery of the Pacific Northwest, or simply cool off during the summer months. With a sandy waterfront on the shores of Lake Washington and a designated swim area, the park is just begging for visitors to come to take a dip on a hot summer day. The park offers a picturesque view of the Seattle skyline across the lake, making it an ideal location to watch the sunset. Additionally, the park has a playground area, a fishing dock, and non-motorized watercraft can be launched and landed here during the non-swimming season. The park is a fun outdoor location for group events with two large grassy picnic areas available for rent.


3. Clyde Beach Park

2 92nd Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004

This beautifully landscaped 18-acre beach park is the perfect location to hold a family or group gathering, take in the natural scenery of the Pacific Northwest, or simply cool off during the summer months. With a sandy waterfront on the shores of Lake Washington and a designated swim area, the park is just begging for visitors to come to take a dip on a hot summer day. The park offers a picturesque view of the Seattle skyline across the lake, making it an ideal location to watch the sunset. Additionally, the park has a playground area, a fishing dock, and non-motorized watercraft can be launched and landed here during the non-swimming season. The park is a fun outdoor location for group events with two large grassy picnic areas available for rent.


4. Enatai Beach Park

3519 108th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98004

This 3-acre beach park, located partially under the I-90 bridge on Lake Washington, is an excellent location to get out on the water. Enatai’s boathouse offers seasonal canoe, kayak, and stand up paddleboard rentals. Canoe outings from Enatai allow visitors to view waterfront parks and homes, regional hills, and Mount Rainier while paddling around the lake. Adventurers may choose to explore wildlife by heading east to the Mercer Slough Nature Park canal. Seasonal guided canoe tours of the slough are also available from Enatai. Additionally, visitors can launch their own non-motorized watercraft year-round in a designated area at the park.

The park also has a fishing dock, play area, a small sandy beach, and a designated swim area with seasonal lifeguards on-duty. There are plenty of picnicking spaces at the park including a spacious patio overlooking the lake, a large grassy area, and the beach.


5. Meydenbauer Beach Park

419 98th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004

Once the landing site for passenger ferries that ran between Seattle and Bellevue from the 1890s until 1921, the 2.5-acre park now offers plenty of space for recreational activities. A hidden local gem, Meydenbauer Beach Park is located near downtown Bellevue on the shores of Meydenbauer Bay on Lake Washington. Visitors must walk down a wooded path to access the beach from the parking lot, as the beach park is tucked away in a ravine-like setting.

The park makes a great place for a family outing with a playground area for the little ones to burn off some energy and large grassy areas to throw down a blanket for a picnic by the water. During the summer months, visitors enjoy playing volleyball on the sandy beach or going for a dip in the swimming area (lifeguards on duty during the summer). The park also has a fishing dock and spectacular sunset views.

Note: While still under construction until the end of 2018, the City of Bellevue’s 2-part development phase will include reconnecting downtown Bellevue with the Meydenbauer Bay waterfront and park, which would increase public access to this historic site.


6. Newcastle Beach Park

4400 Lake Washington Blvd SE, Bellevue, WA 98004

Located on the shores of Lake Washington, Newcastle Beach Park is Bellevue’s largest beach park. The park is home to numerous recreational activities fit for any family outing. Plan an event in the large flat open spaces, sunbathe on the sandy beaches, swim out to the floating swimmer’s dock, wander along the 3/4 mile nature trail loop, and much more.

The three picnic areas (one of which includes a shelter and BBQ) and the colorful children’s play areas make the park a popular party and family destination. The 300-foot wooden dock allows for enjoyable fishing and there is also a designated area for non-motorized watercraft launching.


Click here for more information on Bellevue’s outdoor recreational activities and natural attractions just waiting to be explored!

Photos courtesy of City of Bellevue, Parks & Community Services, Merrill Images, Brian Casey.

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Bellevue Hotel Profile: Hilton Garden Inn Seattle Bellevue Downtown

Recently opened in 2018, the Hilton Garden Inn Seattle Bellevue Downtown is the latest addition to the vibrant Bellevue community. This contemporary, 254 room hotel combines a sleek, modern flair, with the hominess and warmth of a familiar place. Developed by West 77 Partners and operated by the Edmonds-based firm, The Hotel Group, the new Hilton Garden Inn looks to “create heartfelt experiences by removing the ‘random’ in random acts of kindness, and elevating moments into memories,” says General Manager, Scott Snofsky

Stick with us as we explore the newly opened Hilton Garden Inn and take a closer look at what makes this one of the hottest new additions to the region’s booming hospitality industry.


Location, Location, Location! 

