Top 10 Must-Visit Attractions: Unforgettable Things to Do in Redding CA

Discovering things to do in Redding CA is an adventure in itself. From walking the spans of the engineering marvel, Sundial Bridge, to exploring the outdoors at breathtaking falls and national parks, Redding combines scenic beauty with cultural richness. Get ready to uncover activities that will leave you with lasting memories and a true sense of this northern California gem.

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Experience the Iconic Sundial Bridge

Imagine a bridge that not only connects two points over a river but also tells time. The Sundial Bridge, a true marvel of engineering, stands proudly as one of the largest sundials in the world and a symbol of Redding’s innovative spirit.

As you walk across its 700-foot expanse, take a moment to absorb the fantastic views of both the Sacramento River and the Trinity River, picturesque vistas that captivate artists and photographers alike.

History and Design

The Sundial Bridge is more than a pedestrian crossing; it’s a functioning timepiece, a testament to human ingenuity and a harmonious blend of aesthetics and functionality. Its unique design features include:

  • Minimal environmental impact
  • Seamless integration into the landscape
  • Inviting visitors to ponder its origins
  • Enjoying the serene backdrop

Nearby Attractions

A short walk from the iconic Sundial Bridge, you’ll find yourself amidst the natural and educational haven of Turtle Bay Exploration Park. This park is a great place to continue your journey, offering a rich tapestry of indoor and outdoor fun, from animal exhibits to botanical gardens.

And just a step further, the McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens await with their tranquil landscapes and diverse plant species, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.

Unwind at Turtle Bay Exploration Park

Turtle Bay Exploration Park, nestled in the heart of Redding, is a 300-acre sanctuary where nature, art, and history converge. As a cultural hub connected to the Sundial Bridge, it beckons families and nature lovers to explore its museum, botanical gardens, and forest camp.

Children will delight in the park’s playgrounds and water features, while adults find solace in the peaceful botanical gardens or engage with the interactive museum’s exhibits.

Animal Encounters

With over 64 species of animals, Turtle Bay Exploration Park offers a journey into the wild. From the laughter of Kookaburras to the majesty of Golden Eagles, the park’s animal encounters are both educational and enchanting.

Don’t miss the Behind the Scenes Encounters – a unique opportunity to meet creatures like Gucci or Timber up close and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Interactive Museum

The interactive museum at Turtle Bay is a trove of knowledge where hands-on learning comes to life. Engage with current exhibitions like the ‘Amazing Pollinators’ or delve into the virtual world with online displays such as ‘Lost Man Blues: Jon Schueler – Art and War’. Each exhibit is thoughtfully designed to spark curiosity and wonder in visitors of all ages.

Beautiful Botanical Gardens

Amidst Turtle Bay Exploration Park lies the McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, a 200-acre oasis dedicated to the beauty of flora. Here, you can:

  • Wander through Mediterranean-climate display gardens
  • Discover the restorative properties of plants in the medicinal garden
  • Enjoy the soothing presence of water features

The gardens’ emphasis on drought-tolerant species and on-site propagation underscores Redding’s commitment to sustainability and education.

Outdoor Adventures in Redding

Redding’s outdoor scene is a playground for adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. Some of the top outdoor experiences in Redding include:

  • Hedge Creek Falls: a trail leading to a waterfall where you can walk behind the water’s veil
  • Heart Lake Trail: a challenging hike with breathtaking vistas
  • Sacramento River Trail: a scenic trail along the Sacramento River
  • Whiskeytown National Recreation Area: a beautiful area with hiking trails, waterfalls, and a lake for swimming and boating

There’s an experience for every level of explorer in Redding.

And with the Sacramento River as your backdrop, kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding at Boulder Creek become not just activities, but gateways to serenity.

Hiking Trails

The trails around Redding are a hiker’s paradise, offering a range from leisurely paved paths like Leah’s Loop to the strenuous summits of Brokeoff Mountain. Whether you’re seeking the panoramic views of the Wintu Loop or the enchanting journey to Whiskeytown Falls, there’s a trail that will lead you to new discoveries and a deeper connection with the natural world. Some popular trails in the area include:

  • Leah’s Loop
  • Brokeoff Mountain
  • Wintu Loop
  • Whiskeytown Falls

Water Activities

Redding’s waterways beckon with a variety of aquatic adventures. Join the community for the Sundial Splash, a kayaking event on the Sacramento River, or feel the adrenaline rush of jet skiing on Shasta Lake. Whether you’re in the mood for waterskiing, wakeboarding, or simply floating along the currents, the waters of Redding serve as the perfect playground for thrill-seekers and peace-seekers alike.

Cycling Routes

Cycle along the Sacramento River National Recreation Trail and revel in the waterfront scenery that has earned it a spot among the best rail trails in the nation. Venture off-road at Mule Ridge and Swasey Recreation Area, where challenging climbs reward you with panoramic views.

