California has such an incredibly diverse landscape with wonderful towns and vibrant cities to suit anyone’s needs! The city of Redding, California, is definitely no exception. You will find an eclectic mix of old charming buildings, majestic cascades, scenic views, and stunning natural beauty situated right along the Sacramento River. Redding, one of the sunniest cities in the state, offers an array of sites and fun activities for visitors and is a popular destination among many.
1. Redding Civic Auditorium
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Redding Civic Auditorium is the ultimate place to visit in Redding if you’re a sucker for performing arts and live events. This theater venue is home to various big events in the city and has hosted concerts, stand-up comedy, game shows, and many more in the past. Occasionally, this Redding attraction would host events like wedding expos and Fourth of July celebrations. For 2021, the upcoming acts include Lewis Black, Tauren Wells, and The Berty Boy Relapse Tour by Bert Kreischer.
Redding Civic Auditorium
Address: 700 Auditorium Drive, Redding, CA 96001, United States
Website: Redding Civic Auditorium
2. Board & Brush Creative Studio - Redding
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Are you ready for some one-of-a-kind experience in Redding? At Broad & Brush Creative Studio, your knack for arts and crafts will be put to test. This unique studio is a do-it-yourself shopping spot where you can book a workshop and have hands-on experience and full creative control over what you want to take home. Make it a family affair and bring your loved ones for a day of DIY. You don’t have to have the experience to participate in a workshop, all skill levels are warmly welcome here!
Board & Brush Creative Studio - Redding
Address: 1419A Yuba St, Redding, CA 96001, United States
Opening hours: Wed - Thu: 9am - 5pm; Fri: 9am - 9pm; Sat: 12pm - 9pm (closed on Sun - Tue)
3. The Shasta Ghost Town
Don’t know what to do in Redding, CA, that is truly memorable? Located in Shasta State Historic Park, just west of the city center lies the remnants of a historic, and once very populated, bustling gold-rush town. Within this park, you will find old brick buildings from the California gold rush of the 1800s. Walking through, you will get a sense of the eloquence from long ago, and an idea of how active this city once was.
Shasta State Historic Park
Address: 10800 Trinity Aly, Shasta, CA 96087
Website: Shasta State Historic Park
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4. Turtle Bay Exploration Park
Definitely not to be missed, Turtle Bay Exploration Park is full of exciting things to see and do! Visit spectacular exhibits with various themes that change regularly, ranging from Mythical Creatures to Butterflies and even the legendary and infamous Bigfoot. There is something for everyone, young and old. Here you will find an interactive museum, the Sundial Bridge, Turtle Pond, and Parrot Playhouse. There is also an interactive forest with beautiful gardens, a nursery, and an array of animals to make new friends with!
This place to visit in Redding also has a coffee bar offering light snacks where you can take a relaxing and much-needed break. After admiring filling yourself with good food, you can head over to Paul Bunyan’s Forest Camp for fun and educational outdoor activities.
Turtle Bay Exploration Park
Address: 844 Sundial Bridge Drive, Redding, CA 96001
WebsiteTurtle Bay Exploration Park
5. Cascade Theater
Catching a show here is one of the best activities in the historic downtown of Redding. This arts center and theater, originally built in 1935, is currently owned by Southern Oregon University; purchased in 2004. Cascade Theater is a beautiful art deco building to enjoy the latest movies. The building has been carefully restored to its original design of the fabulous art deco era with incredible detail, so you may just want to give yourself extra time for browsing.
The Cascade Theater is definitely a venue you will want to look up before your trip to Redding, because if you’re lucky they may be featuring a concert or play during your stay! While in the area, you may want to sink your teeth in good food at Cinders Wood Fired Pizza or admire Victorian antiques and artifacts at Eaton House Museum.
Address: 1731 Market St, Redding, CA 96001
Website: Cascade Theater
6. Waterworks Park
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
California is always a great place to splash around and keep cool from the Californian sun! Maybe it’s time for the kids to burn off a little energy, or perhaps you also love the idea of an amusement park! The park has many slides for the young, and the ‘young at heart’ including the exciting wave pool and new ‘Dragon Slide’. There is a little mushroom kiddie outdoor pool with fountains to run through and slides to catch your little one from.
Nestled in a nice area surrounded by greenery, the water park is an excellent place for memorable family time. It has a grass area where you can watch all the action and at the same time find rest from the sun with the rental of a personal cabana.
Address: 151 N Boulder Drive, Redding, CA 96003-4607
Website: Waterworks Park
7. Old City Hall Arts Center
If you like architecture and great history, then you will want to stop by the Old City Hall Arts Centre. Adorned with local artisans’ unique displays, this arts center will provide you with a great way to see the artistic side of this Californian town. You may even find a local piece to take home as a souvenir! Located in the heart of Shasta County, this beautiful heritage landmark was built in 1907 and was certified as a historic location in 1978.
This historic building is of the original red brick and has original décor inside as well. The Old City Hall Arts Center houses year-round exhibits ranging from photography to sculptures and everything in between. This venue is definitely worth adding to your itinerary here in Redding, California!
Old City Hall Arts Center
Address: 1313 Market Street, Redding, CA 96001
Website: Old City Hall Arts Center
8. Whiskeytown Lake
Hiking, waterfalls, summer event programs, and camping are just some of the beautiful features of Whiskeytown Lake. This National Park offers so much to see as it is home to a total of four waterfalls, incredible views of the surrounding mountains, and over 70 miles (112 km) of scenic hiking trails. The beautiful lake is also the site of the rich Californian Gold Rush history! In fact, with a permit, you could even try panning for gold yourself!
