Redmond, Washington, sits in the center of what's become known as Seattle's Eastside. More than just a suburb, this technological city is the home of Microsoft and Nintendo. Guests can tour the Microsoft visitors’ center to see corporate art collections, the first personal computer on display, and the newest gadgets and gizmos about to be released. At Nintendo America headquarters, the public can tour the facilities, enjoy the video game–themed Café Mario and browse at a small gift shop.
Despite its virtual roots, Redmond is home to 1,000 acres of natural areas that contain more than 20 parks and 17 miles of walking, biking and horseback riding trails. The largest and most popular recreation spot is 640-acre Marymoor Park, which inhabits the north shoreline of Lake Sammamish. This Redmond attraction boasts a 45-foot-high climbing wall, radio-controlled airplane field, dog park and the Velodrome, a bicycle track where Redmond visitors can watch bike races. The park is connected to Seattle's Gas Works Park by the Sammamish River Trail and the Burke-Gilman Trail.
Downtown Redmond’s Saturday Market is a favorite local hangout. The outdoor market features more than 80 vendors, cooking demonstrations and live band concerts. Shoppers can find organic vegetables, fruits, meats and dairy products as well as handmade gifts. For indoor shopping, head to Redmond Town Center, situated a block from Marymoor Park. Stores include Macy's, Seattle Olive Oil Company and White House Black Market.
Another popular Redmond attraction in the town center complex is iPic Theater. This value-added movie theater has reclining seats, a cocktail lounge with an impressive wine list and an in-house fine-dining restaurant. Movie goers can have wine and dinner entrees delivered to their seats while the film is playing. This 21-and-over venue is located near Secondstory Repertory, a theater founded in October 1999. Also located in Redmond Town Center, the theater presents live performances such as Once Upon a Mattress, Little Red Riding Hood and Fiddler on the Roof.
Adventurous Redmond visitors head to K1 Speed, just south of Microsoft’s campus, where they can race indoor go karts against friends. The karts here are eco-friendly and circle around a 1/5-mile indoor concrete track. More exacting sports fans head to Willows Run, at the city’s north end. This golfing complex has a driving range and restaurant in addition to two 18-hole links-style courses, plus 18 holes of miniature golf and a par-three family nine-hole course.
There is nothing virtual about The Stone House, in Redmond’s historic district. This restaurant with its 1914 facade of river rocks is a local favorite for the pub atmosphere and great comfort food. Haiku Sushi and Seafood Buffet is a trendy, banquet-style restaurant at the town center that allows patrons to create their own sushi platters. Beer lovers visit Black Raven Brewing Company, a local suds producer near the golf course that offers tastings at its taproom. Those planning a special event seek out Northwest Totem Cellars, a small, family-owned winery on the north end of town.