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11 Ways to Explore Seattle's Eastside

By: Nathan Cranford
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Visitors to Seattle may not realize how much the city's suburban Eastside has to offer in terms of dining and entertainment. A short jaunt across the bridge brings you to the lovely towns of Kirkland, Bellevue, and Redmond with plenty of things to do and explore.


Bellevue Square

Bellevue Square, the Northwest's premier shopping destination, features more than 200 of the nation's finest stores and local boutiques, including Nordstrom, The Bon Marché, Coach, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, and Crate and Barrel in its first Northwest location. Whatever you're looking for, Bellevue Square makes it easy to find.

Bellevue, WA, United States
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Old Bellevue

Just south of Bellevue Square, Old Bellevue is a boutique shopping area. Not for budget-conscious shoppers, these boutiques feature designer clothing from hard-to-find designers. Be prepared to drop a pretty penny, but for those who feeling like acting on their materialistic urges, better boutique shopping in the Seattle area is hard to find. After shopping, grab a bite at one of the many slightly upscale restaurants nearby.

Bellevue, WA, United States
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Bellevue Arts Museum

This art museum specializes in the work of Northwest artists but also explores national and international influences on local art. The museum's facility, designed by architect Stephen Holl, has 5800 square feet of gallery space on three floors, plus an art school, studio space for visiting artists and the interactive Explore Gallery. The museum offers lectures and classes regularly.

Bellevue, WA, United States
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Snoqualmie Falls

Located 30 miles (48.28 kilometers) east of Seattle, Snoqualmie Falls is one of the state's top natural attractions. Although more than 100 feet (30.48 meters) taller than Niagara Falls, Snoqualmie Falls is far less famous. Located in the beautiful foothills of the Cascade Mountains, this dramatic torrent of water drops 268 feet (81.68 meters). At the crest you will find Salish Lodge, where you can get good food or stay the night. This is where the TV series Twin Peaks was filmed. The lodge lights the falls at night.

Snoqualmie, WA, United States
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Snoqualmie Casino

Located approximately 28 miles away from downtown Seattle, the Snoqualmie Casino is a premier casino that is frequented by the crème de la crème of the region. The casino offers nearly 50 table games including blackjack, poker, slots, baccarat and roulette. What's more, the casino hosts a blackjack tournament twice every week where you can expect a huge sum. Besides this, the Snoqualmie Casino also houses the region's biggest concert venue, a nightclub, a lounge and a bar. These venues play host to a plethora of events including concerts, gigs, DJ nights, where popular A-listed artists deliver a performance. There are five eateries on-site that take care of your gastronomic needs. In a nutshell, Snoqualmie Casino is nothing but a premier entertainment zone. Check website for details.

Snoqualmie, WA, United States
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Bis on Main

This casual, stylish bistro could also be included in the fine-dining category. The dining room has high ceilings, partial walls painted in a warm, cream color and tables dressed in white tablecloths and surrounded with dark wooden chairs. The bistro menu mixes French, Italian and Southern American flavors. Thick sandwiches, gumbo, crab cakes, Linguine with shrimp, Crispy Garlic Chicken and Filet Mignon exhibit the diverse abilities of Chef Michel Fredj. The wine cellar of Bis on Main is filled with more than 100 varieties, served by the glass and by the bottle.

Bellevue, WA, United States
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The Bellevue Botanical Garden

Bellevue is best known for its captains of industry and its many resident millionaires, but nestled in its heart, in Wilburton Hill Park, is this botanical treasure. The garden is really several gardens in one. The Yao Japanese Garden is a marvel of simplicity. The Alpine Garden features high-altitude plant life, and the Waterwise Garden is a more practical affair, offering numerous tips and suggestions to the amateur gardener. The gift shop sells books on plants, garden-related gifts and tools to help you succeed in your own gardening endeavors.

Bellevue, WA, United States
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Seattle Washington Temple

Seattle Washington Temple is a stunning temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) located in Bellevue. It is the 19th active LDS church. It is adorned with a prominent single spire and its height was reduced due to its nearness to Bellevue Airfield. The church's building is a spectacle of grandeur. Besides its regular services, the church also conducts the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, as also talks and Bible sessions. Check the website for service timings and more.

Bellevue, WA, United States
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Marina Park

A short stroll from booming downtown Kirkland, which has benefited enormously from the cash flow brought in by Microsoft, is this winning little park. Ice cream shops and restaurants are just up the street, while the park itself includes a very nice Lake Washington beach and a picnicking facility. An open-air pavilion, home to concerts and other events, sits next to the lake and public art statues decorate a grassy area.

Seattle, WA, United States
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Washington Park Arboretum

This 200-acre (80.93 hectare) park is a must-see for every Seattle visitor with even an hour of free time. With its lush green spaces, its breathtaking Japanese Garden (open 10a daily), and its abundance of rare trees, plants and flowers (more than 40,000 species), it is one of the brightest jewels in the Emerald City. Scenic and aptly named Azalea Way cuts a path through the park. The Graham Visitor's Center can be rented for social events, meetings and seminars for 45-75 guests. Rates include kitchen and audio-visual equipment. Call or visit the web site for detailed information and hours.

Seattle, WA, United States
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Microsoft Visitor Center

Visit this place and immerse yourself into the world of Microsoft. This visitors center exhibits engaging demonstrations and displays about the latest and exciting technologies. The center is open to all visitors of the Microsoft Campus and the employees can also revisit the history of the company in the dynamic computing industry. Check the website for more.

Redmond, WA, United States
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