City of Bellevue
While business booms downtown, much of Bellevue retains a small-town feel, with thriving, woodsy neighborhoods and a vast network of green spaces and recreational facilities that keep people calling the place "a city in a park." The city's schools are consistently rated among the best in the country.
Sales at local shopping complexes are always an attraction, but a strawberry festival and an arts and crafts fair each draw thousands each year. During the holiday season, the Garden d'Lights display at the Bellevue Botanical Garden attracts visitors from far and wide. Artists from around the country enter striking new works in the biennial Bellevue Sculpture Exhibition.
The city spans more than 31 square miles between Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish, and is a short drive from the Cascade Mountains. People can kayak within sight of downtown in the Mercer Slough Nature Park, a 320-acre wetland preserve.