Top 30 Things to Do in Chico California

Top 30 Things to Do in Chico California

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Top 30 Things to Do in Chico California

Chico is a city in California known for its famous golf courses, woodland trails that are very popular among hikers and nature enthusiasts, and the sprawling Bidwell Park.

If you’re visiting Chico, you can’t miss Bidwell Park – after all, it’s 2500 acres (1011 ha) of pure nature.

Think of Chico as a relaxing vacation – it’s the place to relax, take a break from the regular hustle and bustle of city life, disconnect from digital reality, and spend time in and around nature.

So, when you’re traveling, stay on Airbnb and look at some fun things to do in Chico, California.

  • Marvel at the beauty of Bidwell Park

Bidwell Park, as previously mentioned, is a large municipal park that covers over 2,500 acres (1,011 ha). The park was established in 1905, meaning it has a lot of history attached to it.

It’s one of the largest municipal parks in the United States, which makes it worth a visit! Divided into lowlands, midlands, and uplands, there is plenty to do here – you can go rock climbing, walk along hiking trails, admire the beauty of nature or go for a family picnic.

It can be taken. If you don’t know what to do in Chico, spend a quiet afternoon here!

  • Bidwell Park
  • Address: 1912 E 8th St, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 8 am – 5 pm (Sat – Sunday closed)
  • Price: Free Admission
  1. Unleash your inner artist at 1078 Gallery

1078 Gallery is known for its visual arts exhibitions, live theater, and live music performances. The artists here come from various cultural and geographic backgrounds, so the diversity of art displayed here is truly unique.

A lot is going on, from stunning live performances to community drama readings at this art gallery. Even fun events like garage sales!

To find out about any upcoming events, be sure to check out their website. If you are a budding artist, you can submit a proposal to showcase your art!

  • 1078 gallery
  • Address: 1710 Park Ave, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: Thu-Sun: 12 noon to 4 pm (Mon-Wed closed)
  • Price: Free Admission
  1. Learn about aviation at the Chico Air Museum

The Chico Air Museum is an aviation museum located at the Chico Airport. If you’re a true blue aviation fan, you must head to this museum as soon as your flight lands in Chico!

The objective of this museum is to collect, preserve, protect and exhibit aviation-related artifacts. With an outdoor section that includes jets and propeller-driven aircraft and an indoor section that houses historical exhibits, artifacts, and paintings, this museum should be on your list of things to do in Chico.

  • Chico Air Museum
  • Address: 165 Ryan Ave, Chico, CA 95973, USA
  • Opening hours: Thu-Sun: 9 am to 2 pm (closed Mon-Wed)
  • Price: Free Admission
  • Spend Friday Night at Silverdollar Speedway

Come here for a fun activity in Chico! SilverDollar Speedway is a racing track where you’ll find most of the Friday night racing enthusiasts!

Opened in 1962, the racing track has seen an evolution of both cars and technology. With seating for over 7000 people, this race track is a sight to behold, whether alone, with your family, or with friends.

You’ll see it all at this track, from 410 Sprint Cars to Pure Stocks to Dirt Modifieds. You can book tickets on the website.

  • Silverdollar Speedway
  • Address: 2357 Fair St, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Price: 15 – 22 USD
  1. Enjoy Water Sports at Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park

Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park is a wonderful state park with the Sacramento River flowing through it. Butte County borders the park on one side and Glenn County on the other.

To spend a day fishing in Chico, you must visit Bidwell-Sacramento River, State Park! The park is known for its fishing expeditions, boat rides, and rafting down the river on canoes and kayaks.

Depending on your mood, you can spend your whole day fishing, maybe go for a jet-ski ride, swim in the river, or sunbathe by the river. This needs to be on your list of things to do in Chico.

  • Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park
  • Address: 12105 River Road, Chico, CA 95973, USA
  • Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
  • Price: Free Admission
  1. Visit a replica of the Honey Run Covered Bridge

The Honey Run Covered Bridge is a wooden covered bridge located (as the name suggests) on Honey Run Road, right next to Butte County.

