The Bellevue Botanical Garden boasts 53 acres of lush gardens, wetlands and restored woodlands, making it a popular destination for both visitors and residents. The best part is that it’s free and open daily!
A Public Park
The Seattle-Tacoma area does a fantastic job of providing and maintaining a large variety of public parks. The Bellevue Botanical Garden is only an 8-minute drive from Bellevue Square, and provides an escape from the everyday hustle and bustle of downtown Bellevue.
The garden is a great destination for families. Kids love the wide open spaces and, depending on their age, will enjoy learning more about the various display gardens and collections.
The garden is probably best known for it’s annual Garden d’ Lights, which is similar to Zoo Lights in Tacoma. The event starts the first Saturday after Thanksgiving and runs for 36 straight days. The staff dress up various areas of the garden with lights to create a winter wonderland effect. The lights follow a route through the garden that changes every year, so many families return each year to see what new displays are put up.
(Note: There is typically fee for this event. Check the link above for current pricing info.)
But the garden is more than just a free place to get a walk. There are 13 separate sections of the garden devoted to unique botanical collections. Some of the best are the Rock Garden, Rhododendron Glen and the Dahlia Display.
Things To See
If it’s your first time going to the Bellevue Botanical Garden, here are a few of the things you should try to experience:
The Yao Garden, a Japanese style garden, was designed to highlight the fact that Bellevue’s sister city is Yao, Japan.
Lost Meadow Trail provides a peaceful walk through a lush meadow on a trail that loops back to where you started. It’s about one-third of a mile long.
The Ravine Experience is a 150-foot suspension bridge that lets you get a “bird’s eye view” of the surrounding forests and the ravine below.
If You Go
Hours are typically from dawn to dusk.
To get there follow these directions:
From I-405 take the NE 4th St exit, Exit 13A;
Turn east onto NE 4th Street;
Turn right onto 116 Avenue NE;
Turn left onto SE 1st Street;
Take the 1st right onto Main Street;
The Garden will be 3 blocks down on the right.
The parking lot is off of Main St., to the left of the Bellevue Schools Foundation.