When you visit Chico, one thing's for sure: you'll never be bored. There's literally something for everyone here in our quaint little neck of the woods.
Check out the links below for more information about local arts and culture, shopping, outdoor recreation and more!
Arts & Culture
In 2003, author John Villani ranked Chico as one of the top 10 Best Small Art Towns in America. We think you'll agree! From world class museums and art glass studios to public art pieces, Chico has a creative energy that is apparent just about everywhere you look!
Click on the links below to learn more about museums and public art in Chico.
Hours: Mondays 12-4p.m., Saturdays & Sundays 11a.m.-4p.m.
Cost: Ages 18 and up $6, Ages 5-17 $3; Ages 4 & under Free
Explore the mansion that John Bidwell, founder of Chico, built for his wife in 1868. This restored three-story home is now a state park with hourly guided tours.
Visit the Bidwell Mansion online and on Facebook!
Gateway Science Museum
Hours: Wednesday-Friday 12-5p.m., Saturday & Sunday 10a.m.-5p.m.
Cost: Adults $5, Children $3, Members FREE
Our newest museum in town, Gateway Science Museum opened their doors in March 2010 to eager viewers. The Gateway Science Museum encourages curious minds of all ages to discover science and the natural heritage of Northern California by exploring the museum’s diverse collection of exhibits.
Museum of Northern California Art
Hours: Thursday-Sunday 11 a.m.-5p.m.
Cost: General Admission $5, Students/Children FREE
The Museum of Northern California Art (monca) opens the door to world-class art works for everyone. monca’s collection includes paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and photography from nearly 100 artists in Northern California.
307 W. Fifth Street
Hours: Saturday & Sunday 1-4p.m.
Cost: Adults $2, Students $1, Children 10 & under FREE
Treat yourself to a guided tour of this beautiful 1883 Victorian home. Packed with local history and stories about the Stansbury Family, this symbol of Victorian heritage offers visitors a taste of Chico's history.
141 Salem Street
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 12-4p.m.
Cost: Adults: $3, Students: $2, Seniors: $2, 14 & Under: Free
The museum, which is housed in the 1904 Carnegie Library, offers visitors both permanent and alternating exhibits of historical interest. Displays often include local artifacts and photos.
Chico Air Museum
147 Convair Court
Hours: Saturday 10a.m.-4p.m.
Cost: Admission is free
Located at the Chico Airport just south of the terminal. This museum features an indoor museum with displays, rare photographs, aviation library, aircrafts on display, school tours and activities, aviation speaker's program and a gift shop!
National Yo-Yo Museum
320 Broadway (located inside Bird in Hand)
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10a.m.-5:30p.m. & Sunday 11a.m.-4p.m.
Cost: Admission is free
Explore the area's premier display of America's favorite toy. Thousands of items are on display including past contest awards and nostalgic photos.
Museum of Anthropology
First Floor Meriam Library CSU, Chico
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: Admission is free (donations welcomed)
The Museum of Anthropology functions as a multifaceted educational facility for students in the Museum Studies Program. The Museum Studies Program at CSU Chico is one of the few museology programs in the United States, where students conceive, research, design, and install exhibits as part of their formal training, as well as gain hands-on courses in museum collections management and other areas of museology.
Colman Museum/Centerville School House
13548 Centerville Road
Hours: Saturday & Sunday 1-4p.m.
Cost: Admission is free (donations welcomed)
Explore Civil War memorabilia, Chinese artifacts, 1800's clothing, antique tools and more! Make sure to visit the one-room school house build in 1872.
Patrick Ranch Museum
10381 The Midway, Durham
Hours: Open every Saturday through November 1st 12-4p.m.
The Patrick Ranch is Chico's newest historical attraction, reflecting the agricultural, cultural, social, and economic history of the North Sacramento Valley. Experience natural history tours, farm house tours, digital camera lessons, antique equipment, visitor center, museum store, children's activities and more!
Butte County Historical Society Museum
1749 Spencer Avenue (at Baldwin), Oroville, CA
Hours: Saturdays 11a.m.-3p.m. and by appointment
The BCHS Museum tells the stories of the lives of people in Butte County from the early mining days to the present time.
Water, water everywhere, so jump in!
When the sizzling sun of Northern California strikes, there's no better way to beat the summer heat than to get out the water toys and head toward cool, refreshing water. From boating, swimming and jet skiing, to kayaking, water skiing and sailing, Chico and the surrounding area offer endless opportunities for water recreation.
