Discover Butte County SS 2018

Page 1


A guide to visiting and living in the North Valley



All about Chico, Paradise, Oroville and beyond

PLUS: Explore

Butte County’s many eclectic museums PAGE 62

2 Discover

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Discover 5

Contents Welcome to Butte County!


pring and summer in Butte County offer opportunities to explore the region at its best. Known for its natural beauty, the region offers a seemingly endless array of outdoor activities, from beginners hiking and biking trails to horseback riding to floating down the Sacramento River. Don’t fret if you’re a more advanced explorer, however— there is many a backcountry and whitewater adventure waiting for you, too. The heat can be a bit brutal in the North State this time of year, so as you browse through this guide, be sure to take note of the plethora of things to do indoors. That’s why we thought it was perfect timing to highlight one of the region’s richest assets: its museums. With topics ranging from science and nature to history and art—and everything in between (we have a tool museum!)—there’s something to satisfy everyone’s curiosity right here in Butte County. So, go ahead and explore! —Meredith J. Cooper, Discover Butte County editor

6 Discover DISCOVER


EVENTS ................................................. 8

AGRITOURISM ................................. 66

Mark your calendar! Spring and summer are packed with activities.

For those hoping to get a taste of what this region produces, there are plenty of opportunities to get out on the farm or vineyard.

CHICO ................................................ 14 Butte County’s largest city and a university town to boot, Chico boasts a wide range of activities, from arts and entertainment to nature outings to eclectic shops and events.

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES .............. 74 Butte County is home to two major rivers, countless creeks and other natural terrain ideal for hiking, biking, swimming and just being in nature.

OROVILLE.......................................... 34 Explore the county seat, known for its rich agriculture offerings, historic downtown core and range of lake activities.

PARADISE ............................... 44

HIGHER EDUCATION ...................... 80

Explore the Chico State and Butte College campuses, plus other educational opportunities in Maps the region. pages 16, 59 and 63


The largest community on the Ridge, Paradise is known for its pines, its apples and its charm.

GRIDLEY ............................................ 50 Home of the county fairgrounds, Gridley is rich in history.

BIGGS ................................................ 54 Explore Butte’s smallest city.

SMALL-TOWN RETREATS ............. 56 Beyond the big city, Butte County is made up of dozens of old mining and timber towns, many of which have maintained their identities to this day. Plus, general information on Butte County and a map of the region on page 59.

MIGHTY MUSEUMS......................... 62 Butte County is home to literally dozens of museums, from those focusing on nature and science, to others covering Gold Rush-era history. See the map on page 63 (plus a detailed map of downtown Chico on page 16) to plan your trip.

Discover Butte County editors and writers: Jason Cassidy, Meredith J. Cooper, Melissa Daugherty, Ashiah Scharaga Design: Tina Flynn, Sandy Peters Photography: CN&R staff Advertising staff: Brian Corbit, Jamie DeGarmo, Laura Golino, Chris Pollok, Autumn Slone Discover Butte County is published twice a year by the Chico News & Review, 530-894-2300, Copyright ©2018 Chico Community Publishing On the cover: Photo by Wendy Stewart, Bloom Portraiture

Spring/Summer 2016 DISCOVER CHICO 5

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EVENTS continued from page xx


Get out there! S

pring and summer in Chico offer some of the community’s most fun outdoor events. Farmers’ markets truly come alive; the downtown Friday Night Concerts highlight local favorites playing free shows at the City Plaza; the Thursday Night Market brings everyone downtown to enjoy the fruits of local growers, plus food trucks, entertainment and more; and arts and music producers provide something to do most every weekend.


Friday Night Concerts

Tourism information There are so many things to do in and around Butte County that we can list only the highlights in this guide. For those new to the area—and even seasoned locals—if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, you probably want to pick up a free copy of the CN&R, which comes out on Thursdays, or check out the CN&R website, both of which include an extensive list of activities, concerts and art happenings.

Throughout the season Farmers’ markets


Many of the local farmers’ markets are seasonal, running roughly from May-October. For local produce sales year-round, check out the centerpiece of farmers’ markets—in Chico on Saturdays, rain or shine, in the parking lot at Second and Wall streets downtown. This market features a wide range of fresh, local fruits and veggies, crafts, locally

prepared hot foods, top-notch coffee, beer tastings and more. Hours: 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. And on Wednesdays, the North Valley Plaza Farmers’ Market offers produce 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., year-round, rain or shine. 893-3276, chicofarmers Downtown Chico’s popular Thursday Night Market, sponsored by the Downtown Chico Business Association, is in full swing for the spring and summer months. Free entertainment along with produce and other goods for sale. Hours: 6-9 p.m., April 5-Sept. 27. Another option in Chico is the Chapman Farmers’ Market, Fridays, 2-5 p.m., in Community Park, 1010 Cleveland Ave.

First Fridays Every first Friday of the month, from 4-7 p.m., businesses in historic downtown Oroville welcome visitors to partake in a different themed event.

Friday Night Concerts Fridays, May 4-Sept. 7, 6-7:30 p.m. Chico’s City Plaza fills with music of all sorts, from rock and jazz to reggae and funk. The Downtown Chico Business EVENTS continued on page 10 DISCOVER 9

Thursday Night Market

EVENTS continued from page 9

Association books popular local bands for this summer tradition. 345-6500,

Silver Dollar Speedway Most races are held on Friday and Saturday nights. For a full schedule, including everything from destruction derby to Pacific Sprints Fall Nationals, go to silverdollarspeed or call 891-6353.

Chico Heat With their first home game on June 1, the Chico Heat take on the Klamath Falls Gems to kick off what’s sure to be a fun 2018 season of baseball. The Heat are part of the Great West League, a premier summer collegiate wood bat league. As usual, expect Fourth of July fireworks. New this year: food trucks at every home game. Games are played at Nettleton Stadium on the Chico State campus.

and bakers with food and beverage samplings, live music on two stages and an art show. $30-$35. 10381 Midway, 342-4359, californianut

Party in the Park

Gold Nugget Days

Thursdays, June 14-Aug. 30, 5:30-8:15 p.m. Lots of produce, craft, food and other vendors, plus live music and other entertainment. Paradise Community Park, 5570 Black Olive Drive


April 26-29. The 60th annual celebration on the Ridge features a parade, a party in the park complete with live music and food trucks, and a full-fledged reenactment of the 1850s transport of the famed 54-pound nugget from the Feather River to Old Magalia. It all wraps up with a hoedown barbecue dinner at the Paradise

Chico Kite Day March 25, noon-4 p.m. A Chico springtime tradition, families fly colorful kites all afternoon. Food trucks will be on hand to keep bellies full, plus prizes will be awarded for the best homemade kites. Community Park, 1900 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway,

Spring Jamboree Bring the kiddos to see the Easter Bunny! Three different egg hunts: ages 0-3, 10 a.m.; 4-5, 11 a.m.; 6-8, 11:45 a.m. Plus, a bounce house, crafts and photo ops. Caper Acres, Lower Bidwell Park,

April California Nut Festival April 21, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. This annual event features local farmers, winemakers, brewers, chefs 10 DISCOVER

Chico Wildflower Century

Elks Lodge. Hosted by the Gold Nugget Museum, 502 Pearson Road, 872-8722

North Sierra Wine Trail April 28-29, noon-5 p.m. Taste your way through the dozen-plus wineries in southern Butte and northern Yuba counties. Many offer live music and snacks to accompany the libations, plus an opportunity to take in the natural beauty of the region.

Chico Wildflower Century April 29, 5:30 a.m. Chico Wildflower Century, a 100-mile

ride through much of scenic Butte County, starts and finishes at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico. Nearly 4,000 cyclists participate in this annual race staged by the Chico Velo Cycling Club. Less demanding rides also available, such as the Mildflower 65 and the Childflower 12.

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Bidwell Bark May 5, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Butte Humane Society’s annual fundraiser featuring a 5K walk, food trucks and plenty of events for dogs and their humans. Sycamore Field, Lower Bidwell Park,

2755 Esplanade Chico CA 95973 Phone 530.343.7021 • Fax 530.343.3672 5657 Clark Rd #5 Paradise CA 95969 Phone 530.877.4951 •

Endangered Species Faire May 5, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Hosted by the Butte Environmental Council, this is the longest-running environmental fair in Northern California, featuring informational booths on ecology, wildlife and environmental issues and animals, plus music, crafts, food and more. One-Mile picnic area in Lower Bidwell Park,

Feather Fiesta Days May 5-12. Oroville’s hometown celebration for more than 70 years, Feather Fiesta Days includes a beer festival kickoff, parades, food vendors, activities for the kids, a car show and a chili cook-off. 538-2542,

Chico Antiques & Design Faire May 12, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The sixth annual Chico Antiques & Design Faire will feature nearly 60 vendors from around Northern California. You’ll find antiques, jewelry, vintage furniture, outdoor garden decorations, tools and all sorts of upcycled and repurposed treasures for your home. Plus, a car show! Admission $5 adults, $2 kids under 12. Sponsored by Chico News & Review. Patrick Ranch, 10381 Midway, Durham

Wine in the Pines May 18, 5-8 p.m. Downtown Paradise is transformed into a winetasting mecca, where attendees can browse shops and vendor booths EVENTS continued on page 12

r o f s u join

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16 13


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EVENTS continued from page 11

alike, all while tasting the bounty of local wineries and breweries. Tickets $25 in advance, $35 the day of.

Chico Kite Day

Silver Dollar Fair May 24-28. Chico’s popular annual community fair at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds features exhibits, livestock, a carnival midway, car races and music.

June Soroptimist International Microbrew Festival June 2, 2-6 p.m. The annual Micro Brew Festival, hosted by Soroptimist International of Bidwell Rancho, features tasting opportunities from dozens of microbreweries and live music. Manzanita Place, 1705 Manzanita Ave., Chico,

July Slice of Chico July 13-14, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy sidewalk sales from downtown Chico merchants and free slices of ice-cold watermelon.

the biggest names in reggae music to the riverbed in Oroville. Riffles RV Park & Campground, 4488 Pacific Heights Road, Oroville

August Butte County Fair

Rock Reggae Jamfest July 20-22. A celebration of music, culture and Rasta, presented by Ifa Journey Productions. Rock Reggae Jamfest often brings some of

Aug. 23-26. The Butte County Fairgrounds in Gridley brings a good-time country fair with a rodeo, booths, carnival, destruc-

tion derby, livestock and more.

September Taste of Chico Sept. 23, noon-4 p.m. This everpopular annual event in downtown Chico features live music, art and shopping, along with delicious food and beverages from more than 125 restaurants, breweries and wineries. l

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Clothing, Shoes, Accessories for people of all ages. Household items, Furniture and Decor Books for the whole family to enjoy Costume and fine jewelry Picture frames, Art, Specialty Items Fun Monthly Events. voluNtEErs aNd doNatioNs NEEdEd!

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City of trees City Plaza


hough not the county seat, Chico in most every other respect is the capital of Butte County, if not the North State region. It’s the county’s most populous city, exceeding 100,000 when students attend Chico State. It boasts Bidwell Park, one of the largest city parks in the country, and Bidwell Mansion, a state historic park. Downtown is a shopping, dining and gallery district that contributes to 14 DISCOVER

Chico’s recognition as an arts town. The city—incorporated in 1872—dates to 1860, when Gen. John Bidwell settled this area 90 miles north of Sacramento, originally inhabited by the Mechoopda tribe of Maidu Indians. Ahead of his wedding in 1868, Bidwell built a lavish Italianate-style mansion on his 26,000acre Rancho del Arroyo Chico. Annie Bidwell, who outlived her husband, bequeathed to the public the majority of

Downtown Fred Davis Municipal Center Outside Chico’s municipal center, named for longtime former City Manager Fred Davis, sits one of Chico’s most recognizable sculptures—“Our Hands,” a giant pair of hands with iconic images of Chico embedded in their surface. Inside are city offices and featured local art. Municipal Center hours: Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 411 Main St., 896-7200,

Old Municipal Building Swing around to the Main Street side of the block to the renovated Old Municipal Building, built in 1911 and now home to the Chico Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. Those offices are great places to get insider tips and free brochures for area attractions. Hours: Mon.Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 441 Main St., 800-8528570, Above: El Rey Theatre

the 3,670 acres that makes up Bidwell Park. Chico’s city limits encompass 33 square miles and approximately 92,500 residents. Unincorporated pockets within and around the city add nearly another 10,000 permanent residents. This spring, the university has 16,200 students—some local, many from outside Chico. Downtown Chico evokes special affection among locals. Kitty-corner to Chico State, with City Plaza at its heart and the historic Senator Theatre at the opposite corner, the city center bustles with activity throughout the day and evening. It’s home to offices, businesses, shops, eateries and arts spaces. Bidwell Park starts at the northeast edge of downtown and extends into the foothills east of the city. It’s so large that popular recreation areas are known by mile markers. Outdoors and indoors, whatever time of year, there’s a lot going on in Chico.

Senator Theatre One of Chico’s most photographed buildings, the Senator Theatre, was built in 1928. The theater is a gem of art deco architecture and once hosted traveling vaudeville shows. It became a movie theater in the mid-20th century and now serves as the region’s main stop for bigname touring bands. 517 Main St., 8981497,

Downtown post office More than just a place to buy stamps, the United States Postal Service office on Fifth Street is a major downtown landmark, with its beautiful arched entrance and Renaissance revival architecture. It was built in 1916 and is recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. 141 W. Fifth St., 342-5038.

Chico City Plaza Pretty much smack dab in the middle of downtown is Chico City Plaza, a one-block park that’s one of the public’s favorite outdoor gathering spaces. This is a great place to rest your feet, spot some of the city’s more colorful characters or cool off in the fountain.