Ideally located in downtown Bellevue on NE 10th St, the Hilton Garden Inn is situated just minutes from popular business parks, shopping and entertainment centers, and unique dining options. Head out to the Bellevue Collection on Bellevue Way where you’ll find an exciting mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment at Lincoln Square, the Bellevue Square Mall, and Bellevue Place. Alternatively, the restaurants and shops on Main Street in Old Bellevue are perfect for those seeking a more grounded, casual experience exploring the local flair. 

If instead, you’re interested in exploring the surrounding natural beauty of the area, a short 20-minute bike ride (with the cities’ new Lime Bikes) will drop you in the heart of the Mercer Slough Nature Park, or the beautiful Bellevue Botanical Garden. No matter your interests, the Hilton Garden Inn’s central location puts you in a great place to explore all that the area has to offer!

Guest Rooms and Amenities 

Rest and relax in one of the Hilton Garden Inn’s stylish guest rooms or upgrade to a suite for an enhanced lodging experience. Right away you’ll appreciate the quality craftsmanship of the room’s interior, which features Serta comfort beds donning the brand’s signature fabrics and linens, ergonomic workspaces, and an in-room “hospitality center” stocked with a mini fridge, microwave oven, and Keurig coffee maker among other amenities. 

Guests will also have access to additional on-site amenities and services including complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the property, a state-of-the-art exercise and fitness center, saltwater swimming pool, and laundry/dry-cleaning services.

47 North Bar + Bistro 

As one of the first Hilton Garden Inn hotels to feature its own unique on-site restaurant, the 47 North Bar + Bistro is an excellent morning, noon or nighttime dining option for hotel patrons and guests alike. Inspired by the bounty of the Great Pacific Northwest, the menu is carefully crafted featuring only the freshest, locally sourced ingredients. Choose from a number of gastronomical delights including Taylor Shellfish clams or Creekstone Farm‘s pork belly, which pair perfectly with some of the best local wines and brews on hand.

Plan an Event to Remember

The Hilton Garden Inn also boasts over 3,000 square feet of flexible meeting spaces equipped with state-of-the-art A/V technology, making it a perfect option for your next business, corporate or social event for up to 150 people. Dedicated on-site sales and event-planning professionals will help you coordinate your next event, taking the stress and worry out of your planning. In addition to the 47 North Bar + Bistro, Hilton Garden Inn’s on-site catering team offers beautifully creative catering options to “wow” your guests and event attendees.


Images courtesy of Hilton Garden Inn Seattle Bellevue Downtown. 

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9 Fun and Unique Team Building Experiences in Bellevue

Group bonding

When you hear the term “team-building activity” what comes to mind? Most people have come to expect team-building to be an afternoon chalked full of adventure, bringing teams together.

The best news? Bellevue has your team-building adventures at the ready.

Bellevue and the surrounding areas offer a variety of fun and engaging team-building activities and experiences. When done properly, team-building activities can help build cohesion, trust, and accountability throughout workgroups all while having a blast. Take a look at some amazing venues and team-building experiences scattered throughout Bellevue and the surrounding region!


1. Bellevue Challenge Course

Bellevue Challenge Course

Outdoor teambuilding? Yes, please! In a partnership between the City of Bellevue and Northwest Teambuilding, the Bellevue Challenge Course & Zip Tour is a great opportunity for your team to break a sweat together as they work through the course, all while taking in the beautiful natural surroundings. With high and low challenge courses that can be customized to fit your group numbers, why not get wild in the city?

425.452.4240 | parks.bellevuewa.gov


2. Whisk

Whisk Cooking Class
Teambuilding that tastes good? Look no further than Whisk in Old Bellevue! Whisk cooking school provides an interactive and collaborative setting where private classes, taught by a talented team of experienced chef-instructors, provide your team with a hands-on culinary experience. Cook, have fun and bon appetite! Depending on availability and course selection, Whisk can accommodate groups up to 22 people.

425.922.9575 | whiskcooks.com


3. Mox Boarding House

Mox Boarding House
Mox Boarding House serves as a popular gathering place for gamers from all walks of life. Located on Bel Red Road, Mox Boarding House features an extensive game library, huge tournament rooms for daily events, and culinary delights to round out your stay. Choose from a number of unique private rooms like the Apothecary, the Library, or the Speakeasy, or just wander around enjoying the sights and sounds of a game store like no other.

425.326.3050 | moxboardinghouse.com


4. Stone Gardens Climbing Gym

Stone Gardens Climbing Gym
Stone Gardens boasts over 21,000 sqft of climbing terrain and a tilting wall, belay and rappel ledges, and top out boulders. Reserve a private party room and buy out the climbing gym for 2-hour group climbing or bouldering sessions. For those looking to catch their breathe and relax for a moment, the party room offers space for eating and socializing. With climbing equipment provided and instruction from two experienced instructors, all that’s left to do is climb!

