Exploring Bellevue, Washington

Do you ever look at your calendar and try to plan something but then realize that you are weeks or months out before you have any ounce of free time? Our summer was like that. We started out with a few weeks in Kona, Hawaii with family, but then we all kind of scattered. I guess that's what happens as the kids get older.
I realized that we needed to hit the pause button and I booked a night at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue, Washington. If you are local, maybe you have never thought of staying just outside Seattle. Perhaps you are travelling into Seattle before or after a cruise or you are making your way to see the beautiful PNW for a refresh and Bellevue isn't even on your radar. Seriously though, it should be! Bellevue is the gateway to the entire Puget Sound region and it will leave you centrally located for everything you want to explore. 
Hyatt Regency Bellevue hotel Seattle area
Within minutes you can be downtown Seattle exploring {it's only 9 miles away!}, visiting Kirkland and it's waterfront parks or touring Woodinville's wine country. Heck, you aren't far from nearby mountains for hiking, biking and skiing either. Come explore Bellevue, Washington with me! We found that it was the perfect staycation for our family.
boy jumping on bed at Hyatt Regency hotel

Exploring Bellevue, Washington
family staycation with teenagers

I have always dreamed of living in the city. I walk the streets and make up stories about the people I see. Everywhere you look there is something happening, everything you need is close by. I imagine myself having a regular coffee shop on the corner, carrying grocery bags home after a quick jaunt into the local store and finding hidden gems and rubbing elbows with the local shop keeps. 
And then reality sets in. Traffic sucks, finding parking is awful, and your grocery bag breaks and your apples roll down the street into a puddle. OK, maybe I'm over exaggerating but while I dream of being a city girl, I'm just not. But I sure do like to pretend from time to time, which is why I love escaping into the city.
The Hyatt Regency Bellevue gave us the perfect location to pretend like we were city dwellers for a hot minute. I used the hotel's valet parking and didn't think about my car or parking in the city the whole time we were there. The Hyatt is centrally located to the best dining and shopping around so we walked everywhere.
There is a sky bridge so even in the raining season, you can stay dry. Seriously, this is one of those amenities that the hotel should shout from the rooftops. It should be the very first thing listed on their website. Something like "Hey friends, you will never get wet if you stay here!" If I was narrowing down hotels and there was one giving away six million dollars for each stay or one that boasted a sky bridge so you never had to get wet, I'd choose the sky bridge one. Hands down.
teens walking after shopping
We had the most beautiful suite at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue where we could spread out. After the teenagers walked the room with cell phones in hand showing their friends a virtual tour, they pretty much unplugged. 
Suite at Hyatt Regency Bellevue
I'm telling you, sometimes taking the kids just 30 minutes away from home does wonders for reconnecting your family. It was just us, sharing moments and making memories, and that is exactly why we travel...even if we sometimes we don't travel far.
indoor hotel swimming pool dad with teens
We splashed in the indoor pool and played a made up game of water pong {ping pong in the water for all those who were thinking it was a drinking game!} after we stopped at the Regency club for some snacks. This was probably my absolute favorite thing about the Hyatt Regency Bellevue. 
I'm constantly sharing local products with my out of town friends and the Regency club was stocked full of them! From my favorite Ellenos yogurt to Jones Soda and Beecher's Cheese. What a treat for locals and non-locals alike to get to try all of the best foods from our area in one place! Plus, the view was pretty darn amazing!
Jones Soda, Ellenos yogurt, Beecher's cheese at Hyatt Regency Bellevue
After swimming we worked up an appetite so we headed to VIVO 53 for dinner. What a treat! You can find a little bit of everything on the menu from the VIVO 53 signature pizzas to amazing shareable appetizers. The whole dining experience was piping hot and full of authentic modern Italian charm.
You have to finish off dinner at VIVO 53 with an Insane Sundae. It's like a requirement.
We had the city at our fingertips but everyone wanted to head back to our incredible room at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue. There were deep tubs to be soaked in and comfortable beds to be snuggled in. 
teens snuggling with their mom in a hotel bed during family vacation
We woke up refreshed in the morning and ventured downstairs to one of the best breakfasts I've had in awhile! We got the full breakfast experience at Eques and after having an amazing selection at the buffet, we ordered the most amazing made to order omelets and delicious waffles I've ever had. 
breakfast menu
After our breakfast coma, I thought I would treat my teen daughter with a blow out before we spent our day shopping. Every outfit you try on looks better when your hair looks good don't you think?
Conveniently, there is a blow out salon just outside the Hyatt Regency Bellevue called Obadiah. I've never had a blow out so I was excited to give it a try. It was such a fun thing to share together.
mother and daughter date day
With our hair done and the day ahead, we decided to do some shopping at The Bellevue Collection. The Bellevue Collection has always had our favorite stores. We love Escape Outdoors {we stocked up on Hydro Flask's}, Anthropologie, American Eagle and Lolli and Pops candy shop. Plus, like a zillion others. I usually beg to go into Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma and the kids beg to go into Eddie Bauer. They love sitting in the ice box trying on the company's outerwear in below-freezing temperatures.
mall with teenagers
Honestly, the mall is one of the only reasons I used to come to Bellevue, though after our little staycation, I've got a million more reasons!
mall shopping with teenagers
In fact, I spent just last weekend exploring Old Bellevue. It's such a charming little area with those hidden gems and specialty items I love to discover.
So while I'm not ready to pack up and become a city dweller just yet, it is kind of fun to pack up and spend some time pretending that I am.  
teens with suitcases waiting on vallet
Bellevue, Washington provides everything you are looking for and more.  Why not explore it for yourself! Book a night or two at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue so that you are close to it all. I loved this itinerary that the Hyatt Regency Bellevue put together so much, I had to share it with you. There really is something for everyone.
The Nature Lover
  • Mercer Slough Nature Park: Kayaks, heron, otters, and turtles, oh my!  
  • Blueberry Farm: A historic log cabin plus walking trails, fishing and U-Pick activities next to Lake Larsen.
  • Poo Poo Point: Head to Tiger Mountain for hiking trails, to see paragliders in action and enjoy a picnic. 
  • Kelsey Creek Farm Park: An animal lover's dream with ponies, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, and rabbits!
  • Bellevue Botanical Garden: 53-acres of restored and natural wetlands – can you guess the number of plants?