Hotel Diamond The Hotel Diamond is a beautifully renovated homage to the original luxury hotel, which was constructed on this site in 1904. Now, the hotel offers standard rooms and luxury suites, and you don’t have to CHICO continued on page 16 Discover 15





2 30



Janet Turner Print Museum




Bidwell Mansion


Chico Museum


Stansbury House

25 Gateway Science Museum C H I C O S TAT E



29 National Yo-Yo Museum 2ND

30 Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology


29 B

For more information about these and other museums see special feature, page 62



C 17 D



Chico Certified Farmers’ Market


Hotel Diamond


Old Municipal Building


Senator Theatre


Pageant Theatre


El Rey Theatre

Public parking

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be a guest to enjoy its fine bar and restaurant. 220 W. Fourth St., 8933100,

The Phoenix Building This downtown fixture located at the southwest corner of Fourth and Broadway houses a variety of stores, a yogurt shop and a long-beloved restaurant on its second floor. The building, built in 1889, was gutted by a fire in 1975. It earned its name—the Phoenix Building—after rising from the ashes.


El Rey Theatre

Madison Bear Garden

This historic venue built in 1906 was Chico’s first vaudeville theater and served as a first-run movie theater for several decades until 2005. It reopened in 2017 under new owners, after going dark for several months while construction updated things like wheelchair access and eliminated a large seating area in front of the stage in favor of an open dance floor. 230 W. Second St.,

Worth a look-see even if you’re not in the mood for a killer burger or some drinks on the patio with friends. The décor is simply indescribable. Beyond that, the building has history. It was built in 1883 and, nearly a decade later, in 1977, it opened as a restaurant and bar. The Bear, as it’s known, is now a fixture of the Chico—and Chico State— experience. 316 W. Second St., 8911639,

Arts & Culture ART GALLERIES Chico Art Center Established in 1956, this nonprofit gallery produces regular group exhibits featuring local and visiting artists and offers classes for all levels. Hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, noon-4 p.m. 450 Orange St., Ste. 6, 8958726,

Chico Art School & Gallery Offers adults and children ongoing instruction in painting and drawing in various mediums. Classes taught by Janet Lombardi Blixt, regularly voted Best Local Artist by Chico News & Review readers. 336 Broadway, Ste. 20. 570-3895, chico

Chico Paper Co. In the heart of downtown, this custom framing and retail shop features works by local artists, plus an excellent selection of greeting cards, handmade jewelry and more. Open weekdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4 p.m. 345 Broadway, 891-0900,

Idea Fabrication Labs A member-driven maker space featuring an array of workspaces and state-of-the-art equipment (3-D printer, Shopbot, etc.) as well as rotating exhibits of works created in the lab. Hours vary. Open house Mondays, 6-8 p.m. Call or visit website for more info. 603 Orange St., 592-0609,

CHICO continued on page 18

Children’s Playground


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The Jacki Headley University Art Gallery “A laboratory and exhibition space for contemporary practices,” this gallery features exhibits by local, national and international artists. Arts & Humanities Building, Chico State. Hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday, noon4 p.m. 898-5864, universityart

James Snidle Fine Arts & Appraisals Based in Chico and San Francisco, the James Snidle gallery houses a large collection of fine art and hosts regular exhibits highlighting contemporary artists from Chico and beyond. Snidle also offers fine-art and personal-property appraisals, plus art restoration and conservation. Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., or by appointment. 254 E. Fourth St., 343-2930,

Ninth Avenue Gallery & Studio Local-artist studio and gallery. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, noon5 p.m.180 E. Ninth Ave., Ste. 1, 318-2105, Public art, Oak Way Park

Orient & Flume Art Glass Art glass at its finest. This Chico gallery offers a variety of world-class vases, bowls and assorted glassworks. Call for information about glass-blowing demonstrations. 2161 Park Ave. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 893-0373, orientand

Sally Dimas Art Gallery This shop/gallery features original paintings, pottery, etchings and jewelry by local and regional artists. Hours: Tue.-Fri., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., or by appointment. 493 East Ave., 345-3063

Satava Art Glass Studio For more than three decades, Satava has created world-class handblown and solid-form glass art. Their glass vases and colorful jellyfish pieces are particularly popular. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.4 p.m. Studio-viewing hours: Tues.Thurs., 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (limited hours during summer months—call to confirm). 819 Wall St., 345-7985, 18 DISCOVER

THEATER Blue Room Theatre This longstanding community theater in downtown Chico specializes in cutting-edge works, with scripts ranging from the locally written to contemporary and modern favorites. 139 W. First St. (upstairs), 895-3749,

Chico Theater Company Chico Theater Company has been producing family-friendly musical theater productions since 2003. The company also produces nonmusical comedies and children’s theater shows. The space is intimate, with seating for 200, and a great view of the stage from anywhere in the house. 166 Eaton Road, Ste. F, 8943282,

Slow Theatre A different kind of company committed to a deliberate approach to producing theater. Performances,

including the annual Butcher Shop theater festival, are staged at various local venues.

MOVIES Cinemark 14 Chico’s big theater, with 14 screens showing first-run films. 801 East Ave., 879-0143,

Pageant Theatre This downtown Chico landmark presents art-house films, cult classics and even occasional live concerts in a casual atmosphere. Get there early for the couches in the front row, and don’t miss out on Cheap Skate Mondays: all seats just $4. Now serving beer. 351 E. Sixth St., 343-0663, pageant CHICO continued on page 20

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central area full of things for kids to climb on. Open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. 500 S. Park Drive. • Cedar Grove Cedar Grove Picnic Area and Meadow offers easily accessible picnic tables and barbecues along with a green place to relax near the creek and access to the World of Trees Independence Trail. 7:30 a.m.-an hour after sunset. 1890 E. Eighth St. • Chico Creek Nature Center The family-friendly Chico Creek Nature Center features a nonreleasable living animal collection—the Janeece Webb Living Animal Museum—as well as the Howard S. Tucker Exhibit Hall and Kristie’s Nature Lab. There’s also creek access and picnic tables. 1978 E. Eighth St., 891-4671, • One-Mile Recreation Area Soaking up the sun, swimming in the creek-filled Sycamore Pool or picnicking beneath the towering valley oaks and white-barked sycamores is what One-Mile is all about. With its barbecues, horseshoe pits and playing fields, this iconic part of the park is located just a few blocks from downtown and is easily accessible by automobile through entrances on Fourth Street or Vallombrosa Way.

Parks & Recreation Parks & Playgrounds Bidwell Park Bidwell Park is a 3,670-acre preserve and the natural heart and soul of the community. Divided by Manzanita Avenue, the park comprises two distinct sections. The area to the west of Manzanita bordering Big Chico Creek is known as Lower Park, while the land to the east, which extends into the Sierra Nevada foothills, is known as Upper Park. Lower Park’s thick canopy of trees provides shade for its many grassy knolls and creekside hideaways. The landscape of Upper Park, which extends 5 miles along both sides of Big Chico Creek Canyon, ranges from lush riparian habitat to rugged rock faces. To reserve picnic areas, call 896-7800. For trail and road conditions, call 896-7899 or visit (select “Bidwell Park”). Here are some special places within Bidwell Park. For the more adventurous, see Outdoor Adventures (page 74) for details on Upper Park hikes: • Caper Acres A much-beloved playground with swings, slides and a soft, spongy

• Lower Bidwell Park trails Foot, bicycle and equestrian paths run the length of Chico’s Lower Bidwell Park through stately oak groves and near the riparian zone of Big Chico Creek, where creekside trails offer beautiful views

of the water and seclusion amid the trees. Take South Park Drive or Peterson Memorial Way to any turnoff. • Chico Community Observatory The Chico Community Observatory is a delight for astronomers and amateur stargazers. The observatory is home to two huge telescopes and the world’s first outdoor planetarium. Open from sunset to park closing on clear nights Friday-Sunday. Located near Horseshoe Lake at Chico’s Upper Bidwell Park (off Wildwood Avenue on Observatory Way), 487-4071, • Five-Mile Recreation Area At the foot of Upper Bidwell Park, Five-Mile is a kicking-off point for forays deep into the canyon, and a great destination on its own. Picnic tables, barbecues and ample space make it a popular spot for group gatherings. Accessible from Centennial Avenue. • Hooker Oak Recreation Area Home to the beautiful baseball facility Doryland Field, several softball fields, a children’s playground and the Sherwood Forest Kids’ Disc Golf Course (which is often full of adults). Take Vallombrosa Avenue east and turn left on Manzanita— Hooker Oak will be on your right. • Horseshoe Lake A perfect place to walk the dog (complete with a designated off-leash area) or do some fishing, CHICO continued on page 22

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One-Mile Recreation Area

CHICO continued from page 20

Horseshoe Lake also serves as a jumping-off point for the park’s miles of rugged trails. Visit nearby Chico Community Observatory for nightly constellation tours.

Wildwood Park This 17-acre park near the gateway to Upper Park features playground equipment, a walking path and the new Wildwood Pump Track, a 240-by-180-foot dirt course for BMX and mountain bikers. The site also has covered picnic areas and two softball fields. Located at 100 Wildwood Ave., off of Manzanita Avenue.

Chico Seed Orchard A 1-mile self-guided loop through the Mendocino National Forest’s Genetic Resource & Conservation Center (commonly referred to as “the tree farm”) in south Chico. The walk features many varieties of stately trees bordering a fast-flowing creek. Don’t miss the bamboo forest! Most of the trail is wheelchair accessible. Open weekdays during the day. Drive to the gate at the end of Cramer Lane. 895-1176 22 DISCOVER

Children’s Playground Just steps from downtown, this city park adjacent to Chico State features lots of safe, modern playground equipment, picnic tables and a large grassy area for running and playing. It’s a good, shady place for an afternoon break from a busy day shopping downtown or touring campus. For those into disc golf (a popular Chico pastime), there’s a practice basket as well. 202 W. First St.

Community Park Officially named Community Park, but also called “20th Street Park,” this popular 20-acre space features tennis courts, baseball, softball and soccer fields, a large playground, barbecues, picnic tables and a sculpture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 1900 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, 895-4711

DeGarmo Park This park in north Chico features the town’s only dog park, a fully fenced grassy area complete with doggie drinking fountains. For people, the site also includes three ball fields, walking paths, a playground, restrooms, benches and a sheltered picnic and concession area. Take

The Esplanade north to Leora Court. 895-4711

Dorothy Johnson Neighborhood Center Located near the heart of Chico’s southside Chapmantown neighborhood, the center comprises 3 acres and features a fenced playground, outdoor basketball courts, a picnic area, an indoor basketball court and a pool table. 775 E. 16th St., 895-4707

Humboldt Neighborhood Park Better known as “the skate park,” this area for skateboarding has been completely remodeled and is scheduled for reopening in March 2018. On Humboldt Avenue between Orient and Flume streets. 895-4711

Teichert Ponds Teichert Ponds is home to wood ducks, beavers, herons and other wildlife. The well-kept secret comprises three ponds and is visible on the east side of Highway 99, between the 20th Street and Highway 32 exits.

Verbena Fields This 21-acre, rough-hewn nature park was formerly a gravel quarry. CHICO continued on page 24

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Located between Lindo Channel and East First Avenue near Verbena Avenue, the park features native plants, a walking trail loop and the colorful Mechoopda Trail Youth Mural.

Public golf courses Bidwell Park Golf Course A picturesque 18-hole, par-72 course in Chico’s Bidwell Park. Professional lessons are available, along with apparel and equipment. Open every day except Christmas from dawn to dusk. Stop into the on-site Bidwell Bar & Grill after your round and order some grub and a brew or cocktail. About a mile up Wildwood Avenue. 891-8417,

The Practice Tee at Sunset Hills This nine-hole course in north Chico has been renovated with sand traps and small target greens to go along with a driving range and practice putting course. 13301 Garner Lane, 809-0351,


Skyway Golf Park

on Notre Dame Boulevard. 1722 Mangrove Ave., 345-4571

This six-hole Chico course offers lights for night golfing, a driving range and three golf pros on staff. Reservations recommended. Open seven days a week. 1 Longest Drive, 899-8108,

Chan Pheng’s Mandarin Cuisine

Dining AsiAn

Specializing in flavorful and healthy authentic central and northeastern (Issan) Thai cuisine. 2485 Notre Dame Blvd., Ste. 250, 891-1800

Aonami Sustainable Sushi

Halo Hawaiian BBQ & Poke Bar

Aonami offers Asian fusion and Japanese cuisine made mostly from North State ingredients and served in a sleek, modern atmosphere. As the name implies, the fish is sustainable (nothing on the “red” list!). Lots of vegan options, too. 128 W. Second St., 924-3168

Big Tuna Sushi Bistro A cozy restaurant featuring traditional Japanese sushi, plus a variety of appetizers. They also have a sister restaurant, Izakaya Ichiban,

Serving delicious Mandarin, Hunan and Szechuan cuisine. Delivery available. 1140 Mangrove Ave., 894-6888

Cocodine Thai Cuisine

New to Chico last year, Halo serves up two distinct flavors of the Hawaiian islands: barbecue (chicken, pork, fish, you name it) and poke (raw fish salad). Mahalo! 1354 East Ave., Ste. P, 592-3898

Happy Garden This family-run restaurant specializes in delicious Chinese cuisine served in generous portions in a nice atmosphere. Dine-in or take-out available. 180 Cohasset Road, 893-2574 or 893-5068

Hula’s Chinese Bar-B-Q Halo Hawaiian BBQ & Poke Bar

All-you-can-eat Mongolian barbecue with fresh vegetables, noodles, meats and sauces. Beer and wine available. 2540 Esplanade, 342-8564; 1937 E. 20th St., 3426304,

Japanese Blossoms Japanese Blossoms serves up creative Japanese cuisine using local ingredients. In addition to sushi and sashimi, there’s a nice list of fully cooked entrees. Vegan and allergenfriendly dishes available. Open daily for lunch and dinner, with nightly happy hour specials. 2995 Esplanade, Ste. 104, 891-9022,

Lucky Poke One of the newest additions to downtown Chico’s food scene, Lucky Poke is run by Aonami Sustainable Sushi owner Jimmy Lee and focuses on fresh, sustainable, create-yourown poke bowls. 119 W. Second St., 487-7048

Ojiya Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar Sit around the hibachi and watch the chefs grill steaks, seafood and CHICO continued on page 26 24 Discover

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CHICO continued from page 24

vegetarian fare, with flair. There’s a sushi bar, too. 2477 Forest Ave., 899-1199

Rawbar Restaurant & Sushi Bar

Sin of Cortez

Zot’s Hot Dogs and Deli

Enjoy specialty coffees or teas at one of Chico’s favorite breakfast and lunch places. With a full bar, Sin also serves Irish coffees, Bloody Marys, mimosas and more. 2290 Esplanade, 879-9200, sinof

The last original tenant of the Garden Walk Mall (for over 40 years!) in downtown Chico, momand-pop shop Zot’s Hot Dogs and Deli offers tradition, quality and affordability. 225 Main St. (inside Garden Walk Mall), 345-2820,

Fab downtown sushi bar and Asian grill offering a full bar, happy hour and affordable lunches. Reservations accepted. 346 Broadway, 897-0626,

Burgers, Delis & Dogs

Rice Bowl

Burger Hut Burgers

A sit-down restaurant serving Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Also featuring a sushi bar, tatami rooms, beer and wine. 2804 Esplanade, 899-9098

Tong Fong Low Offering authentic Chinese cuisine that locals can’t stop raving about. 2072 E. 20th St., 898-1388,

Breakfast Nooks The Buzz Breakfast burritos, omelets, Benedicts and a selection of meats from Ike’s Smokehouse. Did somebody say bottomless champagne? 208 Cedar St.

