Redding makes list of 25 coolest towns in America

Via:  Heartland American  •  10 months ago  •  39 comments

Redding makes list of 25 coolest towns in America
So, do you know California? It won’t take much time in Redding before you realize that this unique part of Northern California is a world all its own—and a fantastic option for a relaxing family vacation.

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If you think you know California, but haven’t visited the northern Shasta Cascade region, also known as UpStateCA, you’re missing out on some of the best outdoor recreation and natural beauty the Golden State has to offer. Situated in the sunny foothills in the shadow of majestic Mt. Shasta with the Sacramento River running directly through town, the city of Redding makes for an excellent home base for exploring the area. In the summer, Redding becomes a water recreation hot spot. In the winter, it rarely gets too cold, but the snowy mountains are just a short drive away.

Here’s our list of the best reasons to make Redding your adventure hub for your next family vacation. The best part? Each activity is less than a 90-minute drive from the city center.

The Engineering Marvel of the Sundial Bridge

This Redding landmark was designed by world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, and the glass-decked pedestrian bridge serves as a jumping off point for the city’s trail system. Using a cable-stayed cantilever system, the bridge reaches 217 feet into the sky and spans 710 feet across the Sacramento River—and yes, it works as a functioning sundial!

qqvlhjr1am2azaxgq3xm.jpg Kids love the live animal exhibits at Turtle Bay Exploration Park.  Don DeBold

Educational Fun at Turtle Bay Exploration Park

This sprawling indoor and outdoor park is home to a natural history and science museum, botanical gardens, live animal exhibits, butterfly gardens, and walking trails. Playgrounds and interactive exhibits will entertain the younger kids, while the older ones will love the miles of trails on the property.

Start with the indoor exhibits, which include an aquarium with fish from the Sacramento River, exhibits explaining the area’s rich mining history, and a river lab with information about watersheds and the nearby Shasta Dam. The museum does a wonderful job incorporating local landmarks, such as Shasta Lake, into its exhibits on water and land management, making it educational to visit before enjoying the playground of the Shasta Cascades.

Outside, the Paul Bunyan’s Forest Camp is a vast area with winding trails leading to animal enclosures, play areas, and outdoor exhibits. Be sure to grab a program and look for daily shows and demonstrations.

A Mountain Respite at Mt. Shasta

In the summer months, the majestic Mt. Shasta is a climber’s paradise, but during the winter months, this volcanic peak in Northern California becomes decidedly more family-friendly. Mt. Shasta Ski Park offers more than 400 acres of downhill skiing and snowboarding, plus tubing and cross-country trails. No matter what the season, the ski park is a fun place to explore. It’s about a 10-minute drive from the quirky town of Mount Shasta (a great place to grab some food!), and there’s plenty of time for a summer day hike or winter ski day before returning to Redding for the night.

Lake Life Around Redding

gesddzhbvugppuo8ab9h.jpg Shasta Lake draws anglers who will enjoy fishing in the sparkling blue water.  Pacific Southwest Region 5

Shasta Lake is the most prominent natural landmark in the area behind the iconic 14,180-foot Mt. Shasta. It covers 30,000 acres, and visitors can rent watercraft of all shapes and sizes, from jet skis to stand-up paddleboards to speedboats. The lake’s sparkling blue waters seem even more vibrant thanks to the red soil of the lake’s shoreline, and its fingerlike channels make it easy to feel like you are on a much more private lake while boating. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, leave the rental kiosks behind and book a tour of the Lake Shasta Caverns . You’ll be picked up by a catamaran for a quick ride across the lake and brought to the 200-million-year-old caves for a guided tour.

But Shasta Lake isn’t the only option for spending time in and around the water. Lake Siskiyou is known for its waterpark and surrounding mountain views. You’ll feel like a kid again at the Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort Water Park as you slide and jump into the water off the inflated playground. In addition to human-powered crafts, you also can rent party barges for the day for anywhere from four to 20 people—perfect for family gatherings and special occasions. Lake Siskiyou is also an excellent spot for windsurfing if you want to kick it up a notch with a little more adventure.

Castle Lake is one of many remote alpine lakes that are accessible only via hiking trails. From the trailhead , it’s just about a mile to Little Castle Lake and its pristine waters. Venture farther on and take spur trails to a few other lakes and viewpoints, such as Castle Peak and Heart Lake, two scenic spots that are worth a stop if you have the time and endurance. It’s a 10-mile round trip hike if you continue and summit Mount Bradley and the many lakes along the way offer plenty of opportunities to cool off.

duwf7bayt6pktirvypsi.jpg Burney Falls is located in the heart of Northern California’s volcanic country.  sodai gomi

Impressive Falls at McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park

Less than 90 minutes away from Redding on Highway 89 near Burney, McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park sits in Northern California’s volcanic country near Lassen Volcanic National Park. The 129-foot-high Burney Falls is stunning, and it dumps an impressive 100 million gallons of water a day. The 0.3-mile walk to the base of the falls is well worth it; at the bottom, enjoy the soft spray or dip your toes in the chilling water, which is a beautiful blue. There’s a 1.3-mile loop trail to try if you have time where you’ll be walking on part of the Pacific Crest Trail, or just retrace your steps back to the top for just over a half-mile round trip.

A Cooling Dip in Shasta Lake

With 360 miles of shoreline, chances are you can find a place to cool off and enjoy the California sunshine at Shasta Lake , just a few miles north of Redding. This lake, shaped like a series of fingers, is also fun to explore by boat, which can be rented at the several marinas. Take out a party boat for the day and BBQ on the deck while the kids slide into the blue-green water via the attached waterslide, or stay closer to shore and rent paddleboards or kayaks.

While you’re there, check out the Lake Shasta Caverns , an impressive underground display that will surely wow the kids. You start with a catamaran cruise across the lake, followed by a short bus ride to the cave entrance. There you’ll walk through a series of gigantic limestone caves and see the formations from stalagmites and stalactites.

So, do you know California? It won’t take much time in Redding before you realize that this unique part of Northern California is a world all its own—and a fantastic option for a relaxing family vacation.


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Heartland American
1  seeder  Heartland American    10 months ago

Redding is a great city surrounded by mountains foothills, lakes, rivers , and streams on three sides and the entire Central Valley to the south.  Enjoy the upcoming scenic tour!

Heartland American
1.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Heartland American @1    8 months ago

Fun Facts About Redding

Impress your friends and potential spouses with your vast knowledge of Redding… or just use it to plan an even better Redding vacation!

Redding 429-sac-river-trail-redding-ca.jpg

  • The Sundial Bridge is one of the largest working sundials in the world--and serves as a pedestrian bridge over the Sacramento River in the heart of Redding. The bridge is world-famous and is a California icon.
  • Redding has been named a "Top 10 Fishing Town in North American" by Forbes Magazine.
  • Redding has been named a "Unofficial Capital of Kayaking" by Time Magazine. 
  • The San Francisco Chronicle hails Redding as the "Gem of the U.S. Trail System.
  • Redding is known as the "Trail Capital of California" 
  • With over 300 days of sunshine, Redding is the 2nd sunniest city in the U.S.
  • The Fly Shop in Redding is the largest commercial fly distributor and the largest fly fishing business in the world.
  • The Sacramento River is California's longest river. Beginning near Mt. Shasta and flowing into the San Francisco Bay, it runs clear and cold right through the heart of Redding. 
  • All of Redding's drinking water comes from the Sacramento River. 
  • Interstate 5, which splits the City of Redding, was built in 1966 at a rate of 2 miles per month, costing $1 million per mile. The town grew from roughly 12k to over 25k over the next ten years. Today, the population of Redding is about 90,000. 
  • Jack’s Grill, Redding’s oldest continually operated restaurant, opened in 1938.
  • In 2002, Redding's Sacramento River Trail received the esteemed designation as a National Recreation Trail. 
  • President John F. Kennedy’s last official dedication was Whiskeytown National Recreation Area in 1963.
  • Redding is home to the Cascade Theatre, opened Friday, August 9, 1935, and named “The Finest Cinema House in Northern California.” The Cascade Theatre is still thriving and maintains its reputation of hosting high quality, family entertainment. 
  • Redding was founded in 1872 by the Central Pacific RR in 1872, and was the northernmost California railhead until 1883 when the Sacramento River was bridged. Redding incorporated in 1887 and became the county seat in 1888. 
  • Within a 30 mile radius of Redding are more than 600 square miles of State and National Parks and Forests open to public access. 

Shasta Dam428-3-shastas-redding-ca.jpg

  • Shasta Dam contains enough concrete to build a 3-foot wide sidewalk around the world at the equator.
  • At 487 feet tall, the spillway at Shasta Dam is three times the height of Niagara Falls, creating the world's highest man-made waterfall.
  • There is enough steel in the five penstocks at Shasta Dam to construct three modern naval destroyers.

Shasta Lake 

  • Shasta Lake is known as the "Houseboat Capitol of the World" with the largest commercial houseboat fleet in the world
  • With over 370 miles of shoreline at Shasta Lake, you would never have to houseboat in the same cove twice for more than a year. 
  • There is enough water in Shasta Lake to cover the entire state of Connecticut to a depth of 1.5 feet.
  • Shasta Lake, when full, will contain one trillion, four hundred seventy billion, one hundred fifty million gallons of water! That's more than 10,000 gallons for every human inhabitant in the United States.
  • Built in the late 1930s, the Pit River Bridge at Shasta Lake is one of the highest in the world at over 400 feet above the original river bed. 

Regional Fun Facts

  • Until 1980 when Mt. Saint Helens erupted, Mt. Lassen was the most recent volcanic eruption in the continental US, erupting in 1914 and 1915. 
  • The Pit River was named for the Pit Indians who dug pits in the ground for dwelling. Bears and other animals were discouraged from pillaging the Indians' supplies since they were unable to escape the hole if they fell in. 
  • The 1855 "Battle of Castle Crags" between the Wintu Indians and 49ers took place at the northwest end of the ancient, glacier-formed spires of Castle Crags State Park.
2  DRHunk    10 months ago

you forgot to mention the how safe the tourist will be because of Reddings great crime stats.....oh yea.

"With a crime rate of 51 per one thousand residents, Redding has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes - from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One's chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 19"

Heartland American
2.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  DRHunk @2    10 months ago

California has such an incredibly diverse landscape with wonderful towns and vibrant cities to suit anyone’s needs! The county of Redding, California is definitely no exception. You will find an eclectic mix of old charming buildings, majestic cascades and stunning natural beauty situated right along the Sacramento River. Redding offers an array of sites and activities for visitors, and is a popular destination among many.

Read on to learn more about the best things to do in Redding, CA:

1. The Shasta Ghost Town


Located in Shasta State Historic Park, just west of downtown Redding lies the remnants of a historic, and once very populated, bustling gold-rush town. Within this park you will find old brick buildings from the California gold-rush of the 1800s. Walking through, you will get a sense of the eloquence from long ago, and an idea of how active this city once was.

Shasta State Historic Park

Address : 10800 Trinity Aly, Shasta, CA 96087

Website : Shasta State Historic Park


2. Turtle Bay Exploration Park


Definitely not to be missed, Turtle Bay Exploration Park is full of exciting things to see and do! Visit spectacular exhibits with various themes that change regularly, ranging from Mythical Creatures, to Butterflies and even the legendary and infamous Bigfoot. There is something for everyone, young and old. Here you will find an interactive museum, the Sundial Bridge, Turtle Pond of course, an interactive forest, beautiful gardens, a nursery and an array of animals to make new friends with! The park also has a coffee bar offering light snacks where you can take a relaxing and much needed break.

