Full Video Tour: Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway

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Known as “The Biggest Little City in the World,” Reno has been beckoning chance-takers for decades with its clanging slot machines and bright neon lights. Named after Civil War Union Major General Jesse L. Reno, the city was settled by pioneers in the mid 1850’s but the discovery of silver in 1859 led to a mining rush and population boom. The railroad soon followed and Reno grew as the principal settlement between Salt Lake City and Sacramento. But it was the state’s legalization of gambling in 1931 that put Reno on the map as one of the most popular vacation spots in the country. Today, the city is an entertainment destination, technology hub, and thanks to its proximity to Lake Tahoe, a haven for outdoor adventure enthusiasts.

Truckee Riverwalk District

Enjoy this paved urban walk through Downtown Reno along the banks of the legendary Truckee River. The Riverwalk leads to over 60 restaurants, shops, and entertainment options, and celebrates Reno’s arts, culture, and history every day of the year. The walk is approximately 3.5 miles and runs east to west through the city. 

We suggest parking and beginning your walk at The Parking Gallery located on the corner of First and Sierra Streets, open daily.

National Automobile Museum

With 200 cars displayed amongst real-life street scenes and sounds that bring the facades to life, this is one of the greatest automobile collections in the world. There are over a dozen celebrity-owned cars in the permanent Harrah’s Car Collection, and displays feature artifacts from each era along with local Reno history. 

10 South Lake Street Reno, NV 89501, 775-333-9300, Daily 9AM-5PM, Adults $15.

Nevada Museum of Art

Founded in 1931, the Museum was originally run by a small group of outdoor landscape painters and has ever since stressed the importance of the interaction between humans and their natural, built, and virtual surroundings. The current Museum is housed in a building designed by Will Bruder and inspired by geological formations in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Permanent collections showcase landscape photography, contemporary art, American art, and art of the Greater West. 

160 West Liberty, Reno, Nevada 89501, 775-3290-3333, T-Su 10AM-6PM, Adults $10.

Destination Distinctive Accommodations  

The Jesse 306 E 4th St, Reno, NV 89512, 775-219-0220 An understated boutique hotel in the heart of Downtown Reno. Six airy rooms with exposed brick walls and modern decor feature TVs, Wi-Fi, and sitting areas. There is a bar, casual Mexican restaurant, stylish lounge, and outdoor seating on premises. 

Renaissance Reno Hotel One Lake Street, Reno, NV 89501 775-6823900  Four star comfort in downtown Reno.

Destination Distinctive Dining  

The Silver Peak 135 N Sierra St suite e, Reno, NV 89501, 775-284-3300. Casual brewpub serving a menu of elevated bar fare such as grilled NY steak, craft beer & wine.

Wild River Grille 17 S Virginia St, Reno, NV 89501, 775-284-7455 A modern venue in the historic Riverside Hotel with an array of American entrees and cocktails.

Destination Distinctive Retail

Home Means Nevada Co. 135 N Sierra St Suite C, Reno, NV 89501, 775-682-3800 Local shop offering apparel and gifts such as stickers and mugs with quirky, Nevada-inspired designs. 

Antiques & Treasures 151 N Sierra St, Reno, NV 89501, 775-327-4131 Large antique mall featuring over 40 dealers and a huge selection of antiques and collectibles.



Isaac Roop, a pioneer of the Honey Lake District, changed the name of this former logging and mining town from Rooptown to Susanville in honor of his daughter in 1857. The arrival of the railroad turned the town into a major lumber manufacturing center, but the area is now an agriculture and tourism center, known for its many hiking and biking opportunities.

Historic Susanville Railroad Depot and Visitor Center

The Susanville Railroad Depot was built in 1927 by the Southern Pacific Railroad and showcases the region’s history and cultural heritage with vintage photographs of railroad and logging history. The Depot also serves as the main trailhead for the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail, a 25.4-mile trail along a converted railroad track. Especially popular in late October when the cottonwoods turn a dazzling yellow, the trail crosses the Susan River 12 times on bridges and trestles and passes through two tunnels. 

