It’s that time of year, when the stores begin to fill their aisles with heart shaped chocolate boxes and soft stuffed animals embellished with words like “sweetheart” or “be mine”. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and the pressure is on for couples to arrange a romantic evening, and for singles to organize exciting adventures. There are gifts to be bought, tables to reserve, flowers to order, and dates to secure.
With all the scrambling going on to plan the perfect holiday event, it can be overwhelming to make plans of your own. If you live in the Bellevue, Washington area, here is handy Valentine’s Day guide to get you started. Whether you’re looking for some place to share an intimate moment with your significant other, or you just want casual night out with good friends, here are some ideas to make sure this Valentine’s Day is unforgettable.
Fun or Creative Places to Visit
Most people think of Valentine’s Day as a holiday filled with romantic gestures like candlelit dinners and intimate walks on the beach, but it doesn’t have to be. Why not take the opportunity to try something non-traditional and adventurous? The point of the holiday is to spend time with the person, or people, you care most about. Nothing says, “I love you” like choosing someone to share a new experience with you.
If you and your significant other like to unwind with a glass of vino, the Woodinville Wine Country tasting tours might be the perfect adventure to share. The area is just a 20-minute drive north of Bellevue and features over 100 wineries and tasting rooms. Use the Woodinville Wine Country website planning tool to schedule a custom day of wine tasting and activities, or choose one of the pre-arranged tours provided by companies that service the Bellevue area, so you can focus on enjoying your time together.
If you’d prefer something a little more romantic and you have the cash, spend the day on the water by reserving some time on the Germania with Bellevue Boat Charter. Begin at the Bellevue Marina and enjoy the soothing sounds of the water as Captain Matt takes you on a tour of the area lakes. Book the two-hour minimum to begin your evening or spend the entire day on the water, free to enjoy your time together and take in the beauty of Washington’s lake shores.
The Bellevue Botanical Garden gives you and your date a serene space to connect with each other while you commune with nature. Enjoy 53 acres of wetlands, gardens, and restored woodlands as you walk along the gravel paths through each section of the refuge. Admission is free, and the park is open from dawn until dusk, so this is a great evening starter for those on a budget.
For something dramatic and exciting, reserving an experience at Serial Mysteries ensures an evening you won’t forget. You and your date will find yourselves locked in room and will have to follow a series of clues to get out. You only have 75 minutes to work together to solve the mystery and take your place with other teams that have escaped.
Top Romantic Dinner Choices
Whether you’re looking for adventure or a quiet evening with your significant other, dinner is always a good place to add a little intimacy. Flickering candles, soft music, and good food are all it takes to set the stage for romance. If you’re trying to decide where to make your Valentine’s Day dinner reservations, here are a few romantic Bellevue restaurants to get you started.
Daniel’s Broiler is a high-end steak house that sits on the 21st floor of the Bank of America building. The restaurant exclusively serves USDA Prime Beef and every table has a stunning view of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains.
If you or your date prefers seafood, Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar is the place to go. Established by renowned chef John Howie, Seastar prides itself on only serving food prepared with the freshest ingredients. Vegetarians, vegans, and those with gluten sensitivity will find options on the menu that cater to their needs.
The John Howie Steak restaurant is another steakhouse that is known for amazing service and even better food. If you really want to impress your date, you can order the famous A5 100% Japanese Wagyu beef steak. The price is high, but the experience is said to be worth it.
Pearl offers the fine dining experience without any of the pretense that is so often found in high end establishments. The decor is modern, and the restaurant keeps enough space between the tables to allow for easy conversation with your date. Request a curtained table for extra privacy and seclusion.
Firenze Ristorante Italiano is an excellent choice for those looking for an authentic Italian experience. Dim lighting sets a romantic tone and the enthusiastic staff will welcome you as if you were family. You and your significant other can enjoy your favorite Italian dishes and then end the meal by sharing one of the restaurant’s delectable desserts.
Out on the Town
Once dinner is over, it’s time to hit the town for a little fun. The city of Bellevue has a thriving nightlife and there are a variety of activities available. Whether you and your date want to do a little dancing, sit somewhere quiet for a drink, or just spend some time exploring the city, Bellevue has got you covered.
Couples who aren’t in the mood for dancing but have too much energy to sit still should try one of Bellevue’s self-guided walking tours. The Downtown Bellevue Art Walk runs through the downtown area, past over 120 public works of art. An “ArtMap” can be picked up at either City Hall or the Meydenbauer Center information kiosk, or you can self-guide by hitting the streets and seeing where the night takes you. History buffs can impress their dates by revealing their extensive knowledge of the area as a private guide on the Early Bellevue Walking Tour. This two to three-hour tour takes you through several Bellevue historic sites and includes a romantic stretch along the waterfront. The brochure can be found online and includes a map of the route and descriptions of each site.