Turtle Bay Exploration Park

Address : 844 Sundial Bridge Drive, Redding, CA 96001

Website Turtle Bay Exploration Park


3. Cascade Theater


This arts center and theater, originally built in 1935, is currently owned by the Southern Oregon University; purchased in 2004. Cascade Theater is a beautiful art deco building to enjoy the latest movies. The building has been carefully restored to its original design of the fabulous art deco era with incredible detail, so you may just want to give yourself extra time for browsing. The Cascade Theater is definitely a venue you will want to look up before your trip to Redding, because if you’re lucky they may be featuring a concert or play during your stay!

Cascade Theater

Address : 1731 Market St, Redding, CA 96001

Website : Cascade Theater


4. Waterworks Park

Source: Wikipedia

California is always a great place to splash around and to keep cool from the Californian sun! Maybe it’s time for the kids to burn off a little energy, or perhaps you also love the idea of an amusement park! The park has many slides for the young, and ‘young at heart’ including the new 'Dragon Slide’. There is a little mushroom kiddie’s pool with fountains to run through, and slides to catch your little one from. Nestled in a nice area surrounded by greenery, with a grass area to watch all the action from where you can find rest from the sun with the rental of a personal cabana, it’s an excellent way to enjoy a full day at Waterworks Park!

Waterworks Park

Address : 151 N Boulder Drive, Redding, CA 96003-4607

Website : Waterworks Park


5. Old City Hall Arts Center

Source: Wikimedia

If you like architecture and great history, then you will want to stop by the Old City Hall Arts Centre. Adorned with local artisans’ unique displays, this arts centre will provide you with a great way to see the artistic side of this Californian town. You may even find a local piece to take home as a souvenir! Located in the heart of the Shasta County, this beautiful heritage landmark was built in 1907, and was certified as a historic location in 1978.

This significant building is of the original red brick and has original décor inside as well. The Old City Hall Arts Center houses year round exhibits ranging from photography to sculptures and everything in between. This venue is definitely worth adding to your itinerary here in Redding, California!

Old City Hall Arts Center

Address : 1313 Market Street, Redding, CA 96001

Website : Old City Hall Arts Center


6. Whiskeytown Lake


Hiking, waterfalls, summer event programs and camping are just some of the beautiful features of Whiskeytown Lake. This National Park offers so much to see; there are a total of four waterfalls with a stunning surrounding of mountains and over 70 miles (112 km) of scenic hiking trails. Whiskeytown Lake is also the site of the rich Californian Gold Rush history! In fact, with a permit you could even try panning for gold yourself! Plenty of camping is available, (but definitely call ahead of time); beautiful beaches and don’t forget the ‘Park Ranger Tour Programs’ which is an excellent way of learning the true history of this stunning National Park in California.

Whiskeytown Lake Website : Whiskeytown Lake


7. McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Source: Wikimedia

Recently merged with Turtle Bay Exploration Park, this gorgeous venue offers much more than one may realize. There are several international themed displays from Chilean Gardens to South African Gardens, and from Australian to Mediterranean, as well as plants native to Sierra and Nevada. The grounds are stunning and many weddings are held here each year!

McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Address : 1125 Arboretum Dr, Redding, CA 96003

Website : McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens


8. Armando's Gallery House

Quirky, artistic, fun…and with really great art! You do not want to miss this gallery. A great place for dinner, and the food is as beautiful as the artistic surroundings. Armando is very friendly and if you’re lucky you may see a lovely performance during dinner! Each room is very unique, and you never know what is just around the corner! If you love beautiful art, great cuisine and an array of aesthetically pleasing color all around you, then Armando’s Gallery House may very well be the highlight of your trip!

Armando's Gallery House

Address : 1350 Butte St, Redding, CA 96001

Facebook : Armando’s Gallery House


9. Sundial Bridge

Source: Wikimedia

One of the most famous landmarks of Redding is their Sundial Bridge. Noted as being an ‘architectural wonder’, during the summer and spring months this bridge is one of the largest working sundials in the world. Made entirely of granite, steel and glass, this 700 ft (236 meter) bridge spans across the Sacramento River. This stunning architectural display was designed by the famous architect Santiago Calatrava, who also designed the PATH Transportation Terminal at the new World Trade Center site in New York City. As the bridge crosses the river it offers great views, plus the opportunity to watch salmon spawning right below at certain times of the year.

Sundial Bridge

Address : Sacramento River Trail, Redding, CA 96003

Website : Sundial Bridge


10. Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark


Guided tours will take you right through these stunning caves where you can explore and see amazing underground formations, perhaps like you’ve never seen before. Included in your one price is a lovely boat ride across the Shasta Lake, which is beautiful in and of itself, a bus ride up the mountain and a tour of spectacular cavern formations.

Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark

Address : 20359 Shasta Caverns Rd, Lakehead, CA 96051

Website : Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark


11. Whiskeytown National Park


If you truly want to enjoy everything Redding has to offer, you will want to delve right into the heart of Shasta County at Whiskeytown National Park. Camping, swimming, boating, paddleboarding and kayaking are just some of the activities one can venture into. During the summer months, Whiskeytown Recreation Area offers instructor led kayak tours! This is truly a great location where the Klamath Mountain range meets with the outer edge of the Sacramento Valley; you are surrounded by stunning waterfalls, crystal clear lakes, scenic mountain peaks and unique plant life. Spending time at this national park will give you a very good sense of the beauty this location offers.

Whiskeytown National Park

Address : Whiskeytown, CA 96095

Website : Whiskeytown National Park


12. Guided fishing trip on the Sacramento River from Redding (from USD 202)

Take a day trip and go fishing on the Sacramento River with a professional guide. If you don’t know how to fish, they’ll teach you. You can spin or fly fish for species like Rainbow Trout. The trip takes you to a beautiful natural area where you may see deer, otters and bald eagles. You may even spot a bobcat! Along the stretch of the river, you will also see the scenic Sundial Bridge.

The trip comes with very good quality equipment. The fishing day is good for families and even large groups. The price does not include food, drinks, or a fishing license.

Guided Fishing Trip on the Sacramento River from Redding

Price : from 202 USD

Duration : 8 hours

Number of Reviews :


13. Walk or bike along the Sacramento River

The Sacramento River is perfect for walking or cycling. The Sacramento River Trail is an easy walk or bike ride along the old rail trail. Designated as a National Recreation Trail, you can even ride a horse around. The Sundial bridge connects so you can walk both sides of the river. Don’t forget your camera as you meander along the trail during the day or towards sunset.

Pack a backpack with the makings of a picnic as there are designated sites where you can relax and enjoy the natural setting while you eat. It’s a picturesque setting away from traffic and the rush of town. Soak in the sounds of nature in a peaceful environment. Spend a few hours strolling along excellent hiking routes.

Sacramento River Trail, Redding

Address : Hilltop Drive and River Bend Road, Redding, CA


A great place to visit

Redding, California is a small town in the midst of larger Californian cities. This ideal location offers visitors a small town feel without really going too far from the city. Listed here are some great ideas for the planning of your next trip to Redding, California!


This article was originally published on Jun 16, 2017

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†hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh
3  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh    10 months ago

Or you could just drive 3 hours north and buy some of the country's best weed.

Heartland American
3.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh @3    10 months ago

In Oregon?  

3.2  SteevieGee  replied to  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh @3    10 months ago

Why couldn't you just buy it in town?

Heartland American
3.2.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  SteevieGee @3.2    10 months ago

Because we are by majority vote one of the most anti pot counties in the state and have created city and county regulatory and voter approved initiative hurdles for both growers and sellers in Redding along with relative high taxes on its sale to go to fund law enforcement organizations.  

3.2.2  SteevieGee  replied to  Heartland American @3.2.1    8 months ago

Ahh yes.  That's freedom in the jefferson taliban state.

Heartland American
3.2.3  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  SteevieGee @3.2.2    8 months ago

That’s right.  We exercised our freedom.  We are likely the most conservative city of our size in the state.  Our county is a non sanctuary county regarding immigration and we will be a 2nd amendment sanctuary county as that movement grows in rural counties of blue states.  I thought it Great that if we had to allow pot to be grown and sold here that we can make it as expensive as possible by regulation and then tax it in a way that it funds our county sheriffs and three cities police departments.  

Heartland American
4  seeder  Heartland American    10 months ago

Top 7 Attractions You Want to Cross off Your Bucket List in Redding, CA

By Redding CVB | 11/20/2018 Biking, Downtown, Family Friendly , Fun and Free, Great Outdoors, Paddling, State & National Parks, Swimming, Things to See and Do, Top-Sights, Waterfalls

Burney Falls. Photo courtesy of @jermverde on Instagram

Steeped in state history and beset by the Sacramento River, Redding has since 1844 existed as the deserving home of satisfied locals. Since first inhabited by Wintu Native Americans, Redding has plays host to a wide variety of outdoor recreation and a near-perfect climate. Modern Redding offers you access to a wide variety of sights and sounds, including Turtle Bay Exploration Park and awe-inspiring botanical gardens. Cross off these verified Redding staples whenever you find yourself nearby, 7 bucket list items in Northern California you need to experience for yourself!

1. Sundial Bridge


Equal parts recreational endeavor and functional timepiece, the  Sundial Bridge  in Redding is a must-see local attraction. Stayed with cables and spanning the entirety of the Sacramento River, this architectural construct was ultimately completed after planning in 2004 and has since drawn in locals and visitors alike, as much for its aesthetic beauty as for its offered perspective of the waters below you.

Since it first debuted, the bridge has become an unofficial symbol for the city itself and provides local explorers with access to landmark attractions like Turtle Bay Exploration Park and the nearby  McConnell Arboretum and Gardens . To form the sundial, the tower’s premiere tower forms an index, that indicates the position of due north. A shadow is cast on the tower during the day, creating an accurate portrayal of a working, functioning sundial. Given its size, you can actually identify the Earth’s rotational progress, whenever you visit during daytime hours.

2. Turtle Bay Exploration Park

Photo courtesy of Seth McGaha at Turtle Bay Exploration Park.

Located in close proximity to Redding’s Sundial Bridge, the  Turtle Bay Exploration Park  deservingly serves as an educational opportunity and chance for marine exploration, all rolled into one. The perfect day or evening outing for the entire family, the park itself is renowned for popularity and ease of access. Roughly 300 acres in total space and home to a wide variety of onsite exhibits, you’ll find that the Turtle Bay Exploration Park itself is entirely worth the investment.

Arrive at the Turtle Bay Exploration Park via the Sundial Bridge, before checking out their associated museum, where educational opportunities await the entire family. Afterward, venture through the wildlife center at a pace most conducive to your own enjoyment, and identify flora and fauna alike outside in the botanical garden. Take advantage of immersive, live animal programs at this non-profit endeavor in Redding.

3. Lassen Volcanic National Park

View of Lassen Peak from Manzanita Lake.

One of the largely unsung national parks that graces Northern California,  Lassen Volcanic National Park  is a hub for hydro-thermal resources, together with all of the awe-inspiring views that you and the family are looking to take home. Choose from a verified portfolio of deserving recreational endeavors, whether you’re in the mood for some high-altitude hiking, exploration across lava rocks, or walks around expansive lakes. 

