With its stunning natural beauty, amazing weather (more than 300 sunny days each year!), and a proud obsession with water sports (kayaking, anyone?), Redding's reputation as an outdoor paradise may be a bit of an understatement. Surrounded by mountains, rivers and every natural wonder in between, the Shasta Cascade town packs a punch when it comes to opportunities to have fun outside.
Here's our guide to a perfect day in this adventurous Northern California town.
RISE AND SHINE
Start your morning with a locally roasted coffee or seasonal latte at this minimalistic, modern cafe that becomes a craft beer bar by night. If available, sample the Ethiopia Keramo espresso, a gold-medal-winner at the 2018 Golden Bean North America roasting competition.
EXPLORE A CAVE
Lake Shasta Caverns
Book a tour to explore the limestone caves of Lake Shasta Caverns, 17 miles north of Redding. Your two-hour tour starts with a short catamaran ride across the blue-green waters of Shasta Lake. You'll then discover the stalactites, helictites, and rare formations found along the guided cavern tour.
SNACK AND PLAY
Pick your favorite cuisine from the Food Trucks at The Park, where mobile vendors gather to offer lunch and dinner al fresco. Relax around a firepit and listen to music as you finish your tacos, pizza, or Italian ice. Then jump in for a round of bocce, cornhole, or giant Jenga.
GET A HISTORY LESSON
Turtle Bay Exploration Park
This 300-acre, kid-friendly museum and wildlife center features creative ways to learn about pioneer history and local wildlife. There are more than 64 different species of animals, including butterflies, porcupines, owls, and foxes.
STROLL ACROSS ART
Crossing the Sacramento River, Redding's Sundial Bridge is a stunning marvel of architecture designed by Santiago Calatrava. Walk to the north side to explore the McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.
EAT DINNER WITH A VIEW
The Mosaic Restaurant
Settle into one of tables overlooking the river with the craft cocktail or California wine of your choice. Plates are meant for sharing, from the charcuterie platter to the oven-baked artisanal pizzas. Up for something unique? Try the Peach Perfect pie, with grilled peach, local fromage blanc, bacon, and serrano honey.
SEE A SHOW
The Cascade Theatre
Within an easy walk to everything from fine dining to brew pubs, this historic, 1,348-seat theatre—which originally opened its doors in 1935—has been beautifully restored and is a magnificent example of art deco architecture. Since its reopening in 2004, artists as diverse as Bo Diddley, Emmylou Harris, and Wilco have graced its stage; check out its calendar for upcoming shows.