Bellevue, WA: 10 Things To Know About Living In This Suburb [2021]

Bellevue, WA: 10 Things To Know About Living In This Suburb [2021]

Bellevue, WA Suburbs

Bellevue, Washington, is a suburb of Seattle that has many advantages over living in the city. Bellevue has nearly 500,000 residents spread across a wide area with plenty of shopping and restaurants to keep people occupied and happy. 

If you’re thinking about joining the ranks of this fabulous suburb, here are 10 things you need to know about living in Bellevue, Washington:

1. Bellevue is Expensive to Live in 

Bellevue is one of the most expensive cities to live in Washington State, even more so than Seattle. The median income of this affluent neighborhood is high, at over $98,000, but that doesn’t stop Bellevue from being exceptionally expensive to live in with only about half of its residents paying less than $3,200 for rent per month while the rest pay upwards of $6,500 for rent each month! 

Bellevue, WA Housing

2. Bellevue has an Award-Winning School District 

Bellevue has an award winning school district, home to some of the best schools in America such as Interlake High School, which Newsweek ranked No. 2 in Washington State and No. 593 nationally! Bellevue’s high schools like Interlake also offer a large variety of courses other than just math, English, or sciences, but even languages like Mandarin Chinese.  

The city is also home to Bellevue College, which is also Bellevue’s only public community college, and Bellevue University, which offers residents the chance to get a bachelor’s degree without leaving Bellevue itself! 

3. The Public Transit is Reliable 

Bellevue has a bus system called the Rapid Ride that provides public transportation across Bellevue from its eastern edge to the western side with stops along Highway 520, Bellevue Way NE and NE 4th Street as well as many other popular streets throughout the area. The Rapid Ride is one of Washington State’s best transit systems as it’s incredibly reliable and efficient. There is also SoundTransit’s Link Light Rail that Bellevue is connected to via the Bellevue Downtown and Bellevue South stations.

4. Bellevue has a Very Diverse Population 

Bellevue is a diverse neighborhood that prides itself in welcoming people of all kinds. Bellevue embraces this diversity and welcomes anyone to the area, be it for housing or just visiting. Bellevue has a very diverse population and strives to be as inclusive as possible. 

The Asian population has grown by almost 50% since 2000 to make up about 20 percent of Bellevue’s total population, making Asians the largest ethnic group, followed very closely by Causcasian at 17 percent, while other races make up just over 30 percent including African-Americans, Hispanics, and others. 

Diversity in Bellevue, WA

5. It’s Not a Great City for Cyclists 

While Bellevue does have a bike trail system called the Bridle Trails, which goes around Lake Sammamish through the city providing plenty of space for some friendly suburban cycling, the area does not have bike lanes on its main roads making Bellevue a bad city for bicycles. The suburb’s location in the middle of three separate counties also means the area doesn’t fall under any county’s jurisdiction, which means no one is responsible for the non-existent bike infrastructure problems.

6. Bellevue has Some Great Parks 

Bellevue has around 10,000 acres of park space with over eighty parks including two dog parks and over sixty playgrounds! There are many great spots to go walking or jogging throughout the city from Downtown Bellevue Park to Lakeview Park where you will find the world famous Fountain Of Rings, which is best enjoyed at night when there are no crowds! The city is also home to more than seventy miles of trails for locals to explore and take in all of nature’s beauty!

7. Bellevue has its Own Downtown 

Bellevue may not have its own downtown like Seattle, but it does have its own shopping district called Lincoln Square Shopping Center that is, in fact, one of America’s oldest shopping malls having opened up back in 1961! Lincoln Square Shopping Center serves as the heart of Bellevue at this point.

Another popular shopping venue in Bellevue is Factoria Mall. The mall was originally built in 1970 but it underwent major renovations in the late 1990s and early 2000s to make it into Bellevue’s premier shopping destination. Today, this fantastic shopping center houses over 100 stores, including some of Bellevue’s best restaurants and bars as well as its only movie theater! 

