Peter Alfred Hess/FlickrPlay at Redding’s 300-acre museum, arboretum, sculpture park, and forest camp

Turtle Bay Exploration Park

Turtle Bay Exploration Park
Play at Redding’s 300-acre museum, arboretum, sculpture park, and forest camp

Turtle Bay Exploration Park is exactly that—a mostly outdoor institution built alongside the shady Sacramento River, with creative ways for kids to learn about Native American and pioneer history, plants and wildlife. Indoor exhibits shed light on the region’s natural attributes. Outside, Paul Bunyan’s Forest Camp lets kids learn about what it was like to be an early logger in the region; there are also re-creations of a traditional Native American bark house. 

You can also meet some of the park’s orphaned animals, like Loki, the red fox. And stand in the seasonal North American butterfly exhibit as 32 different varieties flutter overhead. Or take a stroll through the lorikeet aviary. One of the multicolored Australian birds might just land on your head, but springing for a cup of nectar for them to eat—it’s only a dollar—will up the chances of close encounters.

This 300-acre nature complex is located in Redding, in the heart of Shasta County, and proves you don’t need theme park rides to give kids a thrill. The most arresting feature here is the pedestrian-only Sundial Bridge, which crosses the Sacramento River and connects the two campuses. You and your kids will be mesmerized by the working sundial’s glistening floor made from 200 tons of tinted green glass and granite.

On the far side of the bridge, opposite the museum, is the 200-acre/81-hectare McConnell Arboretum & Gardens, with displays of native California plants and trees—which is especially pretty in spring. 

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Discover Shasta Cascade

74
September
Average (°F)
Sept - Nov
90°
High
41°
Low
Sept - Nov
90°
High
41°
Low
Mar - May
80°
High
43°
Low
June - Aug
98°
High
61°
Low

California’s northeast corner is an outdoor-lover’s paradise, with safe-to-explore volcanoes, hushed forests, and trout-filled rivers. This is the place for blue-ribbon fishing, houseboats anchored in cool lakes, countless campgrounds, and inviting trails for hiking and mountain biking.

"When I first caught sight of it I was weary and 50 miles away and afoot. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.”  --Author John Muir, upon seeing Mount Shasta in 1874.

All this, plus friendly towns like Chico and Chester, and inviting rural farms in fertile lands near the Upper Sacramento River. Redding, the region’s largest city, makes a good base, with riverfront trails, Turtle Bay Exploration Park, and elegant Sundial Bridge, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

Rachid Dahnoun

Whiskeytown Lake

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Belcampo Meat Camp

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Find whitewater rafting fun for all—from newbies to nerves-of-steel experts

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Lassen Volcanic National Park is the only place on Earth where all four types of volcano can be seen.
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Trip 4- 6 days 10 stops

Volcanoes to the Sea

Booming Waterfalls, Craft Breweries
Sacramento

Begin your trip in the center of the state, home to the capital city of Sacramento. Like many cities, California’s state capital is undergoing an energetic renaissance. Young adults looking for an urban vibe are moving into this low-key city, with microbreweries, gastropubs, and trendy boutiques...

Eureka

After so much wildness for so much of your trip, Eureka is an inviting and lively switch. This once rough-and-tumble seaport town, the largest coastal city between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, has split-personality charm: a sense of history in the handsomely restored, Victorian-era Old...

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Burney Falls

Visit a booming cascade nicknamed the “eighth wonder of the world”

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Shasta Lake

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Shasta Dam contains enough concrete to build a 3-foot sidewalk around the world at the equator.
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Sundial Bridge

Stroll a futuristic bridge across the Sacramento River

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Redding's Sundial Bridge is the largest sundial in the world.
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Tehama Trail Farms & Ranches

Visit farms and farm stands along the Sacramento River

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Mount Shasta

Experience wildflower meadows, year-round snowfields, and a New-Age-y vibe

Soaring to 14,179 feet/4,322 meters high, this magnificent volcano scrapes the turquoise-blue sky, north of Redding, a totem from almost anywhere...

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Fly Fishing

Cast a fly in blue-ribbon waters

Between the volcanic summits of Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen flow some of California’s most celebrated fly fishing rivers. Blue-ribbon waters lace...

Shasta Cascade's Craft Breweries
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Shasta Cascade's Craft Breweries

Hoist a mug to the Californian brewers who redefined the art of ale

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Kid-friendly fun zones, special kids' menus & amazing wine for the grownups

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Going to the mountains is going home.
John Muir
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Annual festivals liven up this quiet corner of California

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Oroville Temple

Oroville

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Lava Beds National Monument

Descend into eerie and historic lava tube caves

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Lava, geysers & naturally heated hot springs

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Lava Beds National Monument was a training ground for astronauts heading to the moon.