Redding (population about 100,000) is the Shasta Cascade region’s largest city, and it’s a great place to make base camp with your four-legged friend. The “must-do” activities: stroll the iconic Sundial Bridge, wander the Sacramento River National Recreation Trail, walk across the massive dam containing the waters of Shasta Lake, largest reservoir in California.
Spring and summer bring additional temptations. For one thing, it’s an ideal time of year for water sports. Go houseboating with your dog on Lake Shasta or nearby Trinity or Oroville lakes. The water is warm and the fishing nothing short of epic. Most folks anchor out on a cove and let kids and dogs play on shore while the barbecue grill spreads its aromas. Dog-friendly pontoon boats are available for more brief getaways on those three lakes as well.
If you’d rather have a landlubber weekend, consider spending a day or two exploring California’s newest slice of wine country. At least a dozen wineries between Redding and Oroville have opened, and all welcome dogs in their tasting rooms and/or picnic areas. Getting to them will introduce you to scenic back roads you’d never otherwise find.
Craft breweries and taprooms are coming on strong, as well. Redding’s Fall River Taphouse, with dog-friendly outdoor seating, is known for brews made with water drawn from the aquifer that feeds gorgeous Burney Falls, while Final Draft Brewing Co. also serves up innovative brews and welcomes four-legged guests on their patio.
For breakfast in Redding, head early to Coffee Bar and snag a dog-friendly outdoor table to enjoy your coffee drink and crispy waffles with raspberries before too many other DogTrekkers show up. Damburger (a local institution dating to 1938 and named for Shasta Dam) is great for a casual lunch, while Moonstone Bistro is more upscale and serves Sunday brunch as well as daily lunch and dinner on a dog-friendly patio.
When it’s time to put paws on pillows, take your pick of dozens of dog-friendly hotels and motels in Redding, and many more throughout the Shasta Cascade region.