A bike ride in Redding is more than just exercise – it’s an exploration of the city’s natural and urban beauty.

Delve into Redding’s History

The echoes of Redding’s past resonate through its historic landmarks. Shasta State Historic Park offers a glimpse into the gold rush era, while Shasta Dam stands as a testament to the region’s development and power. These sites not only reflect on history but also provide a narrative to the city’s growth and its place in California’s story.

Shasta State Historic Park

Step back in time at Shasta State Historic Park, where the remnants of Shasta City come alive. Walk among the ruins and the restored 1861 County Courthouse, now a museum filled with historic artifacts and California artwork.

This park is a portal to the days of gold fever, offering a tangible connection to Redding’s bygone era.

Visit Shasta Dam

Shasta Dam’s colossal structure serves as a reminder of human ambition and its intersection with nature. As one of the tallest dams in the country, it plays a crucial role in water storage, flood control, and power generation.

A visit to Shasta Dam not only educates on its importance but also invites contemplation on the delicate balance between progress and conservation.

Underground Wonders: Lake Shasta Caverns

Journey into the heart of the earth at Lake Shasta Caverns, where a guided tour reveals a subterranean world of ancient formations and geological mysteries. The experience, complete with a catamaran ride and bus transport, offers a unique adventure for families and geology buffs alike, showcasing the timeless beauty hidden beneath the surface.

Guided Tour

The adventure begins with a scenic catamaran ride across Shasta Lake, setting the stage for what lies ahead as you approach the breathtaking Battle Creek, a popular spot for fly fishing enthusiasts in Northern California, near Mount Shasta.

Climb aboard the bus that winds up to the caverns’ entrance, where a series of stair-steps await to lead you through the underground chambers. Guided by knowledgeable staff, the tour is an educational and awe-inspiring experience, filled with moments that beg to be captured and remembered.

Geological Features

Within Lake Shasta Caverns, nature’s artistry is on full display – stalactites, stalagmites, and calcite crystals create a symphony of shapes and textures. The constant temperature and humidity within the caverns make this underground spectacle a comfortable journey into prehistoric times, where each formation tells a story of the earth’s evolution over millions of years. Just a short distance away, the breathtaking Boulder Creek Falls adds to the beauty of the Lake Shasta area, while nearby Crystal Creek offers a serene escape for nature lovers.

Savor Local Flavors

Redding’s culinary landscape offers an array of tastes to savor, from the creative burgers at Yak’s on the 5 to the wholesome Buddha Bowl at Wilda’s Grill. For those with a penchant for sweetness, Taste and See Creamery’s ice cream is a delightful treat. The local flavors here are a testament to Redding’s vibrant food scene, where each bite is an exploration of the area’s gastronomic diversity.


Whether you’re craving gourmet entrees at Trendy’s Restaurant or artisanal pizzas at Cinders Wood Fired Pizza, Redding’s restaurants cater to every palate. The Park’s collection of food trucks adds a unique twist to dining, serving up a smorgasbord of regional cuisines in a lively atmosphere.

Redding is more than a destination; it’s a culinary journey waiting to be devoured.

Cafes and Coffee Shops

For coffee aficionados, Theory Coffee Roasters is a haven of high-quality, locally roasted beans and expertly crafted beverages. Pair your cup with a selection of pastries and snacks for the ultimate coffee house experience. It’s a cozy nook in Redding where every sip is a reminder of the city’s love for fine coffee and good company.

Explore Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park is a geological wonderland, boasting all four types of volcanoes found on earth. Here, visitors can:

  • Walk among steam vents and bubbling mud pots, feeling the pulse of the planet beneath their feet
  • Explore over 150 miles of trails, offering endless opportunities for discovery
  • Reach the summit of Lassen Peak for breathtaking views
  • Relax on the serene shores of Manzanita Lake

The park truly offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Hydrothermal Features

The park’s hydrothermal marvels, from the boiling pools at Bumpass Hell to the fumaroles at Sulphur Works, are a testament to the fiery forces that shaped this land. These features are not just natural attractions; they’re a living, breathing showcase of the earth’s volcanic activity, offering visitors an up-close experience with the power of geothermal energy.

Hiking Trails

The trails of Lassen Volcanic National Park invite hikers of all levels to traverse its diverse landscapes. Whether it’s the challenge of Cinder Cone or the tranquility of the Manzanita Lake Loop, each path offers a unique perspective on the park’s volcanic and hydrothermal features.

These trails are more than mere pathways; they are journeys through an ever-changing canvas of natural splendor.

Family Fun in Redding

Redding knows how to entertain visitors of all ages. The Shasta District Fair and holiday-themed runs like the Turkey Trot and the 12Ks of Christmas are just a few examples of the fun-filled events that make family memories last.