Café Coda Locally owned eatery serving breakfast, including scrambles, omelets, burritos and more; lunch served weekdays. French-press coffee, espresso, beer and wine. 265 Humboldt Ave., 566-9476,

Morning Thunder Café Chico’s popular breakfast (and lunch) café at the foot of Bidwell Park. 352 Vallombrosa Ave., 342-9717

Nash’s 7th Avenue Omelette House Unique omelet selections made with fresh and local ingredients, as well as traditional breakfast fare. 1717 Esplanade, 896-1147, nashs

The Roost Café Specialties include eggs Benedict, corned beef hash and Roost burgers. Full espresso bar. Real food, real butter and real good home cooking. Where the locals go! Open daily 6 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Serving breakfast all day and lunch at 11 a.m. 1144 Park Ave., 892-1281 26 DisCover

Serving ground beef with no hormones and no antibiotics. All food is cooked to order and burgers are basted with Burger Hut signature barbecue sauce, paired with piping hot fries or onion rings and thick milkshakes. 3211 Cohasset Road, 342-4555; 2451 Forest Ave., 8911430,

Burgers & Brew Grass-fed beef burgers (plus other meat and meatless options) and a huge selection of world-class brews in a modern downtown setting with a great outdoor patio. Don’t miss their happy hour fries! 301 Broadway, 879-9100, burgers

The Dog House Serving charcoal-grilled gourmet hot dogs and sausages, as well as burgers and sandwiches. Two locations. 1008 W. Sacramento Ave., 894-3641; 1354 East Ave., 894-2242,

Fast Eddie’s Recently relocated near Pleasant Valley High School, featuring tri-tip and pulled-pork sandwiches in addition to a large menu of specialty burgers and sandwiches, taters, flatbread pizzas and salads. 1175 East Ave., 342-8555, fasteddies

Nobby’s Their motto is, “Nobody does burgers better than Nobby’s.” Ask them about their “cheese skirt.” Now serving cheesesteak sandwiches. Closed Sunday and Monday. 1444 Park Ave., 342-2285

Spiteri’s Delicatessen A longtime Chico fave, Spiteri’s serves a variety of sandwiches, along with daily specialty salads, beer and wine. Closed Sunday. 971 East Ave., 891-4797,

Casual DiNiNg Bacio Catering, Carry Out & Biz Box A popular south Chico eatery that turns out an array of healthful, seasonal, local and delicious food. Take home or dine in. Catering and Biz Box lunch deliveries available. 1903 Park Ave., 3457787,

Big Hot Crab A Cajun-style seafood restaurant on the edge of downtown. They serve shrimp in a bag! Great place for small groups, and prepare to get dirty—you’ll wear a bib, plus there’s a hand-washing station in the dining room. 701 Main St., 879-1822

Broadway Heights California Cuisine Whether you’re in the mood for a gourmet salad or something comforting, like Cajun meatloaf, Broadway Heights doesn’t disappoint. Enjoy it all daily with a bird’s-eye view of downtown Chico. Plus, happy hour specials. Now serving Sunday brunch. 300 Broadway, 899-8075, broadway

Foodie Café Opened by the folks behind Chico Catering Co., this eatery by the airport offers a unique dining experience, from the repurposed furnishings to the eclectic breakfast and lunch items. Features specialized menus for hashes, burgers and sliders. Open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.3 p.m. 999 Marauder St., 433-5539,

Fresh Twisted Café Also known as Hernandez Farms, Fresh Twisted Café offers fresh juices and nondairy smoothies that locals have come to love. Also serving up sandwiches and organic beef burgers. 156 Eaton Road, 809-2489 CHICO continued on page 28

Come See Why We’re A

Local Favorite! Open Mon-Sat 10am-9pm Sun 11am-8pm 121 W. 3rd St | Downtown Chico


Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Sunday Champagne Brunch to


Since 1965! 17

2525 Dominic Dr., Chico 530-342-7771

Open Sun-Thu 6am–9pm, Fri-Sat til 10pm

2234 The Esplanade 530-343-7000 Open daily 6am–10pm

Cocktails, Beer & Wine • Catering • Banquet Rooms

Discover 27

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OM Foods Fresh, healthy, organic, vegetarian and vegan-friendly food stand. 1008 W. Sacramento Ave., in the Safeway parking lot, but scheduled to move to 142 Broadway downtown in spring 2018. 228-4074

The Pour House New American cuisine served in a tasteful-yet-casual atmosphere featuring a full bar, several taps of craft beer and a big selection of wines by the glass. The patio features a huge screen for outdoor viewing. 855 East Ave., 893-3000,

T. Tea Bar & Fusion Café A selection of more than 40 teas and fusion favorites including hoisin barbecue salmon, London broil, pork tenderloin, sweet chili chicken bowls and wraps. 250 Vallombrosa Ave., 895-8100; and 555 Flying V St., Ste. 1, 809-1545,

Coffee Houses 15th Street Cafe Chico’s newest coffee shop, 15th Street Cafe prioritizes good coffee and good service. Also serving pastries. 1414 Park Ave., 809-1087

Bidwell Perk Serving coffee, tea and delectables in a café-style setting. Also features a wine bar. 664 E. First Ave., 899-1500,

Great Northern Visit a restored 1940s train car for handcrafted, organic specialty coffee and tea. Rotating display of local art. 434 Orange St., 899-8267

Naked Lounge Tea & Coffeehouse Serving mouthwatering mochas, cappuccinos and fresh-brewed coffees along with premium loose-leaf teas and gluten-free treats. 118 W. Second St., 895-0676

eCleCtiC eats Cafe Petra Mediterranean Cuisine Delicious traditional Mediterranean fare, from hummus and falafel to shwarma and kufta, all in a fresh, modern dining space downtown. Offering an extensive menu of appetizers, soups, salads, 28 DisCover

Taps Bar & Grill

sandwiches, entrees and desserts. Open daily for lunch and dinner. 163 E. Second St., 717-6789

Inday’s Filipino Food Inday’s features Filipino specialties, from pork adobo to lumpia to halang halang. Breakfast and lunch daily in addition to dinner and brunch on weekends. Plus, find Inday’s food cart at local events. 1043 W. Eighth St., 520-2593,

Priya Indian Cuisine Specializing in northern and southern Indian cuisine, served in a comfortable setting. Try the lunch buffet. 2574 Esplanade, 899-1055

Roots Restaurant & Catering A breakfast and lunch restaurant specializing in cuisine from the many tastes of the world, including 15 food cultures. Authentic food, exceptional service. Open 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Mon.-Fri., and till 1 p.m. Sunday. Closed Saturday. 3221 Esplanade, 8914500,

Wine Time A renovated early-1900s pig barn is the home of this wine bar serving a variety of small plates, including farm-fresh salads, flatbreads and

appetizers. Live music on Saturdays. Closed Sunday and Monday. 26 Lost Dutchman Drive, 899-9250,

fine Dining Fine 5th Street Steakhouse A full-service steakhouse featuring USDA prime beef, fresh seafood, house-made desserts and an extensive wine list. 345 W. Fifth St., 8916328,

Basque Norte Family-owned since 1975, Basque Norte offers steak, lamb, chicken, quail, barbecued ribs and seafood served family-style in a rustic Basque atmosphere. 3355 Esplanade, 891-5204,

Christian Michaels Ristorante Featuring a California-style, Mediterranean and Italian menu, with a full bar and extensive wine list. Happy hour, 4-6 p.m. daily. Reservations recommended. 192 E. Third St., 894-4005, chicochristian

Leon Bistro Freshly prepared California bistro cuisine made from locally sourced and organic ingredients. Menu items

include steaks, fish, poultry and vegetarian options. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Inquire about the cooking class schedule. 817 Main St., 899-1105,


Red Tavern Offering delicious and innovative dishes based on influences from all over the world. Fresh, locally grown, seasonal, organic produce and meats. Full bar. Relaxing outdoor patio, with a bocce court, all-night happy hour on Tuesdays and live music April-October. 1250 Esplanade, 894-3463,

Sicilian Café A Chico favorite offering a variety of antipasti, seafood, pastas, chicken, veal and beef, decadent desserts and an extensive wine list. 1020 Main St., 345-2233, sicilian

Handcrafted &

Wholesome Bakery


Lunch Cakes


Full Espresso Bar Catering


Sierra Nevada Taproom & Restaurant Bistro fare, award-winning ales and lagers, and an excellent wine list. 1075 E. 20th St., 345-2739,


Two Twenty Restaurant Located inside the Hotel Diamond, Two Twenty offers an eclectic menu of steak and seafood, gourmet burgers and pizzas. Breakfast daily, brunch on weekends, happy hour TuesdaySaturday and dinner nightly. 220 W. Fourth St., 895-1515,


Open 7 Days a Week!

(530) 891-3090

130 Main St Chico (530) 895-3866

Unwined Kitchen and Bar Restaurant/lounge specializing in roasted wood-fired specialties from starters to meals. Plus, more than 60 different wines from around the world as well as craft beers on tap. 980 Mangrove Ave., 809-2634,

Homestyle Cozy Diner Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Cozy Diner favorites: crepes, Cobb salad, prime-rib burger, broasted chicken, steak, espresso, beer and wine. 1695 Mangrove Ave., 895-1195, CHICO continued on page 30

Fresh Flowers | Unique Gifts | Custom Planted Containers | Workshops & so much more!

406 Entler Ave, Chico • 530.345.3121 • Find us on Discover 29

CHICO continued from page 29

Mom’s Satisfy cravings for Mom’s homecooked specialties morning, noon or evening. Featuring breakfast favorites, fresh salads and sandwiches and delicious supper creations. Conveniently located near campus. 209 Salem St., 893-3447, moms

ItalIan Crush Specializing in a combination of traditional and contemporary flavors mixed with fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. 201 Broadway, 3427000,

Italian Cottage Restaurant Family-owned and -operated since 1965, serving local favor ites: sandwiches, pizza, pasta and salads. Also serves breakfast. 2234 Esplanade, 343-7000; 2525 Dominic Drive, 342-7771,

Panighetti’s Eatery Offering big portions of moderately priced Italian food. Large dining room, with a great outdoor patio as well. 1851 Esplanade, 809-1640,

Taps Bar & Grill Opened in 2017, Taps serves up quality Italian dishes with modern flair. Full bar, plus big screens for

taking in the game. 407 Walnut St., 636-4341

3269 Esplanade, 342-4616, solmexi

Tres Hombres Long Bar & Grill

MexIcan Aca Taco Authentic Acapulco-style food, including tacos, burritos and housemade enchiladas. 133 Broadway, 894-0191; 1000-D W. Sacramento Ave., 343-0909,

Casa Ramos Specializing in borrego (lamb shank) and fresh fajitas: steak, chicken and shrimp. 216 W. East Ave., 894-0119; 2490 Fair St., 8935050,

La Comida Mexican-style food made fresh daily and served quickly. Voted Best Cheap Eats by CN&R readers for over a decade. 954 Mangrove Ave., 3452254,

La Hacienda Traditional and contemporary Mexican cuisine. Make sure you try the restaurant’s signature pink sauce. Yum! 2635 Esplanade, 8938270,

Sol Mexican Grill Burritos, tacos, enchiladas, tostadas and chimichangas served in a relaxed north Chico location. Hang out with friends on the patio or in the cantina. Plus, there’s a mobile app. Family-run since 2011.

Fajitas, seafood tacos, pasta, fresh steaks and more than 120 tequilas (and an impressive margarita menu) available at the full bar. Sidewalk-café seating available. 100 Broadway, 342-0425

PIzza Celestino’s New York Pizza Award-winning New York-style pizza available by the slice or as a full pie, along with fresh salads, hot sandwiches, lasagna, calzones and more. Additional pasta menu at East Avenue location. 101 Salem St., 8961234; and 1354 East Ave., 345-7700,

Farm Star Pizza Artisan pizzas where the farmer is the star. Featuring local, organic, seasonal toppings; fresh, organic salads; and beer and wine served in a casual, fun, family-friendly atmosphere. 2359 Esplanade, 343-2056,

Main Street Pizzeria Delicious pizza, especially for the late-night munchies. 331 Main St., 345-6246.

