Things to Do in Redding, California: The Best Attractions Around Redding and Shasta Lake

There are many things to do in Redding, California, including hiking, fishing, and sightseeing. Let’s go through the best attractions around Redding and Shasta Lake, so that you can plan an unforgettable trip!

things to do in redding california

Why Is Redding Worth Visiting?

Before we discuss the things to do in Redding, California, let’s see what makes it special. Redding is a small city, but it’s got a lot to offer. The first thing you’ll notice when you get here is that there are far more trees than people, and if you’re a nature lover, then you’ve found your new favorite place.

In addition to its many parks, Redding is surrounded by the expansive Shasta-Trinity National Forest and is just a short drive from Lassen Volcanic National Park. If you like getting outdoors, you’ve come to the right place – there are plenty of places to hike, fish, swim and camp in this area.

If you’re not much for the great outdoors but still want to be active on your trip, there are also several beautiful golf courses in the area, as well as a 23-mile paved river trail for biking and rollerblading. As far as things to do indoors go, Redding has an arts scene with something for everyone.

Things to Do in Redding, California – The Great Outdoors

If you love the great outdoors and sports, then Redding is a terrific place to visit. You’ll be able to do everything from kayaking and whitewater rafting to hiking, biking, climbing and more. Here are some of the best things to do in Redding, California if you want to experience nature.

Water Sports

You won’t be short of options when it comes to aquatic activities in Redding. There are plenty of places where you can take part in water sports such as boating, swimming, water-skiing and fishing.

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The Sacramento River is perfect for whitewater rafting, and there are many lakes around Redding for boating, canoeing and kayaking. In fact, Shasta Lake is one of the biggest lakes in California, making it one of the premier destinations for boating and water-skiing. You can also enjoy a swim at Whiskeytown Lake or fish in Lake Siskiyou.

Hiking & Biking

If you love hiking, there are many trails around Redding that will suit your needs. Some of the most popular include:

  • The Sacramento River Trail – a 23-mile paved river trail for biking and rollerblading;
  • The McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens – 16 acres of gardens with walking and biking trails;
  • The Sundial Bridge – a pedestrian bridge with great views of the river;
  • The Turtle Bay Exploration Park – a museum connected to an expansive park where you can see hawks, bobcats, and other animals.

Biking is also a popular activity in Redding, and there are many trails to explore. The most popular biking trail is the aforementioned Sacramento River Trail, which runs for 23 miles along the river. Another option is the Swasey Drive loop, which is a shorter but more challenging trail.


If you’re looking for things to do in Redding, California that are a little more low-key, then you might want to consider golfing. Redding is home to several beautiful golf courses, including the Gold Hills Golf Club, the Riverview Country Club and Tucker Oaks Golf.


The Shasta-Trinity National Forest offers plenty of opportunities for camping, as does Lassen Volcanic National Park. There are also several state parks in the area with campgrounds, such as Oak Bottom Campground by the Whiskeytown Lake, or Sacramento River R.V. Park.

Indoor Things to Do in Redding, California

What if the weather isn’t cooperating, or you’re just not the outdoorsy type but still want to stay in the area? No problem! Redding has plenty to offer in terms of indoor activities as well. Here are some things to do in Redding, California for you.

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We’ve already mentioned the Turtle Bay Exploration Park. Apart from its large park, there’s an indoor museum with hands-on exhibits about the area’s natural history and culture.

The Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association Visitor Center is another great option. This center has exhibits about the area’s history, culture and natural wonders, as well as a theater where you can watch films about the Shasta Cascade region.

Art & Culture

If you’re interested in art and culture, then you’ll be happy to know that Redding has an arts scene with something for everyone. The Cascade Theatre is a historic art deco theater that hosts performances ranging from musicals to stand-up comedy. The Turtle Bay Museum also has an art gallery with rotating exhibitions.

The Redding Civic Auditorium is another great option for those interested in the arts. This auditorium hosts a variety of events, including concerts, dance performances, and theatrical productions.

WaterWorks Park

The WaterWorks Park is perfect for families with kids, as it has a water play area with spraying fountains, water slides, and a lazy river. There’s also a sand play area for kids to build castles and dig in the sand.

Places to Visit Near Redding – Lake Shasta and More

From the city of Redding, you’re within striking distance of some great wonders of Northern California. If you’re looking for a day trip or weekend getaway, here are some of our favorite spots to visit outside Redding:

Shasta State Historic Park

This state park is a great place to learn about the history of the California Gold Rush. There are several restored buildings from the 1850s, as well as a museum with gold panning demonstrations.

Shasta Lake

Lake Shasta is a man-made reservoir that’s perfect for boating, fishing, and swimming. There are also several hiking trails in the area. Shasta Lake is also the name of the nearby town, which has a few restaurants and shops to explore.

Lake Shasta Caverns

It would be hard to find a more accessible natural wonder than Lake Shasta Caverns. A short drive and boat ride across the lake brings you to an entrance to the caverns, which are filled with fascinating limestone formations that are truly awe-inspiring.

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A tour takes you through several rooms showcasing stalactites, stalagmites, and other natural features. Bring your camera – and a sweater! The caverns stay a constant 54 degrees year-round.

Shasta Dam

Just a few miles from Redding is one of the largest dams in California. A tour will take you all the way down into the dam’s powerhouse and generator room, where you can learn about how it works and see its inner workings for yourself. It’s definitely an engineering marvel worth seeing up close!

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

This gorgeous spot is right on Redding’s doorstep and perfect for hiking or picnicking. You can also explore waterfalls, campgrounds, and old mining sites. The best part is that it’s free to enter!

Have an Unforgettable Trip to Redding!

When it comes to things to do in Redding, California, there’s something for everyone. Whether you love the great outdoors or prefer to stay indoors and explore the city’s arts scene, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy on your trip. We hope you enjoy your time in this beautiful area of the state!

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