Reach the summit of Lassen Peak Volcano for a reward of uninterrupted panoramas of sweeping, natural landscapes below. Glass-like, reflective lake surfaces make for optimal photo and adventuring opportunities alike. Take advantage of the seasonally-open Bumpass Hell Trail, to slip in between neighboring peaks for even more world-class flora and fauna. And stay on the lookout for so many of the plant and animal species that typify park grounds, including mule deer, black bear, peregrine falcon, red fir and mountain chickadee.

4. WaterWorks Park

Photo from WaterWorks Park

Take the entire family outside for a day of water-filled fun, the ideal weapon against seasonally warm temperatures. Boredom-busting rides and water activities make for hours of enjoyment, at  WaterWorks Park  in Redding. Since 1985, WaterWorks Park in Redding has served both locals and visitors alike as one of the region’s premier amusement parks, and its recent innovations have kept it ahead of the curve with regard to the preferences of the modern traveler.

Join WaterWorks Park for a day of relaxation or adrenaline-inducing thrills, especially for families with smaller children. Take full advantage of any one of the slides, relax and let the current take you for a ride along the location’s lazy river or spend the day by Cowabunga Beach, the wave pool is the newest addition to the park. Right off of Highway 299, WaterWorks Park in Redding is the easy solution to a hot, summer day. Buy individual tickets to bring the entire family along for a day of fun, or come back time and time again with the luxury of season passes.

5. Eaton House Museum


A comfortable-looking museum in Redding, this abode is steeped in rich local history, from humble origins as a former judge’s estate. Victorian furnishings and well-lit spaces remain virtually untouched, and with constant upkeep, the  Eaton House Museum  is a wonderful introductory measure into all of the cultures that make Redding itself the historic gem that it is.

Officially the Behrens-Eaton House Museum but known locally as the Eaton House Museum, this establishment offers you the chance to partake in authentic Redding history. Admission is free for all visitors, although donations are accepted toward upkeep of the house itself. Once the proud abode of Judge Richard Behrens Eaton, who passed in 2003 and designated the residence for museum purposes, the house first became the Behrens family residence in 1899. Consider this your invitation to learn more about the natural and anthropologic history of Redding, at the Eaton House Museum.

6. Sacramento River National Recreation Trail


Take confidently to the Redding outdoors, whenever you elect to venture along the Sacramento River Trail. Renowned by many locals as the absolute favorite outdoor trail in all of the Golden State, this 12.27-mile adventure offers hiking and biking opportunities alike. You’ll also notice a healthy share of fishermen who decorate the side of the path of a seasonal basis, well indicative of the easygoing pace of the trail itself.

Pathways are graded for ease of access and travel, so you definitely won’t find yourself overwhelmed by the scope of the Sacramento River Trail. However, you’re going to need more time than you think in order to complete the entire 17.4-mile trail, simply because of the number of photo-worthy sights and sounds you encounter along the way.

7. The Waterfall Loop

Photo courtesy of @jenniferly82 on Instagram

This is your chance to catch sight of five individual waterfalls, all in a single day! Take to  Redding’s Waterfall Loop , for an extended introduction to the natural beauty that graces the region. Take your time as you make your way to Lion Slide Falls, Burney Falls, Lower, Middle and Upper McCloud Falls and Hedge Creek Falls, and make sure you bring a camera along to document the journey. Trails are definitively marked to avoid the possibility of getting lost along the way. Enjoy a wide variety of lookout points and peaks, underneath towering pines and a spattering of seasonal clouds. It’s a full day’s worth of adventuring, whenever you get to know The Waterfall Loop in Redding.

Something for everyone to enjoy in Redding

Photo courtesy of Kris Bullington / @kriswith_a_k_ on Instagram

Take life at a pace most comfortable for your own enjoyment, thanks to a wide variety of local sights and sounds well worth your investment. From natural panoramas to ruins of a time gone by, Redding is prepared to welcome all visitors who are looking for a unique synthesis of culture, history, and recreation. Cross these seven terrific attractions from your bucket list, whenever you find yourself enjoying the pleasant climate and welcoming aesthetic across Northern California! For more destination guides and accommodation reviews, hotels and vacation rentals, check out Trip101 .

5  SteevieGee    10 months ago

It really is beautiful up there.  I wanted to go to Lassen last summer but found out that the bumpus hell trail was closed so I'll probably go this year.  Early summer is best.  Less fire danger but if you go too early there maybe be too much snow up there.

Heartland American
5.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  SteevieGee @5    10 months ago

Depending on how much snow falls the road through the Park highway 89 opens from north to south between highway 44 and highway 36, between Memorial Day and Independence Day. The road tops out at 8300 ft elevation at the base of the trail to the top of Mt. Lassen at about 10,450 ft. I have been there in July done years ago and had a picnic and swimming at Summit lake and then drove a mile and a thousand feet in elevation and engaged in building a snowman and having a snowball fight. It’s a beautiful national park.  One can leave Redding up I-5 to Castle Crags and spectacular views, Dunsmuir and it’s spring water and waterfalls, leave I-5 for highway 89 at Mt. Shasta city, see places on the mountain and then the little town of McCloud which like Dunsmuir is a great place to tour.  Then comes the McCloud river and the road to lower middle and upper falls.  Then comes Lake Britton and Burney Falls.  Then continue south past highway 299 after the town of Burney and it’s wind farms through beautiful country side to a lava tube cave/ tunnel near the junction with highway 44.  Then comes Eskimo Hil for winter sledding and the like and the beautiful entry of the north end of Lassen park.  And interesting rest stop with lots of local art and info and then the drive down 44 back to Redding.  The whole loop is about 190 miles.  

Heartland American
6  seeder  Heartland American    10 months ago


It’s no secret that Redding, California, is well known as a world-class outdoor destination, drawing active types from all over to hike in the surrounding Shasta-Cascade mountains, raft and fish in crystal-clear rivers, and spend lazy summer days on the lakes. But Redding is also a thriving cultural hub of Northern California, brimming with eateries, theaters, galleries, boutiques, and shops, plus nearly 70 public art displays. In fact, Redding’s downtown district is one of only 14 official California Cultural Districts in the entire state—and only one of three chosen from predominantly rural areas—boasting a level of art and sophistication that may surprise visitors who only know this region of NorCal for its natural beauty.

In addition, Redding is remarkably pedestrian -- and bike-friendly. Its extensive cultural offerings—more than 50 bars, restaurants, and cafes, not to mention museums and other attractions—are easily accessible on foot or by bike thanks to an extensive trail network. The result? The charm and convenience of a small town, complemented by the vast cultural offerings of a much larger city. Here’s what to do, see, and experience in downtown Redding.

An Iconic Bridge, Artistic Offerings, and Gold Rush History


The Sundial Bridge is one of Redding’s most famous sights. This architectural marvel is a glass decked, cable-stayed cantilever suspension bridge that stretches more than 200 feet into the sky and spans 710 feet across the Sacramento River. The sundial itself nods to a striking “bird in flight” design, symbolizing the power of overcoming diversity. Its design also forms a working sundial that you can see in action. The tip of the soaring, 217-foot pylon forms a shadow that moves at a speed of approximately one foot per minute, so you can actually watch the Earth’s rotation with your naked eye on the large dial plate on the bridge’s north end—a fascinating science lesson that happens all day!

The bridge is also an environmentally conscious structure, with no river footings as a way to keep the salmon-spawning habitat of the Sacramento River undisturbed. And it’s just as beautiful at night since the translucent glass along the deck is illuminated from beneath, creating a stunning aquamarine glow while minimizing the impact on the salmon habitat.

751-feeding-the-lorikeets-at-turtle-bay- The Turtle Bay Expansion Park features many wildlife exhibits to explore, including one that features colorful lorikeets. (Courtesy of Turtle Bay Exploration Park)

Since the bridge’s 2004 grand opening, it’s become an iconic landmark for Redding—and offers a fitting launching point for exploring downtown. One nearby attraction that’s a must-do for the young (and young at heart!) is Turtle Bay Exploration Park , a 300-acre space brimming with activities. Highlights include the Visible River Aquarium, a museum showcasing Native American history, and interactive exhibits on wildlife and the surrounding ecosystem (be sure to snap a photo with a few colorful birds called lorikeets perched on your head!).

Also on property is Paul Bunyan’s Forest Camp, an educational and fun way to look back on the bygone era of the legendary lumberjack and the “forest camps” that dotted the region more than a hundred years ago, and the largest butterfly house in North America. Meanwhile, the McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens includes gardens galore, from a medicinal one to a garden just for kids.

For more on the region’s history, check out the Shasta Historical Society , which was formed in the 1930s to collect stories from then-living pioneers who settled in the area. Learn about the California Gold Rush and other tales from the 19th century that helped shape what Redding is today. Also be sure to step into Bogbean , a store that buys, sells, and trades all kind of media, including vinyl, CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray, VHS, plus old-school video games. It’s a blast from the past that’s fun to explore.

Redding’s performing arts scene is thriving, too, thanks to its popularity as a stop for regional, national, and international performing artists. Live shows, movie showings, and more are on the schedule at the historic Cascade Theatre , a stunningly restored 1930s-era Art Deco masterpiece that’s listed on both the California and National Registries of Historic Places, and the Redding Civic Auditorium is another cultural icon. Redding is also home to dozens of public art displays, especially in the Carter House Gallery, Old City Hall, and Turtle Bay area.

Dig Into Redding’s Culinary Scene

A thriving component of Northern California’s farm-to-fork scene, Redding boasts a remarkable dining culture that’s the perfect way to fuel up after a long day of urban and outdoor exploration. Be sure to check out foodie hotspots in town like the just-opened Food Trucks at The Park , which transformed the former Carnegie Park into an open courtyard with lawn games like cornhole and giant jenga, live music, free wifi, and firepits. Choose from a half-dozen food trucks, and grab a beer or glass of wine, too.

Other recommend restaurants downtown include the Brasserie , which offers French favorites in a casual, bistro-style setting, Maxwell’s Downtown Eatery , a low-key, local hangout known for comfort food like burgers and its signature totchos (tater tots smothered in nacho fixings), and the Taste and See Creamery , a gourmet ice cream parlor that creates everything in house. Flavors rotate monthly—grab a few samples to taste and see which one you like best.

Enjoy Locally Crafted Libations!

Redding is filled with options for enjoying a locally made beer or craft cocktail including the pictured Final Draft Brewing Company.

Like NorCal in general, Redding has plenty to choose from when it’s time for an adult beverage. The recently remodeled Vintage Public House is a locals’ favorite for taking in excellent live music, with eight rotating taps and a large selection of wine by the glass. It’s a lovely spot to wind down the day with a drink in hand, toasting to the night ahead.

Several local breweries dot Redding’s downtown. Put together a laid-back, self-guided tasting tour by day, or choose one brewery, grab a pint, and settle in for a while. Wildcard Brewing Company’s Tied House is well-loved for its centralized downtown location and range of tasty IPAs. Final Draft Brewing Company has a casual, fun atmosphere and all-around excellent beer selection. Woody’s Brewing Company is known for an expansive selection of suds, from hoppy IPAs to creamy porters to crisp lagers, most of which they brew in house. For live music, head to The Dip , which offers craft beers on tap and specialty cocktails.

Indeed, from artistic offerings to culinary pursuits, you’ll never run out of things to do (and see and eat) in Redding—and that’s before you even grab a fishing pole or hit the trails. It’s time to explore this lesser-known—but highly worthy—cultural side of Redding, and there’s no better place to start than downtown.

