The communities on the eastern shore of Lake Washington—known to locals as the Eastside—are where you’ll find some of Metro Puget Sound’s most buzzed-about destinations.

In Kirkland, start the day around Lake Washington. Wildlife watchers can see blue herons and eagles at 110-acre Juanita Bay Park and Urban Wildlife Habitat. And in Bellevue, the 53-acre Bellevue Botanical Garden is a blooming wonderland. To the east, Redmond’s Marymoor Park hosts the state’s only velodrome.

Plenty of refinements await indoors, too. For a date with the Seattle Opera, head to the 402-seat Kirkland Performance Center. And for some well-earned retail therapy, Kirkland’s Park Lane offers contemporary fashion and consignment boutiques.

Similarly, Bellevue is its own one-stop urban vacation. The Bellevue Collection and the Shops at the Bravern are anchored by national retail chains like Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.

For dinner, snag a coveted reservation at Kirkland’s Café Juanita for decadent Northern Italian fare. Fresh-shucked oysters are the calling card of Redmond’s Matts’ Rotisserie and Oyster Lounge. And in Bellevue, Monsoon East dazzles diners with a modern fusion of European and Vietnamese cuisine.