18 Fun & Best Things to Do in Red Bluff, California
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, the town of Red Bluff serves as a Mecca for the outdoorsy set. 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. 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, California, since it includes three local parks and river access in its town limits. Enjoy water sports or the locomotive playground. Let’s consider the multitude of fun places to visit in Red Bluff, California.
- Most significant landmark – William B. Ide Adobe State Historic Park
- Best park – Lassen Volcanic National Park
- Best free activity -Gaumer’s Jewelry & Museum
- Best activity for kids – Eagle Canyon Trout
- Best activity for adults – Tuscan Ridge Estate Winery Tour
- Best food – Kelly-Griggs House Museum Tea Room
- Best nightlife – Lariat Bowl Best all-around accommodation – Red Bluff Inn
Best & Fun Things to do in Red Bluff, California
1. Tehama County Visitor Center
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: Best Things to Do in Anaheim, California
2. Gaumer’s Jewelry & Museum
Address: 78 Belle Mill Road, Red Bluff, CA
Visit this specialty museum just off of Interstate 5 to learn about California’s rocks and minerals, as well as mineral samples from throughout the world. The Gaumer’s Jewelry & Museum also features a gift shop with a wide variety of jewelry items featuring rocks and minerals. If your family or friend group includes a closet geologist, stop here first.
3. California Route 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.
Want to tour more on wheels? Book a Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour in Los Angeles or a bus tour in San Francisco.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Lone Pine, California
4. Tuscan Ridge Estate Winery
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 themselves 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.
5. Sacramento River Bend Area
Address: Jellys Ferry Road, Red Bluff, CA
Red Bluff, California offers an ideal location for those who love the great outdoors. The Sacramento River Bend Area offers hiking trails and a launch point to enter the river, plus horseback riding and 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. Additionally, 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: Most Famous Landmarks in California to Visit
6. Sacred Heart Catholic Church
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 views of the town. 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 pay this place a visit is the aesthetics. Even the Catholic Church itself touts this location as architecturally significant for its traditional altar banked by two side altars of wood.
The artisan who originally 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, as well as a 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”.
7. 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, located 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 if you want to explore more parks in California.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in Southern California & Things to Do
8. Park of Study and Reflection
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
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.
Want more? Don’t also miss the Chinatown culinary walking tour in San Francisco.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Jamestown, California
10. Kelly-Griggs House Museum
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 school in the area. In 1966, Miss Anne Kelly, youngest of the eleven Kelly children, sold the home to the Kelly-Griggs House Museum Association when she entered a nursing home.
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.
11. Pumpkinland Chocolate Company
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 the 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: Printable Guide to Travel
12. Eagle Canyon Trout
Address: Eagle Canyon Trophy Trout Lakes
Explore the area’s fishing options with a charter tour with Eagle Canyon Trout. The tour guides take fishers 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 that 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 seated 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, a giant slide, covers the length of the hill that’s 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. For a theme park escapade, book a Disneyland or Disney’s California Adventure.
15. Lariat Bowl
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 also rents out its facilities for private parties. During your Red Bluff visit, make sure you attend at least once at night to view the Rolling Thunder Cosmic Laser Light Show!
See Related: Best Things to Do in San Jose, California
16. Lassen Volcanic National Park
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)
To the east of Red Bluff, about a 51-minute drive, sits the massive Lassen Volcanic National Park. This stunning national park consists of a dense conifer forest populated with lunar terrain boils, steaming geysers, and mud pots.
Watch your step but do 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 photos. Don’t forget your camera!
17. Klamath National Forest/Marble Mountain Wilderness
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, the 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. If you’re thinking of spending a night under the stars, do note that some of the areas (such as the wild and scenic river areas) require special permitting for a campfire.
See Related: Best National Parks to Visit in November
18. Shasta-Trinity National Forest
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. The mountain and lakes of the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area for example could very well have been ripped from Austria and planted right here in Northern California!
There are also several cabins you can stay in throughout this sprawling national forest, and you can learn more about them here.
Getting around Red Bluff, California
If you don’t own a vehicle, you’ll need to rent one. While you can easily traverse the town’s streets in any car if you plan 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 own bike. Walking also provides an option for those who want to maximize their sightseeing in this bucolic, 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 World Nomads.
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 are some fun things to do in Red Bluff?
If you wonder what to do in Red Bluff, California, for the weekend, adults may enjoy the winery tour, exploring the town’s many museums, Lariat Bowl, the California Route 36 ride, and the Chinese History tour. Most options cost nothing or a cheap entry fee, so they’re ideal for large groups.
What is the best thing to do with kids in Red Bluff?
You’ll find many fun sites to see and things to do in Red Bluff, California with kids, including the Sacramento River Bend Area, Lariat Bowl, and the Pumpkinland Chocolate Company. Kids might also enjoy the outdoor activities available at Lassen Volcanic National Park, Klamath National Forest and Marble Mountain Wilderness, and Trinity National Forest.
What are some things to do in Red Bluff when it is raining?
When it starts raining and you need some fun things to do in Red Bluff, California, visit one of the town’s museums or the Lariat Bowl for bowling, pool, and the light show.
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