23 Best Things to Do in Redding, CA

Redding, CA

Redding, nestled in the heart of northern California, offers endless opportunities for discovery and delight.

This city presents a perfect blend of urban excitement and outdoor adventure, capturing the interest of many.

The warmth of the community, beautiful landscapes, and rich history and culture make exploring Redding, California, an adventure in itself.

Indeed, Redding is a city that effortlessly captivates, and this guide aims to highlight some of its most remarkable spots and experiences.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Cheryl Mendosa, Thomas Roby, Amira Weems, Kara Mueller, Hadassah Talley, Don Watson and Nalani Meadows.

Stroll through the Sundial Bridge

Scenic view of the Sundial Bridge
Andrew Zarivny / Shutterstock.com

Just like clockwork, I find myself drawn to the Sundial Bridge time and time again.

Whether I'm just passing through or intentionally setting out to soak in the serenity, the bridge never ceases to amaze me.

A quick stop at the Sundial Bridge during a leisurely afternoon stroll on a weekday is always a treat.

Even when everyone seems to be immersing themselves in their own midweek routines, this iconic bridge over the Sacramento River still creates a sense of tranquility that is hard to resist.

I often park my car near the Turtle Bay River trail and venture on a walk towards the bridge.

The ease and convenience of this little journey never fail to set the tone for a relaxing day.

The bridge is always sparsely populated during weekdays, allowing me to quietly appreciate its beauty.

As I walk across, I often spot fishing boats below, their inhabitants completely engrossed in their catch of the day.

The backdrop of blue skies and gorgeous clouds, occasionally interrupted by a soft overcast, only enhances the overall enchanting experience.

The view within the beautiful Sundial Bridge
Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Shutterstock.com

With summer around the corner, my evening strolls at the bridge become a ritual.

The path's glass surface, beautifully lit as the sun sets, provides an exquisite sight that makes every walk memorable.

I always cherish these moments, especially when I spot the bridge's mesmerizing lights dancing over the water.

The view is so captivating it often tempts passersby to capture it in their cameras.

A unique feature of the bridge is its sundial shape, which unfortunately often goes unnoticed due to the overcast.

But when the clouds clear, it's a sight to behold.

The trails around the bridge offer new paths to explore on each visit, adding an element of surprise to my routine walks.

In the vicinity of the bridge, I frequently visit the area next to the river.

The cool breeze here offers a welcome respite from hot summer days.

Night lights of the Sundial Bridge
Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

Explore the Great Outdoors with Headwaters Adventure Company

You know that feeling when you stumble upon a hidden gem in your own backyard?

That's exactly how I felt about Headwaters Adventure Company.

I got to connect with nature right here on the Sacramento River, and it was a thrilling experience that didn't break the bank.

All it took was $15 an hour, and I was all geared up, ready to paddle downstream.

I remember stepping into their shop for the first time, nervous because I had no prior experience.

But the staff there were incredibly knowledgeable and patient, walking me through the basics before letting me try my hand at canoeing.

I couldn't have asked for a better introduction to the sport.

Before I knew it, one trip turned into a multi-day canoe adventure.

Planning this was no small feat, but the Headwaters Adventure Company team went above and beyond to assist me.

They gave recommendations on campsites, guided us on hikes, and even accommodated our specific timing needs.

I was beyond grateful for their assistance, making the whole experience seamless and enjoyable.

I was so impressed with their service and expertise that on my second visit, I ended up purchasing an $1100 inflatable kayak as recommended by the owner.

Despite my planning my purchases over the upcoming year, they were more than willing to help, answering my questions even after closing hours.

Go Bouldering with Shasta Rock Club

The best part of living in Redding? Hands down, it's the Shasta Rock Club!

This place has its own unique vibe that makes it more than just a climbing gym.

The atmosphere here is simply infectious, filled with positive energy and camaraderie that's hard to resist.

Every visit to the Shasta Rock Club is a new adventure.

The climbing routes here cater to all levels, so whether you're a newbie or a seasoned climber, you will find a path that suits your skills.

I love taking on the different bouldering routes - each one presents a unique challenge that keeps you on your toes.

