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Vacations In Redding, California - The Greatest Place to Stand on a Bridge

Updated on February 11, 2013

Sundial Bridge at Night


Unique Bridges

When you look closely at the Sundial Bridge in Redding, California a similarity is seen between its features and those of the fun pedestrian Esplanade Riel Bridge in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, north of California features has a restaurant in the middle of it. The Canadian bridge offers a view of the City of Winnipegand an ice skating link below, as well as other attractions. It's closed in January and February because of the ice and wind in the local climate, but the Sundial Bridge is open all year and takes hikers across a river to a world of natural landscapes and outdoor activities. It is different from the Redding bridge in that it is anchored to ground, while the Redding bridge is free-standing, not anchored.

Bridges are not only engineering feats, but works of art in themselves. One or two of the great bridges of the world are offered in model kits, but I'd like to see many more join the collection - and the Sundial Bridge is one of them!

World's Largest Sundial

The Sundial Bridge in Redding is a new attraction as of July 4, 2004.

Designed by talented bridge engineer Santiago Calatrava, it crosses the Sacramento River in Northern California, once the site of California Gold Rush settlements and an early resort town for the larger cities in the region. The bridge is done in an asymmetrical cantilever design and is the designer's first completely free-standing bridge in North America. It is supported by a spar and cables arrangement and comissioned by the McConnell Foundation.

The World's Largest Sundial is set just north of this bridge that was built with sustainability materials and methods. A part of the bridge structure casts a shadow on the sundial, the resulting time most accurate on the Summer Solstice yearly on June 21. This is likely the sight of solctice-related festivities in Northern California and 4th of July celebrations with the bird sanctuary's eagles Patriot and Liberty..

This interesting bridge includes a paved pedestrian and bicycle pathway to Turtle Bay Penninsula, where visitors find Exploration Park with art, environmental and history museums, and the McConnell Arboretum and Gardens on the other side of the river.

Joggers, cyclers and walkers find the Sacramento River Trail at this location, as well as a large cafe and visitors center at the entrance to the bridge. In the parking lot, a farmer's market is held quite often.

Shasta County, California

show route and directions
A markerSundial Bridge, Redding CA -
Sundial Bridge, Redding, CA 96003, USA
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B markerSundial Bridge -
Sundial Bridge, Redding, CA 96003, USA
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The City of Redding, County Seat of Shasta County, provides ample and well maintained trails for hiking, jogging, and biking around the county. In addition, Segways and bikes can be rented reasonably.

Three airports are located in or near Redding: Shasta International, Redding Municipal, and Benton Airports. Amtrak is popular transportation through Redding, from Seattle to Los Angeles, and also provides some motor coach routes.

Turtle Bay and Sundial Bridge are located in the northwest corn of the intersection of highways I-5 and 44.


Turtle Bay Bird Sanctuary

Revitalization and cleanup efforts ended in the bird sanctuary in December 2009, having extended at least three years and improving the park for wildlife and visitors. Native flowers an dplants were added by the thousands and native bird species began to flourish once again. In fact, a greater number of species are evident today than were before the cleanup.

Offerings such as the bird sanctuary help make the Sundial Bridge one of the top 100 Greatest Places to Stand in the USA for photos and fun. At Number 57, the bridge is one of the wonders voted into the list by readers of in 2009. The website held a global contest as well and if you have photos you'd like to post there from your travels to the Geatest Places, you are welcomed upload them.

Eagle Cam at Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay Cafe
Turtle Bay Cafe | Source

Shasta Dam

Shasta Dam
Shasta Dam | Source

Wintu Nation in Redding, California

In the 2010s, extensive controversy surrounded the Wintu Nation and which of its groups might be recogized by the US Federal Government as national Native American tribes. Additional small groups seem to be attempting to break away on their own.

Water rights and clean drinking water comprise another controversy. In February 2011, the Winnemem Wintu Tribe welcomed the first United Nations Independent Expert on safe water to their settlement just outside Redding. This was Catarina de Albuquerque on her first visit to the USA. A hydroelectric project may lessen the tribe's already low water supply, while changes at Shasta Dam might flood their lands and destroy sacred landmarks. In addition, sewage disposal is another problem.


