14 Fun & Best Things to Do in Chico, California

14 Fun & Best Things to Do in Chico, California

Chico is a small metropolis in Northern California. The metropolis is positioned in Butte County, roughly 90 miles north of the state’s capital, Sacramento.

Chico is most well-known as the house of one of many largest municipal parks within the nation, Bidwell Park. The park incorporates quite a few facilities, in addition to the Chico Creek Nature Center, Bidwell Park Golf Course, Sycamore Pool and a number of other mountain climbing, biking, and strolling trails. South of town is the Butte Creek Ecological Preserve, a 93-acre web site alongside a piece of Butte Creek.

California State University, Chico sits simply northwest of the City Plaza. The college homes the Gateway Science Museum and is house to the Cal State Wildcats.

For these fascinated about artwork and historical past, there’s the Chico Art Center, in addition to the historic lined bridge – Honey Run Covered Bridge. Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park is the place native Chico pioneers John and Annie Bidwell as soon as lived.

If that is your first time visiting Chico, additionally, you will discover a rising meals scene. Surprisingly, there are additionally over half a dozen breweries and brewpubs all through Chico, together with the Secret Trail Brewery.

This small however vibrant city is ideal for a weekend getaway. And there are sufficient issues to do in Chico, California to maintain you entertained and go away you relaxed and refreshed. Here are the highest issues to do in Chico, California:

Holiday Inn Express Suites Chico an IHG Hotel
1. Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Chico, an IHG Hotel
Top Recommendation

Located within the coronary heart of Chico, Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Chico, an IHG Hotel is a good place to unwind after exploring the gorgeous metropolis. The resort provides snug guestrooms with facilities like free Wi-Fi entry and spacious work desks. All rooms on the resort are outfitted with 32-inch flatscreen TVs, in addition to ergonomic chairs. Guests can take pleasure in their favourite snacks and drinks from the 24-hour onsite snack bar or loosen up within the sizzling tub throughout their keep. For comfort, a enterprise centre can also be out there at this property.

Oxford Suites Chico
2. Oxford Suites Chico

The Oxford Suites Chico Hotel is positioned on the centre of Chico and 4 stars resort. It provides a particular room that’s designed particularly that will help you loosen up after a protracted day. This property is positioned within the metropolis middle, 5.2 km from California State University Chico. The Oxford Suites Chico contains a restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Guests can even entry 24-hour room service.

Quality Inn Chico
3. Quality Inn Chico

The Quality Inn & Suites Chico resort is positioned in Chico, California. This resort options rooms with free Wi-Fi and free parking on web site. All lodging on the Quality Inn & Suites Chico function cable TV with premium channels. The resort additionally has an out of doors pool, a health middle and enterprise companies. Local points of interest inside strolling distance embrace the Chico Mall and the Chico State University campus.


  • Most vital landmark – Bidwell Mansion
  • Best park – Bidwell Park
  • Best free exercise – Chico Air Museum
  • Best factor to do for youths – Gateway Science Museum
  • Best factor to do for adults – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Tour
  • Best meals – Crush
  • Best nightlife – Duffy’s Tavern
  • Best all-around lodging – Holiday Inn Express & Suites Chico

Best & Fun Things to Do in Chico, California

1. Downtown Historic Walking Tour 

Address: 132 W 4th St, Chico, CA 95928

The Historic Walking Tour is a good way to be taught in regards to the metropolis and could possibly be thought-about a residing museum. The tour begins on the nook of fifth and Main Streets. It covers eleven blocks that go roughly two dozen of the city’s most historic areas.

Walkers can detour from the unique tour to see iconic buildings together with The Junction, Stansbury Home, and St. John’s Catholic Church. Those within the California State University campus can veer from the primary group to see this spectacular college. The last cease is the majestic Bidwell Mansion.

The Chico Heritage Association curates this one-hour tour. In addition to the historic areas, the route passes by a lot of downtown’s espresso outlets, meals truck distributors, and eating places for a fast chunk or a leisurely cappuccino. For some nice drinks and nightlife close by, take a look at Duffy’s Tavern.

If you might have spent the day wandering downtown, it might be time for a soothing nap earlier than dinner. If you’re on the lookout for finances lodging downtown, the Quality Inn Chico is inside strolling distance of Chico State and supplies a day by day continental breakfast and free Wi-Fi.

