Woman at Castle Crags State Park
Bikers on the Sundial Bridge in Redding, California
Woman at Lassen Volcanic National Park.
The Park Food Truck Hub in Redding, California
Woman at Castle Crags State Park
Bikers on the Sundial Bridge in Redding, California
Woman at Lassen Volcanic National Park.
The Park Food Truck Hub in Redding, California

7 Reasons Redding is the Perfect Place for your Mini-moon

By Choose Redding | 08/01/2020

By the time wedding bells ring, you’ve spent months planning your big day—finding the right cake, figuring out invitations, hiring a photographer, and on it goes. Even if you can’t celebrate with a once-in-a-lifetime trip to some far-flung destination, you deserve to rest and relax with a laid-back mini-moon: not quite a honeymoon, but definitely enough time to decompress and take in a region’s sites, bites, and fun attractions.

Naturally, Redding is the perfect home base for your mini-moon. The region offers a little something for everyone—from rainy-day fun to breathtaking outdoor attractions to a bustling wine scene. Here are seven reasons to make Redding the spot to celebrate your new marriage.

The region around Redding is home to a variety of microclimates, a distinct terroir informed by thousands of years of volcanic activity, and a community of forward-thinking creative types. In other words: It's home to a thriving wine scene that’s cultivated no shortage of award-winning varietals over the past four decades.

Roughly a dozen tasting rooms in and around Redding share their handcrafted wines (and favorites from around the world) alongside scenic patio settings, cozy tasting rooms, engaged winemaker discussions, and other fun attractions. Matson Vineyards, for instance, planted its first vineyard in 1981 and is Redding’s oldest bonded winery today. Westside Wines and Hops serves wines from the likes of Australia, Portugal, Italy, and France at its stylish tasting room in the heart of downtown.

Create a memory that will live longer than your time in Redding with a ride from River Romance Dinner Cruises. The three-hour dinner cruise positions the happy couple at the front of a cozy boat, with a shade covering that makes it feel as if you have the craft all to yourself. Cruises include relaxing rides up and down the Sacramento River, a specially prepared meal, and no shortage of natural wonder—like dramatic sunset views and regular wildlife sightings.

You never want rain on your wedding day—but the day after? Or the week after? No worries: Redding is home to plenty of rainy-day fun that keeps you engaged and entertained until the sun comes out again.

Want to learn about local history? Duck into the Behrens-Eaton House, a Victorian-style home that's now a museum showcasing local life as far back as the late 1800s. Exhibits and displays include Victorian-era silverware, artifacts from pioneer families, World War II memorabilia and uniforms, vintage books, and more.

If you'd rather experience a more modern trend in Redding, sip some suds at a local brewery. Pair your hand-crafted brew with a batch of homemade tots (the house specialty) at Woody's Brewing Company, enjoy a game of cornhole or Giant Jenga while enjoying the beer at Final Draft Brewing Company, or try one of the many creative recipes at Fall River Taphouse—like its sweet Irish Coffee Cream Stout or the fruity Lazy Hazy IPA.

For a cozy night out, see what's new at the Cascade Theatre. The performing arts venue has been going strong since 1935 and features a mix of movies, live music from local and national artists, and more.

Whatever your tastes, you'll find plenty to love (and share) at restaurants in and around Redding. Classic American grills, fresh Mediterranean restaurants, creative sushi stops, authentic taquerias, chic wine bars, gourmet cafes, and upscale steakhouses are just some of the eateries you’ll find around town.

And best of all: Redding’s famously warm weather means you can enjoy outdoor dining all spring and summer long—usually with a view of the Sacramento River.

Even if you’re not traditionally “outdoorsy,” it would be a shame to visit Redding without experiencing some of the world-class natural wonders at its doorstep.

Less than an hour from town, Lassen Volcanic National Park centers around Lassen Peak, the southernmost volcano in the Cascade Range. The park is at its most accessible and beautiful during prime wedding season (June-September) and boasts more than 150 miles of beautiful hiking trails that show off the park's hydrothermal areas, alpine lakes, and colorful meadows (covered in wildflowers).

For pedal-powered fun, take a ride on the Sacramento River National Recreation Trail. The 35-mile (round-trip) paved path starts at the Sundial Bridge in downtown Redding and follows a historic abandoned railway to Shasta Dam. Parks, restrooms, and natural beauty offer plenty of breaks along the way.

If you'd rather have your fun on the water, you'll find plenty of places to launch a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard. The shimmering waters at Whiskeytown Lake make a nice day trip from Redding. Several put-in sites make it easy to see a lot of the lake, and National Park Service rangers lead paddling tours (equipment included) each summer. Closer to town, the Sacramento River snakes through Redding and is popular with paddlers for its up-close views of the Sundial Bridge, Turtle Bay, and other attractions. For a quieter experience, consider an afternoon on Lake Siskiyou, which affords views of Mount Shasta and lacks the crowds of other popular paddling outposts.

Is there anything more romantic than taking a sunset dinner cruise on Shasta Lake? Nope. Time to book an evening cruise with Lake Shasta Dinner Cruises. Each trip includes a buffet-style meal (where entrees range from savory vegetable skewers to tri-tip with a smoky rub) that pairs well with the lake's natural beauty—shimmering water, vibrant sunsets, and an abundance of wildlife (like migrating birds and jumping fish). Cruises are offered between Mother's Day weekend Labor Day weekend.

The 300-acre Turtle Bay Exploration Park is always worth whiling away an afternoon: It's home to a museum, playgrounds, wildlife center, the Sundial Bridge—and, most recently, the McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.

The arboretum and botanical gardens offer plenty of solitude, relaxation, and romance for the newlyweds seeking a little downtime. Visitors can spy the likes of Shasta Bally Mountain and the tower of the Sundial Bridge, walk along the banks of the Sacramento River, and stumble upon all manner of surprising delights—garden spaces, art pieces, water features, picturesque plant collections, and more.

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