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The smoke is clear and the sun is shining in Northern California after the state’s well-publicized wildfires. Redding is inviting tour operators to a complimentary site visit to experience first-hand that the community is ready for business as usual.

Wildfires burned less than two percent of the Shasta Cascade region, leaving nearly all of the area’s attractions untouched. There isn’t a better time than now to come and see why Redding is an outdoor adventure playground that needs to be on your tour radar. recently labeled the city of Redding as “California’s best-kept secret” and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration named it the sunniest city in California with over 300 sunny days per year.
The variety of natural attractions including national and state parks, scenic byways, mountains, volcanoes, lakes, rivers and caves, plus historical sites with fun and informative group tours, makes it an ideal place to add to your group itinerary. Best of all, there are accommodations at 22 group-friendly hotels surrounded by more than 300 restaurants and many free or reasonably priced attractions.

“Redding’s famous Sundial Bridge is an icon that most tours have stopped to marvel. What most don’t realize is how much more the region has to offer,” says Jennifer Fontana, group coordinator for the Redding Convention & Visitors Bureau. “That’s why the Redding CVB is now providing complimentary site visits and new incentives for tour operators, so we can showcase the variety of activities and top attractions in the area.”

Getting to what the San Francisco Chronicle called “California’s Last Frontier” is smooth sailing. It’s an easy two-hour drive north from Sacramento, or three hours northeast of San Francisco. Direct flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles to the Redding Municipal Airport are available daily.

Groups can enjoy activities such as kayaking on a pristine mountain lake and hiking extensive trail systems or exploring the area’s 50 waterfalls and historic mining towns. A sampling of area attractions include:

McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park – The 129-foot Burney Falls is a feature not to be missed at the park. Lookout points from above the falls are easily accessible, or visitors can take the trail to the pool at the bottom of the falls.

Turtle Bay Exploration Park – This 300-acre site is both educational and entertaining as the relationship between nature and humans is interpreted. Through the museum the story of the region and its people are told.

Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark – Getting there is half the fun! You’ll take a cruise across Shasta Lake and a fun bus ride to the caverns entrance. Many geologists consider this one of the most beautiful limestone caves.

Lassen Volcanic National Park – Set among incredible mountain scenery, the park is a learning experience in different types of geothermal features, types of volcanoes and naturally occurring lakes.

Shasta Dam & Shasta Lake – The sheer size of the lake makes it appear to be a group of smaller lakes, but in fact it’s the largest manmade reservoir in California. Resorts, restaurants, cabins and all things you’d expect surround the lake. Guided tours of the dam are available year-round.

Enjoy a dinner cruise on Shasta Lake. Spread photo: Kayaking at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, eight miles west of Redding.

Lava Beds National Monument – Lava Beds is rich in history and natural wonders. From the early Modoc and Klamath tribes to the Modoc Wars to the early settlers and ranchers, there are stories to be told by park rangers. Guided cave tours are available Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Sundial Bridge – The bridge, reaching 217 feet into the sky and stretching 710 feet across the Sacramento River, is true to its name – a working sundial.

For assistance creating a custom itinerary for your tour, or for more information on complimentary site visits, call Jennifer Fontana at 530-225-4010, or email (

By Dave Bodle