Situated 15 miles Northeast of Seattle, picturesque Redmond, Washington is a city with an interesting past and an exciting future. Native Americans have lived here as long as 10,000 years. Luke McRedmond made the first Homestead Act claim in 1870 with more settlers following, drawn by the abundant logging and fishing opportunities. As the lumber waned in the 1920’s, agriculture became the largest business type in the area. With the Evergreen Point floating bridge completed in 1963, large amounts of people came to the area from Seattle and elsewhere.
Today, Redmond has completely transformed itself into a technology hub with large tech giants such as Microsoft and Nintendo Software Technology calling Redmond home. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 68,000 people now reside in the city. Below is a breakdown of the neighborhoods that make up Redmond, a list of some things to do in Redmond, and some basic facts about the city.
Redmond, WA Neighborhoods
Sitting a mile and a half north of Redmond’s downtown is Education Hill, one of Redmond’s oldest neighborhoods. Formerly known as Poverty Hill because of the city’s lack of a water supply, it was eventually annexed by Redmond in the 1950s and had its name changed to Education Hill because of the plethora of schools in the area. Today, Education Hill is one of the more desirable neighborhoods in the area with beautiful, tree-lined streets. In addition, the Powerline Trail borders the neighborhood on the north, allowing walkers, bicyclists and runners to connect to the Sammamish River and Bear Creek Trails.
Located just east of downtown Redmond, Bear Creek is a neighborhood with a diverse land use makeup. To the north and west are residential homes. The center is made up of resource lands and the west is comprised of Bear Creek Park. Bear Creek gets its name from the salmon stream that runs through the neighborhood, and its residents are blessed with access to a number of outdoor activities including proximity to Bear Creek Country Club, one of the nicest courses in Washington.
The Sammamish Valley is located northwest of Redmond, and is almost entirely farmland and parkland to the north, and borders Redmond-proper in the south. Bordered by the neighborhoods of Willows and Earlmont, Sammamish Valley is a productive agricultural area as well as a recreational destination with the Willows Run Golf Complex, Sammamish River Regional Park, Sixty Acres park and others. There are also a number of annual events in the area such as the Sammamish Valley Celebration of Lavender and the Arts, and the Sammamish Valley Fall Harvest Celebration.
The Overlake neighborhood is situated west of Redmond and has the distinction of being one of the largest employment centers in the state. With names like Microsoft and Nintendo making their corporate homes in Overlake, the neighborhood attracts thousands of highly educated people with diverse backgrounds. The area has one major shopping area, Overlake East, boasting numerous shops and restaurants. More shopping and entertainment destinations are just a beat away in neighboring Bellevue. A good deal of Overlake’s east border is shared with Marymoor Park, King County’s largest park at 640 acres. The park features many great recreational opportunities including rock climbing, velodrome, dog park, and numerous walking and biking trails, as well as Lake Sammamish just east. Homes here are more expensive than other neighborhoods near Redmond. Recently, Niche.com voted Overlake as the 3rd Best Place to Live in America
Willow-Rose Hill is one Redmond’s largest neighborhoods, extending all the way from Redmond way just east of downtown Redmond, north to NE 124th St. It’s flanked on the west by Kirkland on by Sammamish Valley on the east. With Redmond becoming a high-tech mecca, Willow-Rose Hill followed suit and has added numerous businesses in recent years, aided by 2010’s annexation of Northeastern Rose Hill. Even so, it still retains a large amount of undeveloped forest and parkland areas. For shopping, restaurants, and nightlife, one will need to travel into either Redmond, Kirkland or the big city of Seattle. But that’s part of the charm of this neighborhood—the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle and relax at home on a quiet cul-de-sac or street. Willow-Rose Hill has bike lanes and bus routes on its major thoroughfares as well.
Downtown Redmond is the vibrant, bustling heart of the area. The district offers a wide variety of activities including shopping, fine dining, and seasonal events. Plus, the city is investing in new downtown residential and commercial building projects that will fit in seamlessly with the more historic buildings to create a vibrant urban center.
Things to Do in Redmond
Shop at Redmond Town Center
The center of shopping is the Redmond Town Center, the major shopping center in the city that opened in 1997 on the site of an old golf course. With 110 retail stores including anchors like Macys and Bed, Bath & Beyond, as well as restaurants and entertainment venues all situated in an outdoor environment, it’s the place to go.
Redmond Saturday Market
The Redmond Saturday Market holds the title of the oldest Eastside market. It takes place from May through October and features over 70 vendors. Offerings include organic produce such as fruits, cheese, and meats, other vendors selling flowers, breads, jams, and eggs, and lunch vendors selling a wide variety of food such as pizza, crepes, pulled pork sandwiches and more. Plus the market features a live band every Saturday along with other entertainment to keep the mood festive.
There are several fantastic art galleries in Redmond to enjoy. The Vala Eastside is a flourishing art venue that showcases local Eastside artists with the goal of connecting the community to art. They have rotating exhibits and events year-round. Ming’s Asian Gallery features exhibits representing the Imperial Dynasties of China, Japan, Tibet, Thailand, and others. Ming’s also offers an assortment of Asian antiques, furniture, and accessories. The Igimo Art Station is a place for students of every age to learn and be immersed in the study of art, whether it be drawing, painting, or mixed media. Classes run year-round and are open to people of all ages.
Redmond Derby Days
Redmond also is host to a number of exciting annual events such as Derby Days, which is the town’s signature summer festival centered around the spirit of competition with races, contests, parades, food, arts, and more. The event, held July 7th & 8th, is an annual tradition for Redmond, dating back to 1940.
If you’re looking to do some walking, hiking, or biking, Redmond has you covered. With 59 miles of trails and 47 parks, the largest being Marymoor Park, you should be able to find something that fits your needs. For more trail info, check out the new book, Urban Trails: Eastside: Bellevue, Issaquah Alps, Redmond, Snoqualmie Valley. The guidebook includes trailhead directions, trail distances and high points, color photos and maps, and more.
Similar to most of the Pacific Northwest, Redmond enjoys mild weather most of the year but does experience all four seasons, where winters are wet and cool and summers stay dry and warm. Luckily snowfall is rare but does happen.
Other Facts About Redmond, WA
Median Household Income: $99,586
Growth Rate: -1.80% (1-year projection to April 2020)
Crime: Violent Crime 1.49 per 1000 people (vs. national avg. of 2.49); Property Crime 32.31 per 1000 people (vs. national avg. of 23.61.)
Education: $15,473 per student (vs. national avg. of $12,383); 96.4% High School Graduation Rate; 68.6% of population holds a bachelor degree (national avg. is 30.9%)
Bike Friendly: Redmond has an extensive network of on-street bike lanes and off-street trails for easy access to neighborhoods, the downtown area, parks, and other cities. It’s been designated as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.
Come for a Visit
With all the great things Redmond has to offer, it’s no wonder that Livability.com voted Redmond one of the Top 100 Places To Live in 2018. For more information on the city, visit experience Redmond, the city of Redmond’s website, or Redmond.gov.