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Chico, California

21 Fun Things to Do in Chico, California

Chico, California, is a hidden gem tucked away in the northern part of the state.

Although it’s not as well-known as some of the other California cities, Chico is a small city with a big personality

The community is incredibly friendly and welcoming, and there’s always something going on.

From farmer’s markets and street fairs to concerts and art shows, there’s always something to do in Chico.

In addition, the city is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery.

Whether you’re hiking through Bidwell Park or kayaking down the Sacramento River, you’ll be sure to find plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors in Chico.

So if you’re looking for a fun and relaxed California vacation spot, be sure to add Chico to your list!

Here are 21 fun things to do in Chico, California.

1. Visit Bidwell Park 

Bidwell Park 
Source: Derek Wolfgram – Flickr / CC

Nestled in the heart of Chico, California, Bidwell Park is a beautiful oasis waiting to be explored.

Spanning over three thousand acres, the park offers has it all, from hiking and biking trails to fishing and picnicking areas.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a dip in Sycamore Pool, one of the park’s natural swimming holes.

Whether you’re looking for a place to relax or an adventure, Bidwell Park is the perfect spot to spend a day in nature.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your hiking shoes and water bottle and head to Bidwell Park!

2. Explore Downtown Chico

Downtown Chico
Source: Suzi Rosenberg – Flickr / CC

Downtown Chico is a fantastic spot to visit! There’s plenty for everyone in this town, with its charming shops and bustling eateries.

Start your day by browsing the unique shops. You’ll find everything from clothes and accessories to home decor and gifts.

Then, head to one of the delicious restaurants for lunch. There’s a wide variety of cuisine to choose from, so you’re sure to find something you’ll love.

In the afternoon, stroll through the beautiful downtown park. You can even take a ride on the historic streetcar!

After a fun-filled day, relax at one of the charming cafes or pubs. Downtown Chico is the perfect place to spend a day exploring!

3. Stroll Around Sycamore Pool

Sycamore Pool
Source: Bob Vincent – Facebook

Looking for a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors? Look no further than Sycamore Pool in Chico, CA.

This serene spot is perfect for a leisurely stroll or picnic lunch.

The pool is surrounded by lush vegetation, and the gentle sound of the water flowing is sure to lull you into a state of tranquility.

In addition, the pool is a great place to cool off on a hot day.

So whether you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life or just want to enjoy a peaceful moment in nature, be sure to add Sycamore Pool to your list of places to visit.

4. Kayak Down the Sacramento River

Sacramento River

Chico, California, is home to one of the most beautiful stretches of the Sacramento River.

And what better way to experience it than by kayak? Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or a first-timer, there’s no better way to enjoy the river’s tranquil beauty.

The calm waters and gentle breeze make for a relaxing paddle, and the views are simply stunning.

So why not grab a kayak and head on down the Sacramento River? Chico is the perfect place to do it.

5. Enjoy a Picnic at One of Chico’s Many Parks

Chico park
Source: FifthandFlume – Flickr / CC

Chico is home to a variety of parks, each with its own unique atmosphere.

For a peaceful picnic lunch, Bidwell Park is a great option.

With its towering trees and tranquil ponds, the park feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

For a more active picnic, Lower Bidwell Park is ideal.

In addition to plenty of open space for games and activities, the park also has a BMX track and a disc golf course.

Or, for a truly unique picnic experience, head to One-Mile Recreation Area.

Located in the heart of downtown Chico, this small park is perfect for people-watching while you enjoy your lunch.

No matter what your picnic preference is, Chico’s parks have you covered.

6. See a Show at The El Rey Theatre

The El Rey Theatre

The El Rey Theatre in Chico is one of the best places to see a live show.

Live music performances sound amazing in this venue because of the energetic vibe it produces.

You can clearly hear the subtleties of the performance thanks to the excellent theater sound system.

The El Rey Theatre also has a great selection of beers and wines, so you can enjoy a drink while you watch the show.

If you’re looking for a fun night out, be sure to check out the El Rey Theatre.

7. Go to the Chico Certified Farmers Market

Chico Farmers Market

Chico Farmers Market is an excellent place to purchase fresh produce directly from the growers.