Written by Jill Sanford for RootsRated Media in partnership with Redding CVB.

Heartland American
7  seeder  Heartland American    8 months ago

7 Reasons Redding, California Needs to Be on Your Travel Radar

By Redding CVB | 06/22/2018 Biking, Cultural District, Downtown, Downtown, Family Friendly , Fishing, Food and Drink, Fun and Free, Gear, Great Outdoors, Guides, Hotels and Motels, Lakes, Local Breweries, Lodging, Pet Friendly Activities, Pet friendly dining, Rivers, RV Parks, Skiing/Snowboarding, Snow Play, Snowmobiling, State & National Parks, Swimming, Things to See and Do, Top-Sights, Trails, Waterfalls, Waters, Winter Activities, X-Country Skiing & Snow Shoeing


Redding is an absolute bullseye for outdoors adventure. This Northern California city is surrounded by seven National Forests and is about an hour’s drive from Lassen Volcanic National Park. The Sacramento River flows through the city and the Cascade Range foothills provide the beginnings of a mountainous landscape that extends north to Canada. Redding is more than just an adventure hub though, as hiking, biking, and paddling are all accessible in-town. Looking for something more exotic? Explore geothermal features, caves, and rock climbing, or simply enjoy the friendly vibe in-town. There’s something for every adventure style from technical, hardcore pursuits to letting the kiddos rip it up in the Junior Bike Park.

1. A Wealth of Trails

Redding boasts over 225 miles of multi-use trails within a 15-mile radius. It’s no coincidence that the American Trails Association calls the city home. All trails are free to the public and the majority of them are dog-friendly (and plenty are horse-friendly as well). Whether cycling along paved trails like the Sundial Bridge or hitting sweet singletrack at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, bikers have a full range of options. Of course, there are plenty of hiking trails as well, designed to maximize vantage points of deep pine forests, rolling rivers, and the surrounding foothills. And it’s only a short drive east of Redding to Lassen Volcanic National Park, where trails explore boiling mudpots and steaming pools heated from magma deep below the Earth’s crust.

For the more daring enthusiasts, Redding also has an extra 200+ miles of trails for Off-Highway Vehicles in the Chappie Shasta OHV Area , giving motorcyclists, all-terrain vehicle and four-wheel drivers the challenge of shredding the rolling and brushy hills with views of Shasta Lake, Shasta Dam and the Sacramento River.

2. More Adventure, Fewer Crowds

UpStateCA has all the natural beauty the Golden State is known for—minus the frustrating traffic snarls, chaotic cities, and urban attitude famously generated from the southern half of the state. The Shasta Cascade region comprises 20 percent of California’s land mass but a mere 2 percent of the population. The upshot is that there is more wilderness and less bustle. The expanse and variety of adventure potential in UpStateCA means outdoors enthusiasts organically spread out, giving more room for nature’s authentic tranquility.

3. So Many Waterfalls

y2ydaebrdsdwalxlla0c.jpg  Between Redding and Mount Shasta are dozens of pristine, rushing cascades.  Don DeBold

What do you get when you combine volcanic topographic with a water-rich region that includes California’s longest river and largest lake? Waterfalls! Between Redding and Mount Shasta are dozens of pristine, rushing cascades and many of them are family-friendly outings. Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is a marquee area for waterfalls hikes, so much so that the National Park Service has a webpage dedicated to visiting them all with their “ Waterfall Challenge and Passport ” program. The region is home to many different types of falls, from rushing vertical veils over 100-feet tall to less-urgent, moss-covered walls graced by misty forks that feed placid pools. Plus, Burney Falls in McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park is an UpStateCA icon that you can’t pass up.

4. World-Class Fishing

Anglers from all over the country come to Redding, particularly for its trout-filled waters. In fact, Forbes named the city of the top 10 trout fishing towns in North America. The Lower Sacramento River features California’s top trout fishing, with some of the world’s most powerful rainbow trout to put your skills to the test. It benefits from extracting colder water from the depths of Shasta Lake, which helps it maintain the cool water temperature that allows rainbow trout to feed and grow year-round. You’ll find rainbows an average of 16 inches long there, with 20-inchers common.

Excellent fishing is also found on the McCloud River (known for its leaping rainbows), Hat Creek, Fall River, Manzanita Lake, and the Trinity River. Redding’s iconic Sundial Bridge was built with the salmon spawn in mind—it was built as a suspension bridge to preserve their natural habitat underneath. All of these rivers are not only great, but they’re convenient—you can fish year-round and all of these choices are easily accessible just a short drive from town. For more information, check out The Fly Shop , the largest fly fishing specialty shop in the country. The 40-year-old business is a Redding landmark, and it can provide you with guide services and instruction as well as any gear you could need.

5. Dog-Friendly by Design has named Redding one of the top pooch-friendly adventure destinations in America. For those who loathe the concept of leaving their dogs behind, Redding is the perfect getaway. There are hundreds of miles of dog-friendly trails, including many to the aforementioned waterfalls, and there are even dog-friendly houseboats you can rent to share a few days on the water with man’s best friend. Dog-friendly lodging and restaurants abound and there are several enclosed dog parks as well.

6. Year-Round & Winter Fun

r0qcvv4tktxkqinnbc76.jpg  Get into winter snowshoe or skiing at Lassen Volcanic National Park.  LassenNPS

Access to the Mount Shasta region means the fun goes on year-round. Mt. Shasta Ski Park has 435 acres of ski and snowboard fun (and in the summer, the mountain has downhill and cross-country mountain bike trails). The Mt. Shasta Nordic Ski Center has 15 miles of groomed trails plus plenty more backcountry tracks to enjoy. Snowmobiling is a popular pursuit through the many forest roads that transform into perfect sub-alpine touring grounds. And if you’ve never snowshoed across a volcano, you get to do just that at Lassen Volcanic National Park!

Free ranger-led tours are offered on Saturday’s from January through March and provide the snowshoes for only a $1 donation.

7. Great Food, Drink, & Lodging    

Eventually, you’ll need to find your way back to civilization for a warm shower, a cold beer and a comfy hotel bed. Redding features a range of cuisine from high-end seafood to laid-back brewpubs. There are plenty of locally operated restaurants and yes, many of them are dog-friendly. Stay in-town at a hotel or ramble out to one of the many clean, well-maintained RV parks.

Redding is truly the epicenter of outdoors adventure—it has some of the very best California wilderness, with the added benefit of more than 300 sunny days per year, laying claim as the sunniest city in the Golden State. Mountain hikes, vast freshwater lakes, craggy foothills, vanilla-scented pine forests, and the timeless Sacramento River add up to an outdoor playground where the only limit is your imagination.

Written by Ry Glover for RootsRated Media in partnership with Redding CVB.

pat wilson
8  pat wilson    8 months ago

Another zombie article...

Heartland American
8.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  pat wilson @8    8 months ago

You could create a seed or group about your area and point out its good points rather than making a comment like that here. I like where I live and am proud of the community here and love the beautiful surroundings and endless things to do.  

Split Personality
8.1.1  Split Personality  replied to  Heartland American @8.1    8 months ago
I like where I live and am proud of the community here and love the beautiful surroundings and endless things to do.  

Yes, California has untold beauty and resources.......

a fine mix of communities of people from all sorts of races, religions, educations and backgrounds living in harmony.

I hear it's the 5th largest economy in the world.

Heartland American
8.1.2  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Split Personality @8.1.1    8 months ago

That’s why the inland and the coast get along so well.  Not!  I was only talking about the Jefferson region and inland areas further to the south.  There is no harmony between the foothill, mountain, and valley areas and the coastal urban areas.  We are non sanctuary when it comes to immigration and pro sanctuary when it comes to the 2nd amendment.  We will see how much harmony that will bring.  Long live Jefferson.  California sucks!  Big time.

Heartland American
9  seeder  Heartland American    8 months ago

Things to Do in Redding California: Romance, Local Culture, & Outdoor Adventures

Last updated: July 25, 2018 - Written by Jessica Norah 14 Comments

Things to Do in Redding California: Romance, Local Culture, & Outdoor Adventures

We recently spent a lovely three-day weekend in Redding California, which lies within the Shasta Cascade area that covers a large portion of northern California. Redding is an approximate 2.5 hour drive from Sacramento or 3.5 hour drive from San Francisco, a perfect distance for a weekend getaway.

Redding and the surrounding area is definitely most known to travelers for its scenic natural wonders and the opportunity to engage in a multitude of outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking, sailing, and biking. However we wanted to combine a healthy dose of outdoor activities and natural scenery with some local culture and romance.

During the days, we hiked, explored caves and dams, visited museums, and gushed at majestic waterfalls, but in the evenings we dined well, gazed at romantic sunsets, and stayed in a cozy bed-and-breakfast.

Keep reading for our tips on how to plan your own weekend in Redding, a guide to things to do in Redding California, and our tips on how you can combine romance, local culture and history, and outdoor adventures to suit your own personal tastes and preferences.


How to Plan your Perfect Weekend in Redding

Best Way to Get Around 

Whereas buses are a possible way to get around the area, the easiest and most efficient mode of transportation will be driving. We’d definitely recommend driving here or renting a car to get the most out of your trip as many of the attractions can be far apart and not easily accessible via public transportation. Redding is an approximate 2.5 hour drive from Sacramento or 3.5 hour drive from San Francisco. Bikers may want to drive here and then plan a route that allows for biking between attractions as there are a lot of great biking paths and trails in the area.

Best Time of Year to Visit the Shasta Cascade area

The best time to visit depends a lot on what you are interested in doing as winter snow may close certain areas such as Lassen Volcanic National Park but allows for many fun wintertime activities such as skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating. Spring and summer are great times for water activities such as rafting, canoeing, swimming, and boating. The area can get quite hot in the summers and cold in the winters, and has four distinct seasons. If you are looking for the most temperate seasons, plan a visit during Fall or Spring.

Best Travel Resources

T here are three primary websites that I’d recommend to find out about travel information and tourist attractions in the area. They are each chock full of helpful information and also provide links to more specific city and regional websites within the area:

Shasta Cascade tourism website:

Visit Redding tourism website:

Visit California website:

Day Time Activities in Shasta Cascade: The Time for Outdoor Adventures and Local Culture

There is an endless amount of things to do in Redding and the Shasta Cascade area from hiking to waterfall hunting to learning about the historic importance of gold mining in this area to visiting a national park filled with volcanic wonders.

It may be hard to know where to start when planning your itinerary, especially given that seeing the highlights of this region is set out in a 14-day itinerary  by the local tourism board! But even if you just have a long weekend in Redding like we did, you can still see many of the interesting sights of this region, but you will need to be choosy.

Below are some of the highlights we recommend depending on your interests. You’ll also want to check out this Shasta Cascade blog post written by Laurence which provides some great tips on the best outdoor activities and the most photographed scenery around Redding.

Be Active

Many visitors to this area are drawn for the outdoor activities or for the nature views available along its many scenic highways. Redding is known as “California’s Natural Gateway” and the larger area of Shasta Cascade contains seven National Forests and eight National and State Parks! The area offers an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities, including fishing, boating, golfing, hiking, climbing, horseback riding, kayaking, biking, mountain climbing, caving, sailing, bird watching, camping, skiing, snowshoeing, and even dog sledding.

In the Redding area, there are over 225 miles of hiking trails , including over 70 miles of trails at the nearby  Whiskeytown National Recreation Area . One of the most popular is the 17.4 mile Sacramento River National Recreation Trail (combination of the Sacramento River Trail and the Sacramento River-Rail Trail) that can be taken all the way from Shasta Dam to the famous Sundial Bridge.

