French for “Beautiful View”, Bellevue is the state’s second largest city center. Bellevue is located across Lake Washington from Seattle, connected by the I-90 and SR 520 floating bridges. Downtown Bellevue offers shopping, dining, recreation, entertainment and is headquarters to companies including Eddie Bauer and Expedia. The Bellevue Collection is a shopping destination with Bellevue Square being a popular tourist stop. As an active city, Bellevue is home to numerous parks and trails where runners, cyclists, and group training can be spotted any given day. Downtown Bellevue Park is a prime example with walkers, joggers, runners, and dog walkers circling its loop. Visit the Blueberry Farm at Mercer Slough, the Bellevue Botanical Gardens, or go on the Bellevue Zip Tour in Eastgate Park for more nature adventures.
Issaquah is located 17 miles east of downtown Seattle off I-90 and connects to the city of Renton via WA SR 900, about 16 miles. Issaquah offers a rich history seen in Gilman Village, comprised of rescued buildings from the ‘70s, and downtown’s Front Street, the home of Village Theatre, producing shows and musicals since 1979. The Issaquah Highlands, now complete with retail stores, a movie theatre, grocery shopping, and Swedish Medical Center campus, is a master planned community just minutes from Downtown Issaquah. Issaquah is well known for its Salmon Hatchery and celebrates returning salmon during the Salmon Days Festival in the fall. Lots of opportunities for hiking as Issaquah is surrounded by Tiger Mountain, Cougar Mountain, and Squak Mountain, known together as the Issaquah Alps. A popular site is Poo Poo Point on Tiger Mountain where you can see paragliders and hang gliders take off.
Kirkland’s neighborhoods offer distinct characteristics in which community pride and efforts maintain their unique identities. As the first city on the “Eastside” in 1988, its downtown location, on the waterfront, is the only one of its kind in the region. Boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, parks and beaches offer entertainment for all ages, including an active night life—try Flatstick Pub for craft beers and indoor mini golf. During the day go paddle boarding at Marina Park in Downtown Kirkland, a run at Juanita Bay Park, or horseback riding at Bridle Trails State Park. There are many ways to experience the outdoors in this active city. Kirkland also has great local dining. Try Brown Bag Café, known for hearty meals and signature hash browns, The Slip for a peanut butter and bacon burger, or for farm-to-table dining, the Trellis Restaurant at the Heathman Hotel.
Experience an island community with neighborhoods offering the beauty of nature with tree-lined streets, lake views, walking trails and access to over 475 acres of parks and open space. Take a stroll at Luther Burbank Park where you can swim, fish and enjoy water sports. Even your canine companions can take a dip at the off leash park. Visit the Mercer Island Farmer’s Market near Mercerdale Park where the Mercer Island Thrift shop is located, a great place to donate and find new treasures. During Seattle’s Seafair celebration in the summer, watch, and listen, as the Blue Angels fly overhead and the hydroplanes race along Lake Washington. Visit the island’s historic watering hole and its oldest business, Roanoke Inn, for a craft beer and their signature Whiskey Barbeque Burger. Mercer Island is conveniently located between Bellevue and Seattle with easy access from the I-90 floating bridge.
Redmond is a dynamic, active city located 16 miles east of Seattle. It is home to several companies including Microsoft, Nintendo of America, and Physio-Control Corporation. Known as the “Bicycle Capital of the NW” Redmond offers developed trails for bicycling, hiking and horseback riding. It also has the state’s only bicycle-racing arena, the Marymoor Velodrome built in 1975. Redmond’s Marymoor Park brings visitors from all over the state. It offers a community garden, model airplane flying field, a 35 foot tall climbing rock, and sports fields including a cricket pitch. A big draw for the park are the Summer Concerts at Marymoor. The 2017 lineup includes Idina Menzel with many more to come!
Sammamish is neighbor to Redmond and Issaquah, offering access to scenic hiking trails and lakes. Explore the wooded landscapes at Beaver Lake, Pine Lake or the popular Lake Sammamish State Park that offers a perfect arena for water sports, fishing, hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing. Named America’s Friendliest Town by Forbes and Nextdoor.com in 2012, Sammamish is a desirable neighborhood offering single family homes in an acclaimed suburban community.