Considering moving to Seattle? There are many reasons to look at the surrounding incorporated towns in the greater metro area, too. The city of Seattle itself is surrounded by thriving communities that are within commuting distance of downtown while offering plenty of work, live, and play options on their own. For professionals or families looking to rent or buy, we recommend including Bellevue on your research list.
The town’s name, the French word for “Beautiful View”, was chosen by homesteaders in 1869. Although the rural character of the area has been transformed into a well-developed city, the name still rings true. When the weather is clear, stunning views of the Olympia mountains, the Cascades, and the Seattle skyline are all visible from hills (or high rises) in the area.
Recreation & Environment
Bellevue is separated from Seattle by Lake Washington and bordered by lake Sammamish to the east. This unique geographic location combined with careful city planning means that ample parks and gardens exist both on the waterfronts and in the city itself. A rich variety of outdoor activities are easily accessible from every side of the city, including wildlife viewing, fishing, trail running, and paddleboarding.
Because Bellevue is close to the ocean, it retains a temperate climate, with generally dry summers that top out at an average 80 F during August and rainy, cool winters that rarely drop below freezing, even in December.
Quality of Life
Part of what makes Bellevue so livable is that it combines cultural elements from Seattle like great food and drink, and culture of fitness and outdoor recreation with a more “small town” experience. Bellevue itself offers a comparatively much lower crime rate and several renowned museums and cultural festivals. The city also has an excellent public school system, from elementary all the way up to college. In fact, Bellevue college was just awarded a top ranking in Washington for affordability and quality of its online programs.
Employment opportunities exist across many established fields, with particularly strong ties to the tech industry. Bellevue is home to several tech giants, including Microsoft, and has also been voted one of the 10 top places for entrepreneurs to start a business by Livability.com for 3 years straight!
The Best of Both Worlds
In terms of overall livability, Bellevue has been placed in the top 5 best cities to live in by USA Today, Newsweek, CNN money, and others. If you’re looking for a laid-back, safer city that’s only 25 minutes from the cultural hub of Seattle, Bellevue just might be the right place to rent or buy your next home.
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