Explore Shasta County with a fresh lens
No matter what time of year it is, a stroll on the Sundial Bridge is always a good idea and it puts you at the location where Nautica did a still photography shoot. The world-famous architectural masterpiece was a featured backdrop in their portfolio, as well as an establishing shot for many other productions. Most people cross the bridge and continue along the river or through the botanical gardens and arboretum, but the path less traveled is accessible just passed the Turtle Bay Exploration Park and loops around in the nature area to the right where wildlife sightings are frequent.
Turtle Bay Exploration Park was featured on California Gold as a great local highlight. While you are here, take in a wildlife show and you may see a local star. Digger the badger made a debut on the New Girl comedy series. From Turtle Bay continue to head west on CA-299 to Shasta State Historic Park – another feature on California Gold, and another location with many options. Take in the beauty of the brick ruins – I love these so much we had some of our wedding photos taken here. You can also get a tour of the museum, view gallows or an old stagecoach, visit the historic cemetery, or enjoy a treat from Shorty’s Eatery.
On the way back from Shasta State Historic Park, stop in for a healthy and tasty lunch at Wilda’s, which was featured on Visit California’s California Dream Eater web series. The restaurant offers unique artistic décor and a simple menu where every option is someone’s favorite. Mine happens to be the always fresh tofu buddha bowl with a hearty portion that never fails to provide enough for two meals. This is an easy choice whether eating in the restaurant or picking up to take with you on your next adventure. From Wilda’s, head over to Cal’s Books, which was featured in the trailer for The Back Pages web series. Cal’s has floor to ceiling books and could be a haven for book lovers for the rest of the day.
After a fabulous lunch, take a drive up to Lassen Volcanic National Park, drive about halfway through the park on CA-89 (about 1 hour 15 minutes from Wilda’s) and be sure to stop at Kings Creek Meadow, the focal spot for the Nature Valley “The More We Get Together” commercial. The soon to be released film “Heavenquest: A Pilgrim’s Progress” also did quite a bit of filming in the park. Don’t be surprised if you find many other points along the road to stop and capture your own scenic shot as the park is rich in incredible backdrops.
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