While Seattle is one of the most popular travel destinations in the country, it isn’t the only place worth checking out in Washington. The landscapes throughout the state are gorgeous, the people are friendly and the views are spectacular.

One of the hidden jewels in the state is most certainly Bellevue. The city has around 145,000 residents and the name is derived from the French words “beautiful views”. However, in addition to beautiful views, the city is also a great place to be. It consistently ranks as one of the best places in the USA to live, and is home to the headquarters of many large companies such as Expedia and T-Mobile.

Even if you are just visiting, there are many great things to do, see and check out in Bellevue. This blog post is going to take a look at a couple of them. No matter your interests or preferences on things to do, this list will likely have something for you.

The Bellevue Botanical Garden

While there are many beautiful places in Bellevue, few are as stunning as the Bellevue Botanical Garden. The garden is spread among 53 acres and gives anyone (locals and tourists alike) the chance to see some gorgeous native plant species. In addition to observing the plants, you will also be able to learn about the environment they thrive in.

If a botanical garden isn’t your style, there are plenty of other parks and outdoor areas that you can check out. There are parks to take walks in, parks to have picnics at with your family and more. The outdoors areas all around Bellevue are beautiful and worth checking out, as well.

The Bellevue Gun Club

If you are a gun enthusiast or interested in firearms, you should do yourself a favor and check out the Bellevue Gun Club indoor shooting range. The club has over 10,000 members and thousands of people have been safely trained on the premises. They have a range, several different types of training and safety classes, events and more. The gun club also doubles as a gunsmith and gun shop.

Even if you aren’t all-the-way comfortable with shooting real guns, the Bellevue Gun Club has a solution for you. They offer a virtual shooting simulator which lets you play games, compete against your friends in an accuracy competition and more. While this type of thing certainly isn’t for anyone, if you have ever been interested in safely learning about firearms or you’re an enthusiast yourself, this is definitely a place to consider checking out.

The Bellevue Arts Museum

If you are more interested in art, the BAM (Bellevue Arts Museum) is worth checking out. The museum features impressive art and displays from a number of both regional and international artists. You can go on self-guided tours, but there are also guided private tours, led by trained curators. One of the best things about this museum is its great location right into the downtown district of Bellevue.

Another great thing about this art museum is just how unique it is. Whereas most museums will have a permanent collection of pieces, this isn’t the way it works in Bellevue. Instead of a permanent collection, the museum emphasizes the education of the visitors as well as getting them involved in a hands-on manner. This is through classes and other workshops. As a result, every time you visit the museum you will likely be seeing new art and getting to hear new stories.

Hopefully, this article has inspired you to check out Bellevue, Washington, one of the best kept secret locations in the country.