THE COMMUNITIES ON THE EASTERN SHORE OF LAKE WASHINGTON—known to locals as the Eastside—are where you’ll find some of metro Seattle’s most buzzed-about destinations.
In Kirkland, start the day around Lake Washington. Wildlife watchers can see blue herons and eagles at 110-acre Juanita Bay Park and Urban Wildlife Habitat (www.ci.kirkland.wa.us). And in Bellevue, the 53-acre Bellevue Botanical Garden (www.bellevuebotanical.org) is a blooming wonderland. To the east, Redmond’s Marymoor Park (www.experienceredmond.com) hosts the state’s only velodrome.
Plenty of refinements await indoors, too. For a date with the Seattle Opera, head to the 402-seat Kirkland Performance Center (www.kpcenter.org). And for some wellearned retail therapy, Kirkland’s Park Lane offers contemporary fashion and consignment boutiques.
Similarly, Bellevue is its own one-stop urban vacation. The Bellevue Collection (www.bellevuecollection.com) and the Shops at the Bravern (www.thebravern.com) are anchored by national retail chains like Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.
For dinner, snag a coveted reservation at Kirkland’s Café Juanita (www.cafejuanita.com) for decadent Northern Italian fare. Fresh-shucked oysters are the calling card of Redmond’s Matts’ Rotisserie and Oyster Lounge (www.mattsrotisserie.com). And in Bellevue, Monsoon East dazzles diners with a modern fusion of European and Vietnamese cuisine (www.monsoonrestaurants.com). —JENNY LYNN ZAPPALA
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