The Young Fashionista 
  • The Bellevue Collection shopping: From Abercrombie Kids to Zumiez (and everything in between like Gap Kids, Zara Kids and Uniqlo), there’s a store for every style maven!
  • Pamper Yourself: Treat yourself with a mani/pedi at Julep Nail ParlorYuan Spa or Recoop or head to Sephora for a light makeup session.
  • Blow Yourself Away: Once the outfit and pampering are complete, head to local 02 Blow Dry Bar or Drybar for a quick styling session. 

The Thrill Seeker
  • Bellevue Zip Tour: Glide high above the ground between 79 and 458 feet, racing through the trees on more than 6 ziplines, or walk among the treetops on the suspension bridge.
  • Stone Gardens: Try your hand at indoor (or outdoor) rock climbing and rappelling.
  • SUP: Rent a paddleboard and then test your balance on the local waters on Lake Sammamishor Enatai Park.
  • Go-Karting: A need for speed? Head to K1 Speed to race along the 1/5 mile indoor track!

The Curious Kiddo
  • KidsQuest Museum: Exhibits, programs, classes and hands-on activities for kids 10 and under.
  • Bellevue Arts Museum: Pacific Northwest's center for the exploration of art, craft, and design.
  • Downtown Park: A 21-acre oasis in the heart of Bellevue with Inspiration Playground and splash pad.
  • Game Room: Check out our seasonal game room featuring foosball and ping pong to mega Lego blocks and giant connect four and much, much more.
  • Outdoor Sports: Stop by the concierge to check out our various sports equipment from frisbees to basketballs. Guests can take all equipment to neighboring parks  

Budding Foodie
  • Din Tai Fung: The best Taiwanese dumplings you’ve ever had. It’s worth the wait! 
  • The Sugar Factory: Over-the-top kid-friendly drinks and all the candy you can eat!
  • Vivo 53: A modern take on Italian food complete with wood-fired pizzas, pasta and insane sundaes!
  • Lincoln South Food Hall: Seven casual food options all in one place. 
  • Whisk: Cooking classes for kids eight years old and over.
  • Eques: Brunch, breakfast, and buffets every weekend. The interactive pancake bar is a dream come true – with every topping imaginable to make animal faces on your pancakes!

disclaimer: I received a nights stay at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue in exchange for an honest review. Visit Bellevue Washington also provided some fantastic perks to make our stay more enjoyable as well.

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