15 Free Things to Do in Bellevue, WA

15 Free Things to Do in Bellevue, WA


Bellevue is a city in King County within western Washington.

Its name is from the French term “belle vue,” meaning “beautiful view.”

European Americans were the first settlers in this city.

Bellevue is nestled between Lake Washington on the west and Lake Sammamish on the east.

It has grown into one of Eastside’s best high-tech and retail centers.

Due to its incredible location, the majestic views of the Olympic Mountains and Cascade Mountains can also be seen from the hilltops of this city.

Beyond that, the place has so much more to offer.

The best thing about it is you won’t have to spend a dime to experience this city and create new memories.

Here are free things to do in Bellevue, Washington:

Feel Closer to Nature at Bellevue Botanical Garden

View of Bellevue Botanical Garden's flora
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Bellevue Botanical Garden is a 53-acre urban refuge located on Main Street.

It opened in June 1992 and has since been home to restored woodlands, cultivated gardens, and natural wetlands.

Bellevue Botanical Garden was created through the partnership of the City of Bellevue Parks and Community Services and the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society.

This is where you can find many plants that thrive in the Pacific Northwest.

Trail at Bellevue Botanical Garden's Japanese section
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Aside from plant species, Bellevue Botanical Garden also features several artworks donated by the public, which include sculptures, stone benches, and more.

Once you’re here, visit the Rill Plaza, Rock Garden, Iris Rain Garden, Fuchsia Garden, and Yao garden.

You can also do some nature photography in its Shorts Ground Cover Garden, Waterwise Garden, and Nature Discover Garden.

Stream at Bellevue Botanical Garden
Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Shutterstock.com

Go on a Picnic at Bellevue Downtown Park

The grounds of Bellevue Downtown Park
Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Shutterstock.com

Bellevue Downtown Park is a 21-acre oasis on Northeast 4th Street.

This is the perfect spot if you’re looking for a place to have a picnic with your family while surrounded by beautiful scenery.

Set up your picnic blanket on its 10-acre lawn and enjoy the view of the city skyline and Mount Rainier.

Bellevue Downtown Park is also filled with lush trees and has a stepped canal.

People walking along Bellevue Downtown Park
Chamomile_Olya / Shutterstock.com

Your little ones will have a great time in this park’s well-kept playground, which features slides, monkey bars, swings, and more.

Children of all abilities can also access this playground.

Bellevue Downtown Park also has over 140 benches where you can sit back and relax after minutes or hours of walking and running.

Don’t miss its formal garden and see the public art.

Water fountain at Bellevue Downtown Park
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Challenge Yourself to a Trail Run at Mercer Slough Nature Park

Boardwalk trail at Mercer Slough Nature Park
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Mercer Slough Nature Park is situated on Southeast Avenue.

It measures 320 acres and is a popular destination for hikers.

Other activities here are biking, running, canoeing, and blueberry picking.

Aside from being an outdoor adventure spot, Mercer Slough Nature Park also serves as a safe habitat for more than 170 wildlife species.

The waters of Mercer Slough Nature Park
marcsanchez / Shutterstock.com

It features interconnected boardwalks, asphalt paths, and trails leading you to the park’s most scenic and picture-perfect spots.

Mercer Slough Nature Park features old greenhouses and gardens.

This is also where you can find the famous Frederick W. Winters House, which reflects the city’s rich agricultural past.

You’ll easily recognize the house through its Spanish-Eclectic architectural style.

Spend the Day at Meydenbauer Bay Park

Sunset at Meydenbauer Bay Park
Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Shutterstock.com

Meydenbauer Bay Park is a beach park nestled on Northeast Avenue.

It has a viewing terrace, beach house, play area, and hillside woodland, perfect for a day out with the whole family.

Meydenbauer Bay Park is an ideal destination if you want to feel refreshed and cool off from the summer heat.

Trail at Meydenbauer Bay Park
Another Believer, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can bring your food and have a snack in its designated picnic areas.

