Given that tried-and-true Seattleites find it difficult to “cross the bridge” for anything, living on the Eastside really challenges certain attitudes. But those of us in West Bellevue know—and don’t care what others think—that the main ingredient that makes Eastside living so palatable is so very cliché: location, location, location.
The top five reasons I love West Bellevue and especially my micro ’hood, Enatai: 1. A no-commute lifestyle: With jobs in downtown Bellevue, traffic isn’t bad, which means attendance at our kids’ activities is good. 2. Beauty, community: Enatai—like Clyde Hill, Medina and Beaux Arts—is leafy and picturesque, with top-notch public schools and lakefront parks nearby. 3. “Friendly neighborhood” perk: Go outside and you’ll likely know someone to wave to. 4. Close to good dining: No trekking to Seattle for good eats. Bellevue’s got ’em, whether it’s Monsoon East—love the happy hour!; Cantinetta—love the intimacy!: or Black Bottle Postern—love the ambiance! 5. Close to good shopping: Bellevue Square, enough said.
Don’t miss: The view from Chism Beach Park—Seattle never looked so beautiful; renting a canoe at Enatai Beach Park—Lake Washington is your oyster; a perfect, heart-topped latte from the barista at Top Pot Doughnuts; happy hour at 520 Bar & Grill (wine by the glass, $5.20), especially in good weather when you can sit on the patio.
Go-to for out-of-town guests: A hike at Twin Falls, a 30-minute drive east.
Famous for: High-density of pro athletes, including former Seattle Mariners Edgar Martinez and John Olerud, and former NFL player Damon Huard; plus Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Melrose Place actor Rob Estes.
Kavita Varma-White is an NBCNews.com writer and has been an Enatai resident since 2008