7 Of Bellevue’s Most Beloved Parks

7 Of Bellevue’s Most Beloved Parks

Modern Bellevue is known for its forest-forward momentum, and they quite enjoy beautiful green spaces in tandem of their ever-developing city. With over 2,700 acres of park and 80-miles of trails, they indulge over 10,000 happy participants annually.

With the seasons in this state of flux, we’re swiveling between the weather forecast and the clouds in the sky. Washingtonians and Seattleites love the great outdoors, and the number one thing we wait for as the winter thaws is the first few days of warm sunshine – no, not this cold sun we’ve been experiencing, though it’s still pleasant in its own icy-breath way.

DOWNTOWN BELLEVUE PARK

The Bellevue Downtown Park was re-imagined into a 21-acre oasis in the heart of downtown Bellevue. Completely rejuvenated in 2017, this monolith of Bellevue culture and recreation. Enjoy a 240-foot wide waterfall as it crashes into a reflecting pond, or a ten-acre designated lawnspace for picnics, reading, or relaxing in the sun against the tremendous Bellevue skyline.

Other amenities include the INSPIRATIONAL PLAYGROUND, where children “explore at their own pace” and their passion for play is encouraged.

THE BELLEVUE BOTANICAL GARDENS

Though no dogs are allowed, the Bellevue Botanical Gardens are an amazing place of urban play, encompassing 53-acres of cultivated gardens, restored woodlands, and natural wetlands. Whether you’re looking for a day surrounded by beauty or to expand your knowledge of Pacific Northwest foliage, their live collections “showcase plants that thrive” in the area.

KELSEY CREEK PARK & FARM EXPERIENCE

Open 365 days per year, the Kelsey Creek Park of 150-acres of forest, meadows, and wetlands that offer insight into Bellevue’s historic past. But Kelsey Creek Park is just a park in the area. Visit the farm and immerse yourself in Bellevue’s farmhouse roots. A free recreational opportunity, this urban oasis offers hiking, picnic areas, a playground, open grassy area, day camps, and summer volunteer opportunities.

Though pets are allowed at the Kelsey Creek Community Park, they aren’t at the Kelsey Creek Farm – but don’t worry, you’ll have a bunch of farm critters to enjoy!

CROSSROADS PARK

A mega-community center, Crossroads Park is 34+ acres of activity, including the Crossroads Par-3 Golf Course, Crossroads Community Center, Bellevue Youth Theatre, and Water Spray Playground. Aside from these amazing amenities, the park also offers tennis courts, basketball courts, a shores shoe pit, a skate bowl, play areas, picnic shelters, jogging paths, and tons of open greenspace for play and relaxation.

Home to Bellevue’s annual Strawberry Festival, Crossroads park is near Crossroads Mall, local restaurants, and plenty of transportation options.

LAKE HILLS GREENBELT PARK

Touted as a community hub, the Lake Hill Greenbelt stretches between Phantom and Larson Lakes via the Lake to Lake Trail, a 3-mile trail through the massive, 150-acre expanse of diverse wildlife habitats, which includes forests, wetlands, streams, and lakes.

The Lake Hills Community Gardens & P-Patches are near the Bellevue Park Ranger Station off SE 16th Street – also near Lake Hill Farm Fresh Produce market and southern Lake to Lake Trailhead.  Though much of the park is greenspace, wetlands, or part of the Blueberry Farms and is only traversable via dedicated trails, the 3-miles of trail can bring you to Phantom Lake and Phantom Lake Park, which offers another 2.4-miles of trail, fishing areas, and a small dock.

MERCER SLOUGH NATURE PARK

With 7+ miles of dedicated trail, Mercer Slough Nature Park is perfect for people looking to get out of the big city. Though the Winters House is currently closed through 2022 for light rail construction, you can still enjoy one of Lake Washington’s remaining freshwater wetlands. Explore over 320 acres of Bellevue largest park and a diverse expanse of freshwater wetland ecology and educational purpose. A partnership between the Mercer Slough Environmental Educational Center and the Pacific Science Center instilled such purpose and drive through activities such as free guided ranger walks and guided canoe tours.

ROBINSWOOD COMMUNITY PARK

Near Bellevue College, Robinswood Community Park is full of recreation, including lit softball and soccer/lacrosse fields, ten wooded acres of trails, a children’s play area, and lush open spaces and adjoining pond.

Two corrals offer different spaces for off-leash, human-pup recreation – one with a small shelter to escape the Seattle drizzle.

NEWCASTLE BEACH PARK

One of Bellevue’s most southern parks, Newcastle Beach Park is a popular place for swimming, sunbathing, and short nature trails. With lifeguards on duty late-June through Labor Day, the area is most bustling during the summer season – when the sun is out, and the air is dry. Plan a picnic or host a barbeque, and enjoy the day away surrounded by family and friends.

We’ve mentioned a few local, Bellevue events during this article…  Are you curious about all the events going on in Bellevue, Washington? We are too – so, check out their calendar of awesome upcoming events!

Do you have a favorite park or place in Bellevue or are you more curious about the area? Tell us about it!


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6 of Our Favorite Breakfast Places in Seattle, Mercer Island & Bellevue

6 of Our Favorite Breakfast Places in Seattle, Mercer Island & Bellevue

What’s the most important meal of the day – and one of our favorites? Why, breakfast, of course! The Pacific Northwest holds tons of hyper-local secrets in the breakfast world, but what are the area’s favorites? We’ve done breakfast posts before, but we’re breaking down our favorite breakfast and brunch places in Seattle, Mercer Island, and the Greater Eastside, why their so delicious and our suggestions.

Hidden in a cozy storefront off 24th in Old Ballard, Seattle you’ll find a darling treasure named Café Besalu, specializing in handmade pastries and handcrafted espresso. Since selling to Herkimer Coffee in 2017, the café has seen a few minor tweaks, but the same delicious pastries that call for lines out the door and ritualistic regulars remain.

Do you love artisan baked goods? Flaky goodness in every bite? Their humble outside appearance opens to a well-oiled machine and delightful breakfast treat. If you’re looking for something small, a drink and pastry combination perhaps, peek into this shop!

Nestled in the bustling city, the Tilikum Place Café features a classic breakfast menu, in a welcoming, aromatic atmosphere. Breathe in the morning of eggs benedict Dutch Baby pancakes, and indulge with either classic, sweet, or savory!

You might wait for a table, and you might wait for your scrumptious foods, but you’ll enjoy the high quality, high energy, and beautiful setting. Keep in mind, this little café usually doesn’t have space for walk-ins, and reservations are oftentimes books weeks in advanced.

A downtown Mercer Island classic, Bennett’s Bistro has long served the Mercer Island community with authentic and original foods. Part of Sugar Mountain, Bennett’s uses premium ingredients, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, and a “whole food” commitment.

Bennett’s Bistro uses a ton of ingredients from its sister companies, including Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Mama Lil’s Peppers, and other Sugar Mountain companies. Enjoy the mouthwatering nature of handcrafted foods, straight from “the earth, the sea, and the vine,” from local Washington sources, including Carnation, Yakima, Bellingham, and the Olympic Mountains.

A newer, local favorite is Mioposto on Mercer Island. Its original storefront opened in March of 2006 in the Mount Baker neighborhood in Seattle, but they recently opened a sister site on Mercer Island and recently celebrated their one-year anniversary (in January 2018, opened January 2017). Literally translated to “my pace” in Italian, Mioposto was inspired by traditional Neapolitan pizzerias from their aesthetic to their ingredient sources.

Crafted in open-flame ovens, their foods are handcrafted with care and attention, by skilled oveners incredibly in-tune with their ovens and kitchens. They form unique recipes and beautiful displays, but don’t take our word for it – try it yourself!

Like Seattle, Bellevue has a ton of boutique eateries local and visitors love indulging in, including the French Bakery. There are several locations across the Eastside, including Bellevue, Redmond, and Kirkland, and each offers a unique experience and flaky pastries.

Made savory and sweet, their delightful pastries and desserts are crafted daily for your repeated enjoyment. Looking for a meeting space with light fare, or a place to camp out while you get some work done? Grab a coffee for energy and a croissant for brain power here!

Located in the heart of Bellevue, the Bellden Café started like many other local restaurants: with a simple idea and lot of love, commitments, and passion. Coffee and food bring people together, and that was precisely the idea behind this love project.

Behind the chaotic times is a menu filled with you, the customer, in mind. Their menu changes periodically to keep up with the demand and season, but their delicious coffee stays the same, carving the Bellden Café into the Bellevue lifestyle.

We’re sure we missed some of your favorites. What are they? Where are they? And why are they amazing?

