a few weekends ago zach and i took a little trip up to bellevue, washington — a really adorable city just east of seattle. our goal for the weekend was to relax and step out of our normal routine while also trying new restaurants and activities in a fairly unfamiliar city. zach has grown up in the PNW so he is no stranger to bellevue, whereas i, an east coast gal through and through had never really ventured to this part of the country. we spent our time exploring the beautiful surrounding nature and dining at wholesome restaurants day in and day out. going to list a few of our favorites from our trip — enjoy!
WHERE TO STAY
we spent two wonderful nights at the AC Marriott, a LEED certified hotel in the heart of bellevue. the staff was so sweet and accommodating throughout our stay, and the hotel had a calming, minimalistic atmosphere. they even put out little lavender packets in the lobby every evening to take up to the rooms for a peaceful night’s rest! a few things we loved about this space — the hydration station — i cannot even count how many times i’ve stayed in a hotel and been so thirsty because there was nowhere to fill up my water bottle with clean, filtered water. the AC Marriott had a station on every floor. love their dedication to eliminating single use plastic bottles! they also use linen napkins in their restaurant so as to avoid wasting paper ones, and are a part of Marriott’s “Make a Green Choice” initiative, allowing guests to earn rewards points by choosing to reuse their towels and refuse daily linen refreshing in the rooms. just a few wonderful things to admire about this space. would certainly stay here again!
first on our list was Araya’s Place, an all vegan thai restaurant serving up just about every thai dish you could ask for, but plant based. a true win for me (and zach liked it too)! we went for lunch so we were able to try their lunch buffet. you heard me right, all-you-can-eat buffet style thai food. needless to say, i may or may not have gone back for seconds of the yellow curry and vegetable spring rolls! so delicious. loved this bright atmosphere and can’t wait to stop here again on our next visit to bellevue!
we had two really lovely dinners during our time in bellevue, our first night’s taking place at Central Bar + Restaurant, a classic american style tavern. we sat in a private U shaped booth and sipped mocktails (anyone else about that zero-proof life?) in the dimly lit atmosphere. for our main dishes i got the buddha bowl with an abundance of fresh vegetables and delicious honey dressing, and zach got the fish and chips. a few cool things we noticed about this restaurant — they don’t use plastic straws when serving drinks or cocktails, and they use leftover water from finished tables to water their plants. what an incredible use of water that would otherwise be poured down the drain. definitely going to be implementing that in my own home!
our second dinner was spent at The Lakehouse, an upscale farm-to-table style restaurant in downtown bellevue. we had the most pleasant experience trying their fresh, local produce and sipping on tasty zero proof drinks. the staff was so well educated in the world of sustainability and shared about their work with Sounds Sustainable Farms and Cedar Grove Compost. knowing this restaurant focuses on sourcing local and organic as well as composting made me enjoy and respect my meal so much more. we ate a plethora of tasty dishes but my favorite, an absolute phenomenon — the warm corn soup. i am dreaming about enjoying this again. would probably drive to bellevue just for this soup. 10/10 would recommend The Lakehouse.
last but certainly not the least, we enjoyed brunch at Jujubeet, a plant based and health conscious cafe serving warm and cold bowls, juices, smoothies, and some really delicious avocado toast. we enjoyed eating in such a bright and cheery atmosphere, and it was just a short morning stroll from our hotel too. i would highly recommend the avo toast on their tasty gluten free bread and the inflammation smoothie. seriously felt so good and set for my day after our stop here. can’t wait to return.
stepped a bit our of our comfort zones on this one and enjoyed a rather pleasant afternoon canoe ride along lake washington. we were able to rent canoe’s from the REI Boathouse at Meydenbauer Bay Park in bellevue, which was such a cool experience. we love REI and it was such an effortless process! signed a waiver, put on a lifejacket, and set out to sea…or lake, rather. we absolutely fell in love with this experience and have visited lakes near our home every weekend since, trying to set out on another canoe. will certainly be heading on another REI canoeing excursion again soon!
on our last day we took a drive about 45 minutes east of bellevue to a tranquil little nature spot called Gold Creek Pond. a very easy walking path around a beautiful blue pond is the perfect recipe for some fresh air. still can’t believe this is just right outside of the city. went there two days back to back because we loved it so much! should you find yourself in bellevue, i’d recommend packing a picnic and heading out to this gem for a peaceful afternoon or evening. filmed a little video there too, which you can watch here!
overall, our time in bellevue was relaxing and adventurous all at once, literally the best combination. we loved the cuisine and outdoors activities this city had to offer and truly look forward to returning again soon! if you visit any of the places i mentioned here, let me know on instagram, i’d love to see your adventure. :)
until next time,
FTC Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Visit Bellevue, but all opinions are my own!