What sets the place apart is the great bunch of folks who are always around to lend a helping hand.

At Shasta, you're never alone.

There's always someone around, ready to offer advice or guidance, pushing you to do better.

And somehow, they manage to make it all so much fun!

Though I do wish Redding had a climbing gym with ropes, the Shasta Rock Club more than compensates with its bouldering options.

It's true that it can seem a bit pricey, but trust me, the experience is totally worth it.

Be it a solo climb or a fun family outing, every trip to the gym is a memorable experience.

Also, being a huge fan of American Ninja Warrior, I see the club as my personal training ground.

It's the perfect place to daydream about my own climbing adventures.

Just thinking about it makes me want to head over to Shasta right now!

Shasta Rock Club is indeed a fantastic addition to the Redding community.

I'm proud to be a part of it!

Take in the Splendor of Shasta Dam Overlook

Far view of Shasta Dam Overlook
Bryan Ramsey / Shutterstock.com

There's nothing quite like the breathtaking view from the Shasta Dam Overlook.

It's just a quick turn off the main road, easy to miss if you're not aware of the gem that it is.

I've had the fortune to see the lake at its fullest, with Mount Shasta standing majestically, cloaked in a blanket of snow, in the background.

It's a picture-perfect scene that never fails to leave me in awe.

Parking is never an issue here, with plenty of space available.

It's a good idea, though, to bring along some food and drinks, as there aren't any tables or eateries nearby.

And if you're planning on staying for a while, you might want to pack a hat or an umbrella because the shade is a bit sparse.

Shasta Dam Overlook, as the name suggests, is an unparalleled spot if you want to take in the grandeur of the dam.

One of my favorite things to do is to take photos of the trees.

It adds a unique depth to the photographs, making the landscape appear even more stunning.

No matter the season, the view here is always spectacular.

I've seen the lake during periods of historic fullness, the mountains blanketed in snow, and the dam in all its glory.

Each time, the view is different, but it's always beautiful.

Have a Picnic at Rivercrest Park

One can't help but fall in love with the serenity and beauty of Rivercrest Park.

The park, with its open grassy areas, is always a refreshing sight, especially on sunny days.

Its modern picnic pavilion has become my favorite spot for weekend breakfasts.

I often stop by a store, grab something to eat, and head straight to the park.

The covered picnic area is perfect for a casual outing, providing shade and a beautiful view of the park.

For families with kids, Rivercrest Park is an absolute delight.

The playground is well-equipped with fun and engaging equipment for children of all ages.

It's always a joy to see kids running around and having fun.

The park also boasts of a super clean bathroom, which is a big plus for me.

But it's not just about the amenities.

The park has a certain charm that draws you in.

It's in a great neighborhood, right behind the new Costco, adding to its appeal.

The place has a certain cleanliness and spaciousness that sets it apart from the usual city parks.

It's perfect for a picnic, a birthday party, or even a leisurely walk.

I've found that spending time in Rivercrest Park has become a cherished part of my weekly routine.

The beautiful surroundings, the well-maintained facilities, and the lively atmosphere always leave me feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Unleash Your Inner Child at Kids' Kingdom

Have you ever been to a place where time stands still and laughter is the only sound you hear? Well, that's exactly what Kids' Kingdom feels like.

Nestled amidst lots of spacious greenery, it's the perfect spot for birthday parties, picnics, or just an impromptu visit.

There's a plethora of picnic tables, even a sheltered area for those who prefer a bit of shade.

Kids' Kingdom is teeming with slides, swings, and a unique water feature that the kids absolutely love.

Children are often spotted running around, their faces lighting up with joy as they explore different attractions.

The massive trees provide ample shade and make for a perfect resting spot for both adults and kids.

I fondly remember the old wooden structure that resembled a castle, a feature that is dearly missed.

Discover Local Flora at the McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Welcome sign of McConnell Arboretum
Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes, I wake up and just feel the need to escape the overbearing city life, and that's when I find myself heading towards my serene sanctuary - McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.

The second I step into this understated gem, I am greeted by the fragrance of a multitude of plants, each unique in their way.