8 Of Our Favorite Seattle Juiceries

8 Of Our Favorite Seattle Juiceries

Do your plans for the new year include a healthier lifestyle? Or maybe just adding more balanced to your diet? Adding various fruits and vegetables to your diet can help in a variety of ways, including adding essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients and diversifying your eating habits.

If you’re considering adding fruits and vegetables but find the chore of adding four to eight pieces of fruits and veggies to your diet daunting, you might find juicing a health-hearty option for the new year. And you don’t need a juicer to get started. You can use a blender and a mesh strainer if you’re cautious about investing money into a new ritual.

Another alternative is to utilize one of the many juice bars in the Greater Seattle area, which is what we’re going to go over today.

Heart Beet Healthy is an amazing juicer, with tons of options. Feeling a tickle in your throat? Try the gingers hot or snake bite to nip it in the bud! Their juices are brimmed with color and nutrition and packed with organic vegetables, made fresh when you order. Feeling something creamy? Try their non-dairy smoothies – and maybe add a superfood add-on!

Fresh squeezed to order and when you want it, Chaco Canyon Organic Café is a great reminder of community and healthfulness. They have a ton smoothie and juice recipes, but if you don’t like them, or want to add your own kick, don’t hesitate to add it on!

Whether you’re looking to cleanse or just add some more nutrients to your day, Jujubeet has you covered. With several locations around the Greater Seattle Region, their story starts like any other: with passion and a whole lot of fruits and vegetables.

Founded only seven short years ago, the Juice Press was envisioned with a healthier and more transparent eatery in mind. Tons of options with your favorite vegetable or fruit packed in. Like a 50/50 mix? Or maybe more fruit than vegie? Or the other way around? They’ve got it.

Made from locally sourced fruits and vegetables, Moondrop Coffee offers a good selection of fresh juices and smoothies on their menu. Do you like the “usuals” – or maybe something with chia seeds and hemp milk.

Tons of quality flavors, the Fit Bar Café a slurry of fresh eats.

The Pressed Juicery quenches your cravings, with drinks including beets, dates, turmeric, vanilla, aloe vera, coconut “meat”, and the usual “green” variety.

Do you like fresh squeezed? Or juiced? Or maybe you need something quick, because you’re forever on the go in Seattle? The Juicy Café has you covered. Located in the convention center in downtown, you’re only a few blocks away from delicious.

Do you have a favorite juicer in the area? Share your experiences in the comments below!

A New Hobby to Kick Off the New Year! Check Out Any of These Local Meetups!

A New Hobby to Kick Off the New Year! Check Out Any of These Local Meetups!

Are you wanting to get out more in 2018? How about trying your hand at a new hobby or gaining a new skill? Or perhaps you already know what you’ll enjoy, but are looking for amazing people to share it with.

Meetup groups can be an amazing way to get out in our communities, learn new skills, and hone new passions and hobbies. Groups like this allow us to get outside of our comfort zones, and harness the power of face-to-face gatherings as a point of networking between members and organizers.

Meetups can be more than just way to get out of your house, but it can also help you birth, grow and develop friendships, hone your interests, or learn more about business and entrepreneurialism. These groups are excellent resources on many levels, and can offer tons of insight into whatever you’re looking to learn.

The Greater Seattle has tons of meetups to choose from, and you can use websites like MeetUp.com to find the one that sings to you? We’ve compiled a list of the Seattle area’s most favorite:

Sports, Activity, & Adventure:

Writing Groups:

Book Clubs:

Tech Groups:

Pet & Pups:

Regardless if you’re into the tech industry, learning, music or eating (or anything else), there’s a group for you – and, if you don’t see exactly what you’re searching for, that’s okay! Try your hand at your own meetup, and coordinating your own group to your akin preferences.

Do you have any favorite meetups in the area?

6 Hot & New Restaurants in the Greater Seattle Region – December 2017 Edition

6 Hot & New Restaurants in the Greater Seattle Region – December 2017 Edition

Hot and new restaurants are always popping up in the Puget Sound area, and we LOVE trying new and exciting things. Some people don’t want to cook when they get home, or they cook the same ten things week after week without sufficient variation.

This is where eating out and trying new things comes into play. Being adventurous and adding variety (dare, I say spice) to your life is a great way to indulge and find new tastes you never knew you enjoyed – and it doesn’t have to be something crazy. Maybe, you’ve just never tried brussels sprouts?

Tiger Bites is taking the area by storm. Located in the Overlake neighborhood of Bellevue, they offer delightful Taiwanese fusion eats, coupled with quality food, excellent service, and a sense of community. As a fast-casual restaurant, they offer quick, filling bites set at the highest quality!

Ramen has taken the area by storm in recent years, and this new Downtown ramen house is making statements with their signature Tonkotsu broth, touted as “unmistakable”. Nonetheless, only weeks old and Ramen Danbo proves a delicious eatery!

Open for two months, the Red Bamboo Bistro offers a fabulous and expansive Chinese menu. Located in the Renton Highlands, this eatery is already touted as “up there with the top places in Renton for Chinese food.

Neko: A Cat Café proves as adorable as it is indulgent in our fierce feline companions. The unique space rests in the heart of Capitol Hill, and offers drinks and nibbles as you pet the totally adoptable cats that slink around your feet. Drink. Eat. Pet cats, and maybe even adopt one while you’re there!

A combination of “new rustic and old, tradiational” Mexican foods, D’ La Santa offers a menu diverse with quality, prime meats, organic vegetables, and community. Their “family approach” to business shines through their unique and delicious menu!

Already garnered the title of “great brisket in Seattle” by the Seattle Times, Barbecue Smith offers a new take on a delicious trend. Alongside their traditional menu or brisket, mac & cheese, ribs, and pulled pork, they also offer unique additions, like kimchi and BBQ ramen.

Eating out can be fun and, while we shouldn’t overdo it, it can be a great way to find new inspirations and ideas for homecooked meals later down the line – or even just trying to figure out how they made what they made so delicious. Maybe you can add it to your New Year’s Resolutions to add to your palette.

New eats are a dime a dozen, but these places are well-rated (4+ stars) and have garnered media attention through their delicious offerings. What are your favorite new eating spaces in the Pacific Northwest?

Polar Bear Plunge – December 2017 Edition

Polar Bear Plunge – December 2017 Edition

The Polar Bear Plunge is a time-honored custom around the globe. People in Canada, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and the United States all take part in this off-the-wall activity. But, why? Because we love kicking off the year with a cool and refreshing tradition, of course!

Well, sort of – and the fact remains that not all places observe this tradition on January 1st. Some, instead, wait for Spring.

The Polar Bear Plunge(s) are where people jump in or otherwise submerge in the water, despite the chilly winter water temperatures and are usually held to raise money for any number of charitable organizations.

Our proximity to the Puget Sound offers easy access to chilly waters and local volunteers assist with refreshments and much-needed hot beverages. Two local plunges happen in Seattle and Tacoma.

Seattle Polar Bear Plunge
WHEN: Monday, January 1st, 2018
TIME: 11:00am – 01:00pm
WHERE: Matthews Beach Park (4999 NE 93rd Street, Seattle)

Tacoma Polar Bear Plunge
WHEN: Monday, January 1st, 2018
TIME: 11:30am
WHERE: Point Defiance Marina (5912 North Waterfront Drive, Tacoma)

Alongside the Seattle Polar Bear Plunge, is the Resolution Run 5K & Polar Bear Drive. Presented by the Club Northwest, the event is held at Magnuson Park (7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle). Check out complete information here!

Regardless of if you’re searching for a New Year’s party, or a themed polar bear after party, the Seattle are has tons of offerings for you and your family! You can even try the Woodland Park Zoo or Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo & Aquariam to see polar bears!

New Year’s Celebrations Around the Greater Seattle (and Tacoma) Area – December 2017 Edition

New Year’s Celebrations Around the Greater Seattle (and Tacoma) Area – December 2017 Edition

The New Year is just around the corner, which means you’re probably dwelling on past and future resolutions, and figuring out where you’ll spend your late night. You can read this productivity article to optimize the new year, but we’re gonna show you some of the fabulous places (and parties) in the Greater Seattle Area.

Several places like to sell out before the night, so reserve your spot before everything’s full – and if you’re looking for something more casual, look on OpenTable to see what Seattle area restaurants are hosting specials!

Early New Year’s Dance Party: Resolution
WHEN: Friday, December 29th, 2017
WHERE: WaMu Theater
BUY TICKETS HERE!

Bollywood Masquarade Party (Bollywood Dreams Entertainment)
WHEN: Saturday, December 30th, 2017
WHERE: Columbia City Theater (4916 Rainer Ave. S., Seattle)
FEE: $15-$25
BUY TICKETS HERE!

New Year’s at Benaroya Hall
WHEN: Sunday, December 31st, 2017
WHERE: Benaroya Hall
BUY TICKETS HERE!

