Last updated: November 30, 2023
I’ve spent a lot of time in the Bellevue area over the years and have gotten to know the area rather well. What follows is an insider’s look at the best parks in Bellevue – beach parks and nature parks.
Bellevue, Washington is a gorgeous, energetic, tech-oriented city just outside of Seattle, known for its shopping and fine dining opportunities. The breathtaking parks in Bellevue however, define the city in an entirely different and significantly more beautiful way.
Best Parks in Bellevue
With over 100 parks and nature areas in the city, there are plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy the natural environment.
1. Bellevue Downtown Park
10201 NE 4th St, Bellevue, WA 98004
Bellevue Downtown Park is a public park located in the heart of the city. It covers 21 acres and features a large and mesmerizing reflecting pond, a delightful waterfall, a charming canal, and a number of walking paths.
It’s a fantastic place for picnics, concerts, and events, and has a large children’s playground as well. While it’s perhaps the most popular park in Bellevue, there’s plenty of room to have your own personal quiet space while wandering about.
I often come to this park because its’ central to the city, there are many good restaurants nearby and there’s a Molly Moon’s Ice Cream Parlor within walking distance.
2. Kelsey Creek Farm Park
410 130th Pl SE, Bellevue, WA 98005
Kelsey Creek Farm Park covers 150 acres and is a historic working farm that offers visitors an interesting glimpse into the area’s agricultural past.
One of the most unique highlights of Kelsey Creek Farm Park is the working farm, where visitors can see and interact with adorable farm animals such as cows, goats, pigs, sheep, and chickens.
They also offer pony rides and host various fun seasonal events as well, such as sheep shearing and pumpkin patches in the fall.
3. Bridle Trails
5300 116th Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98033
Bridle Trails State Park covers 482 acres and is known for its extensive trail network that winds through lush and aromatic forests, wetlands and open meadows.
The park was established in 1928 and was originally a horseback riding area. Today, it’s a popular destination for hikers, runners, and equestrians.
One of the best aspects of Bridle Trails State Park is the trail system that winds through the park’s varied terrain. The trails range in difficulty from easy to challenging and offer a variety of scenic views.
It’s also home to a large number of wildlife species, including deer, coyotes, and a variety of bird species.
This is one of my absolute favorite parks outside of Seattle. I suggest setting aside an entire day to explore this fantastic park, especially if you have little ones.
4. Lake Hills Greenbelt Park
15416 SE 16th St, Bellevue, WA 98007
Lake Hills Greenbelt is a beautiful and popular park with more than 150 acres of land. It has an extensive network of trails that wind through forests, wetlands, and meadows.
One of the most popular trails in the park is the Phantom Lake Loop Trail, which is an easy 2.9-mile loop that takes hikers around the lake and through the wetlands and forests.
The Lake Hills Community Center is located within the park and has a variety of great programs and activities for people of all ages.
5. Robinswood Community Park
2432 148th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98007
Robinswood Community Park covers 54 acres and has a variety of recreational facilities, including sports fields, playgrounds and even a hidden gem of a dog park.
There are several picnic areas with tables and barbecue grills and grass fields for activities like frisbee or just burning of excess energy. The park’s playgrounds are popular with families and feature equipment suitable for children of all ages.
In addition, they have a small fitness zone for adults that is close enough to the children’s areas that you can keep an eye on them while getting a workout of your own.
6. Wilburton Hill Park
12400 Main St, Bellevue, WA 98005
Wilburton Hill Park is a gorgeous area that features a variety of recreational facilities, including sports fields, trails, and a fun playground. There is a large open field suitable for flying kites, playing frisbee, or just enjoying a picnic with family and friends.
Wilburton Hill Park is also home to a network of trails that offer some lovely opportunities for hiking, running, and biking.
Fun fact: 39% of Bellevue residents were born outside of the United States.
Best Beach Parks
There are several a fun parks in Bellevue with waterfront access. Here are the crowd (and my own) favorites.
7. Meydenbauer Beach Park
419 98th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004
This park is located on Lake Washington and offers a sandy beach, swimming area, playground, and picnic areas. The park’s beach is a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking.
There are several picnic tables available for use, as well as an unshaded playground for children. The park’s swimming area is marked with buoys and is supervised by lifeguards during the summer months.
Meydenbauer Beach Park also has a boat launch, making it a popular destination for boating, paddling and fishing. In addition to its recreational facilities, the park offers some truly stunning views of Lake Washington.
While this park can be crowded on warm days, there’s so much going on and so much to see that you can sit for hours and just people watch if the mood strikes you.
8. Enatai Beach Park
3519 108th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98004
Enatai Beach Park covers 27 acres and features a sandy beach, delightful swimming area, and non-motorized boat launch. The beach is a great destination for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking.
The swimming area is marked with buoys and is supervised by lifeguards in the summer months.
9. Newcastle Beach Park
4400 Lake Washington Blvd SE, Bellevue, WA 98006
Newcastle Beach Park is on the eastern shore of Lake Washington. This beautiful park covers 29 acres and has a sandy beach, picnic area, bbqs, swimming area, playground and a non-motorized boat launch.
