4 Best Restaurants for Thanksgiving in Bellevue

Turkey - Copy

For some of us, Thanksgiving is a meal of tradition. It’s about family, friends and celebrating our ancestors. We plan and cook all day, feast, maybe watch some football and then slowly make our way back to the kitchen to clean up after our stuffed, guilt-ridden selves. It’s all too familiar, but this year it doesn’t have to be. Why not spice things up a bit? Haven’t you worked hard enough? This year, embrace this Thanksgiving with your family and loved ones and spend Thanksgiving in Bellevue. – Bon Appetite!

Palomino Restaurant & Bar

fall-591800_1920First up, is Bellevue’s Palomino Restaurant & Bar. This so-called vibrant “Urban Italian” restaurant offers an imaginative menu that’s sure to have something delicious for everyone. Check out their Holiday menu! It includes starters such as, caramelized cauliflower and crab cakes with arugula and smoked pepper aioli – yum! Now what kind of holiday menu would it be without a slow-roasted turkey dinner? This option includes apple sausage stuffing, garlic herb mashed potatoes, herb roasted vegetables, hot gravy, homemade cranberry relish, slow-roasted turkey and is topped off with a warm slice of pumpkin spiced pie. Call to reserve your seat or go online and reserve your seat now.

Daniel’s Broiler


Going up? Daniel’s Broiler in Bellevue is located on the 21st floor of the Bank of America Building. This Thanksgiving day, Daniel’s is offering a complete four-course dinner with all the trimmings. Dine in style with spectacular views of the Cascade Mountains and Lake Washington from every table! They are serving from noon to 8pm on Thanksgiving Day. Be sure to reserve your table now, space is very limited.

Basil’s Bistro

Turkey Blog

Conveniently located inside the Bellevue Hilton Hotel, Basil’s Bistro offers palate-tempting entrees. This holiday season they offer an entire Thanksgiving buffet. Here, you will find something for the entire family, in any quantity your heart and stomach desires. Expect to find all your holiday favorites, including prime rib, turkey, stuffing, assorted desserts and much more. Be sure to book your table soon, as this feast will only be offered on Thanksgiving Day between noon and 5pm.

Eques at Hyatt Regency Bellevue


Eques is an award-winning restaurant located in Bellevue’s very own Hyatt Regency hotel. This year they’re serving up a delectable brunch on Thanksgiving Day from 1pm to 5pm. Their holiday menu includes slow-braised short ribs, butternut squash soup and pumpkin gnocchi with spinach and parmesan. Finish off your brunch with a sweet selection of pastry shop delights. Reserve your table soon, space is limited.


(Photo Credit Top to Bottom: Celebration Dinner by PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay, Pumpkin Pie by Mtnlover610 via Pixabay.com, Image courtesy of Stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of tiverylucky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net,  Meat and Fork by JeShoots via Pixabay.com)



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Winter in Bellevue is a Wonderful Whirlwind

Bellevue Way holiday light display and production, Bellevue, WA

If you’re headed to Bellevue this winter, give yourself a little pat on the back. You picked a fun and festive time of year to join us. The holidays are in full swing, of course, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg! It’s also ski season; a peak period for spectator sports, arts events and live performances; and a wonderful time of year to refresh your mind and body.


Check out how Bellevue dresses up for the holidays (Pictured: The Shops at The Bravern, Photo Courtesy of The Shops at The Bravern)

Your holiday shopping list will meet its match in Bellevue, with numerous retail collections, boutiques and malls ready to help you check it twice.

You’ll find upscale retail at The Bravern; sophisticated shopping at The Bellevue Collection (which includes Bellevue Place, Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square), popular national and discount brands at Marketplace @ Factoria and Crossroads Bellevue; and charming boutiques on Main Street in Old Bellevue. For one-of-a-kind, handcrafted and local gifts, shop the Bellevue Hilltop Holiday Craft Show, Dec. 2-5 at the Northwest Arts Center.


Tap your toes to the beat of the drums (Pictured: Snowflake Lane, Photo Credit: George White Location Photography)

Unleash your spirited side when the Bellevue Downtown Association presents Bellevue Magic Season, six weeks of festive holiday events, including the Magic Season Ice Arena, holiday performances at the Theatre at Meydenbauer, KidsQuest Children’s Museum’s Gingerbread Lane and Garden D’lights at the Bellevue Botanical Garden.

IBT The Nutcracker2015_2 by Rex TranterBeginning the day after Thanksgiving, family-favorite Snowflake Lane at The Bellevue Collection lights up the evenings with music, holiday characters and falling snow. After Christmas, the party continues with Celebration Lane, a bright, bubble-filled tribute to New Year’s Eve.

No holiday season is complete without an outing to the Nutcracker, and Bellevue’s Theatre at Meydenbauer Center offers two spectacular interpretations. Evergreen City Ballet’s production runs December 4-6 with full productions and special 1-hour shows for the youngest arts fans. International Ballet Theatre presents its interpretation Dec. 11-13 and 18-23 at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.


Seahawks v 49ers 9-15-13 7 Photo Credit Kaitlyn BrajcichIt’s game on for sports fans, because the Seattle Seahawks, UW Huskies basketball team and Seattle Thunderbirds hockey team are all filling local stadiums and arenas. Or you can score tickets to the Battle in Seattle, an annual event that brings Spokane’s elite Gonzaga men’s basketball team to Key Arena for a marquee matchup. This year, the Bulldogs take on Tennessee on Dec. 19.


