This Northern California city brims with urban sophistication and an outdoorsy vibe
Things to do
Places to Eat & Drink
The city of Redding is ideally situated as a gateway to natural wonders, including Lassen Volcanic National Park, McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, and Whiskeytown Lake. But this leafy urban center—located about 160 miles north of Sacramento—also harbors surprising gems within its city limits. Discover a buzzing downtown packed with brewpubs and bistros, tour an amazing eco-museum on the Sacramento River, catch a concert at an art deco theater, and explore an extensive trail system. Plus, you can play outside all year long because Redding boasts more than 300 days of sunshine.
What to do in Redding
Topping Redding's must-see list is Turtle Bay Exploration Park, a 300-acre venue featuring a glass-and-wood eco-museum, arboretum, and seasonal butterfly garden that blend seamlessly with the Sacramento River's ecosystem. Exhibits designed for all ages let you look into a golden eagle's eyes, get close-up with a porcupine, and walk into an aviary filled with Australian lorikeets, one of the world's most colorful birds (don't be surprised if they land on your head).
Outside the museum, traipse across the 710-foot-long Sundial Bridge, part engineering marvel and part art installation. Designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, the pedestrian bridge's 218-foot-high "mast" casts a shadow during daylight hours, creating an artistic timekeeping device. After dark, the bridge's translucent glass floor glows a cool aquamarine.
Time your trip so you can catch a show at the 1935 Cascade Theatre, an art deco marvel. The 950-seat performing arts venue hosts musicians like Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jim Messina. After the show, cross the street to Vintage Public House for a nightcap and dessert.
Family fun in Redding
Traveling with energetic kids? Let them bounce around at Rare Air Trampoline Park or climb the walls at Shasta Rock Club. Or take them on a California history field-trip to Shasta State Historic Park. In the 1850s, this was the queen city of California’s northern mining district, with hotels, stores, and saloons in the largest row of brick buildings north of San Francisco.
Redding's up-and-coming restaurant scene has lured top chefs from across the country. Sample the city's culinary prowess under the lofty ceiling at Mosaic Restaurant. Located on the Turtle Bay campus, this chic spot serves a modern bistro-style menu three meals a day (dinner entrées include Chilean sea bass, seared duck breast, and pancetta-wrapped salmon). On warm evenings, dine under the tree-shaded patio, then take an evening walk across the Sundial Bridge.
In Redding's revitalized downtown, step into the art-bedecked dining room at Cafe Paradisio and choose from an on-point menu featuring beef cheek risotto and cauliflower fritto. Just a few blocks away, Market Street Blade & Barrel specializes in American steakhouse classics: New York strip, French onion soup, and beef carpaccio. On the west side of town, Moonstone Bistro serves only local organic produce, free-range meats, and line-caught fish. For appetizers, don't miss the feta and pomegranate frybread.
While you're sampling Redding's culinary culture, check out its award-winning beverages, too. Caffeinate your morning at Theory Coffee Roasters, which has earned high honors as one of North America's most acclaimed coffee roasters. Sip artisan suds at Fall River Brewing Company, a top competitor at the Great American Beer Festival, and Final Draft Brewing Company, where signature brews are paired with a tempting menu of pub food.
Where to stay in Redding
Choose among the quirky, the charming, and the tried-and-true for your overnight stay. Reserve a room with a picture-perfect view of the Sacramento River at the hilltop Hilton Garden Inn Redding, or sleep in nostalgic 1960s style at the mid-century modern Thunderbird Lodge in downtown Redding. The pet-friendly Americana Modern Hotel offers sleek rooms in the midst of Redding's bustling central district. For an eco-chic stay, book a room at the LEED-certified Sheraton Redding at the Sundial Bridge, which offers easy access to Turtle Bay Exploration Park, the Cascade Theater, and downtown restaurants.
5 Great Outdoor Adventures Near Redding
Make this Northern California city your base camp for exploring volcanic marvels, tranquil lakes, mysterious caverns, and shimmering waterfalls