The original bridge was gutted in a fire in 2018, but efforts are now being made to build a replica of the bridge. It is a lovely, quaint wooden bridge with a river flowing beneath it.

If you happen to visit Chico when this bridge was rebuilt, you must see the replica of the original bridge built in the 1800s!

  • Honey Run Covered Bridge
  • Address: 1670 Honey Run Rd, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
  • Price: Free
  • Have a Family Picnic at DeGarmo Park

DeGarmo Park is a community park that has become quite a popular dog-walking park in Chico. So if you’re a dog lover and can’t wait to make new four-legged furry friends, you know where to go.

This Chico tourist attraction also has a play area for kids, a few picnic tables, and a walking trail through the park.

Apart from this, you might have also seen people playing soccer, baseball, and softball. Make your visit to DeGarmo Park a good day out, especially if you pack a basket full of delicious snacks for the picnic!

  • DeGarmo Park
  • Address: Chico, CA 95973, USA
  • Opening hours: 8 am – 8 pm (daily)
  • Price: Free Admission
  1. Choose from a variety of craft beers at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is a brewery that was established in 1979! It’s currently the seventh-largest brewing company in the United States, which means you get a lot of beer here, like a lot!

You can try one of their famous 19 beers at this brewery – or sample one of each and decide what you prefer.

And to top it all, the food here is as tasty as the beer! It is worth noting that this is a farm-to-table restaurant, so not only is the food delicious, but it is healthy and organic too!

  • Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
  • Address: 1075 E 20th St, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: Sun – Thu: 11 am – 9 pm; Fri-Sat: 11 am to 10 pm
  • Price: 11 – 30 USD
  1. See a show at Chico Theater Company

Chico Theater Company is a performing arts theater in the heart of Chico. With various performances and plays, this theater is clean, spacious, and extremely comfortable. You can find it all at this performing theatre, from musicals to classic comedies.

There are various events and performances at this theater almost every day, so be sure to check their website online to find out about upcoming shows.

You can easily book tickets online by calling their office or directly at the box office for the performance of your choice.

  • Chico Theater Company
  • Address: 166 E Eaton Road #F, Chico, CA 95973, USA
  • Price: 18 – 22 USD
  1. Brush up on your history at the Chico History Museum

While the Chico History Museum may be small, it keeps up to date by regularly changing the exhibits on display.

With exhibits and artifacts ranging from Chico’s history to agriculture, this museum is well worth a visit for anyone interested in history.

Also, there is no harm in knowing about the history and culture of the place you visit. You can find out about upcoming events at the museum through the website.

  • Chico History Museum
  • Address: 141 Salem St, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: Thu-Sun: 11 am-4 pm (closed Mon-Wed)
  • Price: USD 5
  1. Tour the Bidwell Mansion

The Bidwell Mansion is located in the California State Park. This mansion was General John Bidwell’s home, built in 1865!

This 26-bedroom Victorian mansion is now a museum dedicated to General John Bidwell, a pioneer in California history.

You can book a tour here from Friday through Monday, and a special tour guide will walk you through the life and history of the prominent General John Bidwell. The haveli also has a museum shop; you can buy souvenirs for your friends and loved ones.

  • Bidwell Mansion
  • Address: 525 Esplanade, Chico, CA 95926, USA
  • Opening hours: Fri – Mon: 11 am – 5 pm (closed from Tues – Thu)
  • Price: USD 6
  1. Take Your Kids to the Gateway Science Museum

The Gateway Science Museum is a child-centered museum that allows children to enjoy hands-on experiences and various activities.

That being said, this interactive museum is just as enjoyable for adults as it is for kids. With exhibits changing every few months, checking which current exhibits are on display via their website is best.

This museum, located at California State University, is great for kids to learn without getting bored – a must on your list of things to do in Chico.