Pop’s Pizza Top-quality ingredients, dough made from scratch and it’s all cooked to order. 2031 Forest Ave., 864-2760,

Woodstock’s Pizza Award-winning pizza, cold beer on tap, fresh salads, appetizers, desserts and new sandwiches. Dine in, take-out and delivery. 166 E. Second St., 893-1500,

Street Food Gordo Burrito Serving burritos, tostadas, tortas, tacos, quesadillas and chimichangas. Awesome shrimp specials and friendly service. Corner of Eighth and Pine streets,

Gnarly Deli

Gordo Burrito

Decidely unique “sammiches” provide a fusion of flavors. Catering available. CHICO continued on page 32

30 dIScover

Discover Butte county

Faith Communities


Worship Learn Love Serve


Bible studies for everyone – Sundays 9:30 am Worship Together – Sundays 11 am Small groups for friendship and service. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. John 3:16

1119 Esplanade • 891-4178 Church On the Esplanade

INSPIRE, EMPOWER TRANSFORM 9:30am Meditation 10:00am Inspiration Service Child Care Available If you like Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer, or Eckhart Tolle, you’ll love us. Come Join Us!

We want to help people experience and share the life to the fullest that Jesus came to give us. Join us Sundays in the dome at 9am and 11 am. Children’s ministries run during both services. Junior and Senior high meet during the 11 am service.

Neighborhood Church of Chico 2801 Notre Dame Blvd. (530) 343-6006 •

God’s Word We’d love to have you come and worship with us.

BLENDED WORSHIP Sunday | 8:15am CONTEMPORARY WORSHIP Sunday | 11:15am CHILDREN’S SERVICES Sunday | 9:45am CHILDREN’S CHURCH Sunday | 11:15am STUDENT MINISTRIES Sunday | 9:45 am (grades 6-12)

1193 Filbert Ave ChiCo, CAliForniA (530) 343-6022


Open Minds, Loving Hearts, Helping Hands


Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Chico

Rock of Life Fellowship is where people gather to learn that Jesus is Real, Relevant, and He wants to have a relationship with you! Wherever you are in life, whether you already know Jesus or want answers about Him, you are welcome!

14 Hillary Lane • Chico, CA 95973 530-895-8395 • •

Come Listen to

Pastor Alfredo Romero 10am Sundays 2090 Amanda Way, Chico

A Welcoming Congregation Sunday services at 10:30

Little Chico Creek Elementary (530) 588-4700

1289 Filbert Ave., Chico, CA (530) 343-1693 • Discover 31

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Ike’s Smokehouse Flavorful barbecue with meats smoked using Sierra Nevada beer barrels. Specializing in beef, chicken and pork on a bun or in a wrap. Plus, melt-in-your-mouth ribs.

Tacos el Pinolero

benches and at the tables out front. Open till 10 p.m. daily! 178 E. Seventh St., 342-7163,

Sweet Chico Confections An old-fashioned candy store with more than 5,000 treats, including gelatos and sorbettos. 121 W. Third St., 332-9866,

Tin Roof Bakery & Café

Featuring tacos, burritos, quesadillas, tostadas and tortas. Cash only. Two locations: 275 E. Park Ave.; the corner of The Esplanade and Tonea Way

If you’re in the mood for a flaky pastry or decadent tart, look no further than Tin Roof. Also serving up French macaroons, cookies and cakes, in addition to a full espresso bar. 627 Broadway, 892-2893


Upper Crust Bakery & Eatery

Country Morning Bakery & Café

Serving fine pastries, specialty cakes and pies from scratch, as well as cookies and cupcakes. 130 Main St., 895-3866,

Cozy breakfast and lunch restaurant featuring delicious house-baked breads, pies, muffins and cinnamon rolls. Closed Sunday and Monday. 2625 Aztec Drive, 899-0527


The Joker’s Bakery

Out On the tOwn

Gourmet, unique and artisanal cheesecakes, with 16 flavors and additional seasonal ones. Store open by appointment only. Order by phone or online. (917) 885-8014,

Argus Bar + Patio

Jon & Bon’s Yogurt Shoppe Jon & Bon’s has been serving up sweet sensations for over 34 years. Twelve flavors of frozen yogurt daily, along with ice cream, Hawaiian snow and smoothies. Open late. 300 Broadway, 899-9580; 1722 Mangrove Ave., 899-0484

La Flor de Michoacán Palatería y Nevería A Mexican ice cream shop with many flavors and toppings, plus other sweet treats. 1080 W. Sacramento Ave., Ste. C; 1354 East Ave.; 8939999; and 668 Mangrove Ave.

Lovely Layers Cakery Freshly baked cupcakes and cookies available daily. Made-toorder specialty cakes and wedding cakes. Open Tuesday-Saturday. 131 Meyers St., Ste. 120, 828-9931,

Shubert’s Ice Cream & Candy This local favorite has produced ice cream and confections for 75 years and running. Enjoy banana splits or root beer floats on the 32 DiScOver

One of downtown Chico’s hipper hotspots, Argus offers premium cocktails and food from nearby Mediterranean restaurant Ali Baba. 212 W. Second St.

on big-screen, high-definition TVs. Don’t miss wing Wednesdays! 134 Broadway, 893-5253, bellas

B Street Public House

The DownLo

Delicious gastropub fare, along with an extensive list of craft brews and specialty cocktails. 117 Broadway, 899-8203,

Parkside Tap House Parkside Tap House has 24 taps with a bar that opens onto a vast outdoor patio. Parkside also serves up some killer small plates (including Bella’s legendary wings!). 115 Third St., 632-4875, parkside

Keep it caSual The Banshee Serving up burgers and a variety of other pub eats (don’t miss their mac ‘n’ cheese), along with an impressive menu of draft and bottled beers. Also with a late-night takeout window. 132 W. Second St., 895-9670,

Bella’s Sports Pub Great pub food and a huge beer selection along with sports

A sports bar with pub grub and sports on TV, The DownLo’s claim to fame is its expansive billiards room with 10 Diamond tables, darts and occasional live music and comedy shows. 319 Main St., 892-2473

Duffy’s Tavern A local institution, Duffy’s features an old-school jukebox and an odd medley of wall decorations. Wednesday is dance night (10 p.m.) and Friday happy hour (4 p.m.) features live traditional Irish music. 337 Main St., 343-7718

The Handle Bar Offering a German-inspired pub menu to complement a large selection of specialty craft beers. 2070 E. 20th St., 894-2337,

Joe’s Bar Joe’s Bar maintains its downhome atmosphere in the south campus neighborhood, with wood chips on the floor and friendly bartenders. 749 W. Fifth St., 894-3612


music and even a mechanical bull to ride (after you sign some legal paperwork). 303 Main St., 894-5408

Lost on Main This bar and nightclub features local acts in addition to biggername, dance-friendly touring acts at its spacious downtown location. Also, they have lasers! 319 Main St., 891-1853

Peking Chinese Restaurant A Chinese restaurant by day, Peking transforms into a full-fledged dance venue on Friday nights during BassMint, a weekly electronica showcase. 243 W. Second St., 8953888,

Lodging Goodman House

Madison Bear Garden

Tackle Box Bar & Grill

Enjoy mouth-watering burgers and sandwiches and a selection of draft beers and cocktails. Open every day, right next to campus. Fun décor, billiards upstairs and a great outdoor patio. 316 W. Second St., 891-1639,

A south Chico hotspot featuring exotic appetizers like frog legs and fried alligator, along with traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner options and a full bar. Live music and pool tables, too. 379 E. Park Ave., 3457499,

Maltese Bar & Tap Room

The Winchester Goose

This south Chico watering hole’s stainless-steel and wood décor gives it the look of a classic neighborhood bar. It also boasts a nice patio and regular live music and other eclectic entertainment. 1600 Park Ave., 3434915,

The Winchester Goose is first and foremost a craft beer bar. But in case you need something to go along with that IPA, saison or barrel-aged imperial stout, there’s an eclectic food menu, too. 800 Broadway, 715-0099,

Oasis Bar & Grill “Chico’s oldest college beer joint” serves up great hand-pressed burgers, munchies and sandwiches and boasts seven pool tables—and regular leagues and tournaments—15 flat-screen TVs and a full bar. 1007 W. First St., 343-4305, oasisbarand

Studio Inn Cocktail Lounge This no-frills bar on the north end of town next to Priya Indian Cuisine hosts live rock bands and a great outdoor patio. 2582 Esplanade, 343-0662

This five-room colonial revival foursquare home built in 1906 is conveniently situated on the corner of East Fourth Avenue and The Esplanade, near Chico State and downtown. In addition to fine lodging, the bed and breakfast’s website boasts a unique bonus for chillseekers—it is allegedly haunted by the ghost of former resident George Vogelsang. 1362 Esplanade, 5660256,

Hotel Diamond


Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Chico, the historic Hotel Diamond—which dates to 1904—underwent a thorough renovation in 2001 to restore it to its former glory. The 43 rooms are rustic but elegant, and the first floor boasts Two Twenty Restaurant, serving up delicious cocktails and fine dining fare. 220 W. Fourth St., 8933100,

The Beach

Hotel James

The Beach features a swanky VIP area on the second floor, complete with couches and bottle service. Downstairs, you’ll find a large dance floor and access to The University Sports Bar and Panama Bar & Cafe. 191 E. Second St., 898-9898,

Crazy Horse Saloon This large bar specializes in country music. There’s occasional live

Chico’s first true boutique hotel, the Hotel James, was designed with wine lovers in mind. Each of the five suites is named after a different type of wine, and it is located next door to the elegant Wine Time restaurant and more casual Lost Dutchman Taproom. The hotel is also petfriendly. 10 Lost Dutchman Drive, l 894-5743,

DisCover 33

OROVILLE continued from page xx

OROVILLE Lake Oroville State Recreation Area

Adventures abound T

he city of Oroville has been the focus of a lot of attention lately, mostly due to the Oroville Dam hitting national headlines during last winter’s storms. But the city, actually the Butte County seat, is anything if not resilient. Downtown in particular has grown into a revitalized district, with shops, eateries and the Oroville State Theatre as attractions. Historic homes, including Victorians, line the streets. Businesses ranging in size from mom-and-pop shops to manufacturers such as Sierra Pacific Industries operate in Oroville. The city proper has a population of almost 20,000; including unincorporated communities in the vicinity, the greater Oroville area comprises


55,000 (one-fourth of the county’s population). The city’s boundaries encompass 17.1 square miles. Located where the Feather River flows out of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Oroville draws its name from its place in Gold Rush history (“oro” is Spanish for “gold”). Its location represented a navigational marker for river travel; moreover, a gold discovery at Bidwell Bar brought thousands of prospectors. Oroville has deep multicultural roots. It’s home to the Berry Creek Rancheria of Maidu Indians, who operate Gold Country Casino. (The Concow-Maidu of Mooretown Rancheria, who operate Feather Falls Casino in town, descend from the Northwestern Maidu who settled Butte County’s eastern foothills.)

Downtown Miners Alley Once traversed by 49ers (of the Gold Rush variety) bringing their loot to the bank, Miners Alley spans about five blocks downtown. There’s an effort to beautify the alley with murals and to encourage businesses to once again open their doors to it. For now, there’s an archway commemorating the history—and a brewery/restaurant that shares its name.

Oroville Inn Renovation of this historic hotel, built in 1930, began with the exterior of the building and the residential wing, which opened to students of the Northwest Lineman College in 2016. Since then, the ballroom and grand entry also have been refinished, with work still underway on the street-side eateries and shops. 2066 Bird St., 990-7002,

Oroville State Theatre Downtown Oroville wouldn’t feel complete without the State Theatre’s iconic marquee. Built in 1928, the theater was once a bustling entertainment hotspot. In 2014, the city handed the keys over to the Oroville State Theatre Arts Guild, which runs the space with volunteers. The guild is currently working to reinstall a Wurlitzer pipe organ, a project it hopes to complete by April 2018, to commemorate of the theater’s 90th birthday. 1489 Myers St., 538-2470,

Washington Block Building The oldest commercial building still standing in Butte County, the Washington Block Building also is experiencing a renaissance. The large, two-story structure on the corner of Myers and Montgomery streets was built in 1856 and originally was home to a bank and a popular gambling parlor and saloon called the Bank Exchange. Bought in 2015 by Sean and Lori Pierce, it’s slowly coming back to life after sitting vacant for at least three decades. The Exchange, a tapas bar and cocktail lounge, opened in summer 2017 in a portion of the space.