New Year’s Eve at Chihuly
WHEN: Sunday, December 31st
TIME: 8:00pm – 01:00am
WHERE: Chihuly Garden and Glass (Seattle Center)
FEE: $250 per person
BUY TICKETS HERE!

SPECTRA: New Year’s Even Under the Arches
WHEN: Sunday, December 31st, 2017
TIME: 09:00pm – 02:00am
WHERE: Seattle Pacific Science Center
FEE: $80 / member I $85 / non-member (additional packages available)
BUY TICKETS HERE!

Ring in the New Year with KEXP at the Seattle Space Needle
WHEN: Sunday, December 31st, 2017
WHERE: Seattle Space Needle
MORE INFORMATION HERE!

Moisture Festival New Year’s Eve Extravaganza
WHEN: Sunday, December 31st, 2017
TIME: 08:00pm
WHERE: Hale’s Palladium (4301 Leary Way Northwest, Seattle)
FEE: $50 – $75
BUY TICKETS HERE!

New Year’s Eve in Tacoma, Washington
WHEN: Sunday, December 31st, 2017
WHERE: Around the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts
FEE: $12 – $15
BUY TICKETS HERE!

7 Vegan Restaurants You’ve Been Wanting to Try in Seattle, Washington

7 Vegan Restaurants You’ve Been Wanting to Try in Seattle, Washington

Eating vegan isn’t just a preference, but a lifestyle – and you don’t have to eat completely vegan to enjoy the benefits of the diet. Like any cuisine, vegan dishes are vast and deliciously satisfying meals, crafted for you: the eater!

What are these many benefits – you may ask? You may consider replacing a few meals a week with vegan alternatives to slim down and increase energy and to add vegetables and essential nutrients to your diet that many people aren’t getting. And while you can always make your own emulations at home we’ve comprised a list of Seattle restaurants, specializing in vegan cuising.

With moderate prices, an excellent location, and fabulous cuisine, Araya’s Places offers delicious vegan Thai food. Proclaimed as the 1st vegan-Thai restaurant in the Northwest, they opened in 1987 and remain a family-owned and operated establishment. With three locations in the Seattle area, Araya’s Place is a beautiful place where accommodation doesn’t stop at the door.

Beautifully crafted vegan interpretations of everyday dishes is Chaco Canyon Organic Café’s specialty. With three locations sprawled around Seattle, they offer fresh and local foods with every visit, meaning the feeling of homecooked vegan food is only a short drive away.

Another Thai-vegan restaurant, with a 4+ star rating, is Seattle’s Kati Vegan Thai. Cozy chic, this restaurant offers that classic dining feel, with the openness of Seattle’s industrial architecture around South Lake Union – and they’ve got excellent reviews on Happy Cow.

A delicate flower, Café Flora has proved a wonderful addition to the Madison Valley. Their boutique dining is next level, from “utilizing local, organic, and sustainable produce” to “building strong, and direct relationships with Washington farms.” They community-based business perfectly intermingles with Seattle’s vibes and they’ve been repeatedly awarded “Best Brunch” and “Best Vegetarian Restaurant.

Harvest Beat is a unique form of restaurant. Specializing in goodness and unity, they offer an ever-changing menu that both “respects the food of the moment” and diminishes the restaurant’s waste. The experience starts when you think about making reservation and lasts through the 5-course meal and final sip of your evening pairing.

Hundreds of reviews later… Wayward Vegan Café rests comfortably at a 4.5 star, with reviewers touting their cuisine as a “no contest” in top Seattle vegan spots. Established in 2004, they offer veganized American diner-style food, with “large portions, bottomless coffee, and friendly service.”

Between First Hill and Capitol Hill rests Plum Bistro – a vegan hotspot in the area. Expertly crafted dishes, comprised of local, sustainable, and organic ingredients, are what make Plum Bistro amazing. The passion and delicate intricacies of each dish delight foodies everywhere.

Regardless of what your preferences are, these vegan restaurants are delightful and delicious. What are your favorite vegan eateries in the area?

Love BBQ? Try These 4 Local Favorites!

Love BBQ? Try These 4 Local Favorites!

Seattle loves BBQ – and for good reason.

The Pacific Northwest was built on a healthy lumber industry, and to make great BBQ, you’ve got to have a great wood to smoke meat with! Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Seattle isn’t Memphis… or Birmingham… or Nashville… or any other the hundreds of world-renowned BBQ places in the United States.”

And we understand that. But… what do know is that Seattle… is Seattle and we’ve got great food all around!

Starting in Seattle’s north end neighborhood of Wallingford, RoRo BBQ & Grill has been a local favorite since 2006 and has garnered over 500 reviews on Yelp.com, averaging a 4+ star. Must be good! Parking is a bit of a nightmare, but their cozy inside will surely make up for it. Try their homecooked wares and unique BBQ sauces.

Down in Pike Place Market, you’ll find Pike’s Pit Bar-B-Que – a local loved and renowned BBQ mainstay. Carefully crafted, each sandwich offers a combination of Peco beans, Tillamook sharp cheddar, and meat piled high. What’s the best part? The part where they get the all-around goodness of smothered twice and messy BBQ.

Travel to the SODO district of Seattle and Pecos Pit Bar-B-Que will stand as Seattle’s “hottest” BBQ houses – and I mean it! Their medium is mind-blowingly HOT. I always have to get the mild (or get it on the side). Regardless, they BBQ master make an epic sandwich, hot link, and brisket, etc. Buy in bulk an feed the whole family!

The last on this list of the Wood Shop BBQ off Jackson Street, in Seattle. With amazing food, they’ve quickly made a name for themselves and, having established their brick and mortar in only August 2016. As sported on their website: No Compromises. No Secrets. Just Great BBQ.

Got another local favorite we forgot to mention? We’d love to know your favorite local barbeque eats! Let us know in the comments below!

Have Family Coming to Town? These are 5 of Seattle’s & 5 of Bellevue’s Most Highly Regarded Hotels

Have Family Coming to Town? These are 5 of Seattle’s & 5 of Bellevue’s Most Highly Regarded Hotels

The holidays are stressful enough without having the added pressure of dealing with the hotel you’re staying at. You’d assume it would be easy. You book the room and the show up and settle in, but we’re heard horror stories of ruined holidays or last-minute cramped quarters as twenty people share one four-bedroom home.

We’ve done through dozens of reviews, articles, and exposes and we’re here to share our findings – and just in time, too!

Bellevue

Hyatt Hotels is a world-renowned legacy, marked by outstanding service, profound understanding and knowledge of the surrounding area(s), and offering all the conveniences of home. In Bellevue, Hyatt Hotels offers two locations, one in downtown Bellevue, the Hyatt Regency, and on in the Eastgate neighborhood, the Hyatt House. There’s also one in Redmond!

The Hampton Inn & Suites is another popular Hilton endeavor. Friendly and “highly recommended” this location is right outside downtown Bellevue, meaning you get all the convenience, without all the traffic and city hubbub (don’t worry – you’re only two blocks away!)

The Westin Hotel in Bellevue, proves a premier experience at it’s finest. Consistently top notch, they’re a quarter-block away from Bellevue’s premier shopping experience, including the Bellevue Collection, Lincoln Square, Shops at the Bravern, and the Bellevue Connection.

Mariott Hotels also offers a getaway in Bellevue Downtown District. Excellent location and an overall comfortable stay make the holidays an easy experience! Add in some fabulous dining, their fitness center, and other amenities, the Courtyard by Marriott in Bellevue proves an excellent option!

Seattle

With how expansive Seattle is, there’s bound to be tons of excellent hotel options – and that’s definitely the case here. Don’t worry – we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 go-tos!

Self-touted as “hip and urban, funky and fun,” Hotel 5 is at the top of our “Seattle” list. With their pup-friendly package, “there’s no need to ruff it without your furry friend!” This ultra-modern hotel has set its sights higher and offers a plethora of amenities – and a 1100% smoke-free environment.

Another fabulous option is the Loews Hotel 1000. Each location is uniquely modern and contoured to the Seattle community – including awesome pup and children specialties. Check out their Spaahh for award-winning products and treatments, while their Seafood & Oyster Bar and Bell Lounge offer expert dining experiences.

Another Seattle experience, highlighting the human-dog friendship that’s so brightly invigorated around the Puget Sound Region. The Kimpton Hotel Vintage is one of Seattle’s boutique hotels, offering an urban retreat for anyone within the sound of their voice. Want to get spoiled and pampered? Delight in their in-room spa experience, complimentary hotel bicycles, plus their partnership with Washington wine partners and their morning coffee + tea service. Love the hotel you’re in!