Many visitors trek at least a small part of this paved riverfront trail to see a bit of this area’s natural beauty. Further afield, the Bizz Johnson Trail offers a 25.4 mile hike through the rugged Susan River Canyon following an old Southern Pacific Railroad line, and those who trek it will discover twelves bridges, two tunnels, and lots of great mountainous views! Also, don’t forget about the Lassen Volcanic National Park which features the opportunity to hike, fish, camp, and learn about wildlife amongst an array of lakes, streams, meadows, and fascinating volcanic features! 

If you enjoy kayaking, you’ll be right at home in Redding which earned a place in Time magazine for its “weird obsession” with kayaking and is now known as the “Unofficial Capital of Kayaking”. Here is a guide to some l ocal kayaking spots . For those adventurous souls interested in mountaineering, you can even climb a mountain such as the 14,162-foot Mount Shasta, although be sure to check climbing conditions and obtain required permits before hiking in the Shasta Cascade area. The list of potential outdoor activities is extensive!

For much more information about available local outdoor activities, local rental and tour companies, and current weather conditions check out Visit Redding’s website for activities in and around Redding, Visit Mt. Shasta for those related to Mount Shasta and the surrounding area, and the Shasta Cascade tourism website for information about the entire area.


Learn about the History of the Shasta Cascade Area

There are a number of ways you can learn more about the history and culture of the Shasta Cascade area.

One of the top places to visit in Redding is the Turtle Bay Exploration Park which is a large park complex in Redding that consists of a museum, beautiful gardens, animals, a forest camp, a cafe, and the Sundial Bridge.

All aspects of the Turtle Bay Exploration Park are well worth a visit and you can easily spend half a day here. The museum includes both permanent interactive exhibits that focus on regional history and nature as well as two large special exhibition galleries.

During our visit, one of the temporary exhibitions focused on the social and cultural aspects of the candy industry with some free candy samples included of course!

couple-in-sweet-box-1-of-1.jpg Having fun in candy exhibition at Turtle Bay Museum

For those interested in the history of the Shasta area, I would highly recommend a stop at the  Shasta State Historical Park  located 6 miles west of Redding. Here you’ll find what remains of the old town of Shasta, once a booming gold mining town nicknamed the “Queen City”.

The highlight of the 19-acre park is the County Courthouse (built 1861) which has been restored and now serves as museum and visitor center. There is also a row of half-ruined brick buildings, cottages, the Pioneer Barn which contains a stagecoach, and a Catholic cemetery that can be explored within walking distance of the museum.

We really enjoyed a visit to the Litsch General Store (operated from 1850-1950) which has been restored and is filled with many original items that were actually for sale at that time. There are also picnic tables and bathrooms near the barn so it can be a great place for a picnic on a sunny day. 

If you want to learn more about the Shasta area, we recommend checking out the historical walking tours provided through the Shasta Historical Society which include tours of downtown Redding, the Shasta State Historical Park, and the local bridges.  If you are based in Redding, you can check out this  list of historical places in and around Redding compiled by a local history buff and make a do-it-yourself walking tour.

Many towns within the Shasta Cascade area feature small local history museums such as the Lassen Historical Museum in Susanville. You can also visit the downtown centers of many of the small towns that have often still retained some of their historical buildings. For example, McCloud is a small town that has a rich history that began with timber mills and the railroad and its downtown area is a Nationally Registered Historic District. You can also visit McCloud’s  Heritage Junction Museum on Main Street which houses 100 years worth of historical local artifacts, photographs, and exhibits. 

Jessica-in-Store-Shasta-Cascade_by_Laure Litsch General Store at Shasta State Historical Park Barn-in-old-Shasta-Town-California_by_La Pioneer Barn

Explore the Bridges & Dams

The natural wonders of the Shasta Cascade area are plentiful, but you might also want to consider taking some time to appreciate some of the amazing manmade structures. Because of the number of rivers and streams, the area has a lot of bridges, including historical ones such as the Diestelhorst bridge, built in 1915, which is the first and oldest concrete bridge across the Sacramento River.

However, even if bridges are not your cup of tea, you’ll still want to take a look at the beautiful design of the Sundial Bridge located at the Turtle Bay Exploration Park . It is a translucent glass pedestrian bridge spanning 710 feet that was commissioned by world-famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, and is one of the most photographed sites in Redding.

Another great manmade wonder you might consider visiting is the large Shasta Dam . The Shasta Dam Visitor’s Center not only provides free informative tours and exhibits about the dam and local area, but a walk across the dam also affords great views over Shasta Lake. Check out Laurence’s Redding post about our visit for more great photos of the dam, bridges, and lakes!

Sundial-Bridge-Redding_by_Laurence-Norah View-from-Shasta-Dam-California-Redding-

Go Caving

The Shasta Cascade area has a number of caverns, but few are open to the public or easy to explore if you are not an experienced caver. However, you can take a tour of the large Lake Shasta Caverns that were first opened to the public in 1964 and are believed to be about 250 million years old!

Our tour started with a short boat ride across Shasta Lake, a short hike to a bus, and then a bus ride up a steep hill to the cavern entrance. Then we spent about 45 minutes inside the cave with our guide learning about the history of these limestone caverns and the various cave formations. The tour ran very smoothly despite needing to board boats and buses along the way and our guide was really knowledgeable.

We both really enjoyed it even though we’d both been on various cave tours in the past. If you do this tour, keep a look out when outside the cave for local animals as this mountain is home to a number of local birds and animals such as the bald eagle, black bear, bobcat, and black-tailed deer. This tour is not appropriate for those with mobility issues given the amount of walking and  large number of steps.


Marvel at all the Beautiful Waterfalls in the Shasta Cascade Area

There are three main places we’d recommend heading in the Shasta Cascade area if you love waterfalls. The first and probably the most popular to see is Burney Falls at the McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park  which is about a one hour drive east of Redding.

Burney Falls is a majestic 129-foot waterfall and about 100 million gallons of water flow over this waterfall every day! We recommend doing the short loop hike that takes you down past the falls and around as the scenery is quite nice and you’ll probably see people fishing along the river.

Not too far away are the  McCloud Falls located within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest . McCloud Falls consists of three waterfalls with a 3.8 mile trail bordering the McCloud River. You can walk or drive between the falls and the scenery is quite picturesque.

The closest spot for good waterfall spotting near Redding is the Whiskeytown National Recreational Area which has four waterfalls that are accessible via hiking trails around the lake. You can pick up hiking trail maps at the Visitor’s Center and ask the park rangers for advice on which waterfalls to visit.

Laurence-and-Jessica-Burney-Falls_by_Lau Middle-Falls-McCloud-Shasta-Cascade_by_L Laurence-and-Jessica-Middle-Falls_by_Lau

Take in a Local Event or Festival

A great way to learn more about any area is to attend an event and meet the local people! On just about any given day, you’ll find some event to attend in Redding or the greater Redding area. It may be a music performance, rodeo, county fair, classic car show, food festival, or sailing event, or perhaps a more low-key event such as a free movie in the park, farmer’s market, or a local bingo gathering.

The local Bethel Church is also a draw for many Christian visitors to Redding as it hosts many events and conferences. To find out what is going to be happening locally during your visit, I would check out these two websites:  Redding Events Calendar and the Shasta Cascade Events Calendar  and also ask around once you are in town as many of the smaller events don’t make it into these calendars.

Evening Activities in Shasta Cascade: A Time for Romance

Although Shasta Cascade may be better known for its daytime outdoorsy activities, this area can still be the perfect place for a romantic weekend. Kindle the flame by taking a romantic cruise, attending a local performance, listening to jazz at a wine bar, or staying in a cozy bed-and-breakfast. Below are some of our recommendations to combine the great outdoors with some evening romance.

Take a Romantic Cruise

A cruise along a local lake or river is a perfect romantic way to end a day and to watch the sunset. River Romantic Cruises  in Redding provides 3-hour sunset candlelit private dinner cruises along the Sacramento River that are perfect for couples and they also offer brunch cruises on the weekends.

Lake Shasta Dinner Cruises also provides evening dinner group cruises that are a great way to explore Shasta Lake and are quite family-friendly. You can also rent a private boat if you are interested in spending more time on a local lake or river.

Whiskeytown-Lake-Shasta-Cascade-Region-C Whiskeytown Lake

Enjoy Good Food and Wine

Redding is not San Francisco, so don’t expect lots of fine dining options or quirky ethnic food restaurants, but Redding does have a number of quality restaurants serving up good American style food.

One of our favorite meals during our long weekend in Redding was at View 202  which has excellent locally-sourced American food, a lovely view of the Sacramento River, lots of outdoor seating, and friendly service. View 202 is great for lunch, but you’ll find a more romantic atmosphere after dark.  Jack’s Grill has been a popular place to have a steak dinner in Redding since 1938 when opened by World War I aviator Jack Young. While the interior is not very romantic (although it is quite darkly lit), it is a local institution and a place to visit for all steak lovers (definitely recommend coming hungry and ordering a steak if you come here).

C.R. Gibbs  is a favorite hangout for both locals and travelers, located within a Best Western hotel, which serves American style food and a wide variety of beers, wines, and mixed drinks. We were told this is a popular place for locals to celebrate special occasions and a good place to gather with friends and family.

If you are looking for an atmospheric place for wine in downtown Redding, we recommend checking out  Vintage , which is a local wine bar that also often has live music and events.  Some other restaurants we didn’t visit but were recommended while visiting Redding were Clearies’s Restaurant for fine dining, Chu’s Too for Chinese food, The Habit Burger Grill for a quick burger, The Savory Spoon for their vegetarian and vegan menu, and Wilda’s Grill for good lunch options.

Outside of Redding, after visiting the Burney Fall and McCloud waterfalls, we headed up towards Mt. Shasta for closer view of the mountain and had a late dinner at the Highland House Restaurant at Mount Shasta Resort . We had a nice toast of Champagne to start off our dinner which was accompanied by lovely views of snow-covered Mount Shasta! 

Duck-View-202_by_Laurence-Norah.jpg Smores-brulee-Redding-Laurence-Norah-fin Laurence-and-Jessica-champagne_by_Lauren

Savor the Sunset Together

Y ou can of course watch the sunset from just about anywhere in the area and with all the natural wonders in the area you can even enjoy it along a river, next to a waterfall, or with Mt. Shasta in the background.

One of the most popular places for watching the sunset in Redding is around the Sundial Bridge and we definitely recommend this spot. The bridge is lit up with colored lights after dark and there are normally quite a few people about here savoring the sunset and taking after dinner walks. Another great option is to watch the sunset from a boat such as one of the dinner cruise options mentioned above. If you are north of Redding, we’d also highly recommend finding a spot to watch the sunset with a good view of Mt. Shasta and these spots are numerous as the 14,179 foot Mt. Shasta can been seen on clear days from very far away. 

If you are wanting to hike and camp, you might consider hiking the 3-mile Trinity Divide’s Heart Lake Trail to watch sunset at Heart Lake, which sounds like a perfect romantic spot as you can see the reflection of Mount Shasta in the lake and views of the Castle Crags. We instead opted for a less physical route and just drove to drive and park for a view at Lake Siskiyou near Mount Shasta Resort.



