Redding, California

Introduction to Redding

The California city of Redding, located on the Sacramento River approximately 15 miles south of Shasta Lake, is the county seat of Shasta County. The city is connected to surrounding areas by the I-5 freeway, U.S. Highway 299, California State Highway 44, and California State Highway 273. Redding is the largest city in the northern Sacramento Valley and also the largest city on the 470-mile stretch of Interstate 5 which runs between Sacramento, California and Eugene, Oregon. Both Redding and its southerly neighbor Red Bluff are popular with tourists as bases to explore Lake Shasta, Lassen Volcanic National Park, and other nearby natural attractions.

Incorporated in 1887, Redding was named for Benjamin B. Redding, the first land agent for the California and Oregon Railroad. In 1874, a bill was introduced in the legislature changing the name to “Reading” in honor of city founder Pierson B. Reading. The railroad, however, would not recognize the change, and the original spelling was restored in 1880. During the twentieth century, Redding’s main industry was lumber, but in present-day Redding, the two major industries are law and medicine.

Redding Attractions

Redding offers a variety of entertainment options including night clubs, shopping malls, movie theaters, and fine dining. A number of fairs and community festivals are held throughout the year. The Redding Convention Center features a variety of entertainment throughout the year from antique shows to country and western music. Museums in Redding include the Redding Museum of Art & History, which exhibits contemporary art and also features a large collection of local Indian artifacts, and the Carter House Natural Science Museum. The Redding Arboretum offers beautiful trails, wildlife views, and a glimpse of the Sacramento Valley as it was 300 years ago. The Schreder Planetarium is another local attraction which offers showings each Friday night.

Natural attractions abound in the region surrounding Redding. Mt. Lassen, rising 10,457 feet above sea level, is visible to the east. Snowcapped Mt. Shasta, visible to the north, towers over 14,000 feet above sea level. Other local attractions include:

  • Lake Shasta Caverns
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park (approximately an hours drive to the east on Route 44)
  • Shasta State Historic Park (3 miles west on Route 299)
  • Paul Bunyan’s Forest Camp
  • Camden House & El Dorado Mine (15 miles west on Route 299)
  • Lake Shasta (15 miles north on I-5)
  • Whiskeytown Lake (about 8 miles west on Route 299)

Many captivating resorts can be found around the Shasta Lake Area, and several maintained campgrounds are available for public use within the National Forest boundaries.

For sports fans, the closest professional team resides in Chico, about 80 miles to the south. The Chico Outlaws are an independent baseball team playing in the Golden Baseball League (GBL). Fans willing to take the 3-hour drive to Sacramento can view the NBA Kings, the WNBA Monarchs, the World Indoor Soccer League Knights, and the River Cats, which is the Minor League Baseball AAA affiliate of the Oakland Athletics.

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