The first thing you’ll notice is the striking art sculptures installed by local artists, adding a cultural charm to the vibrant greenery.

The well-maintained walking trails lead me through this diverse array of botanical marvels, offering a tranquil escape that always manages to relieve my stress.

One of the highlights for me is the Free Little Libraries.

Strategically placed, one near the entrance and the other at the small playground, they encourage visitors to 'bring a book, take a book.'

A small water fountain at McConnell Arboretum
Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes, I find a nice shady spot, pull out a book from my bag, and lose myself in it while absorbing the soothing atmosphere.

Not just a paradise for adults, Connell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens also accommodates a fun play area for kids, complete with adult-sized exercise equipment.

Imagine my delight when I discovered that my furry friend could also accompany me on my nature escapades, as long as they're leashed.

For those who are on a fitness journey, the vicinity of the Sun Dial Bridge and trails nearby makes it an excellent spot to keep up with morning jogs.

I usually head there early to beat the heat and enjoy a peaceful run amidst nature's beauty.

The flora of McConnell Arboretum
Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Exercise at Minder Park

Minder Park has always been an integral part of my morning routine.

Every day, just as the sun begins to rise, I lace up my shoes and head over to this small neighborhood park that's just a short walk from my home.

Minder Park has a charming playground and a basketball court, which often acts as the neighborhood kids' battleground.

Seeing them reminds me of my own childhood.

The happy squeals that fill the air truly add to the park's ambiance.

But what I enjoy most about the park are the well-maintained trails that weave their way through beautiful oak trees and manzanita bushes.

Truly a hiker's paradise! You don't even have to worry about poison oak, it's almost non-existent.

The trails can get pretty sunny, so don't forget your hat and sunglasses if you ever decide to join me on one of my morning walks.

There is little shade, so come prepared, especially if you're bringing kids along.

Minder Park encapsulates the essence of our community - lively, welcoming, and beautifully imperfect.

Play Sporting Games at Enterprise Park

I live for Saturdays. When the hustle-bustle of my workweek finally subsides, I escape into my own little sanctuary - Enterprise Park.

This city park is my playground, my disc golf course, my outdoor roller hockey rink, and my seasonal splash pad, all wrapped into one.

I often find myself lost amidst the giant castle-themed structure at Kid's Kingdom.

I've watched my kids grow up here, transitioning from baby swings to kid swings, and now, they're the ones reaching for the sky, their laughter echoing amidst the trees.

Nothing beats the thrill of watching them zip down the sliding swing, it's like our very own mini zip line.

Enterprise Park isn't just for the kids, though.

It's also my gym.

Volleyball, Frisbee, basketball, tennis - you name it, I've played it here.

I've even challenged myself on the rock climbing structure once or twice, much to the amusement of my kids.

On quieter days, I prefer to walk or cycle around the park, soaking in the beauty and tranquility the park offers in abundance.

The park is also the ideal spot for our family picnics.

The clean bathrooms and the well-stocked supplies are a godsend, especially with kids.

We often find a picnic table in the shade and spread out our lunch, and let me tell you, nothing tops a meal in the great outdoors.

As someone who's experienced Redding's harsh winters and scorching summers, the park's seasonal splash pad is a welcome relief.

Although it was dry during our last visit, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be operational this summer.

A quick splash under the spray fountain is just what we need to beat the heat.

Feel the Thrills at Swasey Recreational Area

Trail at Swasey Recreational Area
Angela Feltes / Shutterstock.com

Every weekend, I find myself waking up to the thrill of a new adventure at the Swasey Recreational Area.

There's something about threading my way through the interconnected trails on my mountain bike that's both intoxicating and rejuvenating.

Winding my way through the Mule to 4 Corners, then onto Meiners loop to catch the Escalator, my favorite part of the ride begins.

It's an enjoyable climb that isn't particularly technical, but the freedom to crank up the speed and breeze past the surrounding greenery is a feeling like no other.

After that, I hit the Summit Trail and pedal up to the top of Bear Mountain, the pinnacle of the journey.

The descent is just as exhilarating.

