18 Best Things to Do in Red Bluff, California

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Red Bluff Scenery

Nestled on the Sacramento River, the small town of Red Bluff, California, offers an array of things to do on vacation or if you reside there.

Surrounded on three borders by national forests, Red Bluff serves as a Mecca for outdoorsy travelers. To its south, Sacramento lies just an hour’s drive away, making this an ideal place to live if you need to commute to a job in the city.

The picturesque town boasts just 14,710 residents, making it small enough that those residing there can get to know each other yet large enough that you consistently meet new people in the region.

The county seat of Tehama County, the modest town of Red Bluff, measures 7.68 square miles, so some of the things to do technically lie outside the town limits but close enough to make it seem like you never left the town square.

The town offers many free things to do in Red Bluff since it includes three local parks and river access within its limits. Enjoy water sports or the locomotive playground. Let’s consider the many fun places in Red Bluff for visitors.

TL;DR

  • Most significant landmark – William B. Ide Adobe State Historic Park
  • Park to visit – Lassen Volcanic National Park
  • Free activity -Gaumer’s Jewelry & Museum
  • Activity for kids – Eagle Canyon Trout
  • Activity for adults – Tuscan Ridge Estate Winery Tour
  • Place to eat – Kelly-Griggs House Museum Tea Room
  • Nightlife – Lariat Bowl
  • Place to stayRed Bluff Inn

Things to Do in Red Bluff, California

1. Tehama County Visitor Center

Tehama County Visitor Center Exhibit
image by Tehama County Visitor Center/Facebook

Address: 250 Antelope Boulevard Blvd, Red Bluff, CA 96080

You might stop at the Tehama County Visitor Center first if you can’t decide what site to start with from this list. The local non-profit organization offers photos and brochures of the many tourist attractions in the area. Its volunteers can answer questions about the area and offer a firsthand, local perspective of each sightseeing attraction.

See Related: Things to Do in Anaheim, California

2. Gaumer’s Jewelry

Gaumer's Jewelry & Museum Building
Management / TripAdvisor

Address: 78 Belle Mill Road, Red Bluff, CA

Visit Gaumer’s Jewelry off Interstate 5 in downtown Red Bluff to learn about California’s rocks, minerals, and mineral samples worldwide. Gaumer’s Jewelry also features a gift shop with various jewelry items featuring rocks and minerals.

If your family or friend group includes a closet geologist, stop here first for some shopping and grab a souvenir to take home. It’s also a great spot to stop if you’re waiting to check in to your hotel or stopping through the town. Plenty of restaurants are within walking distance of the shop downtown as well.

3. California Route 36

California Route 36 Scenery
image by Hydrogen Iodide is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Address: CA-36

Explore Red Bluff and the surrounding area by driving or riding this scenic drive. A favorite motorcycle trail of the state’s residents, this route of twists and turns winds through east Red Bluff.

Connecting Reno, Nevada, and the northern Sacramento Valley, California, Route 36 offers 140 miles of thrills because of its hairpin turns. In some areas, it banks the coast; in others, it traverses the hills and lower mountains.

Said to include more than 1,000 turns, the road lacks a guardrail in many areas that feature a drop-off, so it requires 100 percent focus to navigate on a motorcycle or in a car, according to Dangerous Roads.

See Related: Things to Do in Lone Pine, California

4. Tuscan Ridge Estate Winery

Tuscan Ridge Estate Winery Vineyards
Management / TripAdvisor

Address: 19260 Ridge Rd, Red Bluff, CA 96080

California wine country stretches across the state, and Red Bluff offers a must-see and must-taste stop on the state’s tour of wineries and vineyards. Tuscan Ridge Estate Winery offers tours of its facilities and wine tastings. Enjoy the lush surroundings and the taste of fresh grapes.

The winery has built a reputation as a friendly host, and the Tuscan Ridge wines have earned a good reputation in the state. Some vacationers refer to this site in Red Bluff as bliss. The winery offers blended wines and single-grape varieties.

These include Syrah, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Merlot, Cab Franc, Bella Pom Pom, Bella Victore Blend, and Caberovese blend. If your visit coincides with owners Lori’s and Jeff’s work hours, you’ll have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the winery’s formation.

If you want to taste more wine in California, enjoy and book the Napa and Sonoma Wine Country Full-Day Tour or read our full guide to the top attractions in Napa Valley to make the most of your visit.