This park’s sand and gravel beach is also a nice area where you can sunbathe while reading a book.

Meydenbauer Bay Park boasts other amenities, such as a boat launch, a natural ravine, and walking paths.

Aerial view of Meydenbauer Bay Park
Danita Delimont / Shutterstock.com

See Some Osprey at Hidden Valley Park

Hidden Valley Park is a 17.31-acre park on Northeast Avenue.

It features three softball fields, tennis courts, a sports court, and picnic areas.

Hidden Valley Park is famous for being the home of large fish-eating bird osprey.

You can identify this bird through its brown back and white to cream-colored heads, bellies, and chest.

These birds can catch their prey 130 feet above the water.

Aside from bird watching, Hidden Valley Park is also a favorite destination for families, especially because of its playgrounds and relaxing walkways.

Picnic tables and exercise areas are also available within the park.

Appreciate Nature at Kelsey Creek Farm

Daytime view of Kelsey Creek Farm
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Kelsey Creek Farm is a 150-acre of natural land on Southeast Plaza.

You’ll learn to love and appreciate nature more through this farm’s forest, wetlands, and meadows.

A visit here at Kelsey Creek Farm will take you to the city’s rich rural past.

You’ll find two historic barns on the crest of a hill that overlook some shallow valleys.

Scarecrow maze at Kelsey Creek Farm
knelson20 / Shutterstock.com

These barns used to be the Twin Valley Dairy which was included in the  State Heritage Barn Register.

Aside from sightseeing, you can also do some hiking, jogging, and nature tripping on this farm.

You can also take a break in its picnic areas.

Kelsey Creek Farm also houses some animals.

Sheep at Kelsey Creek Farm
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Beat the Heat at Newcastle Beach Park

Trail with foliage at Newcastle Beach Park
Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Shutterstock.com

Newcastle Beach Park is the largest beach park in the city, located on Southeast Lake Washington Boulevard.

It is one of the best places to beat the summer heat and bond with the whole family.

You can swim, sunbathe, or explore its nature trails.

The waters of Newcastle Beach Park
Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Shutterstock.com

Newcastle Beach Park also has picnic facilities available for reservation and a non-motorized watercraft launch site.

This grassy park also features play areas for kids and well-maintained restrooms.

Welcome sign of Crossroads Community Park
© Steven Pavlov / https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Senapa

Crossroads Community Park is a 34-acre park on Northeast Street.

If you’re looking for a place to play sports with friends, this one has you covered.

It has full-size basketball courts, a horseshoe pit, tennis courts, and a skate bowl.

You can also explore its jogging paths and wide play areas.

The grounds of Crossroads Community Park
© Steven Pavlov / https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Senapa

But what makes this park popular is its Crossroads Water Spray Playground and par-3 golf course, which features golf and foot golf.

Crossroads Community Park is also home to the Bellevue Youth Theatre, a community center, and seasonal gardens.

Pets are allowed in this park as long as they’re on a leash.

Public WIFI, water playground, and meeting room are also available here at Crossroads Community Park.

Enjoy Outdoor Activities at Wilburton Hill Park

Sports field at Wilburton Hill Park
knelson20 / Shutterstock.com

Wilburton Hill Park is the biggest upland park in Bellevue, found on Main Street.

Measuring 105.49 acres, Wilburton Hill Park offers a selection of outdoor and recreational activities.

It also has a trail that connects to the Lake Trail and Greenway System.

You can use Wilburton Hill Park’s huge soccer field and two ball fields.

It also has a play area with a zipline for your little ones.

Wilburton Hill Park also features exercise equipment for adults.

It also has picnic areas suited for company picnics and large gatherings.

Watch the Sunset at Chism Beach Park

Daytime view of Chism Beach Park
Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Shutterstock.com

Chism Beach Park is located on Northeast Avenue.

It is perfectly situated on the Lake Washington shore, making it a nice spot for sunset watching.

It also boasts a dock, large picnic areas, and play areas.