  • Gateway Science Museum
  • Address: 625 Esplanade, Chico, CA 95926, USA
  • Opening hours: Wed-Sun: 12 noon – 5 pm (Closed on Mon & Tues)
  • Price: 5 – 7 USD
  1. Hit the Basketball Court at 20th Street Community Park

Like any other community park, 20th Street Community Park is great for kids to play and run. Many sports can be played here, as the park has soccer fields, tennis courts, softball fields, and even a volleyball court.

There is a lush green garden for the children to roam, play and interact with other children. It is highly recommended that you pack a picnic basket and make the most of this park by enjoying a picnic here.

Otherwise, you can always take your kids to enjoy a sports practice session with other kids in the evening.

  • 20th Street Community Park
  • Address: 1900 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: 7 am to 11 pm (daily)
  • Price: Free Admission
  1. Go fishing at Horseshoe Lake

Horseshoe Lake is located in Upper Bidwell Park, so you should visit the lake when you visit Bidwell Park.

You can easily go fishing in this lake, and there is also an annual fishing event in May. If you’re visiting in May and you’re a fishing enthusiast, you know where to go.

Also, you can rent a kayak and go kayaking in Horseshoe Lake. Or, you can sit by the lake and enjoy the view.

  • horseshoe lake
  • Address: Upper Bidwell Park, Chico, CA
  1. Soak in the Beauty of Nature at Butte Creek Ecological Preserve

As the name suggests, the Butte Creek Ecological Preserve (BCEP) is a 93-acre (37 ha) area in the middle of Butte Creek.

It is home to various species of flora and fauna – with animals such as the western pond turtle and yellow-legged frog and plants such as smooth scouring-rush, common fiddleneck, and western bittercress.

The BCEP is open to the public for nature walks, observations, and simply taking in nature. But, you must be careful to protect and preserve this area without causing harm.

  • Butte Creek Ecological Preserve
  • Address: 1182 Humbug Road, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
  • Price: Free Admission
  1. Buy Fresh Produce at Chico Certified Farmers Market

Chico Certified Farmers Market is one of California’s best farmers’ markets. This place is worth visiting, with fresh produce, local ingredients, and products all in season.

The market is usually held every Wednesday and Saturday, but you can check their website for upcoming events.

Go there, buy some delicious, fresh local produce, and then go back to your home or hotel and cook something amazing.

Or, you can go there and taste all the delicious ready-to-eat goodies. Without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Chico.

  • Chico Certified Farmers Market
  • Address: E 2nd St, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: Wed & Sat: 7 am to 1 pm (Closed on Mon, Tue, Thurs, Fri & Sunday)
  1. Buy collector’s items at Orient & Flume Art Glass Company

Orient & Flume Art Glass Company produces glass art that is collector worthy. Started in 1972, this place creates unique, one-of-a-kind glass art pieces that impress you.

Even if you don’t want to shop, the Orient & Flume Art Glass Company is worth a visit. Here, you will find glass art such as paperweights, vases, animals, and much more. You can buy something beautiful for your home or a gift for a loved one.

  • Orient & Flume Art Glass Company
  • Address: 6702, 2161 Park Ave, Chico, CA 95928, United States
  • Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 10 am-5 pm (Sun closed)
  • Price: Free Admission
  1. Play a Round of Golf at Canyon Oaks Country Club

Canyon Oaks Country Club is the true definition of private and luxurious golfing! If your idea of a great vacation is to stay in a beautiful place, have a room facing the greenery, and play a few rounds of golf, then this should be on your list of things to do in Chico.

Located in the foothills of Chico, this is undoubtedly one of the best private clubs in all of California. Choose from their membership options and become a member of the most prestigious club in Chico!

