Savor springtime adventure in nature’s bounty

There’s no better time to explore Bellevue’s lush parks and charming gardens than in spring. From the breathtaking Bellevue Botanical Garden to the historic and revitalized Wilburton Hill Park, these five featured spots offer a perfect blend of natural beauty, history, and recreational opportunities.

Bellevue Botanical Garden & Wilburton Park


The Bellevue Botanical Garden is a massive, 53-acre green haven nestled in the heart of the city. The property holds more than a dozen themed gardens within its borders, including a dahlia-filled display and a fuchsia garden with more than 100 varieties of the bloom.

Within Bellevue Botanical Garden, Yao Garden, developed to honor the sister city relationship between Bellevue and Yao, Japan, whisks you to a serene outdoor paradise. A traditional Japanese gate marks the entrance to a gorgeous landscape, full of displays that offer a beautiful blend of influences from the cities. Next, pay a visit to the Shorts Ground Cover Garden and Tateuchi Pavilion, where Asian architectural styles, a mountain stream, and impressive maple trees make you feel a world away.

Discover Bellevue’s roots in the Native Discovery Garden, where plants native to Puget Sound take the spotlight. The Washington Native Plant Society and East Lake Washington District of Garden Clubs assist with the native plant collections, allowing the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest to thrive at the Bellevue Botanical Garden. Learn about how these plants can thrive in your own home garden and how you can create an outdoor oasis in your own backyard.

A visit to the Bellevue Botanical Garden isn’t all casual strolling and fragrant blossoms, though. The Ravine Experience takes you across a 150-foot suspension bridge over a deep crevice to observe native flora from above. The best part? The Bellevue Botanical Garden is free to visit!

See the Bellevue Botanical Garden firsthand as our Visit Bellevue Ambassador Rashad strolls its paths for The Vue.

Right next to the garden is Wilburton Hill Park, named after the logging camp that once occupied this scenic piece of land. Now the city’s largest upland park, Wilburton Hill Park showcases thriving second-growth forests and a children’s playground, complete with a thrilling zipline.

The Lake to Lake Trail connects the Bellevue Botanical Garden and Wilburton Hill Park — along with seven other city parks and green spaces — offering both a physical and historical journey. Immerse yourself in the ambiance of a Pacific Northwest evergreen forest that truly feels a world away from Bellevue’s urban center. At about 10 miles in length, the Lake to Lake Trail acts as a green corridor and scenic route that highlights Bellevue’s dedication to creating accessible and interconnected green spaces.

Marymoor Park

At the north end of Lake Sammamish, Marymoor Park provides a dynamic blend of entertainment and nature. Quietly ply the waters of Lake Sammamish in a canoe after departing from The Sammamish Rowing Association’s public boat launch. Loudly sing along to chart toppers as part of Marymoor Park’s summer concert series, which can draw crowds in the thousands for headliners such as Melissa Etheridge and The Avett Brothers. For something audibly in-between, check out the 40-acre off-leash dog park at that many refer to as “Doggy Disneyland.”

A 30-foot climbing wall with bouldering and sport-climbing routes offer an enticing challenge to visitors, while two fantastic playgrounds (and a life-size train!) offer endless fun for the young and young-at-heart. Looking to get active on two wheels instead? Holding the state’s only velodrome, Marymoor Park is the perfect place for bicycle racing, offering a 400-meter track to its visitors. In addition to sports, Marymoor Park is a wonderful place to recognize the arts. World-renowned shows from Cirque du Soleil are performed biannually on the Recreation Event Pad, inspiring all who attend.

Bring your family, bring your friends, bring Fido, or bring just yourself — Marymoor Park is a destination for all.

Bridle Trails State Park & Bridle Trails Neighborhood


For a unique outdoor experience just five minutes from downtown Bellevue, Bridle Trails State Park and the surrounding Bridle Trails neighborhood are a must-visit. This urban oasis offers a distinctive blend of lush landscapes, recreational opportunities, and a profound connection to Bellevue’s equestrian heritage.

Think of Bridle Trails State Park as an equestrian experience within a historic neighborhood — tucked away beneath heavy woods and lush green trees, the park provides four horse arenas and 28 miles of equestrian and pedestrian trails for recreation on two legs or four hooves. Surrounding Bridle Trails State Park is the Bridle Trails Neighborhood Area, which complements the equestrian spirit — creating a community that cherishes and shares its love for horseback riding with the broader city of Bellevue.

Kelsey Creek Farm


Steeped in the charm of the 1930s, Kelsey Creek Farm stands as a living testament to Bellevue’s rich history. Two historic barns at Kelsey Creek Farm are listed in the State Heritage Barn Register and were once home to the Twin Valley Dairy. This living farm is more than just a historical site; it’s a fun venue where visitors can hang out with friendly farm animals — the Barnyard Experience allows visitors to see chickens, cows, ponies, rabbits, sheep, and more.

If you can peel the little ones away from the animals, there are meandering trails and playgrounds to keep the fun going. Kelsey Creek Farm is free to experience and to see the animals, and the park is open daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Stop by the farm April 27, 2024, for Kelsey Creek Farm’s biggest event of the year — the annual sheep sheering — guaranteeing fun for the whole family in this lovely farm sanctuary.

In the heart of spring, Bellevue’s parks and gardens blend the tranquility of nature with a dash of big city excitement. Breathe in the fresh air as you enjoy refreshing exploration!