Next Stop: The Mountain Town of Redding


Redding, California, the middle of outside recreation within the Northlands, is changing into the following cease for lively households. Head upstate about 220 miles north of the Bay Area. This is the place to expertise an reasonably priced, rugged mountain city that’s nonetheless unspoiled and really pet-friendly.

Stray boulder at Lassen Volcanic National Park, California
For children who like to climb, there are enormous basalt boulders strewn throughout Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Some examine Redding to Moab, Utah – one other younger outdoor life-style city inside attain of nationwide parks and rugged mountain biking trails. Moab boasts the crowded Arches and Canyonlands National Parks close by. Redding is a base for visiting the lesser-known Lassen Volcanic National Park, Mount Shasta and different pure wonders reminiscent of caves, towering redwoods, waterfalls and lakes.

How Redding Became the Center of Upstate CA

There are a number of Nineteenth-century brick buildings left in Redding to remind us the city was based in 1872 by the railroad barons on the Central Pacific RR. They had been excited to increase their line to the Gold Rush boomtown of Shasta in close by Clear Creek. They figured individuals lured by the decision, “Go West Young Man!” would skip the wagon practice for an iron practice.

Railroad engineers, nonetheless, declared Shasta was too steep and too dry. Instead, they advisable laying tracks by way of the following valley of Poverty Flats, which was shortly renamed Redding. A brand new wave of pioneers, younger households on the lookout for low-cost land and a brand new life, are the most recent wave of settlers.

The land growth accelerated through the pandemic when households started shifting to work-from-home life. Revitalization hit the outdated downtown, the place pedestrian zones, bike paths, public transportation, new retailers, parking and a 200-unit condo complicated have risen on Market Street.

Major Civic Achievements at Turtle Bay and Sundial Bridge

Polar Exhibit at Tutrtle Bay Museum of Natural Science Redding California
Immerse yourselves within the Polar Exhibit on the Tutrtle Bay Museum of Natural Science in Redding, California.

Turtle Bay Exploration Park is an thrilling 300-acre improvement alongside the Sacramento River with nice household amenities, lots of them free. The fantastic pure science museum has interactive reveals concerning the historical past of the Redding, California area and completely different eco-systems. Try on snowshoes within the Arctic exhibit and placed on a scuba swimsuit within the Oceans Room.

Scramble outdoors up the large outside climbing space with treehouses and rock partitions. There are bike paths, picnic areas, fishing spots, a botanical backyard and a well-known arboretum with a Garden of Lights vacation celebration. Learn about crops in addition to the native logging trade.

To cross the Sacramento River from one a part of Turtle Bay Park to a different, there’s a lighter-than-air glass and metal pedestrian bridge. Sundial Bridge was designed by Santiago Calatrava, the architect who did the Oculus in New York and lots of different buildings. Sundial actually “hangs” over the water with out having any assist from the riverbed, in order to not disturb this very profitable salmon spawning space.

At evening, altering lights illuminate the bridge’s glass tile flooring and forged shadows on the wooded banks under. It’s a spooky however extremely advisable tour.

Redding, California: Gateway to Mount Shasta and Lake Shasta

Shores of Lake Shasta with Holiday Harbor Resort in distance.
The pink clay shores of Lake Shasta, with the Holiday Harbor Resort of white houseboats, within the distance.

The volcanic Mount Shasta, about an hour north, tops 14,000 toes. Its glacial slopes and ski and snowboard applications make Mt. Shasta Ski Park a well-liked ski resort for the drive-to neighborhood that stretches into southern Oregon. Try it this yr. Visitors get a carry ticket refund inside the first hour in case you don’t just like the path circumstances. Mt. Shasta Ski Park can also be providing a pro-rated season move credit score if they aren’t open not less than 60 days this season.

Nearby, picturesque Lake Shasta, shaped by damming a number of rivers within the Nineteen Fifties, is ideal for boating in three seasons. It’s additionally dwelling to Holiday Harbor Marina with the most important houseboating neighborhood within the U.S. Please verify the native circumstances earlier than you e book as California water shortages have made some areas tough to boat in.

Part of this artifical lake’s magnificence comes from the interaction of stark pink shoreline, emerald water and forest and vibrant blue skies. That rim of arid wasteland seems when dam water is used to irrigate farmland within the Sacramento Valley. The water degree drops so low that timber can’t reside alongside the pink clay shore.

Redding on the Water: Touring Shasta Caverns

Two boys taking pictures of ceiling at Lake Shasta Caverns in Redding, California.
Tour Lake Shasta Caverns, a pure attraction on an island in Lake Shasta, on a small group, guided tour.

The Lake Shasta Caverns Tour – a must-do — has the homespun allure of a classic attraction. First, board a pontoon boat for a cruise throughout Lake Shasta. During our transient experience, a information regaled us with tall tales. On land, everybody boards faculty buses for the cliff-hanging drive to the summit. Finally, the entire household descends deep into the cave for a tour of the stalagmites and stalactites.

Although you’re not seeing vivid colours, the number of rock formations is gorgeous. Pinky, our cave information, gave an entertaining account of how the caves had been found. A be aware: whereas the caverns are nicely lit and never claustrophobic, this isn’t a tour for the bodily disabled. Many steps confront the explorer.

