For many years, the Seattle area was synonymous with certain things—grunge music, coffee shops and rain. But in recent years, the city and its close neighbor, Bellevue, have shed their glum reputation and become vibrant, appealing places to live. Even though they are only separated by a lake, Seattle and Bellevue provide different living experiences, attractions, and appeal, so do your homework before deciding which to call home. 

No more rain than most

Ask most people about the Seattle region and the word rain is bound to pop up early in the conversation. In reality, Seattle actually receives less precipitation than most major cities on the East Coast, including New York, Atlanta and Miami. Summers are typically drier, with the bulk of the rain happening in the winter months. Even during the rainy season, a constant drizzle is more likely than storms and temperatures remain mild all year long. 

Cities built on beverages

Seattle may be known for coffee—especially as the home of Starbucks—but locals most likely prefer one of the many smaller coffee shops in the area. If you skip the java, you can find more than 50 microbreweries (and counting) alongside a plethora of food trucks in the city. Bellevue boasts its own food truck “pod” where downtown office workers and families alike can enjoy global flavors. 

Museums, attractions and more

Seattle calls cultural events such as the Seattle International Film Festival, Bite of Seattle and Seattle Pride home. Nearby Bellevue is more low-key, but it, too, is home to some major attractions, including the Bellevue Arts Museum, the annual Strawberry Festival and the Bellevue Sculpture Exhibition. Living in Bellevue probably means a slower pace, but you can still benefit from all the fun to be found in nearby Seattle.

Outdoor adventures in your backyard

When it comes to nature, both Seattle and Bellevue provide amazing options. From the paved paths of Seattle’s Green Lake to its wood trails and beaches at Discovery Park, the Emerald City is full of outdoor spaces to enjoy. Bellevue has its own bounty of green spaces, too, including Crossroads Park’s water playground, Bellevue Botanical Gardens and Meydenbauer Beach Park.