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 comprises quite a few facilities, in addition to the Chico Creek Nature Center, Bidwell Park Golf Course, Sycamore Pool and a number of other mountaineering, 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 dwelling to the Cal State Wildcats.

For these enthusiastic about artwork and historical past, there may be the Chico Art Center, in addition to the historic coated 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 depart 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 superb place to unwind after exploring the gorgeous metropolis. The lodge provides comfy guestrooms with facilities like free Wi-Fi entry and spacious work desks. All rooms on the lodge 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 chill out within the scorching tub throughout their keep. For comfort, a enterprise centre can be obtainable 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 lodge. It provides a particular room that’s designed particularly that can assist you chill out after an extended day. This property is positioned within the metropolis middle, 5.2 km from California State University Chico. The Oxford Suites Chico incorporates 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 lodge is positioned in Chico, California. This lodge options rooms with free Wi-Fi and free parking on web site. All lodging on the Quality Inn & Suites Chico characteristic cable TV with premium channels. The lodge additionally has an outside pool, a health middle and enterprise companies. Local points of interest inside strolling distance embody the Chico Mall and the Chico State University campus.


  • Most important landmark – Bidwell Mansion
  • Best park – Bidwell Park
  • Best free exercise – Chico Air Museum
  • Best factor to do for teenagers – 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 an effective way to study in regards to the metropolis and could possibly be thought-about a dwelling 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 places.

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 principle group to see this spectacular college. The remaining cease is the majestic Bidwell Mansion.

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

If you’ve spent the day wandering downtown, it could be time for a calming nap earlier than dinner. If you’re in search of price range lodging downtown, the Quality Inn Chico is inside strolling distance of Chico State and offers 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 hiking trails.

The park is among 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 wonderful inexperienced house provides parkgoers full facilities together with picnic areas and playgrounds resembling Caper Acres. There can be the Chico Creek Nature Center, Sycamore Pool, and Horseshoe Lake. 

The park can be dwelling 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 nicely. 

If these actions usually are not sufficient, Bidwell State Park additionally has a pair disc golf programs and helps fishing, and horseback using. 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 in search of up to date Northern California delicacies close to the park, then Crush is a superb alternative, specializing in Italian Flavors combined with recent, native, seasonal elements and a formidable wine listing. After a full day on the park and dinner, it’s a straightforward drive to your spacious room and comfy 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 an enormous 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 displays. With a significant give attention to expertise, robotics, and house, this Chico museum is a superb place to spend a couple of hours with children in tow. And it’s the good place to chill off or keep dry in inclement climate.

A couple of everlasting displays embody 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 research and show. 

Nearby, the Tea Bar and Fusion Cafe serves gentle meals, smoothies, and scorching teas for a refreshing cease. Or if cravings are extra in the direction of hamburgers, Mom’s is a superb 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 a whole lot of things. There are examples of all kinds and shapes of yo-yos. Yes, form, not all yo-yos are spherical. This is among the many issues you’ll study in regards to the iconic toy’s historical past.

The National Yo-Yo Museum can be dwelling to the immense, working, 256-pound picket yo-yo, Big-Yo. Most Chico locals agree that the huge assortment is among 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 displays and objects.

After revisiting your childhood, the historic Hotel Diamond is just a few blocks away for a drink or a calming night. This boutique hotel offers spacious rooms and trendy 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 recognized for distinctive flavors and kinds and their profiles run the gambit. The greatest approach 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 complicated 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, try 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 lodge with trendy 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 ideal free outing for the entire household. The market is a mixture of native and regional distributors. Local farmers provide quite a lot of organically grown fruit and veggies. 

Area entrepreneurs are additionally a part of the market, promoting their handcrafted jewellery and craft objects. Prepared meals resembling olive oil, honey, and baked items are at all times 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 places are the Holiday Market Parking Lot on Mondays (June by 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 among the prime Chico points of interest. Located north of town, the museum’s assortment has grown considerably. It now consists of aeronautical and aviation tools and memorabilia which might 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 displays embody images and uniforms from the start of the United States Army Air Corp to the International Space Station. 

For anybody enthusiastic 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 reward 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 toes close to the dam and maintains a brisk temperature all year long. 

This dwelling pool is creek fed and surrounded by excessive rock partitions, tree cover, and open fields. During the summer time, security is vital.

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

And throughout the winter, it’s the spot for the annual New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge. Reminiscent of an old style swimming gap, Sycamore Pool is among 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 widespread facilities.

This 300-acre park can be stuffed 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 dwelling to amphibians and even leeches. 

Surprisingly, Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park has a seashore space and path tenting. And whereas some looking is permitted within the space, fishing is often the principle 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 chicken watching is widespread. Hikers will discover interpretive displays 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 offers art-related instructional packages.

It is positioned close to the campus of California State University, Chico, and is a multi-medium gallery, which incorporates advantageous 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 displays on the artwork museum included installations entitled Wings in Photography and Tales of Tattoo. Permanent collections embody works by Ann Pierce and Salvatore Casa. If you’re in search of an artwork gallery devoted to glass and glass blowing, then try the famed Orient & Flume Art Glass Company.

After shopping the galleries, a couple of quick blocks away is the unpretentious eatery, Nash’s Restaurant. Grab a chunk or a recent coffee 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 widespread with grownup theater lovers and produces stay performances. They repeatedly 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 kids and teenagers enthusiastic 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 calming 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 wonderful tools and amenities for the household and free runs for the household pup. 

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

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 develop into a neighborhood favourite.

As you allow 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 dwelling for nearly a century. Now, it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The two-story dwelling’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 dwelling comprises Dr. Stansbury’s workplace, which features a show of the instruments utilized in his observe.

The dwelling 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 prime Chico attraction.

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

If you’ve by no means been to a raceway, you’re lacking an unbelievable expertise. The Silver Dollar Speedway is the proper approach to get your toes moist and watch heart-pounding racing at its most interesting.


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

One of the perfect issues to do in Chico, CA with children is to go to the Gateway Science Museum. It provides interactive and hands-on displays 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 youngsters 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 couple of issues on the agenda, simply in case. While you could possibly at all times go to the films, a visit to the National Yo-Yo Museum to see the 256-pound picket yo-yo makes for a extra memorable afternoon.

But don’t be shocked if you happen to come dwelling 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 perfect vacationer points of interest in Chico, California?

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

The Speedway can be host to Monster Truck Shows and race rallies. And for the outdoor-types, Bidwell Park is among the largest municipal parks within the nation, and offers numerous actions for a number of days’ value of enjoyable.

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