You can find fruits, vegetables, eggs, honey, and more.

Chico Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm, rain or shine.

Check out their website for a list of weekly vendors as well as information on special events.

Even if you don’t plan on purchasing anything, the Chico Farmers Market is a great place to people-watch and soak up Chico’s vibrant community spirit.

8. Take a Self-Guided Tour of Local Street Art

Chico Local Street Art

Chico is home to a vibrant street art scene, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy it.

One option is to take a self-guided tour.

Start by exploring Downtown Chico, where you’ll find a wide range of murals, graffiti, and other public art.

Then, head to Bidwell Park to check out the sculptures on display.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even venture off the beaten path to discover some hidden gems.

Wherever you go, you’re sure to see some amazing art that will leave a lasting impression.

So grab your camera and your walking shoes, and get ready to explore Chico’s street art scene!

9. Check Out the Chico Air Museum

Chico Air Museum
Source: Alan Wilson – Flickr / CC

The Chico Air Museum is a great place to learn about the history of aviation.

The museum has a wide variety of aircraft on display, ranging from early biplanes to modern jets.

You can also see how pilots lived and worked during different eras.

The museum also has a gift shop, where you can purchase items related to aviation history.

Best of all, admission to the Chico Air Museum is free!

So if you’re ever in the area, be sure to check out this fascinating museum.

10. Explore Nature at the Chico Creek Nature Center

Chico Creek Nature Center

Nestled along Chico Creek in Bidwell Park, the Chico Creek Nature Center is a great place to explore the natural world.

The center features a variety of interactive exhibits, educational programs, and nature trails.

You can learn about the local ecosystem, spot wildlife, and discover the many ways that humans and nature interact.

The Nature Center is also home to a variety of native plants, which provide food and shelter for local wildlife.

Whether you’re a lifelong nature lover or just looking to get outside for a while, the Chico Creek Nature Center is sure to offer something for everyone.

11. Take Your Kids to Caper Acres Park 

Caper Acres Park
Source: Stephen Muratore – Flickr / CC

Caper Acres is a great place to take your kids! This Chico park has everything that kids love, from slides and swings to a giant sandbox.

And there’s plenty of room to run around and explore.

The best part is that Caper Acres is completely free, so you can enjoy all the fun without breaking the bank.

So next time you’re looking for a great place to take your kids, be sure to check out Caper Acres.

You’ll all have a blast!

12. Spend an Afternoon at DeGarmo Park

DeGarmo Park

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a beautiful afternoon, DeGarmo Park in Chico is the perfect spot.

With its rolling hills, manicured gardens, and tranquil ponds, the park is ideal for a leisurely stroll or picnic lunch.

Don’t forget to stop by the playground, where the kids can burn off some energy.

And be sure to take advantage of the free parking!

Whether you’re a local or just visiting, DeGarmo Park is sure to provide an enjoyable afternoon.

13. Explore the Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park

Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park
Source: Linda Watkins-Bennett – Facebook

The Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park is a great place to explore California’s history.

The mansion was built in the 1860s by John and Annie Bidwell, two of the state’s early pioneers.

Today, the mansion is open for tours, and you can learn about the lives of the Bidwells and see how they lived during the Victorian era.

The park also features a museum with exhibits on the Gold Rush and early California history.

In addition, the park has a beautiful garden that is perfect for picnicking or just enjoying a quiet stroll.

Whether you’re interested in history or just looking for a beautiful place to spend the day, the Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park is definitely worth a visit.

14. Watch a Movie at The Pageant Theatre

The Pageant Theatre
Source: Dave Made A Maze – Facebook

There’s nothing like a night out at the movies.

The Pageant Theatre in Chico offers a unique and intimate movie-going experience.

With only two screens, The Pageant offers a more personal experience than your typical multiplex.

The Pageant also has a full bar, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy a film.

Whether you’re looking for the latest blockbuster or a classic film, The Pageant is sure to have something for you.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show at the Pageant Theatre in Chico.

15. Visit the National Yo-Yo Museum

National Yo-Yo Museum
Source: Christopher Bush – Facebook

The National Yo-Yo Museum in Chico, California, is the perfect place for yo-yo enthusiasts of all ages.

