From meeting new people to experiencing new sights, sounds, and smells – is there anything more exciting or rejuvenating than a break from the day-to-day mundanity? Traveling is an excellent way to immerse yourself in a new culture, setting, or way-of-life, but the best part is this: you don’t have to venture far from home to enjoy what this world has to offer.
Whether your journey takes you across your own city, to an unexplored part of your state, or even to the other side of the world, there’s no doubt you will still learn a lot about your surroundings – and yourself – along the way.
While the culture an hour away from your home might not be drastically different from what you’re used to, you can still gain a deepened sense of appreciation for where you’ve laid your roots. Plus, traveling locally has a lot of benefits:
More cost-effective. Local travel is certainly a budget-friendly way to explore! Many activities and parks are free or have a low cost of entry. For day trips, you can also pack your own meals to save.
Eco-friendly way to travel. Travel is hard on the environment, but putzing around your area is more sustainable than air travel.
Quick trips. Getting out locally means you can do it more often! Long weekend trips are a lot easier to take when the destination is a short drive away.
Easy to plan. Preparing your itinerary for a local getaway will likely save you some time and stress.
More convenient. Especially if you have little ones, sticking close to home may be much more convenient than far-off destinations. If you forget something, have an emergency, or need to cut the trip short, being closeby definitely has its benefits.
You’ll find Redding in northern California, where it lies along the Sacramento River. The city is home to famous attractions such as its Sundial Bridge, which is often referred to as an 'architectural wonder'. During the summer and spring months, this bridge is one of the largest working sundials in the world.
Places such as Turtle Bay Exploration Park, which includes an arboretum, botanical gardens and a museum with natural history exhibits, as well as Shasta State Historic Park, also draw a crowd, as they combine the beauty and serenity of nature with intriguing facts about history.
Even those who have lived in the city for a decade would agree they haven’t experienced all that Redding has to offer, while for those new to the region – well, they’ve got a lot to look forward to as well.
Ready to discover the best of Redding, California? Let’s get started!
*Note: Some of the suggestions may not be doable due to coronavirus closures, but keep this list handy for when things start opening back up more! Be sure to check individual pages for specific operation details.
Redding isn’t all hustle and bustle! There are also plenty of state parks and national parks both within and surrounding the area, all of which provide a tranquil escape for those looking to surround themselves by nature.
Visit Shasta State Historic Park for a slice of history and old America, featuring well-preserved brick buildings and a walking tour of the town’s history. “Old Shasta,” as locals call it, offers the perfect backdrop for a photoshoot for photography enthusiasts and is also a great educational experience for the kids, thanks to the numerous exhibits and programs on offer.
Castle Crags State Park offers a great view of the 6,000-foot glacier-topped crags and a strenuous 6.5 mile trail, as well as year-round camping. If you brave the hike, you will be rewarded with beautiful views of the river and the best view of Mt. Shasta by far, but we highly recommend that you bring a lot of water on the hike, as you’ll need to keep well-hydrated.
Created by volcanic activity, the McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park’s landscape is both unique and picturesque. It is also home to the 129-foot-tall Burney Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state. Burney creek, which is located above the falls, and Lake Britton are also popular local spots for fishing.
This state park offers a nice slice of the old homestead life and is well worth a quick detour for the educational experience. It offers well-preserved buildings from the 1840s, creating a relaxing and laid back atmosphere. Drop by with a packed lunch and enjoy the scenic picnic area.
Still need to get your nature fix? If you’re craving seeing even more of the beautiful scenery that surrounds Redding, then there are also plenty of hiking and walking trails for you and your family to enjoy.
This 7.4 km moderate trail offers a great view of Shasta Dam, Shasta Lake, Mount Shasta, and basically everything Shasta. The trail allows for mountain biking and horseback riding, and you can even bring your dog with you. There’s a picnic table at the top where you can have a rest and enjoy your packed lunch – all with incredibly scenic views, of course!
The Sacramento River Trail is a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike. The trail traverses through wooded areas to an open area with striking mountain views right by the picturesque Sacramento River. Then, it’s straight onto the impressive Sacramento River Trail Bridge. It’s a lot more fun if you navigate the trail with bikes, as a couple or with friends. That scenery is well-worth sharing!
Perfect for a beginner, this 8.9 km trail loops close to the Sacramento River at its halfway point. This trail allows for mountain biking, running, and hiking. It’s also child friendly if you don’t complete the full trail, and it’s dog friendly too - as long as your pet is on a leash.
In Redding, there’s sure to be a restaurant, café, or diner to satisfy your cravings. If you’ve worked up an appetite after a long hike, or simply feel like treating yourself to a delicacy, then you’re in luck. Here are our top restaurant recommendations!
Visit the C.R. Gibbs American Grille if you’re looking for generous portions of good ol’ American comfort food. Try to get a seat at the shaded patio for a nice outdoor dining experience. We highly recommend the Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken and the Seared Ahi Bowl. But of course, you can never go wrong with any of their juicy, fresh-off-the-grill burgers.
Try the Lighthouse Fish and Chips for some seriously good fried fish! Their other seafood dishes are great too, but there’s a reason why the restaurant is famous for their fish and chips – try them for yourself to see why! Craving something else? Opt for the clam chowder, deep fried vegetables, or prawn meals for something a little different.
La Cabana is a traditional Mexican restaurant that offers the best Mexican food for miles. Stop by from camping at Lake Lewisville and try any of their delicious, authentic tacos. Locals recommend their Carne Asada tacos or burrito, their Camarones a la Diabla, and their Shrimp Quesadilla, so don’t miss them!