  • Canyon Oaks Country Club
  • Address: 999 Yosemite Dr, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 9 am – 5 pm; Sat: 9 am – 6 pm; Sun: 10 am to 4 pm
  1. See an art-house film at the Pageant Theater

Pageant Theater is a very exclusive and unique theater. This theater only plays art-house movies, so you will not get to watch commercial run-of-the-mill movies or films here.

However, if you are into art or just like art-house movies, this should be on your list of things to do in Chico. To find out about upcoming events and films showing here, check out the calendar on their website.

  • Pageant Theater
  • Address: 351 E 6th St, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  1. Get crazy about yo-yos at the National Yo-Yo Museum

The National Yo-Yo Museum is truly and entirely dedicated to yo-yos – has any museum ever looked so fun?

In fact, who wouldn’t want to visit a museum dedicated solely to yo-yos? Located in the heart of Chico, this museum is filled with yo-yos and has the world’s largest display of really fun toys.

The museum even displays a 256-pound (113 kg) wooden yo-yo! It’s a fun place, so be sure to check it out! Remember to take your kids along when visiting Chico with family.

  • National Yo-Yo Museum
  • Address: 320 Broadway St, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 10 am – 6 pm; Sun: 12 noon to 5 pm
  • Price: Free Admission
  1. Take a Dip in the Pool of Sycamore

Sycamore Pool is a public swimming pool in Chico that is quite popular among the locals. This pool is open 24 hours, which makes it convenient! Finally, if it’s a hot day in Chico and your hotel doesn’t have a pool, you can head to the Sycamore Pool.

It is a huge pool created from a river in the middle of the city. How amazing is that sound? Also, there is always a lifeguard on duty which makes this river cum swimming pool safe.

  • Sycamore Pool
  • Address: Vallambrosa Way, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
  • Price: Free
  1. Enjoy a delicious steak at 5th Street Steak House

5th Street Steak House is known for the best beef in town! It is a white tablecloth restaurant, which is fancy and posh. It has a cozy vibe, ambient lighting, and a good wine and drinks menu.

But of course, the star of the show is the delicious, delectable and mouth-watering beef steak served here. This should be at the top of your list of things to do in Chico.

  • 5th Street Steak House
  • Address: 345 W 5th St, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: Monday – Thursday: 4:30 pm – 9 pm; Fri: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 4:30 pm – 10 pm; Sat: 4:30 pm – 10 pm
  • Price: 31 – 60 USD
  1. Admire all forms of art at the Museum of Northern California Art

The Northern California Art Museum is a beautiful museum that, as the name suggests, houses and displays a lot of Northern California art in the form of paintings, drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures, and more.

This museum promotes Northern California artists of all ages and stages. The museum hosts various events, so check their website to learn more about upcoming events.

  • Northern California Art Museum
  • Address: 900 Esplanade, Chico, CA 95926, USA
  • Opening hours: Thu-Sun: 11 am to 5 pm (Mon-Wed closed)
  • Price: USD 5
  1. Take Your Kids to the Chico Children’s Museum

Think of the Chico Children’s Museum as a museum where children can learn and acquire knowledge by playing. Its serious learning made fun and exciting!

This museum has the motto ‘Please touch’ to allow children to be curious and learn! There is also a sensory room to let children calm down. Overall a place to visit.

  • Chico Children’s Museum
  • Address: 325 Main St, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: Tues – Sat: 10 am – 5 pm; Sunday: 12 noon to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)
  • Price: USD 9
  1. Gorge on some Italian food at Crush

Crush is a modern and contemporary restaurant serving delicious and authentic Italian food. The brick oven pizza is a specialty, so try it.

The place has a nice relaxed ambiance, perfect for families and friends. The wine list is extensive, and this place has happy hours, so make the most of it!

  • Address: 201 Broadway St #200, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: Fri – Sat: 3:30 pm – 12 am; Thu: 3:30 pm – 11 pm; Sun-Wed: 3:30 am – 9 pm
  • Price: 11 – 30 USD
  1. Enjoy a Concert at City Plaza

The City Plaza, located in downtown Chico, is a picturesque spot frequented by locals and tourists.