425.644.2445 | stonegardens.com


5. KidsQuest Children’s Museum (Recess on the Rocks)

KidsQuest Children's Museum
KidsQuest Children’s Museum is an exciting and unique event space in downtown Bellevue, perfect for small to medium size groups looking for a fun team building experience. KidsQuest’s educational exhibits introduce children and adults alike to science, technology, engineering, art, and math through play and exploration. KidsQuest is capable of accommodating groups up to 200 people, with private spaces available for eating or socializing during your museum rental.

425.637.8100 | kidsquestmuseum.org


6. Reality Break Escapes

Reality Break Escapes
Reality Break Escapes offers a variety of custom teambuilding programs dedicated to re-energize and improve collaboration for groups all while having a fun time! With multiple themed escape rooms, teams will need to find clues and solve problems to escape the room while racing against the clock. Experienced event planners will work with you to help arrange the perfect team-building experience for your group.

425.577.6800 | realitybreakescapes.com 


7. Adventura Aerial Adventure Park

Adventura Aerial Adventure Park

Just 15 minutes from Bellevue, Adventura Aerial Adventure Park provides thrilling outdoor climbing experiences with a variety of challenging obstacles, traverse activities, and zip lines. Adventura Consulting offers team-building activities and experience-based learning support to organizations looking for innovative ways to build cooperation and camaraderie among colleagues.

866.853.6083 | adventuraplay.com


8. Woodinville Wine Country

Woodinville Wine Country
Work with Butler Transportation or Shuttle Express to host a custom wine and spirits tour for your group.  Woodinville is the hot spot for wine touring in Washington. New satellite tasting rooms, particularly from Walla Walla, are popping up left and right. In addition to mainstays like Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Winery, Woodinville is now home to over 130 wineries, wine bars & tasting rooms. Woodinville boasts a fleet of limo transportation service providers who are more than glad bounce around different wineries in grand fashion.

425.287.3298 | woodinvillewinecountry.com


9. The Golf Club at Newcastle

Newcastle Golf Course

The Rusty Putter, located at The Club at Newcastle, is an 18 hole putting course that is perfect for your next teambuilding event. Both golfers and non-golfers will enjoy a friendly competition with coworkers in a round of putting. Buyouts can get you an exclusive two-hour reservation of the course for up to 80 people!

425.793.5566 | newcastlegolf.com


Photos courtesy of Pexels, Bellevue Challenge Course (Credit Merrill Images),  Whisk Bellevue, Mox Boarding House, Stone Gardens Climbing Gym, KidsQuest Children’s Museum, Reality Break Escapes, Adventura Aerial Adventure Park, Woodinville Wine Country, The Golf Club at Newcastle.
Posted in About Visit Bellevue, Bellevue Indoor Recreation, Bellevue Parks, Culinary and Wine, Downtown Bellevue, Things To Do, Uncategorized, Unique venues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Complete Guide to Bellevue ARTSfair Weekend 2018

One of our favorite weekends of the year, Bellevue Arts Fair Weekend took center stage in Downtown Bellevue on Friday, July 27th through Sunday, July 29th, 2018! Each year, the Bellevue Arts Fair Weekend attracts more than 300,000 attendees to Bellevue for one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest arts and crafts celebrations. This extensive guide will cover some basics tips for navigating the city during this busy weekend and will also provide information on hotels, restaurants, and things to do to help you plan the perfect weekend getaway in Bellevue, Washington.


BAM ARTSFAIR

Bellevue Square & Bellevue Arts Museum | (425) 519-0742 
Friday & Saturday: 9:30am – 9:30pm | Sunday: 10:00am – 6:00pm 

The Bellevue Arts Museum plays host to this award-winning arts & crafts festival in the Pacific Northwest. With a strong commitment to quality, handmade excellence, BAM ARTSfair supports designers, artists, and craftspeople at the local, regional and national levels. With over 300 inspiring artists showcasing their unique, handcrafted works of art, BAM ARTSfair showcases an eclectic mix of modern, traditional, and emerging artists, craftspeople and designers. Since 1947, BAM ARTSfair has been the annual gathering place for creators and community members and serves as a great way to connect to the world of art, craft & design.

In addition to this unique shopping experience, BAM ARTSfair offers free programming including BAM Exhibitions, KIDSfair, the Sound & Movement Stage, food trucks, and much more.

Parking Information & Directions to BAM ARTSFAIR: 
Valet service available at:

Bellevue Square: Northeast & Northwest Parking Garages on Level 1
Bellevue Place: Hyatt Regency Bellevue
Lincoln Square: Westin Bellevue


Bellevue Festival of the Arts

10300 NE 8th St. Bellevue, WA 98004 | (206) 363-2048 | info@bellevuefest.org 
Friday & Saturday: 10:00am – 8:00pm | Sunday: 10:00 am – 6:00pm

Celebrating its 34th year in 2018, The Bellevue Festival of the Arts features 175 of the most talented and popular artisans, musicians and craftspeople from the greater Pacific Northwest region and beyond. Produced by the Craft Cooperative of the Northwest, the festival is entirely organized by artists and supports a variety of local and global non-profit organizations with proceeds from the festival. The Bellevue Festival of the Arts remains a committed community partner and works with various local educators and features local non-profits in the festival. Located along NE 8th in the lot of Cost Plus World Market at 10300 NE 8th St. Bellevue, WA 98004.


