Outdoor Enthusiast Itinerary
Bellevue has many unique opportunities for weekend warriors and outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you want a leisurely walk through a botanical garden or the adrenaline-inspired aerial views from a zip line, we have an adventure waiting just for you!
Pick Your Adventure!
- Take the scenic route through the treetops on the Bellevue Zip Tour. Meander through a series of zip lines and bridges amidst a forested tree canopy for an aerial tour. Take in views of a second growth forest of Douglas fir and broadleaf maple trees, spectacular views of Downtown Bellevue's skyline and the North Cascades, including Mt. Baker.
- Select dates throughout the year, join a ranger-led Night Hike at Lewis Creek Park. As soon as the sun sets, rangers take to the trail in search of nocturnal and crepuscular species that call Bellevue home.
- Test your endurance on a long distance hike starting from Bellevue. Explore any of the 92 miles of trails that weave through Bellevue to places such as the Lake to Lake Trail, which connects Lake Sammamish to Lake Washington and spans nearly 10 miles. Or crisscross your way through the trails system, and depending how much time you have, your journey could begin in Bellevue and take you to the Cascade Mountains on the Mountains to Sound Greenway.
For those who enjoy nature at their own pace:
- Take a ranger led-canoe trip through the Mercer Slough, Lake Washington's largest remaining freshwater wetland. The 320-acre wetland is full of herons, turtles, fish and several miles of meandering waterways.
- The Discovery Backpack program, offered at several local parks, allows visitors to grab a satchel with all the necessary items needed for launching a self-guided tour, including: binoculars, nature guides and more. Available for day use at no charge, each are equipped with several themes: birding, wildlife and wetlands.
- Tour a 36-acre botanical garden near the heart of the city. The Bellevue Botanical Garden features a stone garden, rhododendron glen, Ravine Bridge, Yao garden (Japanese) and many more unique landscapes. Admission is free and lectures, classes and gatherings of varying sizes are hosted at the Education Center unique garden landscape throughout the year.
While many of the excursions mentioned above are kid-friendly, here are a few others that top the list of sights to see while in Bellevue.
- Take a walk on the Primrose Loop Trail through Coal Creek Park. The park has 11 new bridges that cross Coal Creek tributaries and passes near Sand Stone Falls.
- Take a lap or two around the trail at Bellevue Downtown Park. The 21-acre park, located in the heart of the downtown Bellevue, features a half mile promenade, stepped canal and 240-foot wide waterfall and reflecting pond. A great place to stretch your legs, let the kiddos run around or play in the new play area and relax in the heart of Bellevue.
Picnics go primetime:
Those opting for al fresco dining in the park might enjoy prime locations like Bellevue Downtown Park and Enatai Beach Park where you can also swim, kayak or watch the boats pass through Lake Washington. Locals love Lewis Creek Park for its gorgeous picnic area, which is surrounded by wetlands. There are several great options for to-go fare, including:
- Pasta + Co features many entrees but their pasta salads (by the pound) and desserts are ideal for grab-and-go picnicking in Bellevue.
- The French Bakery offers a variety of breads, cheeses and various meats as well as a large variety of Parisian inspired desserts. Better yet, there are two locations in Bellevue both close to several parks.
- Create your own picnic. The Bellevue Parks Department operates several farm stands throughout the city or pick up food at the Crossroads or downtown Farmers Markets. Here you can find locally grown fruit and vegetables, which are generally available at select stands from April - October.
Post outdoor warmers:
Because let's face it, the secret sauce of Bellevue's beautiful green landscape is our rain. But don't let a little rain keep you from enjoying a good meal. Here are a few spots to enjoy inside if the weather is not cooperating before or after you head outside.
- Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, known world-wide for its unique broth that takes 18 hours to cook to perfection. The perfect warmer upper after a long hike and the only U.S. location is in downtown Bellevue.
- Chace's Pancake Corral, a popular breakfast spot in Bellevue since 1958, is the place for pancakes and a big breakfast after your outdoor adventure.