The museum features a wide variety of yo-yos, from classic wooden models to modern plastic ones.

In addition, the museum houses a collection of rare and antique yo-yos, some of which date back to the early 1900s.

You can also view demonstrations by world-renowned yo-yo experts, and learn about the history of this unique toy.

Best of all, admission to the museum is free.

So whether you’re a yo-yo pro or a first-time visitor, the National Yo-Yo Museum is sure to provide a fun and informative experience.

16. Learn About History at Chico History Museum

Chico History Museum
Source: Suzi Rosenberg – Flickr / CC

The Chico History Museum is the perfect place to learn about the rich history of this California town.

The museum offers a variety of exhibits that explore the different periods in Chico’s past, from its early days as a Gold Rush town to its more recent development as a center for education and agriculture.

You can also view a variety of artifacts and photos that help bring the history of Chico to life.

In addition, the museum offers a variety of educational programs that are perfect for families and children.

Whether you’re interested in learning about the history of Chico or just want to have some fun, the Chico History Museum is the perfect place to visit.

17. Go Shopping at the Chico Mall

Chico Mall
Source: l_dawg2000 – Flickr / CC

The Chico Mall is the perfect place to go shopping for all your needs.

It has everything from clothes to cosmetics to books.

At the Chico Mall, you can find practically anything. The mall is also an excellent area to people-watch.

There are always interesting people around, and it’s fun to see what they’re up to.

The food court is also a great place to take a break from shopping and grab something to eat.

There are plenty of choices, and you’re sure to find something that you’ll like.

So if you’re looking for a great place to shop, the Chico Mall is a perfect choice.

18. Visit the Bidwell Bowl Outdoor Amphitheater

Bidwell Bowl Outdoor Amphitheater
Source: We Love California – Facebook

The Bidwell Bowl Outdoor Amphitheater is the perfect place to enjoy a summer night in Chico.

Set against the beautiful backdrop of Bidwell Park, the amphitheater offers a variety of entertainment options, from local bands to classic films.

If you’re looking for a fun and festive atmosphere, be sure to check out the Chico Community Band, which performs every Wednesday night throughout the summer.

Or, if you’re in the mood for something a little more laid-back, you can enjoy a picnic on the lawn while watching one of your favorite movies under the stars.

No matter what your interests are, the Bidwell Bowl Outdoor Amphitheater has something for everyone.

So come on out and enjoy all that Chico has to offer!

19. Feel The Thrill at Silver Dollar Speedway

Silver Dollar Speedway
Source: Huset’s Speedway – Facebook

Chico, CA, is the home of Silver Dollar Speedway, one of the most popular dirt tracks in the country.

Every Saturday night from April to September, race fans pack the stands to watch sprint cars fly around the track at speeds up to 100 mph.

The drivers are fearless, and the racing is always close.

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, Silver Dollar Speedway is the place to be.

20. Hike the Butte Creek Ecological Preserve

Butte Creek Ecological Preserve
Source: Ian Sane – Flickr / CC

The Butte Creek Ecological Preserve is a great place to get some fresh air and exercise.

Located just outside of Chico, the preserve offers miles of hiking trails that wind through meadows, forests, and wetlands.

You can also enjoy views of Butte Creek and the foothills beyond.

The preserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, birds, and reptiles.

In addition, the preserve is a great place to see wildflowers in bloom.

Best of all, admission to the preserve is free.

So whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, the Butte Creek Ecological Preserve is sure to please.

21. Visit the 1078 Gallery, Chico

1078 Gallery, Chico
Source: 1078 Gallery – Facebook

The 1078 Gallery is Chico’s premier art gallery, showcasing the work of local and regional artists.

The gallery is located in the historic downtown district and is housed in a beautiful Victorian building.

The gallery hosts a variety of exhibitions throughout the year, featuring both traditional and contemporary art.

In addition to the exhibitions, the gallery also offers a wide range of educational programs, workshops, and events.

Whether you’re an art lover or simply looking for something to do in Chico, the 1078 Gallery is definitely worth a visit.

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