Archer's Favorite Things to Do In Redmond + Seattle
. Fremont Troll
Dreamt up by local artists Steve Badanes, Will Martin, Donna Walter and Ross Whitehead, this colossal troll lives under the north end of the George Washington Memorial Bridge in Fremont, a left-of-center neighborhood of Seattle. Unlike typical works of art, this bad boy welcomes folks to climb up, down and all around him. Even if he doesn’t smile, word on the street is that he’s fond of selfies, so snap away.
Photo courtesy of Sue via Flickr, used unmodified under CC BY 2.0 license.
. Seattle Art Museum
The trifecta of Washington museums, the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) is comprised of the primary museum in downtown Seattle, the Seattle Asian Art Museum on Capitol Hill and the Olympic Sculpture Park on the waterfront. Open Wednesdays through Sundays, the main museum contains nearly 25,000 works of art from around the world. Tours are free with museum admission.
. Chihuly Garden and Glass
Artist Dale Chihuly’s gorgeous, flowing glass art has a home at Seattle Center. The Exhibition Hall includes eight galleries, two drawing walls, a café, a theater, a bookstore and Chandelier Walkway. The Garden has paths lined by trees, plants and flowers. And the statement Glasshouse — with its 100-foot-long suspended sculpture — has been called the highlight of any visit to Seattle.
. The Painted Palace
Find your artistic side, along with a glass of vino (or NA beverage), at The Painted Palace — a paint-and-sip studio in Redmond Town Center. Public events are on the calendar, and private events with 10+ guests are available. A wider offering includes 90-minute Family Paint Classes and Seattle Princess and Hero parties (with your choice of “real” princess or hero).
. Olympic Sculpture Park
Part of the Seattle Art Museum, the Olympic Sculpture Park is on the waterfront. Open 365 days a year, the park has both permanent and visiting installations. While visiting and touring is free to the public and the topics change throughout the year, reservations for tours are requested.
. Historical Walking Tour
With a spring in your step and the Redmond Walking Tour: Steps in Time app on your phone, you’ll be ready to set out on a short tour that highlights the City Landmarks of Redmond. Beginning in the historic downtown, the tour visits 38 sites or buildings within just a few blocks. The a slightly longer tour explores just beyond downtown Redmond’s core.
Photo courtesy of the Redmond Historical Society.
. Old Red Brick Road
Stretching between Union Hill Road and Redmond Fall City Road is the Old Red Brick Road — once part of the Snoqualmie Pass wagon road that in the 1920s became part of the 3,300-mile transcontinental Yellowstone Trail. The once-gravel trail was paved with red bricks in 1913 due to heavy traffic. While most of the road is straight, it has a 90-degree bend called Dead Man’s Curve where it meets Union Hill Road. Today, the mostly restored route is only 1.1 miles long but retains its historic character and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
. Amazon HQ and The Spheres
Tour the headquarters of the largest private employer in Seattle. In “Amazonia” (aka a section of downtown Seattle), visitors learn about several of Amazon’s buildings, including Day 1 and Doppler, as well as The Spheres — three glass domes featuring around 40,000 plants, created to help Amazon employees think outside the proverbial box. Fair warning: This is a crazy-popular tour.
Sphere 1 — photo courtesy of Amazon.com.
. San Juan Islands
Of the 172 named islands and reefs in San Juan County, three are the most populated: San Juan Island, Orcas Island and Lopez Island. With moderate year-round temperatures and a relaxed aura, these island welcome visitors to relax, dine and enjoy being a tourist at an alpaca ranch, a winery, a lavender farm, watching whales, kayaking — the opportunities are abundant.
Photo courtesy of Steven K. Roberts.
. Whidbey Island
About 30 miles north of Seattle lies the island of Whidbey. With more than 100 miles of hiking and biking trails, plenty of sandy beaches and state parks and lots of festivals and celebrations occurring throughout the year, this long island on the northern edge of Puget Sound relies heavily on tourism and the arts. Crabbing and whale watching, tasting wines and touring distilleries, viewing art or making it — there’s always something to do on Washington’s largest island.
Photo by JoAnna Weeks, courtesy of WhidbeyIsland.us.
. Bainbridge Island
Due west of Seattle is the island of Bainbridge, just a ferry ride away. Full of small-town charm, the town has such attractions as Bloedel Reserve (a 150-acre public garden), a historical museum, Japanese-American Exclusion Memorial, performing arts center, museum of art, island farmers market, Kids Discovery Museum, Islandwood (a 255-acre environmental education and event center) and Frog Rock — an iconic landmark and veritable selfie magnet.
. Vashon-Maury Island
The “Heart of the Sound,” Vashon-Maury Island is at the south end of Puget Sound, between Seattle and Tacoma. A true island, it is only reached by ferry and is rather pastoral in nature. With an eclectic array of galleries, historical sites, restaurants and shops, this bike-friendly island holds a strawberry festival every summer. Don’t forget to check out the bicycle grown into the fork of a tree — one of the island’s favorite attractions.
. Olympic National Forest
With more than 632,000 acres of public federal lands, this national forest has temperate rain forest, rugged mountains, lowland lakes, rivers and coastal beaches. With plenty of flora and fauna to see and recreational opportunities (biking, camping, fishing, hiking, horse riding, scenic drives, nature viewing, water and winter sports), one day may not be enough.
Photo courtesy of the USDA Forest Service.
Year-round, the charming Bavarian village of Leavenworth offers captivating backdrops for photos galore. Surrounding the town are snow-capped peaks (thus the nickname “The Alps of Washington"), and there’s plenty to see and do: skiing, shopping, tasting and tap rooms, film festivals, kids’ nutcracker hunts, spas. This winter wonderland is magical no matter when you visit — and particularly throughout the holidays.
Photo by Icicle TV, courtesy of Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce.
. Mt. Rainier National Park
About 60 miles southeast of Seattle, the park includes the state’s largest mountain, Mt. Rainier, which is circled by the Wonderland Trail. While summiting the mountain may be on your radar, the park has four National Historic Landmarks to visit, as well as a plethora of wilderness hiking, climbing and camping opportunities, as well as scenic drives and ranger-led programs.