6th Street Fair

6th Street, Bellevue, WA 98004 | (425) 453-3110
Friday & Saturday: 10:00am – 8:00pm | Sunday: 10:00 am – 6:00pm

Produced by the Bellevue Downtown Association, Bellevue’s 6th Street Fair showcases the original work of over 100 artists of sculpture, jewelry, wood and glass work, home décor, fabrics and more. The fair features a street-side layout adjacent to the Bellevue Connection with convenient access to nearby freeways, transit center and parking. Various brick-and-mortar restaurants and food trucks are located in close proximity to the fair. 6th Street Fair is located next to the Bellevue Connection and Compass Plaza along NE 6th Street and 106th Avenue NE.


Things to Do in Bellevue

If you need a break from the Arts Fairs, Bellevue also offers the ultimate in shopping, dining, and cultural attractions, all surrounded by natural beauty and outdoor spaces. Just a few steps from the bustle of the Art Fairs is Bellevue Downtown Park, located between NE 4th and NE 2nd street just west of Bellevue Way. And if you want to explore further, miles of nature trailspublic parks, and swim beaches are walking distance from downtown for a workout or unwinding. Numerous spas, museums, and art exhibitions are located in Bellevue.  Bellevue is your gateway to the entire Puget Sound Region.

Learn more about all the different types of activities in Bellevue.


Restaurants

Looking for a quick bite to eat between events? Or maybe a formal, sit-down restaurant when the night winds down? There are hundreds of restaurants in downtown Bellevue and much more across the city ranging from casual sandwich spots to 4-star chef-owned restaurants and well known national chains.

Click here to learn more about Bellevue’s diverse range of casual to fine dining options.


Hotels

Bellevue, Washington’s hotel accommodations include more than 5,500 guest rooms with options from luxurious 4-star downtown hotels to peaceful suburban retreats. Hyatt RegencyWestinHiltonSheratonCourtyard by Marriott, Hilton Garden InnMarriott Residence Inn and Seattle Marriott Bellevue are among the major hotel brands from which visitors can choose.

Click here for a complete list of Bellevue’s hotels.


Traffic Notices & Street Closures

With some downtown streets shut down for the festival, travelers should expect some congestion. Street closure locations and times include:

  • 100th Avenue NE, from NE 8th Street to NE 10th Street, will be closed in the southbound direction from 6am to 9pm on Thursday and from 5:00pm to 10pm on Sunday.
  • 100nd Avenue NE, from NE 4th Street to NE 8th Street, will be closed in the northbound direction from 6am to 7am on Thursday and from 5pm to 10pm on Sunday.
  • 102nd Avenue NE, from NE 8th Street to NE 10th Street, will be closed in both directions from 8am Friday to 9pm Sunday.
  • 106th Avenue NE, from NE 4th Street to NE 6th Street, will be closed in both directions from 6pm Thursday to 10pm Sunday.
  • NE 6th Street, from Bellevue Way to 106th Avenue NE, will be closed in both directions from 6pm Thursday to 10pm Sunday.
  • NE 10th Street, from 106th Avenue NE to 108th Avenue NE, will be  closed in the westbound direction from 5pm to 9pm Thursday.

Getting to Bellevue Art Fairs by Public Transportation
BAM ARTSfair is easily reachable by bus. Visit www.ChooseYourWayBellevue.orgMetro Transit or Sound Transit to plan your trip today!

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Bellevue’s Best Outdoor Dining (Part 1)

Food, fun, and sun all in one place: Bellevue! Summer is the best time to enjoy a meal outdoors at one of the many delicious restaurants in Bellevue. With so many walkable options, outdoor dining in Bellevue is a must see…and a must eat!

Check out some of our partner affiliates and other local eateries that offer amazing outdoor dining options!


Lot No. 3

460 106th Ave NE | 425.440.0025 | lotno3.com

Lot No. 3 Patio SeatingWhat we love: The comfort food!

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, take a moment to sit down at Lot No. 3 and enjoy exciting takes on traditional comfort foods like mac & cheese, peanut butter & jelly & bacon sliders, or even just a plate of bacon. It’s sure to fill your tummy and bring a smile to your face. The sunset view from 106th Avenue NE isn’t too shabby, either!


