Bellevue Botanical Gardens

The Bellevue Botanical Gardens is your gateway to the mossy, forest-y, fauna and flora-abundant landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Located on the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish people and spanning 53 acres, 15 of which are cultivated, the gardens include woodlands, natural wetlands, and living collections of native plants. The walkways and low to mid grade trails lead you through the Yao Japanese Garden, Rock Garden, Native Discovery Garden, and a very picturesque suspension bridge.

Eventually, you’ll find yourself in the middle of the Lake-to-Lake Trail, a system of trails that connect all 9 parks in Bellevue, from Lake Washington in the west to Lake Sammamish on the east. Here, you’ll forget you’re anywhere near a city and fully immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the northwest. 

Visiting the gardens

The Garden is open daily from dawn to dusk, including holidays. Admission is free. Be sure to check the hours of dawn to dusk, which varies depending on season. The sun sets at 9 pm in the summer and 4 pm in the winter. 

There are classes, workshops, and other events held year round, such as learning how to landscape with native plants, or story time at the garden for preschoolers. Some are free and some are paid. You can even do pilates in the gardens. 

Annual events include Arts in the Garden in the summer and Garden d’Lights in the winter, which is celebrating 30 years of awesome d’Lights in 2024. 

Art and Other Fun Things

The garden is equipped with free Wi-Fi, provided for visitors to use. It allows visitors to utilize the QR code plant markers, which lead devices to the Bellevue Botanical Garden’s plant database for an educational experience. 


While meandering through the gardens, be sure to take notice of the numerous delightful works of art along the way.


Explore the Yao Garden and its traditional Japanese gate, honoring the relationship between sister cities Bellevue and Yao, Japan.


The bees do buzz around the garden ecosystem, and there’s a bee hotel to prove it. The mason bees arrive in the spring and the leaf cutter bees come in the summer. 


There’s also a tiny gnome-sized door hidden by a tree along the trails, receiving much local fanfare. Originally, the tiny unit was built to house and protect certain plants from the cold winters. However, the local slugs found it to be a delicious meal and the space is no longer in use. 


Of course, there’s the highly sought after suspension bridge and lots of fun moss varietals, streams, wetlands and other waterscapes to uncover. 


For some cuteness overload, walk a little further and follow the trail to Kelsey Creek Farm, where you’ll come face to face with some adorable, rescued farm animals. Squeal over bunnies, chickens, sheep, cows, a pig, and more. 

Guided Docent Tours

There are various different docent led tours throughout the gardens, including ones designed for adults and families, as well as youth. 

Public tours are available every Saturday and Sunday from April through October, with the exception of August 24 and 25. Private tours can be requested online and scheduled at least two weeks prior to the tour date. 

Tours are free and donations are encouraged. Suggested donation is $5 per person. 

Please check their website for the most up to date information.

Plant Sales

There are a lot of societies that help keep the gardens immaculate. One of them is the Bellevue Botanical Gardens Society, which is its nonprofit arm. The others include the rock society, the dahlia society, etc. They hold plant sales. 

The Trillium Store

The Trillium Store is the perfect spot to shop for nature loving gifts and trinkets, with ethically-sourced and handcrafted products from the surrounding region. 

Coffee Bar

When in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll be sure to find a cup of quality coffee at every corner. Located inside the mid-century modern house, which is home to a well acquainted nature library and living room, Copper Kettle Coffee Bar is a locally-owned business that serves a mean cup of coffee or Italian cream soda. 

Getting there

Bellevue Botanical Gardens is accessible through BellHop, Bellevue’s free electric shuttles that provide pooled transportation throughout the city’s downtown core and surrounding areas. To learn how to book a ride with BellHop, visit our BellHop Guide

How to Behave at the Botanical Gardens

A lot of volunteer work goes into maintaining the botanical gardens, around 15,000 - 20,000 hours of work. It’s a nice and peaceful place that is built and preserved by the community, so please be respectful when visiting the gardens. 

That means you’ll need to stay on the paths, which are made of concrete, gravel, and wood chips. Don’t take anything that doesn’t belong to you, including living and not-living organisms. What you bring in, must be brought out. For more information, please see the botanical garden’s etiquette guidelines.

Hotels Near Bellevue Botanical Gardens

There are so many wonderful and well appointed accommodations in Bellevue. The W Hotel and the Westin are great choices for those who enjoy an elevated experience located in heart of downtown Bellevue. These hotels are a part of the Bellevue Collection and provides easy access to shopping, dining, and other activities within steps of your accommodations. For a more secluded feel, check out the Bellevue Club Hotel, which grants hotel guests access to the impressive 4 story athletic club. The Courtyard by Marriott is a great choice for families. Explore more options with Book Direct