601 Richmond Rd PO Box 1461 Susanville, CA 96130 530-257-3252.

Susanville Murals and Historic Uptown Walking Tour

Visit sites like Roop’s Fort, Pioneer Saloon, and the Elks Lodge on this picturesque walking tour of Historic Uptown Susanville. Try to spot the eleven beautiful murals scattered throughout the town that were painted over the last 20 years and pay homage to the many historical figures and colorful characters that have shaped the area. 

Tour begins at 1025 North St, Susanville, CA 96130.

Lassen Historical Museum and Roop’s Fort

Roop’s Fort, established in 1854 as a trading post, was the site of the 1863 Sagebrush War and is the oldest building in Susanville. It is also the home of the Lassen Historical Museum, which includes authentic arrowheads, Native American art, old weapons, photographs, and other artifacts from the county’s early beginnings in its collection. 

115 N Weatherlow St, Susanville, CA 96130, 530-257-3292 Tu-F 10AM-2PM, Sa 10AM-1PM.

Destination Distinctive Accommodations  

Diamond Mountain Casino Hotel 900 Skyline Road, Susanville, CA 96130, 530-252-1100 Newly enlarged hotel with four restaurants.

Destination Distinctive Dining 

Courthouse Cafe 2455 Main St, Susanville, CA 96130, 530-257-0923 Friendly staff and an extensive menu featuring breakfast, lunch, and California burritos.

Kopper Kettle Cafe 2535 Main St, Susanville, CA 96130, 530-257-2966 Local restaurant featuring American fare and an all-day breakfast menu.

Destination Distinctive Retail

The Elegant Iris 618 Main St, Susanville, CA 96130, 530-252-4747 Gifts, home decor, baby boutique, outdoor adventure equipment and more.



In 1912, the then-fifth richest man in the world and owner of the Red River Lumber Company, T.B. Walker purchased thousands of acres of land in northern California and transformed the area into what is now Westwood. It quickly became the most technologically advanced lumber town in the whole country and home to the largest pine sawmill in the world, which led to the lumber company adopting Paul Bunyan and Babe, his blue ox, as their mascot. The railroad came to Westwood in 1914, but the line has since been repurposed as the 26-mile Bizz Johnson National Recreational Trail.

Westwood Museum

Showcases a varied assortment of artifacts and other items of historical interest related to the Red River Lumber Company Mill, the Fernley and Lassen Branch Railroad, and the town of Westwood. Don’t forget to stop by the 22-foot statue of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox at the corner of 3rd and Birch Streets!

311 Ash St, Westwood, CA 96137, 530-256-2233 W-Sa 11AM-4PM.


In 1914, Great Western Power Company created Lake Almanor by damming the north fork of the Feather River to flood the Big Meadows valley and named it after the daughters of then-company president Guy C. Earl – Alice, Martha, and Elinore. The area sits at the boundary of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada geologic provinces and the shimmering lake is one of the state’s crown jewels for boating, fishing, and camping. Summer lake surface temperatures hover around 75 degrees!

Lake Almanor Recreation Trail

Explore the west side of Lake Almanor on a paved 19-mile round trip non-motorized interpretive trail that winds beneath the shade of towering trees. Providing spectacular views of Lake Almonor, Dyer Mountain, and Lassen Peak, the trail is ideal for winter activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing and a haven for wildlife like bald eagles, osprey, pelicans, and goshawk. The trail begins near the northern end of Lake Almanor at Highway 89 and FR 27N52. Other access points are located along County Road 310 for shorter, four-to-five mile round trips.


When two settlers realized one was from Chester, Missouri and the other from Chester, Vermont, it quickly became obvious that they needed to name their new town Chester as well. From humble beginnings as a subdivided plot of land to a burgeoning logging and sawmill community and home of the Collins Pine Company, present-day Chester is now a vacation destination and the retail center for the Lake Almanor area.

