This tiny town nestled in the foothills is the perfect northern California spot for wine lovers looking for a low-key getaway away from the crowds of Sonoma and Napa. Vineyards climb from the valley floor up through the mountain landscape making for incredible scenery, not to mention wine.
Besides being mesmerized by the beauty of the Manton area, know that the volcanic soil the grapes grow in make for some of the best red wines around.
The drive from San Francisco to Manton will be over within the morning, at about three and half to four hours. It’s pretty much a straight shot up I-505 North to I-5 North.
If you want to make the road time part of the adventure, route through Sacramento and stop at the Underground Tasting Room. It’s a cute little room with a cozy atmosphere. Try the locally made Twisted Twig and Fenton Herriot wines.
As you continue your drive to Manton, you could make another stop in Chico for a bite to eat. The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is a world-famous brewery worth checking out. Taste their popular beer and dine on brick-oven pizza and almond-wood grilled meat.
The Sheraton Redding Hotel at the Sundial Bridge has a year-round outdoor pool, playground and terrace, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink at the bar. It's 35 miles east of Manton, making it a great launch point for adventure while having all the amenities of Redding.
For the most budget friendly option, the Best Western Anderson Inn is 20 miles west of Manton and weighs in at $95 a night. This hotel has a seasonal outdoor pool and serves a daily free hot breakfast. It's 25 minutes' drive from Shasta Lake and only 10 minutes from Win River Casino.
If you are traveling with a big group for a wine-tasting weekend, take a look at the Bailey Creek Lodge waterfront vacation rental. It’s a gorgeous property with two lakes, two creeks, a swimming pool, and a four-acre lawn, all on the grounds. The fully stocked house has five bedrooms and sleeps 14 people ($1,100/night).
Vintage Wine Bar and Restaurant in nearby Redding offers outstanding food and an even better wine selection. It is casual, but not overly so, and it won’t cost you a ton of money to dine here. They sometimes have live music that supports local artists.
The Highlands Ranch Resort Restaurant in Mineral is a top notch restaurant that has quality food at great prices. They are open for breakfast, lunch and diner with menu options such as delicious spinach and mushroom omelets, spicy taco salads, and blackened Ahi.
Thirsty Trout Pub in Chester, at the heart of Lassen National Park, serves up cold beer, outdoor seating with views of the mountain life, and a menu that includes sliders and the unexpected, like Asian Tacos. Stopping in on a Wednesday night? It's a pub. Bring your trivia night rally cap and a friend who has the answers.
Alger Vineyards tasting room is open on the weekends from noon to five. The wine tasting experience is just $5 and includes a complimentary tasting glass. They have fun events throughout the year like "Cinco de Wino" and "Wine and Chocolate Extravaganza."
At nearly 10,500 feet elevation, Mount Lassen is a peak among peaks in the Lassen Volcanic National Park. It is the only active volcano in California and is heralded by locals for its beauty, trails and quieter life than its more famous equals to the south in Yosemite.
Cedar Crest Vineyards should be on your must-visit list. The winery includes a large park, bocce ball courts, and outdoor cooking area next to the tasting room. So make an afternoon of it, by grabbing some wine, hanging out in the park, and enjoying the gorgeous northern California scenery. The tasting room is only open on the weekends, but can accommodate you if you are visiting during the week. Give them a call.
The Kings Creek Falls trail leads to a large, roaring waterfall draped in ferns and other greenery. Start at the Kings Creek Falls trailhead, with options for a 2.4-mile hike along the creek or a 3-mile hike along the horse trail. The elevation of this hike starts at 7,300 feet elevation. There is a gradual 700-foot descent along the horse trail and a steeper, rockier descent via the creek edge. Either bringing you to the breathtaking natural beauty that makes it worth your efforts.
Chaos Crags and Jumbles puts up a well-worth-it four-mile round trip hike. It starts at Manzanita Lake in the northwest corner of Lassen Volcanic National Park. The trail runs through a dense forest of pine, leading to sweeping views with the peak of Chaos Crags North reaching overhead. Be sure to read the interpretive sign that tells the story of the crags and jumbles. (We don't want to spoil the secret.)