Just east of Seattle and Lake Washington, Redmond has seen plenty of growth in recent years, thanks to its status as the home of Microsoft. But the tech industry isn’t the city’s only claim to fame: A burgeoning bicycle scene with an extensive network of bike lanes and trails has presented a new way for visitors and residents to get around and enjoy Redmond.
With three bike shops in downtown Redmond providing rentals—Element Cycles, Redmond Cycle and Edge & Spoke—you can conveniently pick up a ride, then set off on the following itinerary for a day of exploration.
Start the Day in Redmond Town Center
Once you’re properly outfitted with your cycle of choice, point your handlebars in the direction of Redmond Town Center, a central hub for retail and dining in the heart of town. Stash your bike at one of the dedicated parking spots, then take your time browsing the wide variety of shops boasting everything from boutique selections to national brands. Weekly from May through October, more than 70 vendors at the open-air Redmond Saturday Market sell goods such as organic produce, specialty sauces, plants and sweet treats.
At the VALA Art Center, local artists come together for exhibits and special events that are free to the public. Catch the latest flicks at iPic Theaters, a premium movie-going experience with servers that bring snacks and drinks to your seat, or opt for a live show from SecondStory Repertory’s schedule of musicals, plays, concerts, improv comedy and more.
Whether you’re craving burgers, pizza, sushi or tacos, break for a meal at one of the numerous restaurants in the complex before moving on to your next stop.
Pushing Pedals on the Northwest Side
Leaving Redmond Town Center, follow the new Redmond Central Connector west just a short distance to Luke McRedmond Landing. This open space features lovely picnic locales, a canoe launch and a unique fishing pier that accommodates the physically challenged, as well as a great opportunity to take in the natural beauty of the area.
From the landing, bike to one—or all!—of Redmond’s breweries for a well-deserved pint. Just north of the Town Center, you’ll uncover an impressive lineup of flagship brews at Bushnell Craft Brewing Company, along with seasonal and occasional picks and a tasty dinner menu. Venture farther northwest along the Sammamish River Trail and cut over to a pair of establishments just a minute apart: Black Raven Brewing Company and Hi-Fi Brewing. The former mixes Old World style with Pacific Northwest flavor, while the latter promises authentic renditions with top-quality ingredients and hosts a monthly comedy show.
Sightseeing South of Town
Switch gears—pun intended—and head back southeast of downtown for two more craft beer venues, also in close proximity to one another. Mac & Jack’s Brewing Company, which offers free tours and tastings on Saturdays and Sundays, got its start in 1993 and has been a staple ever since. With a laidback taproom, Postdoc Brewing is known to throw sour and barrel-aged beers into its mix of offerings.
From here, you’ll be in a prime position to check out Marymoor Park and all its wonders spread across 640 acres. The most popular park in the county, Marymoor is a recreational haven complete with a rock wall, tennis courts, baseball field, playgrounds and even a 400-meter velodrome track dedicated to bicycle racing. Throughout the summer, the park also plays host to a concert series and outdoor movies.
Using the Marymoor Trail, cut west across the park to pick up the West Lake Sammamish Parkway and veer south for Idylwood Beach Park on the shores of picturesque Lake Sammamish. Cool off at the swimming beach, take a rented canoe out for a paddle or find a moment of relaxation before your final leg.
Just a couple of miles west of Idylwood, the Microsoft Visitors Center provides an inside look into the tech giant. Take the self-guided tour and channel founder Bill Gates while you explore hands-on exhibits showcasing some of the company’s most exciting technologies and products, ranging from the very first personal computer to the latest artificial intelligence.
Make a Night of It
At the conclusion of your fun-filled day, return to downtown Redmond to drop off your wheels. Of course, there’s always the option to extend your tour into a two-day excursion. Consider staying at one of the excellent hotels in Redmond so you can experience even more of the city. Downtown Redmond is also an ideal place to enjoy drinks and dinner, with plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from.
Photos courtesy of Experience Redmond