Photo courtesy of NPS.
. Mt. St. Helens
This National Volcanic Monument can be admired and enjoyed from all sides and every angle. Drive into the heart of the blast zone to see craters, picnic, hike and check out the visitor centers. Lava flows, waterfalls, caves, steep trails and amazing views await.
. Ocean Shores
Whether you go for the gorgeous Pacific Northwest scenery, the Razor Clam & Seafood Festival, an arts & crafts show, the annual kite festival or the Sand and Sawdust Festival (all are free), you’ll find plenty of things to do and places to explore. Loads of outdoor activities make this coastal town family-friendly, too.
. Snoqualmie Falls
Sightseers and hikers alike are drawn to this scenic attraction, which features a 270-foot waterfall, a two-acre park, an observation deck, a gift shop and the luxury hotel Salish Lodge & Spa. Parking is free, and a free viewing area is open from dawn till dusk, with lights illuminating the falls in the evening.
. Lake Chelan
More than 50 miles of crystal-clear, glacier-fed lake, vineyards, mountains and small-town charm is what you’ll find in Lake Chelan. With activities galore year-round, there’s something exciting for all, no matter their level of adventure — like boutique shopping and cross-country skiing, wine and cider tasting and mountain biking, scenic drives, geocaching and hang gliding.
. Snoqualmie Falls
Just 30 minutes southeast of Redmond is Snoqualmie Falls, a 270-foot waterfall, two-acre park, observation deck, gift shop and the Salish Lodge. Open sunup to sundown, lights illuminate the falls in the evening, and several picnic tables are scattered throughout the park. Parking is free, the viewing platform is wheelchair-accessible and leashed pets are welcome.
. PinkaBella Cupcakes
One look through the numerous cupcake selections offered and you’ll be hooked. Flavors galore — Guinness, Snowball, Sin Mint, Peppermint Stick, Espresso Cookie Crunch, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Creamsicle — come in full and mini sizes. Theme cupcakes abound (Spider-Man, Curious George, Soccer), plus cookies, brownies, bars and 4- and 8-inch specialty cakes round out the offerings.
. Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream
Finding its Redmond home in the historic Redmond State Bank building, this Molly Moon’s has an open-kitchen format that allows guests to see just how the crazy-good ice creams, sorbets and sauces are made. Ten “always” flavors are joined by four seasonal options. All are fresh, ice-cold and super on their own or with a yummy topping.
. The French Bakery
Pastries, desserts and coffee are the specialties of this bakery. Airy and buttery croissants — both sweet and savory — baguettes, rustic breads, cakes, cookies and macaroons are freshly baked and served to satisfy. Savor a quiche, along with imported-straight-from-Italy coffee, while deciding which tempting dessert to take with you for later.
Photo courtesy of The French Bakery.
. Crêperie de Paris
Savory or sweet? Regular or buckwheat? Better yet, several to share? Redmond Town Center’s Crêperie de Paris celebrates the delicious French tradition of crêpes with a tempting variety. Also offering paninis, sandwiches and salads, plus hot and cold specialty coffees and juices. To try: The Parisienne (Brie, tomato, butter and spinach) and the Sweet Cheese (a light lemon flavor, plus blueberries, strawberries and powdered sugar).
. Hoffman’s Fine Cakes & Pastries
This local favorite creates not only delectable cakes, desserts and cookies but also pastries and other breakfast bites and light lunches worth writing home about. Made from scratch, locally sourced and sustainably farmed whenever possible, Hoffman’s offers flaky Danishes, croissants and puff pastries made with real eggs and butter. The broccoli cheddar quiche is ah-may-zing.
“Growing With Purpose” is Homegrown’s mission — and the restaurant lives up to the promise via its own certified organic farm in Woodinville, WA. The menu consists of sandwiches, bowls, breakfast, soups and sides that are “slow food, served fast” with locally sourced ingredients. Two local faves are the Smoked Pastrami and the Broccoli Melt.
. The Commons
The Commons Kitchen and Bar is uncommonly good comfort food served quickly and in a casual atmosphere. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails, plus weekend brunch, it’s a great stop for families, dates, solos and groups. For breakfast, the brioche French toast gets rave reviews. The avocado toast with radish, sprouts, micro greens, lemon vinaigrette, stone ground mustard and a fried egg pairs well with Theo’s Mocha or a chai tea latte.
Photo courtesy of Brooke Fitts Photography.
. Exotics at Redmond Town Center
This informal but oh, so cool gathering of exotic and rare autos takes place 9 - 11 AM every Saturday April through October. Follow [email protected] on Facebook to learn about special events and updates.
Photo courtesy of Redmond Town Center | JSH Properties.
. Redmond Saturday Market
If you want it local and you want it fresh, head to the Redmond Saturday Market. You’ll find fruits and vegetables, fish, meat, eggs, plants, gourmet pantry selections and artisan crafts. There’s also weekly entertainment and family-friendly special events. The market is open 9 - 3 PM each Saturday from May 4 through October 26.
Photo courtesy of Redmond Saturday Market.
. Movies @ Marymoor
This family-friendly, dog-friendly outdoor event brings outdoor cinema, entertainment and food trucks to the park’s big grass field. July and August, seating opens at 6:30 PM, with movies starting at dusk after the event entertainment. Bring blankets, ground seating and chairs; a chair seating area is behind ground seating. Outside food and beverages are allowed, but please leave alcohol and glass containers at home.
Photo courtesy of Erinn J. Hale.
. Marymoor Park Concerts
Marymoor Park in the Willowmoor Farm historical district near Clise Mansion is a lovely place to relax and listen to some great music. Redmond’s 5,000-capacity venue offers an intimate experience with a gorgeous backdrop. The Pines Club affords guests convenient parking, an express entrance, an exclusive hospitality area and private viewing area, as well as complimentary appetizers and one drink ticket. Adirondack chairs and picnic tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
. Chateau Ste. Michelle Summer Concert Series
Since 1984, this winery has hosted a Summer Concert Series that has featured some of the most notable artists in blues, jazz, rock and contemporary music. General seating on its Amphitheatre lawn allows blankets and low beach chairs; high-back chairs are allowed in designated areas. Proceeds from the concert series support the winery’s charitable contributions program, which impacts more than 400 nonprofit organizations.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Cruff.
