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Bellevue WA

Bellevue, WA

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Bellevue, Washington, is Seattle's largest and most well-known suburb, but it is a city with a life of its own. Bellevue was incorporated in 1953, and the community celebrated by having a sock hop in 2003 for its 50th anniversary. The area began its industrial life with coal mining, but the logging industry took over as settlers began to clear trees off their farms. By the time 1900 rolled around, Bellevue's farming community was going strong. Following the city's incorporation, an influx of Seattleites and Bellevue visitors from afar were drawn to the boom town, making it a true suburb of the rainy city.

Outdoor lovers will find several parks to be of interest. Marymoore Park, Meydenbauer Beach Park and Mercer Slough are the three big parks in the area, though Bellevue tourists will enjoy Downtown Park. It boasts 20 acres at the center of Bellevue and a walking promenade with a double row of trees that provide an abundance of shade. Mount Rainier can be seen on clear days from the lawn in the park. The Bellevue Botanical Garden also draws gardeners and nature lovers. Fifty acres of cultivated gardens and natural wetlands showcase the Pacific Northwest’s indigenous plant species.

Thanks to its proximity to Seattle, Bellevue affords tourists some treasure from its rich arts community. Kids Quest Children's Museum is a hands-on museum for creative thought and activity aimed at children up to the age of eight. The Bellevue Youth Theatre Foundation provides classes and performances geared toward the younger set of thespians. Bellevue Arts Museum has a sculpture garden and community gallery. This suburban museum also has variety of rotating exhibits.

For the more adventurous at heart, South Bellevue Community Center has a 33-foot climbing wall open to the public. Rock-climbing lessons are offered, and the footholds on the wall are changed periodically to keep the experience interesting and challenging for regulars. The community center also offers summer rock-climbing camps. For the more calculating sports person, Bellevue Golf Club offers 10 different courses to match all skill levels.

Visitors to Bellevue Square, a popular shopping mall, will find a wide selection of among 250 retail stores and restaurants. These include 7 For All Mankind, Guess, New Balance and The North Face. Blue C Sushi, located on level one, is a popular place to go for Japanese food in the Bellevue area. Crossroads Bellevue is another mall with a fitness center aptly named Crunch, a Regal Crossroads Cinema and a King County Library Connection branch.

Black Bottle Postern is a little place offering rustic pub food, shared plates, and a variety of wine, cocktails and beers. Danube Bistro has a menu of family-style Italian and German favorites, with a long list of house specialties. Danube Bistro is on the ground floor of an apartment building, and the restaurant has a cozy residential atmosphere. In addition to café fare, the bistro offers a selection of wines available by the bottle.

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