Novelty Hill-wine pour 2If you’re a wine enthusiast, you’ve come to the right place—at the right time. Dec. 4 through 6, more than 30 Woodinville wineries participate in Saint Nick’s Holiday Wine Tasting Weekend; a wonderful time for wine tasting and festivities. The event is one of the few times each year that many of these award-winning and boutique wineries are open to the public.

Khan Image 1If movies and culture are calling your name, you’re in luck. You can catch all the holiday blockbusters and Oscar contenders at Lincoln Square Cinemas and Regal Crossroads Stadium 8. Through Jan. 10, Bellevue Arts Museum is showing the spectacular exhibit, Counter-Couture: Fashioning Identity in the American Counterculture, and beginning Jan. 29, the museum presents the prestigious exhibition, Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture, the first major retrospective of the American architect in 20 years.

Bellevue in winter is positively bursting with fun, and you can’t possibly see and do everything in just a few days. So we have a suggestion: That holiday wish list you’ve been compiling? At the very top, write, “A trip back to Bellevue.”

From top to bottom: Images courtesy of the City of Bellevue, The Shops at the Bravern, (Snowflake Lane Drummers) George White Location Photography, (IBT The Nutcracker) Rex Tranter, (Seahawks Game) Kaitlyn Brajcich, Novelty Hill Januik Winery, Bellevue Arts Museum

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Featured Group Activity: Louis Kahn in Bellevue

Khan Image 1

You’re in a new city. It’s taken you two connecting flights, one underwhelming airport lunch, a 30-minute chat with your Uber driver, and a downtown stroll in the wrong direction before you found your hotel, but you’ve finally arrived. You’ve spotted the local convention center on your way over, so you know where your meetings will be held the following day. You breathe a sigh of relief. Now the only question is, “What will you do with yourself for the rest of the evening?”

Louis Kahn 6If your business travels are bringing you to Bellevue this winter or spring, then you’re in luck! There’s an attraction right in the heart of downtown that you won’t want to miss. The Mona Lisa of modern architecture exhibitions will be on display at the Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM), from January 29 to May 1, 2016.

This prestigious exhibit, otherwise known as Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture, was originally presented by the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany. Its arrival in Bellevue will mark the first leg of an international tour, as well as the first major retrospective of the well-regarded American architect in twenty years.

Louis Kahn 2

So who is this, Kahn, and what did he really do? And no, we don’t mean Genghis Khan, the ruler of the Mongol Empire back in the thirteenth century, the evil villain from Star Trek, or the guy who started Khan Academy. We mean Louis Kahn, one of the greatest master builders of the twentieth century. He may not be a household name yet, but considering the high esteem with which his contemporaries regarded him, and the recent surge in interest in his work from the greater architecture and design community, we suspect he soon will be.

Louis Kahn 5Kahn was born in 1901 and emigrated with his family to the United States as a child. After studying architecture at the University of Pennsylvania he opened his own firm in 1935 and began teaching architecture at Yale University in 1947. He continued to be an influential designer and teacher until his death in 1974, at which time he was considered “America’s foremost living architect.”

Kahn used heavy materials and copious natural lighting to create simple yet monumental designs. Some of his most notable works include the Kimbell Art Museum in Texas, the Salk Institute in California, and the National Assembly Building in Bangladesh.

Louis Kahn 4A walk through the exhibition will be inspiring for architecture aficionados as it will for those first becoming acquainted with Kahn. In addition, be sure to check the Bellevue Arts Museum calendar for special events surrounding the exhibition. For example, you might catch the opening night on January 29 for a special screening of My Architect, a touching Oscar-nominated documentary on Kahn’s life. After watching the film you might participate in the Q&A with film writer and director, Nathaniel Kahn, Louis Kahn’s son.

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Or for a more casual visit you might peruse the exhibits with your colleagues before stopping in at the Museum Store for a surprise gift or two for someone at home, and finish the evening over wine and cocktails at a comfortable nearby establishment like Purple Cafe & Wine Bar or Black Bottle Postern.

So tie up that free evening here in Bellevue with a cultural experience that will send you back home with newly acquired knowledge, an armful of unique gifts for the loved ones at home, and a craving for more. There’s distinctive art and architecture just waiting to be discovered in Bellevue. Why not get a closer look?

Meeting planner note: Bellevue Arts Museum offers three diverse event spaces, a location in the vibrant heart of downtown Bellevue, and a backdrop of breathtaking architecture and engaging exhibits, Bellevue Arts Museum is a venue unlike any other and the ideal scene for a truly unforgettable occasion. BAM is the perfect place for your attendees to take in an exhibition with a docent lead tour or attend a reception or event. http://www.bellevuearts.org/private_events/index.html

Images courtesy of Bellevue Arts Museum and Heavy Restaurant Group.

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Discover a New You in Bellevue

Smoothie Photo

Holiday celebrations and snow sports often steal the spotlight during winter, but we also celebrate this time of year because it ushers in a new year and a fresh start. After you’ve shopped ‘til you dropped, had your fill of holiday indulgences, and showered your friends and family with love, it’s time to focus on someone just as important: You!