See Related: Most Exotic Places in California to Visit

2. Bidwell Park

Pool in Bidwell Park, Chico, California

Location: Chico, CA 95928

Bidwell Park was established in 1905 by a big donation of land from Annie Bidwell, spouse of General John Bidwell, who based Chico. The city house covers over 3,670 acres with 19 separate comparatively difficult mountain climbing trails.

The park is without doubt one of the largest municipal parks within the United States. It extends from downtown Chico to the 10-Mile Trailhead on the fringe of the Big Chico Creek Ecological Preserve.

This superb inexperienced house provides parkgoers full facilities together with picnic areas and playgrounds comparable to Caper Acres. There can also be the Chico Creek Nature Center, Sycamore Pool, and Horseshoe Lake. 

The park can also be house to the highly-rated Chico Municipal Golf Course instantly off Upper Park Road in Upper Bidwell Park. And the Chico Community Observatory sits in Upper Bidwell Park as effectively. 

If these actions are usually not sufficient, Bidwell State Park additionally has a pair disc golf programs and helps fishing, and horseback driving. Bidwell Park is a unprecedented city house that over the previous century has set the tone and enriched the lives of all of Chico’s residents and guests.

If you’re on the lookout for up to date Northern California delicacies close to the park, then Crush is a good selection, specializing in Italian Flavors combined with contemporary, native, seasonal components and a formidable wine record. After a full day on the park and dinner, it’s a simple drive to your spacious room and cozy mattress on the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Chico.

3. Gateway Science Museum

Address: 625 Esplanade, Chico, CA 95926

California State University Chico, or Cal State Chico is a giant a part of vibrant downtown Chico. And positioned on campus is the Gateway Science Museum, a kid-oriented museum with hands-on actions.

The Gateway Science Museum provides many hands-on reveals. With a serious deal with know-how, robotics, and house, this Chico museum is a good place to spend a number of hours with children in tow. And it’s the good place to chill off or keep dry in inclement climate.

A number of everlasting reveals embrace interactive discussions on earthquakes and their affiliation with electrical energy or a hands-on expertise on the formation of fossils. Visitors are additionally welcome within the fossil lab, the place resident scientists put together newly discovered fossils for examine and show. 

Nearby, the Tea Bar and Fusion Cafe serves gentle meals, smoothies, and sizzling teas for a refreshing cease. Or if cravings are extra in direction of hamburgers, Mom’s is a good American restaurant.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Fairfield, California

4. The National Yo-Yo Museum 

National Yo-Yo Museum Exhibit, Chico, California

Address: 320 Broadway St, Chico, CA 95928

Even as we speak, yo-yos are an necessary a part of childhood. The National Yo-Yo Museum holds lots of of things. There are examples of every kind and shapes of yo-yos. Yes, form, not all yo-yos are spherical. This is without doubt one of the many issues you’ll be taught in regards to the iconic toy’s historical past.

The National Yo-Yo Museum can also be house to the immense, working, 256-pound wood yo-yo, Big-Yo. Most Chico locals agree that the huge assortment is without doubt one of the most spectacular within the area.

This small museum additionally hosts an annual yo-yo contest. It will take about two hours to benefit from the many reveals and gadgets.

After revisiting your childhood, the historic Hotel Diamond is only some blocks away for a drink or a soothing night. This boutique resort provides spacious rooms and fashionable facilities in an intimate setting.

5. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Address: 1075 E twentieth St, Chico, CA 95928

The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company was based in Chico in 1980.

Sierra Nevada’s beers are identified for distinctive flavors and kinds and their profiles run the gambit. The greatest strategy to expertise this hometown hero is with a guided tour of the brewery. The excursions finish with a stop-off with some freshly brewed beer within the Brewhouse Bar. 

The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company advanced is positioned south of Chico, within the beer brewing district. There are literally over half a dozen breweries within the small city.

Whether you’re a Certified Cicerone or new to the craft, the Brewhouse Bar at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is a one-of-a-kind expertise. Located instantly adjoining to the West Brewhouse, guests are afforded the primary pour of the freshest Sierra Nevada beer. 

After the final tour, take a look at the competitors and seize a hearty dinner on the Farmers Brewing Restaurant and Taproom down the street. Then go for an early night time on the close by Oxford Suites Chico – a stylishly easy resort with fashionable facilities.

