15 Fun Things To Do In Chico CA California

Things To Do In Chico CA California

Nestled in the picturesque Northern California landscape, Chico is a city bursting with charm, cultural richness, and an abundance of recreational opportunities. Known for its vibrant community, historical landmarks, and proximity to stunning natural wonders, Chico offers something for every type of traveler. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or a foodie looking for new culinary delights, Chico has it all. In this blog, we’ll delve into the top 10 things to do in Chico, California, making your visit to this captivating city an unforgettable experience.

  1. Discover Bidwell Park:

No visit to Chico is complete without spending time in Bidwell Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the country. With over 3,600 acres of diverse landscapes, including lush forests, meandering creeks, and rocky canyons, the park offers a plethora of outdoor activities. Hike, bike, or horseback ride along the extensive trail network, enjoy a picnic by Big Chico Creek, or take a refreshing swim in one of the swimming holes – Bidwell Park is a nature lover’s dream come true.

  1. Explore Sierra Nevada Brewery:

As a city renowned for its craft beer scene, a visit to the Sierra Nevada Brewery is a must. Take a guided tour of the facility to learn about the brewing process, sample their award-winning beers, and enjoy delectable dishes at the on-site restaurant. Immerse yourself in the craft beer culture and embrace the warm, friendly atmosphere that epitomizes Chico’s community spirit.

  1. Wander through Downtown Chico:

Step back in time as you explore the historic downtown district of Chico. Lined with charming brick buildings and shaded by towering trees, the downtown area offers an array of boutique shops, art galleries, and local eateries. Don’t miss the Saturday morning Farmers’ Market, where you can savor fresh produce and handmade goods while enjoying live music and a vibrant community atmosphere.

  1. Chico Museum:

For history enthusiasts, the Chico Museum is a treasure trove of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the city’s rich heritage. Learn about the Maidu Native American tribe, the Gold Rush era, and the evolution of Chico into the vibrant city it is today. The museum provides valuable insights into the region’s past and its significant contributions to California’s history.

  1. Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park:

Step into the opulence of the Victorian era by visiting the Bidwell Mansion, a stunning example of Italianate architecture. The former residence of General John Bidwell, founder of Chico, this historic landmark offers guided tours that take you through lavishly furnished rooms, well-manicured gardens, and the intriguing life stories of its former occupants.

  1. Gateway Science Museum:

Ideal for families and science enthusiasts alike, the Gateway Science Museum presents interactive exhibits that highlight the wonders of natural history and scientific discovery. With rotating displays and hands-on activities, visitors of all ages can engage with exhibits exploring topics like geology, paleontology, and ecology, making it both fun and educational.

  1. Outdoor Recreation at Lake Oroville:

Just a short drive from Chico, Lake Oroville beckons with its sparkling waters and vast recreational opportunities. Enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, and hiking along the scenic lakeshore. The Oroville Dam is also worth a visit, offering panoramic views of the reservoir and surrounding foothills.

  1. Janet Turner Print Museum:

Art aficionados will find delight in the Janet Turner Print Museum, which boasts an extensive collection of fine prints and graphic arts. The museum showcases contemporary and historical works from both local and international artists, making it a unique experience for those with an appreciation for visual arts.

  1. Taste the Local Cuisine:

Chico’s culinary scene is a fusion of farm-to-table freshness and diverse international flavors. Sample the region’s agricultural bounty at local farmers’ markets or explore the array of restaurants offering everything from classic American dishes to innovative fusion cuisine. For dessert, treat yourself to the iconic “Chico Creamery” for delectable ice cream.

  1. Chico Performances:

Before concluding your trip, check out the vibrant performing arts scene in Chico. The Chico Performances series hosts an array of music, theater, and dance performances throughout the year. Whether you prefer classical concerts, contemporary plays, or cultural showcases, you’re sure to find a captivating show to attend.

  1. Explore the Chico State University Arboretum:

Located on the California State University, Chico campus, the Chico State University Arboretum is a serene oasis filled with diverse plant species. Take a leisurely stroll along the botanical garden’s well-maintained paths, admire rare plants and trees, and revel in the peaceful ambiance. The arboretum also provides an excellent opportunity for birdwatching, making it a perfect spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

  1. Chico Air Museum:

For aviation enthusiasts and history buffs, the Chico Air Museum is a hidden gem. This unique museum showcases a collection of vintage aircraft, aviation artifacts, and exhibits detailing the area’s aviation history. From military planes to civilian aircraft, the Chico Air Museum offers a captivating experience, providing insight into the evolution of flight.

  1. California Nut Festival:

If you’re visiting Chico in the spring, don’t miss the California Nut Festival, a celebration of the region’s bountiful nut harvest. Enjoy an array of nut-inspired dishes, sample locally grown nuts and wines, and participate in cooking demonstrations by talented chefs. The festival also features live music, arts and crafts vendors, and family-friendly activities, making it a fun-filled event for everyone.

  1. Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park:

For a relaxing day outdoors, head to Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park, where you can enjoy picnicking, fishing, and hiking along the picturesque riverbanks. The park offers a serene escape from the bustle of the city, with scenic views of the river and opportunities to spot wildlife such as ospreys and river otters.

  1. The Senator Theatre:

Movie lovers will appreciate a visit to the historic Senator Theatre, a local landmark and an architectural gem. Opened in 1928, this iconic theater has hosted numerous film premieres and live performances over the years. Though it has been restored and updated, it retains its classic charm. Catch a movie screening or attend a live event at The Senator Theatre for an authentic entertainment experience.


Chico, California, is a gem waiting to be discovered. From its awe-inspiring natural beauty to its rich historical heritage and vibrant community culture, the city offers a plethora of experiences to satisfy every traveler’s interests. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural immersion, or simply a relaxing escape, Chico has it all. So, plan your trip to this enchanting city and indulge in the countless things to do in Chico, California – an experience that will leave you with cherished memories for years to come.

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