So what’s your pleasure? An intense workout that leaves you exhausted but proud of yourself? A rejuvenating spa treatment that makes you feel beautiful and comfortable in your own skin? Or a healthy, delicious treat that gives you enough energy to not just get through the day, but conquer it? Read on for some of our favorite ways to shake up winter.

Energizing Fitness Classes

Shakti Vinyasa Yoga PhotoShakti Vinyasa Yoga on Main Street in Old Bellevue offers a range of dynamic and therapeutic classes, including Rejuvenation & Release, which focuses on arm balances, inversions and deep stretches to restore balance in the body.

Slip on your sticky socks and drop in to Pure Barre for a 55-minute, high-energy sculpting class that will tone every muscle in your body. Single classes cost $23, so the “First 3 Classes + Socks” package ($39) is a great deal if you’re in town for a few days.

Sign up for a wild ride at Flywheel, a stadium cycling studio that offers one of the most intense—and intensely fun—workouts in town. Classes fill up fast, so be sure to reserve your spot online, and don’t forget your water bottle or your towel—you’re going to need them!

If you’re a CrossFit devotee far from your favorite box, you can relax: CrossFit Bellevue has you covered. The 13,500-square-foot facility—one of the largest in the Pacific Northwest—has plenty of room for drop-in guests. Just call the gym before you stop by.

Guests of Hotel Bellevue are granted access to The Bellevue Club’s 200,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art athletic and fitness facility, which offers indoor cycling, kickboxing, barre, yoga, strength training and aerobics classes, as well as personal training sessions.

Is your wallet as depleted after the holidays as you are? No problem. You can get an affordable workout at the South Bellevue Community Center (SBCC), which boats a 2,500-square-foot fitness center. A one-hour orientation and $7 gives you access to treadmills, exercise bikes, elliptical machines, weights, lockers and showers. You’ll just need to bring your own lock, toiletries and towel.

And finally, if the holidays drove you just a teensy bit crazy, you can recover by literally climbing the wall at The Crag, a 33-foot, simulated-granite climbing wall also located at the SBCC. Sign up for a supervised Fall Bellevue Downtown Park 31 Ducks-Photo Credit Kaitlyn Brajcichdrop-in session, or learn the basics at a one-hour Rock Climbing 101 class.

Of course, there are plenty of free fitness options, too, in the form of local parks, bike paths and running trails. For a complete list, visit our guides to Outdoor Recreation and Public Parks.

Rejuvenating Spa Treatments

Pamper your skin with a healthy treat. Gene Juarez Salon & Spa’s Revitalizing Pear & Green Apple Body Wrap is a fruit-filled, 60-minute service that includes an antioxidant-rich scrub, a stimulating body wrap and a hydrating massage. Yum!

For a total-body reboot, Recoop offers the 90-minute Buff + Detox + Relax package, which includes a citrus salt scrub, a detoxifying mud mask, a face and scalp massage, a relaxing rain shower and a coating of luscious, moisturizing body butter.

If you’re away from home, then Truce’s Travel Recovery Aroma Detox Massage should definitely be on your itinerary. The 75-minute rejuvenating treatment, which uses essential oils to detoxify and cleanse the lymphatic system, can help alleviate jetlag, fatigue and sore muscles.

Salt-Mine AriumFor a truly one-of-a-kind experience, head to Salt Mine Arium, the only local purveyor of salt therapy, which is believed to relieve the symptoms of allergies, asthma, cold, flu and insomnia. The 45-minute sessions take place in rooms saturated with micro particles of Himalayan salt that, according to Salt Mine Arium, “can cleanse the lungs of bacteria, irritants and pollution.”

The unique venue also offers massage, Qigong energy work, acupuncture and private yoga sessions. How often can you say that salt lowers your blood pressure?!

For more deeply relaxing destinations, visit our local Spa Guide.

Healthy Foods to Fuel Your Day

Evolution Fresh StoreIn our experience, there aren’t many minor irritations that a healthy, delicious green smoothie can’t melt away. Chase your work stress, holiday headaches or tough workouts with a cold-pressed juice smoothie from Evolution Fresh, blended with fresh fruit and nutritious greens. The downtown Bellevue kitchen is also a popular stop for quick, healthy breakfasts and lunches.

 Jujubeet, also in downtown Bellevue, offers healthy juices, smoothies, snacks, salads and sweets, as well as elixirs designed to boost immunity, reduce inflammation, increase energy and help you focus. For a more lasting reboot, consider taking home one of Jujubeet’s cleanses, which range in commitment from Beginner ($35/day) to Pro ($74/day).

Evolution Fresh SaladsWe love Juice & Glow’s manifesto, which begins, “Power to the plants,” and reminds us to “always be good to yourself and others.” It’s a great reminder for a new year, and great motivation to indulge in the downtown Bellevue café’s juices, smoothies and tonics, and delicious salads and bowls.


From top to bottom: Images courtesy of Patryk Dziemja, Shakti Vinyasa Yoga, Truce, Salt Mine Arium, (Smoothie Bar) Evolution Fresh, (Harvest & Caesar Salads) Evolution Fresh


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Your Pass to a Perfect Day

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Ask 10 local residents to describe their perfect winter day, and seven of them will paint a picture much like this: A hearty breakfast at a favorite eatery, an afternoon on the slopes with friends or family, a muscle-relaxing massage at a nearby spa, a generous serving of comfort food at another favorite restaurant and—finally—a sound night’s sleep in a comfy bed.

