Area Guide

Ninety miles north of Sacramento, California, Chico is located east of Interstate 5 in Butte County. With a historic downtown and many recreational venues, Chico is a family-oriented city that has preserved its small-town feel while having become a vibrant regional business and cultural center.

Chico is proud to have been ranked one of the top five cities for business (under 85,000) by California Business. Minutes from the Sierra Nevada foothills and hiking, fishing and skiing, Chico is also convenient to the San Francisco Bay area, the State Capitol at Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, and many national, state and regional parks.

Chico is also near the famed Mother Lode district and Oroville, famed Gold Rush locales steeped in history from the 1800′s. Lassen Volcanic National Park is 60 miles to the north.

Click on the links above to find all the fabulous things to do in Chico!

Cal State University at Chico

CSU, Chico, located in a beautiful arboretum setting along Big Chico Creek, is a four-year university serving 15,000 students. The university boasts a distinguished faculty of 800 that includes award-winning scholars, artists, and researchers in almost every major field of study. For more information, visit

Contact: Office of Admissions
(530) 898-4428 or (800) 542-4426


From concerts to art exhibitions, dance recitals to poetry reading, plays, picnics, festivals, contests and world Yo-Yo competitions, Chico is filled year-round with terrific events.
Chico Chamber of Commerce list of Annual Tours and Events

Outdoor Activities

Bidwell Park
The second largest municipal park in the country (after Central Park, NY): 3,750 acres of land along the banks of Big Chico Creek. The creek rushes down from the Sierra Nevada before it runs through several miles of Bidwell Park. The park contains an 18-hole golf course, baseball fields, swimming holes, and a children's playground, plus roads and trails for jogging, hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding.

Winter Migratory Waterfowl Tour
Some of California's best birding can be found on the farmland wetlands of Butte County from December through March. Best viewing December through January. Call (530) 891-5556 for more information.

Snow Goose Festival
When: January 
(530) 345-1865

Some of the best bird-watching is here, in one of the most uniquely diversified wildlife corridors of the Sacramento Valley. As part of the Pacific Flyway, this region is home to lush migratory bird habitat and abundant waterfowl, as well as native raptor and varied terrestrial wildlife. Workshops include bird identification, art in nature, and creating habitat and nesting environments. Most events take place or begin at the Chico Masonic Family Center, 1110 W. East Avenue in Chico. Individual events are priced fro $5 to $30

Gray Lodge Wildlife Refuge
3207 Rutherford Rd.
Gridley, CA
(530) 846-7500
Gray Lodge Wildlife Refuge attracts millions of birds annually, especially waterfowl, as they migrate along the Pacific Flyway. More than a million ducks, geese, and other birds visit annually. Fall and winter are the best viewing times for Sandhill cranes, which arrive in late September, and Ross- and Snow-Geese, which arrive in late November. In January, the rookery life of great blue and black-crowned night herons, as well as egrets, can be observed from a viewing mound located near the nests.


Downtown Chico is filled with wonderful shops and unique stores offering a wide range of women and men's clothing, books, gifts, stationery, tasty treats and lots of surprises to the curious shopper.


Chico Cabaret
Chico Cabaret was named Best Performing Art Group by CN&R readers in 2006. We offer professional quality comedy and musicals, with the occasional award winning drama or thriller. With our tables and counters, we have created a uniquely comfortable, friendly and intimate environment. Check out our website for a list of up coming shows or call us at 895-0245.

Theatre On the Ridge
Theatre on the Ridge is just a short 12-mile drive from Chico to beautiful Paradise. Celebrating their 32nd year of continuous operation, Theatre on the Ridge is the oldest community theatre north of Sacramento. Theatre on the Ridge mounts a full season of five productions every year featuring the finest talent in Butte County. Box office information 877-5760

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Sample the brewery's award-winning ales and enjoy fine dining in Sierra Nevada's taproom and restaurant. Live music featured at The Big Room. Tours are available. (530) 345-2739.

Cultural Activities & Attractions

Blue Room Theatre & Chico Creek Theatre Festival
Provides the Chico community with original works as well as diverse plays.

Chico Art Center
Located in the renovated old Chico railroad depot, the Chico Art Center has ongoing visual art displays featuring California artists. The center also offers classes, lectures, and workshops. For more information, call (530) 895-8726.

Chico Museum
Housed in the distinctive old Carnegie Library adjacent to CSU Chico, the Chico Museum offers rotating historic exhibits and a permanent exhibit bringing Chico's history to life. (530) 891-4336.

Hiking & Biking

Chico Creek Nature Center
Chico Creek Nature Center is the interpretive center for Bidwell Park. Programs feature nature walks and a Live-Animal/Living History Museum designed to encourage responsible interaction with the environment. Call 891-4671 for more information, or visit their website.

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