Bellevue, Washington

Living in Bellevue, Washington

Iyna Bort Caruso

Bellevue translates into “beautiful view” from French, and the Pacific Northwest city 10 miles from Seattle earns its name.

Located on the shores of Lake Washington and situated between two mountain ranges, Bellevue is the gateway to the Puget Sound region.

For generations, access to Bellevue was by ferry service. The opening of the Mercer Island Floating Bridge in 1940 ushered in unprecedented growth in housing and employment. By 2000, Bellevue had more jobs than residents. Today, global corporations like Microsoft, Boeing, Expedia and Nordstrom are among its major employers.

Downtown Bellevue features big-city attractions, restaurants and world-class shopping. There’s also plenty of lush green space and hiking trails, which explains why some call Bellevue a “city in a park.” Beaches and golf are nearby. The Golf Club at Newcastle serves up vistas of Mount Rainier as well as the Olympic and Cascade Mountain ranges. Wine tasting is another popular pastime. The Woodinville wine country has more than 70 wineries.

The latest survey by of best small to mid-sizes cities in the United States rated Bellevue number 2 out of 2,000 places. The survey cited its range of amenities and diversity of lifestyles and ideas.

The luxury real estate market is noted for residences that stand out for their panoramas of the lake, mountains and Seattle’s skyline. Downtown Bellevue features condominium towers while waterfront mansions and hilltop estates are found in the surrounding environs.

Cougar Mountain and Lakemont in southern Bellevue are quiet, highland neighborhoods with sweeping views and wide swathes of greenery. Medina is one of the area’s priciest and most desirable locales. Its base of high powered executives makes it to the top of the list of the state’s highest per capita communities. Those seeking more of a semi-rural feel head to the Bridal Trails neighborhood, Bellevue’s equestrian sector, a heavily wooded area devoted to pastures and an extensive horse trail system.