Bellevue Community Page


Written for Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty


Visit the published article here


The name Bellevue is derived from the French word for ‘beautiful view.’ And on a clear day, standing in the middle of town or up in one of the city center’s many high rise buildings, it’s easy to see why founder William Meydenbauer chose the name for the city back in 1869. Although much in Bellevue has changed since its founding all those years ago, the marvelous views have not, and both residents and visitors alike are treated daily to the scenic majesty of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. Along with the fabulous views, people continue to be drawn to Bellevue for its burgeoning business community. This combination, of natural beauty and vibrant commerce, led to the city earning CNN/Money’s number one spot in its ranking of the best places to live and launch a business in 2008. And in 2010, it was ranked fourth on the list of best small cities in America. Bellevue’s reputation only continues to grow, spurred on by residents seeking its international spice, urban glamour, and plentiful green space.

LOCAL FLAVOR: A walk down the streets of Bellevue is a lesson in contradictions, a mecca of things that normally don’t go together: the best in urban sophistication with enough green space to satisfy country folk, high-rise buildings bordered by lake-side villas, and the best of American business ingenuity paired with international talent.

It is these contradictions that continue to make Bellevue a community like no other, where a variety of appealing lifestyles choices are all within reach and less half an hour away. Where else can you go for a morning hike and then enjoy a gourmet steak lunch prepared at a world-class restaurant? Or take your business meeting outside into one of over 74 local parks?

The possibilities are dazzling, along with the variety of neighborhoods made for living and exploring. In a way, Bellevue is a lot like New York City, where business districts are interspersed with more quirky neighborhoods than you could easily explore in a day or a weekend.

Picture the city like a spoke, with the sophisticated downtown at its core. This is the hub of business in the city, where more than 150 companies have their headquarters and 900 businesses regularly engage in international trade. It’s a smorgasbord of diversity and talent, with more than 130 languages spoken from all around the world. Indeed, during the day the city swells with workers from all over the region, drawn to companies like Microsoft and Expedia. It’s one of the liveliest places in the state, a unique spot where jobs are actually forecast to grow and commuters enjoy a shorter-than-average drive to work.

But the downtown doesn’t cater only to business and commerce. It is also becoming increasingly residential, mirroring the growth of high-rise condos and apartment complexes in the area. The demand has come from people wanting to be close to not only their jobs, but to the region’s best shopping, dining, and attractions.

Looking at our spoke once again, the vibrant downtown is surrounded by over 13 unique neighborhoods, each with their own personalities. Some of these communities draw from the very international flavor of the city’s commerce, while others were built in appreciation of natural wonders like Lake Washington or Cougar Mountain. There is something for everyone; it is an explorer’s paradise.

For those looking to explore more of the surrounding area than just the local neighborhoods, Bellevue is centrally located within the region. The international destination of Vancouver, Canada, the prairies of Eastern Washington, and the gorges of the Washington/Oregon divide are all within a short drive.

Many people have chosen to move to Bellevue because of its centrality and convenience. But the current 122,000 residents know that Bellevue’s unique appeal goes beyond just serving as a gateway to other places. It is in being the kind of place where people love to be, where you never have to choose between the big city and a close-knit community, and where it’s just as possible to start a company as it is to start a family. And that has made all the difference.

ARTS & CULTURE: Variety is the spice of life for many Bellevue residents. And it is this variety and spice that are reflected in the astounding abundance of interesting things to do in the city. Whether it’s a glamorous night out, a high-end fashion show, or a challenging hike to one of the area’s best hot springs, it’s no wonder the pulse of the community is more reminiscent of a global hub than a typical Pacific Northwest city.

The perfect Bellevue night out starts at one of the city’s many happy hours. Pearl Bar and Dining is a local favorite, consistently voted the Best Place to See and Be Seen. But happy shouldn’t last just an hour, and residents of the city are lucky to have access to some of the best restaurants in the region, from Daniel’s Broiler to Bis on Main. After a wonderful gourmet dinner, the night continues with options as diverse as the local residents. With everything from night clubs to performing arts venues, the city hums with life until the early hours of the morning.

In Bellevue, the fashion statement needed to make your night out a success is just a short drive away. Both the Bellevue Square Shopping Center and The Bravern are local favorites, filled with the best in boutique shopping and high-end brands such as Jimmy Choo and Louis Vuitton. There are a variety of seasonal fashion shows in the area, as well, for those seeking inspiration.

If your inspiration comes from the great outdoors, you’re in luck, because nearly any outdoor activity you could think of is within an hour of Bellevue. Most residents are extremely active and enjoy hiking the trails along the I-90 corridor, as well as snowshoeing and skiing in the winter. If you’d like your outdoor time closer to home, Bellevue has more than 74 parks to choose from, the local favorites being the Bellevue Botanical Gardens and the Meydenbauer Beach park.




ANNUAL EVENTS: Regardless of the season, there is always something fun and interesting going on in Bellevue. A sampling of events is below. For more information, see the complete list of events here.

  • Bellevue and Eastside Farmers Markets
  • Schmooze and Booze Networking Night, Wednesdays 5:30 – 8:30 pm
  • Bellevue Wintergrass Music Festival
  • Bellevue Arts Festival Weekend
  • Bellevue Summer Lunch Concerts


FAMILY LIFE: In the past several years, Bellevue has become a leader in more than just business; it has also become a leader in education. In fact, Newsweek’s 2010 ranking of U.S. public high schools ranked five of Bellevue’s high schools in the top 100 high schools in the nation. In addition to this honor, Bellevue is also the only city on the Eastside to offer Waldorf education, at Three Cedars School.

Outside of school, there is an abundance of learning opportunities for children and their families. One of the most popular local attractions is the KidsQuest Museum at the Factoria Mall, which offers birthday parties, field trips, and campouts for local kids. Bellevue Parks and Recreation is also a great place to check out kid-friendly classes and playgrounds.

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