There's a reason why its name means "beautiful view" in French. The charming borough of Bellevue might have escaped your notice before, but we're giving you a glimpse of a place with a rich history and scenery fitting of its name.
With its small population, Bellevue is a relatively intimate community, but not so small that people can spit across it. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in the peaceful surroundings that you'd be hard pressed to find in large cities like New York. It's even better if you're not into alcohol, since the borough has gained an odd reputation for being a "dry town," which basically means it legally prohibits alcohol. If you are sick of busy streets, drunken shouting crowds and never-ending work, then Bellevue is just the right place for you to relax and enjoy life.
What to Keep in Mind
Knowing How to Get There
It's not impossible that most people have never even heard of this place so it's probably best that you buy your own map, lest you get lost in the middle of wilderness. Bellevue is located along the Ohio River, adjoining Pittsburgh, which should make it easier for you to find it. You can take the bus or rent your own vehicle so you can get there at your own time. It always pay well to know how to navigate to it.
It's no jungle city like New York, and even most US towns are bigger than this borough. It's important to understand that you won't find any sprawling malls or twenty-story high buildings. The small size is part of its charm and a reason why it can attract people who are tired of the city life. If you like, you can drive around the borough to know the different amenities it can offer and which would be helpful when you find an apartment in Bellevue. It also pays to know how far it is to its nearest neighbor in case you want to travel around.
Amenities for All
You won't find plenty of night clubs or bars in this so-called "dry town" because alcohol is pretty much legally restricted by the Pennsylvanian Liquor Control Board (PLCB). While you can't drown your problems in liquor, you can feast your eyes upon the picturesque Bellevue Memorial Park, which boasts of a baseball field, tennis courts, three picnic groves (which are available for rent), a play area, hiking and fitness trails, horseshoe pits, and a swimming pool with kids' pool and diving boards. There is also a local library where you can relax and enjoy a good book. Research well before you head there and you would be rewarded for your efforts.
Get Your Finances Straight
It's no Manhattan where pockets seem to drain quite swiftly, but Bellevue is a commercial hub as well, and money is a driving force behind it. It's imperative that you make sure that you have enough finances to cover your travel or permanent living expenses in the neighborhoods. Foods, transportation and everyday expenses all affect your cash flow significantly. Don't be fooled by the size of Bellevue. Ask around and figure how money works in the area. By doing this, you can cut back some expenses and spend them more wisely on other necessary things. If you're not careful, you could find yourself in a dire financial situation.
The Perfect Apartment
The most common notion is that when one is trying to find the right apartment, one must generally be prepared to shell out plenty of cash because only expensive apartments can be trusted. Not true. Believe it or not, there are plenty of premier apartments that are affordable as well. Also, you don't need a monster house to feel comfortable. A simple one bedroom apartment would probably be sufficient enough if you're living alone. It's only a matter of finding the right apartment for you.
What to Expect
It's a small place to live in so you won't have to worry about having too many apartments to choose from. You can visit each one of them in a day, which would be near impossible if you're in a large city. Bellevue isn't exactly one of the most popular tourists spots, so apartments would be less difficult to procure. The cost wouldn't also be quite as astronomical as in other places, which is a bonus if you're on a tight budget.
Attractions to look forward to
It has no Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty, no grand museum or UNESCO heritage site, but this appealing region can offer sufficient entertainment if you're not too picky. It has a fairly large park called the Bellevue Memorial Park. There are various amenities such as a baseball field, a swimming pool, hiking and fitness trails, three picnic groves and even a few tennis courts. In the heart of Bellevue is the Andrew Bayne Park & Library, which boasts of a community library which you can access easily and a gazebo available for picnic rentals.
Living in the 'Hood
Bellevue is a small place, thus the name "borough," which is basically a really small municipality. There aren't really any neighborhoods that have distinguishing features. Instead, the houses surround the main square where you can find the library and other town amenities. Although, if you're looking for a place along or near the river, it's best to look for an apartment in the city's southeast region. Bellevue covers a part of the river area, and some property rentals are definitely present near there.
There is also a relatively low crime rate in the borough, which is perfect if you're looking for peace and security. Who isn't? There are no specific areas where the most crimes occur, and because Bellevue is such a small place, this can actually be believable. Natural disasters are also infrequent, and thus people feel more secure here than they might otherwise in different parts of the country.
It's not as if the place is isolated. It's part of Pittsburgh and an active economical hub. Aside from the river, it's also bordered by other municipalities in the Allegheny County. Transportation is relatively easy because of its location, and while it can't be a center of activity, its community members still have an active participation in the city. Being a "dry town," there have been protests of its legal prohibition of alcohol. While many feel restrained, plenty are in favor of this since it has greatly lessened alcohol-related crimes in the city. It has also helped parents shield their kids away from the negative effects of alcohol.
Bellevue, for all its small-town charms, can compete with the perks of having a city life. It really is up to you whether you would let yourself love its simplicity and serenity or not.