Stay in the heart of downtown, at the Kimpton Alexis Hotel. Another unique endeavor, similar to their Hotel Vintage location, this luxury stay was rated “#1 Hotel in Seattle” by Conde Nast Traveler, RCA 2017 and “Best Seattle Hotels” by U.S. News & World Report, 2017. Curious why? Phenomenal experiences. Exceptional services. “Because you’re worth it.”

Enjoy classic Seattle shopping at the new Pike Place Market and stay at the Inn at the Market. Savor the views of downtown, Pike Place Market, Seattle’s waterfront experience, the Puget Sound, and the Olympic Mountains beyond – and depending on your preferences, there are different suite options to choose from!

Bonus

But Seattle and Bellevue, though the premier cities of the area, aren’t the only one’s with decent digs! Kirkland also offers two premier hotels, if that’s a bit closer to your family!

The Woodmark Hotel & Still Spa is located just north of Bellevue, on the edges of Yarrow Bay. With great reviews, dashing views, and awesome activities, they’re on this list of classic Pacific Northwest experience.

 Another Kirkland abode away from home is the Heathman Hotel. Totally #PNW and luxurious, and only a hop, skip and a jump into Woodinville, this hotel is ideally located near downtown Kirkland shopping, eating, and their beautiful waterfront.

Do you have a have a favorite place to stay in-town, or while you’re visiting the Seattle area? Let us know!

A NEW Ice Creamery for Your Winter Shopping Season

A NEW Ice Creamery for Your Winter Shopping Season

Yes, yes, we know it’s cold outside, but who doesn’t love ice cream? Even when it’s chilly? And this hot, new ice creamer is ready for your #winter indulgences!

FROM MILK just opened a few weeks back, in Westfield’s Southcenter Shopping Mall – and the line is still waiting in this frosty weather! Featuring handcrafted, premium delights, From Milk offers a unique menu adding green tea and red bean to “usual” menu, alongside classics like classic milk, vanilla bean, strawberry, and chocolate.

But their unique-ness doesn’t stop at their flavors – in fact, that’s only the beginning. They specialize in dipped ice cream bars, piled with sauce and other fabulous flavors. Alongside their bars, they offer bowls, which comprise shaved ice cream (delicious!), topped with a combination of fruits, buts and other lovely additions. And, guess what, it’s also topped with a bar!

Don’t want to waste the paper bowl? Try the special watermelon or honeydew bowl. It’s a big larger and a tad messier, but it’s work every honeydew-ball bite!

Another feature of From Milk is their signature milks. With the flavors of strawberry, blueberry, and Matcha tea – with chocolate coming soon – they’re really going all out on the “From Milk”.

Check out the entire menu on their website! If you haven’t tried them yet, they’re definitely worth a try!

Do you have any favorites you’d like us to know about? Leave your favorite, local ice cream parlor in the comments below!

Feeling the Winter Blues? Try Exercising at Any of These 10 Mercer Island Fitness Centers

Feeling the Winter Blues? Try Exercising at Any of These 10 Mercer Island Fitness Centers

Working out is part of creating a healthy life. Whether you have a home gym, walk around the block, or actively participate at a local establishment, you’re boosting your energy levels, improving muscle strength and increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout your system. Working out is great for you in many regards, but whatever your reason, we all tend to lag a bit during the holidays.

Is it the coma-inducing meals? The fact that we’re always a bit busier? Or, perhaps, that it’s been a long year and you’re looking to start fresh in the upcoming one.

Mercer Island is full of opportunities, both free and paid, to get you active and keep you coming back.

The Mercer Island Athletic Club has been touted as “impressive” in reviews and consistently offers the full-body experience in your daily workout. Tons of classes, personal training opportunities, and massage therapy sessions are ripe for the indulging!

Mercer Island Crossfit is a downtown establishment that consistently rates highly among its patrons. This welcoming atmosphere allows you to workout with their coaches, while simultaneously learning from the experience. They’ve got classes for children and adults, so be sure to bring the entire family!

212 Health & Fitness is another 5-Star, downtown establish. A great place to receive “personalized fitness,” they offer a unique vision “reflected through [their] own personal goals and beliefs”. Group fitness or personalized, they work with you to find your unique regimen.

The Island has several Pilates places, including Mercer Island Pilates and 5 Elements Pilates. Both of these options are conveniently located and offer ample support to help you on your path towards a healthier life.

Yoga is another popular form of exercise, and both the Daily Method and Yogabliss are great options to choose from. Both studios offer unique visions and classes to help you through your journey towards inspiration, community, and salubriousness.

A great for of exercise for all is dance, and the Creation Dance Studio on Mercer Island is a fabulous place to learn and get your creative juices flowing.

If you’re looking for something a little more… unique, look no further than Mercer Island’s Martial Arts studios, such as Mercer Island Martial Arts or Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios. Great for all ages and the whole family – try taking the whole family! Make friends in this active art, while learning new skills, gaining discipline and “re-defining family time”!

And, always remember, there are tons of free options around the island. Do you work or live near downtown? Try walking around Mercerdale’s quarter-mile, circular pathway. Four circles and you’ve gone a mile! There are also tons of activity at Luther Burbank Park, Aubrey Davis Park, Island Crest Park and all three of Pioneer Park’s quadrants.

What are your favorite workout places around the island?

4 NEW Bellevue Restaurants to Check Out While You’re Shopping this Holiday Season!

4 NEW Bellevue Restaurants to Check Out While You’re Shopping this Holiday Season!

Out shopping for the holidays and don’t have time to stop back at home? Or maybe you just want to enjoy the experience and try something new! Bellevue has opened up a few new restaurants to try this upcoming season!

Dukes Seafood & Chowder House has opened another Pacific Northwest location in Lincoln Square. Like their other locations, they’re true to form with an extremely clean eating space and refreshingly friendly atmosphere. A cozy experience to say the least!

The Central Bar opened a few months ago in the heart of Bellevue. A convenient location across from Bellevue Square Mall, this new bar offers an ambiance comprised of a sports bar and intimate gathering space. Since it’s not sports-centric, one feels right at home and able to gather around the table without the loud screams of sports games (but, don’t worry – there’s still four to view your favorite Seahawks game!)

Located off Main Street in old-Bellevue, Swiftwater Cellars opened approximately two months ago. A warm and inviting décor, coupled with unique compilations of food and drinks, create an elegant atmosphere. This coupling perfectly displays their rustic roots of Cle Elum, with a modern twist of the local, urban lifestyle!

Ultra-boutique candy stores are all the rage – and there’s a reason for it! While many candy stores cater towards children, this new trend shifts the focus on adults. Sugar Factory has created an sophisticated, full-service experience when it comes to your sugar of choice! Happy sweet things!

Regardless of what you’re looking for, Bellevue has it. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert – or even drinks afterwards – there are always tons of places just a block away. And Bellevue’s Main Street “old-Bellevue” area, has tons of overlooked, local favorites!

What are you favorite local places we should try?

6 Holiday Vacations Around Washington Your Pup Can Tag Along On!

6 Holiday Vacations Around Washington Your Pup Can Tag Along On!

Taking a vacation can be great for the entire family – including your four-legged best friend! If you’re thinking about retreating from your urban (or suburban) life into the “wild”, here are some ideas to get you started in the right direction!

Rent a wintery cabin. Tons of cabins are up for rent this season – just be sure to check the reservations and rules before you book. Many allow dogs for an additional pet deposit, either per night or per week. Leavenworth can be great during the fall and winter season – and you’ll get to be amid their snowy celebrations!

The West Beach Resort, on Orcas Island. Cabins, cottages, RV, and camping… oh my! Located on the west side of Orcas Island, Washington, this private destination spots has long specialized in an “authentic San Juan Islands getaway.” Many of their areas are pet-friendly, with a small, per-day fee.

Ski, hike, and experience Crystal Mountain through Crystal Mountain Hotels. While many of the other hotels in the area are not god friendly, some Crystal Mountain Hotels have pet-friendly rooms available. You’ll have to call them to find out the details, but it’s a great opportunity for you to enjoy a weekend away with your pup!

Enjoy the Olympic Nation Park & Forest via the Lake Quinault Lodge. With several room-types to choose from, this lodge offers tons of local activities, including biking, boating & paddleboards, fishing (you may need to look into licensing), hiking and local tours of the lake and rainforest. Better yet – bring your pup (with deposit)!

Need a relaxing weekend of yoga, kayaking and saunas? Enjoy the Doe Bay Resort & Retreat in Olga, Washington. They allow pets in some of their accommodations, so be sure to 100% clarify when booking your reservations! Indulge in their Spa & Serenity Garden, or hike off in your own adventure!

