As a kid growing up in Seattle, Bellevue was kind of a punchline. Not that the mass of suburbia we collectively called the Eastside wasn’t a nice place — it’s home to Microsoft and, at the time, had more designer shopping than Seattle. But it was the boujee, gas-guzzling, expensive-shopping antithesis to grungy, vintage-chic Seattle. It was a generic home of fancy things with no soul and nothing to do that we only visited for back-to-school shopping and lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.
And outside of Seattle, nobody had heard of the place.
But as Seattle morphed into a tech-fueled mega-city, its neighbor to the east began to forge its own identity. The Eastside became the less-crowded jumping off point for the best things about the state of Washington: wilderness, beer, creative food, and outdoor recreation. Leveraging its location between one of the top wine-tasting destinations in America and some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, Bellevue has become almost as worth visiting as its big brother to the west.