Downtown Bellevue, WA

8. There are Many Housing Developments 

Bellevue has hundreds of housing developments, but only eleven have over 500 units from places like Newport Heights, which has 800 condos and apartments, The Crossroads at Bellevue with its 1,600 loft style apartments, and Bellevues’s biggest housing development, The Encore, that has 2,600 residential units! 

Bellevue doesn’t have skyscrapers such as those found in Downtown Seattle, but the suburb does strive to compete with its own skyline with dozens of high rise apartment buildings including Bel Air (510 feet), Lincoln Tower (362 feet), and Bellevue Towers (300 feet), which all compete with Bellevue’s biggest highrise, The Bravern, a luxury high-rise apartment building.

9. You Can Live in the City and Enjoy the Benefits of Living in a Suburb 

Bellevue is unique in that it is both a city and a suburb at the same time! While being officially classified as an incorporated city in Washington State, it also shares many characteristics with many suburbs like having no zoning laws and also having a mix of commercial, retail and residential areas. 

Bellevue also has its own city hall, police department and fire department and is home to over 4,500 businesses, which employs roughly 100,000 workers! The city’s large business district is located on 106th Avenue Northeast and NE 8th Street, which are both major thoroughfares in Bellevue where the main shopping mall is located. 

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10. It’s Connected with Seattle to the South 

It’s easy to commute to the neighboring city of Seattle as Bellevue’s east side is connected with the major city and Eastside via Interstate 90, which runs along the city’s southern border. But Interstate 405 is the major Downtown area street which connects I-90 with Interstate 5, whose northern terminus lies in Tukwila near SeaTac Airport.

Bellevue has a lot to offer. From great shopping districts, friendly locals and amazing neighborhoods, to excellent public transportation and plenty of parks and recreation – there is something for everyone in this Northwest Washington city!

Ron Rougeaux, located in Olympia, Washington is a highly skilled and knowledgeable real estate agent. PNW Homes Group are committed to their key core values of trustworthiness, integrity, and loyalty providing quality service is his highest priority. Whether you are buying, selling, or curious about the market, PNW Homes has the answers. 

Revealed: The Best Places To Live In Thurston County, WA [2021]

Revealed: The Best Places To Live In Thurston County, WA [2021]

The Best Places To Live In Thurston County, WA

Making the decision to move to Thurston County, Washington, offers potential residents plenty of fantastic options to consider! Whether you’re looking for the quiet suburbs or a busier city, the county can provide. 

If you’re considering moving to Thurston County, take a look at our list of the very best places to live in the area! 


Olympia is the capital city of Washington and an incredibly popular choice for those looking to relocate to Thurston County! With a population of approximately 51,535, Olympia is the largest city in the county and gives residents a taste of the bigger cities, such as Seattle, with a dash of small-town charm. 

Real Estate

The majority of homes found among the Olympia real estate listings are detached, single-family homes and the average cost of these homes is $535,000 (As of June 30, 2021). The second most popular style of home is mobile and manufactured homes, though there are also a number of apartment complexes and condominium buildings. The diverse range of housing design offers plenty of options for people of all lifestyles and age groups. 

The Best Places To Live In Thurston County, WA


There are over 9,230 students enrolled in the Olympia School District ranging from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district is made up of a total of eighteen schools: eleven elementary schools, four middle schools, and three high schools. 

Olympia also has a number of post-secondary institutions including Evergreen State College and South Puget Sound Community College. 

What’s Nearby

Olympia is filled and surrounded by artistic venues including Art in Ecology, which can be found in the nearby campus of Saint Martin’s University. This 322,000 square-foot establishment showcases numerous artworks commissioned by the Washington State Arts Commission. 

Locals of Olympia can also easily access the Olympia Regional Airport which is found just south of Olympia in the neighboring Tumwater. Along with the regular flights, the airport hosts the Olympic AirShow, which occurs every Father’s Day weekend. 


Nearby cities include: 

Tacoma, WA – 31 miles via I-5 N (32 minutes)

Seattle, WA – 61 miles via I-5 N (1 hour, 14 minutes)

Portland, OR – 115 miles via I-5 S (1 hour, 48 minutes)

Centralia, WA – 25 miles via I-5 S (27 minutes)


Found along the Deschutes River and the Budd Inlet is the scenic town of Tumwater. Originally called “New Market” by American settlers, the name was changed in 1863 and the city was officially incorporated in 1875. 

