There are two major things that the city of Redmond, Washington is generally known for – geekery and bicycles. Because it is the home of Microsoft and Nintendo of America, it has earned itself the title of the region’s hub for technological innovations. However, it is also a big bicycle-centric city, hosting a hugely popular annual bike race that takes place in the streets and attracts the admiring gaze of visitors near and far. It also boasts the state’s only velodrome, an arena made exclusively for track cycling. Between the yearly bike race and the cycling arena, Redmond has made another name for itself as the bicycle capital of the Northwest.
Redmond is a relatively small city, with a population of around 70,000, which is a nice comfortable size for visitors and locals alike. Similar to the rest of the Pacific Northwest, Redmond’s climate is pretty mild year-round while still experiencing all of the four seasons. Whenever possible, tourists and locals alike take advantage of the outside natural beauty of their surroundings.
Festivals are a big part of the recreational activities in Redmond. Each summer they have Derby Days, which combines paying homage to the city’s history as well as coming together to celebrate present-day communal enjoyment. It features the world’s longest-running criterium bike race, which involves several laps around a closed circuit. There is also a carnival, plenty of food vendors, a beer garden, arts and music, fireworks displays, and parades.
Another festival is held in the winter and it’s called Redmond Lights. It is a luminary delight that is perfect for the holiday season, complete with an ice skating rink, carousel and multitudes of foods to sample and enjoy.
The cultural scene is spot-on as well. There is a large performing arts community, as well as a theater company and symphony group. For those who enjoy public art, Redmond boasts an impressive collection of rotating bronze sculpture exhibits, as well as many that are permanently on display. Local bands perform at the fire hall, and there are large concerts held at the amphitheater in Marymoor Park. Many famous singers have graced the stage over the years.
For those who enjoy farmer’s markets, Redmond’s town center has the oldest one on Seattle’s east side. Every Saturday between May and October, They have everything you can imagine, from poultry and beef to plants and nonperishable items. There are lunch options available as well, in addition to plenty of entertainment.