Parks & Recreation Bedrock Park Located along the Feather River, this park offers access to swimming as well as picnic areas, an outdoor theater and shaded spots to just sit and relax. 1101 Fifth Ave., 538-2415


Best Asian Cuisine Best Take-Out Best Restaurant in Oroville CELEBRATING 106 YEARS IN BUSINESS! 2009-2017

Centennial Plaza This circular park overlooking the Feather River offers shaded seating along with informational plaques celebrating Oroville’s history. It was dedicated on the 100th anniversary of the city’s incorporation in 1906. 1800/1802 Arlin Rhine Memorial Drive, 538-2415

Rotary Park This park takes up an entire city block and features two baseball diamonds, a covered picnic area, barbecues,

Oroville 533-1488 Chico 898-1388

OROVILLE continued on page 36 Discover 35

OROVILLE continued from page 35

a basketball half court and a playground. 1200 Safford St., 538-2415

Clay Pit State Vehicular Recreation Area This large, shallow depression pit was created during the construction of the Oroville Dam, when clay was mined from here. Now the area, which encompasses 220 acres and includes shade ramadas, picnic tables and restrooms, is a great place to ride your 4x4, motorcycle or ATV. Open 8 a.m.-sunset daily Sept. 1-June 30. 4900 Larkin Road, 538-2212

Cycleland Speedway Open since 1963, Cycleland is now home to a 1/8-mile banked-clay Outlaw Kart track as well as a motocross track with supercross features. 47 Nelson Road, 342-0063, cycleland

Lake Oroville State Recreation Area California’s second-largest reservoir offers activities like boating, water skiing, swimming and camping. Fishing is a favorite pastime at Lake Oroville, and it’s allowed yearround with a valid fishing license. The lake is a prime spot to catch chinook salmon, catfish, mackinaw, sturgeon and brown trout. Due to ongoing work to repair part of the dam, some activities may be limited. Please check ahead. For larger boat rentals, including houseboats, check out Bidwell Canyon Marina (589-9175, or Lake Oroville Marina (1-800-255-5561, And for more information on biking, personal watercraft rentals at the Forebay Aquatic Center or the Loafer Creek Horse Camp, see Outdoor Adventures, page 74. Lake Oroville info: 538-2542, Here are some key features: • Feather River Fish Hatchery Built after the Oroville Dam to preserve the chinook salmon and steelhead trout that spawn in the Feather River, the hatchery features an observation platform as well as underwater viewing windows. Salmon spawning can be best viewed midSeptember through mid-November, with steelhead best observed midDecember to mid-February. Open Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

Ishi mural in Bicentennial Park, downtown

• North Forebay The Thermalito Forebay encompasses 300 acres of grass and trees, complete with picnic spots—each one with its own stove—and a 200-yard sandy beach perfect for swimming. • South Forebay There are some picnic tables and a sandy beach at the Thermalito Forebay South, but with its four-lane boat launch ramp, this is really where the boaters go.

Dingerville USA Golf Known for its friendly staff, this nine-hole course near Palermo is open daily. 5813 Pacific Heights Road, 533-9343,

Oroville Golf & Event Center Featuring a restaurant, bar, tennis courts and the nine-hole, par-33 Lake Oroville Golf Course. Collared shirts required. Scheduling a tee time is also necessary after 5 p.m. 5131 Royal Oaks Drive, 589-0777,

Table Mountain Golf Course This public 18-hole course is flat and includes fast greens and wide fairways, providing ample landing areas. The facility offers two practice greens and a driving range, plus a bar and grill overlooking the golf course. 2700 Oro Dam Blvd. W., 533-3922, OROVILLE continued on page 38


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OROVILLE continued from page 36 Historic downtown

Arts & Culture Ramsey Funeral Home 1175 Robinson St., Oroville, CA 95965 24 Hours (530) 534-3877 FD1578 Oroville Funeral Home 1454 Montgomery St., Oroville, CA 95965 24 Hours (530) 533-0323 FD464 Gridley-Block Funeral Chapel 679 Ohio St., Gridley, CA 95948 24 Hours (530) 846-2138 FD867

Art gAlleries Artists of River Town A.R.T. for short, this active local arts group has a small space inside the Feather River Senior Citizens Association as well as in the lobby of the Oroville State Theatre downtown. 1435 Myers St., 534-3227,

Broken Color Art Gallery Featuring the art of Jon Shult, including paintings, prints and illustrations. Shult also offers private art classes for individuals and groups. 1360 Montgomery St., 534-5474

theAter & Performing Arts Birdcage Theatre An all-volunteer nonprofit theater, the Birdcage has become a staple of Oroville over its 30-plus seasons. Productions range from classic dramas to contemporary comedies. 1740 Bird St., 533-2473,

Oroville State Theatre

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All of the Mexican favorites you can think of, with a drive thru! 2161 Feather River Blvd., 353-3491

The Good Earth Coffee & Tea House The laid-back atmosphere at Good Earth is warm and inviting. They offer up a nice variety of pastries and sandwiches. Oh, and great coffee and tea too—all with a dedication to organic, fair-trade ingredients. 980 Oro Dam Blvd. E., 538-8544, thegoodearthcoffee

The iconic State Theatre hosts performances and is available to rent for special events. The Oroville State Theatre Arts Guild is currently working to reinstall a Wurlitzer pipe organ, a project it hopes to complete by April 2018. 1489 Myers St., 538-2470,

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Dining Boss Burger Burgers done right, plus a full condiment bar. If you’re going to be a burger joint, you’ve got to have legit fries too, which Boss Burger does. 2484 Montgomery St., 5348806

Fresh, cooked-to-order, authentic Chinese cuisine. Good prices, and large portions. 2359 Myers St., 533-2609 Delicious, authentic Jamaican food, including a nice selection of vegetarian dishes. 3001 Olive Highway, 353-1153

The Italian Kitchen Create-your-own pasta bowls and take-and-bake pizzas, along with salads, wraps and Italian favorites, including lasagna. 2275 Myers St., 533-8880

Jake’s Burgers & More Great place for a burger. However, burgers aren’t the only thing on their grill: Jake’s serves a chicken-fried steak breakfast burrito

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that is big enough for two. 1751 Oro Dam Blvd. E., 534-8588

Jenn’s Cafe This family-owned cafe focuses on service and offers an array of pastries and hot breakfast items, in addition to lunch. 1905 Mitchell Ave., 532-1418

La Costena de Acapulco Fresh, authentic Mexican fare, including fish and shrimp tacos and vegetarian options, too. 1900 Oro Dam Blvd., E., 538-9101

Mike’s Grande Burgers Yes, the burgers are big, but don’t forget about Taco Tuesday at Mike’s Grande Burgers. Mike serves a great house chili too. 2896 Olive Highway, 533-5780

Miner’s Alley Brewing Co. This brewery has one of the more extensive menus in town, including pub fare and staple entrees such as prime rib. Plus house beers on tap! 2053 Montgomery St., 693-4388

Mug Shots Coffee House Start your day at local favorite Mug Shots, which serves organic coffee, pastries, breakfast, lunch and dinner. 2040 Montgomery St., 538-8342

Nori Asian Kitchen + Grill Asian fusion, including fantastic

OROVILLE continued on page 41

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“I have never been to a better dentist. From the time I called to make the appointment they were so nice and accommodating. The office is beautiful, it’s almost like a spa experience. They welcome you and show you all around and make you feel very comfortable. Everything is catered toward the patient. I found have never been to a better dentist. From theItocalled time I called to the make the have“I never to adentist. better dentist. From the time tothe make “I have “I never been tobeen a better From the time I called make the place I’ll be returning to for any dental work I may need in appointment they were nice and accommodating. The office is beautiful, it’s appointment so niceso and accommodating. office is beautiful, it’s appointment they they were were so nice and accommodating. The The office is beautiful, almost like a spa experience. They welcome you and show you all around and the future and cleanings.” ~Annie M.~ almost like a spa experience. They welcome you and show you all around and it’s almost like a spa experience. They welcome you and show you all PROF PREFER PREFERRED PREFERRED PROFES SI ONALS ES RED PROFESSI ONALS SIONA PROFESSIONALS PROF PREFER PREFERRED PROFESSIONALS PREFERRED LS ESSIO RED PROFESSIONALS PROFESSIONALS NALS



make you feel very comfortable. Everything is catered toward the patient. makeand you feel very comfortable. Everything is catered the patient. I foundI found around make you feel very comfortable. Everything istoward catered toward the place I’ll to any IImay the patient. I the found theI’ll place I’llbe bereturning returning tofor for any dental dental work mayinneed in place be returning to for any dental work Iwork may need the ~Annie future and need in the future and cleanings.” M.~ cleanings.” the future and cleanings.” ~Annie~Annie M.~ M.~

FREE SECOND OPINIONS FREE SECOND OPINIONS FREE SECOND OPINIONS Attention Bicyclists! Did you know that ‘wrong-way’ bicycle riding is a leading cause of bicycle/vehile crashes and fatalities? Many believe that they are safer riding the wrong way because they can see cars and drivers can see them. But studies show that statistically wrong-way riding is up to 10 times more dangerous than riding with traffic, largely due to the much greater combined speet on impact. And, wrong-way riding is against the law. Bicyclists are required to follow the same rules of the road as any other vehicle. So, Go with the Flow and stay safe - always ride WITH traffic! 40 Discover

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OROVILLE continued from page 39

pho, rice and noodle dishes and a unique selection of seafood, including mussels and oysters. 2025 Bird St., 353-3329

Vallarta Grill

Pho Noodle House Serves its namesake but also offers a variety of Thai, Lao and other Asian dishes for its hungry customers. 1898 Bird St., 532-9630

Righteous Burger American burger joint offering 100 percent naturally raised Niman Ranch beef. 3166 Olive Highway, 532-0692

Souper Subs Subs made with love, with meats and cheeses that are sliced fresh daily. 1780 Oro Dam Blvd., 538-8088

Taqueria Estrella

Robinson St., 533-1488


Authentic burritos and tacos served with possibly the hottest hot sauce in Butte County. 1361 Feather River Blvd., 532-4939

Vallarta Grill

Butte County Wine Co.

Taqueria Maria’s

The Waffle Shop

A friendly taqueria serving classic Mexican dishes, with live music on occasion. 240 Table Mountain Blvd., 532-9219

Tong Fong Low Consistently voted Best Restaurant in Oroville in the Chico News & Review readers’ poll, Tong Fong Low also has staying power. It’s been serving up authentic Chinese food in historic downtown for over a century (yes, really). 2051

All the waffles your heart desires. Also serves breakfast staples such as steak and eggs. 2107 Feather River Blvd., 532-8888

Nearly every winery in Butte County has a bottle in this joint. Butte County Wine Co. takes pride in offering the bounty of local vintners. Great for before or after dinner—this place doesn’t serve food, but does have cheesecake from Chico’s Joker’s Bakery on the menu. 1440 Myers St., 712-9350

Wagon Wheel Marketplace

The Exchange

Authentic Mexican grill offering a daily taco special and service with a smile. 2100 Fifth Ave., 712-9390

Marketplace and deli with a fullservice butcher shop and a wide variety of local products. And hey, it sells ammo too! 4607 Olive Highway, 589-1824,

One of Oroville’s newest downtown hotspots, The Exchange serves up tapas—from crab cakes to artichoke dip—as well as craft cocktails and live music on weekends. 1975 Montgomery St., 693-4276 OROVILLE continued on page 42

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OROVILLE continued from page 41

Feather Falls Casino

Piggs Pub

With gaming aplenty, this casino frequently welcomes touring musicians and other entertainers. Eat at the cafe or buffet and stay the night at The Lodge, which has a fitness center and an indoor/outdoor swimming pool area. Check out the Feather Falls Casino Brewing Co., featuring house-brewed beers, gourmet food (including fresh sushi and sashimi) and more live music. 3 Alverda Drive, 533-3855,

A dive if ever there was one, Piggs in Southside Oroville has bar games as well as stiff drinks. 3070 Myers St., 533-9843

Gold Country Casino

Your Downtown Shoe Store Since 1976

This casino boasts an 87-room hotel, plenty of gaming and an array of other entertainment options, including karaoke, bowling, comedy night, live music and wide-screen TVs. The facility also has a steakhouse, buffet, café and an espresso bar. 4020 Olive Highway, (800) 8031911,

Seeva’s Pub Bar games, cold beer, can’t-beatit pub grub. And they have loyalty cards! 6093 Lincoln Blvd., 532-7519

Unique retreat A Riverside Cottage If you’re looking for a true getaway, A Riverside Cottage might be just the ticket. The two-bedroom, two-bath vacation rental sleeps six and includes a full modern kitchen, TV and Internet. For the adventurer, the cottage is perched along the Feather River, with access for tubing and kayaking on site. 533-1413, ●

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Discover 43

PARADISE continued from page xx


On the Ridge


utte County’s second-largest municipality towers over the rest. Paradise is a mountain town, its 18.3 square miles covering elevations ranging from 2,000 to 2,800 feet above sea level. Its population is just over 26,500, with another 12,000 or so living at higher elevations in “Upper Ridge” communities (predominantly in Magalia). Paradise incorporated as a town in 1979—around 75 years after the county’s cities—but traces it origins as a community to the Maidu Indian tribes who made the foothill forests their homes during hot-weather seasons. Prospectors reached the Ridge in 1848 to seek gold along the 44 DISCOVER

Feather River; the 1850s brought lumber mills. A post office opened in 1857, around the time Paradise got its name. (Story goes, William Leonard and his mill crew sought shade under a ponderosa pine, he sat and sighed, “Boys, this is paradise.”) The town also has roots in agriculture. Farmers planted orchards—apples, prunes, pears—and utilized the railroad service established in 1904 to speed their crops to market. Johnny Appleseed Days, an annual autumn festival, stems from the Paradise Harvest Festival of 1889 that celebrated fruit and winter vegetables. Local government, run by an elected

Aquatic Park

Arts & Culture Northern California Ballet The ballet offers a full schedule of classes for all levels and produces several classical ballets each year, including, of course, The Nutcracker at Christmastime. 5794 Clark Road, 872-1719,

Norton Buffalo Hall An outreach of Paradise Community Guilds, this space regularly hosts touring acts as well as serving as a gathering spot for potluck dinners, open mics and speakers. Named after the beloved musician who lived out his last years in Paradise. 5704 Chapel Drive, 762-1490,

Paradise Cinema 7 The town’s cineplex, which features first-run movies. 6701 Clark Road, 872-7800,

Paradise Performing Arts Center The home base of the Paradise Symphony Orchestra, the 762-seat PPAC hosts a wide range of community events, from concerts and ballets to seminars and religious ceremonies. It’s also known to attract some bigname performers—Dwight Yoakam visited in August. 777 Nunneley Road, 872-8454, paradiseperforming

town council, provides public safety through the Paradise Police Department but contracts with a state agency, Cal Fire, for firefighting. The Paradise Unified School District serves the entire Ridge, while the Paradise Recreation and Park District serves the Ridge and several neighboring communities. Due to geographical contours, the town’s traffic mainly flows uphill-downhill along three main roads (Skyway, Clark and Pentz) that become a single road at the top end of town. They’re connected by four crossroads (Pearson, Elliott, Bille and Wagstaff). Like Skyway, Neal Road also runs directly to Highway 99. Paradise has a downtown district along the Skyway and another commercial corridor along Clark. Adventist Health, Feather River regional medical center, sits along the Feather River Canyon on Pentz. Just up past the town limits, Magalia Dam (at Magalia Reservoir) serves as a landmark between Paradise and the Upper Ridge.

