This university town in Northern California is home to the magnificent Bidwell Park, craft beer breweries and a lively arts scene.
From outdoor recreation and wildlife to beer and the performing arts, Chico offers visitors a range of attractions. Chico is a lively university town in Northern California. It sits in the foothills of the mountains of the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada.
The glorious Bidwell Park is a major attraction of Chico. The park stretches from downtown Chico into Big Chico Creek Canyon and offers 86 miles (138 kilometers) of trails. Follow scenic walking trails, spot wildlife and swim in waterholes. Check out interesting rock formations, relax at picnic areas and play a round of golf. Get close to birds and reptiles at the Chico Creek Nature Center.
Learn about Chico’s founding father, John Bidwell, on a guided tour of Bidwell Mansion. Explore some of the 26 rooms of this architecturally impressive Victorian-style house. Spot historical landmarks and a picturesque rose garden while you stroll around the grounds of California State University. Afterward, discover the town’s natural heritage at the Gateway Science Museum.
Wander the oak-lined streets of downtown Chico to find boutiques, galleries, performing arts centers and myriad bars and restaurants. Check out the leafy City Plaza, which hosts free live music events and handicraft markets. Take a guided tour of the 19th-century Stansbury House. Watch a concert or theater show at the El Rey Theatre. Follow the history of Chico at the Chico Museum and see displays of antique yo-yos at the National Yo-Yo Museum.
Experience Chico’s beer-brewing culture at its microbreweries and beer gardens. Learn about the beer-making processes and then sample beers fresh from the tank at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Visit the brewery in the summer when it hosts Beer Camp, a festival that showcases over 100 regional brewers.
Chico is about a 90-minute drive north from Sacramento and easily accessible via trains and intercity buses. Chico is a bike-friendly city and also a comfortable destination to explore on foot. Rent a car and visit areas outside of the city. Enjoy fishing and watersports at Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park or go hiking in North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve.