Nature and fun in Northern California.
Family-Friendly Redding, CA
Credit: © Sean Lahey

More than just a rest stop on the I-5, Redding offers an explosive (literally!) natural-history experience. With more than 200 days of sunshine each year and the Sacramento River running through its center, it’s little wonder the city was chosen to be the site of one of starchitect Santiago Calatrava’s works.

Turtle Bay Exploration Park

Santiago Calatrava’s sculptural Sundial footbridge leads over the Sacramento River to this combination science museum and arboretum aimed at families. adults $13, kids 4–12 $9

Café at Turtle Bay

Lunch on a chicken-spinach-feta sandwich on homemade panini.

Jack's Grill

This Redding institution is known for its 16-ounce New York strip steaks.

Hilton Garden Inn

The 93-room hotel is kid-friendly, with an outdoor pool and in-room refrigerators, and overlooks the river.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

The park is a miniature Yellowstone (complete with fumaroles and mud pots, as well as a new LEED-certified visitors’ center) created by the massive 1915 eruption of Lassen Peak.