From sleepy suburban to lively urban, see what makes this Pacific Northwest city one of the top places to live.
Just east across Lake Washington, you will find a thriving cultural, lifestyle, business, and family-friendly scene that has climbed the ranks as one of the top places to live and buy a home. It’s hard to imagine now that Bellevue was once a sleepy weekend spot for Seattleites to escape the city and enjoy a quiet getaway. Now, the city has become one of the best places in the country to live for homebuyers looking to blend the best of city living and suburban charm.
Nicknamed the city in a park, Bellevue is renowned for its enormous park system, beautiful scenery, and access to outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, camping, and rock climbing, to name a few. Stroll through Bellevue Botanical Garden, enjoy a picnic with views of Mount Rainier at Bellevue Downtown Park, walk along the waterfront at Meydenbauer Bay Park, or take a kayak out on Lake Washington. With waterfront access, public beaches, and well-maintained parks, Bellevue is a playground for those who love to spend time outdoors.
The mild climate also makes it ideal for venturing outside. Bellevue averages only 5 inches of snow a year, and winter temperatures rarely stay below freezing. In summer, enjoy plenty of sunshine and average temperatures of 75 degrees.
Things to do in Bellevue
You won’t have to leave the area to find a variety of entertainment and things to do—Bellevue offers something for everyone, including dance and musical performances, a growing art and museum scene, outdoor festivals, and plenty of opportunities for shopping. Head to Bellevue Square for a local and global mix of shopping, dining, and cafes, or Bravern for luxury retail. Similarly, Crossroads Shopping Center offers a blend of food hall-style restaurants, entertainment, and events, just minutes from downtown. Looking for something to do with young children? Head over to The Kid’s Quest Children’s Museum for 10,000 square feet of hands-on learning, activities, and exhibits for the whole family.
You will find some of the best cuisines of the Pacific Northwest in Bellevue, from Seastar’s seafood dishes and raw bar to the Castilla Spanish cuisine at Castilla Restaurant and Tapas Bar. Plus, new downtown bars and lounges, including Black Bottle Gastrotavern and Central Bar, offer a sophisticated and eclectic high-end version of nightlife. Similar to Seattle, when you head outside of the city center, Bellevue offers charming, distinct neighborhoods with some of the best dining options around, earning recognition as a top foodie destination.
Located only 10 miles from Seattle, Bellevue makes it easy to commute to the city and other areas throughout King County. You’ll also be able to leave your car behind sooner than you think—the East Link light rail is scheduled for completion in 2023, bringing quick and reliable light rail from the Eastside to downtown Seattle and Northgate to Sea-Tac Airport and Angle Lake.
Job growth + opportunities
The tech sector in Bellevue is booming with several large companies based here, including T-Mobile, Appito, Facebook (now Meta), Smartsheet, and soon Amazon who is building a Bellevue campus to house more than 7,000 Amazon employees. Other big names are sprinkled throughout the surrounding area with a Google campus in Kirkland, and Microsoft campus in Redmond. Professionals are also drawn to the area to work for the top-rated Bellevue School District and regional hospital at Overlake Medical Center. Thanks to the rapid growth, Bellevue was also named as the top city for living and starting a new business.
Bellevue has maintained its reputation as a community with good schools and low crime, enticing families and couples. Public K-12 schools in the area continue to receive top national ratings, and focus on advanced placement courses, dual language elementary schools that teach Mandarin and Spanish, and language immersion programs.
While Bellevue itself is a metropolitan area, the neighborhoods have kept their peaceful suburban feel. In particular, West Bellevue and Lochleven are highly sought-after neighborhoods for homebuyers with beautiful single-family homes surrounded by sprawling lawns, nearby parks, and stunning views. Families are also attracted to the area for its low crime rate and reputation for being a safe city.
“We wanted to find an area that had a really good school district for [our son], and a place that was safe, walkable, and close to parks. It was also important for us to have more outdoor space where we could add a playground. Bellevue feels very much like home. We’re walking distance to all of our favorite shops and restaurants, and a nearby craft coffee shop.”
— Kara + Matt, TJH Homeowners
Considering Bellevue for your next home? Explore our new home listings and pre-construction homesites that offer spacious floorplans, multi-gen suites, customizable design packages, and functionality that bring ease to everyday living.