Redding, CA - Travel and Things To Do

Redding, California is the largest city in the Sacramento Valley, and one of the most picturesque and most-visited metropolitan centers in Northern California. Home to the famed Sundial Bridge, designed by renowned Spanish architect and artist Santiago Calatrava (among countless other cultural and historical sites), Redding is a great starting point for seeing the rest of Northern California because of its central location. The city is nearly surrounded by an array of national parks, full of natural wonders including the Lassen volcano (one of only a few recently active volcanoes in the United States) and Shasta Lake, a great recreational area and place of natural beauty.

Redding is also home to a variety of cultural attractions. Turtle Bay Exploration Park, along the banks of the Sacramento River, is an interactive mix of park and museum, describing the history and culture of Redding and its surroundings. In one of the surrounding state parks is the Weaverville Joss house, the oldest Chinese temple that has been in continuous use in the state. The temple has an array of artifacts and a visual history of the Chinese immigrants that made their way to California beginning in the 1850's during the California Gold Rush. The Redding Museum of Art and History is centered around a permanent exhibit of Native American artifacts and art, but also features a rotating collection of other installations by newer artists, both locally and nationally known.

Excellent restaurants and accommodation abound in Redding, with incredible diversity. Whether you want all-American steaks or a plethora of international options, your dietary needs and desires will all be fulfilled. Hotels and B&B's also abound, from the most inexpensive hostels to the most luxurious resorts.

In the area around Redding a huge number of outdoor activities are available. The parks and activity centers around the city can offer anything from a few hours entertainment to full camping and hiking excursions in the beautiful countryside around Redding, home to diverse flora and fauna indigenous to the area.

For a shorter visit, visitors might want to consider staying close to town and taking a few day trips out to the main attractions. For adventuring types, Mount Shasta is an excellent day-and-a-night climb, requiring about 8 hours of strenuous effort, though the mountain is not all that high. For the less athletically inclined, there are several shorter climbs and walks on and around the base of the mountain, perfect for both strolling and hiking. Weather around Redding is unpredictable, so be sure to contact the weather and park services before any excursions.

Further afield, in the lakes and forests around the city, other activities are widely available. Many of the parks' lakes offer excellent fly fishing, as well as swimming, boating, jet-skiing, water-skiing, and windsurfing, among others. Spacious trails abound, perfect for anything from casual nature walks to hardcore mountain biking.

Redding, though it is not the biggest or most metropolitan city in California, truly has something for everyone, whether you want to spend your vacation on cultural heritage sites, outdoor adventures, or just a bit of time with nature.

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