Between wedding showers, bachelorette parties and girls’ nights out, you might think that women have a monopoly on single-gender get-togethers. But there are dozens of pursuits manlier in nature that can encourage a group of guys to get away. Call it the bro trip.
Whether you’re meeting up with college buddies for a football game, your brothers for a
family reunion or your best friends for a fishing trip or golf tournament, Bellevue offers plenty of opportunities for male bonding. And hotel room rates are often lower over the weekend, so if you’re in town for business, why not stay a few more days, and invite your mates to meet you?
Below are just a few activities that might mobilize the troops.
GET YOUR GAME ON
Located in north Bellevue, the Bellevue Golf Course is a public 18-hole, par 71 course for golfers of all levels. Guests of the posh Hotel Bellevue have access to the Bellevue Club’s spectacular athletic facilities, including the basketball courts in the modern, spacious gymnasium, and indoor tennis, racquetball and badminton courts.
If you prefer to sweat outside, Bellevue is also home to numerous running and hiking trails, as well as zip-lining at Bellevue Zip Tour and aerial adventure courses at Adventura. Popular stores like Running Elements and The North Face are easily accessible to help you gear up.
If that’s not enough competition for one day, hit the showers, then bowl a few rounds or face off over a video game at Lucky Strike.
SUPPORT YOUR TEAM
Fall is a particularly bountiful time for sports enthusiasts, with football, soccer and baseball all on the menu. Football fans (known locally as “12s”) flock to Century Link Field to watch the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks, and tailgate at Husky Stadium hours before cheering on the UW Huskies. With back-to-back Super Bowl appearances under their belts, Seahawks tickets are hard to come by; your best bet is a reseller like NFL Ticket Exchange or StubHub.
As fall rolls on, Seattle Sounders FC will be battling to secure a spot in the MLS playoffs, while Seattle Reign FC will be embarking on post-season play in the National Women’s Soccer League. And while the Seattle Mariners won’t be in a pennant race, their annual Oktoberfest game (Oct. 3) is always a fun way to wrap up the season at Safeco Field. (The team’s “Girls Night Out” promotion is on the same date. Just sayin’.)
For an experience never before offered in the United States, check out the Men’s World Squash Championship at Meydenbauer Center on Nov. 13-22. The world’s best squash players will convene in Bellevue for the prestigious international tournament—the richest in the history of the game with a purse of $350,000.
No matter what sport gets you fired up, you’ll find a great seat at one of the friendly bars, restaurants and hotel lounges that make sports a priority. The brand-new Seattle Marriott Bellevue features a handsome, high-ceilinged lounge with more than a half-dozen big-screen TVs. Joey, Earl’s Kitchen + Bar, Tavern Hall and 520 Bar & Grill are a big hit with sports fans that like a little polish with their punt returns.
For a more classic and uniquely local sports bar experience, belly up to the bar at the Mustard Seed Grill & Pub or the Pumphouse Bar & Grill. If you’re as serious about your beer as you are about your soccer, visit Bellevue Brewing Company for world class ales and lagers alongside fresh local cuisine.
DROP A LINE
The fish are biting year-round in Lake Washington, and fall is no exception. You’re most likely to hook yellow perch and largemouth bass in September; smallmouth bass in September and October; and coastal cutthroat trout in October and November. Need a boat? As long as you’re at least 25-years-old, you can rent a boat from the Yarrow Bay Marina.
Local rivers, like the Snoqualmie, just a few miles east of Bellevue, also offer great—and often more challenging—opportunities. Consult the state Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Weekender Report, then stop by Orvis for tips from the pros, plus the best gear for current conditions.
Are we suggesting you trek en masse to the nearest massage table? Heck, no. You’re dudes. But before kickoff, or after tee-time, take time out for some grooming—particularly if your post-game celebration includes a night on the town. The Gene Juarez salon and spa in Bellevue has a dedicated area just for men, with treatments tailored to their specific grooming needs. At Recoop, you’ll also enjoy male-specific services, like the Dapper Facial.
EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY
Lucky you, three of the region’s best steakhouses are right here in Bellevue. John Howie Steak boasts not one, not two, but six tiers of the world’s best steaks, as well as an impressively deep wine list and two richly decorated private rooms for groups.
Just blocks away is Daniel’s Broiler, another superior local eatery known for the small flashlights carried by its wait staff to guarantee that your steak is perfectly cooked. After dinner, you’ll find swanky serenity at Daniel’s attractive Prime 21, a speakeasy-inspired bar-within-a bar that specializes in bourbon, scotch and rum.
El Gaucho established its reputation for impeccable tableside service in Seattle’s trendy Belltown neighborhood before opening its elegant Eastside outpost in Bellevue. Cap off your guys’ getaway with the restaurant’s wildly popular and mouthwatering Sunday prime rib dinner.
The tasting room at Woodinville Whiskey Co., is open daily (11-5), and offers free tours at 1 and 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Just be sure to make a reservation if there are 10 or more in your group. The $5 tasting fee is applied to any spirit purchase.
From top to bottom: Images courtesy of Visit Bellevue Washington, Adventura, Lucky Strike, Kaitlyn Brajcich, Tavern Hall, Bellevue Brewing Company, Peter Linton, John Howie Steak, Tap House Grill