520 Bar & Grill

10146 Main Street | 425.450.0520 | 520barandgrill.com

520 Bar & Grill Private PatioWhat we love: The private patio!

Feel like you’re out of the city and in your own oasis over at 520 Bar & Grill. The patio is surrounded by greenery and at night the white lights create a beautiful ambiance. In addition to the amazing food and handcrafted drinks, you are in for an incredible outdoor experience.


Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi

10400 NE 4th St #3100 | 425.625.2080 | ascendprime.com

Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi 360-degree ViewsWhat we love: 360-degree panoramic views!

The newly opened Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi, located on the 31st floor of the Lincoln South Tower, boasts breathtaking 360-degree views of Bellevue from the extravagant Vista Patio. Not only will you be amazed by Bellevue’s booming skyline, the gastronomical delights will certainly have you coming back for more.


Palomino

610 Bellevue Way | 425.455.7600 | palomino.com

Palomino-PatioWhat we love: All night happy hour!

Located downtown across from Bellevue Square and the Bellevue Arts Museum, the patio at Palomino’s is your spot to grab a bite, have a refreshing drink and enjoy the view. Oh, did we mention happy hour every day from 3pm – close?


El Gaucho

450 108th Ave NE | 425.455.2715 | elgaucho.com

El-Gaucho-BellevueWhat we love: The outdoor fire pits!

Low lights, smooth music, fragrant smells, and delectable dishes create the perfect dining experience at El Gaucho Bellevue. The walls of windows showcase the patio space at El Gaucho, where the glowing warmth of the firepit tables surround diners as they enjoy their meals outside. Sit back and enjoy this warm and inviting dining experience.


Bake’s Place

115 108th Ave NE | 425.454.2776 | bakesplacebellevue.com

Bakes-PlaceWhat we love: The live music!

Bake’s Place is the go-to outdoor spot, live music included! Not only is the seasonal menu amazing, but the atmosphere takes it over the top. With live music most nights and 3,500 square foot patio, you are sure to enjoy a night out at Bake’s Place.


Bellevue Brewing Company

1820 130th Ave NE | 425.497.8686 | bellevuebrewing.com

Bellevue-Brewing-CompanyWhat we love: The craft beer, of course!

As Bellevue’s first, locally-owned craft brewery, Bellevue Brewing Company has been a pioneer for the craft beer scene in Bellevue. Try one of their daily specials that pair with the current beers on tap, or enjoy a hard cider or glass of wine if you fancy.


Of course, this list is just the tip of the iceberg! New opportunities to dine in the sun and under the stars pop up all the time in Bellevue. For more sidewalk seating, decks and patios, visit our outdoor dining guide and stay tuned for Part 2 of our list of Bellevue’s Best Outdoor Dining.

Photos courtesy of Lot No. 3,  520 Bar & Grill, Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi (Credit Suzi Pratt), Palomino, El Gaucho Bellevue, Bake’s Place, Bellevue Brewing Company
Posted in Culinary and Wine, Downtown Bellevue, Family, Outdoors, Summer Fun, Unique venues | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Bellevue Hotel Profile: AC Hotel by Marriott

With more than 5,000 guest rooms throughout 29 hotel properties, Bellevue, Washington is the place to stay whether for a night or twelve. From luxury suites to budget-friendly rooms, this city is eager to extend hospitality to our visitors. Get to know our “roomier” side this year as we profile newly opened properties.


AC BELLEVUE

Newly opened in 2017, the AC Hotel (by Marriott) added 234 guest rooms and a flourish of European style to Bellevue’s hotel scene. It must first be noted that, in this case, AC does not stand for “air conditioning” or the first half of metal rocker band ACDC. Instead, AC pays tribute to the hotel’s roots in Spain where Antonio Catalan first developed the brand in the late 1990’s. Marriott acquired the brand and opened its first AC Hotel stateside in New Orleans in 2014.

Living Wall at AC Bellevue Hotel - Bellevue, WA

Living Wall at AC Bellevue Hotel

Local Flair

Each AC Hotel incorporates local flair – art, spirits, and culinary partners – while maintaining European roots in the furnishings, layout, and breakfast buffet. The lush 15-foot living wall refreshes guests with oxygen as they make their way to the front desk at AC Bellevue, boasting a spacious open-plan lobby. To the left of the front desk hangs a collection of ceramic plates by artist Saya Moriyasu, each conveying a different black and white portrait. Ample seating in a variety of warm neutral tones and textures spreads throughout the lobby ending with a row of leather-wrapped bar stools to the right with club chairs and white cocktail tables filling the rest of the bar.

Cocktail at AC Bellevue Hotel Bar - Bellevue, WA

Cocktail at AC Bellevue Hotel Bar

Every evening when the clock strikes six, the bartender can be found pouring nips of bourbon from Woodinville Whiskey Co. into an array of small white espresso cups while coffee brews in a device that looks like it belongs in an apothecary – blue open flame heating a water-filled glass sphere with coffee grounds in a separate vessel above. A nightly ritual is part of the AC Hotel brand and at AC Bellevue, it is a Spanish Coffee spiked with bourbon and a hit of cayenne pepper. Other local food and beverage partners include Fremont IPA on tap, cans of House Wine and a colorful array of Seattle Chocolates bars in the AC store.