Relax at Suncadia Resort in Cle Eleum, Washington. Touted as one of the best pet-friendly resorts in Washington, this outdoorsy retreat off many on-site activities, as well as backs the Cle Elum River. It’s also close to the Washington State Horse Park and the Cle Elum Lake. Talk about an intimate, yet centrally located getaway!

The Greater Seattle Area is riddled with dog lovers and families who are looking to getaway! And since these places are relatively nearby – within the state, that is – it makes them easy destination spots, whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or extended vacation!

The big question of can I bring my dog pops up more than we think, but we dog lovers are always searching for new ways to help our pups enjoy life! Curious about tips for vacationing with your pet? We were, too! And that’s why we dug a little deeper to find some.

  1. Take your pup to the vet, and get copies of their shot and health records. You may need it when you’re staying in a hotel or resort.
  2. Ensure your dog is up-to-date on local licensing and is marked with their identification, including your dog’s name, your name, and your phone number. Don’t forget about the tag signaling your dogs rabies vaccine is updated. You may consider double checking their embedded Microchip.
  3. Don’t forget their collar, harness, and leash (and you may consider taking an extra.)
  4. Grab some toys and a familiar blanket to comfort your pup in its new environment.
  5. Pack food, treats and extra water for the trip – and pack more than you might think. If you’re pup is typically sedentary, but you’ve planned a trip of hiking, you may consider packing more food and water.
  6. Avoid leaving your dog unattended. Your pup may be a saint, but new environments can bring out underlying anxiety issues – and we don’t want that!

This article from the AKC website, offers in depth information about lodging and specific travel types.

Know of any other pup-friendly, Washington getaways? We’d LOVE to hear about them!


new this week from

WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

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LAKE VIEWS IN JUANITA
11309 100th Avenue NE, Kirkland • MLS# 1223088
$955,000 • 4 Bedrooms • 3 Bathrooms • 2,690 Sq. Ft. • 10,726 Lot Size

Lake and mountain views in Kirkland. Thoughtful, modern, open spaces maximize westerly views while retaining the intimate character of traditional design. Four bedrooms plus large den. Wrap around view deck and awning on main level to fully enjoy the incredible sunsets. Dedicated upstairs master deck. Vaulted ceilings, oak hardwood floors, skylights, heat pump, solid core interior doors, new windows and range. See to appreciate!

See more at JuanitaLakeViews.com

For more information, please contact Larry Williams.
Larry@LarryWilliamsRealEstate.com • 425.445.9870 •  LarryWilliamsRealEstate.com

A Wintery Edition of Windermere Living, Winter 2017

A Wintery Edition of Windermere Living, Winter 2017

Beautiful & breathtaking, the Winter edition of the premier Windermere Living Magazine is hot off the press! Read about the latest in luxury home trends, fabulous destination hubs, and darling homes across the Western Region!

Seattle – where are your favorite places to visit in the Great(est) Pacific Northwest?

4 Up & Coming Ways to Commute Around the Greater Seattle Region

4 Up & Coming Ways to Commute Around the Greater Seattle Region

Seattle’s commute has proved horrendous for a while, but what are we doing about it? And how can we make it better?

According to an October 2017, GeekWire article, Seattle has the sixth longest average commute time, at 54.22 minutes – and, believe it or not, that number has actually reduced from an earlier February figure from King5. Though we’re still behind cities like Washington, CD, San Francisco, CA and New York, NY, the figure in minutes is only about a 6-minute difference. According to that same article, however, Seattle falls to number 17 in commute-related stress.

While vehicle transit makes up a large majority of Seattle’s average commuter, there are tons of other options coming down the pipeline.

One of the largest options in the newspapers are the Light Rail Expansions, and although it’s not settled to be “complete” (as per current projects) until 2039 for its furthest reaching, Tacoma expansion, and projects headway can be seen across the I-90 bridge and 2041 for the Kirkland-Issaquah service.

It seems a far in the future, but the 62 new miles, coming in at 116 miles total, of light rail is projected as one of the “most ambitious transit expansions this country has ever seen,” noted Snohomish County Executive, Dave Somers.

King County Metro has spoke about expanding bus service and boosting their late-night schedules. With 240 more trips each weekday, 100 more Saturday trips, 153 additional Sunday trips and the hiring of more than 2,800 transit operators, the metro system is confident to bolster service throughout the region.

Water Taxis are making a comeback as new options come to light. A fast-ferry has also been proposed for foot-traffic between Tacoma and Seattle. According to Curbed-Seattle, Tacoma’s City Councilor, Ryan Mello, there’s “a lot of regional interest” in the idea, but regulation bars them on a state level, leaving it up to the local governments to run with the idea. If this were to take effect, it could reduce the averaged 30-minute commute by 10-minutes.

Another fast-ferry could be on it’s way, connecting Seattle to Renton, Washington, via Lake Washington. Though this is the idea of a private developer, they hope to be up and running in 2020 – only a couple short years away!

Since so many other land-routes are clogged and bogged-down throughout the day, and especially during peak hours, water seems like the right way to go about reducing congestion.

Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan was also implemented earlier this year (2017). The 2017-2021 plan, is a vision that bicycle riding throughout the region proves comfortable for people’s day-to-day life, for all ages and all abilities. Stay up to date on the Bike Master Plan page.

Ferries, buses, biking… they’re all the usual, but a huge way you can cut your commute in the meantime is to rideshare. Whether through private organizations or with your best buds, this is a great way for you to take advantage of perks, like cutting fuel cost and consumption, cheaper parking, use HOV/HOT lanes and avoid extraneous wear and tear on your vehicle.

Bottom line, many major metropolises are bearing a heavy burden, when it comes to its workers’ commute. Some drive times expanding 17-miles could take up to 90-minutes – or longer – in some cases. Something many agree on, is that solutions lie in data and technology, and “not necessarily in adding a big highway or building a big parking garage.”

What do you think about these potential or up and coming options? How drastically do you think they’ll reduce and relieve the average commute? Know of any more options? Let us know in the comments!

Endless Options: DIY Gifts for the Season

Endless Options: DIY Gifts for the Season

Backet Gift.pngRegardless as to why you’re gifting, giving during the wintery seasons is simply fun, but do we really need to spend twenty hours at the mall this year sifting through hangers?

No, I didn’t think so.

We’ve compiled a list of awesome DIY gifts that fit nearly any occasion.

These ANYTIME GIFTS are great for anybody. From holiday baking, spa days, and coffee fanatics, this DIY anytime inspiration has you covered!

 

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Want to get someone a little bit of everything? This is like the ANYTIME Gifts above, but in a mason jar!

 

Bath Bombs are all the rage – and some are terribly expensive! Check out these DIY bombs for pennies on the dollar – and prove a fun project!

Themed candle ideas are often a big hit – and if you’re feeling particularly crafty, try carving it like the pros (or just add stickers and googly eyes, like the rest of us!)

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Adding personal touches (names, numbers, designs, etc.) to a coffee mug or flower pot are great for friends and family – or even yourself!

 

Have a holiday gift exchange coming up, and haven’t a clue of what to get? You could always do the old-standby (Starbucks gift card), or you could consider one of these ideas!

See? Even with the holidays around the corner, there’s no need to break the bank – or your savings account – to offer delightful gifts to friends and family!

What are your favorite things to make for the loved ones in your life? Do you have classic standbys, or do you enjoy mixing it up year after year? Share in the comments!

 

3 Delectable on-Island Breakfast Favorites for your Post Thanksgiving Feast

3 Delectable on-Island Breakfast Favorites for your Post Thanksgiving Feast

It’s only a few days after Thanksgiving cooking and the busiest shopping weekend ever, so do you really want to wake up at the crack of dawn and hash out eggs and sausage with a side of toast? Yeah, we didn’t think so either.

And remember, it’s already 9am – which means people are already stirring in their beds!

Imagine this… Taking a relaxing bike ride down Island Crest Way or a leisurely drive down East or West Mercer (be careful of the turns!) and making your way into Mercer Island’s beautiful Downtown District.

Mercer Island’s Mioposto offers a delightful array of Italian cuisine, cooked to perfection by skilled oveners. Their “open-flame ovens” are handcrafted locally and are the “only heat source in the kitchen.” Even though, it probably gets sweltering hot in there! Their dinner menu offers tons of shareables, pizzas, and pastas, but their breakfast & lunch menu is to die for.

A unique blend of palates, their menu offers delights such as the Bacon & Egg Breakfast Pizza, Shakshuka, Panenata, and others delights to enjoy!

Committed to serving authentic, original food, Bennett’s Bistro offers an blend of sweet and savory breakfast options. From pancakes with sweet cream butter, to Chiliaquiles, to Steak and Eggs, Bennett’s has long proven itself a favorite amongst the locals. Looking for something lighter after the holidays? Their Beet Salas or Roasted Delicata Squash and Arugula Salad are spectacular!