See Related: Lakes in California to Visit

5. Sacramento River Bend Area

Sacramento River Bend Area Scenery
image by Tom Hilton is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Address: Jellys Ferry Road, Red Bluff, CA

Red Bluff offers an ideal location for those who love the great outdoors. The Sacramento River Bend Area offers hiking trails, a launch point to enter the river, and horseback riding, biking trails, hunting, and camping.

The boat ramp lies upstream from Red Bluff, but the small town rests on the banks of the sparkling river. Consequently, the River Bend area offers the perfect site for launching boats like canoes and kayaks.

The peaceful waterway doesn’t feature rapids, so you can safely paddle to your heart’s content. Those traveling by RV can camp at Durango RV Park, which lies adjacent to the river.

See Related: Famous Landmarks in California to Visit

6. Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Sacred Heart Catholic Church
image by Jonmallard is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Address: 515 Main Street, Red Bluff, CA

This local landmark, located just two blocks west of the Sacramento River, offers a “towering edifice” and expansive town views. More than just a location of gorgeous architecture, Sacred Heart Catholic Church has an active congregation and welcomes vacationers for its weekly services. 

Originally founded in 1866 and then known as St. Mary’s, the parish moved to its current spot in 1905. The following year, the Church was renamed.

But aside from conversing with the almighty, the real reason to visit this place is the aesthetics. Even the Catholic Church touts this location as architecturally significant for its traditional altar, banked by two side altars of wood.

The artisan who created them painted the altars using a technique that makes them appear marble. The church also contains notable paintings, statues, stained-glass windows, and a choir balcony.

In addition, check out the fresco ceiling of Christ’s Apostles and a dove above the sanctuary accompanied by the words (in Latin), “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.”

See Related: Things to Do in Merced, California

7. William B. Ide Adobe State Historic Park

House in William B. Ide Adobe State Historic Park

Address: 21659 Adobe Road, Red Bluff, CA 96080

The William B. Ide Adobe State Historic Park offers geocaching, a museum, and a learning center. The William B. Ide Adobe State Historic Park in Red Bluff, California, celebrates the town’s pioneer days.

The park offers multiple restored buildings to tour, including an adobe home, blacksmith shop, and visitors center. Rather than an entry fee, you pay for parking. You must display a parking permit on your vehicle’s dashboard.

This historic park lets you explore life in the 19th Century without a time machine, plus it offers one of the top spots for selfies in town. Join the Yosemite National Park & Giant Sequoias Hike to explore more parks in California.

See Related: Places to Visit in Southern California

8. Park of Study and Reflection

Park of Study and Reflection
image by Park of Study and Reflection/Facebook

Address: 13499 State Highway 99E, Red Bluff, CA 96080

Once the location of a labyrinth maze, the park, then known as Peace Park, now offers a stainless-steel monument known as The Monolith as its center point.

The tube-shaped sculpture sits in an austere field, representing the artist’s conception of promoting non-violence. Locals use the park as an area for meditation and contemplation. The park also features a school building for community classes, a donor wall, and a water fountain. Entry costs nothing.

9. Chinese History Tour

Red Bluff Chinatown
image by Argel S/TripAdvisor

Address: Cemetery Ln., Red Bluff, CA 96080

California offers an important chapter in American-Asian culture, and Red Bluff contributed to this chapter. The city played host to some of the most egregious injustices to Chinese immigrants, including the formation of a union in 1876 that black-balled Chinese workers.

In 1886, workers in the town organized a march that went door to door, demanding the Chinese leave. Some complied, but later that year, a second march turned into an attack on the Chinese part of town, driving out its residents from Red Bluff’s Chinatown. Those leading the march burned Chinatown down.

This guided cultural tour explores the history of the Asian peoples in Red Bluff from the perspective of a family of local historians, the Chew family. The guides here offer a knowledgeable and passionate tour of the Chinese-American experience in the Sacramento Valley.

See Related: Things to Do in Jamestown, California

10. Kelly-Griggs House Museum

Kelly-Griggs House Museum Building
image by Kelly-Griggs House Museum/Facebook

Address: 311 Washington St., Red Bluff, CA 96080

The Kelly-Griggs House Museum Association promotes “understanding and appreciation of 19th Century art, architecture, and artifacts” of Red Bluff and Northern California. The museum, named for the two families who owned the home before selling it to the museum association, houses collections of 19th-century art and artifacts.