AC Bellevue bedroom

Guest Rooms and Amenities

After a refreshing inhale at the living wall, it’s easy to exhale any traveling stress upon opening the door to your room. Clean lines and clutter-free, AC Bellevue guestrooms have been designed without unnecessary items allowing the eyes and body to relax. Modern design, luxury linens, and USB ports right where you need them were thoughtfully woven into each of the hotel’s king and double queen rooms. Two dozen alternative king rooms flip the bathroom design on its head, pulling out the sink and vanity giving the room a more spacious feel. A “Hydration Station” on each floor features glass carafes that guests can fill and take to their rooms eliminating the use of plastic water bottles. The AC library offers two computers and a printer plus actual books for guests to peruse, a spacious fitness center with a variety of popular gym equipment and free weights,.

The AC Kitchen

The daily breakfast buffet ($15) leans European. Think meats sliced fresh with a counter-mounted red Berkel slicer, cheeses, croissants, egg tarts, and Nutella. Covered outdoor seating wraps the southern end of the building complete with heat lamps (and blankets upon request), as Northwest weather requires.

Small bites are available in the bar, and hotel staff is quick to refer guests to local coffee shops, restaurants, and bars including Fika House Kafé, Bake’s Bar & Bistro across the street featuring live music, food and drink, and Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar.“We love personalizing guest experiences here at AC Bellevue,” said Director of Sales and Marketing Rachel Park – like congratulating a nursing school grad with a teddy bear sporting a cast on his leg signed by the staff. Or, when a little girl accidentally left her favorite stuffy behind, the staff took photos of her bear all around the property before reuniting it to its owner along with a photo album of its adventures while they were separated.

Meeting Spaces

AC Hotel Bellevue Meeting Room

AC Hotel Bellevue Meeting Room

Other rooms in the hotel include two media salons (mini boardrooms) featuring an integrated communication hub, whiteboard, and television each with room for up to seven people. The AC’s largest space, with room for 50, can be configured for a board meeting, presentation or reception. A full catering menu is available from the AC Kitchen.

Images courtesy of AC Bellevue.

Posted in Downtown Bellevue, Hotel/Lodging, Luxury, Newsletter | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Health and Wellness in Bellevue

Whether visiting Bellevue for business or pleasure, we know how important it can be to keep up a fitness regimen. Spring is the perfect time to explore the city’s pedestrian pathways whether for a stroll or training for a race.

For a quick two-mile route starting at the Hyatt Regency, follow Bellevue Way south toward Bellevue Downtown Park tracing the park’s perimeter until the south end, then veering around the inner loop before exiting on the southeastern border and heading back to the Hyatt on Bellevue Way. (Note: Bellevue Downtown Park’s circular promenade is 0.5 miles around making it easy to add extra laps to the route.)

Bellevue Downtown Park

Bellevue Downtown Park- 1/2 mile loop path

SR 520 Bridge Bicycle and Walking Path

SR 520 Bridge Bicycle and Walking Path

For a longer and more scenic run through the city’s neighborhoods past Overlake Golf & Country Club and Medina Park, try this six-mile round trip route. Head west on 8th Street NE from Bellevue Square for nearly a mile before the road bends right becoming 1st Street NE, then bends left becoming 12th Street NE. Turn right on Evergreen Point Road and follow until reaching the Evergreen Point Park & Ride at mile three. There is a viewpoint of the Olympic Mountains and the University of Washington facing west over the 520 bridge. Or, if you are more ambitious, try the 15 mile loop shown in the map above that crosses Lake Washington twice and ends up right back in Bellevue.

And if the weather prohibits outdoor activity, Bellevue is home to numerous fitness studios ranging from barre, cycling, and yoga to traditional gyms. Here’s a list of some that offer drop-in and visitor rates as well as some group buy-out options.


Head to the Barre

With over 120 studios nationwide, barre3 sees its share of visitors, according to Bellevue studio owner Anna McEvers. The studio features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the grassy green expanse of Ashwood Playfield across from the Bellevue Public Library. Known for its toning repetition of small muscle movements, a barre3 workout hits all the right spots. Visitors can register for drop-in classes online or in the studio. At Pure Barre, out-of-towners are welcome to drop in for a single class ($23) with specials for members of Pure Barre in other locations. Private classes can be booked for a $100 flat rate. ClassPass accepted at both Barre3 and Pure Barre studios.