They’ve even partnered with another local, Seattle company, Beecher’s Cheese, to embellish the original take on Mac & Cheese. Whether you just want that original love, or want to try it with Kale & Mama Lil’s Peppers, you’re sure to enjoy! Also, check out their lunch and dinner menus for other small-town favorites!

Are you looking for something quick and on-the-go, before another day with family? Homegrown is always an option for nutritional and local foods – and they offer seasonal specials! While their breakfast menu comprises most warm bowls, sandwiches, and portage, they also offer their regular menu throughout the day! So, regardless of if you’re craving an Avocado, Egg & Cheese Sandwich or a Grass-fed Steak & Blue – they’ve got you!

Or, maybe yet, you’re just more of a morning, plus coffee kind of individual… The Island has an array of Starbucks and Tully’s coffee houses! The new market, New Seasons, also offers a local source of the caffeine-infused beverage.

Now that we’ve gone over Mercer Island’s breakfast hotspots, what are your favorite, local places to enjoy the morning?

Want to find out more about Mercer Island? Check out their informational page and any of the following links to get to know the real local-favorites!

Enjoy Music with a Vintage Sound? Check Out These Washington Record Stores!

Enjoy Music with a Vintage Sound? Check Out These Washington Record Stores!

Music has been a mainstay in the Pacific Northwest for as far back as we can remember, and the area has long played a role in the music scene of Washington. From grunge to punk, pop, rap, and metal, the area’s offered several influential bands, music labels, and venues. I mean, look at that photo above – Talking Heads! (Yes, we know they aren’t a local band…)

Seattle’s Spin Cycle is a classic, local shop, complete with overfull baskets and bins of vinyl, cassettes, and other musical & gaming memorabilia. The complete nerd-heaven, this awesome shop includes artists like the White Strips, the Who and Jello Biafra. Want a Nintendo 64 game? They’ve got that, too!

Complete Seattle chic, Light in the Attic Record Shop offers a variety, including soundtracks, soul, subpop, jazz, classic, rock, hip hop, blues, country, rock, and electronica. Good music and great people. What more could you ask for?

Chic and clean, Daybreak Records offers a variety ranging from rock to classical to jazz, and everything in between. Like many record stores, they offer a listening section, where you can try out your new-found record to ensure its free of scratches and other damages.

Easy Street Records remains one of West Seattle’s favorite breakfast and music hubs. They offer LOADS of new and old sounds, nestled among their massive collection. Their food is also pretty decent!

And just because Seattle is the mecca of music, doesn’t mean they’re the only place with great sounds! Puget Sounds, a Bellevue, Washington proprietor, prove a solid option for buy/trade/sell vinyl records and paraphernalia. A humble and down-to-earth shop, Puget Sounds remains a highly rated shop!

Though the scene and popular music has changed throughout the years, Seattle has remained a mega-house for shows and could almost add popular bands and music to their exports list.

What are your places to pick up new or vintage records? Are your favorite places in Seattle? Or maybe elsewhere?

A By-Neighborhood Guide to Seattle’s Music Scene

A By-Neighborhood Guide to Seattle’s Music Scene

Seattle is a town known for its music. From Sunny Day Real Estate, Mudhoney, and Soundgarden, to Nevermore, the Postal Service, Classic Crime, and Macklemore, Seattle offers a rich music scene from 90’s grunge to indie rock, progressive metal, and hip hop.

While it’s true that many of the venues are bars and geared towards 21+, some aren’t, allowing people of any age to enjoy their favorite musical varieties. This list goes over some of the many Seattle venues that local, touring, and visiting artists and bands call home.

Georgetown

A 21+ venue, Slim’s Last Change Chili Shack & Watering Hole features music throughout the month, though not every day. Stay up-to-date on their website, by visiting their shows page.

West Seattle

The city that could have been, West Seattle features the “beach life” with a short drive of bustling, downtown Seattle. The peninsula is a bit more laid back, than the busy populace of Seattle’s thriving business district – and has amazing views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula.

Touted as West Seattle’s premier music venue, the Skylark features music of every variety, including indie rock, pop, electronica, hard rock, metal, and jazz. Note: some of their features are 21+, but there are a ton that are all ages.

SODO

Both Showbox venues (the Market and SODO) always bring a crowd. The SODO venue features its original beauty as a converted warehouse and has feature articles such as Heart and Taking Back Sunday.

Studio 7 proves and multi-faceted space, featuring artists throughout the week ranging from metal to hip hop to electronica. Their space includes their main club, dual level showroom, and 16 band rehearsal rooms.

Easily one of the largest venues in the area, the Washington Music Theater (WaMu Theater), has featured bands such as Slayer, Kid Cudi, and various music festivals. Their expansive space offers a variety of options from standing, sitting, and hanging out near refreshments if you need a break.

Columbia City

Over Beacon Hill, you’ll find a neighborhood known as Columbia City – and the Columbia City Theater. With the theater in back and the Bourbon Bar in from, this venue features an eclectic history and a past lineup just as varied.

With music seven days every week, the Royal Room was designed to serve the musicians and artists it hosts, and likewise offers an emphasis on creative programming and development and working collaboratively in a community space.

Pioneer Square

Moving north in Pioneer Square, you’ll want to stop by the Central Saloon. With a history for over 120 years, the Central Saloon not features “the best live rock seven nights a week,” 365 days per year.

Downtown

Showbox Market is a beautiful art-deco style entertainment spot, with a full bar separate from the floor. Still displaying music for over 75 years, the Showbox Market has proved itself a mainstay in the Seattle music scene.

The HardRock Café near Downtown, Seattle often features live music on their second-floor venue.

The Triple Door is a beautiful music + eating venue. The front offers a delight dining area, while music patrons can sit and eat as they watch a variety of music, featuring artists such as Kaki King and Glockabelle.

The Seattle Theatre Group comprises the Paramount, Moor, and Neptune theaters.

Located under the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the Highway 99 Blues Club features a 21+ venue and combines the feelings of “southern juke joint”, with that of “old timey” architecture and concept.

Belltown and the Denny Triangle

These two areas are wonderful for bustling around town, and proves Seattle’s 4th most walkable and bikeable districts, according to Walkscore.com.

Offering a variety of daily delights, the Crocodile is touted on Paste Magazine’s list of top 40 music venues in the United States. Back in its years in the 1990’s, it was a swift ride to fame, as it featured many emerging and heavily popular bands throughout the grunge scene.

Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley is highly regarded amongst Seattle Jazz venues, featuring nightly shows, largely comprising jazz ensembles, pianists, vocalists, and guitarists.

Another stop along the Jazz train, it Tula’s Jazz Club, featuring jazz seven nights a week, plus “great Northwest and American cuisine.”

The Rendezvous Jewelry Box Theater remains an intimate venue, restored to its original 1932 beauty and offers live music and burlesque. Check out either the Jewelry Box or Grotto for daily entertainment!

Many mega-performers come through the Key Arena at Seattle Center, including bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Explosions in the Sky, Queens of the Stoneage, and many other popular artists.

Capitol Hill & South Lake Union

Amongst the best of Seattle’s urban charm, these two typical “Seattleite” neighborhoods are booming with eateries, bars, cafes, boutiques, and entertainment venues. Regardless of where you live, you’re only a short walk away from fun!

Neumos is another eclectic bar + venue, featuring bands such as the Raconteurs, Cannibal Corpse, Iron & Wine, Mudhoney, and a variety of others. They offer three full bars, a second-floor mezzanine, and a balcony overlooking the mainstage.

Though their bookings trend into metal and punk territory, the Highline has been a longstanding, Broadway venue, featuring a food and drink menu.

Another not-always 21+ venue, is Chop Suey. They offer a variety of tastes in music and cuisine (check out their menu!)

El Corazon and the Funhouse strive to provide the “ultimate concert and social experience,” while their staff focus on “excellent customer service and artist relations.” Enjoy a show. Chat with friends. Have a drink.

While the heart of Seattle hosts the majority of Seattle’s music venues, the northend has its fair share, including the High Dive, Nectar Lounge, The Little Red Hen, Sea Monster Lounge, Café Racer and the Blue Moon Tavern. (https://www.highdiveseattle.com/) (http://www.littleredhen.com/) (http://seamonsterlounge.com/) (http://caferacerseattle.com/) (https://bluemoonseattle.wordpress.com/)

What are your favorite Seattle venues? And where have you seen your favorite shows?

5+ Places to Find Inspiring & Interesting Children’s Toys

5+ Places to Find Inspiring & Interesting Children’s Toys

Remember when you were children, and your favorite toy was that stuffed animal that you’ve for, literally, ever? Or the blanket your grandma made for you? Or that LEGO set that took your four months to complete because you knew you didn’t need help to finish it.