Boating, Waterskiing & Jet Skiing
Lakes Oroville & Shasta
Located off of Olive Highway (Hwy 162), approximately 25 minutes South of Chico, Lake Oroville is a prime location to cool off the effects of California's summer skies. When full to the 900 ft. elevation mark, the lake offers 15,500 surface acres for recreation and 167 miles of shoreline. Whether it's skiing or boating you enjoy, there's plenty of room for fun on the lake. Don't have a boat? No worries! Both marinas (Bidwell and Lime Saddle) offer houseboat, fishing, and patio boat rentals at a nominal charge. Be sure to call ahead for availability.
For additional information about Lake Oroville or boat rentals, call Bidwell Marina (530)589-3165/800-637-1767, Lime Saddle Marina (530)877-2414/800-834-7517 or the Lake Oroville Visitors Center at (530)538-2219.
North of Chico, up Highway 5 past Redding, sits Lake Shasta. The Lake boasts more than 30,000 surgace acres and 370 miles of shoreline, making it a haven for the watersport enthusiast. With more than 400 houseboats available for rent, the lake offers one of the largest fleets of any lake in Western America. Whether you're looking for just the basics, or the equivalent of a luxury suite on water, you're sure to find one to suit your tastes. For more information about Shasta Lake, contact the Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association at 1-800-4-SHASTA.
Thermalito Forebay South
Whether you're a jet ski, hydroplane or speed boat fan, the South Forebay provides plenty of opportunity for water fun. Located west of Hwy 70 between Chico and Oroville, the South Forebay has a four-lane boat launch ramp, swimming beach, picnic area, shade trees and fish cleaning station.
Black Butte Lake
Located eight mile west of Orland, off of Interstate 5, Blake Butte Lake is a great spot for boating, fishing and water skiing. With more than 4,500 surface acres of water, Black Butte boasts three boat ramps and a full-service marina, and is open to boating year-round. On a typical day, power boats, sailboats, personal water craft and others can be found on the open waters. (Also, see sailing section). For more information call (530)865-4135.
Seeking an outdoor adventure? At an elevation of 4,500 feet, Lake Almanor is a mecca for the watersport fanatic. With 52 miles of shoreline, Almanor is Plumas county's largest lake, and offers year-round water activities. Summer lake surface temperatures of approximately 75 degrees make the lake ideal for waterskiing, sailing, sailboarding and jetskiing. From Chico, the beautiful ride takes approximately one and one-half to two hours. Take State Highway 32 to Highway 36 towards Chester. For more information, contact the Chester-Lake Almanor Chamber of Commerce at (800)350-4838.
Sailing & Windsurfing
Thermalito Forebay North
Reserved exclusively for sailboats, canoes and other non power-driven boats, the North Forebay is a sailor's dream! After you've sailed, rest along the Forebay's 200-yard sandy swimming beach. The North Forebay has a handicap accessible fishing pier, and boasts a 1,200 sq. ft. aquatic center for boating clubs and classes. Directions: From Chico - take Hwy 99 South to Hwy 149. Take Hwy 149 to Hwy 70, towards Oroville.
Black Butte Lake
On windy days, Black Butte Lake, located West of Orland off of Interstate 5, attracts a number of sailboard enthusiasts who generally gather at the Buckhorn day-use area shoreline. Call (530)865-4135 for additional information.
Kayaking, Canoeing & River Rafting
Tubing and kayaking are along Butte Creek is a popular area pastime. Public access to the creek is available at the Steel Bridge, and most people tube or kayak down to the historic Honey Run Covered Bridge.
Directions: Take the Skyway exit off of Hwy 99 in Chico. Travel up the Skyway, making a left onto Honey Run Road. Follow Honey Run approximately five miles to the Covered Bridge, and make a left on Centerville Road. Go approximately four miles up to the Steel Bridge. The float can take anywhere from three to five hours, depending on river currents.
Mt. Lassen Area
At 10,427 feet in elevation, the majestic Mt. Lassen is one of California's spectacular wonders. At the base of the beautiful mountain are numerous lakes offering a variety of canoeing experiences. These include Butte Lake, Juniper Lake, Manzanita Lake, Summit Lake, and Lake Helen. Directions: From I-5, take Highway 26 East toward Lassen National Park. For additional information, call the Lassen National Forest at (530)257-2151 or Lassen National Park at (530)595-4444.
Rafting and "tubing" along the Sacramento River, particularly in Chico, is extremely popular. Inner-tube rentals are available at a variety of locations in town. Tubers can park and "launch" at the Irvine Finch Access Site on Highway 32, and enjoy a leisurely float. As with any water sport, tubers should use extreme caution when floating. Be alert to hidden "snags" or tree branches, as well as strong undercurrents.
