When visiting Seattle, many people just stay in downtown Seattle because that’s all they know. There’s another side you should visit on the “Eastside” as locals call it. Just 15 minutes east of Seattle across Lake Washington is the city of Bellevue, which has become its own sprawling city. Make sure to allow some time to visit this area and spend a weekend in Bellevue!
Head over to Bellevue and check in to the W Bellevue at Lincoln Square South. You’ll be able to leave your car in the parking garage all weekend and walk everywhere, as the hotel is in the center of dozens of restaurants, bars, shops, and entertainment. They also have some very creative areas to hang out at, including a library and cozy bar called The Living Room.
Once you’re checked in and have a cocktail at the bar, it’s time to explore the area. There are tons of restaurants just in Lincoln Square, so you don’t even have to leave. For dinner, head to Fogo de Chão, a Brazilian steakhouse where they walk around with meat on the skewer.
After, head to Cinemark Reserve Lincoln Square to catch the latest movie. The best part about this theater is you reserve your seats in advance so you don’t have to rush through dinner just to sit at the movie theater early to make sure you get a seat.
Start the day on an active note by heading over to Flywheel for a spin class. Choose from a 45- or 60-minute class that has you going on “flats” or “hills” and give you an amazing workout. You’ll feel energized as you finish your class and start the rest of your day!
You can either take a shower at Flywheel or head back to your hotel to freshen up. After that, walk down to Old Bellevue to do some shopping. Only a few blocks away from Lincoln Square, it’s a cute area that’s much less populated than the main area of Bellevue.
When it’s time for lunch, stop at the Chinese restaurant Peony Modern Kitchen. I’m a pescatarian and often have a hard time finding a dish that tastes good at Chinese restaurants, but that was no problem here. I tried honey mustard walnut black tiger prawns, rice crispy sweet and sour prawns, and crispy Dover sole. Not only were they all delicious, but none of them were greasy like I’ve come to expect at Chinese restaurants.
Now it’s time to go shopping, and this could literally take you all day based on how many shops there are in the Bellevue Collection. When I was younger, there was just the mall called Bellevue Square, but now they’ve incorporated Lincoln Square and Bellevue Place for the ultimate shopping trifecta.
Start with Bellevue Square, where you can visit the Tesla store, sit in a few, and dream about owning one someday. Some of my favorite stores include the Amazon Bookstore, Teavana, Uniqlo, LEGO, and ExOfficio. When you need a break, grab a latte from Woods Coffee.
When your feet are hurting from shopping for hours, head back to your hotel to freshen up. It’s then time for seafood as you walk over to Taylor Shellfish Farms. Whether you’re a visitor to Seattle or have lived here all your life, you’ll be impressed by the selection here. They serve locally farmed oysters on the shell so you can get a taste of the Pacific Northwest. After, you can walk around 8th Street to burn some calories (and see the trees light up if it’s during the holidays).
For your entertainment tonight, practice your bowling skills at Lucky Strike. This isn’t your average bowling alley – after 8 PM, it’s 21 and over only so the party really begins. They have a full bar, pool tables, and even dance floors so you can do whatever you’re in the mood for.
For your last morning, pay a visit to Third Culture Coffee for breakfast. They have a unique variety of coffee and teas, some of which are local and some that are international. I tried a Vietnamese coffee as well as an Elaichi chai where you got to choose how much tea, milk, and sugar you wanted by making it yourself. There are plenty of pastries to have for breakfast as well.
When you’re done with your coffee, go across the street to the Downtown Park. There’s a half mile loop you can walk around to get exercise. The park also has a stepped canal and a waterfall that goes into a pond. In the summer, it’s the perfect place to relax in the sun. During the winter, they have an ice skating rink here.
As you’ll see, there are plenty of ways to spend your weekend in Bellevue. Chances are you’ll discover more places you want to visit but run out of time. That just means you’ll have to make another trip out!
This post was sponsored by Visit Bellevue, but all opinions are my own. There are affiliate links in this post at no cost to you.