And with today’s evolving technology, our view of children’s toys has also evolved. Oftentimes, we’ll find children four years of age, playing with cellphones and tablets in restaurants.

Seattle

Red Wagon Toys remains a north Seattle favorite. Located in the neighborhood of Madison Park, this humble toy store offers fun, educational toys of intrigue, inspiration, and variety.

Another Seattle-local toy store is Top Ten Toys in the Queen Anne neighborhood or Seattle. This store remains a true staple in the community and a huge “hit with the kiddos!” Walls of children’s kits offer endless fun for years to come! Their mission is to inspire creativity, offer intrigue through imagination, and tons of fun! We think they hit that mission spot on.

In South Seattle, specifically the Columbia City neighborhood, you’ll find Retroactive Kids. This store offers excellent selections from the current generation, and from previous generations of newly reimagined designs, hence the name “retroactive.”

In the Pioneer Square neighborhood is where Magic Mouse Toys stands. Included in their 6,000-sq. ft. facility are children’s books, die cast cars, dolls, stuffed animals, games, kids’ kits, puzzles, and tons more!

Eastside

The eastside offers even more options for you little ones, including Snapdoodle Toys. This solid-five-star-rated toy shop offers “fun” in spades! From construct-ables to actions figures, puzzles to books, and plush animals to educational toys, this shop what you’re children are searching for!

Another highly-rated shop, Wee Tots Children’s Store specializes in simple, colorful and interesting toys for children of all ages. It’s adorably located in the heart of Old Bellevue, so grab a latte and enjoy the shop!

Do you have too many toys? Or just trying to clear out for the holidays? Many of the places on this list, we at Windermere Mercer Island volunteer and donate to throughout the year and could definitely help you repurpose your toys. Or if you don’t have extra toys (or children at all), any unused food products could help them through the holiday surge!

What are your favorite places to support throughout the year?


new this week from

WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

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BROADVIEW BEAUTY
12548 11th Avenue NW, Seattle • MLS# 1218441
$675,000 • 4 Bedrooms •1.75 Bathrooms • 1,710 Square Feet • 8,100 Lot Size

Nestled on a peaceful and friendly street just blocks away from the Puget Sound waterfront, this classic mid-century home awaits you. Relax or gather friends around the fireside in its light-filled living room. A spacious dining room is ready for holiday parties, while the adjoining kitchen features a cheerful breakfast nook with bay window. You will want to spend summer days out on the sunny back deck and patio. The fully-fenced, grassy backyard is something special with its generous fruit trees and wide-open space. Four bedrooms provide plenty of privacy for everyone. Carkeek Park’s beach, trails and playground are just a stroll away!

For more information, please contact Jake Kanev.
Kanev@Windermere.com • 206.686.4700 • JakeKanev.com

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A CAPTIVATING VIEW
24018th Avenue N #201, Seattle • MLS# 1218815
$629,000 • 2 Bedrooms • 1.25 Bathrooms • 1,065 Sq. Ft.

THE VIEW IS CAPTIVATING! Sailboats, seaplanes & sparkling lights, Gasworks Park, Lake Union, Capitol Hill, the city & beyond, an outlook all the way to the snow capped Cascades! Yet you are only minutes to SLU or Fremont-a quick ride in the dedicated bike lane. Completely refreshed! Move-in, live large, entertain even larger! How will you spend your extra time? Take a run on the Burke-Gilman, grab coffee at Herkimer’s then relax on your deck before brunch? Live your COMMUTE-FREE life here, now!

For more information, please contact Kathryn Buchanan.
KABU@Windermere.com • 206.227.2227 • KathrynBuchanan.com

3 Winter Day Trips from Seattle, Washington

3 Winter Day Trips from Seattle, Washington

Winter might seem like the best time to curl up in your favorite blanket and forget about the world outside, but it’s quite the contrary. Winter in the Northwest is a time for you to indulge in our #PNW culture, and all its chilly, snowy and breathtaking glory!

We’ve compiled a list of 5 day trips for you to check out, while you’re staying happy and healthy through this year’s holiday season!

Our neighbors to the north sure know how to enjoy the snow – and with average annual snowfall of 38.5 feet, they really should!

Whistler, located in British Columbia, Canada, is about 4.5-miles north of Seattle. Whistler is best known for its snowboard and skiing culture, but that’s not all the not-so-sleepy town has to offer. In the evenings, lights twinkled from busy shops and restaurants in their expansive, pedestrian-only Village Stroll. Talk about variety and a culture mashup! You can listen to a dozen languages, and maybe even learn a few words from another visitor!

Regardless of what your hobbies are, the local area is great for anything from shopping to the great outdoors, so grab a reusable coffee mug, and pack your bags! Who knows – you might even want to stay longer than the day!

A little piece of snow in our own state (and country…?) is Leavenworth, Washington. Out Highway 2, just on the eastside of the Cascade Mountain Range, you’ll find the little town of Leavenworth. Nestled along the foothills of the Tumwater Mountain, this town offers a variety of winter-ready activities!

Only a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Seattle, Washington, Leavenworth offers more than just local charm. During the wintery season, Leavenworth hosts its own version of a holiday paradise, known as the Lighting Festival, where every tree, bush, and building light up for all the world (and space) to see! It’s free of charge, but only occurs on November 24th, 25th, and 26th, so be sure to check it out!

Leavenworth even has its own ski and snowboard range, with a wide array of activities, from skiing, snowboarding, tubing, Nordic hiking, mountain biking, and snowshoeing. Though they’re currently closed, check back frequently for updates to their website.

Considered a “gem of the wilderness,” the Goldmyer Hot Springs are nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, approximately 25-miles east of North Bend, Washington. Though limited to only 20 people per day, these springs are an excellent place to unwind and indulge in the naturalness of the surrounding areas.

Visit their website for all the information and to make a reservation!

The Greater Seattle Area plays host to a myriad of indoor, recreational activities, including museums, arcades, indoor community centers, public libraries, and shopping centers – and these activities are great for the day to day, but sometimes we just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city!

What are your favorite places to plan a day trip to?


new this week from

WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

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MODERN IN MOUNT BAKER
3310 Claremont Avenue South #A, Seattle • MLS# 1207952
$585,000 • 2 Bedrooms • 2 Bathrooms • 1,275 Square Feet

Enjoy an eco-friendly lifestyle in this quality 4-Star Built Green home by reputable MacFarlane Homes. Entertain or relax in a light-filled great room layout with warm hardwoods, designer tile, and a sleek kitchen with custom Bellmont cabinets. A modern barn door reveals the master bedroom with walk-in closet and chic en suite bath. A second bedroom and full bath offer additional flex-space. Park in your reserved spot, grab a bite in Columbia city, or stroll to the Mount Baker Light Rail Station.

For more information, please contact Robyn Kimura-Hsu and Rachel Schindler.
Robyn@Windermere.com • 206.295.2247 • R2Modern.com
Rachel@Windermere.com • 206.250.5622 • R2Modern.com

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CAREFREE LIVING IN WILLIAMSBURG
1800 NE 40th Street ##303, Renton • MLS#1214883
$315,000 • 2 Bedrooms • 1.75 Bathrooms • 1,087 Square Feet

Nestled alongside lush, natural scenery in the sought-after Williamsburg complex, this prime top floor end unit awaits you. Its spacious one-level layout offers lofty 9-foot ceilings and plush new carpeting. Cozy up to the gas fireplace in the living room, or step out and enjoy the view from the back balcony. The well-laid-out kitchen is a delight with clean white cabinets and a generous breakfast bar overlooking the open dining area. Retreat to your gracious master suite with walkin closet and private ¾ bath. A second bedroom and full hallway bath provide additional flex space. Enjoy ultimate convenience with a full size washer/dryer and easy elevator access to your 2-car garage. Commuting is a breeze from this fantastic location—just moments away from I-405 and the VMAC training facility. Welcome home!

For more information, please contact Cynthia Schoonmaker.
CynthiaS@Windermere.com • 206.683.2725 • CynthiaSchoonmaker.com

5 Poke Places in King County’s Eastside

5 Poke Places in King County’s Eastside

We’ve all seen trends come and go, and one sizzling trend right now is Poke. A “raw fish salad,” Poke is traditionally served as an appetizer, but this hot new trend features this meal as a main course – and tons of eateries are taking hold!

These hot and new eateries often feature a “Choose Your Own” or “Step” business model, where you can choose your base, proteins, mix ins, sides, sauces and toppings. Sound delicious? If you enjoy fish, it totally is! And even if you don’t, many stores offer vegetarian options, such as tofu or potato.