The other three residents? They aren’t available to answer—because they’re still in the mountains.

Here are some of our favorite local establishments and destinations to help you achieve this quintessential Northwest winter day.

Lessons & Gear

Ski Image 1Start from scratch or brush up your skills with indoor ski lessons at Mini Mountain. Twenty-minute private sessions are available by appointment Tuesday through Sunday, and all equipment is provided. Mini Mountain also offers skiing and snowboarding equipment rentals, by the day, week or month.

At Sturtevant’s in Bellevue, you’ll conveniently find the latest ski and snowboard apparel and gear, as well as equipment rentals, boot fittings and waxing. Just a few miles east, REI’s Redmond store also offers clothing and gear, plus ski and snowboard tuning, waxing and seasonal classes like Cross-Country Skiing Basics and Mount Rainier Snowshoeing.

Pre-Flight Breakfast

Lot 3. Chicken and WafflesThere isn’t a hotter spot for breakfast than Chace’s Pancake Corral. Get there early to beat the rush, then carbo load with a stack of potato or banana pancakes. Gilberts on Main also serves up delicious sweet and savory breakfast dishes, which you can eat in the cozy little restaurant in Old Bellevue or get to go.

If you want to impress your ski buddies, take them to Eques at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue for a breakfast among the best on the Eastside, featuring mouth-watering dishes like Alaskan Dungeness crab eggs benedict, and buttermilk pancakes with cranberry white chocolate bark.

Getting a later start? Stop by Lot No. 3 for their yummy brunch, which starts at 9 a.m. on the weekends. On the flip side, if you’re eager to get going early, stop by Top Pot Doughnuts for a maple old-fashioned and a latte for the road. The Bellevue café opens at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Ski Areas

From Bellevue, you can be on the slopes in less than an hour. The Summit at Snoqualmie is just about 45 miles east and offers four different ski areas: Alpental, Summit West, Summit Central and Summit East, as well as tubing and Nordic centers. Runs, lessons and rental equipment serve skiers of all levels, as do cafeterias, lounges and lodges at each of the four base areas.

Stevens Pass (75 miles northeast) and Crystal Mountain Resort (75 miles southeast) are just under two hours from Bellevue, and both offer a variety of easy to challenging runs, lodging, lessons and equipment rentals. For more, ahem, cold spots, where visitors can hike, snowshoe, tube and sled, check out our guide to Skiing and Snow Sports.

January through March, the US Forest Service offers guided snowshoe walks, by donation. Tours run from 90 minutes to five hours, and snowshoes and poles are provided. Call 509-852-1062 to make reservations for Snoqualmie Pass, and 360-677-2414 to make reservations for Stevens Pass.

Muscle Melt

Truce Spa Westin - wes1555sp.129045After an invigorating day on the slopes, warm and soothe your sore muscles with a therapeutic massage. Recoop, Gene Juarez Salon & Spa and Truce at The Westin Bellevue are all located right in downtown Bellevue and offer muscle-melting treatments sure to relieve any aches and pains you might have picked up on your way down the hill.

About 15 minutes away in northeast Bellevue, The Spa at Pro Sports Club has some of the best bodywork and deep-tissue specialists in town.

Apres-Ski Dinner

Monsoon East PhoNow that you feel like a noodle, how about getting some noodles? You can get the Italian variety at Cantinetta or the Asian style at Monsoon, Wild Ginger or Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, which now offers takeout, in case you’d rather slurp your noodles in your jammies.

If it’s a thick, juicy steak you crave, we recommend El Gaucho, Daniel’s Broiler or John Howie Steak. And for contemporary American cuisine and upscale comfort food, not to mention fantastic wine lists, park your (ski) bum at Purple Café & Wine Bar or 99 Park. (Got a craving for something we haven’t mentioned? See our restaurant guide.)

The Comfy Bed

Hyatt Room Couple on BedOur favorite stories have a happy ending, of course, and this winter tale wraps up with a deep sleep in a dreamy bed. Among the numerous hotels ready to envelop you in comfort are The Westin Bellevue, home of the heavenly bed; the beautiful and brand-new Seattle Marriott Bellevue; the sophisticated and centrally located Hyatt Regency Bellevue and the luxurious Hotel Bellevue.

For even more lodging choices, visit our guide to Bellevue hotels. We’ll let you in on a little secret: Weekend rates are lower than weekdays, so you have no excuse not to stay the night!

In the Pacific Northwest, snow-cloaked mountain ranges aren’t just a pretty picture, they’re an invitation to a glorious day on the slopes. So cross your fingers that snow comes early and often, and when it does, join us in Bellevue for a perfectly wonderful winter day.

From top to bottom: Images courtesy of Gabriel Santiago,  Pexels.com, Lot No. 3, Truce at The Westin Bellevue, Monsoon East, Hyatt Regency Bellevue

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Stepping Through the Snow – 10,000 Steps of Holiday Shopping in Bellevue

Bellevue Downtown Park Snow Brightened-Credit Sharon Linton

We all know that the holidays can be a time where the delicious calories just keep appearing in the form of festive cookies, gingerbread houses and eggnog. Need a way to get your holiday shopping done while staying active? Look no further than Bellevue! With a walkability score of over 90, it’s easy to get your holiday shopping done while stepping through the snow! Don’t’ forget your pedometer!

