July 5, 2023


Drove shot of the Sundial Bridge and Sacramento River

So, you want to get away, experience the great outdoors, and get lost in nature without breaking the bank? Look no further—Redding, California, is your hidden gem waiting to be explored!

With its enchanting waterfalls, vast lakes, and majestic mountains, Redding offers just the right blend of urban sophistication and outdoor adventure—perfect for a summer retreat.

A five-night stay in Redding, California is the ultimate opportunity to explore this underrated vacation spot. The Shasta Cascade region is bursting with unique attractions and boundless beauty, ensuring that your summer vacation will be one for the books.

Here’s Your 5-Night Itinerary for Redding, CA:


Day 1: Getting Acquainted with Redding

Classic cars on display in downtown Redding

Kick off your journey with a tour of downtown Redding, home to locally-owned shops and maker’s markets, diverse restaurants, and lively entertainment options. For a unique local experience, you’re sure to enjoy the friendly atmosphere, live music, and variety of food trucks available at The Park.

One essential stop is Turtle Bay Exploration Park, an educational hub that beautifully combines a museum, wildlife exhibits, and botanical gardens. This 300-acre gem is also home to the iconic Sundial Bridge. Not only is it a functional wonder providing pedestrian access across the Sacramento River, but it also doubles as a working sundial—one of the largest in the world.

Complete your first day with a visit to the majestic Shasta Dam. As the second-largest concrete dam in the U.S., its stunning architecture and breathtaking panoramic views make this a must-visit. Plan to arrive just before sunset to take advantage of the cooler temps and colorful skies.

Day 2: Lassen Volcanic National Park

A male hiker on the Brokeoff Mountain trail at Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park is a nature lover’s paradise located an hour east of Redding. Explore steaming fumaroles, clear mountain lakes, and colorful wildflower meadows beneath the park’s dormant volcanic peaks. You might even come across some remaining snow!

Top sights include Bumpass Hell, the park’s largest hydrothermal area, and Manzanita Lake, ideal for a picnic while enjoying stunning views of Lassen Peak.

A white Toyota SUV with a green Canoe rounding a bend in the highway at Lassen Park

The park’s lesser-known status provides an unparalleled opportunity to enjoy its offerings without the usual throngs of tourists, allowing for a peaceful, immersive experience in nature.

To help preserve and maintain the park, an entrance pass is required. Annual passes are also available for frequent visitors and can be cost-effective if you plan to visit multiple national parks within a year.

One such option is the America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, which costs $80 annually and provides access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the United States.

The opportunity to explore such an under-visited natural wonder adds a unique dimension to your Californian vacation. In Lassen Volcanic National Park, you can witness Mother Nature’s power and resilience while enjoying tranquil beauty, often all to yourself.

Day 3: Unwind at Whiskeytown

A blonde woman in a red and white polka dot swimsuit and white sunglasses swimming at Whiskeytown Lake, face to the sun
Discover the splendors of Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, famous for its four waterfalls: Whiskeytown Falls, Boulder Creek Falls, Crystal Creek Falls, and Brandy Creek Falls. Each trail offers a unique blend of scenic beauty and peaceful serenity.


East Beach is the perfect spot for water enthusiasts to soak up the golden Californian sun or witness a picturesque sunset. Alternatively, enjoy family fun at Brandy Creek or Oak Bottom Beach, where kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals are readily available.

A sailboat at the dock at Whiskeytown Lake

For an extra splash of fun, a small annual donation allows you to join the Redding Yacht Club for an unforgettable sailing experience on Whiskeytown Lake.

Day 4: Experience the Majesty of Mt. Shasta & Castle Crags

A male rock climber climbing at Castle Crags

Venture to Mount Shasta, a tranquil retreat that offers rejuvenating vistas and endless outdoor activities. Don’t forget to stop at Castle Crags State Park as you head north, where towering granite spires provide magnificent views and trails suitable for short and long hikes.

Satiate your taste buds with a meal at Yaks on the 5, famed for its mouth-watering gourmet burgers. Explore the serene Siskiyou Lake, drink from the pure headwaters (at your own risk), and unwind at the Mount Shasta City Park. Round off your day with a visit to local shops and breweries for a taste of Mt. Shasta’s unique culture and craft.

Day 5: Bask in the Fun of Lake Shasta

An African American man wearing a black tropical shirt and black bucket hat on a unicorn floaty in front of a houseboat at Lake Shasta

Your Redding vacation would only be complete with a day at Lake Shasta. Rent a boat or jet skis and dive into this pristine lake’s cool, refreshing waters. Whether you prefer to stay active with water sports or relax at one of the marinas, the lake offers a fun day in the sun for the entire family.


The walking path and stairs inside Shasta Caverns

Consider a guided tour of the Lake Shasta Caverns, a fascinating underground world of stalactites and stalagmites, to cap off your adventure.

As the sun sets on your final day, find a cozy spot in downtown Redding to relish a delicious dinner. As you dine, reminisce about your experiences and the unforgettable moments you’ve shared.

Day 6: Departure Day

Drone shot of the Sundial Bridge and Sacramento River

Before heading home, squeeze in a bit more local flavor. Enjoy a leisurely brunch at one of the local cafes, or stroll along the Sacramento River Trail, breathing in the fresh air and embracing the serene views one last time.

If you happen to be departing on a Saturday, end your stay with a visit to the Redding Farmers Market at City Hall. Stock up on local produce, fresh bread, artisanal cheese, and other handcrafted goods. It’s the perfect opportunity to support local vendors and take a piece of Redding back home with you.

Why Visit Redding, California?

Redding truly has something for everyone. The options are endless, from the nature lover to the urban adventurer. The city offers a unique blend of outdoor excitement and cultural enrichment, and its vibrant atmosphere makes it an unforgettable vacation destination.

What distinguishes Redding from other Californian cities is its proximity to many natural attractions. It’s nestled amongst national parks, dormant volcanoes, and serene lakes, making it the ultimate basecamp for exploring the Golden State’s wilderness. Yet, it retains a vibrant city life with plenty of entertainment, shopping, and dining opportunities.

Furthermore, Redding’s community is warm and welcoming. The locals love their city and are eager to share its hidden treasures with visitors. You’ll find that Redding embodies the quintessential Californian charm—friendly, laid back, and beautifully diverse.

Get Redding for Summer Adventure

Three people on bright-colored tubes floating down Clear Creek

So, what are you waiting for? This summer, pack your bags and embark on a 5-night journey to Redding, California. Explore, unwind, and create memories that will last a lifetime. We promise you’ll leave with a newfound appreciation for this charming city, and you might find yourself planning your next visit sooner than you think!


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