. Kirkland Summerfest
This popular music and arts festival brings more than 40,000 attendees together on the Kirkland waterfront. Highlights include the art fair, a street fair, plenty of musical acts, yoga, a kidzone and the Kirkland Rotary Club’s annual Great Puget Sound Duck Dash.
. Kirkland Oktoberfest
A Best of 425 event, the three-day Kirkland Oktoberfest features imported German and Northwest craft beer, sausage, pretzels and oompah, along with entertainment stages, games and competitions. Bring your best game for cornhole, beer pong, stein hoisting and keg rolling.
. Capitol Hill Block Party
Each year, the Capitol Hill Block Party is “The Best Weekend of Summer” — bringing a long lineup of live music and cool events to the Seattle area. The 2019 event is July 19 - 21. Along with such musical acts as Lizzo, Phantogram, Fleetwood Snack and The Black Tones, attendees can check out the Poster Show that highlights the work of 40+ local graphic designers, the Battle on the Block Skate Competition and Yoga/Workout at Cal Anderson Park, as well as grabbing a bite to eat.
Photo by Ben Lindbloom, courtesy of Capitol Hill Block Party.
Labor Day weekend, Seattle Center will be home to Bumbershoot — an “umbrella” name for a huge music, arts and comedy festival with high-profile touring artists, as well as local favorites. More than 85,000 strong, crowds can expect entertainment galore, tons of food and drink venues and a plethora of shopping-therapy opportunities.
. Redmond Lights
Each December, the city of Redmond hosts the two-day, three-part, progressive Redmond Lights event — “a celebration of diverse winter traditions, cultures and faiths expressed through light and art.” It begins at the tree-lighting ceremony and fireworks show at City Hall Campus, followed by a stroll down the Redmond Center Connector Luminary Walk and ending at Redmond Town Center. Throughout the evening, you can enjoy sweet treats and refreshments, musical entertainment and family-friendly activities.
. LunchBox Lab
Burgers with hand-pressed American Kobe beef, chicken or homemade vegan black bean patties on organic buns and classic-and-creative recipes, LunchBox Lab deliciously lives up to its name. Case in point: Burger of the Gods has crumbled blue cheese, balsamic onions and Super Gorgonzola Spread — oh, yeah. Add a side of Gavacho’s Totchos to share and you’ll enjoy tots with cheesy sauce, green onions, bacon bits, sour cream and Satan’s Tears Ketchup. A hand-spun shake with Snoqualmie ice cream completes the meal.
Photo by James West, courtesy of LunchBox Lab.
. Just Poké
“Give More.” This theme runs through everything Just Poké touches. Using sustainably sourced fish, local vendors, recycled materials and energy-efficient lighting, the restaurant delivers on its promise of a delicious, beautiful meal that leaves guests fulfilled and inspired. Try a signature bowl — the Hawaiian Classic is a local fave — or create your own, with raw, cooked and vegetarian options.
. Pomegranate Bistro
You’ll find comfort foods, approachable wines, fun cocktails, exceptional crafted coffee drinks and fantastic service at this family-friendly restaurant. Start with an Irish Nudge (chocolate, Irish cream and hazelnut topped with whipped cream). Cauliflower Ceviche or Warm Brie make excellent sharables. And Lisa’s Southern Fried Chicken served with Yukon Gold mashers and celery seed slaw get rave reviews.
. Din Tai Fung
What began as a retail business selling cooking oil has transformed into a Michelin-starred authentic Thai steamed dumpling and noodle restaurant with locations in 10 countries. Watch fresh dumplings being made in the kitchen, then savor them family-style in the bustling restaurant. The wonton soups are wildly popular, as are the dessert dumplings filled with melted chocolate.
Photo courtesy of Din Tai Fung USA.
. Hollywood Tavern
What started in 1922 as a corner service station and morphed into Mabel Nieman’s original Hollywood Tavern in 1947 where locals could grab a drink with some advice on the side has transformed into a roadhouse that honors its past. Inspired comfort foods include burgers, mac and cheese, Olympia cod and chips, salads, soups and steak frites, along with plenty of seasonal cocktails, area beers and local wines — plus signature Woodinville whiskey milk shakes.
Photo courtesy of Steven Seiller.
. Heritage Restaurant | Bar
Chef Breanna Beike brings her familial history with from-scratch food to her Woodinville restaurant. With a “come as you are” welcome and fine-dining elements, Heritage is approachable and delectably memorable at the same time. Open for lunch, happy hour, dinner, dessert and weekend brunch, the menus are seasonal and simply yet beautifully crafted. The Ham & Brie Sammie gets honorable mention.
Photo courtesy of Richard Duval.
. Tipsy Cow Burger Bar
Get a “moo-ve” on down to the Tipsy Cow for one of its 7-ounce custom ground, grass-fed beef patties with creative toppings, along with a tasty “snack” on the side: hand-cut fries (regular, truffle or jacked-up), onion rings, pig tails (pork shoulder that’s panko-breaded), cow pou-tine, wings or brew-battered and fried maple-glazed all-natural bacon. A handful of salads are also on the menu, as well as scrumptious shakes.
. Thai 65 Café
“Thai food with a twist” at Thai 65 Café translates to a menu with family recipes flavored with herbs, natural ingredients and plenty of healthy veggies. Popular dishes include Pad Thai Tamarind, Pad See Eew, Gai Satay and Popia Tort (spring rolls served with homemade plum sauce). Rice dishes, entrées and curries round out the tasty menu.
Photo courtesy of Thai 65 Café.
. The Stone House
With its home in the Craftsman-Bungalow-style Wiley House — a designated Redmond City Landmark — The Stone House invites guests in for a food experience. With emphasis on the way the offerings appeal to the senses of taste, of course, but also sight and smell, each encounter is meant to evoke memories. Menus change according to the availability and quality of the ingredients.