 United States, Washington, Bellevue, young women with shopping bags. MREnjoy free parking at The Bellevue Collection

Park your car and head into the Bellevue Collection to start your holiday shopping. If you need some fuel, enjoy a fresh juice or healthy snack at Evolution Fresh, Cactus or Moksha Indian Cuisine on Bellevue Way. 575 Bellevue Square

For the arts lover – The Bellevue Arts Museum Store (800 steps)

Bellevue Arts Museum (2)Check out the hidden gem for great and one-of-a-kind gift ideas for the arts lover at BAMs museum store. With architecturally designed mugs from Zak Helenske or an Ikat bandana from Michael Cepress’ independent clothing label, based in Seattle, you are sure to find a one-of-a-kind gift for that person that seems to always have the coolest stuff! 510 Bellevue Way NE

For the manicure addict – Julep Nail Parlor (1379 steps)

Pop into this boutique nail parlor for a Julep Manicure and Pedicure to prep for your holiday party that is right around the corner. With every manicure and pedicure, you get to take home a complimentary bottle of Julep Nail Vernis (polish) that you can gift as a stocking stuffer! In a rush? Pick up a gift card – it’s sure to make the perfect gift for that person that needs some pampering. 221 Bellevue Way

For the cycling fanatic – Gregg’s Cycles (1550 steps)

Anything the two-wheel commuter needs, wants or wishes for, Gregg’s has it. Voted Seattle’s best bike shop, this store has a great selection of road and commuting bikes, apparel, gear and accessories. They even offer bike fitting and service packages that make for excellent, personalized gift options. 105 Bellevue Way

Old Bellevue (1800 steps)IMG_1631

Once a small town surrounded by strawberry fields, Old Bellevue has maintained some of its rural ambiance. Find modern boutiques like La Ree Boutique (1960 steps), children’s stores like Wee Tots (2000 steps), gourmet, artisan chocolate shops like Fran’s and Vavako (2100 steps) and signature gifts and entertaining staples to design the perfect tablescape for your holiday table at Hedge & Vine (2110 steps).

Warm up with a bowl of Matzo Bowl Soup at Gilbert’s On Main (2200 steps)

Gilbert’s takes their Matzo Bowl Soup very seriously –
26 quarts of water and 6 chickens, along with enough parsnips, garlic, onions, carrots and celery to “topple a plough horse.” Add a six hour simmer time and lighter than air Matzo Balls and the result is a steaming and heavenly Matzo Ball soup experience. 10024 Main Street, Bellevue

Holiday Decor Downtown Bellevue - Photo Credit Kaitlyn Brajcich(3180 steps)

Take a left on 102nd Ave NE

Take a right on NE 1st Street

Take a left on 110th Ave NW


Book a room at the new Seattle Marriott Bellevue (4870 steps)

Make it a staycation at Bellevue’s newest lodging option, featuring modern guest rooms with a minimalist, residential-inspired style. Each room a the Seattle Marriott Bellevue includes high-speed Internet, 55-inch LED flat-screen televisions, upgraded bedding, and a spacious walk-in shower. If it’s approaching happy hour, head to M Club Lounge for a cocktail or a glass of Washington state wine. 200 110th Avenue NE

Luxury Shopping at The Shops at The Bravern (5420 steps)

Mansion Bow at BravernLook no further for high-end goods than The Shops at The Bravern. Featuring international brands such as Gucci, Hermes, Moncler, Jimmy Choo, Omega, Salvatore Ferragamo and Tory Burch, the Bravern has it all. Check out the gifting suite at Neimen Marcus on the 2nd floor for high-end stocking stuffers and gifts that your special someone will never forget.

juicy lucy 1- john howie steak



If you’re in need of a mid-day or evening nosh, stop into John Howie Steak for a juicy burger or Wild Ginger for dim sum. 11111 NE 8th Street

(7500 steps)

Head east on NE 8th Street

Turn left on Bellevue Way 


Celebrate at Celebration Lane and Snowflake Lane! (8500 steps)

Snowflake Lane Street 1_BillBrooksBefore you head into The Bellevue Collection to finish up your holiday shopping at stores like Diane von Furstenburg and jcoco chocolate’s holiday pop-up with free melted chocolate pours every Friday from 5-7pm, enjoy Snowflake and Celebration Lane for nightly performances that begin at 7pm.

10,000 steps!

Pack up your sleigh (err, your car), and be jolly that your holiday shopping is complete. You’ve hit the daily-recommended requirement of steps, and explored Bellevue on foot. Happy Holidays!

From top to bottom: Images courtesy of (Snow in Downtown Park) Sharon Linton, Merrill Images, Bellevue Arts Museum, (Old Bellevue Clock) Sharon Linton, (Holiday Decor Downtown) Kaitlyn Brajcich, The Shops at The Bravern, John Howie Steak, (Snowflake Lane) Bill Brooks

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The Weekend Forecast is Perfect for Enjoying Outdoor Activities in Bellevue

vbw winterIt’s all too familiar during the cold, dark, fall and winter months. Gloomy days turn into “Thank goodness for Netflix” kind of evenings. However, we’re here to say Bellevue has tons to offer! We challenge you to get outside during this cold and wet season. The endless outdoor activities may surprise you. There’s no better time than this weekend to explore! The forecast is going to be perfect with nothing but sun and temperatures in the mid 40’s. This means it’s time to put on your mittens and wooly socks and enjoy the great outdoors.  Read on to discover some fun and exciting ways you can spend this weekend in the crisp Pacific Northwest air.