Snail Trail is my go-to route back down, and it's an absolute blast to let loose and go full throttle.

The trail ends at Mule’s Loop, which conveniently leads right back to the parking area.

This 15-mile journey never fails to leave me with an adrenaline rush that fuels the rest of my day.

What sets this place apart, however, is the friendly community.

On my first foray into the trails, I was lucky enough to meet a fellow biker who eagerly showed me the ropes.

Since then, I've met countless warm-hearted locals who share the same passion for these trails.

Despite the diverse weather conditions — from misty mornings to sunny afternoons — the trails always remain in excellent condition, thanks to the community’s dedication to maintaining their beloved recreational ground.

For anyone looking for a challenge, be warned: the trails at Swasey Recreational Area are either cross-country or steep descents with massive jumps.

But for those who revel in the thrill of mountain biking, there's no better place to learn and grow.

In my opinion, the Escalator and Snail's Trail have got to be the best trails in northern California.

Journey through History at Eaton House Museum

Last weekend, I decided to spend my leisurely hours soaking up some local history and culture.

The Eaton House Museum was my chosen destination.

As soon as I set foot in this preserved jewel of a house, it was like taking a step back in time.

The house, a former judge's residence, is a beautiful example of Victorian architecture, and it instantly transports you back to a different era.

Every room is filled with an assortment of antique furniture, war artifacts, and old books.

These pieces are not just artifacts; they tell stories of the people who lived in the house and the time they lived in.

Eaton House Museum is a delightful mix of public and private.

It's a place where the past comes alive in the most personal way.

Each piece on display has a story to tell, from the old china in the kitchen to the family portraits adorning the walls.

I found myself captivated by the house's rich history, which was further amplified by the knowledge of the friendly docents.

While walking through the rooms, I couldn't help but marvel at the care and attention to detail that had gone into preserving the house and its contents.

It felt like a rare opportunity to peek into the lives of those who resided here in the early 1900s.

The tour was not just informative, it was also genuinely enjoyable.

It was fascinating to see the everyday objects that the family used and to hear about Redding's history through their eyes.

As I strolled from room to room, I felt a connection to the past that was both enriching and humbling.

Splash and Play at Fantasy Fountain

You might think Redding, California, is all about the wild outdoors, but there's a hidden gem in the city that's a delight for the little ones.

Fantasy Fountain is a charming water park that's not just a sight to behold but a paradise for kids who love to splash around.

When it's sweltering outside, there's nothing like the cool reprieve of the Fantasy Fountain.

My kids can't get enough of it! It's a perfect free haven for small children, and believe me, it's nothing short of magic.

The water park is alive with a variety of attractive water fountains, enough to keep the little ones entertained for hours.

But it’s not just the water park that’s fantastic.

Right next to it is the Kids Kingdom, an amazing playground that's a hit among youngsters.

It’s like having two attractions in one spot. Perfect for family outings!

Catch a Show at the Cascade Theatre

Exterior of Cascade Theatre
Publichall, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of my favorite places in the city is the Cascade Theatre.

There's just something magical about its architecture, the kind that takes your breath away each time you walk through its doors.

From the marquee that lights up the night sky to the intricate details inside, the theatre is a well-maintained gem that transports you back to the days of opulence and grandeur, yet it doesn't compromise on modern convenience.

The moment you step inside, you'll notice the spectacular acoustics.

Every note from the performances rings clear, enhancing the overall experience.

Whether it's music, drama, or comedy, there's a show for everyone at the Cascade Theatre.

And if you need a refreshment, they've got a small full bar to cater to your needs.

What I also love about the theatre is its seating arrangements, with an upper and lower deck offering a perfect view of the stage.

Plus, the prices for the concessions are really good, making the experience even more enjoyable.

Enjoy a BBQ at Caldwell Park

I live just a short drive away from Caldwell Park, one of Riverside's finest public green spaces.

It's a place where countless memories are created, from picnics to skateboarding.

Every visit, I find something new to love.

My family and I usually start our day in the park with a heartwarming BBQ.

The park is equipped with several picnic and BBQ areas perfect for family outings, making it a top spot for weekend get-togethers.

