Same old Seattle? Think again, Bellevue is where it’s at!
Driving across the border to neighbouring Washington has always felt familiar. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, the Evergreen State has the comforts of home, but with an American twist. Despite my love for the area, I realized that I really haven’t explored much beyond downtown Seattle, The Gorge in George, and the views along the never ending I-5 en route to Portland. It’s now top of my local travel list to explore beautiful Washington and discover new gems, like Bellevue!
A few weeks back, my BFF Jessica and I embarked on a girl’s weekend in Bellevue. It was her first time away from her baby overnight and it was just so special for both of us to be able to wine and dine, kid-free. We simply fell in love with the area and I’m already planning to return in December. You’ll find out why at the end of the post, but in the meantime, here are our top 5 reasons to visit Bellevue, WA. If you’d like, I’ve also put together a free printable Bellevue Travel Guide
1. The Shopping Is Incredible
Even though Vancouver is just a few hours away, being across the border means access to shops that we don’t have at home. I had great luck at Nordstrom Rack, as you do, and always love getting the chance to check out Macy’s, The Container Store, and World Market. We had a spectacular time at The Shops at The Bravern. It’s something you absolutely have to experience if you’re in Bellevue, such a gorgeous way to browse your favourite luxury brands.
This is the story of our first trip to Chicago, Illinois.
Adam’s youngest brother, Ben, and his fiancé Anya were in a long distance relationship for, well, ever. In fact, it isn’t since their Michigan days (M Go Blue!) that they’ve really been in the same place for an extended period of time. Which, is really crazy when I think about that timeline. It has been so inspiring watching them stay patient and supportive while they each pursue their dreams. And after so much waiting, they have finally settled down in the same zip code. In the same apartment! Of course we’d still see them when they’d come to Vancouver, or we’ve met up on family trips over the years, but it wasn’t until we were planning Chicago, that Adam and I realized we’d not paid them a real visit for quite a few years. This trip was bound to be massive amounts of fun.
The flights there were very easy. We left on a Thursday morning and flew West Jet to Calgary and then on to Chicago, with a late afternoon arrival. And since it was rush hour, Ben suggested we take the train into the city, which was a hundred percent the better option. We got off at a downtown stop and caught a ten minute cab to their Streeterville apartment. Which is probably the most amazing apartment I’ve ever step foot in! Their elevator doesn’t even have buttons, you just scan your fob and it takes you to your floor…technology is crazy! Anya has gorgeous design taste, so the place was immaculately decorated and the golden evening light was pouring through the floor to ceiling window, and just when I thought it was all too perfect, the doorbell rang and it was a freaking Lou Malnatis Pizza delivery guy! Those 2 had the genius idea for us to enjoy our inaugural deep dish pizza experience on the patio, with bubbly to celebrate us all finally hanging out in Chicago. Talk about a warm welcome! Anya ordered a thin crust as well, and I have to say that I actually preferred it. I am happy we tried deep dish though, wouldn’t have been the same otherwise.
Did you know that eos stands for evolution of smooth?
NEW YORK! I freaking love New York so much, I can’t even tell you guys. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to go, even for 24 hours. And honestly, we managed to get a heck of a lot done in such a limited amount of time! We attended a spectacular eos event, hung out in the LES, spent an evening in SoHo, watched a crazy thunderstorm roll in, took outfit photos at the gorgeous Library, walked Bryant Park to Times Square, and wandered the West Village. Our group of Vancouver gals included Cee, Lyndi, Samantha, and Sydney and we had such a great travel dynamic. You should go check out their blogs if you don’t already follow them!
I attempted to vlog the journey, though I massively failed when I basically forgot to get any video footage on the second day. I hadn’t had a cup of coffee since before we’d left Vancouver, so my brain was mush! Anyway, it’s still great fun, as you can see in the video and photos below:
Heck yes we took a group photo at every single stop on the tour 😂
Did you know that Langley has its own little wine country? Just a 45(ish) minute car ride from Vancouver. And you guys, it’s REALLY good!
We had the idea to do a self guided Fraser Valley wine tour at one of our cousin hangouts. We locked in a date and a plan (we’d take 2 cars and have 2 designated drivers), as well as loose itinerary. I’m sure the beautiful weather, delicious wine, and great company had a lot to do with it, but it was, hands down, one of my favourite days last summer.
If you are looking for an activity that takes you just out of the city, below is more info about the 3 wineries and 1 cidery we visited! If you are wanting to do a full day trip, I recommend heading to Fort Langley in the morning, getting brunch, exploring the cute little shops, walking the riverfront, and then setting out on a wine tour!