Nature Walks

child-932369_1920One of the easiest ways to get some fresh air this season is by partaking in a nature walk. Plus, they’re great for all ages! Take a dive into the region’s past at Coal Creek Natural Area. This park offers three moderate-level trails, in a suburban creek valley providing dense forests and majestic waterfalls. Or enjoy 7+ miles of walking trails located minutes from downtown Bellevue at Mercer Slough Nature Park. This is the largest of Lake Washington’s remaining fresh water wetlands, and is one of Bellevue’s largest parks. Explore over 320 acres of wildlife habitat, agriculture, and wetland ecosystems.

Ice Skating


This weekend you can walk around the ½ mile loop at Bellevue Downtown Park and see work being done to install the skating rink in what is a reflecting pond during the summer months. Then come back next week to check out Bellevue’s very own ice rink! Create festive memories with a loved one this season, and skate the afternoon or night away. The rink opens Friday November 27, the day after Thanksgiving. This is the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit.

Winter Hikes

Rattlesnake Ledge View3 - 6-22-13- Kaitlyn BrajcichPack the hot chocolate, bundle up, and explore all that these perfect winter hikes have to offer! Bellevue’s relatively temperate months provide for decent hiking conditions. There are quite a few options for perfect day hikes less than a forty-minute drive from Bellevue! Rattlesnake Ledge  is just 30 minutes from Bellevue; this popular easy-to-moderate hike is roughly 4 miles roundtrip and comes with spectacular well-earned views. For something a little more challenging, check out Little Si. This moderate, 4.7 mile hikes trail-head is located about a half hour outside of Bellevue. Don’t let the name fool you, as this hike provides a spectacular view of Snoqualmie River Valley and a 1,200-foot elevation gain. For more recommended hiking trails click here.

Dog-Friendly Outings

Happy dogIf you’re feeling a bit blah during these dark and wet days, grab your nearest furry friend and head outside. Not sure where to go? Bellevue has some great spots where you and your four-legged friend can hang out. Let your dog run wild and get some energy out at the Robinswood Off-Leash Dog Corral! Your canine is sure to love this off-leash dog park and it will suit even the shyest and smallest of dogs because they also have optional separate corrals. Afterwards, enjoy some shopping or a cup of coffee at the Crossroads Shopping Center . The shopping center is just 10 minutes from downtown Bellevue and is a leashed dog-friendly mall!

Garden d’Lights Festival – 20th Anniversary Edition



Watch Bellevue blossom! Starting November 28, at Bellevue Botanical Garden will host their annual the Garden d’Lights, featuring over half a million lights. This dazzling display is equally enjoyable for kids as it is for adults.  Plan ahead and make meaningful memories during this holiday season. Purchase your tickets in advance!



(Photo credit top to bottom: Adult Looking by Unsplash via Pixabay.com Child Walking by Tookapic via Pixabay.com, Ice Skating by Ferobanjo via Pixabay.com, Rattlesnake Ledge by Kaitlin Brajcich, Dog by Quartzla via Pixabay.com, Garden d’Lights by VisitBellevueWashington )

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10 Ways to Ruin Your Diet in Bellevue

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Why not break away from your diet and treat yourself to a nice juicy burger and shake, a shot of melted dark chocolate, or a quality steak? Whatever the occasion or mood you may be in, Bellevue has got just the right place for you! Check out 10 ways to ruin your diet in Bellevue.

Local Burger

Local BurgerHow does a juicy burger made with crispy bacon, tangy BBQ sauce, crispy fried onion straws and rich aioli sound? We recommend putting any diet on hold for this one! This is known as the Hillbilly Burger, grab this and all sorts of other diet-wrecking eats at  Local Burger. You can even pair your burger with one of their 24 beers on tap! You will get nothing but the best at Local Burger as they are committed to providing only the most quality food and beverages.


Tutta Bella

Tutta BellaTutta Bella is the Northwest’s first certified Neapolitan Pizzeria which features authentic Neapolitan pizzas, Italian wines, Umbria espresso, and now they offer a new Fritti menu with classic Italian fried cuisine. Come by to watch your Neapolitan pizza being made from start to finish using only the highest quality of ingredients, at a chef’s table and using their new Acunto ovens (which were handmade in Italy by artisan oven makers). Take a break from that traditional pepperoni pizza and dive into something new. You won’t be counting calories when you check out Tutta Bella’s menu. Renew your pizza palette by indulging in the Hazan pizza. You won’t be sorry you tried this combination of pomodoro, fresh mozzarella, gorgonzola, provola, calabrian salame, and mushrooms!

Lunchbox Laboratory

LunchboxFeeling experimental? Lunchbox Laboratory is the place to be if you’re looking to mix up your daily diet routine. Have you ever tried a shake with bacon in it? Well, now is the time to liven things up by trying the Maple Bacon Boozie Shake made with vanilla ice cream, rich maple syrup and crispy bacon all mixed together!To finish off the Boozie Shake experiment, you get a test tube filled with Jim Beam, AbsolutVanila, and Kahlua. This is every adult’s dream come true! Pair your shake with any one of Lunchbox Laboratory’s giant, juicy burgers to get the full affect.