The Association preserves the Kelly-Griggs House, restoring the historical Victorian home to its 19th-century splendor. The museum offers self-guided tours and special events. It rents the mansion for afternoon tea events. 

The museum also recounts the history of the two prominent area families who built and preserved the home – rancher Sidney Allen Griggs and his descendants and the Kelly brothers, cattlemen who purchased and preserved it.

The women of the Kelly family graduated from colleges and taught in the area. In 1966, when she entered a nursing home, Miss Anne Kelly, youngest of the eleven Kelly children, sold the home to the Kelly-Griggs House Museum Association.

If you’d like to stay near this historic landmark, book a room at the Red Bluff Inn, just steps away and on the shores of the Sacramento River.

See Related: Things to Do in Los Angeles, California

11. Pumpkinland Chocolate Company

Chocolates in Pumpkinland Chocolate Company
image by Pumpkinland Chocolate Company/Facebook

Address: 12000  CA-99  E, Red Bluff, CA, 96080

Driving through the walnut groves that line the edges of town, you can discover the wonderful tastes of the Pumpkinland Chocolate Company, a specialty shop and chocolatier.

Located on the outskirts of Red Bluff on Highway 99, the chocolate company takes its name from the vast pumpkin patch that originally grew where its business now sits. The candy company crafts small batches of chocolates and ice cream.

Locals recommend mint truffles, chocolate mocha-covered almonds, and ice cream cones. This is an essential stop if you’re visiting Red Bluff with kids!

See Related: Free Printable California Travel Guide

12. Eagle Canyon Trout

Eagle Canyon Trout Fishing
image by Mike W/TripAdvisor

Address: Eagle Canyon Trophy Trout Lakes

Explore the area’s fishing options with a charter tour with Eagle Canyon Trout. The tour guides take anglers to the areas with the largest fish schools. You can expect the fish to put up a fight.

Vacationers who traveled the area’s waters with the charter company called it a once-in-a-lifetime fishing experience since the lakes offer trophy-sized catches you could mount to hang on the wall. If you need gear before you hit the water, stop by Eagle Creek Fly Shop.

If you want to book accommodation near the Eagle Canyon Trout, you can find the best deal on Hotels.com and Booking.com. For rentals, VRBO is your friend!

13. Red Bluff River Park

Address: Main St & Willow Street, Red Bluff, CA 96080

The perfect spot for an outing with the family, Red Bluff River Park offers an immense facility adjacent to the Sacramento River. The park offers water sports, basketball courts, volleyball courts, a children’s playground, walking and hiking trails, and a bandstand that hosts live concerts.

You can use the BBQ pits at this park to cook your lunch, then enjoy your meal at one of the park’s many picnic tables. Red Bluff River Park also offers a boat launch and makes an ideal push-off point for kayakers.

See Related: The Ultimate Summer Trip Packing List

14. Diamond Park

Address: 700 Diamond Avenue, Red Bluff, CA 96080

The locomotive-themed playground at Diamond Park offers children a unique play experience. One of the local favorite playground equipment items is a giant slide that covers the length of the hill and is filled with recycled tires.

The park also offers a multipurpose grass sports field for various sports. Wheelchair-accessible with an ADA-compliant picnic area, this city park also includes a skate park, softball field, basketball court, BBQ facilities, and restrooms.

15. Lariat Bowl

Lariat Bowl
image Lariat Bowl, Red Bluff/Facebook

Address: 365 S Main Street, Red Bluff, CA 96080

On rainy days, you can go bowling with buddies at Lariat Bowl. On sunny days, you can also enjoy the 18-hole miniature golf course.

The Lariat Bowl entertainment complex has 16 lanes for bowling, a lounge, and pool tables and rents out its facilities for private parties. During your Red Bluff visit, attend at least once at night to view the Rolling Thunder Cosmic Laser Light Show!

See Related: Things to Do in San Jose, California

16. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park
From Adobe Stock

Address: Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway, Southwest Entrance (near Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center) and Northwest Entrance (in the Manzanita Lake Area, near Loomis Plaza)

The east of Red Bluff, about a 51-minute drive, sits the massive Lassen Volcanic National Park. Known as one of the best parks in the country, this stunning national park consists of a dense conifer forest with lunar terrain boils, steaming geysers, and mud pots. It’s undoubtedly the best place for visitors looking for must-do activities in the region.

