Redding's Riverside Retreat
By Christy Milan
Relax & Revive
Story by Christy Milan
Photos by Melinda Hunter
“IF THERE IS MAGIC on this planet it is contained in water,” declares the American anthropologist and philosopher, Loren Eiseley. He may have been referring to The Riverside Retreat. It is a serene magical place with views of the iconic Sundial Bridge, historic Diestelhorst Bridge and the beautiful Sacramento River.
The Diestelhorst family emigrated from Germany in 1852. In the mid 19th century they purchased several acres near the river. They grew vegetables and hay on the farm. Later the Diestelhorst sons would run a successful resort that allowed the locals to cool off during hot summers in the valley. The bridge carries the family name and history of this area.
The property itself consists of three cottage, each with a different theme: Diestelhorst, Nautical and Nesting. The cottages are each unique and secluded.
The Diestelhorst Cottage has a Native American theme and pays tribute to the history of the area. White settlers in the area thought that two of their white women had been killed by Indians. The Diestelhorst family is said to have helped hide the Indians from the settlers.
Nesting cottage pays tribute to the Bald Eagles and Osprey that hunt along the river. They can be viewed from the cottages and sitting areas provided. A sitting area between the Nesting and Nautical cottages provides an excellent area to dine and relax. It features outdoor vintage sinks, gas barbeque, island area and dining under a gazebo. Modern amenities along with vintage touches throughout make these cottages special. The private patio adds to the peacefulness and serenity of the incredible views. The outdoor grill is sure to provide a tasty meal complete with ambiance.
Nautical cottage shows the love for boating and water. The current owner, Ronda Culp, created the theme complete with the patio resembling the bow of a ship. “This one is special to me, as I was responsible for staining and the varnish of all the interior wood work, expresses Culp. She purchased the property in 2008 from Building Adventures, Jamie Lynn. They had purchased it from the Diestelhorst family and renovated it. Culp adds, “I feel very blessed to share such a unique property, filled with history and beauty to guests from near and far. It’s such a pleasure to hear their comments of delight in finding a slice of heaven in the heart of downtown Redding.”
On any day the river flows under the Diestelhorst Train Trestle and the famous Sundial Bridge. Nestled in a private 1 ½ acres, all located within downtown Redding. This is place that may have inspired the saying “If your train of thought is going nowhere, switch tracks.” It has the powerful affect to alter your thoughts to a more relaxed atmosphere. The river flows across the smooth rocks just as it did years before. The movement of the river is calming and soothing. It allows your soul to take in a deep breath and exhale fully with anticipation of a release that fills the body. Listening to the sounds of nature brings about perceptions that may not have occurred otherwise.
The Sacramento River Trail winds its way alongside the river and is perfect for a walk or bike ride. Within walking and biking distance are some of Redding’s finest restaurants. Guests can take in a show at Cascade Theater or enjoy an exhibit at Turtle Bay Museum.
Lake Redding Park has a boat launch for those seeking adventure on the river. The cottages offer plenty of boat parking and a security gate accessed only with a key code. A path from the cottages lead to the river’s edge where fisherman can cast a line into one of the best fishing sites on the river.
The evening presents rich, vibrant sunsets that create a display of brilliant colors against the Diestelhorst Train Trestle. The river reflects like a prism as soft hues of colors are cast over the foothills. The day has ended and night is upon the Sacramento valley. Nature sighs from the day and settles in for the night. A blanket of stars covers the night sky adding star light to a perfect evening. The night closes in and I think of Edward Abbey’s quote. “I choose to listen to the river for a while, thinking river thoughts, before joining the night and stars.” •
Redding Riverside Retreat
1708 Riverside Dr., Redding • (530) 949-8613