Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Redding, CA

  • Published 2022/04/24

Home to gorgeous hiking trails, vast mountains, and pretty lakes, Redding is one of California’s best destinations.

Shasta and Lassen are two of the picturesque mountains that make the quaint city of Redding even more beautiful.

Besides the natural sights, Redding’s must-visit attractions include fascinating museums, theaters, and state parks.

Interested in finding out more about this city?

Here are the best things to do in Redding, California:

Snap Pictures of the Sundial Bridge

Scenic view of the Sundial Bridge

Andrew Zarivny /

Make your way to the Sundial Bridge, which leads right to the Sacramento River Trail.

Its design is incredibly unique, and you’ll probably want to take a few moments to take it all in and enjoy the photo opportunity.

The view within the beautiful Sundial Bridge

Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz /

The bridge stretches for 700 meters, and when you stand on it, you’ll get fantastic views on both sides.

The best time to visit is right before the sun goes down, so you don’t miss out on the remarkable sunset views.

Night lights of the Sundial Bridge

Nagel Photography /

Spend the Day at Turtle Bay Exploration Park

Exterior of the Turtle Bay Exploration Park's visitor center

DimiTalen, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Turtle Bay Exploration Park is built on almost 300 acres and contains everything you need to have fun.

There is a museum within the park grounds known as the Turtle Bay Museum.

It boasts a lot of displays that portray the city and its natural beauties.

The museum’s main attraction would have to be the cave system built inside it.

There also happens to be an aquarium within the museum.

Turtle Bay Exploration Park also has its own botanical garden, as well as a forestry and wildlife center that’s home to 64 different animal species.

Overall, Turtle Bay Exploration Park takes almost a day to explore because of its many attractions.

Visit the Fascinating Eaton House Museum

The Eaton House Museum, formerly known as the Behrens-Eaton House, is one of the most fascinating historical sites in Redding.

The original building was constructed in 1895, and the design represents that of the Victorian era.

It served as the residence of Judge Richard Behrens Eaton, a former Shasta County Superior Court judge and local historian.

The house was turned into a museum in 2003.

Its display items include artifacts from the war, photographs, letters, and other remarkable pieces of history.

Ride along the Sacramento River Trail

Scenic view of Sacramento River Trail

Efferie Tower /

The Sacramento River Trail is a blessing to all adventure lovers.

Whether you decide to go hiking, trekking, or cycling, everything looks good on the Sacramento River Trail.

The redding trestle at Sacramento River Trail

Jonmallard, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can cycle beside the Sacramento Rail Track, and if you want more action, you venture to the Shasta Dam.

The trail extends for almost 17 miles and is quite an adventurous one if you want to reach the end.

Check Out the McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Welcome sign of McConnell Arboretum

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Find out everything about the local flora and fauna at the McConnel Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.

A small water fountain at McConnell Arboretum

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Featuring stunning shades of green, it is a pretty place to check out if you want to spend some more time inside the Turtle Bay Exploration Park.

It is built on more than 20 acres of land and is a fantastic place to visit after a tiring bike ride.

The flora of McConnell Arboretum

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Go Mountain Biking at Swasey Recreation Area

If you want to explore more of Redding’s outskirts, there are a few hidden gems for you to check out, such as the Swasey Recreation Area.

There are a lot of opportunities for activities there.

You can choose between running, hiking, or even biking, as there are a lot of open spaces and trails.

If you are not yet satisfied and want to go further, you can check out the Mule Ridge Trail.

The trails are surrounded by wildflowers and offer views of the gorgeous Mount Shasta.

It is a majestic place to visit if you want a relaxing break.

Admire Art at the Old City Hall Arts Center

The Old City Hall Arts Center has a historic tinge to it, as its creation was back in 1907.

Inside, you’ll find a vast gallery that showcases art pieces by a large number of regional and international artists.

It is an excellent place to check if you want to do some slow-paced sightseeing.

Catch a Show at the Cascade Theatre

Exterior of Cascade Theatre

Publichall, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If your schedule permits, do catch a show at the Cascade Theatre.

The theater was built in 1935 and still stands strong today.

Its vintage interiors will transport you to another area.

The Cascade Theatre attracts huge crowds since it shows many musicals, performances, and dramas for everyone to enjoy.

Watch a Play at Redding Civic Auditorium

Exterior of Redding Civic Auditorium

Nagel Photography /

Redding Civic Auditorium is a city-owned theater that hosts performances in the performing arts.

There are enough seats for around 2,000 individuals in this venue.

Shows at the Redding Civic Auditorium could be just what you’re searching for if you’re wondering what you can do at night.

No matter your taste in live entertainment, you’re sure to find something to keep you entertained.

Expos and other events are frequently held in the auditorium.

Look inside the hall if it’s rainy or freezing outdoors to see if there’s anything you’re interested in.

Go Standup Paddleboarding with Headwaters Adventure Company

Headwaters Adventure Company offers rental and sales of kayaks and standup paddleboards in Redding.

It also provides adventures and trips across Northern California’s breathtaking scenery.

While canoeing or kayaking, you may take in the natural majesty of the North State and the stunning vistas of the Trinity Alps, Mount Shasta, and Mount Lassen.

A variety of options is available for guests, including joining the Shasta Paddlers, an adventure paddling organization that offers different day trips and excursions.

You may also rent kayaks or standup paddleboards for personal explorations or enroll in training courses and classes for all skill levels.

Ride the Jetovator

Do you want to try something you’ve never experienced on your getaways?

Defy gravity with Jetovator!

If you’re wondering what Jetovator is, it is a water-powered personal watercraft (PWC) that uses high-pressure water jets to lift passengers above the water and expands the capabilities of already available PWCs.