Redding: California’s Natural Beauty

McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park in Redding, California
The McArthur-Burney Falls are among the many largest and most lovely within the area round Redding, California.

Easy entry to mountain biking trails, watersports and skilled mountaineering make Redding an ideal base for lively households. There’s extra for the much less lively, too.

We made a 200-mile driving daytrip to see waterfalls, every completely different and rewarding in its personal means. Have you considered how completely different waterfalls will be? Some are noisy and spectacular, others tranquil and burbling alongside. At every, we noticed Indian households and East Asian {couples} taking selfies. Waterfalls are a giant image in Bollywood films as a result of Hindus think about water holy, so any contact with it brings blessings.

That waterfall tour led to essentially the most unassuming however notable roadside dive known as Yaks on the 5. It’s a picket shack on a slender strip of street operating by way of the tiny mountain city of Dunsmuir, a hamlet lower in half by I-5.

Did you rely the EV charging stations out again and surprise why this place will get Silicon Valley clientele? Yaks is known; it’s considered one of Yelp’s Top 100 Restaurants within the U.S. and focuses on burgers. I had a Barbielicious with fried onion crisps, cheddar, chipotle mayo and their tangy BBQ sauce, served with garlic parmesan French fries. The solely dessert they’ve, along with 20 rotating native craft beers, is cinnamon buns the children will love.

Lassen Volcanic National Park and the Ring of Fire

Bumpass Hell at Lassen Volcanic National Park, California
The Bumpass Hell Trail at Lassen Volcanic National Park results in effervescent fumaroles and boiling lava pots.

The spotlight of any journey to Redding is Lassen Volcanic National Park, about 47 miles west of city. This nationwide park is lesser identified and fewer crowded than most.

Lassen was made a park in 1917 after a photographer printed his photographs of the eruption of Mount Lassen in 1915. The smoke from the crater was simply seen 50 miles away; enormous boulders had been tossed round for miles. The 50-mile freeway from Reding to the north entrance known as Volcano Peak Scenic Byway and the one to the south aspect is Volcano Legacy Highway. Today, cows wander by way of fields pockmarked with large basalt and lava stones.

Mount Lassen, now sleeping, has snow on its summit many of the yr and, above 7,500 toes in elevation, the park stays cool. Explore by driving the park’s 30-miles of paved street. There are scenic vistas and geologic wonders like fields of pumice stone, glacial lakes, the Bumpass Hell fumaroles and effervescent smoke pots to go to. Hiking trails abound.

We stopped at a number of of the turnouts to learn concerning the park’s geology and path heads. Save up just a little little bit of power for the final path to see the fumaroles and effervescent lava cauldrons.

Dining Well on California Sustainable Cuisine

gourmet meal at Mosaic in Redding, California
Our gourmand meal of kale salad, brussel sprouts, shishito peppers and Ora King salmon at Mosaic in Redding, California

We had some memorable meals in Redding. Mosaic, a reasonably redwood and glass constructing surrounded by the Turtle Bay Park forest, is the place to pattern native farm-to-fork favorites with unique flavors. Brussel sprouts are fried to a crisp with a light-weight sprinkle of lemon marmalade and spicy pecans. The kale salad has contemporary blueberries plus skinny slices of inexperienced apple and radish, a neighborhood fromage blanc, almonds and a blueberry French dressing dressing. The Ora King salmon, a really thick and tender Pacific salmon, is flippantly grilled and served on a mattress of pureed peas with a loopy wanting collage of untamed mushrooms across the sides.

Take a break at Taste and See, the pizza and ice cream parlor run by enthusiastic and pleasant younger individuals. Located in a Market Street minimall, you possibly can’t miss their catchy LOVE signal outdoors. Do strive their house-baked giant waffle cones and scrumptious mashup flavors. We sampled Mascarpone cream with apricots and candied walnuts plus one other scoop of Blueberry Goat cheese; sufficient stated.

There was a memorable breakfast at Corbett’s with T.J., the native tourism official, who led us there for Lobster Benedict. Picture large chunks of lobster as a substitute of a slice of ham and voila. The Hearth additionally serves sturdy breakfasts and contemporary breads from a store on the outdated city’s Market Street. There’s a meals truck park that comes alive with flavors Friday nights within the newer a part of Redding, too.

Planning your Redding, California Stay Upstate

Americana Hotel in Redding, California at night
The Americana Hotel on Market Street within the heart of Old Redding’s downtown.

There are many lodging decisions, outdated and new, in Redding. We stayed on the Americana Modern Hotel, an lovely retro motel on Market Street between the Thunderbird and Stardust Motels. The younger crowd toting Macbooks and mountain bikes appreciated the motel’s hipster touches. Look for artisanal espresso and teas within the foyer, a laundry room to lounge in and a giant eagle sculpture within the car parking zone. There is a really fashionable Sheraton Redding on the Sundial Bridge subsequent to the Turtle Bay Exploration Park.

Redding is a California city that may be very completely different from the state’s well-known cities. It is especially nicely suited to the post-pandemic need for contemporary air, solitude and impartial journey. Make it your subsequent cease.

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