Big Island Poke is making a splash in Renton’s downtown district. Created by one of the founders of the People of the Chubbs food truck, this restaurant offers poke in Big Island Fashion, including the fact that much of their ingredients come from Hawaii! This up and coming shop says, “their current roster… is just the beginning.” So, don’t be afraid to ask for something different, and unusual!

Another highly regarded, Eastside poke bar is Just Poke. This “flavorful and fresh” establishment offers more than just chicken, tuna, salmon, and shrimp! Try their tofu, sweet potatoes, unagi, and tako! This #PNW inspired cuisine offers more than traditional poke, but strives towards innovation, supplemented with locally sourced ingredients.

In the heart of Bellevue, you’ll find MIX Poke Bar. Using the basics of their one-two-three-four-mix method, they create a solid foundation where you can curate your own, individual flavor. Try something different, or stick to the basics – it’s up to you!

Sleek and modern, Hello Poke is pushing poke to the limit in Redmond, Washington. With tons of toppings, you can easily make ten “usuals” or just add everything into the mix! What more could you ask for than super friendly service and a variety of fresh ingredients.

Do you enjoy poke? What are your favorite places?


new this week from

WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

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UPDATE ON A CLASSIC
3209 15th Avenue South, Seattle • MLS# 1215653
$750,000 • 4 Bedrooms • 2 Bathrooms • 2,507 Fin. Sq. Ft. • 5,800 Lot Size

Classic charm meets modern convenience in this light and lovely North Beacon Hill home. Gather around the upgraded gas fireplace, serve meals in the spacious dining room, or relax in the huge lower level bonus room. The remodeled kitchen is a cook’s delight with stainless steel appliances, sleek stone surfaces, and dining nook with French doors to the deck. Three upstairs bedrooms plus a 4th on the main offer space and privacy for everyone.

For more information, please contact Brian Rosso.
BRosso@Windermere.com • 206.356.9206 • BrianRosso.com

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COMFORT & CONVENIENCE
12903 SE 38th Street, Bellevue • MLS# 1216107
$399,000 • 2 Bedrooms • 2 Bathrooms • 1,023 Square Feet

Move right in to this quiet, west-facing Newport Court end unit featuring fresh paint, carpeting, and more. Relax or entertain with a fireside living room, adjacent dining area, and covered balcony. Overlooking it all is an open kitchen with updated stainless appliances and handy breakfast bar. Retreat to your spacious master suite with full bath and walk-in closet. The second bedroom offers a continental bath also has a walk-in closet. Stroll to T-Mobile, Swedish Medical, Starbucks, restaurants and Factoria Mall. Close to I-90/I-405 access, too!

For more information, please contact Julie Baker.
JulieBaker@Windermere.com • 425.644.2933 • JulieBakerRealEstate.com

 

10 Shopping Centers of the Greater Seattle Region

10 Shopping Centers of the Greater Seattle Region

We’re getting into the best (or worst) time for seasonal shopping, and although there is much you can purchase online, stores are creating sales and pre-sales to combat their dwindling retail shop industry. It can also be a good time to verify sale prices and stock up on things that are typically more expensive throughout the year!

These 11-local shopping center are great for getting out of the house, or finding that last wish list item.

In the center of Downtown Seattle, you’d fine the massive shopping district, including Westlake Center, Pacific Place and surrounding buildings, housing retailors, such as Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Nike’s Seattle location. Westlake Center is a 4-story, glass-enclosed shopping center, that includes tons of eateries and retailors, while Pacific Place is a small mall, offering Seattle’s premier boutiques.

Nestled between the University District and Seattle’s Laurelhurst neighborhood, you’ll find the University Village Shopping Center. This largely outdoor shopping area has been beautifully designed to incorporate the experience of shopping with the quaint shops that call this “Village” home. Comprised of dozens of retailors, including glassybaby and Mercer & Co., this mall offers ample parking and is within walking distance to public transportation and various Seattle neighborhoods.

Further north, in the Northgate neighborhood, you’ll find Northgate Mall. A Simon Mall, Northgate offers a variety of retailors and boutiques, including Macy’s and Forever XXI. Though Northgate in and of itself is of substantial size, encompassing over 130 stores, its proximity to the Regal Cinemas at Thorton Place and the Northgate North building only adds to the opportunity.

Moving further north, towards Lynnwood, you’ll find the newly reimagined Alderwood Mall and surrounding shopping centers. Touted as Snohomish County’s largest mall, this mall comprises over 165 stores and 1.5 million square feet of retail space. The space went through major renovations in the early 2000s and it remains a major mall for north end dwellers.

Redmond’s dual-level, outdoor shopping mall offers tons of beauty and opportunity for consumers. Offering more than 110 shops restaurants, lodging and entertainment options, Redmond Town Center comprises six buildings, most of the shopping in the main hub of Center Street Plaza and the Macy’s and REI buildings.

The bustling city of Bellevue, offers three malls, including the Bellevue Collection and Bellevue Square Mall, Crossroads Bellevue, and Factoria Mall. Though technically not the largest in Washington, Bellevue Square Mall does offer 1.3 million square feet of retail space and comprises over 180 stores. It’s adjoining buildings, such as Lincoln Square, offer more opportunity for dining and play. Bell-Square, as local call it, is known for its high-end retailors, including Armani Exchange and Hugo Boss.

Both Crossroads Bellevue and the Marketplace at Factoria are considerably smaller than other local malls, but they both have a lot to offer. Crossroads is a plethora of culture and eating, surrounded by family-friendly fun, exercise facilities, and retailors, including Old Navy, Pier 1 Imports, and Daiso Japan. The Marketplace at Factoria offers retailors such as Target, the Nordstrom Rack, and Old Navy, but they also have a ton of surrounding eateries and shops.

The Marketplace at Factoria is located a block away from Newport High School, Crossroads is approximately 1.5-miles from Bellevue’s Interlake High School, and the Bellevue Collection is less than a mile from Bellevue High School. These close proximities make these malls a go-to for after school activities and gettogethers.

The Westfield-Southcenter Mall, formerly known as Southcenter Mall, is the largest shopping center in Washington State and the Pacific Northwest. Comprising over 215 stores and 1.7 million square feet of retail space, Westfield Mall offers a wide array of shopping opportunities from food and clothing, to beauty and home décor.

Federal Way’s regional shopping mall, offers over 90 stores, full-service restaurant, and arcade, and cineplex! As Federal Way’s only mall, the Commons at Federal Way and its surrounding plazas offer the majority of the area’s shopping.

Down the hill into Auburn, you’ll find another massive shopping center, known as the Outlet Collection Seattle and remains the largest outlet mall in the Pacific Northwest. Comprised of 140 stores and about 945,000 square feet of retail space, the Outlet Collection has gone through major additions and renovations since the early 2000s, including a half-dozen strip malls.

Whether you’re shopping for you mother, father, sister, brother, spouse, child or best friend, you can surely find, make, or bake something that will brighten their day!


new this week from

WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

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A NORTHWEST SANCTURAY
6730 West Mercer Way, Mercer Island • MLS# 1215905
$1,400,000 • 4 Bedrooms + Den/Office • 3 Bathrooms • 3,140 Square Feet • 19,754 Lot Size

Set on nearly half an acre of beautifully landscaped grounds, this iconic Northwest Contemporary lives in harmony with its serene surroundings. Gather friends around the fireside in the light-filled living room―its dramatic windows rise up to meet a soaring open-beam ceiling. Dinner is served just around the corner in the spacious dining area. Overlooking it all is a comfy office/bonus loft with brick fireplace and slider to the upper deck.

Cooking is a joy alongside wide views in the roomy, open kitchen with double ovens, plenty of cupboard space, and sunny breakfast nook. Step out for summer barbecues on the back deck, or spend winter evenings around the cozy Vermont Castings wood stove in the adjacent family room.

At the end of the day, your master suite is a peaceful retreat with bright white open beam ceilings, mountain views, and an ensuite ¾ bath. Three more bedrooms plus a full hallway bath complete the upstairs.

For more information, please contact Erin Ewing.
ErinEwing@Windermere.com • 206.354.8228 •  ErinEwing.com

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SUNSET RIDGE TOWNHOME
2957 142nd Avenue SE, Bellevue • MLS# 1215515
$500,000 • 3 Bedroom • 2.75 Bathrooms • 1,392 Square Feet

This spacious condo is set in an unbeatable location just steps away from Bellevue College and near the Eastgate Park & Ride. Its lightfilled layout lives large with a soaring 2-story living room and dramatic windows overlooking natural scenery and sunsets. Open gathering spaces flow to the bright kitchen. Step out to the deck, or head upstairs to two bedroom suites. A main floor bedroom is great for guests or a den!

For more information, please contact Doug McKiernan.
Doug@Windermere.com • 206.369.3949 • WindermereDoug.com