The Moonstone Bistro is a great local spot that’s the go-to restaurant of most locals for celebrating special occasions or for a family night out. They’ve got great food with a great ambience to match, making Moonstone the easy choice for any night out. If you’re not sure what to order, go for the Wild Alaskan Halibut or the Fire Charred Filet Mignon. We hear they’re heavenly!
If you’re craving Japanese food, you can’t go wrong with Kobe Seafood and Steakhouse. Try to get a seat at the teppanyaki table where you’ll be treated to quite a show of live cooking! Kobe offers great vibes and great food for a fun evening with friends and family. Local favorites include the soft-shell crab, the hibachi chicken, and the teriyaki salmon bento.
After feasting and enjoying all that the hiking trails and state parks have to offer, you may be wondering: “what next?” Well, when it comes to Redding’s attractions and activities, you’re only just getting started. Here are some of the most fun things on offer in and around the city!
Looking to entertain some little ones? Or perhaps you’ve got some teenagers in-tow who are starting to get a little bored? Either way, these attractions will entertain both children, teens, and adults alike!
Turtle Bay Exploration Park is a lot of fun for the whole family and is also extremely educational for the kids. They have permanent exhibits at the museum covering art, history, and forestry and an amazing botanical garden with lots of diverse plant life. At the center of it all is the Sundial Glass Walkway suspension bridge that’s well worth seeing at night when it’s all lit up.
The Waterworks Park is a great way to cool off on a hot summer’s day or after a morning of hiking and other activities. The park comes with a lot of slides and features that both kids and adults will enjoy, and the facilities are clean and well maintained. You’ll find on-site food, as well as a Tiki hut and gift shop too.
What should you do in Redding once the sun goes down? We’re glad you asked! Here are our suggested night-time attractions.
Try something different for your weekend workout or for your next fun activity with your friends or family at the Rare Air Trampoline Park. More than trampolines, they also offer rock climbing, a slam dunk court, and a trapeze court. It’s a great way to burn off some extra energy, the kids always have a blast, and the massage chairs are a perfect post-activity treat.
The theater itself is a treat. First opened in 1935, Cascade Theater has been fully restored and now offers a slice of history along with a show. Check the schedule online for any musicals or events during your visit or for when you have a couple of hours available. You’ll never know what gems you stumble upon here!
What can you do in or around Redding that won’t cost anything more than a few dollars? The answer: plenty! Here are just two of our favorite attractions within the area that can be enjoyed on the cheap.
Lassen Volcanic National Park offers quite a few activities, including a canoe trip at Manzanita Lake, camping at the expansive campgrounds, or hiking through one of the park’s largest hydrothermal areas.
Oasis Fun Center is a great way to spend an afternoon or an evening with friends and family playing mini golf, riding go karts, and playing laser tag! Keep an eye on their special offers to save a few dollars, or why not throw your next birthday bash here? They also have group and park rental!
Looking to get the most out of your time spent within the city of Redding? Whether you want a fun way to waste away a Sunday afternoon or a date idea that won’t break the budget – here are our most recommended things to do in Redding that won’t cost you a cent.
The Sundial Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge for pedestrians that offers amazing, closeup views of the Sacramento River. Visit the bridge at dusk so that you can catch the sunset reflecting off the bridge and then stay a few more minutes to catch the bridge all lit up for the evening.
The 110-year-old Eaton House offers a nice slice of the local history in a restored and well-preserved local landmark. You’ll also get to see a lot of lovely antiques and artwork in the free tour, so be sure not to miss it. What’s more fun than stepping back in time as you experience what Shasta County was like in the Victorian and Gold Rush era?
Alright, by now you’ve probably been on your feet all day exploring the sights and delights that Redding has to offer. If you’re craving some rest and relaxation, or even a bit of pampering, these are two of the best spas in the region.
The Urban Retreat Day Spa offers an incredible array of services, from manicures to skin treatments to full body massage in a relaxing and completely zen environment. It’s a great way to loosen up and get pampered after a full day of exploring the town.
Visit Boheme Salon & Spa if you want to freshen up your locks after a long day of outdoor activities, or you can enjoy a facial treatment or a body massage to complete the experience. We highly recommend a Self Renewal Body Massage, as it’s perfect for getting those small aches out of your muscles.
If rejuvenation for you is less about deep relaxation and more about sweating it out, then you’re in luck. Redding is home to some of the highest-rated gyms and yoga studios within the region.
Sun Oaks is a very well-rounded training center that includes group fitness, tennis, swimming, kids’ programs, and even a spa. It’s definitely a one-stop shop for fitness and it’s well worth a visit if you want to sneak in a workout session on the weekends or after work.
If yoga is more your thing, stop by the Living Water Studio where they offer a variety of yoga classes for all levels, from vinyasa yoga and power yoga to yoga sculpt. It’s a great way to relax and find your balance after all of the stress your day – or week – has thrown at you.
Looking to fulfill your wanderlust by heading outside of the region for a day? You could spend decades within Redding without barely scratching the surface of all there is to do in this city, but consider these day trips next time you fancy a new adventure.
The drive from Redding to Chico is an easy one hour and 20 minutes and is well worth the trip if you want to experience picturesque small-town vibes side by side with nature. Don’t miss a trip to the Gateway Science Museum or the massive Bidwell Park if you’re with kids.
Eureka is a good three-hour drive from Redding. At Eureka, you’ll find massive redwood trees at the Sequoia Park, a zoo filled with native and exotic animals, and guided boat cruises on a 1900s style Madaket ferry. This is a great way to experience the local sights and wildlife from the scenic water’s surface.
As a final reminder, some of these activities may need to wait until businesses fully reopen from coronavirus closures. However, there is still much to see and experience in Redding that you can enjoy today! What are your favorite spots in Redding? Send them our way to [email protected] or by tagging us on Instagram @rvshare and using the hashtag #rvsharelocal.