Collins Pine Museum

View exhibits on forest stands, saw milling, and sustainable forest management in a building constructed to resemble a sawmill. Videos and interactive panels are on display along with a collection of logging and lumbering equipment and a 400-year old Sugar Pine tree cross section showing dates in American history. 

500 Main St, Chester, CA 96020, 530-258-4441 May-October, W-Sa 9AM-5PM.

Chester Library and Museum

Both the Chester Library and the Chester Museum are nestled inside an original 1929 log cabin with displays on the original pioneer communities, dairy and cattle ranching, early logging days, and Native American artifacts. 

210 First St., Chester, CA 96020, 530-258-2767 M-W 10AM-5:30PM (Closed 1PM-1:30PM), Th 1PM-7PM.

Destination Distinctive Accommodations

The Bidwell House 1 Main St, Chester, CA 96020, 530-258-3338 The cozy, individually decorated rooms at this 1901 farmhouse-style B&B have period antiques, TV, whirlpool tubs, and complimentary WiFi. Breakfast and daytime snacks are included, and there is a dining room, library, lawn games, and front porch and patio on the premises.

Destination Distinctive Dining

The Ranch House 669 Main St, Chester, CA 96020, 530-258-4226 Full service restaurant and bar with friendly staff and a beautiful back patio. Reservations recommended. 

Kopper Kettle Cafe 243 Main St, Chester, CA 96020, 530-258-2698 Local restaurant featuring American fare and an all-day breakfast menu.

Destination Distinctive Retail

The Giggling Crow 131 Main St, Chester, CA 96020, 530-258-3010 A unique shopping experience with a variety of home decor, fashion, and gifts.

Rusty Chandelier 216 Main St, Chester, CA 96020, 530-375-7300 Home decor, great mementos, and vintage antique furniture that ranges from farmhouse to lodge/cabin style.


Lassen Volcanic National Park

With steaming fumaroles, dazzling waterfalls, crystalline mountain lakes, bright wildflowers popping through verdant meadows, and over 50 volcanoes, Lassen Volcanic National Park is a jewel at the southern end of the Cascade Range. Lassen Peak first erupted in 1914 and continued a series of sporadic and powerful blasts over the next seven years, with the most powerful explosion in 1915. The following year, President Theodore Roosevelt combined two separate national monuments to create Lassen Volcanic National Park, and named it after Peter Lassen, an early settler and trail guide. All four types of volcanoes that exist in the world can be found in the park – composite/stratovolcanoes, shield volcanoes, plug domes, and cinder cones, but the Lassen Peak itself is a large, 27,000-year old plug dome that stands at 10,475 feet. Visitors can explore this and other volcanoes in the park on hikes to peaks like Chaos Crags, Brokeoff Mountain, and Cinder Cone. Other park highlights include the variety of volcanic hydrothermal features that can be spotted throughout the area. Find thumping mudpots, bubbling pools, steaming ground, and roiling fumaroles at Sulphur Works, Bumpass Hell, Devils Kitchen, Boiling Springs Lake, and Terminal Geyser. 38050 Highway 36 East, Mineral, CA 96063, $15 per car.

Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway and Historic District

California State Route 89 is a 30-mile recreational pleasure drive that winds around the east side of Lassen Peak and offers convenient access to a number of the park’s most dramatic attractions. See active geothermal areas, sub-alpine forests, mountain meadows and lava fields on one of the country’s most scenic roadways! This drive begins at the junction of Route 36 and Route 89 on the southwest side of the Lassen Volcanic National Park and will connect to the park’s northwest entrance. Plan for a one-hour drive without stops. Please use the overlooks to view wildlife and scenery.

The Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center

This year-round visitor center at the park’s southwest entrance offers an information desk, interpretive displays, activities for children, a park store, dining area with fireplace, gift shop, and a cafe with outdoor dining.