If you’re looking for some live music and haven’t decided where to take your other half for dinner, Bake’s Bar and Bistro could be the solutions. The establishment is known for hosting popular Northwest musicians and the kitchen is committed to serving incredible scratch-cooked meals using only the freshest ingredients. The setting is intimate, but the live music keeps the atmosphere upbeat. It’s the perfect place to spend some time if you and your date want to keep the evening going.
Parlor Bellevue is another option for keeping a good night rolling. Live music, comedy shows, and top DJ shows are just a few of the things that Parlor has to offer. If your date gets tired of watching the performance, you can migrate to Parlor Billiards & Spirits for an upscale game of pool in the #1 ranked billiard parlor in the country. If pool isn’t your thing, challenge your date to a ping-pong match on one of the professional tables in the Parlor Ping-Pong Lounge. This establishment has a full kitchen as well, so you could plan your date here for a one-stop evening of dinner, entertainment, and activity.
Couples that are looking for someplace to dance can’t go wrong with Lucky Strike. The facility offers a top-of-the-line lights and sound system with a live DJ that keeps their dance floor packed all week long. When it’s time to take a break, the arcade room keeps the entertainment going while you catch your breath. As the name implies, couples can also get competitive on one of the establishment’s 16 sizable bowling lanes.
Hanging Out with Friends
If you find yourself without a date on Valentine’s Day, or you would just prefer to hang out with your friends, you certainly aren’t going to have trouble finding something fun to do as a group. Spend the evening partying at one of Bellevue’s hot spots or choose something a little more relaxing to bond with the best people in your life. Whatever you choose, the city is sure to have what you’re looking for. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Valentine’s Day can be incredibly stressful with all the pressure to find a date and expectations of romance. Why not grab a few single friends and shed that tension at one of Bellevue’s local spas? Make a group reservation at Yuan Spa and feel your worries melt away as you and your friends put yourselves in the capable hands of spa staff. Arrive early to spend some extra time in the hydrotherapy bathing pools before beginning your selected services. Choose from packages that include facials, body scrubs, massages, mani-pedis, and even catered lunches.
For an active daytime outing, groups can work on their chip shot at Bellevue Golf Course. The course is a full 18 holes and offers a range to practice your drive. There’s no need to worry if some in your group don’t have clubs. The Pro Shop offers club sets for rent along with golf carts for those who prefer to drive the course. Golfers who doubt their skill level can play a more relaxing round at the Crossroads Par 3 Golf Course.
If your friends enjoy an active lifestyle, you could set up a group hike on one of the trails in the 2,700 acres of park land. The nature trails combined span 92 miles and thread throughout the parks and city. The Lake Hills Greenbelt Trails cut through 172 acres of the city, woodlands, and wetlands, to connect Phantom Lakes and Larson. Weowna Park Trail runs through an open space park and offers paths that wind through old growth forest, waterfalls fed by Phantom Creek, and views of the Cascade Mountains and Lake Sammamish. The Downtown Park Trails lead through a 20-acre park in the center of the city and eventually ends at a 240-foot wide waterfall. These are just a few of the 20 individual trails Bellevue offers so there are plenty of adventures to be had exploring the city parks.
If your group doesn’t have anything specific in mind, Crossroads Bellevue may be the place for you. Your group can spend the day engaging in a little retail therapy, take in a live show, dine at one of the Crossroads restaurants, or engage in one of the many activities available there. Learn to paint together at The Studio Fine Art Class, or try your hand at climbing on the 21,000 square-foot climbing facility at Stone Garden. Regal Crossroads Cinema will be showing the latest Hollywood releases and you and your friends can paint a ceramic keepsake at Creatively Yours. There is even a spa on-site in case you need a little extra relaxation to get through the holiday. This is the perfect place to be if you want to try a little of everything, or if your group can’t agree on what to do, because it has something for everyone.
Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to show the people you love just how big their impact is on your life. Whether that’s a spouse, significant other, or just a group of good friends, it’s important to remind them how important they are to you. Some people like to buy gifts or cards, or send flowers to express how they feel, but building memories through experiences is the best way to show someone you care. Bellevue offers so many unique and exciting things to do that residents are not limited to the traditional Valentine’s Day experience. Couples and groups can learn together, get in a little physical activity, work together to solve a mystery, or simply spend time together in one of the city’s hot spots, building memories. With so many options to choose from, you should have no problem planning out an incredible Valentine’s Day adventure that none of you will ever forget.
This information is provided courtesy of The Eastside Real Estate Team. Keep us in mind for all your real estate needs. Call us today at 425-200-4093.