Cicada Cantina isn't your typical Mexican restaurant. That's because its kitchen takes time-tested recipes and puts a modern spin on them, creating unique dishes such as blue-corn tacos and enchiladas stuffed with portobello mushrooms. The cocktails get the same update, with bartenders blending more than 75 tequilas into signature margaritas flavored with unexpected ingredients such as jalape?o, white peach, and seasonal berries.
Of course, the restaurant's atmosphere is just as atypical as its food. The decor is both contemporary and rustic, with weathered benches, Mexican-inspired textiles, and colorful light fixtures. There's even occasional DJ music to inject the space with extra energy.
Silverthorn Resort traces its history back to August 1, 1853, when settler George Silverthorn and his wife, Lucy, a native Wintu woman, established one of Northern California's first ferries across the Pit River. The Silverthorn's descendants stayed in the area to the present day, watching the river age and mature into a strapping, full-grown lake with more than 375 miles of shoreline dotted with picturesque docks and cabins. A marina outfitted with a pro shop and general store refills ships and pantries with needed supplies, and a pizza pub refuels visitors with the daily recommended allowance of pizza, live music, and cold beer.
Houseboats glide across Shasta Lake's calm waters, where vacationing anglers can fish for trout, salmon, and bass. The 40,000-acre lake allows plenty of room for wakeboarding, tubing, and other watersports. Around the lake, a network of trails wends hikers and cyclists across the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, where Mount Shasta stands about 50 miles north of the lake.
Mammoth portions of sandwiches, comfort fare and classic breakfasts test table strength within the log-cabin interior of Lumberjacks Restaurant. After perusing the lengthy menu, patrons can gaze up at the towering façade of roasted turkey clubs ($8.99), whose three layers of toast house bacon, american cheese, lettuce and tomato. A chili burger ($8.99), topped with cheddar and onions, doffs its uppermost bun to chivalrously greet suiting mouths. A slow-braised post roast with vegetables and gravy ($12.99) assumes its honored position among dinner entrees, arriving at tables with a choice of a side as well as soup or a custom-made lettuce amalgamation from the salad bar.
Sprawling across 300 acres, Turtle Bay Exploration Park has all the space it needs to showcase Northern California's ecosystems as well as the history of its people. Located in Redding, which was named one of the top affordable summer driving destinations by CBS News, this celebration of nature, anthropology, and art starts in the McConnell Arboretum. Its gardens use 200 acres to form a living map of the five major Mediterranean climate zones: Chile, South Africa, Australia, the Mediterranean basin, and California. In addition to providing picturesque views, these gardens use water-wise methods to emphasize the importance of sustainability. * Paul Bunyan?s Forest Camp displays artifacts and photographs from early lumber camps while also teaching visitors about the local birds and reptiles that continue to thrive in the nearby forests. * The Turtle Bay Museum helps visitors explore the region's animal life or general scientific topics through rotating exhibits along with a 22,000 square foot aquarium. * The Sundial Bridge features sweeping, 217-foot pylon that supports the bridge's elegant design while minimizing its environmental impact on the river below. * Buster Simpson's The Monolith is an installation built inside the ruins of the Kutras Aggregate Plant, which provided the gravel used to create the concrete for Shasta Dam.