Take in an Evening Show

There is probably no place better to watch a film or performance in the area than the historic Cascade Theater in downtown Redding. Opened in 1935, this beautiful Art Deco style theater still holds a variety of performances during the year. You can also check out the schedule for Redding’s community theater  Riverfront Playhouse  and those of the local universities.

For those looking for something both outdoors and free, check out the schedule for the  f ree movies in the park during the summer months in Redding. If you are more interested in watching recent films, there are two Cinemark movie theater locations in Redding where you can share a bag of popcorn with your sweetheart.


Choose Romantic Lodging

One great way to increase the romance quotient during a trip is to book a lodging option with some character and intimacy. Depending on your taste, this may be a self-catering apartment, bed-and-breakfast, resort, a mountain chalet, boutique hotel, or even a guest ranch. Or maybe you prefer to camp under the stars in one of the many pretty nature areas.

We personally wanted to stay in a cozy bed-and-breakfast and stayed at Bridgehouse Bed & Breakfast , which is a lovely house that is centrally located near downtown Redding. We had a comfortable room, a relaxing public living room area, and tasty homemade breakfasts. Each morning we enjoyed great conversations with our fellow guests around the breakfast table.

We were also within a 10-minute walk of the downtown Redding restaurants and stores which was very convenient. For a list of lodging options you can check out the Shasta Cascade website  or do a search on your favorite hotel booking website.

BB-Redding-Shasta-Cascade_by_Laurence-No laurence-and-Jessica-on-the-bed_by_Laure

We had a great three-day weekend in Redding, but we only got to see and do a small fraction of what there is to do in this vast area. Hopefully we will be able to return to see even more of the natural beauty in this great northern California region with a dash of romance!


Is this area on your travel radar and if so, what would be on your itinerary? If you have visited this area, we’d love to hear your recommendations on the best things to do in Redding and the greater Shasta Cascade area. As always, we love to hear any thoughts or questions you may have!

Heartland American
9.1.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Heartland American @9.1    6 months ago

Come on up and see us.  All are welcome to visit our strong and resilient city and region.  We survived a devastating fire and firenado, modest flooding and the worst snowstorm in over 50 years.  We have lots to see and do here.

Heartland American
11  seeder  Heartland American    5 months ago

'Where is Megan Rapinoe from?': 7 things you need to know about the soccer star's hometown

As soccer fans from across the world watch Megan Rapinoe perform in the 2019 Women's World Cup, some are likely to wonder where the soccer star hails from. The answer is the Northern California city of Redding, California. 

For those unfamiliar with the city, here are seven facts to know:

1. Redding is the most-populated California city north of Sacramento. 

But not by much. The 2016 U.S. Census pinned the city's population at 91,808, just above Chico, which sits about 60 miles south of Redding and has a population of 91,567. 

2. Redding makes headlines when it comes to heat

Despite a latitude similar to New Jersey's, Redding experiences some of the hottest summers in the country. Situated in a valley among hills to the east, west and north, the temperature in Redding reaches over 100 degrees somewhat regularly in the summer. 

3. The symbol of the city is the Sundial Bridge

Since it opened in 2004, the 700-foot long glass-decked walking bridge has become a relaxing and inviting outdoor area. Located next to Turtle Bay Exploration Park, the bridge stretches over the Sacramento River. The diagonal pillar holding the suspension cables is about 217 feet high, according to the city's website.

4. Rapinoe isn't the only person to start a sports career in Redding

Aside from the U.S. soccer star, a few other notable names in sports got their start in Redding. Canadian football quarterback Ricky Ray, who retired in 2019, grew up in the Redding area and went on to set multiple records in the Canadian Football League, including winning four Grey Cup championships, most by a starting quarterback in league history. 

Sports reporter Rich Eisen started his career with KRCR-TV in Redding and went on to become a national radio and TV personality, working for ESPN, Fox Sports and the NFL Network among others. 

5. Two large mountains sit east and north of the city

On a sunny day, two hard-to-miss landmarks are Mount Shasta and Lassen Peak, two of the taller peaks in Northern California. Driving an hour and a half north from Redding will bring you to Mount Shasta, the fifth-tallest summit in the state at 14,179 feet. Driving an hour and a half east will take you to Mount Lassen, which has a 10,479-foot peak and is located near Bumpass Hell, a renowned place to sightsee for geothermal activity. 

6. Redding is a 20-minute drive from the Shasta Dam

The 602-foot tall dam distributes water from manmade reservoir Lake Shasta to the 400-mile long Sacramento River, where the water helps farmers irrigate the main agricultural valley in California. When the dam was opened in 1945, it was the second-highest dam in the U.S. behind only the Hoover Dam. Nowadays, the dam is instrumental in preventing floods and generating power.

7. Redding drew national attention during the 2018 Carr Fire

Last summer, Redding was struck by what became the seventh-largest fire in California history, the Carr Fire. The fire started July 23 after sparks from a flat tire caused a brush fire on the side of the road, according to authorities. The blaze went on to cause an estimated $1.659 billion in damages, destroying over 1,000 homes and burning about 229,651 acres.

12  JohnRussell    5 months ago

Isn't Megan Rapinoe the one who thinks Trump is an asshole?    Oh wait a minute. Thats all the players on this women's championship soccer team . 

Heartland American
12.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  JohnRussell @12    5 months ago

She and much of her family along with home town have our differences. We voted for Trump here 62-29%.  On the other hand, the local state of the Art soccer park here where we had a watch party with a good crowd for the game is on a street with her name and number 15 Rapinoe Way.  So we separate our politics and our sports.  We vote for Trump while supporting America’s team and her.  

Heartland American
12.1.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Heartland American @12.1    one month ago

Redding Ca. has state of the Art sports facilities for our kids to use for a city our size.  

Heartland American
13  seeder  Heartland American    5 months ago

After World Cup win — and local controversy — Megan Rapinoe still praises 'hometown love'              

American soccer star Megan Rapinoe says "the fans said it all" by chanting "equal pay" following the United States' 2-0 win over the Netherlands in the World Cup final. (jULY 8)

Shasta County residents might be divided over homegrown soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe's outspoken political beliefs, but the 34-year-old still considers local support "the best kind of love" after leading her country to World Cup victory over the Netherlands Sunday. 

In an energetic Instagram story Rapinoe posted celebrating the win, one shot shows the Record Searchlight's Monday cover page that featured a full-page picture of her after the historic win. Rapinoe captioned the picture of the newspaper "Hometown love is the best kind of love," followed by four affectionate-looking emojis surrounded by hearts.

In a story Megan Rapinoe shared with her followers on Instagram on Monday, July 8, 2019, the soccer superstar said, "Hometown love is the best kind of love" and used the front
page and sports page of the Record Searchlight as her background.

It's an especially significant statement considering the scorn some locals have heaped upon Rapinoe for her refusal to visit President Donald Trump and her kneeling in protest of police brutality during the national anthem. Rapinoe — now famously — said last month she wouldn't be "going to the (expletive) White House" if invited. Rapinoe apologized for her language but stood by her statement, and Trump took to Twitter to blast her. 

Those types of comments have put the outspoken athlete, in some ways, at odds with her conservative home county, where even some who knew Rapinoe growing up have distanced themselves as her star continues to rise throughout the rest of the world .

The Record Searchlight has even gotten letters to the editor decrying Rapinoe's perceived lack of patriotism. 

Responding to  her critics, Rapinoe last week said to reporters , “I think that I’m particularly and uniquely and very deeply American.

“If we want to talk about the ideals that we stand for, the song and the anthem, and what we were founded on, I think I’m extremely American," she said.

Megan Rapinoe talks about being an American and what it means to her at the Women’s World Cup. (July 3)

And while Rapinoe doesn't reflect the political beliefs of most of her home county, about 300 of its residents still gathered in Redding Sunday for a watch party of Rapinoe's final game in this year's Women's World Cup . That comes after — when she helped lead the team to victoryin 2015 —the city even named a street in her honor and held "Megan Rapinoe Day."

Heartland American
13.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Heartland American @13    5 months ago

Rapinoe's father, Jim Rapinoe, told the Mercury News recently that he's a veteran who voted for Trump, but he's still "really proud of the political thing with her." 

"She's got her stances, and she is willing to fight for them and she is willing to sacrifice it all. When she did the kneeling thing, that could have been the end of her career," he told the newspaper. 

Despite those political clashes within a community that's largely conservative, Rapinoe touched on her loyalty to Redding in an ESPN interview last year. 

“I feel like Redding is kind of this underdog, hard-working, blue-collar, is-what-it-is kind of town, and I try to take that with me,” Rapinoe told ESPN. “I never want to just say, ‘Oh, I’m from California.’ I’m not from California . I’m from Redding. For me, that means something.”

Heartland American
14  seeder  Heartland American    5 months ago

The Redding Record Searchlight is publishing stories on the Carr Fire anniversary throughout the next week. Check or follow us on Facebook for updates.

Jessica Skropanic is features reporter for the Record Searchlight/USA Today Network.

Heartland American
14.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Heartland American @14    5 months ago

Friday was the one year anniversary of the afternoon/ night that the car fire swept into Redding.  About half the homes lost were in the city.  The rest in Keswick and Old Shasta and areas in between.  Shasta is more recovered that Keswick and outlying areas homes are being replaced.  Replacing whole subdivisions is slower.  The city and county came together more even than before and Redding/Shasta Strong is still strong here.  The people, churches, organizations, and businesses were and are very generous in response.  Other economic growth in residential, commercial, industry has also returned here.  The city is building a bigger and better fire protection area around the city but not sure any plan can overcome the likes of the firenados we had.  The devastation to the forest is really bad.  There are few surviving green patches within the devastation and the beauty that was Whiskeytown Lake will likely take at least a decade to begin to resemble what it once was.  Fortunately some of Oak Bottom survived in tact as did much of Brandy Creek.  The east shore from the JFK visitors center almost to the dam is largely intact as is the monument where President Kennedy dedicated the Dam/Lake in September of 1963.  The other 90+% of the forest around the lake is a total loss.  Many of the scenic hills north of the lake don’t even have burnt out trees left on them, almost all burnt literally to the ground.  The waterfalls west and south of the lake are still not reopened.  Fortunately the boating areas and the beaches are still being visited by tourists and locals.  Here’s praying the rest of this summer remains wild fire free... 

Heartland American
15  seeder  Heartland American    3 months ago

REDDING, Calif. -  The city of Redding is undergoing a variety of construction projects.

There are currently five main projects underway in the city including restaurants, retail spaces and apartment complexes. 

See below for a map of the construction projects and a breakdown of their progress. 

S. Bonneyview Interchange - S. Bonneyview Road and I-5, Redding

The project includes the following restaurants and establishments:

  • In-n-out 
  • Panda Express
  • The new Win-River Casino & Resort
  • A potential location for a Costco

The construction for the  In-n-Out just broke ground is expected to open in the Fall of 2019. 

The Win-River Casino Resort  just announced its expansion plans  which include a 69,500 square foot casino, a 250-room hotel and an outdoor amphitheater. 

The potential building of a Costco is still  in the planning phase and is facing opposition. 

Panda Express is fully constructed and opened its doors this year. 

Mount Shasta Mall - 900 Dana Dr., Redding

The project includes the following restaurants and establishments:

  • Home Goods 
  • Sprouts
  • Rumors of a potential Chick-fil-A restaurant 

The project  has been in the works for about one year , with the first section nearing completion. The Home Goods and Sprouts stores are expected to be open by the end of the year. There is no update on whether a potential Chick-fil-A restaurant will also be included in the plans. 

