Wednesday, June 24, 2015

brandy creek beach

Have I ever mentioned it's hot here in the summer? Some days are just brutal.  Thank goodness we don't live in the desert.  I've done that. Live in the desert; in the heat.  Ugh. Thankfully here in Nor Cal, we have escapes.  Probably our family's most frequent escape is to the waters of Whiskeytown Lake.

Brandy Creek Beach, Whiskeytown Lake, Redding California. This is a great blog all about things to do in Northern California.

On this day we were invited by some friends to join them for dinner at the Brandy Creek Beach.  Of the beaches on Whiskeytown Lake, we frequent this one the most.  We got there about 6pm and stayed until almost 9.  This made for an almost empty beach as most people were heading home for dinner.  So we took advantage of the empty picnic tables and the BBQ's and enjoyed our supper near the water.

Brandy Creek Beach, Whiskeytown Lake, Redding California. This is a great blog all about things to do in Northern California.
Look at all those geese! They thought we had food to give. But they left when they realized we were not sharing.

The Stats:
Brandy Creek Beach
Where: Whiskeytown Lake (click here for directions)
Cost: $5 per vehicle; day use fee (or $10/week, $40/year) or click here to find out which days of the year are free.

There are life guards on duty during certain hours, but as the story below describes, please do not rely on others to keep your children safe.

Brandy Creek Beach, Whiskeytown Lake, Redding California. This is a great blog all about things to do in Northern California.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Keep your eyes on your 6 year old (and all children for that matter) to make sure they are not diving for giant rocks and swimming with them!  

Sol, our 6 year old, is a good swimmer, but when I noticed his head bobbing in and out of the water, I realized he was in trouble.  He wasn't out very far (I could stand but it was too deep for him to reach), but I could tell he was struggling.  I ran out to him and scooped him up.  As I am carrying him back to shore, I hear a loud splash.  That's when he dropped the huge rock he was holding on to! No wonder he was struggling!  

So our conversation went something like this:
Me: You can't swim with rocks.  It's not safe.
Sol: But we are collecting them.
Me: If you go out that far, you need to have a life jacket on.
Sol: But if I have a life jacket, I can't dive down to get the rocks.
Sol: But we are collecting them.
Me: NO DIVING FOR ROCKS! If you want to pick up rocks, you have to be where you can reach the bottom. went on. But I won in the end. Of course, because children cannot dive and swim for rocks in the lake.  The lake is wonderful, but it can be dangerous.  So be safe, people. Be safe.

Brandy Creek Beach, Whiskeytown Lake, Redding California. This is a great blog all about things to do in Northern California.

We will be heading to Brandy Creek Beach many more times this summer.  The lake is absolutely beautiful.  And the water feels so good when the temperature rises.

Pro Tips:

  • There are two parking lots.  
    • The beach by the first parking lot is where the lifeguards are (check for days and times), bathrooms, and snack bar (limited hours and days).  I have NEVER bought anything from the snack bar.  Save your money and pack a cooler with lunch and LOTS of water.  
    • The first beach has more shaded areas with lots of picnic tables.  At the far end of this beach, Brandy Creek runs into the lake.  Kids love playing on the rocks.  And there are more picnic tables up the creek farther.
    • The second parking lot's beach does not have lifeguard. But this is where we usually end up. Not sure why.  This side also has bathrooms, but they are across the parking lot. This beach also has picnic tables and shade, but fewer.
  • You can rent Kayaks at the far end of the second beach.  This is also the spot where the free guided Kayak tours take off from.  Click here for more info on that (you will need a reservation)
  • Also at the end of the 2nd beach is a boat launch.  I don't recommend having kids swim past the roped in area because boats come in and out there.
  • Sun screen.  Seems like a no-brainer, but don't forget to reapply!
  • If you want to avoid the crowds (and it can get really crowded in the summer), either go early in the morning or early evening.  People tend to head home about dinner time.  But that is our favorite time to be at the lake.
  • Out in the middle of the swim area, there is a floating platform.  I remember as a kid, being so proud the day I could swim all the way out there.  (HUGE milestone in my childhood!) Primarily older kids hang out there and jump in the lake off the platform.  Make sure your kids either have a life jacket or are excellent swimmers before they swim out there.

There is so much more I could say, but I'll save the rest for another post.  Do you have any tips for going to Brandy Creek Beach? Leave them in the comments below.


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