Tumwater is known for its picturesque scenery, cascading waterfalls, and general peaceful atmosphere. Anyone looking to get away from it all can find exactly that in this beautiful town! 

Real Estate

The average cost of real estate in Tumwater is approximately $484,000 (As of June 30, 2021) and is mostly made up of detached, single-family homes. Another popular real estate option in this tranquil town is empty lots, perfect for potential residents to design their dream home out in the more rural land of Washington. 

The Best Places To Live In Thurston County, WA


Students residing in Tumwater are provided education by the Tumwater School District, which is the third-largest district in Thurston County. Home to over 6,000 students, TSD operates out of eleven school buildings. 

There are six elementary schools serving students in kindergarten through fifth grade, two middle schools serving students in sixth through eighth grade, and two high schools serving students in ninth through twelfth grade. There is also one alternative school found within the borders of Tumwater. 

What’s Nearby

There are a number of excellent amenities available to the residents of Tumwater, including both indoor and outdoor excursions. One of the most popular destinations is the beautiful Tumwater Falls Park, home to a salmon run in the fall. 

Among the many historical and educational attractions in and around Tumwater are plenty of exciting destinations. Locals and visitors alike can enjoy farmer’s markets, scenic parks, the State Capitol, and so much more! 


Nearby cities include: 

Tacoma, WA – 32 miles via I-5 N (40 minutes)

Seattle, WA – 62 miles via I-5 N (1 hour, 18 minutes)

Portland, OR – 112 miles via I-5 S / I-405 S (1 hour, 45 minutes)

Centralia, WA – 22 miles via I-5 S (25 minutes)

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Located along Interstate 5 between Olympia and the Nisqually River is the beautiful city of Lacey. With a population of approximately 42,395, most of the residents of Lacey fall around the age of 35 years old. Lacey is an environmentally conscious city, receiving several awards and titles from both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Arbor Day Foundation. 

Real Estate

Most residents of Lacey own their homes and the population is made up of mostly families and young working professionals. The median cost of real estate is $464,000 (As of June 30, 2021)

Potential residents can find everything from mobile homes starting around $26,000 to large, single-family homes costing as much as $1,995,000 as well as everything in between! Plenty of options from open plots of land to charming multi-family homes and townhomes or detached, single-family homes can be found among the Lacey real estate listings. 

The Best Places To Live In Thurston County, WA


Lacey is a part of the North Thurston Public School District and consists of twelve elementary schools, five middle schools, and three high schools. Some of these schools fall among the top-ranking institutions in the state. 

Along with the excellent public schools, Lacey residents also have the option of private and religious-based schooling. There are a number of Catholic schools, Montessori schools, and alternative education programs to choose from. 

What’s Nearby

As Lacey continues to expand, many new businesses have popped up, supporting the city’s economy. Locals can find a Regal 16 Movie Theater, LA Fitness, Best Buy, Costco, and Home Depot among the many businesses and strip malls found in and around the area. 

Lacey is home to one of the Northwest’s first indoor malls, the South Sound Center, though it has recently been converted into a partial outdoor shopping center. The center includes retail, warehousing, a retirement community, and more! 


Nearby cities include:

Tacoma, WA – 27 miles via I-5 N (32 minutes)

Seattle, WA – 58 miles via I-5 N (1 hour, 16 minutes)

Portland, OR – 119 miles via I-5 S / I-405 S (1 hour, 53 minutes)

Centralia, WA – 29 miles via I-5 S (31 minutes)

It’s clear to see that moving to Thurston County offers numerous fantastic selections of potential places to call home. These three are just a glimpse into the wonderful communities in the area! 

Ron Rougeaux, located in Olympia, Washington is a highly skilled and knowledgeable real estate agent. PNW Homes Group are committed to their key core values of trustworthiness, integrity, and loyalty providing quality service is his highest priority. Whether you are buying, selling, or curious about the market, PNW Homes has the answers.