Redding is a city of approximately 95,000 residents located in Shasta County in northern California.
Nestled amidst some of the most impressive natural beauty in the state, the city is ideal for fitness and outdoor enthusiasts such as campers, mountain bikers, hikers, hunters and fishermen.
It’s conveniently located off Interstate 5, relatively equidistant from Sacramento to the south and the Oregon border to the north.
Although there are many valuable historical and cultural attractions within the city limits, most visitors choose to spend the majority of their time at the large nearby lakes and state and national parks.
1. Old Town Hall Arts Centre
For lovers of art, history and architecture, the Old Town Hall Arts Centre is a one-of-a-kind Reading attraction.
This is the perfect spot for first-time visitors interested in learning what makes the city so unique without wasting time traveling between multiple locations.
Originally built more than a century ago, the hall has been recognized as a National Historic Site since the late 1970s.
It’s filled with fascinating historical exhibits, locally and regionally produced art, and other interesting local tidbits, making it a popular choice for travelers of all ages and interests.
2. The Falls Theatre
Housed in a historic building with an impressive mid-30s Art Deco façade, the Cascade Theatre on Market Street in Reading is one of the city’s premier entertainment venues.
Although the theatre has had a rough time for most of its existence, it has undergone some renovations in recent years and now looks very similar to what it looked like when it was built more than eighty years ago.
The theatre is open year-round and includes classic and vintage movies as well as live entertainment such as theatre performances, traditional and contemporary music, and children’s shows.
3. Turtle Bay Adventure Park
The nearly 300-acre Turtle Cove Discovery Park is another iconic recreational attraction in Reading.
It has visitor and wildlife centres, museums, botanical gardens and botanical gardens, and is one of the places that make up the bulk of many visitors’ itineraries.
The museum’s exhibits address science, forestry, ecology, art, and the Native American culture that called the area home long before European blood settled.
The park’s many exhibits and activities foster interaction and engagement, which means more learning opportunities and mental stimulation for those traveling with children who are distracted.
The park is located on Sundial Bridge Avenue.
4. Sacramento River Trail
The Sacramento River meanders for kilometers through downtown Redding. This is one of the biggest attractions in the area.
The paved Sacramento River Trail follows its banks through town and into the countryside; it is open to walkers, runners, rollerblades, and cyclists.
This is the perfect spot for those looking to get away from the crowds without leaving the city limits. Conveniently, it connects many of the city’s most famous attractions and is a cost-effective way to get around for those who don’t mind burning extra calories.
Attractions near the trail include Sundial Bridge, Caldwell Park and Keswick Dam.
5. Win-Win River Resort and Casino
Whether you’re exploring Reading for multiple days or just passing by on your way to the rest of the state, the Win-River Resort and Casino is definitely worth a look.
Located on Redding Rancheria Road near I-5, they offer upscale accommodations, a variety of dining options, and plenty of entertainment, most of which are family-friendly.
Sure, gaming is a big draw, but the facility’s amenities also include a lounge, coffee shop, golf course, and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
Live entertainment is also offered year-round, so check the events calendar on their website for when you’ll be visiting.
6. Woody Brewing Company
Woody’s Brewing Company was founded on the simple principle that brewing and drinking a wide variety of high-quality beers is great fun, and is the city’s go-to location for those who don’t want to drink beer from a massive factory hundreds of miles away one left.
Woody’s is located on Oregon Street in Redding. It offers an impressive food menu, as well as an ever-changing variety of beers brewed on-site, from porters and wheats to beers and IPAs.
For those who would rather take a beer to-go, Woody’s is available in cans at some local grocery stores or at the convenient growler at the bar.
7. Eaton House Museum
Located on West Street in Reading, the Eaton House Museum is a popular historic attraction housed in a Victorian house built in the last years of the 19th century.
Eaton Building was once the private residence of the city’s sheriffs and judges. Despite its historical importance, it was not turned into a public museum until 2003.
The home includes authentic furniture, art and household items common at the time. Its historical exhibits include letters, photographs, books and documents from more than a century ago.
The museum is not open every day, so check online or call before you go.
8. McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
While they used to be separate attractions, the McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens are now two of the most popular attractions at Turtle Bay Discovery Park.