21820 Lassen Peak Hwy, Mineral, CA 96063, 530-595-4480, Located on Highway 89, just north of Morgan Summit from Highway 36, Daily 9AM-5PM,Check for holiday and seasonal closures

Loomis Museum

Named after B.F. Loomis, an early geologic explorer who documented Lassen Peak’s eruption cycle and promoted the park’s development. The Loomis Museum, located near the park’s northwest entrance, showcases a large collection of photographs and photography equipment and traditional Atsugewi basketry. A park store and ranger-led programs are also available, and the self-guided, interpretive Lily Pond Nature Trail is located across the highway. 

39477 Lassen National Park Highway, Shingletown, CA 96088, 530-595-4480, June-September: Daily 9AM-5PM, May and October: F-Su 9AM-5PM.

Destination Distinctive Accommodations  

Drakesbad Guest Ranch 14423 Chester Warner Valley Rd, Chester, CA 96020 877-622-0221 This rustic, seasonal lodge along the Pacific Coast Trail is set amid mountain lakes, meadows and hydrothermal features. Lodgings range from studios with half baths to cozy cabins to buildings with porches and full bathrooms. Most rooms lack electricity so guests rely on kerosene lamps for light, though there is gas heat. All meals are included, with vegetarian options and wine pairings at dinner. Activities include hiking, fishing, stargazing, and swimming in the hot-springs fed pool.



This city in Northern California was named after former politician Benjamin Bernard Redding, but originally called Poverty Flats during the Gold Rush years when thousands in search of fortune came up short. All was not lost though! Copper and iron mining in the early 20th century, along with construction of the Shasta Dam, did finally spur the town’s economic growth.

Behrens-Eaton House Museum

A Victorian-style home built by John Scott in 1895 is now a repository of historical books, Victorian furniture and housewares, photographs, war memorabilia, and other artifacts significant to Shasta County Judge Eaton’s professional career and public life and the region’s colorful past from the 1800’s to the present. 

1520 West St, Redding, CA 96001, 530-241-3454 T-W 10AM-4PM, Sa 1PM-4PM.

Old City Hall Arts Center

Housed in Redding’s historic Old City Hall, the Shasta County Arts Council is the central resource for the arts in Shasta County. The building features a classroom, performance hall, and gallery with works by local artists.

1313 Market Street Redding, CA 96001, 530-241-7320 Tu-Th 12PM-5PM, F 12PM-6PM, Sa 11AM-3PM.

City Hall and Sculpture Park

At three stories and over 100,000 square feet, the largest art gallery in Redding is inside City Hall and displays rotating works from local galleries and artist collectives. The artwork continues throughout the beautifully landscaped City Hall campus with a Sculpture Park offering a mixture of permanent works and traveling exhibits of stone, metal, and Mosaiculture art.

777 Cypress Ave, Redding, CA 96001, 530-225-4002.

Destination Distinctive Accommodations  

Hope Inn 19177 Hollow Lane, Redding, CA 96001, 530-605-0589  Relax in a beautifully designed room in a quiet garden setting.  

Destination Distinctive Dining

C.R. Gibbs American Grill 2300 Hilltop Drive, Redding, CA 96002, 530-221-2335 Enjoy casual American Dining featuring a full Exhibition Kitchen where you can watch the action take place, plus a brick lined oven, full bar, large outdoor dining space with heaters and a fire pit. Appetizers, salads, burgers, steaks and of course Brick Oven pizzas.

Creekside Pub and Grill 2100 Redding Rancheria Road, Redding, CA 96001, 530-243-3377 A fast, friendly, casual eatery located in the casino, no matter what time of day you can enjoy burgers and other American food, coffee and beverages. 

Destination Distinctive Retail

Enjoy the Store 1475 Placer St suite c&d, Redding, CA 96001, 530-298-9132 A collection of fine gifts and edibles made and produced throughout Northern California.

Salley’s Shasta Antique Mall 2680 Bechelli Ln, Redding, CA 96002, 530-223-2296 Over 40 dealers and vendors make this midtown antique mall an ideal stop for any vintage lover looking to browse or find something specific to complete their collection. 