Theatre on the Ridge This 101-seat community theater puts on six productions a year, from comedies to serious dramas. 3735 Neal Road, 877.5760,

Parks & Recreation Aquatic Park The pool is open only during the summer months, but Aquatic Park still has plenty for the fall and winter visitor, including playground equipment, a picnic area that can accommodate 150 people and a duck pond where kids under 15 are free to fish. Recreation Drive and Buschmann Road, 872-6386

Bille Park Offering stunning views of the Butte Creek Canyon, Bille Park is known for its hiking trails. There are also picnic areas with barbecues, a playground and council area where many a wedding has been held. 501 Bille Road

Coutolenc Park A mostly wild park, there are no picnic spots or restrooms here. But for the adventurous, there are hiking trails down the canyon near the west branch of the Feather River. Take Coutolenc Road about 2 miles past Skyway.

Lava Creek Golf Course Lava Creek is a scenic, year-round nine-hole course and driving range. There’s disc golf, too! 5235 Clark PARADISE continued on page 46 DISCOVER 45

PARADISE continued from page 45

Road, Paradise, 872-4653

Paradise Ice Rink Butte County’s only ice rink opens Nov. 10 and closes Jan. 15. Terry Ashe Recreation Center, 6626 Skyway, 872-6393

Tall Pines Entertainment & Bowling Center Bowling, a snack bar, video games—what more could you want? How about private party rooms, a sports bar with pool tables and darts and a pro shop? Done. 5445 Clark Road, 872-2695,

Terry Ashe Recreation Center This park features a community center, gazebo and picnic areas. Also the site of the seasonal ice rink. 6626 Skyway, 872-6393

Dining Amigos de Acapulco Authentic, affordable Mexican food on the Ridge. 6145 Skyway, 872-1594

Black Bear Diner Black Bear Diner is one of those restaurants where you’re bound to run into a neighbor or two while chowing down on chicken-fried steak and mashed potatoes. Comfort food in a comfortable setting. 5791 Clark Road, 877-0877

Celestino’s Pasta & Pizza Thin-crust, New York-style pizza, plus a large selection of sandwiches, salads, appetizers and pasta dishes. Delivery available—including beer! 6505 Skyway, 876-0460, celest

Debbie’s Restaurant The key to breakfast paradise at Debbie’s is in the thin, crispy pancakes. 7967 Skyway, 872-5078

Donna’s Kitchen Comfort food in a comfortable space. Locals rave about Donna’s breakfast. 5542 Clark Road, 762-0386

Green Paradise Cafe Serving up fresh food with attention to wholesome ingredients— meaning no antibiotics, hormones, pesticides or GMOs. Vegan and gluten-free available. 6695 Skyway, 876-1964

Ikkyu Japanese Restaurant Friendly service complements the delicious sushi and other traditional Japanese dishes. 140 Pearson Road, 876-1488,

Kalico Kitchen Classic diner fare. Opens early (5:30 a.m.!) and closes at 9 p.m. daily. 7099 Skyway, 877-1255

Pelican’s Roost Chowder House The place to go for all your seafood cravings, from fish ‘n’ chips to housemade clam chowder. 6945 Skyway, 872-2373

Westside Pizza Westside Pizza is the Ridge’s newest eatery, having opened in February 2018. Pizza is the star here, with hand-tossed crusts and gluten-free options, too. But do not fear—they also offer pasta, appetizers, salads, sodas and desserts. Delivery available. 5835 Clark Road, 762-4920.

Nightlife The Optimo This nightclub/Chinese restaurant is a go-to spot for karaoke and dancing. 9225 Skyway, 872-1788

White Water Saloon Lots of live music in this joint, which has a large outdoor patio and pool tables, too. Open 8 a.m.-2 a.m. daily. 5771 Clark Road, 877-7100

The Wine Room & Pub

Celestino’s Pasta & Pizza

46 Discover

Serving wine and craft beers, along with a modest menu of cheese plates and elevated comfort food (the mac and cheese is delish). Flights available. Happy hour daily, 3-5 p.m. 6256 Skyway, 872-8889, l

Discover 47

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GRIDLEY continued from page xx


Built on history B

utte County’s southern gateway for the Highway 99 corridor, Gridley is the “big city” for farmers living in the rice belt a half-hour from Chico and Yuba City. Gridley’s population is just 7,000, but it boasts a hospital (Orchard Hospital), museum, 55 civic clubs, chamber of commerce and local newspaper (the Gridley Herald). The city also has the distinction of holding the Butte County Fairgrounds, site of the Butte County Fair each August. Gridley is named after prominent early settler George Gridley, whose sheep ranch covered 960 acres on the west


side of town. In 1870, his ranch became home to a railroad depot, which effectively established the town. The city incorporated in 1905—24 years after his death—and encompasses 2.1 square miles. Two large fires in the late 19th century destroyed the business district, but it’s since been restored as a historic downtown, lining Sycamore Street. Along with the county fair, Gridley hosts the annual Snow Goose Festival in January, drawing enthusiasts of birding and the arts to the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area west of downtown (see Outdoor Adventures, page 74). Other popular attractions include Nick Daddow Park, location of the summer farmers’ market; the Hazel Hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places; and the Skate Park and the Gridley Museum (for more on museums, see page 62), both downtown. GRIDLEY continued on page 52

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Washington and Haskell streets.

Nick Daddow Park Renovated in 2017, this 1-acre park boasts picnic tables, barbecues and a gazebo. It’s the location of the annual Red Suspenders Day event and frequent free concerts. At Hazel and Virginia streets.

Dining Casa Lupe

Manuel Vierra Municipal Park Photo courtesy of city of GriDley

GRIDLEY continued from page 50

Downtown Hazel Hotel The sole remaining building from Gridley’s railroad era, the Hazel Hotel was built in 1888 in the Italianate style. It’s now home to senior housing as well as retail businesses and the Gridley Chamber of Commerce. 880 Hazel St.

Packratt Trains & Toys This gift shop, specializing in just what its name implies, attracts train and vintage toy enthusiasts from far and wide. 546 Kentucky St., 797-9264

Arts & Culture Sutherland Glass Art This studio is housed in part of the former Libby Cannery, once a thriving peach and pumpkin cannery and Gridley’s largest employer until it closed in 2001. Bryon Sutherland is a master colorist who cut his teeth at Chico State and Chico’s Orient & Flume Art Glass before traveling to study under other masters. 244 Wright Ave., 588-3648,

Parks & Recreation Butte County Fairgrounds

Opened by the DeLaTorre family in 1971, Casa Lupe (with another location in Yuba City) is a consistent source of fresh, authentic Mexican cuisine. Salsa and guacamole made fresh throughout the day, plus a full bar. Stop in to the market next door for produce and other food items, including Casa Lupe brand tortillas and salsa. 130 Magnolia St., 846-5152,

Gridley Grill Open early (5 a.m. daily!), the Gridley Grill is a down-home diner known for its breakfast fare (try the biscuits and gravy) and housemade soups. 484 Highway 99, 846-5171

Ice Burgie This Gridley staple—open since the 1950s—features a walk-up window and picnic seating and is the proud home of the Bulldog Burger (on sourdough), crushed ice sodas and milkshakes to die for. 1575 Highway 99, 846-2939

Los Charros Taqueria Known for its crispy tacos, shrimp cocktail and salsa bar, Los Charros is a local favorite serving up authentic Mexican fare. 1516 Highway 99, 846-8226

Rail House Pub & Grill Opened in 2017, the Rail House is quickly becoming a go-to spot in Gridley. Traditional pub food with a twist—garlic fries, fried mac and cheese balls, blue cheese burgers, etc. 1495 Highway 99, 797-9384

Nightlife The Bungalow Bar A dive to be sure, this small-town pub has karaoke, pool tables, a full bar and their famous, $1 Jell-O shots. l 101 Virginia St., 846-4111

Home of the Butte County Fair in August, the fairgrounds are also the location of a host of community events. There’s a swimming pool, an RV park and about a dozen buildings, arenas and stages available for rent. 199 E. Hazel St., 846-3626,

Gridley Skate Park Located downtown at the intersection of Washington and Spruce streets, this park is well-maintained.

Manuel Vierra Municipal Park This 13.5-acre park in the heart of Gridley offers something for everyone, from tennis courts and baseball and softball diamonds to a “splash pad” to picnic tables and barbecues. Located at the end of 52 Discover

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BIGGS continued from page xx


Country living


he smallest municipality in Butte County, Biggs—population 1,700— sits 25 miles south of Chico and 25 miles north of Yuba City. You’ll find it off Highway 99 by turning onto B Street at the corner by Pizza Round-up. The city was established in 1903, though its origins as a community trace to 1871, when it was named Biggs Station after a local political leader, Maj. Marion Biggs. A few years later, the city received a $5,000 Carnegie grant to build its library. Biggs covers 338 acres encompass-


ing (among other things) a historic downtown, vintage homes, farms and a school district. Biggs has its own city government but provides several services—such as police and animal control—with its neighbor, Gridley. The two communities also share a cemetery and hospital. Prominent businesses include Bayliss Ranch, an organic lavender farm (see Agritourism, page 66); SunWest Foods, a rice-milling operation; and Victorian Rose, a venue for weddings and events.

Downtown Biggs Branch, Butte County Library The oldest library in Butte County that’s still in use, this twostory building is also the county’s smallest library. Built in 1908, its high ceilings and brick walls make this book haven feel like one that will last forever. 464 B St., 868-5724

The Colonia Building The site of the old Colonial Hotel, built in 1905 in the heart of Biggs. It’s fallen into disrepair, but was recently bought and is undergoing a renovation. These days, the hotel—which is being refurbished to accommodate retail businesses—is open during special events for tours. 479 B St., thecoloniabuilding

The Victorian Rose This Eastlake Victorian home in the center of Biggs was built in 1874 and bought in 2005 by Wanda and Robert Nevins and restored to breathtaking effect. Now it serves as a venue for weddings and other special events, with the gardens and a gazebo available April-October. 429 B St., (888) 793-ROSE,

Nightlife The Pheasant Club A “hometown bar,” complete with pool tables, shuffleboard, karaoke on Fridays and Saturdays and occasional live music. 493 B St., ● 868-5683


COUNTY TOWNS continued from page xx


Rural countryside rich in history N

orthern California is quite different from other parts of the state, and that can certainly also be said of inland Nor Cal, the home of mountains and valleys, rivers and lakes, and wide open spaces molded to grow myriad crops that fill our farmers’ markets—and our bellies. Butte County was built on the riches and promises of the Gold Rush, and evidence of those old mining towns still exist today. In fact, much of rural Butte County is steeped in history, from old


railroad depots transformed into museums and restaurants to quaint corner stores offering the local bounty in addition to modern conveniences. Located 90 miles north of Sacramento, along highways 70 and 99, the county covers 1,677 square miles along the eastern edge of the north Sacramento Valley. Urban, rural and preserved natural open spaces run from the Sacramento River banks on the valley floor to mountain forests at elevations as high as 7,124 feet.

Philbrook Lake, near Butte Meadows


Moderate temperatures in spring and fall make those seasons favorites for outdoor types. If you don’t like the heat, you’re out of luck: Chico’s summer temperatures rise past the 100-degree mark regularly, with balmy days sprinkled throughout the season. Winters are fairly mild.


Butte County has approximately 227,000 residents, with most (approximately 92,000) in Chico. The county seat is Oroville, the third most populous city (20,000) behind the mountain-ridge town of Paradise (26,500). When combining the “Upper Ridge” communities with Paradise, the population nears 40,000. The greater Oroville area has 55,000 residents.

The county, which incorporated in 1850, draws its name from the Sutter Buttes, a mountain range to the south that was once, for a short time, within the boundaries of Butte County. The county is served by an elected five-member Board of Supervisors. Most of the county offices are in Oroville, including the jail and main courthouse. According to recent data, the average per-capita income is $24,249, and the median household income is $43,444. Approximately 1 in 5 residents live below the poverty level, and the unemployment rate was 5.2 percent as of September 2017. While Butte County wages are notoriously low, the cost of living here is considerably lower than in Sacramento or the Bay Area.



Enloe Medical Center

Transportation between cities can be challenging for those without a vehicle, though taxis and ride services like Uber are available. The bus-transit system is Butte Regional Transit, or the “B-Line.” Tickets cost $1.50 and $2 for in-town and regional services, respectively. Students ages 6 to 18 get a discounted fare ($1 and $1.50, respectively, for in-town and regional rides). Children younger than 6 years old ride free (limited to two children per family). Chico State students, faculty and staff ride for free. Check for complete fare and route information. The B-Line runs seven days a week, except on certain holidays; some routes do not operate every day. Seniors and the mobilityimpaired may catch a ride from the B-Line Paratransit (342-0221). Greyhound and Amtrak leave from the train station at 450 Orange St. in Chico. If you’re driving, Highway 99 is the main arterial route through Butte County, running in a north/ south direction, mainly serving Chico. Highway 70 is the main route serving Oroville, also running north/south—to Paradise and Marysville, respectively. Highway 149 connects the two highways and cities. And Highway 32 stretches from central Chico westward over the Sacramento River to intersect with Interstate 5, and also into the mountainous regions to the northeast.

