Separated from mainland Seattle by the glistening waters of Lake Washington, Bellevue and Mercer Island are two of the Eastside's more select addresses. Although close enough to the city for a reasonable commute, both towns have developed unique identities that make them havens for families, and are where many of Seattle's movers and shakers choose to reside.

The largest city in the Eastside, Bellevue boasts scenic charm, exquisite shopping, and first-rate cultural attractions. Bellevue Square and the Crossroads Shopping Center make Bellevue a shopper's dream; yet, the 36-acre Bellevue Botanical Garden, the stunning Bellevue Art Museum designed by Northwest architect Stephen Holl, and Philharmonic Orchestra, provide a myriad of options for those in search of a culture fix.

Although geographically closer to Seattle than Bellevue, the serene ambience of Mercer Island makes Puget Sound's urban core seem like another universe. Only five miles long, Mercer Island is a well-to-do residential oasis that lays claim to the best school district in Washington State, quiet beaches, and an extraordinarily high number of professionals, CEOs, and executives.

Fran's Chocolates
10305 NE 10th St. [ Bellevue ] | ph: (425) 453.1698
What began as one woman's quest for perfect chocolate has evolved into one of the nation's most formidable chocolatiers. Hailed by The Book of Chocolate, The Chocolate Companion, and numerous food columnists, Fran's handmade and hand-wrapped chocolate is custom-blended and contains no preservatives or artificial additives. Among Fran's confectionary delights are truffles, sauces, torts, and chocolate dipped fruits.
Maison de France
10223 NE 10th St. [ Bellevue ] | ph: (425) 688.1078
A home décor shop for the devoted Francophile, the French-owned Maison de France carries imported pottery, furnishings, tableware, linens, and food items. The boutique also offers a decorating consulting service for those who need assistance in selecting among Maison de France's impeccable wares.
Lamb's Ears Chidren's Boutique
820 102nd Ave. NE [ Bellevue ] | ph: (425) 688.1080
Lamb's Ears Children's Boutique sells dresses, suits, shoes, casual wear, and accessories for the well-groomed child. Parents with discriminating taste will be pleased to find everything from Baby Dior to fancy child-sized formal wear, and wedding attire.
The Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art
1116 108th Ave. N.E. | ph: (425) 455.1116
Surely one of the very few doll museums in the Northwest, this collection of over 3,000 dolls includes Santas, teddy bears, dollhouses and antique dolls. In addition to the collection patrons may also purchase dolls for sale, making this a great outing to visit with kids.
Alpenland Delicatessen
2707 78th Ave SE | ph: (206) 232.4780
A German outpost in the midst of Mercer Island, the Alpenland has German music, wines and beers, sausages and coldcuts, sweets, and cheeses. The deli also makes sandwiches, soups, and more traditional German lunch items.
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