Now that June’s heatwave is behind us, it’s time to get outside again and enjoy the near-perfect summer weather we’re known for in the Pacific Northwest. The Greater Seattle area is a popular summer vacation destination because of its scenic beauty. Here in Redmond, we certainly have our fair share of lush parks and gorgeous hiking/biking trail—lending itself to endless outdoor recreation activities.
Emerald Heights is less than a half-hour drive from Seattle, which puts us close enough to easily take advantage of all there is to see and do there. However, Redmond is also just far enough away from Seattle that we don’t have an influx of tourists all summer long. That means our trails and local events don’t get too crowded to enjoy.
Downtown Redmond is about a 5-minute drive from Emerald Heights. Now that we’ve been able to lift many of the COVID restrictions in place, our busses are back in operation, making it a cinch to travel into town for shopping, dining, appointments, and local events place throughout the year.
Our community is a natural choice for active people who appreciate the stunning beauty that surrounds us. There are so many ways to engage with the great outdoors, whether it’s from the cockpit of a kayak or a lawn chair at a leisurely evening concert.
With dozens of easy to moderate walking trails in Redmond, you can choose whatever kind of trek suits your time and energy on any given day. Your choices include both paved and unpaved trails from half a mile to more than six miles long.
For example, if you’re looking for a flat, paved walk along a river where you can watch for wildlife, the Marymoor Connector Trail is a little over three miles. In the mood for a walk through the woods? Check out the Trillium Trail Loop (part of the Redmond Watershed Preserve) or the Trout Loop Trail.
Want to stay closer to home? Emerald Heights boasts a beautiful wooded nature trail throughout our 38-acre campus.
If you have binoculars, be sure to bring them with you! Many of these trails are excellent for birdwatching—just ask the avid resident birdwatchers at Emerald Heights. They’ll tell you which bird species you’re most likely to see around here throughout the year.
If you like to bike, many of the trails in and around Redmond are great for cycling, too, such as the Sammamish River Trail. In fact, if you didn’t already know it, here’s a bit of trivia for you: Redmond is known as the Bicycle Capital of the Northwest. Don’t have a bike of your own? You can rent an electric bike in town and cruise your chosen path with ease!
No blog post about outdoor recreation in Redmond, Washington, would be complete without mentioning all there is to do on the water. After all, Puget Sound, the country’s second-largest estuary (after the Chesapeake Bay) is virtually a stone’s throw away, and five rivers flow through King County.
If you’re an angler, you’ll find plenty of spots in or near Redmond to go fishing. Maybe you’d rather just observe the area’s marine life. In that case, you can take a ferry from Seattle and go whale watching along The Whale Trail in Puget Sound. You might also see porpoises, otters, seals and sea lions, and perhaps even a pod of the endangered southern resident orcas.
There are many other activities you can enjoy on the rivers and in the sound, from kayaking and canoeing to paddle boarding and pedal boating. Just like on the trails, you’ll see a variety of wildlife while you’re out on the water.
Birdsong isn’t the only lyrical sound you’ll hear in Redmond during the summer. Marymoor Park hosts a summer concert series featuring a diverse range of artists. This year’s series has already begun and will continue through late September.
The city of Redmond sponsors a separate series of free concerts called Rockin’ on the River. The shows are held on Thursday evenings and, although the concerts were canceled last year because of the pandemic, we’ve heard that they’re back on this year. That was happy news, as the concerts are very popular with residents at Emerald Heights.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we love a good baseball game as much as the rest of the country does. One advantage to living so close to Seattle is the easy access to T-Mobile Park, home to the Mariners. In Tacoma, which is about an hour southwest of Redmond, the Rainiers, a Pacific Coast League baseball team, play at Cheney Stadium.
Soccer is another summer major league sport in our area, and fans can catch a match when the Sounders play at Lumen Field in Seattle—which is also where the Seahawks play during football season. Women’s soccer is popular here, too, with Olympic gold medalist Megan Rapinoe bringing new fans to OL Reign. The team is based in Tacoma and typically plays its home games at Cheney Stadium.
And just in case you still want more, from March through early July, you can take in a rugby match between the Seattle Seawolves and their opponents at the Starfire Sports stadium in Tukwila, which is about a half-hour drive south of our community. The Seattle Sounders Women’s soccer team also plays at the Starfire Sports stadium.
As you can see, you don’t have to go far to find plenty of possibilities for enjoying the outdoors—and we’ve only covered some of the highlights.
If you want to hit the links, there are five golf courses right here in Redmond (four public and one private), and another 45 golf courses within a 20-mile radius (13 public, 13 municipal and 19 private).
If a leisurely stroll through the farmer’s market sounds appealing, you’re in luck. The highly-rated Redmond Saturday Market is held weekly from May through October on Willows Road, and this year there’s a new food court area.
There’s also Redmond Town Center, an outdoor retail venue with events like Arts Without Barriers, featuring live musical performances by local artists on Thursday evenings during July and early August, and Exotics Car Show, billed as the largest weekly car gathering in the U.S. and held every Saturday morning from May through October, weather permitting.
Coming up on July 24, downtown Redmond will host the 3rd Annual Seattle World Whiskey Day event, where dozens of distillers will be pouring samples of their craft whiskeys. Other types of distilled spirits will be available, as well as beer on tap. The event will also feature food vendors and fun activities.
On those days when you just don’t feel like leaving home (and we all have them), you can still be as active as you want right here in our community. As we mentioned earlier, there are stunning nature trails on the property just waiting to be walked. Or, you could practice your swing on our putting green, invite a neighbor to join you in a friendly lawn bowling match, or simply enjoy the beauty of our meticulously landscaped gardens and courtyard.
We hope that we have piqued your interest by sharing with you some examples of the many ways you can enjoy an active, independent lifestyle as a resident of Emerald Heights. We’d love the chance to talk with you and answer any questions you might have about our community.
We would love to hear from you, it’s easy to get in touch with us through our form down below.