. The Maltby Cafe
Homestyle cooking is at the heart of the Maltby Café. In the lower portion of an old schoolhouse, the award-winning restaurant serves breakfast all day, plus grilled and cold sandwiches, burgers, “lite lunch” options and lunch entrees. But go early — there’s a good chance of a line, and it’s open every day, but only 7 AM - 3 PM.
. The Guilt Trip
Far from typical Indian fare, The Guilt Trip fuses authentic, made-at-home Indian dishes with spices and flavors from other cuisines. The result? A menu of freshly made, inventive recipes made with restaurant-grinded spices, no preservatives, additives or coloring, only halal meat and 10 tons of flavor — and yes, guilty pleasures, including English toffee paratha and chocolate kheer.
. Agave Cocina & Cantina
Serving contemporary handcrafted Mexican food, Agave Cocina & Cantina uses fresh, natural ingredients that have no preservatives, trans fats or lard. The sizable menu includes such classics as Carne Asada and House-made Beef Tamales, plus Camarones a la Diabla and Pollo con Crema. Wash it all down in the lively bar or on the patio with an Agave Margarita, specialty cocktail or your pick from more than 140 sipping tequilas.
Photo courtesy of Deba Wegner.
. Oto Sushi
Not solely a sushi bar, Oto Sushi surely serves up some of the freshest nigiri and sashimi around, alongside plenty of kitchen favorites and noodle dishes. Don’t forget to start with deep-fried or pan-fried gyoza, agedashi tofu or a roll of choice. Can’t make up your mind for the main meal? Create your own kitchen & sushi combo and enjoy.
Part of the charm of downtown Redmond’s Woodblock is its eating-at-a-friend’s-house vibe and pub-style atmosphere. Each dish from its diverse, frequently changing menu arrives as soon as it’s ready. Examples of enticing selections include a baked Brie, San Marzano tomato soup, Woodblock burger, house-made gnocchi and pan-seared Hakkaido scallops. Can’t make dinner? Stop in for a delectable weekend brunch or happy hour.
. Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar
Winning multiple TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence, Seastar’s professional service complements its seafood presentations and raw bar offerings. Whether from the sea (diver scallops, Alaskan king crab, cedar plank salmon) or from the land (house-made pastas, prime beef tenderloin filet mignon, zucchini linguini), the high-end fare is always fresh and fabulous.
Photo courtesy of Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar.
. Facing East
On a myriad of “best of” lists, Facing East serves up tempting, authentic Taiwanese dishes. Locals’ favorite is the handheld Taiwanese pork bao — a delectable piece of fatty pork alongside salted veggies, cilantro and chopped nuts all tidied up in a tender bun. Add a side of cold pickled cucumber and finish the experience with a mango or ma-cha with red bean smoothie.
Photo courtesy of Facing East.
. The Commons
Whether making a light meal out of happy hour or settling down for a proper dinner, The Commons Kitchen and Bar satisfies. A French 75 goes down easily alongside a house-made pretzel served with bacon-jalapeño cream cheese and hot sweet mustard. Haven’t tried vodka-battered Pacific True cod with shoestring fries yet? Or the burger with white cheddar and special house sauce? You should.
Photo courtesy of Brooke Fitts Photography.
. Purple Café and Wine Bar
You know you’re in for a treat when you go “where a global wine list meets seasonal northwest ingredients.” Woodinville’s Purple is that place — whether you go for lunch, dinner, dessert, brunch or happy hour (or simply for some vino). Dinners are divine, with a menu of starters, flatbreads, soups, sandwiches, pastas, and main meals. Roasted Kobe Beef Dip, Pan Roasted Scallops or Maine Lobster Baked Mac and Cheese, anyone?
Photo courtesy of Matthew Sumi Photography.
. Woodinville Wine Country
Just a half-hour northeast of Seattle, more than 100 wineries with an array of wine styles call Woodinville home. Divided into four unique districts, the city has more 90+ rated vintages than any wine region in the world and is primarily walkable. Guided transportation options abound, and a smartphone Woodinville Wine Pass gives access to curated wine tour packages and discounted tastings. The Visitor Center is a great place to learn about the latest Woodinville happenings when first arriving in town.
Photo courtesy of Richard Duval Images.
. Redmond’s Bar & Grill
Making its home in the city’s first community and entertainment hall, Redmond’s Bar & Grill is a locals-favorite watering hole. Along with its varied draft beer menu are specialty cocktails, wines and a large whiskey and scotch offering. It also serves up breakfast, lunch, dinner and happy hour daily, each made with fresh, local, organic ingredients. The kid-friendly establishment is a great place to relax while shooting pool, mastering shuffleboard or watching sports.
Image courtesy of Redmond’s Bar & Grill.
. Postdoc Brewing
Postdoc Brewing was born in Tom Schmidlin’s garage as a home brewery while he earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry. He put that degree to good use as the head brewer and co-owner, along with his wife and neighbors. Primarily a master of Pacific Northwest beer, the brewery also adds sour and barrel-aged beers to its lineup. The focus here is definitely on beer, but guests are welcome to bring their own food, and food trucks complement the drinking experience. Postdoc welcomes kids and dogs, too.
Photo courtesy of Postdoc Brewing Company.
. J. Michael’s Pub & Eatery
Local-favorite J. Michael’s Pub & Eatery has developed a cult following for its welcoming service and dive-bar ambiance, as well as its burgers and wings. Along with TVs for sports fans and great drink specials, the energetic bar hosts Trivia Thursday, movie nights, Wingo Bingo, Karaoke Saturday, Industry Night (with free pool) and craft nights.
. Black Raven Brewing Co.
With The Raven’s Nest taproom that seats 100 guests, the neighborhood brewery has a living room feel to it, rather than a more-formal brewpub. It sticks to what it does best — brewing — and leaves the food options to rotating food trucks in the parking lot or guests bringing in their own food. Drop by for a cold award-winning beer, a flight of six or a growler. Crazy-thirsty? Kegs to go are usually available during taproom hours.