Botanical gardens and gardens feature several different growing areas with native and exotic plants, flowers and trees from far-flung corners of the globe, including South America, Australia and the Mediterranean.
During peak season, the venue is often reserved for weddings and other private events, so make sure there are no restrictions before making a special trip.
The garden is most charming during the spring and early summer months when the weather starts to warm.
9. Shasta Lake Caves
Shasta Lake, just north of Redding, spreads its fingers like a giant hand, covering the northern California landscape.
In addition to the lake’s rich selection of attractions and activities, the area is also home to an extensive network of caves and caves; according to geologists, they were formed over a billion years ago.
The caves were carved into limestone by water erosion over thousands of years. From the elevated entrance, there is an unobstructed view of the glittering lake below.
Shasta Lake Caverns National Monument is located on Shasta Caverns Road in Lakehead, just a few kilometers north of Reading.
10. Reading Lake Golf Course
To be sure, you won’t encounter golfing superstars like Bubba Watson or Sergio Garcia near Reading Lake Golf Course, but for the value-conscious traveler with the least amount of free time, it’s a good place to squeeze in a few holes place.
With just nine holes, the course is less than half the distance from most 18-hole courses in the area. Previous players have noticed that it’s well-maintained, has just the right amount of danger to keep things interesting, and the scenery is as striking as many of its more expensive counterparts.
Reading Lake offers specials for seniors and military and has a specialty store and rental club for those who don’t have their own suits.
11. Sundial Bridge
Reading’s Sundial Bridge is one of the most famous man-made attractions in the area.
Widely regarded as one of the West Coast’s architectural and engineering masterpieces, it effortlessly spans the 240-meter gap between the east and west banks of the Sacramento River, not far from downtown.
Made of rock, glass and steel, the bridge offers stunning views of the city and surrounding countryside.
During spawning and migration seasons, the river under the bridge is often clogged with salmon, an impressive spectacle if you come to the area at the right time.
12. Reading Jet Boat Tour
As the longest river in the Golden State, the Sacramento River offers visitors a variety of activities to choose from.
While they may not be suitable for the elderly and those who hate high speed, jet boat tours are a great way to experience the beauty of the area from a unique perspective.
Many jet boat tours depart from the aforementioned Sundial Bridge, some as long as 30 kilometers.
Most river boats are relatively small and powerful enough to make for truly exhilarating excursions, usually lasting two to four hours.
Options include general sightseeing, wildlife viewing and photography tours.
13. Kaleidoscope Coffee Company
Love delicious, organic, fair trade coffee, comfortable seating and friendly service?
If so, you might want to stop by Kaleidoscope Coffee Company on Athens Avenue in Reading during your visit.
Kaleidoscope’s beans come from some of the most famous growing regions in the world, but they’re roasted in-state, giving them a freshness and potency you won’t find anywhere else.
The coffee shop is also popular for its recent additions to its breakfast and lunch menu, which includes perennial favorites such as wraps, salads, and gourmet sandwiches.
Kaleidoscope has been around for over a decade and offers a wide range of non-coffee beverages including teas, juices and smoothies.
14. Shasta Dam
Stretching over 600 feet across the Sacramento River, the Shasta Dam is another of the region’s most iconic man-made structures.
The concrete façade of the dam is arched for added stability and strength against the large volumes of water contained upstream. It was built to provide electricity and flood protection to benefit residents, farmers and businesses in the area.
Shasta Dam is one of the top ten dams in the country. A tour of the facility with a knowledgeable docent is a great way to learn about local history and hydroelectric power.
The dam is located on Shasta Lake, about 20 minutes north of Reading.
15. Cattlemens Steakhouse
Established more than fifty years ago on Hilltop Drive in Redding, Cattlemens Steakhouse is regularly rated as one of the best steakhouses in the American West.
While their prime rib, rib eye and porterhouse tend to steal the show, their menu includes other non-beef options such as seafood, chicken, pasta, salads and mouthwatering desserts.
Cattlemens is a family owned and operated business that operates five similar restaurants across the state. While it’s not the cheapest option for those looking to feed their family on the cheap, most guests agree that it’s an excellent value for money considering the ambiance, quality and generous portion sizes.
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Redding, CA (CA)
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