The Butte County Library system is composed of six facilities (in Biggs, Chico, Durham, Gridley, Oroville and Paradise) and a bookmobile. Literacy services and veterans resources are also available. For more information and library hours, call 855-379-4097 or visit butte


In addition to clinics and specialists ranging in everything from eye and ear care to plastic surgery, Butte County boasts four awardwinning hospitals:

Adventist Health Feather River 5974 Pentz Road, Paradise, 8779361 1531 Esplanade, Chico, 332-7300

Orchard Hospital 240 Spruce St., Gridley, 846-9000

Oroville Hospital 2767 Olive Highway, Oroville, 533-8500 That’s just an overview. Keep reading; you’ll find there’s a lot more in Butte County! Here are a few unincorporated communities with attractions worth visiting:


The small town of Bangor (population 646), on the southern tip of the county, was founded in 1855 and named after the city of Bangor, Maine. The region is making a name for itself in the local winery scene, with Hickman Family Vineyards and Spencer Shirey Winery opening within the past decade, along with Bangor Ranch Vineyard & Winery, whose facilities were damaged during a wildfire that ravaged the region last summer. (See Agritourism on page 74 for more info on the wineries.)

Bangor Bake Shoppe This Mennonite-run bakery and gift shop is not to be missed. Fresh, house-made baked goods, plus coffees and other handmade goodies in stock. (Insider tip: If you miss the bakery’s open hours, pop into the COUNTY TOWNS continued on page 58 DISCOVER 57

COUNTY TOWNS continued from page 57

Bambi Inn

store next door and inquire about bakery goodies sold there.) Open Wed.-Sat. 5704 La Porte Road, 6792200

A staple in Butte Meadows, the Bambi Inn is worth a visit, whether for a beer on the patio (dogs welcome!), a game of pool inside or an overnight visit in one of the cabins. 7436 Humboldt Road, 873-4125

Bangor Church The oldest original church still standing in Butte County, Bangor Church was built in 1882 and is now used as a museum by the Butte County Historical Society and can be rented for weddings. Open noon2 p.m. the first and third Saturday of the month (closed DecemberJanuary). 5370 LaPorte Road, 6792112

Butte Meadows Mercantile & Retreat

Berry Creek

The Outpost Restaurant & Bar

With a population of 1,325, Berry Creek is known for its annual Berry Festival in August, held on Bald Rock Mountain, one of two peaks in the town—the other being Bloomer Hill. Berry Creek is also home to a California Department of Forestry Fire Department station and a post office.

Butte Meadows

On the far-northern edge of Butte County, Butte Meadows (population 40) is a popular mountain retreat for bikers, hikers, fishermen and just about anyone who wants to get out of the big city.

Lookout Point, on the road to Paradise

A no-frills stop, this cafe/general store/rustic retreat was built in 1903 and keeps guests coming back. Three cabins to choose from, plus RV hookups for those who bring their own accommodations. 7473 Humboldt Road, 873-5016, butte Under new ownership as of 2017, the infamous Outpost is still busy as ever, serving up delicious eats (whole hogs—really!) and ice cold beers. There are also three cabins on-site for rental. 7589 Humboldt Road, 873-3050, www.outpostbutte

Butte Valley Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation This nonprofit organization cares for endangered and exotic animals that cannot be released into the wild and teaches responsible ownership of companion animals. Take a self-guided tour of the 19-acre sanctuary, which includes Bengal tigers, African lions, leopards, foxes,

lynxes, exotic birds, bears and reptiles. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. TuesdaySunday. 4995 Durham-Pentz Road (near Butte College), 533-1000,


Located along Butte Creek, Centerville offers a nice starting place for hikes along the flumes that once served the Centerville Powerhouse. The schoolhouse and museum are worth a visit, and there’s a nice history-filled cemetery just up the road.


Another once-vibrant mining town, Cherokee was named after a group of Cherokee Indians who traveled here from Oklahoma for the gold. In its heyday, the town boasted 1,000 residents, 17 saloons, eight hotels and two schools. Today, the population hovers around 70. President Rutherford B. Hayes and Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman were said to have visited the town, as did Thomas Edison (who also had an electric shop in Oroville for a time). He reportedly helped create Cherokee’s effective yet controversial hydraulic mine. At last count (2010), its population was 69. There are no businesses to speak of, though there is a museum and a cemetery that harks to the town’s former inhabitants.

Cherokee Cemetery This final resting place is said to be haunted by the angry spirit of a murderer burned to death in the mid-19th century. 3927 Cherokee Road


While all of California was inhabited by Native Americans before Europeans settled the area, the story of the Concow Maidu is one of the uglier in Butte County history. They ultimately were rounded up and sent by foot to a reservation near Paskenta. That trek is known as the Concow Trail of Tears, because 461 members embarked on the journey and only 266 reached their destination. Today, Concow is mostly home


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to people—about 700 of them—who prefer to live in nature, the land to people—about 700 ofoff them—who and out of civilization. It’s home to prefer to live in nature, off the land several throughout the year and outfestivals of civilization. It’s home to at the Lake Concow Campground. several festivals throughout the year at theConcow Lake Concow Campground. Lake Campground

by Konkow Partners, a “group LakeRun Concow Campground of healers, friends dedicatRun by activists Konkow and Partners, a “group ed to preserving thisand sacred land,” Lake of healers, activists friends dedicatConcow Campground offers tent camped to preserving this sacred land,” Lake ing as well as self-contained RV hookConcow Campground offers tent campups. 12967 Concow Road, 518-4531 ing as well as self-contained RV hookups. 12967 Concow Road, 518-4531

Durham Durham

Located just south of Chico, Durham (population is a comLocated just south5,518) of Chico, munity built on agriculture. a Durham (population 5,518) isTake a comdrive down fromTake Chicoa munity builtthe onMidway agriculture. drive down the Midway from Chico

to “the four-way stop” and you’ve arrived in downtown Durham. There’s a general store (and a new Dollar General), antique shops, Butte County’s longest surviving bar and restaurants. See Agritourism, page 74, for more on the region’s agricultural attractions, including several wineries and see the museum listings on page 62 for more on the Patrick Ranch, which houses a historical museum and holds regular events.

Durham House Inn Just a 10-minute drive from Chico, the Durham House Inn is a beautiful 1874 Italianate Victorian listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The home-turnedB&B features three elegant rooms

and a cottage decorated with period furniture, as well as beautiful and expansive grounds. 2280 Durham Dayton Highway, Durham, 342-5900,

Empire Club This popular bar with three pool tables, a juke box and serve-yourself popcorn has served as a bar longer than any other establishment in Butte County. The décor, which consists of deer antlers and the like, adds to the rustic charm of the place. 9391 Midway, 343-1301

Chatterbox Cafe A beloved local coffee shop—with some killer food—since 2009. 2500 Durham Dayton Highway, Ste. 2, 8929538 COUNTY TOWNS continued on page 60 DISCOVER 59

COUNTY TOWNS continued from page 59

Pueblito Mexican Grill Popular eatery serving up traditional Mexican fare. 9402 Midway, 893-8896


This town on the southeastern edge of Butte County was once a large mining center. Founded in 1850, it was named after B.F. Forbes, who opened a store there. Today, the town of 320 is the site of an impressive museum complex and a bustling general store.

Forest Ranch

A beautiful foothills community, Forest Ranch is perhaps best known as the home of LaRocca Vineyards, whose tasting room is located in downtown Chico. At last census count, there were about 1,100 people living in Forest Ranch.

Almond orchards in bloom

Pitts Stop Cafe A comfy cafe serving pizzas, paninis, burgers, beer and wine, along with occasional live music. 15474 Forest Ranch Way, 897-0665


The claim to fame for this quaint mountain town (formerly Dogtown) just up the Skyway from Paradise is for being the spot where the world’s largest gold nugget was found (it was 54 pounds!). A plaque commemorating the find, by K. Stearns in 1859, can be found along the Skyway upon the entrance to Magalia. In 2017, two separate fires damaged two beloved eateries in Magalia (population 11,310): Jaki’s Hilltop Cafe and The Depot Cafe and Restaurant, the latter of which was housed in the historic train depot.

Magalia Community Church On the National Register of Historic Places, the Protestant church’s chapel was built in 1896. It’s since been moved, but remains intact and in use—it’s a place of worship and is available for weddings and other events.

Happy Day A longstanding favorite, Happy Day serves up fresh, delicious 60 DISCOVER

Chinese food with attention to customer service. 14455 Skyway, 8734719,

Sakura Sushi Opened in 2016 by Woodie Xie, owner of the Optimo in Paradise, Sakura (which means “cherry blossom” in Japanese) has quickly become a hotspot among Ridge diners. 14481 Skyway, 762-7289

Oregon City

One of the first mining camps in Butte County, Oregon City was founded by a group of Oregonians who arrived in 1848. According to a plaque signifying the town’s historical significance, the group’s leader, Peter H. Burnett, became the first civil governor of California a year after his arrival.

Stirling City

Just up the hill from Paradise, Stirling City offers a step back through history. Founded in 1903 by the Diamond Match Co., the town (population 295) was developed at the end of the rail line as a loading spot for lumber.

Clotilde-Merlo Park This is one of the most charming and beautiful spots in Butte County. Encompassing 20 acres, the park includes ponds, nature trails, picnic spots, horseshoe pits and a bocce court. There’s a popular outdoor wedding chapel, as well. Take Skyway to Stirling City. Turn right at the P Line road, then left at the R Line road. Open May-October, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Call 873-1658 for more info.

Stirling City Hotel & General Store Built in 1903, this historic hotel and general store’s longtime owner, Charlotte Hilgeman, passed away in October 2016. It’s since been passed on to a new generation of Hilgemans, who have maintained the general store and plan to renovate and reopen the hotel. 16975 Skyway, 873-0858

Yankee Hill

This old mining town, home to 333 people, was at one time named Spanishtown, after having been settled by a group of Spaniards. It’s said a band of East Coasters came in later and renamed it.


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Rock House Restaurant A great place to relax with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine while taking in the live music or just chilling on the patio. Open for breakfast and lunch daily and dinner on weekends. Live music on Saturdays at 5 p.m. Plus, now offering wine tastings. 11865 Highway 70, 532-1889,

Scooter’s Cafe Bought in 2016 by chef Michael Englund, biker hangout Scooter’s Cafe has undergone a bit of a makeover, with a new menu of scratchmade comfort foods, from handground burgers to mac and cheese. Plus, Englund’s brought his woodfired pizza oven from Terra Forno out back, so he’s slinging gourmet pies as well. 11975 Highway 70, 534-4644

Mueller’s Christmas Tree Farm A popular wintertime destination, Mueller’s is a cut and chooseand-cut Christmas tree farm that offers tours year-round as well as hay rides and picnic tables for gathering on weekends during the season. 11452 Nelson Bar Road, ● 533-4593, l

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STORY continued from page xx


Museum of Northern California Art Bolt’s Antique Tool Museum

5 36

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Mighty museums B

utte County is known for its natural beauty and agricultural bounty. It’s also full of great places for dining and entertainment. And the options for activities don’t stop there. With a university and top-notch community college in our midst, there’s no wonder locals have a thirst for knowledge. Enter the mighty museum. Whether you’re in the mood to spend the afternoon learning about local history or ancient anthropology, or you’d prefer to view a curated collection of fine art prints, Butte County does not disappoint. With a wide range of museum offerings, from houses of history in the foothills to arts and cultural offerings within a stone’s throw of bustling businesses, choose your path for a different kind of adventure.