This plaza has a beautiful performance area where many concerts are held, a water fountain that is a hit with the kids, and stunning landscaping.

To find out about upcoming concerts and events happening here, check out the website! Even if there aren’t any concerts on the days of your visit, check out this city’s hot spots.

  • City Plaza
  • Address: 132 W 4th St, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: 5 am – 2 pm (daily)
  • Price: Free Admission
  1. Take an art class at Chico Art Center

Hope you are okay with reading about art museums because Chico Art Center is another place that should be on your list of things to do in Chico.

More than just viewing art, this art center is about teaching everyone how to be an artist. This is why many classes and workshops at the Chico Art Center are open to the public! Check out their website to learn about their classes, current exhibitions, and upcoming events.

  • Chico Art Center
  • Address: 450 Orange St # 6, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 12 noon – 4 pm; Sat-Sun: 10 am to 4 pm
  • Price: Free Admission
  1. View Exhibits at the Coleman Memorial Community Museum

Think of the Coleman Memorial Community Museum as a small, almost rural museum. Yet, like any museum, this museum has a lot to show and a lot of knowledge to give you.

The museum houses artifacts from the 19th century, most of which were used in daily life by the people of that time.

It’s not a fancy museum; volunteers just run it. But these volunteers are always happy to answer your questions and give you any information you need!

  • Coleman Memorial Community Museum
  • Address: 13548 Centerville Road, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: Sat-Sun: 1 pm – 4 pm (closed Mon – Fri)
  1. Watch a drag show at The Maltese Bar

Think of The Maltese Bar as your hip and happening neighborhood bar. Think of it as the bar where all the cool kids go.

This bar has everything from live performances to stand-up comedy nights to drag shows to karaoke nights! Check their website to learn about upcoming events. However, you must see the drag show – it is spectacular!

Beyond that, enjoy a few drinks, ask your server to make you an interesting cocktail, and let your hair down.

  • Maltese bar
  • Address: 1600 Park Ave, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: Wed – Sunday: 5 pm – 2 am (closed Mon & Tues)
  • Price: 11 – 30 USD
  1. Head to Chico Creek Nature Center with your kids

Chico Creek Nature Center is the official visitor center for Bidwell Park.

Think of it as a place to get information about Bidwell Park, learn something new about downtown Chico, enjoy a recreational day out in the lush gardens or visit the Janice Webb Living Animal Museum and Nature Play Room – Which is a hit among the world.

Day camps are occasionally held here – perfect for the kids to spend the whole day!

  • Chico Creek Nature Center
  • Address: 1968 E 8th St, Chico, CA 95928, USA
  • Opening hours: Wed-Sat: 11 am-3 pm (closed Sun-Tue)
  • Price: USD 4

All set for Chico’s?

There is so much to do in Chico that you could easily spend more than a week there. With amusement parks, 24-hour swimming pools, various museums, and great places to eat, your list of things to do in Chico will never end! Happy Holidays!

FAQs about the best things to do in Chico, California

  1. What are the top attractions to visit in Chico?

Chico boasts many things to do and attractions, from museums to restaurants and sprawling parks. The top attractions you’ll find here include Bidwell Park, the Bidwell Mansion, the Gateway Science Museum, and the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

  1. What are the best outdoor activities in Chico?

There are plenty of exciting and relaxing activities in Chico that you should try, including picnicking at DeGarmo Park, enjoying a variety of exciting water sports at Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park, and hiking at Butte Creek Ecological Preserve.

  1. What are the most popular things to do in Chico with kids?

Chico boasts many kid-friendly activities that delight any child, such as visiting the Chico Creek Nature Center to see the Janice Webb Living Animal Museum and Nature Play Room.

Other kid-friendly attractions include the Gateway Science Museum, the National Yo-Yo Museum, and City Plaza.

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