Placer Heights Development - 1701 Pine St., Redding

When completed, the project will be a 3-story mixed-use apartment complex and retail space. 

The foundation and the first floor are complete. However, there is not an estimated date of completion. 

Read more about the project by  CLICKING HERE.  

Old Dickers Department Store Project - 1551 Market St., Redding

When completed, the project will be a 3-story mixed-use  apartment complex and retail space.

The foundation for the project has been laid and work is continuing, however, there is not an estimated date of completion. 

Read more about the project by  CLICKING HERE

Redding Court House - 1500 Court St., Redding

new courthouse will be built  for the city of Redding. 

Contractors have broken ground on the project and work is expected to be finished by Summer of 2021. 

Heartland American
15.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Heartland American @15    3 months ago

This is indeed good news for my fine city.  

Heartland American
16  seeder  Heartland American    one month ago

How Redding, California, Became An Unlikely Epicenter Of Modern Christian Culture

God brought Golibé Omenaka to Northern California. The journey started in Manchester, England, when he encountered the teachings of a Redding-based megachurch called Bethel, and took off when a friend prophesied that God had called Omenaka to Bethel.  

Specifically, God called Omenaka to the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, where the 24-year-old would undertake a spiritual transformation and be trained in miraculous healing.

In the two decades since the School of Supernatural Ministry’s founding, more than 10,000 people from around the world have made the same pilgrimage, turning Redding into an unlikely global epicenter of Christian culture.

220737-full.jpg Dann Farrelly, Dean of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, delivers a lecture to a first-year class of about 1,200 students at the Civic Auditorium in Redding, CA, on April 29, 2019. Sean Havey

Today, walking around this former logging town of 90,000 residents, you can meet people from a dozen countries in a day. This year, the school graduated 2,500 students, representing more than 70 countries; the youngest was 18, the oldest 85.  

It was founded by a fifth-generation pastor, Bill Johnson, who heads up local Bethel Church, and started with a few dozen local students. Today the school enrolls more international vocational students than any other school in the country, by far, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data. In 2017, Bethel had 1,792 international students enrolled. The institution with the next highest enrollment was Dean International, a flight-training school in Florida, with 888 international vocational students.

220735-full.jpg Audrey Dukes, of Upland, CA, receives "healing prayer" from Henk Van Diest and his wife Marjolein Van Diest, who moved to Redding, CA, 3 years ago from the Netherlands in order to attend the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.  Sean Havey

“We are a supernatural school. We believe that healing is for today,” says Leslie Crandall, who oversees first-year students.

Students are taught that God is actively at work in the world, and miracles did not die with Jesus; they’re taught that God can manifest his healing power through their prayers, according to students and leaders. “We believe that God is still speaking, and he can speak to his kids and he does,” Crandall says.      

When Omenaka first encountered Bethel’s teachings back in England, he balked. “My internal response was this is the stupidest thing I've ever heard of in my life,” he says.

220734-full.jpg “Healing prayer” sessions take place after every service at the Bethel Church in Redding, CA. Sean Havey

A leader at his church in Manchester wanted him to go on something called a “treasure hunt,” a practice originated by Bethel. He was meant to search the streets of his city for people in need of healing. Guided by impressions from God, he would find strangers to pray for and, ideally, heal

YouTube is full of treasure hunters -- small groups, usually of young people, wandering the streets, airports and malls of the world asking to place their hands on strangers -- a Redding-born practice exported around the globe.

Omenaka grew up religious, still, the idea of modern-day miracles didn’t sit well with him at first. “I was afraid, to be honest,” he says.

But as he opened himself to the unfamiliar teachings, something shifted in him. “When you pray for a complete stranger on the streets, and they get healed of a leg injury, and they say, ‘What the heck have you done to me?’ that kind of changes the way you look at things.”

It changed things so much that Omenaka enrolled at the School of Supernatural Ministry. After eight years, he’s still in Redding. He met his wife here, and they have two kids. Now, he’s a pastor at the school.

Omenaka’s story is typical of students here. For most, it’s a far-flung brush with Bethel that draws them to Redding.   

220736-full.jpg BSSM students talk and do homework between classes outside of the Redding Civic Auditorium, which a Bethel-connected nonprofit manages for the City, on April 29th, 2019. Sean Havey

Bethel's influence goes far beyond its megachuch of 11,000 members and school with international pull. Bethel music is played around the world, and its studios have produced a handful of Billboard 200 hits the last decade.

Then there’s Bethel.TV, a subscription service that streams church services, e-courses and original shows produced by Bethel. Bethel’s weekly podcast has 20 million downloads a year; there are dozens of books written by Bethel leaders; several conferences each year, centered on everything from music to medicine, bring more than 25,000 people to Redding. There’s also Bethel’s tech school, K-8 school and art school, and its international leadership network, Global Legacy, created by a former top-level British prison executive.  

220740-full.jpg Musicians at the Bethel Church in Redding perform during Sunday service on April 28, 2019. Sean Havey

“It represents a new form of Christianity that could reshape the global religious landscape for years to come,” write sociologists Richard Flory and Brad Christerson in The Rise of Network Christianity: How Independent Leaders Are Changing the Religious Landscape. Bethel and other neo-Charismatic powerhouses like it are untethered to traditional church structures or denominations. They’re savvy digital marketers who leverage the power of electronic communication to expand their reach, according to Flory and Christerson.

For those who flock to the School of Supernatural Ministry, proximity to Bethel’s vaunted spiritual leaders, Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton, and the promise of direct access to the supernatural are a powerful draw. But many stay for the sense of community or spiritual growth.

220732-full.jpg Bill Johnson, senior leader of Bethel Church in Redding, delivers a sermon during Sunday service on April 28, 2019. Sean Havey

“I came here thinking I will grow in my prophetic, I will do all kinds of miracles,” says Henk Van Diest. He and his wife sold their house in the Netherlands and moved their family to Redding to attend the school.

He enrolled for two years and spent three years volunteering in Bethel’s healing rooms, where people receive prayer. “I saw so many miracles,” he says, “but in the end, my relationship with God is the most important thing. It became more about my identity.”

The School of Supernatural Ministry is not accredited and doesn’t confer degrees, but each year thousands of students pay the $5,250 tuition for an unconventional religious education. The school is less about studying religion than living it in the world.

“It’s not only head knowledge, like rational,” Van Diest says. “It felt sometimes like open-heart surgery.” He and his wife plan to stay in Redding for a fourth year and are preparing to sell their real estate business in the Netherlands.

Flory, the director of research at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California, speculates that’s partly why, while religion is in decline, especially among younger people, this expression of neo-Charismatic Christianity -- Charismatic meaning emphasizing miracles and manifestations of the Holy Spirit -- is one of, if not the, fastest-growing forms of Christianity in this country and the world.

California is home to two of the world’s most prominent examples: Harvest International Ministry (HRock Church), based in Pasadena, and Bethel.

“California is not the only incubator of Pentecostal/Charismatic Christianity,” says Flory, “but it is one of the most important. There's less religious infrastructure that tells you what you can and can't do here.”

In general, Flory says, Pentecostalism is associated with specific denominations like the Assemblies of God, while Charismatic tends to refer to a more independent form of Pentecostal Christianity that exists beyond traditional denominational bounds. But both emphasize miracles, prophecy and other gifts of the Spirit.

In the popular imagination California may not be a particularly religious place, but there are  more than 200 megachurches here (churches with regular attendance of more than 2,000 people), more than in any other state. Pentecostalism itself was born here. “California has, for everybody, been a land of opportunity, not just liberal hippie types,” Flory says.

Ultimately, Bethel wants to be more than a school with international pull, more than a megachurch. Flory says its objective is nothing short of cultural transformation.

He describes the leadership’s goal this way: “Let's get the right kinds of Christians in the right kind of public sectors of American society: politics, economics, Hollywood, etc., and then through their efforts we’ll bring about the Kingdom of God on Earth in the here and now.”

220739-full.jpg Longtime Redding resident Donna Zibull hands out anti-Bethel stickers on April 29, 2019. Zibull is a member of the Facebook group Investigating Bethel.  Sean Havey

But some Redding residents don’t want to be part of the experiment.  

“Redding is their test case of turning a city that is a democracy into a theocracy,” says Laura Hammans, a member of Investigating Bethel, a Facebook group with more than 1,000 members.

Hammans is one of a dozen members of the group meeting at a Redding park one afternoon. Another member, Donna Zibull, is passing out stickers that say, “Don’t drink the Kool-aid.”

“We've handed them out freely because we want to get the message out there,” Zibull says. “Some people are afraid to put them on their car.”

Afraid, she says, because the church’s influence feels like it runs through the core of the city. Redding’s mayor, Julie Winter, is a Bethel elder; Bethel paid the salaries of several police officers when the city couldn’t afford to; a Bethel-connected nonprofit took over management of the city’s civic auditorium and now holds Supernatural School classes there; Bethel’s influence was central to getting a direct flight from LAX to Redding approved last year; and there’s a $150 million Bethel expansion underway that will triple the church’s capacity and allow the school to grow by 1,000 students.   

220738-full.jpg Redding resident David Boone is a member of Investigating Bethel, a Facebook group with more than a thousand members. “You get this feeling that they know they're a sort of virus,” Boone says, “but they think they're the good virus that we all need.”  Sean Havey

For some, the line separating church and state is hard to trace at this point, threatening the integrity of the city. “They have this really well-organized program to innervate everything with their influence,” says David Boone, another member of Investigating Bethel. “You get this feeling that they know they're a sort of virus, but they think they're the good virus that we all need.”

For many others, Bethel is a positive force, one that’s given the city a much needed economic boost, and made it more vibrant and diverse.

Either way, Bethel’s outsize influence on this little city is unavoidable. Redding has become a new kind of Christian mecca.

The California Dream series is a statewide media collaboration of CALmatters, KPBS, KPCC, KQED and Capital Public Radio, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the James Irvine Foundation and the College Futures Foundation.

Heartland American
16.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Heartland American @16    one month ago

My hometown is the center of a global movement.  Most impressive.  

Heartland American
17  seeder  Heartland American    one month ago

Decision to create Redding Electric Utility still paying dividends


The homes that receive Redding Electric Utility (REU) power are enjoying continued service while millions of people in California are experiencing power interruptions and the consequences that go with it. From what we have heard it is caused by failing infrastructure that should have been maintained or replaced a long time ago and it is catching up to them in recent years.   Why are we so lucky? Well, actually luck had very little to do with our good fortune. The City of Redding leaders’ way back in 1921 had the foresight to believe a locally owned, independent electric utility that answered to local officials was a better idea than having a utility company that was governed by the Public Utility Commission (PUC) hundreds of miles away.

Since that decision, the REU staff has been doing their jobs of building and maintaining our utility. They recommended changes to the system that would make it better and more reliable. They worked with city elected officials to advocate for legislation that would make REU better, and sometimes to simply not make things worse.   

As time has gone on, REU has adopted policies and programs to improve the reliability of the electric system including installing switches in the field to allow areas to be fed energy from more than one circuit in the event of an issue. 

They spent the last 12 years modernizing their substations so that their 24/7 operations center can monitor and control the local grid more closely.  Their recent work on the Wildfire Mitigation Plan has benefitted the community already and there is more to come.

