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Old 02-11-2015, 02:36 AM
 
17 posts, read 19,309 times
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Hi all,

Would greatly appreciate your help!

We are a family from Australia moving to Seattle (namely Bellevue as the company is based there) with 2 young children. Looking for a family friendly area, with good walkability to cafes/shops/gyms and nice neighbourhood feel. Our boy (7) and girl (4) will also need a great elementary school. Not great in terms of academic scores, more community feeling vibe, nurturing, sports, extra curricular etc.

Can someone please share your experiences as to good area in or near Bellevue? We will only rent and have one car but happy to be a short drive if a great area.

I also love a good boxing/gym/bootcamp, any recommendations would be great!! Also a great way to meet some friends!!

Thanks SO much for your help!!

Last edited by AussieJane; 02-11-2015 at 02:58 AM.. Reason: re-read and needed editting
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Old 02-11-2015, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
7,351 posts, read 5,943,766 times
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Kirkland, Juanita Beach, downtown Bothell, downtown Bellevue, Duvall, Issaquah, Mercer Island, east Renton...

See (enter specific address to get "walkscore"):

https://www.walkscore.com/
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Old 02-11-2015, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Seattle
337 posts, read 415,658 times
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Factoria is another option, which is South Bellevue. It's a short bus ride away from downtown Bvue and has two 24 hour grocery stores and a shopping mall. I was able to do everything on foot when I lived there. Gym isn't walkable but there are some in downtwon Bvue if you take a bus or drive, as well as a newer one in the Lake Hills neighborhood which is not far. I don't have children, but I really liked Factoria.
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Old 02-11-2015, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Snoqualmie Valley, WA
56 posts, read 61,187 times
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OP - Check out my question asked on the forum, I think a lot of the answers may be similar.

We lived in Melbourne for 3 years before moving to San Jose, California, where we've been for the past 3. We lived in Southbank, and loved that we could walk everywhere from our building. The husband walked to work (20 mins), the baby and I went to the South Melbourne market, aquarium, CBD, botanic gardens, etc. Our goal in moving to Seattle is to find a similar area - we've found that in the US, walkability is often linked to 'urban' rather than 'suburban'. That said, we spent our first almost 3 years here living within walking distance of a great little downtown in a neighboring town to SJ - but we really lucked out with that! We did it with one car for a year, but then had to cave and get a second, so don't be surprised if you may need to adapt in that way.
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:27 AM
 
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Bellevue is nice but expensive, Kirkland, Redmond and Issaquah are nice areas to look into.
Snoqualmie Ridge is more rural but we really enjoy living there
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:50 AM
 
17 posts, read 19,309 times
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Default Specific feedback/experience at Elementary Schools

Thanks so much everyone! Does anyone have some specific feedback about Elementary schools in or near Bellevue area??

In terms of being family friendly, nice community feeling, parents chat before/after school, kids play sport together, kids walking around neighbourhood etc? Many thanks again for your help.
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Old 02-25-2015, 02:25 PM
 
62 posts, read 71,283 times
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AussieJane I am also an immigrant who was looking for everything you describe. I would recommend you look for a rental in the Norkirk neighborhood, this is an older neighborhood directly north of the Kirkland downtown district. In the neighborhood you can walk to Peter Kirk elementary and Kirkland Middle School which are both highly rated. High school is such a long way off for you I wouldn't be concerned about that unless you were buying. The schools are part of The Lake Washington School District (LWSD). There also is a very good pre-school called Kirkland Preschool Kirkland Preschool - Home which I would highly recommend. You can also live in an apartment or condo downtown (Kirkland) and I believe you would still be in the catchment areas for these schools. Depending or where you lived in Norkirk (usually called East of Market by locals) you might have more of a walk to the schools but by car it would be 5 minutes or less.

What recommends Norkirk and Downtown Kirkland for your situation (if you are a one car family) is you can actually walk to a ton of useful places and great for kids. There is a large 24 hr grocery store and other stores at Parkplace, there is a lovely library and lots of parks, including lakefront with play areas for children. You will meet people with very young children EVERYWHERE and there are many preschooler groups you can join to meet people. Other parts of the eastside are very spread out (such as Factoria) and not nearly as attractive, Downtown Bellevue is not the greatest place to hang out with smaller kids as it is more spread out.

Norkirk is a very friendly, family orientated place.
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:54 PM
 
942 posts, read 662,844 times
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Aquamarine, what is the neighborhood north of downtown Kirkland and West of Market called? I like that neighborhood a lot.
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Seattle
337 posts, read 415,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquamarineblue View Post
Other parts of the eastside are very spread out (such as Factoria) and not nearly as attractive
Factoria isn't as attractive as downtown Kirkland. One other thing I didn't consider is that Factoria has a lot of condos and I recall a lot of single folks living around there. It may not be the best if you are looking for families with small children and activities. But it is easy to get to downtown Bellevue by bus and it's a short ride. It's also easy to get to downtown Seattle from there due to it's proximity to I-90.
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Old 02-27-2015, 04:54 AM
 
17 posts, read 19,309 times
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Thank you so much aquamarineblue!! I will absolutely look at Norkirk as that is exactly what I am after!
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