Redding is not really a tourist destination per se, but set amongst some stand-out natural Northern California attractions there's good reason this urban center sees a steady stream of traffic (and no, it's not just because Interstate 5 runs right past). Perched at the upper end of California's central Sacramento Valley, Redding is surrounded on three sides by dramatic peaks and expansive forest; between Mount Shasta, the Cascades and the Sierra Nevadas there's no shortage of hiking or biking trails, downhill or cross country skiing nor scenic vistas. Close to popular houseboating destination, Lake Shasta, travelers to the area can expect to find things get particularly crowded here during summer months.
If you're looking just to hit the main highlights, seek out the "three Shastas". Mount Shasta, one of the most impressive peaks in the country, is a dormant volcano that tops out at over 14,000 feet. Popular with hikers and climbers, this snowcapped peak dominates the skyline for miles around. Lake Shasta, a short drive north Redding, is a large lake popular with Californians for the aforementioned houseboating opportunities it affords as well as water sports (get a glimpse of it from I5 as you wind up into the mountains if nothing else). The man-made lake is contained by Shasta Dam, the second largest concrete structure in the United States and a popular tourist stop in its own right.Though it doesn't make the official "Shasta" list, also of interest to history buffs is a stop at Shasta State Historic Site, a few miles east of the city, a former Gold Rush town that now lies in partial ruin.
Surrounded by all this beauty, the town of Redding itself is a quiet and unassuming contrast to the bustle of cities farther south. The Sacramento River passes through town, dividing the city proper from a number of spread-out suburbs. Though a small community by California standards, Redding is stocked with plenty of places for travelers to stay, eat, and shop, and is home to a stand-out area architectural attraction, the Sundial Bridge, a pedestrian causeway designed by renowned architect, Santiago Calatrava.
Redding is located in north central California along Interstate 5.