. Woodinville Whiskey Co.
Two best friends shared the same dream and made it a reality. The award-winning Woodinville Whiskey Co. uses grain grown exclusively for them on the Omlin Family Farm in Quincy, Washington. They’ve learned from Maker’s Mark master distiller David Pickerell. And their inviting tasting room offers complimentary tours Friday - Sunday. Go on — give ’em a shot.
Photo courtesy of Woodinville Whiskey.
. Fremont Brewing Company
Why does the Fremont Brewing Company focus on small-batch artisan beers made sustainably with great local ingredients? As its tag line aptly states, “Because beer matters!” A scrollable list of awards includes the Brussels Beer Challenge’s Certificate of Excellence for its Lush American IPA, Seattle Magazine’s Best Local Brewery/Tasting Room and Greater Seattle Business Association’s Green/Sustainable Business of the Year.
. Seattle Aquarium
With a mission of “inspiring conservation of our marine environment,” Seattle Aquarium hosts exhibits, events, conservation and education programs and research activities. Its six major exhibits include Window on Washington Waters, Life on the Edge, Pacific Coral Reef, Birds and Shores, the Underwater Dome and the ever-popular Marine Mammals — with plenty of otters and seals hamming it up for visitors.
Photo courtesy of Seattle Aquarium.
. Space Needle
One of the most recognizable sights in the Pacific Northwest, the Space Needle has been renovated from its original 1962 World’s Fair glory into an uninhibited example of thoughtful planning and stunning views. Floor-to-ceiling glass plus a rotating glass floor make the observation experience that much better. And the elevator system whisks visitors 520 feet above Seattle in well under a minute.
Photo courtesy of Chad Copeland.
. Pacific Science Center
The award-winning interactive programs at Pacific Science Center embraces experimentation and innovation while modeling science as a process of inquiry, discovery and problem-solving. A variety of exhibits and experiences include living exhibits — reptiles, insects, axolotls, civilized seeds and a salt water tide pool — a tinker tank where visitors can test their hypotheses and create innovations, Wellbody Academy that explains how personal choices affect health and well-being, a planetarium and Seattle’s Ultimate IMAX Experience.
Photo courtesy of Pacific Science Center.
. Seattle Underground Tour
Beginning in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square, Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour takes humor down low — literally — via a subterranean, moderately rugged walk through the interconnecting tunnels under the city. The 75-minute guided tour begins beneath Doc Mayhard’s Public House before entering Pioneer Square and then the buried city. The family-friendly tour ends in Rogues Gallery and the Underground Gift Shop.
. The Museum of Flight
Showcasing more than 175 aircraft and spacecraft, dozens of exhibits and experiences, a plethora of artifacts rare photos and a world-class library, the Museum of Flight is the world’s largest independent, nonprofit air and space museum. Visitors can walk the aisle of JFK’s Air Force One, enjoy living history performances, tour the Space Shuttle Trainer Crew Compartment, hop aboard a flight simulator and “travel” to the moon and back via Virtual Reality Motion Benches.
. Ballard Locks Kayak Tour
Providing a 100% happiness guarantee, Ballard Kayak offers family-friendly kayak and paddleboard tours, rentals and classes, as well as corporate events. The second most visited tourist attraction is its Ballard Locks Tour. Over the course of 3.5 hours, guides paddle guests through Shilshole Bay, pointing out seals, sea lions, osprey and blue herons before passing through the Ballard Locks and the ship canal. The tour culminates with lazy time on the beach.
. Boeing Factory Tour
Visit the largest building (by volume) in the world. The 90-minute guided tour departs by bus from Boeing Future of Flight and showcases the company’s 787 Dreamliner, 777, 767 and 747 assembly lines. This popular tour sells out quickly, especially during summer, so purchase tickets early. Call ahead with accessibility questions, wear comfy shoes and sign up for a morning tour to see the most activity. Once back at the Future of Flight, enjoy the café, shopping, interactive exhibits and stunning views from the Observation Deck.
Photo courtesy of Boeing Future of Flight.
. Pike Place Market
A longtime Seattle treasure, Pike Place Market is more than just a place to watch out for flying fish; it’s a vibrant, historic, 9-acre neighborhood of farmers, craftspeople, small businesses and residents. Check out the high stalls with fruits, veggies and ’shrooms, farmer’s market, fish market, crafts market, specialty foods and collectibles. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many bakeries, cafés, diners and restaurants, tip your favorite buskers and feed Rachel, the bronze piggy bank — her proceeds help support social services in Pike Place Market.
. Museum of Pop Culture
The Museum of Pop Culture focuses on creating “light bulb moments” — using its exhibits, collections, community engagements and educational programs as a way to teach, connect and spur creativity. Along with the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, the first floor has Soundboard Alley, the JBL Theater, Learning Labs and Culture Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck. A constantly evolving event and exhibition schedule ensure that every visit offers a unique experience.
. Redmond Town Center
Redmond’s eastside outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment center is also home to Archer Hotel. With a healthy mix of boutique, unique, home furnishings and chain stores (more than 120 merchants), plus beauty and spa options and a variety of attractions, there’s something for everyone. Get your game on, catch a show or create your own masterpiece — then grab bite at one of 20+ restaurants. Photo courtesy of Redmond Town Center.
. The Shops at The Bravern
The Shops at The Bravern are the largest collection of luxury brands in one Pacific Northwest locale. Anchored by Neiman Marcus, the upscale shopping destination includes APM Monaco, Bottega Veneta, Hermès, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Moncler, Oliver Peoples, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tod’s and Wolford. Valet and self-parking are available, as well as the top-draw restaurants John Howie Steak, The Sugar Factory and The Dolar Shop. Photo courtesy of The Shops at The Bravern.
. The Bellevue Collection
With more than 200 shops and the region’s largest dining district, Bellevue Collection comprises Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square and Bellevue Place. A small sampling: Athleta, Blue Nile, ExOfficio, Forever 21, Free People, Icebreaker, J. Crew, Kendra Scott, Macy’s, Madewell, Nordstrom, Soft Surroundings, Splendid, The North Face, Thrift Culture, Urbanity and The Walking Company. After shopping, snag a drink, grab a bite, catch a flick or hear some tunes.
