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Bellevue is a city in Washington state, across Lake Washington from Seattle. Downtown Park has a large lawn, gardens and a waterfall. Nearby, the Bellevue Arts Museum features craft and design exhibitions, plus a sculpture garden. The Bellevue Botanical Garden highlights Pacific Northwest plants, and includes woodlands and wetlands. KidsQuest Children’s Museum has interactive science, tech and art exhibitions.
Bellevue lies between Lake Washington to the west and the smaller Lake Sammamish to the east. Much of Bellevue is drained by the Kelsey Creek watershed, whose source is located in the Larsen Lake and Phantom Lake green belt and whose outlet is near where Interstate 90 meets Lake Washington's eastern shore. The city is bisected by Interstate 405 running north–south, and the southern portion is crossed from west to east by Interstate 90. The State Route 520 freeway roughly delineates the upper reaches of Bellevue.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 36.47 square miles (94.46 km2), of which 31.97 square miles (82.80 km2) is land and 4.50 square miles (11.65 km2) is water. The city's name is derived from a French term for "beautiful view". Under favorable weather conditions, scenic vistas of the Olympic Mountains and Cascade Mountains can be viewed from hilltops (and strategically positioned high-rise buildings) within the incorporated city. South of I-90, the city continues up Cougar Mountain, at the top of which is an unincorporated King County location called Hilltop. To the west of Cougar Mountain, Bellevue includes the Coal Creek, Somerset, and Factoria neighborhoods.
Bellevue is bordered by the cities of Kirkland to the north and Redmond to the northeast along the Overlake and Crossroads neighborhoods. Across the short East Channel Bridge, I-90 connects Bellevue to Mercer Island to the southwest. Issaquah is to the east, down I-90 at the south end of Lake Sammamish. The city is bordered to the west by many affluent suburbs such as Medina, Clyde Hill, Hunts Point and Yarrow Point. The south end of Bellevue is bordered by the city of Renton, and to the southeast, the relatively recently incorporated city of Newcastle.
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