Plus, there's plenty of shade to keep you cool on those hot, sunny days.

But more than just the BBQ, one of my favorite parts of the park is the gazebo.

It's a great spot to sit, relax, and just enjoy the serenity of the surrounding nature.

While there, you can't help but appreciate the calming backdrop of the park, filled with the laughter of kids and the rustle of leaves in the wind.

If you're looking to get your blood pumping, the skate park is a must-visit.

This place is perfect for both beginners and pros, with a variety of areas for skaters to show off their moves or simply learn how to skate.

My kids absolutely love it!

And no visit to Caldwell Park would be complete without a stroll down the Sacramento River Trail.

The trail cuts right through the park, providing a peaceful and scenic walk.

Cool Down at WaterWorks Park

One of the most exciting ways to cool off during those scorching summer days in our city is to head over to WaterWorks Park.

Trust me, it's a child's paradise and an adult's retreat.

This seasonal outdoor water park, which we locals eagerly await from Memorial Day to Labor Day, is the perfect spot for some refreshing family fun.

Thanks to the compact layout of the park, the kids don't have to traipse around long distances to get from one water slide to another.

It's so convenient, especially when you have energetic children who like to dash around all over the place.

The park offers an array of slides and pools suitable for every age, so there's something for everyone.

Renting a cabana is one of my personal favorites.

It's not just about having a shaded spot to relax, but it's the luxury of being served food and drinks right there while you sit back and watch the kids having a blast.

It's like having the best of both worlds – fun and relaxation.

WaterWorks Park isn't just about water and slides, though.

It's a place where different levels of water exploration and physical activity coexist.

The lazy lagoon and the wave pool are always a hit, offering a more laid-back experience for those who want to unwind.

What stands out the most about this place is the welcoming and helpful staff.

Even during the rush, they manage to keep their cool and do a commendable job, be it the lifeguards, the cooking staff, or the cashiers.

Embrace the Natural Wonders of Turtle Bay Exploration Park

Exterior of the Turtle Bay Exploration Park's visitor center
DimiTalen, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of my favorite places to unwind and educate myself on local history, right here in our city, is none other than the Turtle Bay Exploration Park.

You can find this gem nestled along the Sacramento River, right beside the iconic Sundial Bridge.

On any given day, my first stop is often the museum, which boasts an impressive exhibit dedicated to the Wintu tribe that has called this area home for over a thousand years.

There's also an exhibit on the construction of the Sundial Bridge, our city's most famous landmark.

The museum isn't just for history buffs though; it houses an aquarium teeming with local aquatic life, including beavers and fish, and an educational urban watershed river lab.

Sometimes, the allure of the outdoors calls me away from the museum's walls.

On those days, I enjoy exploring the botanical garden and the arboretum.

There's also a forest camp that has a parrot house - it's always a fun experience to have a colorful parrot land on your shoulder.

If you're lucky, you might even have one land on your head!

After all the excitement and exploration, I like to take a breather at the park's bistro, munching on my favorite Asian Chicken Salad.

It's the perfect way to recharge before moving on to the next adventure.

The park is particularly child-friendly, too.

There's a playground equipped with a zipline that my neighbor's kid absolutely adores and an animal show that keeps children of all ages entertained.

Turtle Bay Exploration Park is enormous, and I confess I've yet to see it all.

No matter how many times I visit, there's always something new to discover.

Whether it's a new butterfly species in the butterfly exhibit or a previously unseen corner of the botanical garden, every visit is a surprise.

Witness Stellar Performances at Old City Hall Arts Center

Just the other night, I delved into an intimate and captivating concert at Old City Hall Arts Center.

It wasn't just any show though; it was a performance by the internationally renowned Native American flutist Randy Mc Ginnis.

Every note he played echoed throughout the quaint halls, creating an atmosphere that was nothing short of magical.

Not only was the performance fabulous, but the venue itself was a highlight.

The Old City Hall building, with its old-time charm, breathed life into the concert.

But the beauty didn't stop there.

Hidden within this building is a wonderful gem - a small and thoughtfully curated art gallery.