Watch your step, but explore this unique terrain that provides a peak into the development of the continent’s geologic history. This place is a great day out if you’re looking for a more serious hike, to immerse yourself in nature, or to snag some beautiful wildlife photography.

17. Klamath National Forest/Marble Mountain Wilderness

Klamath National Forest Scenery
From Adobe Stock

Address: 1711 South Main Street, Yreka, CA

To the north of the small city of Red Bluff lies the Klamath National Forest and Marble Mountain Wilderness, which features Mount Shasta, Boulder Peak, and Shasta Lake. The two adjacent parks share access points and park rangers.

Comprised of 225,000 acres, this national forest and wilderness area offers hiking and skiing in its mountains and canyons or camping in conifer forests. These two adjacent areas also include a staggering 89 lakes, making it an incredible spot for outdoor experiences such as visiting the beaches, boating, and fishing in California’s natural beauty.

If you’re thinking of spending a night under the stars, note that some areas (such as the wild and scenic river areas) require special permitting for a campfire. Check the US Forest Service website for more information on availability.

See Related: National Parks to Visit in November

18. Shasta-Trinity National Forest

Shasta-Trinity National Forest Aerial View

Address: 3644 Avtech Parkway, Redding, CA 96002

To the west of the small city of Red Bluff lies the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, the largest national forest in California, consisting of several stunning Wilderness Areas. Known for its dense fir and pine forests and lush grasslands, Shasta-Trinity National Forest is home to some of the most spectacular views in the state.

For example, the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area’s mountains and lakes could very well have been ripped from Austria and planted right here in Northern California! You can also stay in several cabins throughout this sprawling national forest, and you can learn more about them here.

Places to Stay in Red Bluff

If you’re looking for a place to stay, here are some top-rated hotels and vacation rentals in the region.

1. Red Bluff Inn Top Recommendation

This hotel is one of the best in Red Bluff, California. It has a beautiful view of the river. The rooms are very clean and they have every amenity you could ever want in your room. The staff is very accommodating to your needs and make sure that you are comfortable during your stay.

2. Hampton Inn & Suites Red Bluff

Hampton Inn & Suites Red Bluff, CA offers 107 guest rooms at an affordable price. With amenities such as Free Wi-Fi, heated outdoor pool and a Fitness Center this hotel is sure to please any traveler or vacationer. This hotel offers a nutritious complimentary breakfast every morning and is conveniently located off Highway I-5 just 15 minutes from Lassen Volcanic National Park.

3. Days Inn by Wyndham Red Bluff

Boasting a convenient location near Red Bluff Municipal Airport, the Days Inn by Wyndham Red Bluff provides quality accommodations in a budget-friendly environment. The hotel features an outdoor pool and all rooms include free Wi-Fi and cable TV with HBO channels. Guests can relax in their comfortable room or enjoy a meal at the hot breakfast bar each morning. A selection of food and drinks is available at the 24-hour front desk.

Getting around Red Bluff

Aerial view of Red Bluff, California
Management / TripAdvisor

You’ll need to rent one if you don’t own a vehicle. While you can easily traverse the town’s streets in any car to camp or explore the wilderness areas, consider renting an SUV or truck.

Within the town, biking offers a fun option since the town’s limits comprise a less than eight square mile area. You’ll need to bring your bike. Walking also provides an option for those who want to maximize their sightseeing in this rustic, rural setting.

Red Bluff Municipal Airport offers a viable method of reaching the town by small plane, such as a Cessna or a private jet. Don’t forget to protect yourself on your trip and get travel insurance like SafetyWing.

FAQs

Is Red Bluff, California, worth visiting?

Red Bluff features many historical and outdoorsy things to do. The Red Bluff, California, tourist attractions typically center around outdoor or indoor activity or self-enrichment by visiting museums.

What are the best tourist attractions in Red Bluff?

You can’t go wrong in Red Bluff whether you choose a learning experience in a museum, an afternoon high tea, bowling, or hiking near the volcanos in the nearby Lassen Volcanic National Park.

What is the best thing to do with kids in Red Bluff?

You’ll find many fun sites and things to do in Red Bluff with kids, including the Sacramento River Bend Area, Lariat Bowl, and the Pumpkinland Chocolate Company. Kids might also enjoy the outdoor activities at Lassen Volcanic National Park, Klamath National Forest Marble Mountain Wilderness, and Trinity National Forest.

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Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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