Lot No. 3

Lot3According to the Seattle Times, you can sum it up in three words: booze, beer and bacon. Yes indeed, candied bacon is a great place to start but you can follow that  with chicken & waffles, grilled cheese, or onion dip! Lot No. 3 is your destination for classic comfort food, breakfast and brunch in a vintage industrial-inspired space. Our favorite at Lot No. 3 is the Mac & Cheese, the combined flavors of red Leicester and Monterey jack with creamy white wine-herb sauce and toasted bread crumbs is nothing short of extraordinary and will leave you never wanting to diet again!



Daniels Broiler

DanielsThere are some definite possibilities to spoil a diet at Daniel’s Broiler! This world-class steakhouse offers USDA Prime Steaks and so much more. Our dish of choice at Daniel’s Broiler is the mouthwatering 14 oz Rib-Eye, every ounce of this steak is juicy, savory, and richly marbled with intense flavors. Pair your steak with Daniel’s flavorful garlic mashed potatoes or jumbo baked potato. Enjoy a high-end spirits bar, an award-winning wine list and live piano music every night at Daniel’s Broiler! 


Din Tai Fung

Din Tai FungDin Tai Fung is the Eastside’s premier dumplings and noodle restaurant. Make sure you try the dumplings! Perfectly constructed, these plump and hot dumplings will make your taste buds crave more. If you really want to go all out and make your diet cheat day count, pair your dumplings with some flavorful fried rice. Don’t forget the desserts of course! Din Tai Fung has an amazing selection of sweet desserts unlike anything you’ve ever tasted!




El Gaucho

El GauchoGooey, rich combination of cheeses topped with crispy bits of bread crumb topping. This Gaucho Mac and Coastal Cheddar Cheese sounds amazing, right? You can give this and so many other delectable dishes a try at El Gaucho. This restaurant offers an elegant, 5-star dining experience with dim lighting, live jazz on the piano, and exceptional customer service.




PancakesLocated inside the Hyatt Hotel, Eques offers a fresh a la carte breakfast and contemporary buffet every day of the week! If you’re feeling something sweet, and sugary, you’ll definitely want to take a break from eating those everyday egg whites and enjoy some some German Chocolate Pancakes! There’s no better way to wake up than to wake up to rich chocolate pancakes combined with sweet coconut pecan frosting, Lingonberry puree, topped with rich dark chocolate curls & candied pecans They use only the most high-quality, locally-sourced seasonal ingredients and offer a creative menu which has received the “2015 Best Brunch Restaurants in America Award”.

Belle Pastry

belleAre you a sweets kind of person? Then you have to try this flaky, buttery pastry stuffed full of raspberry jam and mascarpone cheese also known as a Raspberry Cream Cheese Croissant. If you can’t stop at just one tasty pastry,treat yourself to a coconut macaroon as well. Enjoy all of these creations at Belle Pastry which is a French bakery located in Old Bellevue on Main Street. Their bakery is filled with beautifully made French croissants, quiches, and sweet confections along with delicious coffee and tea, made from only the finest ingredients.

Jcoco Chocolates

ChocolateThis holiday season, it’s time to try something unique, something that will you leave your taste buds wanting more. That something unique is the seasonal chocolate concoction from Jcoco! Enjoy the fresh take on  gingerbread with pieces of sweet candied ginger and a sprinkle of wintry allspice mixed with only the finest of chocolates. Jcoco provides only the best and they source their chocolate from locations such as Belgium and Vanuatu.  


(Photo Credit Top to Bottom: Eques via BellevueRegency.comLocal Burger via Localburger.org, Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria, Lunch Box Laboratory via LunchBoxLaboratory.com, Lot No. 3 via Lot No. 3 Facebook, Daniel’s Broiler via Daniels Broiler Facebook, Din Tai Fung via DinTaiFungUSA.com,  El Gaucho via El Gaucho Facebook, Eques via BellevueRegency.com, Belle Pastry via BellePastry.com, Jcoco via Jcoco Facebook

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Rainy Day Activities in Bellevue


In Washington, when it rains it’s often just a drizzle – don’t let that prevent you from getting out and about in Bellevue! Whether you’d rather go on an outdoor adventure or stay warm and cozy inside, Bellevue is the place to be on a wet and blustery fall day. When it pours, come explore!

Shopping at The Bellevue Collection

The Bellevue Collection

If you love to shop, eat and also want to keep the little ones entertained, The Bellevue Collection is the place to be. The Bellevue Collection is made up of three distinct shopping areas:  Bellevue Square, Bellevue Place, and Lincoln Square. With over 250 stores and more than 45 attractions for dining and entertainment purposes, the Bellevue Collection definitely has something for everyone. Kids can enjoy the Kids’ Cove play area located in the mall while you sip on a delicious hot coffee. Or visit Lucky Strike Lanes & Power Play. From 11 am to 8 pm, kids can have the time of their lives bowling or even hanging out in Lucky Strike’s world-renown arcade room called Power Play! Best of all on a rainy day, you can cozy up near the beautiful stone-clad fireplace in “The Lodge”!