Two individuals are needed to operate the Jetovator: one on the Jetovator to control its height and direction and one on the PWC to regulate the engine’s throttle.

Visitors to the Bridge Bay Resort on Shasta Lake may rent the watercraft for high-powered water rides, and a range of alternatives are available for individuals and groups.

Place Your Bets at Win-River Resort and Casino

Aside from the casino, Win-River Resort provides luxurious rooms and a wide range of relaxing amenities that surely help you say goodbye to stress.

Luxury amenities include a wellness center, an exclusive spa, and an outdoor heated swimming pool with sun loungers.

The facility also features several restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and unlimited access to a well-equipped fitness facility.

With slot machines, bingo, roulette tables, and a private poker room, River Tasalmi Golf Course is just a short drive away from the casino.

Go Wall-Climbing at Shasta Rock Club

Shasta Rock Club, a climbing gym in Redding, California, provides a unique, challenging rock climbing experience for amateur and professional rock climbers.

With the Shasta Rock Club, Redding now has an exclusive place to go rock climbing indoors.

The Shasta Rock Club offers everything from basic lessons and climbing routes to expert routes, outdoor trips, and fitness courses.

After-school climbing clubs, high school climbing teams, summer camps, and competitions are available here.

The venue also caters to private events like birthday parties and team-building exercises at the club.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Bask in the Beauty of Nature at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

Gorgeous view from Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

Zack Frank /

The Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is built around the beautiful Whiskeytown Lake.

It is easily accessible, and you can get to this place by driving for a mere 15 minutes.

The 40,000-acre space is filled with exciting and refreshing activities.

The Whiskeytown National Recreation Area waterfalls

Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz /

When you come to Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, you should take advantage of the many activities you can enjoy at the lake, like boating, swimming, or fishing.

The place was especially popular during the years of the famous Gold Rush.

After that, things got quiet around here, and it has since become a popular tourist attraction among nature lovers.

Downstream of Whiskeytown National Recreation Area's waterfalls

EWY Media /

Explore the Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark

Details inside the Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark

Sundry Photography /

Can you believe that Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark has been around for 250 million years?

This tourist spot located close to Shasta Lake is the collection of a lot of ancient caverns.

Entryway of Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark

Sundry Photography /

There are a lot of rock formations that are charming and mysterious at the same time.

They will make you curious about their history and how they came to be.

View inside the Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark

Sundry Photography /

Visit Shasta State Historic Park

Exterior of a barn at Shasta State Historic Park

jejim /

You might have heard of Shasta as the “Queen of the Northern Mines,” but do you know much about the place itself?

During the Gold Rush in California, traders, laborers, and businesses came to Shasta and left as soon as the rush died down.

Farming equipments on the grounds of Shasta State Historic Park

Zack Frank /

What you’ll see at Shasta State Historic Park see are the ruins that remain from the Gold Rush era.

There is a museum located in Shasta known as the Courthouse Museum, which stores all the necessary documents.

If you want to know more about Shasta’s history, pay a visit to this gorgeous place that brims with old heritage.

Welcome sign of Shasta State Historic Park

jejim /

Gaze at the Picturesque Shasta Dam

Daytime view of the Shasta Dam

Bryan Ramsey /

Shasta Dam mainly controls the mighty Sacramento River.

It is one of the biggest dams in the United States.

Side view of the Shasta Dam

jejim /

The dam stands at a height of over 600 feet and was mainly built to prevent the floods of the Sacramento River.

It continues to do its job today.

On top of that, hydroelectricity is produced from Shasta Dam, too.

Top view of the Shasta Dam

Allison Michael /

Enjoy the Breathtaking Shasta Lake

Scenic view of the Shasta Lake

Alexey Ulashchick /

This majestic wonder lies just a 12-minute drive outside Redding.

Can you believe that the stunning Shasta Lake is actually man-made?

It also happens to be the largest manufactured reservoir in California.

Aerial view of Shasta Lake

Christopher Pfeifer /

It boasts a vast shoreline that goes on for 360 miles.

Kayaking and boating are the two most enjoyable things to do in Shasta Lake.

Are you interested in spending a night here?

You can rent houseboats on this lake.

A tour boat on Shasta Lake

Sundry Photography /

Tour the Shasta-Trinity National Forest

Burney Falls in Shasta-Trinity National Forest

Stephen Moehle /

If you are done exploring the best of Redding and you still have a few days’ time on your hands, there are still a lot of surrounding areas for you to check out.

These places are pretty close to Redding and offer some panoramic scenes.

One of the best of Redding’s nearby attractions is the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

Black butte trailhead at Shasta-Trinity National Forest

Sundry Photography /

It is a slice of paradise for those who love the great outdoors.

Whether you visit during the summer or the winter, there are plenty of things to do in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

Hiking prevails during the summer, while the winters call for cross-country skiing.

A footbridge at Shasta-Trinity National Forest

Conor P. Fitzgerald /

Make a Day Trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park

The landscape of Lassen Volcanic National Park

Zack Frank /

Lassen Volcanic National Park is just a half-hour drive away from Redding.

This national park is one of the best places to spend a day and enjoy outdoor activities.

You can go camping or hiking here.

The steam of Bumpass hell in Lassen Volcanic National Park

Joshua Hawley /

The place is blanketed in snow during the winter, and you can enjoy a slew of winter activities.

The area is quite active and popular among tourists.

All visitors love Echo Lake, and you’re welcome to hike your way there.

The park’s hiking trails span over 150 miles.

The long boardwalk of Bumpass hell at Lassen Volcanic National Park

Pung /

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a sunny holiday spot, Redding is the place for you.

There are plenty of things to do outdoors, such as visiting national parks or sitting by gorgeous lakes.

Visit Redding, California, where you can enjoy plenty of sunshine and be surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

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