Turtle Bay Exploration Park
The Turtle Bay Exploration Park is one of the best places for the family to spend a day full of play, excitement and learning. Its 300-acre campus was designed with sustainability in mind and highlights the unique relationship between people and nature. The museum building resembles a tree, with branches reaching upward, blending into the forest landscape surrounding it. Inside is a mix of science and natural history exhibits, hands-on learning experiences, brainteasers and puzzles, and an underwater fish-viewing tank. But at Turtle Bay, the emphasis is on nature, so much of the learning goes on outside: see animals in their native habitats; learn about the region’s Native Americans, the Wintu, and walk through a replica of their bark houses; at Paul Bunyan’s Forest Camp, get an idea of what it was like to live at a timber site 100 years ago while also learning about ecology and Northern California forests.
Connecting the north and south campuses of the Turtle Bay Exploration Park is the Sundial Bridge, an iconic and captivating piece of Redding culture. Designed by the renowned Spanish architect and structural engineer, Santiago Calatrava, and completed in 2004, it also serves as the trailhead for the Sacramento River Trail. The 700 ft. pedestrian bridge spans the width of the river and never touches water, a precaution that safeguards the salmon spawning habitat below. Although it’s only perfectly accurate one day a year, on the summer solstice, the enormous main pylon actually tells the time by casting a shadow on a large dial to the north of the bridge. For a special experience, stroll across it at night, when the deck of the bridge is illuminated from below, creating a warm aquamarine glow. No matter when you visit, we think you’ll agree that this cultural landmark is pretty unique. Live Sundial Bridge webcam
Sacramento River Trail
First class destination for hikers, bikers, runners and walkers. Just a few steps away from the infamous Sundial Bridge and Turtle Bay Exploration Park. The capstone of this system is the 11-mile long Sacramento River Trail. Although this trail is near downtown Redding, it is a true nature walk with the river on one side and lush forests on the other. There are markers along the path that provide historical background. The Sacramento River Trail connects to the Sacramento Rail-Trail, a paved track running an additional 7 miles north to Shasta Dam.
Redding Civic Auditorium
Catch a show, concert, or convention at the Redding Civic Auditorium! Just steps away from the hotel, this 2,000 seat venue is the perfect place watch your favorite performers. The event schedule is full of comedy, performances, and events like Redding Beer Week.
Shasta Lake and Caverns
19.2 miles from the hotel
The caverns are a fascinating and enchanting view of Mother Nature’s beauty. Known as the “Little Carlsbad,” Lake Shasta Caverns offer a spectacle of cave formations such as soda straws, stalactites, stalagmites, cave coral, helictites and much more. Offered on site are two gift shops, a playground for children and a gemstone mining sluice.
There’s plenty of room to move on at Shasta Lake! A typical summer day finds the crystal blue waters sprinkled with fishing boats, jet skis, inner tubes—almost anything that floats. Some 370 miles of shoreline wrap around mirror-smooth coves ideal for anchoring. Cast for bass, crappie, catfish, and sturgeon. Kick back with a cocktail on the deck and drink in views of Mt. Shasta’s perennially snowcapped peak.
Whiskeytown Lake and Water Falls
22.3 miles from the hotel
Waterfalls, old-growth forests, historic landscapes and sweeping vistas are just a few of the gems you’ll encounter in the recreation area surrounding the Whiskeytown Reservoir. While most tourists come to Whiskeytown for water recreation, the park also boasts a 70-mile trail system, including four waterfalls. The best time to visit the falls is in the spring when the waters are running high from winter snow melt.
If you’re looking for an on-the-water experience, plan a visit to the Whiskeytown Reservoir. You can put in your boat at one of three launches or rent pontoons, canoes, kayaks and other fishing crafts from the Oak Bottom Marina. Adventures, excursions, and kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals can also be arranged in advance through Headwaters Adventure Company in Redding. The water is perfect for swimming, and fishing prospects include rainbow and brown trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, spotted bass and kokanee salmon. If you’re observant, you’ll spy bald eagles that breed in the area, and mountain lions, black bears, blacktail deer, and turtles are always on the prowl.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
47.2 miles from the hotel
Lassen Peak last erupted between 1914 and 1917. It is a type of volcano called a plug dome volcano. These are formed by flows of thick, viscous lava that pile up around a vent. The flows themselves are not explosive, but they can cause an eruption when the lava cools and hardens, and pressure builds up from the molten lava inside the dome. Lassen Peak is one of the largest plug dome volcanoes on earth. During its last eruption, a large explosion shattered the dome causing hot blocks of lava to fall from the peak, creating the Devastated Area. Heat from the molten rock beneath Mount Lassen drives Lassen Volcanic National Park’s many hydrothermal features. These include mud pots, boiling pools and steam and volcanic gas vents called fumaroles. Today Lassen Peak is quiet, and scientists keep a close eye on it to assure the safety of the public. Visitors can hike to the top of Lassen Peak on a five-mile, three to five-hour trek that climbs 2,000 feet. The panoramic views from the summit are stunning and well worth the effort it takes to get there. Winter offers many opportunities for playing in the snow, including a ranger-led snowshoe program.
McArthur Burney Falls
63.4 miles from the hotel
Amid evergreen forests within the Cascade Range and Modoc Plateau is the McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park. The second oldest state park in California is home to the amazing 129 ft. spring-fed Burney waterfall. If you make the trek here, you won’t be disappointed by what President Theodore Roosevelt called the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Springs above and at the falls consistently pump over 100 million gallons a day into the basin below, so it’s a great place to cool off even during dry summer months. It’s a short, easy walk to the base or a 1.3-mile trail that circles the falls, but you can also get a great view straight from the parking area! With over 5 miles of trails to explore by foot, bike or horseback, it’s a nature lovers paradise.
- Lassen Volcanic National Park
- McArthur Burney Falls
- Sacramento River Trail
- Shasta Lake and Caverns
- Sundial Bridge
- Turtle Bay Exploration Park
- Whiskey Town Lake and Water Falls
- Shasta Trinity National Forest
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