Sketch & Press 1244 California St, Redding, CA 96001, 530-945-1974 Gift shop featuring apparel, home decor, plants and pots, jewelry, and other gifts.


Sundial Bridge

This glass decked, cable-stayed cantilever suspension bridge, with one of the world’s largest working sundials, is a functional work of art and an architectural marvel at 217 feet tall and 710 feet wide. The bridge sits at the gateway to the Sacramento River Trail which connects the bridge to the Shasta Dam. 

Sacramento River Trail, Redding, CA 96001, 530-243-8850.

Turtle Bay Exploration Park and Museum

A 300-acre campus on the banks of the Sacramento River interprets the relationship between man and nature and celebrates the story of far Northern California.  Art, science, history, forestry, and horticulture meet at the Turtle Bay Museum, the McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens feature over 200-acres of native and non-native trees and plants, and Paul Bunyan’s Forest Camp is modeled after an old-time forest camp similar to ones that were all over the region 100 year ago. 

844 Sundial Bridge Dr., Redding, CA 96001, 530-243-8850 W-F 9AM-4PM, Sa-Su 10AM-4PM, Adults $18.

Shasta State Historic Park

Iron shutters and doors still swing from their hinges in grass-filled, roofless buildings that were once crowded with merchandise and miners during the gold rush era. This 19-acre park features many ruins, cottages, and other vestiges of 1860s life in what was once the “Queen City” of California’s northern mining districts. Highlights include: the County Courthouse, restored to its 1861 appearance and filled with exhibits and an unparalleled collection of California art;  Blumb Bakery, which operated in Shasta until 1918 and has since been restored to house a working business; Cemetery Trail, which leads to the Catholic cemetery where many of Shasta’s prominent citizens are buried; and Pioneer Barn, home to an original stagecoach and farming and mining implements of the 1880s. 

15312 Highway 299 West, Shasta, CA 96087, 530-243-8194 Th-Su 10AM-5PM.


With more than 230 days of sunshine each year, it’s no wonder Sacramento is known as America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital. But there is more to the city than just an abundance of farm-fresh restaurants and farmers markets. When gold was discovered in the nearby foothills, Sam Brannan opened a store near the Sacramento River to take advantage of the convenient waterfront location that soon turned into California’s first thriving business district. Fueled by gold, agriculture, and the river, the City of Sacramento, originally called Sutter’s Embarcadero, rapidly grew into a trading center for miners outfitting themselves for the gold fields. Today the city is California’s political center and home to colorful street murals, Gold Rush-era family attractions, and a historic waterfront.

Destination Distinctive Accommodations  

Delta King Paddlewheel Hotel, 1000 Front Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, 916-444-5464 Moored at the waterfront, this authentic paddlewheel riverboat is now a boutique hotel featuring converted staterooms as comfortable accommodations with views of the Old Sacramento Historic District and the Sacramento River.  

Destination Distinctive Dining

Solomon’s 730 K St, Sacramento, CA 95814, 916-857-8200 Breakfast all day, sandwiches with soul, and street food, this restaurant is a community gathering place celebrating culture, cocktails, and music.

Lalo’s Restaurant 5063 24th St, Sacramento, CA 95822, 916-736-2389 Unassuming, informal joint with many less common Mexican dishes & barbacoa specials on the weekend.

The Waterboy 2000 Capitol Ave, Sacramento, CA 95811, 916-498-9891 Breezy locale for Italian, French & Californian fare with a focus on seasonal, local ingredients.

Destination Distinctive Retail

Public Land Store 2598 21st St, Sacramento, CA 95818, 916-942-9720 Offers an eclectic assortment of unusual cacti succulents, and tropical house plants along with goods, collectables and original art from a wide range of artists.

Beers Books 915 S St, Sacramento, CA 95811, 916-442-9475 Selling new and used books in Sacramento since about 1936.

Kulture 2331 K St, Sacramento, CA 95816, 916-442-2728 Small independent gift shop stocking Mexican style artwork, ornaments & crafts.