As the year comes to a close, festivities at the Redding Garden of Lights and Historic Hawes Farms ensure a joyous end to your Redding adventure.

WaterWorks Park

WaterWorks Park is a splashy oasis where families can beat the heat with a variety of water attractions. From the thrills of the ‘Dragon’ slide to the laid-back vibes of the Lazy Lagoon, this park caters to all levels of excitement.

The children’s area is a watery wonderland, ensuring that the little ones have just as much fun as the grown-ups.

Win-River Casino

For adults seeking a different kind of thrill, Win-River Casino offers a full spectrum of gaming and entertainment. Whether you’re playing the slots, enjoying a hand of poker, or taking in a live performance, the casino is a place where nights come alive and stories of luck and laughter are made.

Art and Culture in Redding

Redding’s vibrant art and culture tapestry is woven with events and collaborations that celebrate creativity in all its forms. From the Redding Fashion Alliance’s innovative projects during Redding Fashion Week to the Old City Hall Arts Center’s contemporary exhibits, the city’s cultural offerings are as diverse as they are enriching.

Whether you’re a connoisseur of the arts or simply looking for a touch of local color, Redding’s cultural scene is sure to captivate.

Cascade Theatre

The Cascade Theatre stands as a beacon of Redding’s cultural heritage, hosting an eclectic mix of performances that span genres and generations. As the home of the North State Symphony, it brings classical music to the heart of the city, while its stage welcomes everything from theatrical productions to film festivals.

The Cascade Theatre is not just a venue; it’s a community gathering place where art comes to life.

Art Galleries

Redding’s art galleries are treasure troves where the works of local and regional artists take center stage. Some of the top art galleries in Redding include:

  • Haven Art Studios: Visitors can immerse themselves in the artistic process, even creating and firing their own pieces.
  • Redding Art Center: This gallery showcases a variety of art forms, including paintings, sculptures, and photography.
  • Siskiyou Arts Museum: Located in nearby Dunsmuir, this museum features rotating exhibits of contemporary art.

These galleries are more than spaces to view art; they are creative hubs where interaction and inspiration flow freely.

Plan Your Redding Getaway

Crafting the perfect Redding getaway is a breeze with a myriad of unique accommodations and convenient transportation options. Whether you’re traveling by RV and staying at a Harvest Hosts location, or driving in from nearby cities like Sacramento or San Francisco, Redding is accessible and inviting.

With the best times to visit in the spring or fall, when the weather is ideal for exploring, your Redding adventure awaits.

Where to Stay

Redding’s lodging landscape caters to every traveler’s needs, including:

  • Cozy charm of a riverside Airbnb
  • Full-service amenities of luxury hotels
  • RV parks that offer a home away from home for those seeking the great outdoors, complete with all the modern conveniences.

No matter where you choose to stay, you’ll awake refreshed and ready to explore all that Redding has to offer.

Getting There and Around

Navigating Redding is a seamless experience, whether you’re using rideshare services like Uber or Lyft, or adventuring through the city in your own vehicle. Renting a car provides the freedom to explore the surrounding area at your own pace, taking in the scenic drives and discovering hidden gems along the way.

Best Time to Visit

Timing is everything when planning a visit to Redding. Summer and fall are the best seasons to enjoy the city’s full array of attractions, from hiking trails to historic parks.

For those looking to connect with the community, the Summer Blast at the Library program offers an enriching cultural experience during the warmer months.


Redding, CA, is a destination that truly has it all – from the architectural wonder of the Sundial Bridge to the natural splendor of Lassen Volcanic National Park, and the rich tapestry of arts and culture. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure, historical insights, or simply a place to unwind and indulge in local flavors, Redding offers a memorable escape for travelers of all interests. So pack your bags, set your itinerary, and prepare for an experience that will leave you longing to return.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Redding CA a good area?

Redding, CA has a higher crime rate than the national average, but it offers a dense suburban feel, with many amenities like coffee shops and parks. The public schools are also above average. Consider the pros and cons before making a decision.

What is there to do in Redding CA indoors?

You can visit indoor attractions such as Oasis Fun Center, The Playspace, Ninja Coalition, and Viking Skate Country in Redding, California. Enjoy various activities like trampolining, skating, and rock climbing.

Is Redding CA worth visiting?

Yes, Redding CA is worth visiting, especially for its walkable downtown area with attractions like the Cascade Theater and popular dining spots like Taste and See Creamery and Theory Coffee Roasters. You’ll find plenty to explore and enjoy there.

Can the Sundial Bridge really tell time?

Yes, the Sundial Bridge can indeed tell time, as it functions as a true sundial, one of the largest in the world. So, it’s not just a pedestrian crossing!

What kind of animals can I see at Turtle Bay Exploration Park?

You can see a variety of birds, mammals, and aquatic life at Turtle Bay Exploration Park, including over 64 different species of animals. Enjoy your visit!