Strolling through, it was like seeing the heartbeat of local creativity on display.

One thing that really made the experience even better was the accessibility of the place.

As someone with mobility issues, it's always a point of concern for me.

Yet, I found navigating through the Old City Hall Arts Center a breeze, with ramps and an elevator ensuring smooth movement.

Having had such a memorable experience, it's safe to say I'm eagerly waiting for my next visit.

Place Your Bets at Win-River Resort & Casino

One of the things I love about living here is that I'm just a stone's throw away from the vibrant, exciting world of Win-River Resort & Casino.

What's not to love about a place that offers an excellent mix of relaxation and thrill all rolled into one?

I often find myself wandering through its doors on the weekends.

The casino floor is always alive and buzzing.

Packed with a variety of fresh machines and an array of tables to choose from, there's never a dull moment here.

I've found my luck running especially high at the roulette table, which always seems to have a spot open for me.

What's even better is the dealers, who run a tight but fun game, adding to the overall electric atmosphere.

Win-River Resort & Casino is not just about gambling, though.

It's a place that's equally enticing for a peaceful retreat.

The rooms are cozy and well-maintained, with tasteful decor that makes you feel right at home.

The staff is always friendly and ready to assist, which is a huge plus in my book.

After all that excitement, you'd probably work up an appetite.

Luckily, the resort's cafe serves up a satisfying selection of food.

I remember having a chicken sandwich there once that still makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

And, if you're lucky enough like me, you might get to see the tribe in action.

They're an incredible group, and I can't wait to see what they have in store next.

Catch a Concert at the Redding Civic Auditorium

Exterior of Redding Civic Auditorium
Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

There's something utterly contagious about the energy at a live event, something that's captured perfectly by the Redding Civic Auditorium.

Over the years, the venue has become my go-to for a diverse range of events, from lively concerts to thought-provoking talks.

The auditorium, located conveniently in Redding, has always been a hub of bustling activity and entertainment.

I remember a particular night when my wife and I attended a Cake concert there.

We decided to splurge a little and went for the VIP access - it turned out to be worth every penny.

The VIP perks included private bathrooms that were surprisingly well-appointed with soap and other necessities.

Also, the honey cornfield that we tried there was nothing short of a culinary revelation.

The staff deserves special mention as they were well-organized and efficient, ensuring a smooth experience for us.

Another memorable event was the show put up by Chevelle & 3 Days Grace.

Redding Civic Auditorium has hosted some profoundly moving experiences as well.

I recall a concert where the artist intertwined preaching within songs, a touch that added a layer of depth to the whole experience.

I remember how his song 'Scars in Heaven' resonated with me, speaking to my experiences of loss and life.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Go Camping at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

Gorgeous view from Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

One of my favorite haunts has to be the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.

There's something about the sprawling forested park with camping, hiking, and fishing that draws me in time and again.

It's a wonderland where you can enjoy a picnic and partake in water activities.

The jewel in its crown, of course, has to be Whiskeytown Lake.

I've spent countless weekends by its serene waters, soaking in the sun and the beauty.

The Carr Fire in 2018 left a deep scar, burning off all of the trees around the lake.

But nature has a way of healing, and the sight of the greenery slowly taking hold again fills my heart with joy.

The telescopes are a fun addition.

There used to be several requiring coins to use, but now, there's one free for all.

The Whiskeytown National Recreation Area waterfalls
Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Shutterstock.com

Just beware of the setting sun!

The Visitor Center at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is well worth a visit.

It's a treasure trove of postcards, magnets, plushies, and maps.

The staff are friendly and patient, helping you pick up permits for the recreation area and giving suggestions to make your visit memorable.

And the view!

You could spend hours just drinking it in.

They've thoughtfully provided bathrooms too, with outside openings, so you're never caught short.

The center opens up early and closes by 5 pm.

Downstream of Whiskeytown National Recreation Area's waterfalls
EWY Media / Shutterstock.com

Cast a Line at Shasta-Trinity National Forest

Burney Falls in Shasta-Trinity National Forest
Stephen Moehle / Shutterstock.com

There's something special about waking up with the California sun, casting your fishing line into a mirror-like mountain lake, and listening to the symphony of the wilderness around you.