Rafting season on the Feather River runs from approximately January to April or May. Beginner-level "tubing" and canoeing are possible along the eastern stretches, which are more gentle. Just east of the Thermalito Afterbay is a 12-mile stretch of the Feather River. Several locations along the river allow canoes or car-top boats to be launched. The North Fork along Highway 70 from the intersection of Highway 89 to Twain or Virgilia is suitable for canoes or beginner kayakers. For the more experienced kayaker or rafter, the Feather River provides numerous, world-class whitewater opportunities. From Rich Bar to Belden is a popular Class III stretch running approximately five miles. More advanced runs are available below Belden, accessible during the runoff season only. For additional information about rafting, kayaking, or canoeing on the Feather River, contact the Plumas County Visitors Bureau at 800-326-2247, or visit their website.
Filming in Chico & Butte County | FAQ
Thank you for your interest in filming in the beautiful City of Chico and Butte County! With its historic architecture, beautiful parks, and friendly people, Chico and its surrounding areas offer numerous opportunities for spectacular photography and cinematography. Some of the famous movies filmed in Chico include the 1938 version of Robin Hood, portions of Gone With the Wind (1939), The Red Badge of Courage (1951), the Disney Channel’s original movie Under Wraps, along with a variety of television shows, including “Stolen Innocence.”
Filming on City Property (streets and public sidewalks): In general, as long as the filming does not cause an unsafe situation/distraction or block City public right-of-way, there would be no requirements other than notifying the City Manager’s office of such work being conducted (the information needed would be the date/time, location and type of filming – it would need to be e-mailed to email@example.com). More extensive filming could require an encroachment and/or street closure permit. For information on how to obtain an encroachment permit or street closure permit, or for more information on filming in Chico, please call the City Public Works Department at 530-879-6900.
Filming on Private Property: Filming on private property would require the property owner’s permission. In addition, a “temporary events” Use Permit, subject to Chico Municipal Code (CMC) section 19.22, may be required. Please call the City Planning Division at 530-879-6800 for more information or to determine if a permit is necessary.
Bidwell Park: Filming in Bidwell Park requires a special permit. Please call the City Parks Division at 530-896-7800 for more information.
Chico Municipal Airport: Filming at Chico Municipal Airport requires a use agreement and payment of a fee. For safety and security reasons Airport staff must escort the parties who are filming and all Airport Rules and Regulations must be adhered to. Please call the Airport Manager’s Office at 530-896-7216 for more information.
Chico Area Recreation District (CARD): CARD maintains many of the parks located in Chico, including DeGarmo Park, Hooker Oak Park, and Wildwood Park. Please call the CARD office at 530-895-4711 for CARD’s filming requirements and for more information.
County of Butte: Filming outside of the Chico city limits would be under the jurisdiction of Butte County. The County of Butte does not have a general filming permit required if you are on private property.
Filming in the public right-of-way requires an encroachment permit from their Public Works Department. Please contact Butte County Public Works at 530-538-7681, or download the application directly from the Public Works website.
Filming in Butte County that will involve road closures will require a Parade Permit. Please contact the Butte County Sheriff’s Office to confirm whether a permit is required, and for more on the process, at 530-538-7321.
Filming on State Property: Filming on state property or in state parks requires a permit that can be obtained here.
Filming on State Property with Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Among other requirements, UAS operators flying drones under Part 107 must possess a Remote Pilot Airman Certificate. In addition, Part 107 requires a waiver to fly over people (including cast and crew), and the process to obtain a waiver could be lengthy. Applications from Part 107 operators who do not possess this waiver will be denied, unless they don’t plan to fly over people. Read More here.
Filming at Silver Dollar Fairgrounds: Filming at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds requires a contract and rental fee. Please call the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds at 530-895-4666 for more information.
Filming at California State University, Chico: For inquiries about filming on the Chico State campus, contact the Public Affairs office at 530-898-4143 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Chico is a paradise of unique artistic and cultural experiences! Some of the public art pieces in Chico are listed below.
For a full list of printable art brochures, visit the City of Chico website's art page.
- Downtown Kaleidoscope, 2001: Ringel Park Restroom, 1st & Broadway.
- Salem Street Art Walls, 1996: Salem Street Parking Structure.
- Our Hands, 2000: 411 Main Street.
- Town Hall 1872, 2002: 180 Wall Street.