The Fitness Cycle

Spin away the calories at SoulCycle BLVU, a full-body indoor cycling workout set to a high-energy beat. The candle-lit darkened room and rhythm-based program provide a meditative experience designed to benefit the body, mind, and soul. “We call it a cardio party. With every pedal stroke, our minds clear and we connect with our true and best selves…our riders share a Soul experience,” says Camilla Whitmore, SoulCycle field marketing manager. SoulCycle offers a special 2-for-1 promotion for new riders called the First Time Pack for $28. At Flywheel, the focus is on performance-tracking tech that allows guests to measure progress over time. In addition to a competitively-edged spin class, the FlyBarre class incorporates light weight training and core exercises for a total-body sculpting effect. Flywheel offers an introductory drop-in credit of $15 for first-timers – please create an account online before dropping in.

(Email soulbellevue@soul-cycle.com for information on advance group bookings and private classes)

The Healthy Way of Life

Opening at The Shops at The Bravern in mid-April, Life Time Fitness offers a full array of fitness classes with five specialized studios, a 10,000-square foot training floor, a boutique day spa and a healthy-fast-casual eatery. Members of a Diamond- or Diamond Premier-level club elsewhere in the country can use their membership at the Bellevue location. Otherwise, Life Time offers 1- and 5-day guest passes for $35 and $150, respectively.

Lifetime Fitness - Bellevue, WA

Lifetime Fitness Opening April 2018

Hotel Fitness Centers

Many of the local hotels boast superior-grade gyms. Hyatt guests enjoy complimentary access to its Stayfit Fitness Center including a wide selection of gear like strength bands, box jumps, kettlebells, battle ropes, balance balls, and free weights. Stay connected with a Peleton bike workout at The Westin or make your own full-body routine utilizing the gym’s TRX suspension trainers, kettlebells, strength bands, and more. The fitness center at AC Hotel by Marriott is spacious with several treadmills, elliptical machines, free weights, and balance and medicine balls.

Hyatt Regency Bellevue Stayfit

Images courtesy of Lifetime Fitness, Hyatt Regency Bellevue.

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Bounce Around Bellevue With a Spring In Your Step

It’s that time of year again when everything awakens from its winter sleep. We’ve been looking around our city and found some swoon-worthy sights that we can’t wait to share with visitors – mountain, lake, and skyline vistas from the top floors in Bellevue, the most scenic hole in golf, and up close with blooming botanicals. Be sure to share your viewpoint with a #MyBellevue on Instagram. With summer right around the corner, we’ve got your fitness goals covered with running route suggestions, drop-in classes at local barre and cycling studios, a fabulous new full-service gym, and a peek into the city’s best hotel fitness centers.

Unwind after a day of meetings with a glass of Washington wine – look for specials at wine-focused restaurants during March as we celebrate Washington Wine Month. For a deeper dive into the state’s diverse range of wines, consider a day trip to Woodinville just up the road, home to more than 120 tasting rooms. And we would love to host the whole family over Spring Break with local activities for everyone from tots to teens and suggestions for exploring further afield in nearby Snoqualmie Valley. So, stay a little longer and refresh that bounce in your step with a spring visit to Bellevue.

Wine and Trees

Images courtesy of Bellevue Botanical Garden, Wine and Trees by Sharon Linton

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Spring Break in Bellevue

Bellevue may be a business hub, but it’s also a prime place to bring the whole family for some leisure time. Spring Break is a great excuse to explore Bellevue and the beauty of the surrounding area.


Bounce Around Town

From toddlers to teens, fun activities are close at hand. Spend a morning at KidsQuest Children’s Museum perfect for stimulating those early childhood minds and bodies with interactive climbing and water exhibits, an art studio and learning lab, plus hundreds of classes each year. At Mox Boarding House, it’s easy to engage in a little old-fashioned fun. Borrow a game (and an associate to explain the rules if the game is unfamiliar) and head to the adjoining restaurant where large tables offer plenty of space for gaming and noshing.

Giant Chess at Crossroads Bellevue

Kids love the life-size chess pieces at Crossroads Bellevue. Challenge them to a game on the giant board or pull up a seat at one of the many surrounding tables for a regular-sized chess game. Crossroads also features a carousel, a soft-play playground at WiggleWorks Kids, Alter Ego Comics, and everything from board games to brain teaser puzzles at Uncle’s Games. Across the parking lot, drop in at Stone Gardens, one of the finest climbing facilities in the region with more than 21,000-square feet of climbing terrain suitable for all ability levels. There is even a climbing “ship” for the littlest climbers.

Stone Gardens Rock Climbing

Lincoln Square is a one-stop pop for entertainment from arcade-style games at Power Play to bowling at Lucky Strike Lanes. Catch a movie at the traditional theater upstairs or watch in style at Cinemark in Lincoln Square South featuring back rocker chairs and dining services. Bellevue Square, across the street features all of the shopping you can imagine plus the Kid’s Cove play area for little tykes and a game area that includes Jenga, beanbag toss and giant chess. At Bellevue Arts Museum, peruse the exhibitions or get crafty with the kids on Saturdays during the free weekly sessions from 1-3 p.m.

