Sketched Aug. 13, 2019

BELLEVUE — Once a secluded little beach, Bellevue’s renovated and expanded downtown waterfront at Meydenbauer Bay Park has everything a summer visitor could ask for: a sandy swimming area (floating raft included!); shady spots to bring a picnic lunch; a playground for the kids; kayak, paddleboard and canoe rentals from the REI Boathouse; and friendly lifeguards who can point you to a big sunscreen dispenser if you are like me and didn’t come well-equipped for the summer heat.

Before I settled to make these sketches, I enjoyed wandering through the paths leading to a curvilinear pedestrian pier where people were soaking their feet in the cool water. My favorite feature in the park had to be the artfully designed viewing platforms where you can take in the gorgeous views of the bay and imagine its past. The inlet used to be the home port of a whaling fleet that plied the waters of Alaska in the early part of the last century. It was also the terminal of a ferry line connecting Seattle and the Eastside before the floating bridges across Lake Washington were built.

If you had any doubt that Bellevue lives up to the meaning of its French name (“beautiful view”), you may go to Meydenbauer Bay Park and see for yourself.

Getting there: Parking close to the beach is quite limited. Look for signs to additional parking by the north entrance to the park at 98th Place Northeast. Sound Transit Route 550 from Seattle will get you to downtown Bellevue, which is about a half-mile from the park.