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A bike ride across the Sundial Bridge in Redding, Ca
Two people hiking next to a lake at Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Kayaking and paddleboarding at Shasta Lake
Middle McCloud Falls
Kyle Sheppard
A family at Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark in Redding, CA.

An Empty Nester Guide to a Great Weekend in Redding

By Redding CVB | 01/17/2020 | Art & Culture, Caves, Cultural District, Downtown Attractions, Downtown Shopping, Empty Nester Activities, Family Friendly , Fishing, Food and Drink, Fun and Free, Great Outdoors, Paddling, Parks & Gardens, Scenic Drives, Shopping, State & National Parks, Things to See and Do, Top-Sights, Tours, Trails, Winter Activities

When the kids have grown and moved out—whether into their first apartment or a dorm room at college—your weekends may take on a decidedly different vibe. Gone are the days of doling out chores, checking on homework, and running errands; in their place are relaxed weekends with free time and a distinct lack of plans.

But family vacations don’t have to end when the kids leave home—they just look a little different. And with pleasant weather all year long, a busy calendar full of arts and culture events, and no shortage of outdoor adventure, Redding, California, is a great spot for an empty nester's getaway. So if you’re making travel plans with all that newfound free time, here’s a look at the top experiences in and around Redding—and why it makes the perfect getaway for empty nesters.

When Should You Visit Redding?


The Sundial Bridge in Redding, CA

First and foremost: There’s never a bad time to visit Redding. But each season brings its own kind of fun. Here’s a guide to what’s going on—and why each season is suited to different activities.

Fall: Harvest season is in full swing at local wineries, so stop by tasting rooms, wine bars, and vineyards in and around Redding for special releases, fun events, and other seasonal celebrations. Elsewhere, performing arts companies like the Redding Civic Auditorium, the historic Cascade Theatre and Riverfront Playhouse launch their seasons in autumn, filling the calendar with theater productions, dance performances, and more.

Winter

Even in the off-season, Redding remains a perpetually sunny destination. Take advantage of winter sports in the region with skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling all popular ways to enjoy time in the scenic snowy landscape.

Spring

If you’ve been cooped up all winter, Redding makes an excellent springtime destination for walking and enjoying some long overdue fresh air. The Turtle Bay East Trail and Sacramento River National Recreation Trail, in particular, are fun destinations for making the most of warming weather. The pleasant temperatures also mean a bevy of fairs and festivals around town.

Summer

For outdoor adventure, it’s tough to beat Redding—which remains humidity-free and receives little rain all summer long. Hiking, fishing, paddling, and cycling are just some of the many activities popular throughout the region.

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What’s Going On Around Redding?

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Visit in September to enjoy the Redding Beer and Wine Festival. Kelsey Knight

No matter when you visit, there’s always something fun and exciting going on around Redding. Here’s a quick guide to some of the highlights throughout the year:

January

Redding Restaurant Week boasts specials and one-of-a-kind menu items at eateries around the city.

April

Car fans flock to the Kool April Nights car show and cruise every spring.

May

For more than 70 years, the Redding Rodeo has attracted the best professional athletes competing in all your favorite rodeo events.

June

The Taste of Redding features bites from some of the city's best-loved restaurants; beer, wine, and spirits from local and regional producers; live music; and more.

September

The Redding Beer and Wine Festival offers tastings, live music, food from local chefs, and up to 20 artisans showcasing their wares.

October

The Return of the Salmon Festival celebrates the fish that means so much to the region with up-close views of salmon spawning operations, a salmon aquarium, and informational booths.

November and December

Do all your holiday shopping at Redding’s boutique stores, and pick up the latest styles and trends, vintage gear, antiques, arts and crafts, and more.

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What Should You See and Do?


With so much happening around Redding, a weekend getaway is barely enough to fit it all in. But if you’re wondering what to see and do around town, here’s a quick rundown of some of the region’s most popular activities.

Arts and culture

Redding's arts and culture scene has been designated a California Cultural District—and it is home to nearly 70 public arts sites. Your entertainment options include theatrical performances, live music, films, art exhibits, local galleries, and more. Some of the most popular venues for enjoying the arts include the historic Art Deco Cascade Theatre (which opened in 1935) and the Redding Civic Auditorium, known for hosting touring musicians, comedians, Broadway shows, and dance performances.

Wine-tasting

Roughly a dozen wineries and tasting rooms dot the Redding area, with other wine-related events happening throughout the year.

Diverse dining

Redding hosts more than 300 restaurants, from fast-casual to fine dining, to please even the pickiest of palates.

Shopping

Redding features a lineup of memorable mom-and-pop shops, including Cal's Books (great for used books), Carousel (a popular women's clothing and gift boutique), Shasta Antique Mall (with vintage goods from more than 40 dealers and vendors), and The Beadman (with beads, jewelry, wind chimes, local Native American jewelry, greeting cards, and more).

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What Kind of Outdoor Adventure Does Redding Offer?


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Located just outside of Redding, Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the country’s most unique settings. Theo Crazzolara

Whether in the heart of downtown or the surrounding forests, Redding is home to all manner of natural beauty. Here’s a quick rundown of some of our favorite outdoor adventures.

Accessible adventure

The region is filled with incredible hiking trails suited to hikers of all abilities. You can also cover a variety of ecosystems and see a diverse array of wildlife. See waterfalls, scenic vistas, and beautiful forests—in fact, there are 225 miles of trails within a 15-mile radius of Redding. Downtown, the paved Sacramento River National Recreation Trail and the Sundial Bridge are must-sees. For more rugged options, choose from the wide variety of off-road hikes to find something that fits your interests and abilities.

Year-round fishing

Redding’s sunny climate—and proximity to the Sacramento River, Trinity River, and Shasta Lake—make it a popular year-round fishing destination; in fact, the Lower Sacramento River is aided by a device that extracts colder water from Shasta Lake and sends it downstream, creating an ideal year-round habitat for rainbow trout. You’ll find plenty of guides to help you find where the fish are biting and get you set up to make the catch. And Forbes named Redding a “Top 10 Trout Fishing Towns in North America.”

National and state parks

Redding is surrounded by parks, including Lassen Volcanic National Park and Castle Crags State Park—both known for low light pollution and dark skies, hiking trails, unimpeded views of nearby mountain peaks, and more. Then there’s McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park that features the majestic 129-foot Burney Falls. Take a day trip from Redding to explore these treasures.

OK, that’s much more than you can get done in a weekend. But the point is, you’ve got plenty of options while spending time in Redding. Without the kids to worry about, take advantage of all the region has to offer—you won’t be disappointed.

Written by Matt Wastradowski for Matcha in partnership with Redding CVB.

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