Next time you’re in downtown Bellevue, here’s a shop/park/beach adventure that makes for an efficient, fun outing.
Go: On a sunny afternoon, for a walk and/or a picnic.
Approximate travel time: 10 minutes east of Seattle, right off I-90.
Where to shop: There’s always something you need at Babies R Us/Toys R Us at Main Street and 110th Ave. Once the baby shower gifts/nursing supplies/birthday stuff is off your list, head a few blocks over to the new location of Lamb’s Ears Children’s Boutique, for darling Euro-styled clothing brands like 3 Pommes, Tartine et chocolat, Cakewalk and Luli. If you’ve got time and the kids still have patience, go a few doors down to check out Between Friends, a great new women’s consignment shop that was started by a Clyde Hill mom.
What to do: Once that’s done, grab a quick café at nearby Tully’s —the one with the funky clock tower—and head south about a mile and a half on 108th Ave. SE to Enatai Park, which locals call “pit park,” because it sits below street level. There’s a nice toddler playground, picnic tables and a fenced tennis backboard area that’s great for confined ball playing. There’s also a small, tree-canopied trail, perfect for a quickie hike. Continue another half mile south on 108th Ave. SE and you’ll end up at beautiful Enatai Beach Park, where you can explore the beach and dock, watch people take rented canoes and kayaks out on the lake, and see the cars whiz by above on I-90. For that matter, you can rent a canoe ($18.50 for first hour; $8 for every hour after that, and cruise with the kiddos through Mercer Slough Nature Park, where you’ll see everything from green herons, bald eagles and beavers to wild iris, water lilies and tasty blackberries.
Costs: Cheap to moderate, depending on what you buy and if you rent a canoe.