Redding is an easy, 2.5-hour drive up Interstate 5 from Sacramento, and in March and April you’ll absolutely relish the scenery: landscapes are velvety green, orchards are in full pink-and-white bloom and the weather is just a little bit better than perfect. On a clear day, you’ll see Mount Shasta’s snowy cone from more than 100 miles away. Bunk down in town and take a day to explore close by while you get the lay of the land.
Two top choices for dog-friendly base camps:
Sheraton Redding Hotel at the Sundial Bridge, a new, boutique property (with just 130 rooms, it’s the smallest Sheraton in the country) in an ideal location just steps from the iconic Sundial Bridge and Sacramento River Trail hugging the namesake river. In fair weather, dine at a patio table outside the on-site Mosaic restaurant serving California-inspired cuisine with a wine country twist. Check the calendar for weekly “yappy hours.”
Gaia Hotel & Spa: A few miles south of Redding, in the community of Anderson, this singular hotel is as “green” as it gets. It’s LEED Silver certified, with construction incorporating many recycled materials, and proud to show off its energy-efficient features to guests. Dog-friendly, ground-level rooms in a campus setting open directly onto lawns and open space, including a trail to the Sacramento River. The On-site Woodside Grill serves excellent farm-to-fork fare.
Other options: Want something more predictable? Most chains, from Best Western to Red Lion to La Quinta, also have a presence in and around Redding. Check DogTrekker.com listings here and dog-friendly restaurant options here.