- Normal Street School/Bidwell Flour Mill 2005/2007: 141 Salem Street
- Dancing Trout, 2003: 421 Main Street.
- Diamond Alley Arches, 2003: Salem Street Parking Structure.
- Freeway Pillars Camouflage Project, 2004/2007: Lower Bidwell Park, Hwy 99 crossing.
- Leaves at Afton Place, 2004: 630 Salem Street.
- Trolley Murals I & II, 2007/2010: City Plaza.
- Chess Tables, Elm Leave Lights, World Map Fountain Mosaic, 2007: City Plaza.
- Transit Center Fencing, 2007: 2nd & Salem Streets.
- Sea Serpent, 2007: Caper Acres, Bidwell Park.
- Heritage Elm Sculpture, 2007: City Plaza
- Bridges to Bridges, 2007: 601 Main Street.
- Skaters' Gate, 1999: Humboldt Avenue Skate Park.
- Annie's Glenn Tunnel, 2009: Near Mangrove Avenue and Vallombrosa Avenue.
- Skatepark Aerosol Art, 2007: Humboldt Avenue Skate Park.
- The Silver Plow, 2001: Park Avenue & Meyers Street.
- Ancestor Gates, 2003: Community Park, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy.
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monument, 2007: Community Park, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy.
- Wildflower Century, 2004: Midway Bikepath, East Park Avenue.
- Spirit Flags, 2008: Forest Avenue & Flying V.
- Tetrahedron Wind Chimes, 2010: Humboldt Avenue & Willow Street.
- The Century of Flight, 2001.
- Soaring Star, 2001.
- Bidwell Park Centennial Prints, 2005.
- Model of Demoiselle Airplane, 2009.
- Wildwood Park, 2004: Manzanita & Wildwood Avenue.
- Ceres Bridge Underpass Murals, 2004: Manzanita Avenue & Hwy 99.
- Lindo Channel Aerosol Art Project, 2005: Highway 99 Underpass Manzanita Avenue.
- Sacramento River, Mechoopda Baskets, 2005: 2446 Marigold Avenue
- Native Fish Mosaics, 2005: 2446 Marigold Avenue.
- Eaton Road Bicycle Barricades, 2001: Eaton & Cohassett Roads.
- The Spiral, 2008: Oak Way Park.
- Web of Life, 2009: Manzanita Avenue.
- DeGarmo Art Seating, 2010: DeGarmo Park.
Wine tasting in Chico? You bet. Chico and the surrounding Butte County foothills offer some of the finest boutique wineries in California. (And you thought you had to drive to Napa!)
What's more, each October, local wineries, specialty shops and farms open their doors for "Passport Weekend": A Grand Weekend of Wine Tasting and Farm Fresh Food Sampling. Click here for a complete listing of wineries along the trail!
**Chico Chamber of Commerce Member Wineries
**Bertagna Son Kissed Vineyards & Bertagna Orchards
Tasting Room: 9275 Midway Durham CA 95938
(Vineyard: 3363 Hegan Ln. Chico CA 95928)
Tasting Room: 222 W. 2nd Street, Chico CA
(Vineyard: Hwy 32 E & Nopel, Forest Ranch CA)
HOURS: Wed - Fri, 1:30-8:00p.m., Sat, Noon-8p.m.
**Grey Fox Vineyards
90 Grey Fox Lane
Oroville CA 95966
WINE TASTING & TOURS, Weekends: Noon - 5 P.M.
Groups and organizations are also encouraged to contact Greyfox for weekday appointments.
Long Creek Winery
233 Ward Road
Oroville, CA 95966
HOURS: Weekends from 12 to 5p.m.
New Clairvaux Vineyards
26240 7th Street
Vina, CA 96092
HOURS: Sat & Sun 11a.m.-5p.m.
Odyssey Winery and Vineyards
6237 Cohasset Road
Chico, CA 95973
HOURS: Open May-Dec., Sat 1:00-6:00p.m.
72 Quail Hill Place
Oroville, CA 95965
Hours: By appointment
Winter. . . Spring. . . Summer. . . Fall: Chico really has it all!
(Okay, ENOUGH with the cheesy sayings. . .sometimes we just can't help it. But really, Chico DOES have it all when it comes to outdoor recreation!)
Here we go tootin' our own horn again, but Chico was rated the #1 Cycling community in America by Bicycling Magazine. . . We're also home to Bidwell Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the nation.
But instead of US telling you how spectacular our great outdoors are, get out there and see it yourself. Grab your bike. . . or your running shoes... or your golf clubs or kayak. . .and just get outside!