Chism Beach Park is a top choice for soon-to-be-wed couples looking for a wedding venue.

The waters of Chism Beach Park
Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Shutterstock.com

Chism Beach Park’s upland lawn picnic area can fit up to 125 people, while its lower picnic area suits 25 people.

Its sandy beach is a perfect spot for sunbathing and relaxing.

Seasonal lifeguards are also available here at Chism Beach Park for the safety of everyone.

Robinswood Community Park is a recreational park situated on Southeast Avenue.

It offers a variety of outdoor activities like hiking, running, and sports.

You can use its lacrosse fields and huge open spaces for any activity you wish!

The highlight of Robinswood Community Park is the Bellevue Dog Corral, a fenced and off-leash area for your furry friends.

Make sure to bring your dogs to this park and let them enjoy the ample-sized dog park.

Complimentary pet waste bags are also available.

Robinswood Community Park also has picnic areas and a children’s play area.

Relax with a Book at Bellevue Public Library

Exterior of Bellevue Public Library
SuddenFrost, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bellevue Public Library is situated on Lincoln Road and is a one-stop shop for all your informational needs.

It started operations in 1929 and was transferred to its current location in 1975.

Bellevue Public Library has a huge selection of every reading material you could think of.

From books, newspapers, documents, magazines, and even electronic resources, name it, and this library surely has it.

Aside from its services, Bellevue Public Library also serves as a venue for free concerts, music festivals, and other events.

Take a Tour of The Spheres

Daytime view of The Spheres
VDB Photos / Shutterstock.com

The Spheres is an ultramodern office building situated on 7th Avenue.

It boasts an amazing botanical garden open for public tours.

Its goal is to reconnect people to nature by means of biophilic design and to provide a relaxing and green space within the city.

The Spheres’ botanical gardens also aim to positively affect the overall mental health of its visitors.

The creation of The Spheres was made possible through the cooperative efforts of Amazon Horticulture and Amazon Leaders.

Only service animals are allowed within the vicinity to ensure the safety of plants and other displays.

You can also practice your photography skills here at The Spheres.

Ambassadors are also available in the area to answer all your questions about the building and the gardens.

Be One with Nature at Lewis Creek Park

Bird perched on a tree at Lewis Creek Park
Michael J Magee / Shutterstock.com

Lewis Creek Park is a 55-acre park on Southeast Lakemont Boulevard.

Over 80 percent of the park’s overall land area is preserved in its natural condition.

Lewis Creek Park is ideal if you want to feel closer to nature and its wonders.

It has a forest, grassland, wetland, and soft-surface trails.

Boardwalk at Lewis Creek Park
Michael J Magee / Shutterstock.com

Towering trees surround its approximately three-mile trail system.

Lewis Creek Park is also a nice location for some picnic sessions with friends.

It also has a basketball court, baseball fields, and play areas suited for children of all ages.

A self-guided scavenger hunt is also allowed here.

Evergreen tree at Lewis Creek Park
Michael J Magee / Shutterstock.com

Soak up the Sun at Enatai Beach Park

Waters of Enatai Beach Park
Michael J Magee / Shutterstock.com

Enatai Beach Park is a lakefront park nestled on Southeast Avenue.

This park is your gateway to Lake Washington and Mercer Slough Nature Park.

Enatai Beach Park measures three acres and is popular for its swimming areas, docks, and boat house.

This is a nice spot for sunbathing and water adventures with friends and family.

Picnic areas are also available, and there are kayak and seasonal canoe rentals within Enatai Beach Park.

Wildlife viewing and fishing are also allowed here.

After all the exciting water adventures, you can relax on its sandy beach while watching a romantic sunset.

Final Thoughts

Bellevue is filled with attractions perfect for all members of the family.

If you’re a nature enthusiast, this city is perfect for you.

Its gardens, parks, library, and other destinations will give you the best time.

The best part is you won’t have to break the bank to have a memorable time here.

Be sure to keep this list of free things to do in Bellevue, Washington, to make the most of your trip!

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