See Related: Sierra Nevada Mountains Travel Guide: Things to See & Do

6. Chico Certified Farmers Market

Address: E 2nd St &, Wall St, Chico, CA 95928

The Chico Certified Farmers Market makes for an important free outing for the entire household. The market is a mix of native and regional distributors. Local farmers supply a wide range of organically grown fruit and veggies. 

Area entrepreneurs are additionally a part of the market, promoting their handcrafted jewellery and craft gadgets. Prepared meals comparable to olive oil, honey, and baked items are all the time readily available.

Located within the coronary heart of downtown Chico, the Certified Farmers Market is open year-round on Saturdays from 7:30 am to 1 pm. Their different areas are the Holiday Market Parking Lot on Mondays (June by means of September), and the North Valley Plaza Mall on Wednesdays, year-round from 7:30 am to 12 pm.

7. Chico Air Museum

Address: 165 Ryan Ave, Chico, CA 95973

The Chico Air Museum celebrates aviation’s historical past and is without doubt one of the high Chico points of interest. Located north of town, the museum’s assortment has grown considerably. It now consists of aeronautical and aviation gear and memorabilia which can be partaking and academic for guests of all ages.

Almost two dozen refurbished planes sit on the Chico Airport in an genuine World War II hangar. The assortment spans roughly 100 years and features a World War I SPAD XIII, an Antonov AN-2 Russian Biplane, and a Grumman Guardian.

There are additionally fascinating audio system and native occasions held all year long. The indoor reveals embrace images and uniforms from the start of the United States Army Air Corp to the International Space Station. 

For anybody fascinated about aviation or historical past, the Chico Air Museum is free to the general public and a must-stop whereas on the town. And whilst you’re there, cease into the present store for a small token of your go to.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Auburn, California

8. Sycamore Pool

Sycamore Pool, Bidwell Park, One-Mile Recreation Area Chico California

Location: Vallombrosa Way, Chico, CA 95928

Sycamore Pool, positioned on the One-Mile Recreation Area in Bidwell Park, is a rock pool that shaped when Big Chico Creek was dammed. The water runs from a wading depth to over six ft close to the dam and maintains a brisk temperature all year long. 

This residing pool is creek fed and surrounded by excessive rock partitions, tree cover, and open fields. During the summer season, security is essential.

From Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, the pool retains lifeguards on responsibility. This ensures a protected expertise for everybody.

And through the winter, it’s the spot for the annual New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge. Reminiscent of an old school swimming gap, Sycamore Pool is without doubt one of the greatest issues to do in Chico, CA.

9. Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park

Address: 12105 River Rd, Chico, CA 95973

Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park is positioned roughly 7 miles west of Chico on the banks of the Sacramento River and is jam-packed with standard facilities.

This 300-acre park can also be filled with protected areas for distinctive and endangered wildlife alongside the Sacramento River and Big Chico Creek. These riparian habitats, wetlands adjoining to rivers and streams, are house to amphibians and even leeches. 

Surprisingly, Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park has a seaside space and path tenting. And whereas some searching is permitted within the space, fishing is normally the primary draw.

Salmon and bass are all discovered all through the Sacramento River run. The park additionally has a ship ramp for small-craft fishing.

The Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park options quite a few trails the place chook watching is standard. Hikers will discover interpretive reveals alongside the paths and bikers additionally take pleasure in peace and tranquility, away from the crowds of town.

See Related: Best National Parks to Visit in November

10. Museum of Northern California Art

Address: 900 Esplanade, Chico, CA 95926

The Museum of Northern California Art homes a set of labor that celebrates the distinctive qualities of Northern California artists and supplies art-related academic applications.

It is positioned close to the campus of California State University, Chico, and is a multi-medium gallery, which incorporates effective artwork work, drawings, and sculptures. The Museum of Northern California Art has an in depth photographic gallery that options Northern California space themes. The most notable are regional peoples and landscapes, which emphasize the variations in tradition and geography as people transfer northward.

Past reveals on the artwork museum included installations entitled Wings in Photography and Tales of Tattoo. Permanent collections embrace works by Ann Pierce and Salvatore Casa. If you’re on the lookout for an artwork gallery devoted to glass and glass blowing, then take a look at the famed Orient & Flume Art Glass Company.

After looking the galleries, a number of quick blocks away is the unpretentious eatery, Nash’s Restaurant. Grab a chunk or a contemporary espresso and dessert to spherical out your day.