Not traveling with your gear? Rent your outdoor equipment from Adventure Outings!
Whether you're visiting Chico or call it home, Bidwell Park has gotta be at the top of your to-do list. Approximately 3,700 acres of beauty and history ready for you to explore...right here in our own backyard.
Bidwell Park was established July 20, 1905 through the donation by Annie Bidwell of approximately 2,500 acres of land to the City of Chico. Since that time, the City has purchased additional land, such as Cedar Grove in 1922, and 1,200 acres of land south of Big Chico Creek in Upper Park in 1995. Today, the total Park size is 3,670 acres (nearly 11 miles in length), making it one of the largest municipal parks in the United States.
Visit our gallery for Bidwell Park images.
America's #1 Cycling Town Welcomes You!
In 1997, Bicycling Magazine voted Chico as the number one cycling town in the nation. Call us partial, but we have to agree! Whether you prefer smooth, flat rides across town or mountain biking in the terrains of Upper Bidwell Park, Chico and the surrounding area offer exceptional cycling experiences for all levels of cyclists.
Chico Bike Maps are available to pick up at the Chico Chamber of Commerce.
To view the front of the map click here.
Cycling Web Links
Community Park - 1900 Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
DeGarmo Park - Esplanade and Leora Court
Hooker Oak Park - 1928 Manzanita Avenue
Oak Way Park - 8th Avenue and Highway 32
Peterson Park - Rollins Lake Drive and Denali Drive
Rotary Park - W. 16th Street and Broadway
Sycamore Field - One Mile Area, Bidwell Park
(**Chico Chamber of Commerce Member)
**Bidwell Park Municipal Golf Course
18 holes over 6,363 yards with a par of 72
3199 Golf Course Rd Chico, CA 95973-9149
(530) 891-8417; 4 miles from the center of Chico.
Sunset Hills Golf & Country Club (Public)
9 holes over 1,190 yards with a par of 27
13301 Garner Ln Chico, CA 95973-9290
(530) 342-4600; 6 miles from the center of Chico.
**Canyon Oaks Country Club, Canyon Oaks Course (Private)
18 holes over 6,779 yards with a par of 72
999 Yosemite Dr Chico, CA 95928-3948
(530) 343-2582 x16; 3 miles from the center of Chico.
**Butte Creek Country Club, Butte Creek Course (Private)
18 holes over 6,897 yards with a par of 72
175 Estates Dr Chico, CA 95928-7499
(530) 343-8292; 4 miles from the center of Chico.
The Tuscan Ridge Club, Tuscan Ridge Course (Public)
18 holes over 6,700 yards with a par of 71
3100 Skyway Blvd Paradise, CA 95969
(530) 624-7006; 8 miles from the center of Chico.
Lava Creek Golf Course, Lava Creek Course (Public)
9 holes over 2,001 yards with a par of 34
5325 Clark Rd Paradise, CA 95969-6325
(530) 872-4653; 11 miles from the center of Chico.
Paradise Pines Golf Course, Paradise Pines Course (Public)
9 holes over 2,529 yards with a par of 34
13917 S Park Dr Magalia, CA 95954
(530) 873-1111; 13 miles from the center of Chico.
Table Mountain Golf Course, Table Mountain Course (Public)
18 holes over 6,690 yards with a par of 72
2700 Oro Dam Blvd W Oroville, CA 95965-9210
(530) 533-3922; 19 miles from the center of Chico.
Sevillano Links Golf Course
2657 Barham Avenue Corning, California 96021
Fun on the Farm - Farm Trail
Make sure to be in Butte County for Columbus Day weekend for a weekend full of tasting fun!
During this special weekend, purchase your passport ahead of time (or day of at one of the designated starting points) and start tasting! Over 25 different farms, wineries, and food stops will have their doors open and ready for you to come by and taste their products. Each passport comes with a commemorative Sierra Oro Farm Trail wine glass as well as a trail guide so you can plan your own self-guided Butte County tour! Don't forget to designate a driver or arrange for a shuttle or limo.
Visit the Sierra Oro Farm Trail online for more information.
Looking to shop? Chico has a wide variety of shopping opportunities available to you!
Chico's Premiere Shopping Center, Featuring 100 Distinct Stores
1950 E. 20th St., #727
Boasting more than 400 diverse businesses
North Valley Plaza
Featuring anchor stores such as K-Mart, Trader Joe's, Goodwill Industries
801 East Avenue
Visit our Member Directory for more shopping opportunities!
Questions? Call us! 530-891-5556