Top 20 Seattle attractions

Meydenbauer Bay Park

Meydenbauer Bay Park is on Lake Washington in Bellevue, on Seattle’s Eastside.

Bellevue's first land claim was staked here in 1869. It later became a moorage area for a whaling fleet, and an entertainment destination with a dance hall, for visitors who arrived on steamships from Seattle. 

Meydenbauer Bay Park has undergone a rapid transformation after a $17.5 million renovation in 2019.

This beautiful, waterfront park is set on a calm bay with a hillside setting, and has a playground, boat rentals, a beach with seasonal lifeguards, and plenty of picnic areas.  

Parking Lot: The largest parking lot is at the end of 98th Avenue NE. There’s also a smaller parking lot off Lake Washington Boulevard NE, overlooking the park.

10 best things to do at Meydenbauer Bay Park

1. Viewing terrace

Gaze out over Meydenbauer Bay from the viewing terrace, located just off Lake Washington Boulevard NE.  This breathtaking overlook provides a bird’s eye view of the park, with paths leading down to the beach, and connecting to the 420-foot long pier.

In 1869, William Meydenbauer, a German baker, was the first to stake a land claim at this bay.  It soon became a popular daytrip destination, with visitors arriving by steamboat from Seattle, on a ferry that ran from 1892 to 1921.  

In 1906, Wildwood Park was established at Meydenbauer Bay to entertain visitors, and included a dance hall, boxing matches and roller-skating. A few years later in 1919, a whaling fleet used the south end of the park as winter moorage. 

By the early 1930s Wildwood Park had closed. In 1935, Meydenbauer Beach Park was opened, but soon fell into decline.  In 1946, the old dance hall was subsequently purchased by the Meydenbauer Bay Yacht Club, and in the 1950s the historic whaling area was converted to the Bellevue Marina. The historic whaling building is still there today.

The City of Bellevue re-opened the Meydenbauer Beach Park in 1979.  

However, the biggest changes occurred in March 2019, when the park was re-launched as Meydenbauer Bay Park after a $17.5 million renovation. This included a significantly larger beach and footprint, with a new playground, a 420 foot pier, viewing terraces, and beach house with showers and restrooms.

2. Beach with seasonal lifeguards

The size of the beach was greatly expanded with the 2019 opening. It has seasonal lifeguards (check lifeguard schedule), and there's also a new beach house with showers and restrooms.

3. 420-foot pier

Walk out along the 420-foot long pedestrian pier, that gracefully arches into Meydenbauer Bay.  

4.  Picnic areas

Picnic areas are scattered around Meydenbauer Bay Park, with plenty of tables to choose from.

5.  Hillside wooded area

The hillside wooded area flanks a ravine, and is a welcome respite on a hot day.  Follow the path beneath the bridge, up to the 98th Avenue NE parking lot.

6.  Walking paths

Walking paths zig-zag down the hillside of Meydenbauer Bay Park, through three levels of terraced gardens.  The paths continue along the waterfront, and up through the ravine.  

This is another overlook, just before the ravine.

7. Kayak and paddleboard rentals by REI

Rent a kayak, canoe or paddleboard from the historic Meydenbauer Bay Park Boathouse (check rates).

The boathouse was originally the machine workshop for the whaling company.

8. Non motorized launch site

Launch your non motorized boats like kayaks and canoes from Meydenbauer Bay Park.

9. Playground

Check out the modern, waterfront playground at Meydenbauer Bay Park, part of the massive, 2019 renovation.

10. Visitor moorage at Bellevue Marina

Visitors are permitted some limited moorage spots at the Bellevue Marina.

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