Plenty of camping is available, (but definitely call ahead of time); beautiful beaches and don’t forget the ‘Park Ranger Tour Programs’ which is an excellent way of learning the true history of this stunning National Park in California.
Website: Whiskeytown Lake
9. McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
Recently merged with Turtle Bay Exploration Park, this gorgeous venue offers much more than one may realize. There are several international-themed displays from Chilean Gardens to South African Gardens, and from Australian to Mediterranean, as well as plants native to Sierra and Nevada. The grounds are stunning and many weddings are held here each year!
McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
Address: 1125 Arboretum Dr, Redding, CA 96003
10. Armando's Gallery House
Quirky, artistic, fun…and with really great art! You do not want to miss this gallery. A great place for dinner, and the food is as beautiful as the artistic surroundings. Armando is very friendly and if you’re lucky you may see a lovely performance during dinner! Each room is very unique, and you never know what is just around the corner! If you love beautiful art, great cuisine, and an array of aesthetically pleasing colors all around you, then Armando’s Gallery House may very well be the highlight of your trip.
Armando's Gallery House
Address: 1350 Butte St, Redding, CA 96001
Facebook: Armando's Gallery House
11. Sundial Bridge
One of the most famous landmarks of Redding is the Sundial Bridge, which is located on Sacramento River Trail and just five minutes away from downtown Redding. Noted as being an ‘architectural wonder’, this bridge is one of the largest working sundials in the world.
Made entirely of granite, steel, and glass, this 700-ft (236-meter) bridge spans across the Sacramento River. It was designed by the famous architect Santiago Calatrava, who also designed the PATH Transportation Terminal at the new World Trade Center site in New York City. As the bridge crosses the river, it offers excellent views, and the opportunity to watch salmon spawning right below at certain times of the year.
Address: Sacramento River Trail, Redding, CA 96003
Website: Sundial Bridge
12. Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark
Guided tours will take you right through these stunning caves where you can explore and see amazing underground formations, perhaps as you’ve never seen before. Included in your one price is a lovely boat ride across the Shasta Lake, which is beautiful in and of itself, a bus ride up the mountain, and a tour of spectacular cavern formations.
Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark
Address: 20359 Shasta Caverns Rd, Lakehead, CA 96051
13. Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
If you truly want to enjoy everything Redding has to offer, you will want to delve right into the heart of Shasta County at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. Camping, swimming, boating, paddleboarding, and kayaking are just some of the activities one can venture into in this family-friendly area. During the summer months, this destination offers instructor-led kayak tours!
It is truly a great location where the Klamath Mountain range meets with the outer edge of the Sacramento Valley; you are surrounded by crystal clear lakes, scenic mountain views, and unique plant life. You can also chase some of the stunning waterfalls in the area such as Whiskeytown Falls, Boulder Creek Falls, and Crystal Creek Falls.
Whiskeytown National Park
Address: Whiskeytown, CA 96095
Website: Whiskeytown National Park
Take a day trip and go fishing on the Sacramento River with a professional guide. If you don’t know how to fish, they’ll teach you. You can spin or fly fish for species like Rainbow Trout. The trip takes you to a beautiful natural area where you may see deer, otters, and bald eagles. You may even spot a bobcat! Along the stretch of the river, you will also see the scenic Sundial Bridge.
The trip comes with very good quality equipment. The fishing day is good for families and even large groups. The price does not include food, drinks, or a fishing license.
Duration: 8 hours
15. Walk or bike along the Sacramento River
The Sacramento River is perfect for outdoor adventures such as walking and mountain biking. It features the Sacramento Rail Trail, a beginner-friendly track that runs along the old rails. Designated as a National Recreation Trail, you can even enjoy horseback riding during your visit. The Sundial bridge connects so you can walk both sides of the river. Don’t forget your camera as you meander along the trail during the day or towards sunset.
Pack a backpack with the makings of a picnic as there are designated sites where you can relax and enjoy the natural setting while you eat. It’s a picturesque setting away from traffic and the rush of town. Soak in the sounds of nature in a peaceful environment. Spend a few hours strolling along excellent hiking routes.
Sacramento River Trail, Redding
Address: Hilltop Drive and River Bend Road, Redding, CA
A great place to visit
Redding, California is a small town in the midst of larger Californian cities. This ideal location offers visitors a small-town feel without really going too far from the city. Listed here are some great ideas for planning your next trip to Redding, California!
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Frequently asked questions about best things to do in Redding, California
1. What are the top attractions to visit in Redding?
There are plenty of attractions to visit in Redding and a day wouldn’t be enough to cover all, but if you have limited time, you should just visit its top attractions, including Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark, and the Sundial Bridge.
2. What are the best outdoor activities in Redding?
One of the best outdoor attractions here that you can visit is the Sacramento River, where you can bike along the river, swim, or go on a guided fishing trip. Other options include swimming at Whiskeytown Lake, exploring McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, and strolling around the Shasta Ghost Town.
3. What are the most popular things to do in Redding with kids?
The most popular activity here that will surely be enjoyed by your kids is visiting the Turtle Bay Exploration Park, where they’ll encounter different wildlife, ranging from mythical creatures to butterflies. Another must-try activity for kids here is swimming and sliding at Waterworks Park.
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