In 2012 CNN’s Money Magazine ranked Redmond, Washington, as its 5th best small city in the nation. The publicity only made light of what some of the biggest technology companies in the world and their employees already knew: Redmond is the ideal place to live. With a thriving economy, incredible mix of urban and suburban amenities, and a convenient, central location, Redmond reflects the best that the Northwest has to offer.
Before its auspicious ranking in Money Magazine, Redmond was perhaps best known nationally as being the home of one of the world’s most famous companies, Microsoft. The company moved its headquarters to the 54,000-resident town in 1986, joining Nintendo of America, Concur Technologies, and Solstice. Because of these companies and their financial impact on the region, Redmond has been infused with the funds necessary for growth, an impressively educated resident population, and cultural diversity.
With its incredible growth and capital, Redmond could have become just another affluent Eastside bedroom community of Seattle. But local business and city leaders fostered the growing metropolis into a hub of not only lucrative business, but also great living. They created an ideal city where the best of urban and suburban amenities exist, side-by-side. A drive through Redmond showcases this diversity, from upscale outdoor shopping complexes, to trendy wine bars and gourmet restaurants, to an abundance of playgrounds and parks. Living spaces and amenities are blended seamlessly, with colorful condominiums alongside of premier retail establishments and luxury homes next door to quirky neighborhood favorites. Everything is just a short drive away, connected by commuter-friendly roads and outstanding public transportation.
Everything is also just a bike ride away, for those who choose. Bike lanes and trails connect many parts of the city and weave in and out of neighborhood parks. There’s a reason why bikes are abundant in Redmond. The city is the bicycle capital of the Northwest. Even before the city was home to major corporations, its streets belonged to bicycles. This was true as far back as 1939, when residents created a bike race around Lake Sammamish that was dubbed the Redmond Bicycle Derby. Over time, the event has morphed into Redmond Derby Days and an annual bike race on city streets. Local residents also enjoy access to the state’s only velodrome and in the summer can watch bike racers zoom by during Friday night competitions.
Redmond residents enjoy the best of the Northwest right in their own backyard, but the central location of the city also makes it an idea stepping-off point for adventures all around the Greater Seattle area. A short drive in any direction yields fantastic places to explore, from Seattle to the west, the Cascade Mountains to the east, and over 90 wineries to the north. Even the international airport is less than an hour away.