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Reddings Sundial Bridge and Turtle Bay Exploration Park

Redding California: A place to visit, a place to remember

Sundial Bridge, Turtle bay

One of the great joys of vacation travel is discovering unique places that are forever secure in our memories, such as the Redding Turtle Bay Exploration Park in spectacular northern California. This huge museum complex includes the Turtle Bay Museum with science and natural history exhibits, the McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, and the dramatic Redding Sundial Bridge spanning the Sacramento River.

Connecting the north and south campuses of the Redding Turtle Bay Exploration Park, the Redding Sundial Bridge is a structural art form that has become known worldwide. A monument to the creative genius of renowned Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, this is one architectural achievement with no equal elsewhere. The Redding Sundial Bridge, as the name implies, is a giant sundial in the form of a 700-foot-long bridge across the Sacramento River. For bicycle and pedestrian traffic including pets, the Redding Sundial Bridge is 23 feet wide with an opaque deck made of glass colored aqua green, with granite strips and white tile imported from Spain.

As much an art form as an engineering triumph, the Redding Sundial Bridge’s single 217-foot-high pylon casts its time-telling shadow onto a tiled border, along a garden on the north side of the river. Opened on July 4th, 2004, the Redding Sundial Bridge is set amidst some of the most breathtaking scenery in the entire United States. The Redding Sundial Bridge is open from 6 am to10:30 pm everyday with no charge for visiting or crossing. You can take your pet along for the hike, but please bear in mind that during sunny summer months the glass can be too hot for a pet to walk on comfortably.

Another unique feature of the Redding Turtle Bay Exploration Park is its sensitivity for the environment, which includes a spawning area for salmon and 200 acres of undeveloped, natural arboretum. Designed to explore the interactions and relationship between mankind and nature, the Redding Turtle Bay Exploration Park also hosts the Turtle Bay Café, interactive animal shows with hawks and porcupines, and a museum store. For the kids, there’s Paul Bunyon’s Forest Camp, an educational hub for the logging and forestry industries that includes historical exhibits and an interpretive mini-forest of northern California redwoods and other trees.

The Turtle Bay Museum is the central experience of any visit to the area, with galleries offering diverse science, history, and art exhibitions both traveling and permanent. The interactive displays allow you to be immersed in a level of reality seldom experienced and both adults and children gain insights into the world of science and nature. The museum also hosts various events ranging from informal family fun to evenings of elegance.

Meanwhile, nature lovers and gardeners can lose themselves in the McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens which opened in May 2005. Offering a 20-acre display that includes a medicinal garden of herbal remedies, a Mediterranean garden with lavender and rosemary, a children’s garden with play structures and picnic area, and a butterfly garden, a visit here is a naturally tranquilizing event for a fresh perspective on life.

 

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