Redding777 Cypress Ave, Redding
Redding might be the California city you’re missing—and it’s one you shouldn’t miss. Northern California’s biggest town offers much more than a quick stop off Interstate 5, including lively culture, world-class kayaking, and the only bridge in the world that functions as a sundial. Redding’s 217-foot-high Sundial Bridge, open to hikers and bikers (but not cars), was designed to minimize impacts to the Sacramento River’s salmon-spawning habitat. This city cares about its waterways and strives to protect their clarity, both for wildlife and also the kayakers who take to the local rivers and lakes. But you don’t have to be paddle-crazed to have fun here. Rent bikes and pedal 10 miles on the Sacramento River Trail. Watch the sunset from the riverside deck at View 202. Spend the night or saddle up for the day at the Wild Horse Sanctuary. Learn about nature’s wonders at the Turtle Bay Exploration Park and McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. And of course, it’s only one hour’s drive to Northern California’s two spectacular volcanoes, Mount Shasta and Mount Lassen.