Explore Further Afield

Nestled against the Cascade Mountain foothills about 35 minutes east of Bellevue, scenic Snoqualmie Valley is a worth a day trip. A family-friendly itinerary is available at savorsnoqualmievalley.org with recommended stops from Duvall to North Bend beginning with a warm beverage from Duvall Coffeehouse and a baked treat at Grateful Bread. Permanent art installations dot McCormick Park along the Snoqualmie River. Ten minutes south in Carnation, a 500-foot suspension footbridge spans the river at Tolt-Macdonald Park leading to miles of forested trails.

 

 

Lunch options range from a sandwich or hot slice of pizza at Blake’s Pizza, a full menu of comfort food and locally brewed beers at Snoqualmie Brewery and Taproom, to organic grab-and-go items at Heirloom Cookshop in downtown Snoqualmie.

Spend the afternoon exploring how railroads changed the landscape of the region at the Northwest Railway Museum, including a two-hour round trip train ride on Saturdays and Sundays, April through October. Since kids possess a keen sense of sugar-radar, they’ll likely march you right across the street to Snoqualmie Falls Candy Factory for a treat or three necessitating a whirl through Tollgate Farm Park in North Bend to burn off the excess energy.

Rattlesnake Lake

Georgia's Bakery - North Bend

Georgia’s Bakery – North Bend

Or start the day in reverse with a legendary maple bar or savory slice of quiche at Georgia’s Bakery in North Bend before heading up the trail to Rattlesnake Ledge – a steep but relatively short hike with big views at the top. Reward those hikers with an old-school burger or ice cream at Scott’s Dairy Freeze Ice Cream in North Bend or a slice of cherry pie at Twede’s Café made famous in the cult classic television show “Twin Peaks.”

If there is only time for one stop, don’t miss iconic Snoqualmie Falls visible from the top at the Salish Lodge or a quick hike to the bottom with views back up at the falls. During spring, it should be roaring with recent snowmelt.

Images courtesy of Crossroads Bellevue and Stone Gardens.  Rattlesnake Lake by Kaitlyn Brajcich.

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360 Degree Belle-Views

Ascend Prime Steak and Sushi - Bellevue, WA

Future Home of Ascend Prime Steak and Sushi

As our name implies, Bellevue is home to some beautiful vistas from soaring views atop a growing number of skyscrapers to landscapes both cultivated and wild. The most hotly anticipated view this spring belongs to Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi crowning Lincoln Square South at The Bellevue Collection. The luxury dining experience encompasses the entire 31st floor of the building affording 360-degree views through two stories of floor-to-ceiling windows that include Lake Washington, the Olympic Mountains, the Seattle skyline, with Downtown Bellevue Park in the immediate foreground looking west.

Daniel’s Broiler, located on the 21st floor of the Bank of America building, has long been a favorite dining destination in part because of the lovely west-facing views from the lounge. Sip on a glass of bubbly or a Manhattan while the sun sets – a perfect backdrop for a romantic evening.

Surely the most scenic park-and-ride in town, Evergreen Point makes the most of the 520 bridge’s location. Set above the freeway, the westward-facing viewpoint looks across Lake Washington toward the University of Washington, Seattle, and the jagged snow-capped Olympic Mountains in the distance. Park and look or continue along the 520 pedestrian path out onto the bridge span for views south where Mt. Rainier holds court on clear days. It is fascinating to watch the water react to the bridge – sometimes choppy with whitecaps on the south side and calm on the north side.

Bellevue Downtown Park

Bellevue Downtown Park and Skyline

As if the lush greens and magnificently landscaped courses at Newcastle Golf Club weren’t enough of a visual treat, check out the view of the Seattle skyline from Hole 10 on the China Creek Course, or play a game of putt-putt at the Rusty Putter.

Bellevue Views

Views of Seattle and Bellevue from Newcastle Golf Course

Take in a close up with nature at Bellevue Botanical Garden where colorful flowers and foliage carpet the edges of pathways that wind through the forest an a 150-foot suspension bridge crosses a ravine filled with ferns and moss-covered trees.

Future viewpoint: We are looking forward to the newly reimagined Meydenbauer Bay Park set to open by the end of 2018 that includes a pedestrian pier that juts out into the water giving visitors a look back at the 700-foot waterfront beach and hillside. The park will be the beginning point for the city’s Grand Connection pathway connecting the bay with downtown Bellevue through to the Wilburton and the Eastside Rail Corridor.

Images courtesy of Lincoln Square South by Sharon Linton, Downtown Bellevue Park by Merrill Images, Newcastle Golf Course.

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