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For all of its downtown bustle and easy access to other parts of the Puget Sound Region, there’s still an enormous amount of nature to be found, here. Many parts of the city resemble unspoiled wilderness.

If you were to design the perfect urban park, then Bellevue Downtown Park would be it. Extensive walking trails—most are wheelchair-accessible and open to dogs – are a major attraction. Fountains and shade trees provide relief in during summer months. A vast, age- appropriate playground and easy access to public transit make this a true oasis that people from everywhere can enjoy. The park even hosts movie nights during the summer.

Sandwiched between two of the largest urban freshwater lakes in North America—Lake Washington to the west and Lake Sammamish to the east, Bellevue residents are fortunate to count seven beaches as part of the city’s extensive parks system. These beaches are ideal for swimming, sand castle building, picnics, or just tossing around the Frisbee.

Of course, most people love to come to parks just to walk or jog, clear their head or savor the changing seasons. The Lake-to-Lake Trail connects nine parks across Bellevue, starting at Weowna Park just west of Lake Sammamish passing by the Bellevue Botanical Garden; a fine destination in itself encompassing 53-acres of display gardens, meadows, wetlands and forests, and finally concluding at Meydenbauer Beach Park on the east shore of Lake Washington.