Bringing the gang to Redding? Bunk down at a pet-friendly hotel like the Sheraton Redding Hotel at Sundial Bridge. It is on the Sacramento River, adjacent to trails and attractions and makes a great base camp for a family getaway (see other dog-friendly lodging options here).
The bridge sits next to the Sheraton and smack in the middle of Turtle Bay Exploration Park, which includes a museum with indoor/outdoor natural history exhibits (admission charged; not dog-friendly) and, on the north side of the bridge, the 200-acre McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens (walk part of it for free and/or donate admission payable to the “iron ranger” at the east or west entrances). Check out guided walks for gardening fans as well as nursery plants to take home. Also check into the Sheraton’s frequent “yappy hour” events on the outdoor patio of its acclaimed Mosaic restaurant.
If there are young’uns on your squad, you might also want to visit Caldwell and Lake Redding Parks, also on the river. You’ll find a “Jump River” play area for kids under 5, a giant skate park and BMX facility, a rec center, teen center, art gallery, soccer fields, picnic facilities and wheelchair-accessible fishing access. Dogs on leash are welcome in outdoor areas.
For a more ambitious, multi-day getaway, you can rent a houseboat on Shasta Lake (the “houseboating capital of California”) or Trinity Lake, farther up the chain. Dog-friendly options are available on both bodies of water, with available craft ranging from bare-bones vessels to floating palaces with water slides, hot tubs, full kitchens and satellite TV.