As a result of the good work our rates today are some of the lowest in the state of California and just as important our downtime is measured in minutes in a year while some other utilities are measured in hours, days, and now even weeks.    What happens if the rest of the state goes dark? I asked this question to the Electric Utility Director in 2003 and he said we can generate enough energy on our own to power 90% of the city. It is comforting to know that the power we have purchased over the years and the turbines we have built have put us into an almost self-sufficient position.

Who do we thank for the good work and planning? One of the answers to that question would have to be the staff over the years. Like the other city departments the men and women at REU are dedicated to excellence, they are creative when issues arise, and they are smart. Someone once said we don’t need to have excellent city employees; we just need them to be average. That type of thinking would likely have resulted in higher rates and a lot of no power days.

But to me, the real heroes are the elected officials. Staff can come up with ideas all day long but if the city council does not want to hear ideas or plays politics with rates like so many other governing boards, then none of the good things we have done over the years happens. The citizens of Redding have elected good people that understand how to run a business and they, in turn, have made the hard decisions that have resulted in our good fortune today.

So thanks to all the elected officials that have made the right decisions instead of the popular ones and thanks to the people that have worked at REU and those that work there now. You have made a big impact on all of us and we appreciate it.

Michael Warren is from Redding.

Heartland American
18  seeder  Heartland American    one week ago


Redding, CA 

Photo:  JeniFoto /Shutterstock

3.  Redding, California

Population: 91,794

California’s largest city north of Sacramento serves as the gateway to the state’s most expansive swath of spectacular nature, and it might be the West Coast’s best adventure destination that hasn’t yet received mainstream recognition. Within an hour’s drive you can find yourself deep in Lassen Volcanic National Park, which is like a little slice of Iceland in Northern California. Inside the park, you can walk through steaming lava fields in the morning, climb to the top of Mount Lassen in the afternoon, and camp by its serene lake at night.

Redding is also surrounded by a loop of waterfalls, which you can drive for a long day of hitting spots like Burney and McLoud Falls before stopping for one of the state’s best burgers at  Yak’s on the 5 . In town after a day of exploring, you can slosh down hearty wheat beers at  Woody’s Brewing  and enjoy a thick steak at the  Market Street Steakhouse . Or you can visit the city’s landmark Sundial Bridge and enjoy cocktails and flatbreads on the Sacramento River at  Mosaic

Heartland American
18.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Heartland American @18    one week ago

Redding makes list of 25 coolest towns in America

Redding has just come in at 3rd for the  25 coolest towns in America: 2019 .

While the bigger cities have their appeal sometimes you just need a break from them and take in some of the smaller cities that offer a different environment than the bigger more tourist towns.

Each of the towns on the list has less than 100,000 for their population and each has something special about it whether it be wilderness or beaches, history or art they all have something that makes them one of the coolest small towns.

Redding is highlighted for it's proximity to Mt. Shasta and Lassen Volcanic National Park. The article even suggests several restaurants visitors might want to try.

Heartland American
18.1.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Heartland American @18.1    one week ago

Way to go Redding! Redding proud, Redding Strong!  

Heartland American
18.1.2  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Heartland American @18.1.1    6 days ago

Even after the fires, Redding is California’s last great undiscovered outdoors destination

Matthew Meltzer
May 29, 2019

“You see that  down there?” Mason, my flight seeing pilot, said as we banked over Whiskeytown Lake. It was surrounded by what looked like desert mountains, an oasis of blue in a field of brown. “Last year, we had trees going all the way down to the waterline. Now it looks like Lake Mead.”

He was lamenting the destruction wrought by the Carr wildfires of 2018, which hit little Redding, California, and much of far-northern  California  harder than most people realized. The Whiskeytown recreation area was almost completely devastated, especially the emerald trees that once surrounded this mountain lake.

Despite the swaths of post-fire apocalypse, the view from the plane was incredible. Beyond Lake Shasta and its famous dam, we saw snow-covered Mount Shasta towering in the distance with the Cascade Mountains to the east and Lassen Peak further off. Deep green mountains filled the landscape between our plane and the icy peaks, with the Sacramento River running a shiny blue through it all.


Photo:  Visit Redding

In a state full of wilderness traffic jams, where a weekend “escape” to  Yosemite or Mendocino has you fighting thousands of cars and tens of thousands of people, the region around Redding still feels remote. It’s a place where you can drive a two-lane highway flanked by firs and redwoods and not see a car for miles. A place where, on a slow day, you can be one of only seven people in a national park. And a place where locals still treat tourists like guests, instead of a nuisance.

Rainforests and waterfalls abound like a temperate Caribbean island.


Photo:  Visit Redding

Nobody’s confusing Redding with  Dominica , but the abundance of easily accessible waterfalls is something I’d only seen in the Caribbean. The best way to see them is exploring the waterfall loop, an admittedly lengthy drive past 13 waterfalls within a short walk of your car. It’s almost impossible to do them all in one day, but if you pick a few, it’s a magical way to spend the afternoon.

About 50 miles north on I-5 in Dunsmuir, you’ll find Hedge Creek Falls. A 0.7-mile walk takes you down through bright green moss and thick ferns to the falls, complete with a path behind them for viewing from all angles.


Photo:  Visit Redding

The loop also includes McCloud River waterfalls, a series of three falls along the river. You can walk between them on an easy waterside trail, where the powerful sound of the cascading water makes the experience almost meditative if you can keep your hands off your phone.

Another hour brings you to perhaps the most impressive falls in the loop at McArthur-Burney Falls, which sits on the side of the Cascade Range between Mt. Shasta and Lassen Peak. The 129-foot falls see nearly 100 million gallons of water per day, and though their power is impressive, the bright blue pool at the base reflecting the colors of the canyon is downright mesmerizing.

A volcanic wonderland with creepy underground attractions


Photo:  Visit Redding

Lassen Volcanic National Park , about an hour’s drive from Redding on Highway 44, is the only place on earth to host all four types of volcanoes (shield, plug dome, cinder cone, and composite). Despite its volcanic diversity; vast, barren lava fields; and geothermal springs, it receives just over half a million visitors a year. On the day I went, I was one of seven people there.

Driving through you’ll go from alpine wilderness to a loosely vegetated surface of the moon to glacial paradise in the span of an hour. The only other place like it I’ve seen was Iceland, just without the tour buses.

On the road between McArthur-Burney Falls and Lassen, I also happened upon one of  California’s great roadside attractions  in the  Subway Cave . What might reasonably be called the creepiest natural attraction in America, this natural lava tube just looks like a perfectly carved subway tunnel, with a gravel-free floor and smooth ceilings. The first couple hundred yards seem perfectly fine, until literally all the light disappears. Without a flashlight, you’re suddenly surrounded by darkness and silence, with no sense of which way you got in or which way to escape.


Photo:  Pete Niesen /Shutterstock

If you do have a flashlight, little podiums with maps and information on the cave act like tour guides, and if you want a little slice of serenity, turn your light off and just stand in the abyss. Though the tunnel stretches only about 1,300 feet, if you don’t know how long it is, you may think you’ll be stuck there forever. But don’t worry, it only takes fewer than 10 minutes to walk through.

Getting out on the water is easy.


Photo:  Visit Redding

Banking back over Lake Shasta, Mason the pilot pointed out a white marina jutting out into a pale blue lake.

“Next weekend, that’s gonna be filled with kids on houseboats,” he said, referring to the upcoming Memorial Day holiday. “I don’t know how a college kid affords $25,000 a week for a houseboat, but hey, maybe they’re just dipping into that trust fund.”

We are flying over Lake Shasta which, for years, has been a sort of Havasu North.

But when it’s not full of partying houseboats, Lake Shasta offers kayaking, paddleboarding, and swimming in the reflection of snow-capped mountains. You can take dinner cruises across the lake to enjoy it by sunset or all-day tours that include visits to the mind-bending caverns nearby.


Photo:  Visit Redding

The other big aquatic draw in Redding is fishing. Along over 40 miles of the Sacramento River, you’ll find rainbow trout swimming to Lake Shasta, and even in-season you won’t have problems finding a spot to cast your line. But if you want even fewer people, some of the best fishing in decades can be found along the McLoud, Pit, and Upper Sacramento rivers with record water levels this year.

Destination mountain biking for every skill level


Photo:  Visit Redding

The mayor was smoking me on the trails.

Brent Weaver, former Redding mayor and founder of the Mayor’s Mountain Bike Challenge, was riding ahead of me on the Lower Sacramento Ditch Trail, a soft beginner’s trail cruising along mountainsides with views into a deep green valley. He navigated the switchbacks on instinct, politely waiting for me to figure them out before speeding ahead. We stopped at a lookout point to survey the damage from last year’s fires.

“I was on a family vacation in  Alberta , and they have  CNN  on and I see ‘Redding; California,’ on the bottom of the screen with all these shots of the fires,” he says as a blacked-out hill stands behind him. “I immediately called and asked if I should come back and they told me ‘leave your kids there.’”

The horrors of the fires are over now, and Weaver, along with others in Redding, is determined to get news focused back to the city’s mountain biking. With 225 miles of trials in a 15-mile radius, it’s an easy sell.

“We have everything from beginner to intermediate trails that go along our rivers, through our mountain valleys,” he says as he powers ahead. “Everything from expert trials with incredible elevation gains and drops. There’s a sense of pride when somebody from out of town comes to bike our trails.”

The city is a friendly, welcoming jumping-off point for upstate’s wilderness.


Photo:  Visit Redding

Redding is not a culinary destination, necessarily, but it still has enough fantastic food and things to do once you’re off the mountain.

Northern California breweries are almost a legal requirement in any city. Redding doesn’t disappoint with  Woody’s , a brewpub with better beer than I’ve found at bigger names in this state.  Final Draft Brewing  downtown is also solid, and perfect for a drink after dinner.

Tacos are another California staple, and if you’re looking for the kind of cheap, authentic, shares-a-parking-lot-with-a-Chevron-station tacos that make the state famous, go a little past Woody’s to  La Cocina del Chuy .

For higher-end stuff, go for cocktails and flatbreads at  Mosaic , in the shiny new riverside Sheraton by the landmark Sundial Bridge. Or hit the  Market Street Steakhouse , which grilled up the best small-town filet mignon I’ve ever had.


Photo:  Visit Redding

Locals, however, told me  Jack’s Grill  — the institution dive bar — had better steaks. Whether that’s true or not, Jack’s is worth popping in, if for no other reason than to share the bar with colorful, longtime locals. Because what made Redding feel so relaxing and natural was how the people treated me as a visitor.

My first night in town I had a bartender and three Market Street Steakhouse regulars ask me extensively about myself, then give me a slew of recommendations the tourism bureau hadn’t.

I met another Redding native who invited me to a house party where people were watching  Jaws  from a swimming pool. They were eager to share all the things they thought made their city great and enthusiastic to give me details on every question I asked. It was a welcomed departure for the sort of us vs. them attitude you sometimes find in California’s smaller outdoors’ destinations when tourists come to town.


Photo:  Visit Redding

Those same locals warned me that while they were excited at the prospect of more visitors, some longtime Redding folks were not. And when that fancy new Sheraton opened on the river, they saw their quiet little corner of California slipping away.

That may be a bit dramatic — as of publication only  San Francisco  and  LA have flights here — but as people look for new areas to explore, Redding may not always be the welcoming gateway it is now. But for now, even after the fires, it has some of the best wilderness in North America and may just be California’s last hidden outdoor getaway. <a%20href=" srcset=" 1x, 2 .png 2x, 3 .png 3x" width="15" height="15" style="margin:0px;display:inline;height:auto;" >


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