I've been blessed to call the Shasta-Trinity National Forest home for most of my life.

If you're planning to visit the Redding area and enjoy camping, hiking, or fishing, then you definitely need to add the Shasta-Trinity National Forest to your itinerary.

It is truly a slice of Northern California paradise.

Black butte trailhead at Shasta-Trinity National Forest
Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Being a Wisconsinite by birth, I've also played the role of a tourist in my own backyard.

I've visited the Shasta-Trinity National Forest's front desk many times to buy maps and gather information, and the staff has always been personable and informative.

They truly make you feel welcomed and ensure that you have all the information you need to make the most of your trip.

A footbridge at Shasta-Trinity National Forest
Conor P. Fitzgerald / Shutterstock.com

Unearth the Geographical Wonders of Lassen Volcanic National Park

The landscape of Lassen Volcanic National Park
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

Have you ever experienced the thrill of standing on an active volcano?

It's an everyday reality for me at Lassen Volcanic National Park.

The park is home to Lassen Peak, one of the only places in the world where you can find all four types of volcanoes - plug dome, shield, cinder cone, and strato.

With over 150 miles of trails, the park is a hiker's paradise, offering an array of unique geological experiences.

One of my favorite things about living close to this park is the diverse range of hiking trails.

I have walked many of them, from easy strolls to expert climbs, each offering its own unique view of the park.

I've marveled at the stunning waterfalls, swam in the beautiful lakes, and been awed by the geysers.

Make sure you bring warm clothes, a hearty supply of water, some snacks, and sturdy shoes.

You never know what you might encounter!

The steam of Bumpass hell in Lassen Volcanic National Park
Joshua Hawley / Shutterstock.com

The Bumpass Hell Basin, a three-mile trail that winds through the park’s most active hydrothermal area, is particularly unforgettable.

As you traverse this trail, you'll witness – and smell – the sulfur steam holes that make this park so extraordinary.

Remember, though, the park rests over 8000 feet above sea level, so take your time to adjust to the altitude.

Lassen Volcanic National Park is not just about the great outdoors.

The visitor center offers a free short documentary on the history of the park that I strongly recommend.

It's both enlightening and entertaining, providing valuable context to the natural spectacle around you.

The park usually closes from October to June due to snowfall, so I recommend visiting in the summer months when the trails are open and the landscape is in full bloom.

If you're planning to stay over, like I often do, the Manzanita Lake campground offers comfy cabins, but remember to bring your own bed sheet.

The long boardwalk of Bumpass hell at Lassen Volcanic National Park
Pung / Shutterstock.com

Practice Photography at Shasta State Historic Park

Exterior of a barn at Shasta State Historic Park
jejim / Shutterstock.com

When you've lived in a place long enough, you start to appreciate its hidden gems. For me, the Shasta State Historic Park is one of those.

It's the kind of spot that gives you a peek into the gold-rush era, complete with 19th-century brick buildings and even a jail.

I've had the chance to wander through the ruins of what was once a bustling mining town right on the main road.

The park is accessible to all, and the best part is it's free!

One of the standout experiences for me was visiting in the mid-spring.

Shasta State Historic Park was carpeted with poppies, creating a gorgeous contrast to the weathered brick and stone of the structures.

Farming equipments on the grounds of Shasta State Historic Park
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

It was an amazing opportunity for photography.

But it's not just the ruins that make this place special.

The courthouse museum is a treasure trove of history, with exhibits that have surprised me with their variety every time I've visited.

There's also the oldest Masonic lodge in California, which adds to the park's unique charm.

The area may be small, and most of the buildings may be in ruins, but the commitment shown by those who work and volunteer to restore and maintain the site is commendable.

There's plenty of signage around to narrate the history of the buildings, making it an educational trip, too.

Welcome sign of Shasta State Historic Park
jejim / Shutterstock.com

Final Thoughts

I can confidently say that Redding, California, is a city that never ceases to amaze me.

Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or an art lover, there's always something for everyone.

Redding is a treasure trove of endless adventure, rich history, and cultural delights.

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