Throughout Summer 2011, the Datacenter will partner with Pacific Institute, the Georgraphy Department at SF State University, and the Sacred Lands Film Project to direct mapping workshops in the area. These workshops will document Winnemem Wintu Sacred Sites before Shasta Dam construction is expanded, and will perhaps be able to prevent or change the expansion to limit destruction of Native sites..

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A markerRedding, California -
Redding, CA, USA
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B markerShasta Dam -
16349 Shasta Dam Blvd, Shasta National Forest, Shasta Lake, CA 96051, USA
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Job and Business Market

The State of California in 2011 planned a closure of many of its parks, while residents and visitors to Turtle Bay Exploration Park and the Sundial Bridge sincerely hope that this is not one of the installations to close. Turtle Bay lands are governed by the McDonnell Foundation and not included in the closure plans, since they are a private foundation's outreach in partnership with local government and business. Should state parks close, local parks will likely experience larger attendance figures.

Travel and Tourism and other industries are boosted by the presence of the McConnell foundation and its programs. The Sundial Bridge leads to a menu of activities and programs that include animal shows, hands-on science education, bird watching, a museum, a native American installation, gardens, an arboretum, and several other installations. A remnant of the famous plant that produced gravel for Shasta Dam has been transformed into a monument. The Turtle Bay Cafe at the bridge entrance offers live jazz performances on summer evenings and other events during other seasons.

Redding California

Metro Redding

As of the US Census2010, the Redding Metro Area contained 182,682 people, so it is not a small town. it is also a city that has grown since the 2000 Census (12+%) and is continuing to enlarge.

Home valuess appreciated in 2010 at a rate of over 10%, with the mean value nearly matching its population numbers - at $184,640, according to Spirling's Best Places. On the other hand, Zillow real estate site claims they have depreciated by 11% from April 2010 - April 2011.

On the Trulia real estate site, the price (Trulia states 12% depreciation), the average selling price for the week of June 15 to 22 was $155,000.

Numbers of job openings tend to increase during the spring and summer months.During Fourth of July Week 2011 over 1,600 jobs were listed open.

Many job listings are for licensed Healthcare Professionals, truck drivers, events specialists, engineers, and retail staff and management.

Top Hiring Employers

  1. Mercy Medical Center, Redding
  2. Sherman Brothers Trucking
  3. MRI Network
  4. Catholic Healthcare West
  5. Paramount Farms
  6. Securus
  7. Advanced Medical
  8. Redding School District
  9. JCPenney
  10. Enterprise Elementary
  11. Vibra Healthcare
  12. Physician Resources
  13. Starbucks
  14. Cost Plus World Market

Hottest Jobs In Redding

  1. Physicians
  2. RN Nurses
  3. Physical Therapists
  4. Occupational Therapists
  5. Trucking - Owner Operators
  6. Company Drivers
  7. Light Vehicle Drivers
  8. Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives
  9. Dentists
  10. Assistant Store Managers

Additional High Demand Jobs

Employment at Turtle Bay Exploration Park : Jobs at Turtle Bay.

Colleges, Universities and Vocational Schools


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    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 6 years ago

      Bridges are beautiful. I cannot imagaine one large enough for a restaurant. Thanks for the photos too.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Having been born and raised in California as well as living in the Sacramento area, I can tell you - I enjoyed your hub so very much. Outstanding! The photos of the Sundial bridge are marvelous, as are all that you have presented here. Whiskytown National Recreation Area is another beautiful "must visit" area.

      Patti - you are a treasure...each of your hubs are a discovery of knowlege and delight. I thank you for your stunning contributions here on HP. :)vocalcoach

    • northweststarr profile image

      northweststarr 6 years ago from Washington State

      How DO you come up with this stuff to write about? Puuurty bridge. Another wonderful hub about places I've never seen. :)

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Shasta Dam looks awesome! Makes you want to BASE Jump.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 6 years ago

      Wow Patty! GREAT Hub!

      I'm embarrassed to say although I only live 5-6 hours from Redding, I've never even heard of the Sundial Bridge! It is beautiful! And such a creative idea to include the latest technology in bridge-building with ancient time-telling!

      Thank you again my friend! Blessings on your 4th and always, Earth Angel!

    • bashu988 profile image

      bashu988 6 years ago from chennai

      I have never seen these kind of bridges patty!hope to visit the place.