Where Green Meets Global Glamour: Exploring Bellevue

Words by Laura Lawson Visconti
Photos by Laura Lawson Visconti

There is nothing quite like being a tourist in your own backyard, am I right?!

Okay, okay. Technically, I can’t call Bellevue my backyard as I don’t live there. In fact, I don’t even live in Washington (anymore). Do you have a place that just feels like home, no matter how far away you end up? For me, that place will forever and always be the greater Seattle region. Years ago, through a little thing called fate, my now-husband and I (friends at the time) moved to Seattle the same week, both from California, completely by happenstance. As we were the only people we knew, we spent a lot of time together… and eventually got hitched. The Pacific Northwest became our playground as we fell in love with one another and the intersection of city and nature that Seattle embodies so well. At the time, my husband was retiring from professional snowboarding to pursue specialty coffee, and when he wasn’t chasing snow, he was pouring cappuccinos. I wrote my first book out of Anchored Ship Coffee Bar in Ballard, where my watercolor paintings of octopus tentacles hung for sale on the wall and waved to me as I typed. Yes, I realize we sound like the ultimate hipster couple, but more importantly: can you hear the nostalgia in my voice?



I recently returned to my old stomping grounds for a photo walk culminating at W Bellevue Hotel, smack dab in the heart of downtown. If you’re visiting Bellevue, I cannot recommend staying at W Bellevue enough! It’s a brand new property, where “green meets global glamour” — this resonates all the way from speakeasy cocktails to sparkling murals adorning every wall to the A-frame living room… an Instagrammer’s paradise. Chic interiors aside, W Bellevue is probably one of the best places in town to grab a drink with a longtime bestie or new Tinder friend. With a regularly rotating events calendar, there’s always something going on!


We started the photo walk at the Wayward store in Bellevue Square, by far my favorite place to shop in the entire city. From there, we meandered down to Pressed Juicery for some fuel, before happening upon the Bellevue Arts Museum. It was closed at the time, but we did a makeshift photoshoot anyway as neon lights from an indoor exhibit danced their way to our camera lenses. Finally, we ended up at the photogenic walkway connecting W Bellevue to the Westin, and culminated our evening at W Bellevue for their monthly Living Room Series featuring Little Wins Music, delicious cocktails and great conversation. The ultimate eye candy experience.

“you’ll instantly fall in love with the rebellious free spirit of the city”

Visiting for the first time? After you drive over the world’s longest floating bridge into downtown Bellevue, you’ll instantly fall in love with the rebellious free spirit of the city. With companies like Boeing, Microsoft and T-Mobile calling Bellevue home, the city is a haven for adventurous trendsetters and rule-breakers, keeping in-step to the heartbeat of nearby Seattle’s food, music, and tech culture.

And the fashion! The Pacific Northwest arguably started the urban lumberjack trend, but style is noticeably more tailored in Bellevue. Hunting for a bite to eat? Look no further than the “food trucks” inside the Bellevue Collection, adjacent to W Bellevue. You’ll be forced to make difficult decisions, like do you want amazing tacos or savory ramen for lunch — good news is, you can’t go wrong either way.

More than anything, I urge you to simply explore.

Get lost on purpose.

Bellevue may surprise you.

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