. North Bend Premium Outlets
Less than 25 minutes southeast of Archer Hotel, North Bend Premium Outlets has designer outlets for fashion, sportswear, shoes and gifts. A sampling of stores includes Banana Republic, Coach, Gap Outlet, Levi’s, Nike and Under Armour. The center is close to several local attractions, such as Mt. Si, Snoqualmie Falls and Snoqualmie Casino.
. Pacific Place
With five levels offering exceptional fashion, foods and films, the updated Pacific Place is a family-friendly destination. Shopping opportunities include Barnes &Noble, Barney’s New York, Il Fornaio, The Handmade Showroom, L’Occitane, Lululemon, Soma and Tiffany & Co. Its AMC theatre has 11 auditoriums and partners with Pacific Place restaurants to offer food-and-film specials.
. Gene Juarez Salon & Spa
Enhancing beauty and well-being one visit at a time, Gene Juarez Salons & Spas has several locations throughout the Seattle area, including one in Redmond Town Center. Open seven days a week, the head-to-toe facility provides a variety of hair, skin care, makeup, nails and massage services in a professional yet relaxed and inviting environment.
. Hot Yoga Experience
This hot yoga experience is different than most because it uses therapeutic far infrared heat combined with a fresh air filtration system. Far infrared sauna therapy sessions offer an alternative for those who cannot attend a hot yoga class. Both experiences are designed to help heal injuries, aid in weight loss and boost pain relief.
. Pure Barre
Enthusiasts of Pure Barre classes swear by the total-body workout that tones thighs, arms, abs and glutes and burns fat quickly. The collection of 45- 50-minute workouts provides low-impact, isometric movements and incorporates the ballet barre, bands, light weights and exercise balls to achieve better lean muscle definition, flexibility, strength, posture and coordination. For Archer Hotel Redmond guests and employees, Pure Barre offers a $15 drop-in fee — and Archer employees receive their first class free.
Photo courtesy of Pure Barre.
. Salt Mine Arium
This salt room and spa uses the ancient therapeutic properties of salt to help clients recover from health problems. During each 45-minute session in a salt cave, guests breathe in tiny particles of salt that are distributed through the air via a halogenerator while also experiencing the fine mist from a waterfall — replicating a rejuvenating visit to the seaside. Also available: acupuncture, massage, energy body work and reiki.
Photo courtesy of Salt Room & SPA | Salt Mine Arium, LLC.
. PLAYlive Nation
This premium entertainment experience brings gamers of all skill levels, ages and walks of life together in a nightclub-style gaming lounge. There’s so much to choose from: the most popular video games, collectible card games and board games galore. Individual gaming stations are equipped with a high-def television, surround-sound headset, XBOX ONE® system and an online profile. Stay all day or drop in for a few minutes; your unused time never expires.
Photo courtesy of PLAYlive Nation.
. IPIC Redmond
Not your average movie theater, IPIC Redmond has an upscale feel, a chef-driven menu, lounge and bar spaces and unlimited popcorn. At the push of the button at your fully reclining leather seat, servers bring elevated food and hand-crafted beverage orders to you, as well as blankets and pillows. And every theater is an all-digital cinema with high-tech sound and projection, including 3D.
. Marymoor Park
King County’s most active park, the 640-acre Marymoor Park is an ideal place to walk a dog, hike a trail, play a soccer game or attend a concert or event. The park also has a radio control model airfield, ballfields, cricket field, several artificial turf fields, tennis courts, off-leash dog area, climbing rock, picnic shelter and community gardens.
. Seattle Great Wheel
With 42 fully enclosed gondolas that hold up to eight people each and light shows with 500,000 LED bulbs, the 175-foot-tall Seattle Great Wheel offers a one-of-a-kind view of the city and water. Guests begin with a photo-op before boarding gondolas and completing three rotations of the wheel. A VIP gondola offers a private experience for up to four riders, with leather bucket seats, a stereo system, a glass-bottom floor and some Great Wheel swag.
. Woodland Park Zoo
Conservation is at the forefront of Woodland Park Zoo’s mission, such as its Living Northwest projects, work with worldwide conservation partners and wildlife survival program. Its exhibits include more than 1,100 animals and 300 species, such as the African Savanna, Ambassador Animals, Assam Rhino Reserve, Humboldt Penguin Exhibit, Temperate Forest, Trail of Adaptations and Tropical Rain Forest.
. The Gum Wall
Don’t want to touch it and can’t look away? You very well may be at Seattle’s famous Gum Wall. Since the 1990s, patrons of the Market Theater (now Unexpected Productions), locals and tourists alike have been adding their wad to the walls of the narrow alleyway underneath Pike Place Market. It’s now an official tourist attraction and hot spot for wedding photos.
Photo courtesy of Kent Graham from Pexels.
. Seattle Mariners
The home of the Seattle Mariners, T-Mobile Park provides great game-watching views, as well as Seattle’s skyline as the backdrop. Complement the experience by dropping by The Pen 2.5 hours before the first pitch and treat yourself to an unobstructed view of the playing field and a beverage at the full-service Caught Looking Lounge. Then grab a bite from the ballpark’s wide range of food options — hot dogs (of course), sushi, burgers, avocado toast, pizza, ice cream, you name it — and enjoy the game.
. Seattle Seahawks
Join the 12s (the fans) at CenturyLink Field for a game and help Blitz the Seahawk cheer on the home team. Add on an experience for a more-memorable day of football, like the Pregame Player Intros, Pregame Sideline Pass, Postgame Press Conference, Postgame Field Goal Kicks or Gameday Experience Package. Take the fun home with you: Order a Blitz Custom Football and have it delivered to you at your seat by the mascot himself.
. Seattle Sounders FC
Arrive 90 minutes before kickoff at Occidental Park in Pioneer Square to be a part of the March to the Match, along with other Seattle Sounders FC fans. Check out Soccer Celebration — an activity zone for all ages of soccer fans. Then enjoy the team’s official band, Sound Wave, and watch the clash of the Sounders and the rival soccer team as they battle on the field.