Fun in the Rain- Mercer Slough Nature Park

Mercer Slough

Put on your rain gear and stomp around in some puddles at the beautiful Mercer Slough Nature Park! This beautiful 320-acre wetland located right in Bellevue is Lake Washington’s largest remaining wetland. You can walk along the trails looking for beavers and humming birds, while you make your way to the blueberry fields, greenhouses, gardens, forests and meadows. If you get a little too wet, you can also visit the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center (MSEEC). This visiting center features a tree-house, nature classes, a community building, a library and even a boardwalk area, which displays a bird’s-eye-view of Bellevue’s city skyline.

Bellevue Arts Museum 

BAM Photo

The Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM) is one of the top destinations in Bellevue to explore a variety of art and designs from local to international artists. BAM offers free daily public tours starting at 1 pm! Come see one of BAM’s featured sculptures called “Cloud” created by Graypants Studio. This one-of-a-kind sculpture is made up of ping-pong balls and fluorescent lights that are meant to inspire wonder and imaginative meanderings of childhood. Kids can also explore their artistic side every weekend on “Get Crafty Saturday” in the Museum Forum from 1-3pm. These art activities are designed to encourage individual creativity for kids ages 4 to 10 and only cost $4! Check out the events section to find out more.

Warm Up at the Spa


Bellevue has many beautiful attractions and activities, as well as a number of luxurious spas. If you are looking to feel rejuvenated and relaxed, then the Salt Mine Arium is just the place for you! This original spa is the only Salt Room in Bellevue that features a special salt therapy that can relieve allergies, asthma, a cold, flu, insomnia and more. Beyond the salt therapy, additional services include massage, acupuncture, energy body work, and yoga. Make your rainy day, a relaxing one. Check out other Bellevue spa options here!

Wine Tasting at the Purple Café


Get out of the rain and warm up at the Purple Café. Grab a flight of great wine and watch as the rain passes by. While you sip on your favorite glass of wine, you can also enjoy an expansive menu which includes artisan cheeses, starters, soup, salads, pizza, pasta, and seafood!

Aerial Art Performances at Suite Restaurant


Suite Restaurant and Lounge is as place unlike any other! It’s located at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in the Wintergarden Plaza and is open from 3pm to 2am. Starting between 8 and 8:30 pm on weekends, the Seattle Aerial Arts showcases outstanding aerial performances while you dine with an original chef created menu! Give the award-winning ½ lb. Kobe Burger a try. This is one of their featured items which is sure to delight your taste buds.

Which rainy day activities in Bellevue are you going to try?

 (Photo Credit Top to Bottom: Water by Diego_Torres via Pixabay, Image courtesy of  Visit Bellevue Washington, Mercer Slough image courtesy of Sharon Linton, Cloud Photo courtesy of the Bellevue Arts Museum, Image courtesy of Salt Mine Arium, Wine by Epicantus via Pixabay Image courtesy of Visit Bellevue Washington)



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Halloween in Bellevue

Who’s ready for a weekend filled with scares and excitement? Celebrate your Halloween in Bellevue, there’s something for everyone this weekend! Whether you enjoy taking in a show or dancing the night away! Bellevue has a spooky Halloween event for everyone!

International Ballet Theatre Presents Dracula

DanceMag-IBTDracula-004The International Ballet Theatre presents an original production of Dracula! You can catch this stunning performance this week from Friday, October 30th through Sunday, November 1st.  This performance brings to life the gothic classic that was inspired by Bram Stoker. Take in spectacular visual elements and music that all represent the original vampire myths. This production has gained immense popularity throughout the region and is one of the most popular Halloween activities in the area! Tickets are on sale now, get yours today!

Spookfest Zip Scare

Photo Credit: Bellevue Parks & Community Services / Colin Walker

Photo Credit: Bellevue Parks & Community Services / Colin Walker

Zip lining is scary enough! But it’s Halloweek in Bellevue so things have to be even scarier. Are you ready to take the plunge and step off a platform in the dark without knowing where your zip line is taking you? A glow-stick lit path will take you to your final destination. You definitely don’t want to miss out on this experience, make sure you get here between 6 pm and 8 pm so you don’t miss the fun!




Halloween Bash at the Parlor

 Get dressed up in your craziest costumes and come to the Halloween Bash at the Parlor on Saturday, October 31st! With a free cover charge, free parking, and $2000 in prizes, it’s is sure to be a great time. Costume contest starts at midnight; join DJ Macklong as he announces the winner.



Nightmare at Beaver Lake



If you dare, walk down the mile long pathway filled with terror that leads you to a frightening haunted house in the woods of Sammamish. There will be no shortness of screams or fear during your visit to Beaver Lake. You can also feel good about going on this chilling adventure because all of the money and food donations from ticket sales are donated back to the community and other charities around the area.

 Halloween Family Fun Fest

ID-10053918If you prefer to stay dry and warm this Halloween, then we have an event just for you!  The Bellevue Collection is hosting Halloween Family Fun Fest on Saturday, October 31st! Bring the whole family down for some trick or treating, a mad science booth, manicures, and much more between 5 and 7 pm.




 (Photo Credit Top to Bottom: IBT Dracula by International Ballet Theatre, Bellevue Zip Tour courtesy of Bellevue Parks Community Services by Colin Walker , Image courtesy of Apolonia at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Scary Branches by CTVGS via Pixabay, Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)


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