Modern Bellevue is known for its forest-forward momentum, and they quite enjoy beautiful green spaces in tandem of their ever-developing city. With over 2,700 acres of park and 80-miles of trails, they indulge over 10,000 happy participants annually.
With the seasons in this state of flux, we’re swiveling between the weather forecast and the clouds in the sky. Washingtonians and Seattleites love the great outdoors, and the number one thing we wait for as the winter thaws is the first few days of warm sunshine – no, not this cold sun we’ve been experiencing, though it’s still pleasant in its own icy-breath way.
DOWNTOWN BELLEVUE PARK
The Bellevue Downtown Park was re-imagined into a 21-acre oasis in the heart of downtown Bellevue. Completely rejuvenated in 2017, this monolith of Bellevue culture and recreation. Enjoy a 240-foot wide waterfall as it crashes into a reflecting pond, or a ten-acre designated lawnspace for picnics, reading, or relaxing in the sun against the tremendous Bellevue skyline.
Other amenities include the INSPIRATIONAL PLAYGROUND, where children “explore at their own pace” and their passion for play is encouraged.
THE BELLEVUE BOTANICAL GARDENS
Though no dogs are allowed, the Bellevue Botanical Gardens are an amazing place of urban play, encompassing 53-acres of cultivated gardens, restored woodlands, and natural wetlands. Whether you’re looking for a day surrounded by beauty or to expand your knowledge of Pacific Northwest foliage, their live collections “showcase plants that thrive” in the area.
KELSEY CREEK PARK & FARM EXPERIENCE
Open 365 days per year, the Kelsey Creek Park of 150-acres of forest, meadows, and wetlands that offer insight into Bellevue’s historic past. But Kelsey Creek Park is just a park in the area. Visit the farm and immerse yourself in Bellevue’s farmhouse roots. A free recreational opportunity, this urban oasis offers hiking, picnic areas, a playground, open grassy area, day camps, and summer volunteer opportunities.
Though pets are allowed at the Kelsey Creek Community Park, they aren’t at the Kelsey Creek Farm – but don’t worry, you’ll have a bunch of farm critters to enjoy!
A mega-community center, Crossroads Park is 34+ acres of activity, including the Crossroads Par-3 Golf Course, Crossroads Community Center, Bellevue Youth Theatre, and Water Spray Playground. Aside from these amazing amenities, the park also offers tennis courts, basketball courts, a horseshoe pit, a skate bowl, play areas, picnic shelters, jogging paths, and tons of open green space for play and relaxation.
Home to Bellevue’s annual Strawberry Festival, Crossroads park is near Crossroads Mall, local restaurants, and plenty of transportation options.
LAKE HILLS GREENBELT PARK
Touted as a community hub, the Lake Hill Greenbelt stretches between Phantom and Larson Lakes via the Lake to Lake Trail, a 3-mile trail through the massive, 150-acre expanse of diverse wildlife habitats, which includes forests, wetlands, streams, and lakes.
The Lake Hills Community Gardens & P-Patches are near the Bellevue Park Ranger Station off SE 16th Street – also near Lake Hill Farm Fresh Produce market and southern Lake to Lake Trailhead. Though much of the park is greenspace, wetlands, or part of the Blueberry Farms and is only traversable via dedicated trails, the 3-miles of trail can bring you to Phantom Lake and Phantom Lake Park, which offers another 2.4-miles of trail, fishing areas, and a small dock.
MERCER SLOUGH NATURE PARK
With 7+ miles of dedicated trail, Mercer Slough Nature Park is perfect for people looking to get out of the big city. Though the Winters House is currently closed through 2022 for light rail construction, you can still enjoy one of Lake Washington’s remaining freshwater wetlands. Explore over 320 acres of Bellevue’s largest park and a diverse expanse of freshwater wetland ecology and educational purpose. A partnership between the Mercer Slough Environmental Educational Center and the Pacific Science Center instilled such purpose and drive through activities such as free guided ranger walks and guided canoe tours.
ROBINSWOOD COMMUNITY PARK
Near Bellevue College, Robinswood Community Park is full of recreation, including lighted softball and soccer/lacrosse fields, ten wooded acres of trails, a children’s play area, and lush open spaces and adjoining pond.
Two corrals offer different spaces for off-leash, human-pup recreation – one with a small shelter to escape the Seattle drizzle.
NEWCASTLE BEACH PARK
One of Bellevue’s most southern parks, Newcastle Beach Park is a popular place for swimming, sunbathing, and short nature trails. With lifeguards on duty late-June through Labor Day, the area is most bustling during the summer season – when the sun is out, and the air is dry. Plan a picnic or host a barbecue, and enjoy the day away surrounded by family and friends.
We’ve mentioned a few local, Bellevue events during this article… Are you curious about all the events going on in Bellevue, Washington? We are too – so, check out their calendar of awesome upcoming events!
Do you have a favorite park or place in Bellevue or are you more curious about the area? Tell us about it!
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