Whiskeytown was a bustling Gold Rush-era mining town. Now it's under water. This huge lake was created by building Whiskeytown Dam. It's a favorite place for swimming, hiking, boating, and waterskiing.
One of the dam's unusual features is the "glory hole". These allow water from the top of the lake to flow down through the dam and come out downstream. This way, the water below the dam is the same temperature as that above it.
At the western end of the lake is the remnant of a mid-19th century settlement. This includes the old Tower Hotel, once a popular stopover for travellers here. Nearby is an old cemetery, where some of the Tower family members are buried.
- Water Sports
- Sailing and Boating
- Hiking and Walking
This is a beautiful cave just a few miles north of Redding. It has some incredible rock formations. It's well worth the trip.
Buy your ticket at the park entrance. A tour boat will carry you across the Shasta Lake, to the caverns entrance, and back afterward. The views of the lake are splendid.
While inside the cave, please don't take or touch anything. Save it for future visitors.
- Adventure Travel
Archery at it's finest
If you are an archery buff you can go to the Straight Arrow Bow Hunters Club while youre in Redding. Located on Swasey Drive west of Redding. $5.00 per day for non members to shoot on 65 beautiful acres of rolling oak studed hills.
Turtle Bay Exploration Park
This unique, hand-on museum is a must-see for anyone interested in the flora, fauna, and ecology of California. It has displays of plants, animals, native American life, a butterfly park, aquariums, and much more.
See the newly-completed Sundial Bridge (completed after my visit). Designed by Spanish engineer Santiago Calatrava, it's Redding's best-known architectural feature.
This place was recently featured on PBS Weekend Explorer. Please check the website for information on temporary exhibits. It's open 9:00-5:00 daily, except Tuesday.
- Arts and Culture
Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay
The Sundial Bridge is Redding's newest, and possibly most controversial, attraction. This bridge goes across the Sacramento River and acts as three things that I know of: obviously, a bridge, a sundial, and, at the tip of the sundial, a small lightning rod. You can just barely see the rod if you look straight up at the top of the sundial (careful you don't get dizzy). It never touches the water, not even the supports. It only has a bunch of medium-thickness cables and one pillar each (on land) at each end. There is a cafe and other attractions within walking distance. The markers for the sundial is on the opposite Turtle Bay side, and so is the Sacramento River Trail and a pavilion where you can rest. It does sway, the amount depending on how many people are on it (just think of the Golden Gate as you go across if it is busy). It is also sometimes called John's Bridge because John Mancasola had the guts to call probably the only guy who could do the job right , and did, the famous artist/architect Santiago Calatrava.
The Butterfly House at Turtle Bay
Turtle Bay's popular summer butterfly house draws thousands of visitors each year. It is open from June to September. There are tons of plants, and of course, butterflies. This is the largest display of native (and exotic) butterfies in Northern California. There's even a butterfly gift shop! I especially like the huge green flourescent moth that can usually be seen on the canvas at either the very start or very end of the attraction. Another fave was the multitude of monarchs (don't you just love those alliterations?) that usually are either across from the info booth or at the pathway shaped like an arch when you first come in (it's on the left).
- Family Travel
Old City Hall - Arts Center
Redding at least has kept its old city hall, built in 1907. Although not as grand or ornate of many of its era, its fairly large, attractive, and characterfull. It is also now an arts centre that has a gallery, studioa and classes, and a small performance or community hall.
- Arts and Culture
Shasta Lake was created by this huge dam. It's one of the largest concrete dams in the entire world. Public tours are given all day, but no photos are allowed inside.