11. Chico Theater Company

Address: 166 E Eaton Rd # F, Chico, CA 95973

The Chico Theater Company, positioned within the northwest nook of town, is standard with grownup theater lovers and produces reside performances. They commonly produce musicals, non-musicals, comedy, drama, and some issues that fall someplace in between. This intimate venue permits native expertise to hone their performing abilities.

Opened practically twenty years in the past, many productions are family-friendly. There are additionally vacation performances and some issues for adults solely. The Chico Theater Company has additionally developed a Youth Company for youngsters and youths fascinated about performing as a interest or a profession.

Before the efficiency, have an early steak on the Spanish eatery, Basque Norte. Or wait till after the efficiency to cease by Wine Time a block or so away for a soothing glass of Napa wine and a dessert.

See Related: Best & Fun Things to Do in San Diego, California

12. DeGarmo Park

Address: 199 Leora Ct, Chico, CA 95973

DeGarmo Park in northwest Chico is a unusual park with superb gear and services for the household and free runs for the household pup. 

This 36-acre neighborhood park boasts softball and turf fields, soccer fields, and a putting playground. A leash-free canine park, DeGarmo Park is full with cool-off swimming pools when the pups get sizzling.

There are picnic tables and picnic shelters all through the world and the park has paved, peaceable strolling paths for a leisurely stroll after lunch. Open to the general public from dawn to sundown, DeGarmo Park has rapidly turn into a neighborhood favourite.

As you permit the park and head again to your rooms on the Best Western Heritage Inn Chico, don’t overlook to order a pizza or calzone from MOD Pizza for a late-night snack.

13. Stansbury Home

Address: 307 W fifth St #5505, Chico, CA 95928

One of the oldest museum homes in Chico belonged to Dr. Oscar Stansbury. It was designed by Sacramento architect A.A. Cook and constructed in 1883.

It was the Stansbury household house for nearly a century. Now, it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The two-story house’s exterior boasts molded arched home windows. At the roof’s middle is a wrought iron fence with a fleur-de-lis.

Visitors can tour this magnificent instance of late Nineteenth-century structure with full furnishings every weekend. The house incorporates Dr. Stansbury’s workplace, which features a show of the instruments utilized in his follow.

The house and excursions are operated by the Stansbury Home Preservation Association. During the vacations, the house is host to a Victorian Christmas House.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Northern California

14. Silver Dollar Speedway

Address: 2357 Fair St, Chico, CA 95928

The Silver Dollar Speedway is positioned on the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds, south of Chico. This venue is a high Chico attraction.

Established in 1951, the Silver Dollar Speedway is house of the Gold Cup, a California showdown of open-wheel drivers to search out the most effective within the nation. The Speedway can also be host to Monster Truck Rages and Winged 360 Sprint races.

If you might have by no means been to a raceway, you’re lacking an unbelievable expertise. The Silver Dollar Speedway is the proper strategy to get your ft moist and watch heart-pounding racing at its best.


What is the most effective factor to do with children in Chico, California?

One of the most effective issues to do in Chico, CA with children is to go to the Gateway Science Museum. It provides interactive and hands-on reveals of robots and dinosaur fossils.

If your children love airplanes, then a visit to the Chico Air Museum with over two dozen refurbished planes is nice enjoyable. If the children like the outside, heading to both Bidwell Park or Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park will present some fresh-aired enjoyable.

What are some issues to do in Chico, California, when it’s raining?

Although uncommon, it does rain in Chico, California. So there must be a number of issues on the agenda, simply in case. While you could possibly all the time go to the flicks, a visit to the National Yo-Yo Museum to see the 256-pound wood yo-yo makes for a extra memorable afternoon.

But don’t be shocked in the event you come house with a toy or two. In addition, visiting the Museum of Northern California Art and the Orient & Flume Art Glass Company is nice for artwork lovers.

What are the most effective vacationer points of interest in Chico, California?

One of the most effective issues to do in Chico must be a day on the Silver Dollar Speedway. Located a mile or so from downtown Chico, the Speedway is house to the California Gold Cup, a heart-pounding year-long problem to search out the nation’s greatest open wheel.

The Speedway can also be host to Monster Truck Shows and race rallies. And for the outdoor-types, Bidwell Park is without doubt one of the largest municipal parks within the nation, and supplies numerous actions for a number of days’ value of enjoyable.

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