Newcastle Beach Park also has a community center that offers a variety of classes and programs for all ages, including fitness classes, art classes, and summer camps. The center has meeting rooms that can be rented for events and activities.
Bellevue Nature Parks
Bellevue has several beautiful parks with nature trails that are worth exploring.
10. Mercer Slough Nature Park
2101 118th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98005
Mercer Slough is an absolute treasure! It’s located on the east side of Bellevue and offers over 300 acres of wetlands, forests, and wildlife habitat. It’s a great place to explore nature and learn about the local environment.
The park features a variety of habitats and wildlife, and offers opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and nature exploration. The trails range from easy, paved paths to more challenging dirt trails, and wind through wetlands, forests, and meadows.
There is a canoe launch that provides access to the Mercer Slough waterways, making it a popular destination for kayaking and canoeing.
11. Coal Creek Natural Area
Coal Creek Pkwy SE, Bellevue, WA 98006
The CC Natural Area covers over 1,000 acres of forested hills and valleys along the Coal Creek watershed. It’s an ideal place for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, as well as wildlife viewing and nature exploration.
The park features a variety of historic sites, including the site of the historic Newcastle Coal Mines, which operated in the area from the late 1800s until the mid-1900s. The interpretive signs and exhibits provide information about the history and ecology of the area.
12. Weowna Park
1420 168th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98008
Weowna Park spreads out over 8 acres of forested hillside and has many fantastic opportunities for hiking, nature exploration, and wildlife viewing, as well as a playground and picnic areas.
The many trails wind through dense forests of Douglas fir, western red cedar, and other native trees and plants, providing opportunities for peaceful walks and birdwatching.
Bellevue Gardens are an amazing place to visit, especially during Spring and Fall, as the colors are delightful and there are surprises around every corner.
13. Bellevue Botanical Garden
12001 Main St, Bellevue, WA 98005
Bellevue Botanical Garden is a must-do public garden that covers over 53 acres of cultivated gardens, natural wetlands, and native forests. The garden is open year-round and is free to the public.
The garden features a variety of themed gardens, including a Japanese garden, a rock garden, a water-wise garden, and a sensory garden. The gardens showcase a diverse array of plants and flowers, including native plants, perennials, and seasonal blooms.
In addition to its gardens, Bellevue Botanical Garden also features a visitor center with exhibits on local plants and wildlife, as well as a gift shop and meeting space.
The garden hosts a variety of events and educational programs throughout the year, including plant sales, art exhibits, and a Christmas Lights spectacular.
14. Bellevue Demonstration Garden
15500 SE 16th St, Bellevue, WA 98007
The Bellevue Demonstration Garden is a public garden that serves as a teaching and demonstration site for sustainable gardening practices. It’s open to the public and is free to visit.
The gardens highlight sustainable gardening practices such as composting, organic gardening, and water-wise irrigation techniques. In addition to its gardens, Bellevue Demonstration Garden features a greenhouse, a tool shed, and a community gathering space for classes and workshops.
Bellevue Demonstration Garden is maintained by a team of volunteer master gardeners, who provide gardening advice and education to visitors.
The garden serves as a resource for Bellevue residents interested in starting their own sustainable gardens, providing information on gardening resources and local organizations.
What to Bring for a Day Trip to Bellevue
- Comfortable shoes
- Layers for all possible weather
- Water shoes if you prefer that over bare feet
- A swimsuit, sunglasses, hat, sunscreen and towel
- Paddling gear if you plan to go kayaking or paddle boarding
- Nutritious snacks and water
📍 Wild Ginger
508 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004
Wild Ginger is a fantastic restaurant that serves Southeast Asian cuisine in a stylish and contemporary setting. They’re known for their high-quality ingredients, creative and delicious dishes, and attentive service.
📍 Mediterranean Kitchen
103 Bellevue Way NE #103, Bellevue, WA 98004
Mediterranean Kitchen is a popular restaurant that specializes in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. The restaurant has a variety of dishes inspired by the flavors and ingredients of Lebanon, Syria, and other Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries.
FAQs about Bellevue
Answers to some commonly asked questions about visiting Bellevue.
The city of Bellevue has more than 100 parks, covering more than 2700 acres.
Bellevue, located in the Eastside, is a hub of technology and retail, boasting picturesque parks, excellent educational institutions, and flourishing economy, Bellevue is consistently recognized as one of the most exceptional mid-sized cities in the nation.
The downtown park in Bellevue is 21 acres.
The largest park in Seattle is Discovery Park, with over 530 acres to explore and appreciate.
Final Thoughts: Bellevue Outside
Bellevue is a vibrant city that has something for everyone, especially with regard to its beautiful parks. From the lush greenery of Downtown Park to the sandy beach scene or the tranquil Mercer Slough Nature Park, there are many opportunities to get outside and enjoy the natural environment.
Whether you’re interested in outdoor activities, cultural experiences, or simply relaxing and enjoying the city, Bellevue is definitely worth a visit.