. Alki Beach
Elliott Bay is home to Alki Beach — an ideal place to spend a lovely day. Go on a long walk with breathtaking views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Grab some sun on the beach, ride bikes or go for a run, along the path. Then enjoy a picnic lunch and check out the art studio. Reserve a beach volleyball court, check out the mini replica of the Statue of Liberty and settle into your beach chairs around a bonfire (designated areas only) and enjoy the gorgeous sunset.
Photo courtesy of Seattle Parks and Recreation.
. Remlinger Farms
Once a small, family-run farm and fruit stand, Remlinger Farms now includes the Country Fair Fun Park, a market, restaurant and company picnic site. Explore more than 25 rides and attractions geared toward children — Tolt River Railroad Steam Train Ride, a roller coaster, animal barnyard, pony trail ride, canoe rides, pedal cars — plus mechanical rides, a farm theater and “U-Pick” strawberry, raspberry and pumpkin experiences.
. Hummingbird & Holly
Two longtime friends founded Hummingbird & Holly — a shop that specializes in “custom gift box ideas rooted in the Pacific Northwest, highlighting local food, wine and fine goods.” The artisanal boxes and baskets are unique gifts for housewarmings, welcomings, baby showers, corporate gifts, thank-yous and just-because presents. Photo courtesy of Hummingbird & Holly.
. Brick & Mortar Books
With more than 4,000 square feet of space for books, gifts and treats, Brick & Mortar books is an independent bookstore serving the eastside out of its Redmond Town Center locale. Visitors enjoy author visits, book clubs, story times and an ever-adapting, thoughtful collection of books — and audiobooks. Follow them on Facebook to find out when the next Indie Author Night occurs.
. Willows Run Golf
The Willows Run Golf complex offers two 18-hole, links-style courses, plus a driving range, practice putting green and bunker and mini golf. Set among trees and flowing water features, it has a 12,000-square-foot clubhouse, pro shop and full-service dining area and bar, plus a gorgeous view of the Sammamish Valley. Also of note: The scenic facility hosted the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games.
Photo courtesy of Willows Run Golf.
. Bellevue Botanical Garden
Open daily from dawn till dusk, the 53-acre Bellevue Botanical Garden comprises several smaller cultivated gardens, natural wetlands and restored woodlands. Explore Perennial Border to learn which flowers and plant grow best in the Northwest. Explore the various gardens: Fuchsia, Native Discovery, Rhododendron Glen, Rock and Iris Rain, Shorts Ground Cover, Spring Courtyard and Tapestry Hedge, Urban Meadow, Waterwise, Yao and Dahlia Display. Several trails offer even more for the senses.
. Sammamish River Trail
Beginning at Redmond’s Marymoor Park and ending in Bothell’s Blythe Park, the 11-mile Sammamish River Trail accommodates all kinds of explorers. A wide, paved trail that’s great for walkers, runners, skaters, bikes, trikes and strollers is alongside a soft-surface, grass-dirt trail. Kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are welcome in the Sammamish River, too. Along the way in Woodinville, there’s a playground, restrooms and picnic tables.
Photo courtesy of Jenny Lamharzi.
. Gas Works Park
Since 1975, this post-industrial park has been a popular spot for outdoor ceremonies and political rallies. Now on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the former Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant was transformed into a park by renowned landscape architect Richard Haag. The top of the “Great Mound” is home to an analemmatic sundial and is a great spot to fly a kite. What was previously the pump house is now a children’s play barn. And the 19-acre park offers lovely views of Lake Union and downtown Seattle.
Photo courtesy of Seattle Parks and Recreation.
. Let’s Go Sailing
“Trim the sails or sit back and relax.” With Let’s Go Sailing, you can climb aboard a high-performance racing yacht and cruise by breathtaking views. Sign up for a 1.5-hour voyage or a 2.5-hour sunset sail, and bring your owns eats and drinks. Private charters make memorable occasions for corporate events, personal celebrations and just-because experiences.
. Mount Si Golf Course
This popular public golf course is on land that was once part of the largest hop farm in the world. Open year-round from dawn to dusk, the course has some difficult holes but only a few sand bunkers — challenging without being exceedingly daunting. Its gorgeous views of the Snoqualmie Valley are a feast for the eyes, and its restaurant satisfies the palate with a full menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
. Crystal Mountain
On the east side of Mt. Rainier National Park lies Crystal Mountain — a winter wonderland and summer playground. Washington’s largest ski resort has 2,600 acres of runs for all levels of skiers, plus scenic gondola rides, hiking, disc golf, mountain yoga and snowshoe tours. Summer visitors can explore the mountain via interpretive walks, horseback rides, mountain biking and camping. And there’s plenty of fun shopping and restaurant options in and around Crystal Mountain.
Photo courtesy of Visit Rainier.
. Mt. Rainier National Park
Small-group tours of Mt. Rainier National Park are the sweet spot for professional tour guide Diann Sheldon. Her day tour begins with a six-passenger van ride and includes stops and sights that bigger tours overlook. No matter the time of year, you’ll hike the mountain’s old-growth forest, visit waterfalls and scenic vistas and have time to take a plethora of pictures and breathe in the mountain air.
Photo courtesy of Discover Nature.
. Stevens Pass
A mountain pass through the Cascade Mountains, Stevens Pass gets plenty of winter snowfall but with typically comfortable, mid-20s temperatures — making it an ideal destination for wintertime play. With 52 major runs, lots of bowls, glades and faces, plus night skiing, several dining options and lessons, this outdoor oasis is fun for the entire family. Summertime activities include hiking, mountain biking, disc golf, RV camping and scenic chairlift rides.
. SecondStory Repertory
Since 1999, SecondStory Repertory has delivered musicals, comedies, dramas and mysteries year-round, as well as its Theater for Young Audiences series. Additional entertainment options include improv, burlesque, poetry readings, staging of new works, recitals, educational classes and other opportunities.
