Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi
Editor's note: This article was sponsored by The Bellevue Collection.
Summer vacay plans without the hassle and expense of faraway travels? Yes, please! Right in our own backyard, the Eastside city of Bellevue shines with superb staycation potential. From family-friendly hotels to world-class eats and plentiful playtime attractions, this urban gem is ripe for a weekend getaway close to home.
We got the scoop from some of the city’s savviest insiders for the best places to stay, eat and play. Whether you’re looking for a change of scenery with the fam, a much needed couples’ respite or a moms’ weekend out on the town with the girls, this is your ultimate insiders’ guide to a downtown Bellevue staycay.
Family fun time
Head to Bellevue for a play-filled adventure, bound to delight kids and grown-ups alike.
Front and center in all the action, Hyatt Regency Bellevue is your home base for the entire fam — Fido included! Order room service and watch movies on the 60-inch TV, or make a splash in the indoor pool. Insider tip: If one is available, ask for a spacious corner room!
There’s no shortage of fun places to play around Bellevue. Swing, climb and splash at the awesome Inspiration Playground; picnic in Downtown Park (don’t forget to stop in for a cone at Ben & Jerry’s!); or take a stroll through the magical Bellevue Botanical Garden. “The Botanical Garden is a must-visit for families that love walking in nature — plus, it has free admission,” says Hyatt Regency Bellevue concierge Trung Ha.
Weather not cooperating? Explore the exhibits at KidsQuest Children’s Museum; discover the art on view at Bellevue Arts Museum; or go for a round of bowling at Lucky Strike Lanes & Power Play or miniature golf at Forum Social House.
Start off the morning right with breakfast at the award-winning Eques. Ha suggests the smoked salmon Benedict and a green smoothie for a nutrient-packed boost (kids’ portions are available for most items, including a full stack of pancakes). Pop by Beecher’s Handmade Cheese or Midnight Cookie Co. for a midday pick-me-up.
And when it comes to dinner plans, the xiao long bao soup dumplings at renowned Din Tai Fung are an all-ages favorite. Ha has a favorite of his own, “I love their spicy shrimp wontons and green beans! If the family and kids have room for dessert, Happy Lemon in Bellevue Square serves delicious bubble waffles and all kinds of boba tea drinks.”
Time for two
Let’s face it: Sometimes parents need some grown-up time to themselves! Make plans for a romantic weekend away just for the two of you.
Located right across from Bellevue Square, four-star hotel The Westin Bellevue has it all for the ultimate couple’s escape. From luxurious rooms, complete with crisp down-duvet-covered beds, to an indoor pool, Jacuzzi and fitness studio featuring Peloton bikes, The Westin Bellevue is the perfect setting to relax, rejuvenate and enjoy your time together.
What better way to start off the day than with some pampering? James Bell, concierge at The Westin Bellevue, recommends a morning spa treatment to restore the body and mind. Try the signature couples massage at The Westin’s Truce Spa. Then treat yourself to a matinee or evening showing at the 21-and-older Cinemark Reserve theater in Lincoln Square South, complete with seat-side service to order your favorite sips and bites.
When it comes to date night, there’s nothing quite like dinner at Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi for the ambience and the top-notch flavor experiences — not to mention the views! “Not only does Ascend offer some of the best food Bellevue has to offer, the experience is complemented by unobstructed views of the city and Lake Washington,” says Bell. Another must-try is Water Grill — a new favorite date-night spot recommended by Ha — which features the freshest sea-to-table seafood in town. Wrap up the night with a glass of vino by the fireplace at Cypress Lounge & Wine Bar.
Grab your best gal pals and make it a girls’ weekend getaway!
From the funky colorful décor to the bold modern rooms, everything about the hip W Bellevue screams girls’ weekend fun. Sweat it out at the stylish fitness studio or enjoy the city views from the comfy window seats. Looking to celebrate a special occasion with a real “wow” factor? Get the party going at the amazing and aptly named Extreme Wow Suite.
What goes best with girl time? Retail therapy, of course! Luckily, there’s plenty to be found in downtown Bellevue’s core at The Bellevue Collection, a mecca for hours of shopping and girl talk. When you’re ready for some late-night party vibes, hit the dance floor at W Bellevue’s Living Room Bar, where nature and urban design mingle beautifully.
Get your morning caffeine fix at Dote Coffee Bar with handcrafted coffee paired with a tasty pastry. Bell’s insider tip: Download the app to preorder and beat the line; or enjoy a farmhouse brunch at The Lakehouse. Explore adventurous Indian flavors and creative cocktails at Farzi Café, and finish up with a nightcap at swanky Civility & Unrest.
“Civility & Unrest conjures a bygone-era vibe that offers world-renowned spirits, local craft distillers, flowing Champagne and sparkling selections, along with local microbrews,” says Bell. His insider tip: Be sure to sit in the “Unrest” section and try the Kiss of a Dragon!
Your epic staycation awaits, so pack up that weekender bag and hit one of many hot spots at The Bellevue Collection to experience a summer adventure to remember — no passport required.