Redmond Washington is a suburban city located sixteen miles to the west of Seattle. It's about a mile west of Kirkland, and about ten miles northwest of Bellevue. Although Redmond is perhaps best known as the headquarters for the global companies of Microsoft and Nintendo, the city has a number of attractions to offer on its own.
The Redmond Town Center is the center of retail shopping in the city, and it's located in the heart of the downtown area. There are more than 100 stores and retail outlets anchored by major department and specialty stores, cinemas, and dozens of dining venues. In addition to shopping for about any product you can think of, you can have your hair and nails done, get a mortgage for your house, visit your chiropractor, see a movie, and rent a car. At least two major Redmond Washington hotels are located right in the complex.
Exotics at Redmond Town Center is the largest car gathering north of California, and you can attend (with or without an exotic car) on most good weather Saturday mornings from February through October.
Just south of this mega shopping complex is Marymoor Park, which is located on the northern end of freshwater Lake Sammamish. Every year, more than 3 million visitors come to enjoy the 640 acres of this park, taking advantage of the boating, rowing, and water skiing available on the lake and the park's velodrome, off leash dog park, rock climbing area, and hiking trails. Dasani Bikes has donated a fleet of bicycles available rent free with registration; there is a community vegetable garden and a pet memorial garden.
There is a summer concert series with a 5,000 person capacity held in the Willowmoor Farm historical district near Clise Mansion. The mansion is a fabulous house built as a farm manor in 1904 and used today as a museum and venue for weddings. The historic farm windmill dates to the same period and is a city landmark. Also from May to October is an excellent farmers market offering fresh produce from Washington State and handcrafts by local artisans.
Tours of the Redmond WA Microsoft campus provide a fascinating thing do while in the area as well. The visitor center (basically the only part of the campus truly open to the public) is quite interesting and is free of charge. It highlights the history of Microsoft products over the years and has a high-tech gift shop where you can buy branded souvenirs and the latest software. If you want another taste of what life is like for the computer and Internet billionaires like Bill Gates of Microsoft and Jeff Bezos of Amazon, you can book boat tours on Lake Washington, another freshwater lake to the east of town. Cruises on this lake feature views of the luxurious waterfront homes of these men and other of the region's wealthiest.
Those visiting Redmond Washington can drive (usually up the coastal route from California and through Oregon) or fly into Sea-Tac International Airport where most flights to Washington arrive. This area is rich in bed and breakfast inns, and you will find delightful ones in this suburban city. Redmond has an array of hotels and motels, as do surrounding cities.
Image: Albert Ma (flickr)