Redding shopping, dining, entertainment, cultural attractions information and photos
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Redding: A shopping, dining, entertainment & cultural center

By Gary Heffley
Redding offers  mix of amenities of that are simply not available in other North State cities. Besides of a variety of lodging options, as well as a full range of dining selections, Redding now offers the visitor an excellent array of shopping, cultural, entertainment and recreation choices. 

Cascade Theater, Redding,
The historic Cascade Theater in downtown Redding offers many shows each month including plays, comics and musicians.

Over the past two decades many leading merchandisers including Macy's, Kohls, Best Buy and Trader Joe's have come to town. Many others have expanded their operations including Walmart and Winco. The many stores in the Shasta Mall are doing very well and numerous smaller-shopping centers have sprung up on the cities east side. 

On the west there is the absolutely unique Sundial Bridge, Discovery Bay, Turtle Bay Museum and Arboretum and a convention center that attracts many performances that are often well attended or sold out. In addition there is a completely restored art-deco, 1930s-style movie theater that should not be missed. 

Country legends Merle Haggard, Vince Gill and comedian Sinbad have graced the stage. In the first quarter of 2012, Lily Tomlin, the Kingston Trio, Judy Collins, Peter Frampton, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, Foreigner and Kenny Rogers are just some of the acts scheduled to appear at this intimate theater.

The Sacramento River Trail winds for miles along both sides of the river on the north side of Redding, and is accessible at Keswick Dam, off Hilltop Drive, in Caldwell Park, on both sides of the Sundial Bridge and in Turtle Bay.

Sacramento River Trail, Redding, Shasta County,

The trail is a perfect place to enjoy birding, wildlife observation and many different plants, flowers and berry bushes. Photos coutesy of

Photographers love this trail for those reasons but it is just as popular for families who enjoy nature walks or those who enjoy riding bicycles. While the trail is generally an easy walk it can be a long trek if you try to cover it all, a distance of approximately nine miles. Take your time and linger under the shade of trees or near the river banks where the air could not be fresher or more invigorating. Take water and snacks but leave nothing behind but footprints. Restrooms are available at most parking locations and access points. Dogs should be leashed.

The Sundial Bridge is the centerpiece of the Sacramento River Trail system and the City of Redding itself. Many visitors come to the bridge to walk across and access the river trail, watch the river or anglers drift by this unique architecture achievement.

Sundial Bridge, Redding, Shasta County,

Sundial Bridge architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava also designed the Athens Olympic Stadium for the 2004 games.

On the summer solstice, the bridge actually serves as a sundial. Markers are placed on the east side of the bridge to show the time as the noontime shadows slowly creep across the markers. The bridge is one of the most photographed places in the North State. Romantic sunset floats are also available and the bridge's center span is often the site of marriage proposals and weddings.

Turtle Bay is adjacent to the Sundial Bridge. The Turtle Bay complex includes a museum highlighting some of the area’s natural history as well as exhibits of special interest.

Turtle Bay, Redding, Shasta County,

Turtle Bay was the site where much of the gravel used in the building of Shasta Dam was taken and transported by conveyor belts to the Dam site.  

This educational and entertainment complex includes the McConnell Arboretum, Botanical Gardens, a butterfly conservatory and Paul Bunyan’s Forest Camp. Segway rentals and tours are available here.

Lake Shasta,
In addition, Redding is in close proximity to Lake Shasta and is less than 45 minutes from most any resort or marina on the lake.

Better yet, Redding offers a full range of recreational activities within the city limits. Trout fishing on the Sacramento River right through the middle of town is world class. And the city is home to one of the most famous trout fishing headquarters in the country: The Fly Shop on the sourthern edge of town. There is also nearby gaming at the Win River Casino at the south end of town off Highway 273.

Many trails including the Sacramento River Trail offer miles of scenic hiking and biking. Or visitors can simply enjoy a quiet walk across the beautiful Sundial Bridge spanning the Sacramento River. Whiskeytown Lake, one of the most picturesque in California, is also less than 30 miles away. 

Cliff Lake, Russell Virgilio, Lassen National Park,
Lassen Volcanic National Park, a unique experience that should not be overlooked by traverlers, is within an hour's drive. Imagine visiting Cliff Lake, shown here.

Redding is serviced by Amtrak, Greyhound and by direct flight service to Eureka/Arcata, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland through the Redding Airport. Redding also offers superb hospital and medical services and has many car and RV repair centers that can get the stranded traveler back on the highway. Vastly improved freeway interchanges and new bridges over the Sacramento have made it easy to move from one end of the city to the other or to take routes leading and to an essentially endless array of outdoor experiences. 

Redding of the 21st Century has become both the perfect jumping off point to explore the entire North State and great place to visit, vacation or retire if you have grown weary of jammed freeways and crowded metropolitan cities.

Photos courtesy of Redding Visitors BureauTurtle Bay Museum, Gregg Clark of the City of Redding,  Steve Breth and Russell Virgilio and Lassen Volcanic National Park

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