"La Cage aux Folles" — photo courtesy of Michael Brunk/NWlens.com.
This 10-week, family-friendly festival has approximately 75 sanctioned events, the vast majority of which are free or have free components. Don’t miss the milk carton derby, parade, run and triathlon, and weekend festival — complete with hydroplane racing on the water, a Blue Angels sky performance, world-class wakeboarding tricks off-shore and plenty of music and entertainment.
Photo courtesy of Seafair.
. Smith Tower
Once the tallest building west of the Mississippi, Smith Tower is a historic icon with an open-air observatory that showcases Seattle’s skyline and 360-degree views, plus a speakeasy-style bar on the 35th floor. If you’re single and interested, take a turn sitting in the Wishing Chair; legend has it that those who do will be married within a year.
Photo courtesy of Smith Tower.
. Columbia Center’s Sky View Observatory
On the 73rd floor of the 76-story building, this observatory offers panoramic views of Mt. Rainier, Elliott Bay, Seattle, the Space Needle and — on a clear day — Canada. Touch-screen technology helps you plan your stay in Seattle with a virtual itinerary. Grab a drink and a snack at the Sky View Café while enjoying the view.
Photo courtesy of Sky View Observatory.
. Redmond Academy of Theatre Arts
Helping youth find their own sense of self while discovering the joy of theatre though drama, music and dance, Redmond Academy of Theatre Arts offers several shows throughout the year. The award-winning Academy brings family-friendly fun to the Redmond community. Past shows have included Jr. versions of “Shrek The Musical,” “Mary Poppins,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Legally Blonde” and “Aladdin.”
. Woodinville Repertory Theatre
Making its home in Woodinville’s Denali Slab & Tile Studio, this professional theatre company was founded in 1998 by Peg Phillips of “Northern Exposure” fame and produces shows that inspire and engage people of all ages. Such performances as “Passengers,” “Crimes of the Heart,” “Lend Me a Tenor” and “The Mousetrap” are artfully directed, beautifully acted and memorable all around.
Photo courtesy of Woodinville Repertory Theatre.
. Original Starbucks
What’s known as the “Original Starbucks” is at Pike Place Market (although technically, the real original shop was down the proverbial street). Attracting tons of visitors, this locale still has the original floors, fixtures and counters. Stepping inside — once you get through the line — is like a step back in time.
Photo courtesy of Starbucks Coffee Company.
. Brugge Chocolates
This European-style chocolatier handcrafts small batches of artisan truffles, salted caramels and pâte de fruit using Belgian and French chocolate plus the highest-quality domestic and imported ingredients. Step into the shop for an aromatic experience, as well as a sample. To try: the lemoncello truffle, candied orange peel and flue de sel caramel.
. Molbak’s Garden + Home
The huge garden center in Woodinville also carries a myriad of thoughtful home and gift items: lotions and soaps, candles, scarves, stationery, tableware, wine accessories, kitchen gadgets and gourmet sauces and rubs. Darling pillows and comfy throws, lovely lamps and vases and seasonal décor abound. The design team arranges custom living and everlasting arrangements, as well as custom containers.
. Gilman Village
This quaint landmark comprises shops, restaurants and services that have made their homes in the town’s historic houses, buildings and other structures. Visitors find delightful specialty shops for home décor, kitchen, gifts, fashion, jewelry and lifestyle. A varied selection of restaurants satisfies hungry shoppers, and several wellness and health services — Pilates, yoga, a salon, a spa — provide varied experiences.
. DeLille Cellars
This award-winning boutique artisan winery focuses on the Red Mountain AVA and grape sourcing from the state’s prominent Grand Cru vineyards. Known for pioneering Bordeaux-style blends (both red and white), DeLille Cellars produces more than 200 wines that have scored 90+ across 25 vintages. The Woodinville Carriage House seated tasting, when available, requires reservations. Virtual tastings include videos, as well as private events.
Photo courtesy of DeLille Cellars.
. Mark Ryan Winery
A minimalist-inspired, spacious tasting room is filled with both natural light and community tables. Walls are lined with rock posters and art, and Ryan’s motorcycle collection (at least some of it) is more rock-n-roll eye candy for tasting room visitors. And the tasting experiences? “Serious wines created with serious devotion” are poured and enjoyed — along with plenty of tunes. Make reservations for the classic tasting or glass and bottle service only.
Photo courtesy of Mark Ryan Winery.
. Rocky Pond Estate Winery
A relatively young winery with three vineyards, two tasting rooms and a vineyard amphitheater, Rocky Pond is inspired by the grand winery estates of France and Italy. The sleek, welcoming Woodinville tasting room hosts guests Wednesday - Sunday (reservations required). Private tastings are also available by appointment only.
. Chateau Ste. Michelle
Partnering with multiple winemakers to create celebrated brands — including Eroica, Northstar, Tenet Wines and Col Solare — Chateau Ste. Michelle is the largest of the wineries. They host weddings and popular summer concerts, in addition to winery tours and a selection of tasting experiences — many of which are outdoors. Reservations and walk-ins are both welcome at the French-styled winery Chateau, and virtual tastings are expert-led or self-guided.
Photo courtesy of Chateau Ste. Michelle.
. Alexandria Nicole Cellars
The ground floor of the historic Hollywood Schoolhouse in Woodinville has a variety of warm, welcoming spaces for tastings both inside and out. Virtual private tastings with a host from the winery location you’d prefer include four bottles (two bottles of each wine) so that you can taste with one bottle now and enjoy as you wish.
Photo ccourtesy of Alexandria Nicole Cellars.
. Novelty Hill-Januik
At the modern Woodinville winery shared by the independent Novelty Hill and Januik estates, the guest experience is key. Whether acclaimed winemaker Mike Januik’s Columbia Valley wine paired perfectly paired with small bites and enjoyed indoors, tasting flights in the gardens or a bottle plus a made-to-order seasonal pizza shared around the fire pit, your tasting fix will be, well, fixed. Try one hand at bocce ball with the other holding your favorite red, white or rosé.
Photo courtesy of Novelty Hill-Januik.