1 Chinese Temple Built in 1863, this registered California landmark was once the place of worship for the largest Chinese community north of Sacramento. Now, the site includes several exhibits showing the region’s Chinese and American cultures through time. It’s also still used as a place of worship on occasion. 1500 Broderick St., Oroville, 538-2496

2 Janet Turner Print Museum In addition to housing nearly 4,000 prints by such artists as Goya, Rembrandt and Renoir—as well as the museum’s namesake—this print museum hosts themed showcases of its collection as well as curated exhibits of contemporary works, including the annual Janet Turner National Print Competition and 5 Exhibition. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., or by appointment. Arts & Humanities Building, Chico State. 8984476,

3 Museum of Northern California Art

7 C.F. Lott Home—Sank Park

This museum in the newly refurbished Veterans Hall building features contemporary and modern art in a variety of media—paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, ceramics and more. 900 Esplanade,

This Victorian revival home was built in 1856 by “Judge” C.F. Lott, a Gold Rush pioneer and founder of California’s first citrus exchange. Tours of the home are available and reveal the history of the Lott family, including the love story between Lott’s daughter Cornelia and Jesse Sank (Cornelia willed the property to the city of Oroville upon her death in 1953). The grounds cover a full city block and include a carriage house, gardens, a gazebo and flower garden. There’s also a commercial kitchen on-site, making it a popular location for weddings and other special events (call 5382415 for reservations). 1067 Montgomery St., 538-2497

HISTORY 4 Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park Bidwell Mansion is Chico’s most famous home. The three-story, 26-room, pink-and-brown Victorian mansion was built in 1868 and named for its first occupants, John and Annie Bidwell. Now a lovingly restored state park across the creek from Children’s Playground, on-thehour tours and a local-history display are available in the Visitor Center. Tours are $3 for children ages 5 to 17, $6 for adults. Children 4 and younger are free. Visitor Center hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Mon. 525 Esplanade, 895-6144,

8 Cherokee Museum Housed in what used to be a miner’s boarding house as well as a stagecoach stop, the Cherokee Museum is lovingly cared for by local historian Jim Lenhoff. It contains historical pieces from Cherokee as well as others that illustrate Gold Rush life. Outside the building is an old train car, which contains exhibits of local Maidu Indian history. 4226 Cherokee Road, 533-1849

5 Butte County Historical Society Museum This museum offers a glimpse into the region’s past, including Gold Rush-era artifacts and the jail door that once imprisoned Ishi. 1749 Spencer Ave., 533-9418

9 Chico Museum Housed in a 1905 Carnegie Library, the Chico Museum features permanent exhibits on Chico’s history, including a 19th-century Chinese temple. Suggested donation: $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, students and children 5-12. Open Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 141 Salem St., 891-4336,

6 Centerville Schoolhouse and Colman Museum The historic Centerville Schoolhouse, built in 1894, is located alongside the Colman Museum, which displays an impressive amount of history regarding the region. Open Sat.-Sun., 1-4 p.m. 13458 Centerville Road, 893-9667 32

MUSEUMS continued on page 64

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10 Ehmann Home Home base of the Butte County Historical Society, this is the “house that olives built.” Freda Ehmann reportedly created the process for preserving olives for shipping, thereby launching California’s olive industry. She and her son, Edwin, built this colonial revival house in 1911. Tours are available on Saturdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., or by appointment. 1480 Lincoln St., 533-5316

11 Gold Nugget Museum This museum is an ode to the history of the Ridge, from the infamous 54-pound gold nugget found in 1859 to the Maidu Indians who inhabited the region prior to European settlement. The grounds feature farm and mining equipment, a replication of an Old West mining town, a working blacksmith shop, gold panning sluices and a picnic area. There’s also a gift shop on-site. Open Wed.-Sun., noon-4 p.m. 502 Pearson Road, 872-8722, goldnugget

12 Gridley Museum Rotating exhibits in the museum, which is housed in the historic Veatch Building, depict early life in Gridley. Pick up a downtown walking tour map here or arrange for a docent-led tour. Open Tues.-Fri., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 601 Kentucky St., 846-4482,

13 Oregon City School Owned by the Butte County Historical Society, the schoolhouse offers a glimpse into the region’s past. It’s currently undergoing a restoration. Open Sat.-Sun. 1-4 p.m. 2100 Oregon Gulch Road, 533-1849

14 Paradise Depot Museum Dedicated to the history of the Paradise Depot, one of four depots serving the Butte County Rail Road and built in 1904. Open noon-4 p.m. on weekends. 5570 Black Olive Drive, 877-1919

15 Patrick Ranch Museum Patrick Ranch serves as an “interactive agricultural and natural history learning center.” Its stately Glenwood Farmhouse, built in 1877, houses the indoor museum, but the expansive acreage surrounding it 64 Discover

boasts all the trappings of a working farm, including antique tractors and outbuildings, bucolic fields and a chicken coop. The ranch also hosts many popular community events. Museum hours: Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.-3 p.m., from mid-February through December. Gift shop hours: Fri.-Sun., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 10381 Midway, 3424359,

16 Pioneer History Museum Opened in 1932, this museum is an ode to everything that came to the region before it, including a large collection of Native American artifacts in addition to items from some of Butte County’s Gold Rush towns—there’s a clock from Bidwell Bar and an organ from the original Oregon City School, to name a few. 2332 Montgomery St., 538-2497

17 Stansbury Home This gleaming-white Victorian home, built in 1883, sits at the corner of West Fifth and Salem streets. This is Chico’s most well-preserved example of late-19th century Italianate architecture. Hours: Sat.Sun., 1-4 p.m. 307 W. Fifth St., 8953848,

18 Stirling City Historical Society Museum This museum, run by the local historical society, chronicles the history of this lumber town. 16993 Skyway, 413-7785, stirlingcity

19 Yankee Hill Historical Society Museum Formed in 2002, the society calls

Gold Nugget Museum

the Messilla Valley School, built in 1856, its home base. It’s also the site of a well-maintained museum and community center. The society also has a great website, complete with historical videos and links to old newspaper stories. 11666 Concow Road,

20 Yuba Feather Museum and Gold Trader Flat This indoor-outdoor museum offers a variety of exhibits based on early life in the region and includes genealogical information as well. The flat, outdoors, is a replica Gold Rush town, complete with schoolhouse, church, saloon and jailhouse. 19096 New York Flat Road, Forbestown, 675-1025

SCiENCE & & CURIOSITIES CuRiOSiTiES SCIENCE 21 Bolt’s Bolt’s Antique Antique Tool Tool Museum Museum 21

A truly truly unique unique experience experience can can A be be found found inside inside Bolt’s Bolt’s Antique Antique Tool Tool Museum. Museum. Bud Bud Bolt Bolt started started in in the the tool tool business business as as aa Snap-On Snap-On represenrepresentative in the early tative in the early 1950s. 1950s. His His love love of of the hand hand tool—the tool—the “most “most important important the man-made man-made product product on on Earth”—has Earth”—has transformed over the transformed over the years years into into collection of of over over 12,000 12,000 tools. tools. aa collection Stop Stop in in to to check check out out the the displays displays or attend one of the museum’s or attend one of the museum’s frequent frequent talks. talks. 1650 1650 Broderick Broderick St., St., Oroville, 538-2528, boltsantique Oroville, 538-2528, boltsantique

22 22 Chico Chico Air Air Museum Museum

This museum museum located located at at the the Chico Chico This Municipal Municipal Airport Airport includes includes an an outoutdoor door exhibit exhibit space space featuring featuring jetjet- and and

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propeller-driven aircraft as well as an indoor space with historic displays, photos and artifacts. 165 Ryan Ave., 345-6468,

23 Chico Creek Nature Center The family-friendly Chico Creek Nature Center features a nonreleasable living animal collection—the Janeece Webb Living Animal Museum—as well as the Howard S. Tucker Exhibit Hall and Kristie’s Nature Lab. There’s also creek access and picnic tables. 1978 E. Eighth St., 891-4671,

24 Feather River Nature Center & Native Plant Park The bath house, built in the 1930s to serve those fishing and swimming at Oroville’s first city park at the site, is now a nature center providing educational programs, exhibits and docents who give guidance for visitors. Montgomery Street and Old Ferry Road, Oroville, 538-2415

25 Gateway Science Museum The Gateway Science Museum offers a range of ongoing and special exhibits focused on our region’s natural heritage, from local flora to Ice Age skeletons. Check website for fall and winter hours. Admission $5 kids 3-17, $7 adults, free for museum members and kids 2 and younger. 625 Esplanade (next door to Bidwell Mansion), 898-4121, gateway

26 Lake Oroville Visitor Center Visit the museum at the visitor center, which features exhibits and videos about the lake, the dam and the surrounding area, as well as a shop. Then check out the expansive view of the Sierras and the Sacramento Valley from one of the two high-powered telescopes at the top of a 47-foot tower. 917 Kelly Ridge Road, Oroville, 538-2219

27 Lantrip’s Ashtray Museum: Trays of LBJ and Reagan In the Centennial Cultural Center, this museum—obtained by the city of Oroville in 2012—contains over 10,000 ashtrays, collected by former town postmaster Dean Lantrip. Open Tues.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. 1931 Arlin Rhine Memorial Drive, Oroville, 538-2415

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29 National Yo-Yo Museum The National Yo-Yo Museum is the largest public display of yoyos and yo-yo memorabilia in the United States. It’s home to the largest wooden yo-yo in the world, dubbed “Big-Yo,” as well as the Chico Yo-Yo Club, which encourages visitors to stop by its meetings from noon-2 p.m. Saturdays (weather permitting) for a “walk the dog” lesson. Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.Sat., noon-5 p.m. Sun. Free. 320 Broadway (at the rear of Bird in Hand store), 893-0545,

30 Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology Located on the first floor of Meriam Library, this teaching museum features rotating exhibitions, photos and artifacts, with the aim of promoting respect and appreciation for human diversity. Admission free; donations welcome. Hours: September-May: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. June-July: Mon.Thurs., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 898-5397, ●


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AGRITOURISM continued from page xx


Taste of home W

ith its mild Mediterranean climate, rich soil and rolling expanses of prime grazing land, the northern reaches of the Central Valley are a veritable bread basket, the source of farm-fresh vegetables, delectable meats and an expansive array of fruits and nuts exported throughout California and far beyond. And that’s not to mention our locally made beers, wines and other delicacies. In Butte County today, many farmers focus on sustainable and organic practices to produce healthy, natural food. There are a number of farmers’ markets held regularly in every community in the county (see Events, page 8, for a schedule), offering opportunities to meet the people who grow our food. Plus, many farms of all sizes invite visitors to take a firsthand look at their operations. 66 DISCOVER

Hickman Family Vineyards

Breweries British Bulldog Brewery Opened in 2016, British Bulldog Brewery is owned and operated by the Kay family. The patriarch of the clan, Stephen, began brewing his own beers at 15 years old in his home country of England. Now living in Chico, he turned his love of home brewing into a full-time gig following the Great Recession. There’s currently no tap room, but British Bulldog beers are available at several local bars and by the keg at Spike’s Bottle Shop. 892-8759,

Feather Falls Casino Brewing Co. Located at Feather Falls Casino, this tribe-owned brewery is headed up by veteran brewmaster Roland Allen. There’s always a wide variety of regular and special-release beers on tap, including the amber Coyote Spirit and the Volcano Mudslide stout. Bar hours: Sun.-Thurs., 9 a.m.-midnight; Fri.-Sat., 9 a.m.1:30 a.m. Restaurant open daily at

11 a.m. 3 Alverda Drive, Oroville, 533-3885, brewing-co

Feather River Brewing Co. This award-winning microbrewery in the wooded Sierra-foothill community of Magalia (above Paradise) features a smooth Honey Ale, a popular Raging Rapids Ale and a winter-seasonal Dark Canyon Ale. Call to arrange a tour, and for directions. 873-0734,

Lassen Traditional Cider Started by Ben Nielsen in 2016, Lassen Traditional Cider is just as its name implies. Using local heirloom apples, Nielsen—who began crafting ciders in 2005—bottles several varieties of cider that are available on tap at local beer bars and by the bottle at grocery and liquor stores. A tasting room opened in September 2017. 26 Bellarmine Court, Chico, (541) 760-5583,

Miners Alley Brewing Co. This restaurant and brew house in the heart of downtown Oroville features a variety of craft beers brewed on-site, including a chocolate porter, IPA and citrus wheat. Also serving local wines. 2053 Montgomery St., Oroville, 693-4388,

Small School,


Secret Trail Brewing Co. Secret Trail Brewing Co. opened its 15-barrel brewery and tasting room in south Chico in late 2017, and the brewery already has a stellar reputation with local brewhounds. With food trucks often parked outside and a dog-friendly patio, it’s quickly making a name for itself as a fun hangout spot. 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120, Chico, (916) 709-4820,

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. The ales and lagers brewed at Chico’s flagship craft brewery are world-famous. An extensive miniglass sampler at the taproom is a good way to familiarize yourself with Chico’s most celebrated brews. Three different guided tours are available: of the brewhouse, the grounds (the Sustainability Tour, offered May-September) and an extensive Beer Geek Tour. Shorter, self-guided tours are also available.

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Ehmann Home

Chinese Temple

Home base of the Butte County Historical Society, this is the “house that olives built.” Freda Ehmann reportedly created the process for preserving olives for shipping, thereby launching California’s olive industry. She and her son, Edwin, built this colonial revival house in 1911. Tours are available on Saturdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., or by appointment. 1480 Lincoln St., 533-5316

Built in 1863, this registered California once the Check the landmark website forwas times and place of worship reservations. 1075for E. the 20thlargSt., 893est Chinese community north of 3520, Sacramento. Now, the site includes Waganupa Brewing several exhibits showing the region’s Technically, “nano-brewery” Chinese and American cultures Waganupa Brewing’s beers made through time. It’s also stillare used as a in neighboring Plumas County, 1500 in place of worship on occasion. the charming town of Broderick St.,mountain Oroville, 538-2496 Chester. However, since the brewery serves its delicious artisanal brews—like the Berliner Weisse and Chocolate Cherry Stout—at a delightful, tucked-away tasting room in Chico, it qualifies as local and is well worth a visit. The tasting room has limited hours: Wed.-Sat., 4-9 p.m. 1346 Longfellow Ave., Chico, 2593705,

Wineries & distilleries

The bath house, built in the 1930s to serve those fishing and swimming at Oroville’s first city park at the site, is now a nature center providing educational programs, exhibits and docents who give guidance for visitors. Montgomery Street and Old Ferry Road, Oroville, 538-2415

Feather Falls Casino Brewing Co.

Bangor Ranch Vineyard & Winery

Almendra Winery & Distillery

Bangor Ranch, run by longtime home-winemaker-turned-professional Gary Fox, is currently closed due to fires in summer 2017. Check for updates on the rebuilding effort.

Almendra Winery & Distillery, run by the Bertagna family, offers locally grown wines on tap and mandarinand almond-infused brandies in a rustic environment. Its tasting room offers wine-tasting events and wine by the glass and bottle, plus a food menu and full bar. Tasting hours: Tues.-Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri. till 9 p.m. Group tours by appointment. 9275 Midway, Durham, 343-6893,


Feather River Nature Center & Native Plant Park

Cobble Ridge Distillery Run by the Hickman family, Cobble Ridge Distillery embraces the area’s Gold Rush history as well as the fruit—in this case, wine grapes—of the region with hand-

crafted grappa moonshine, vodka, rum and neutral brandy. Tasting hours: Sat.-Sun., noon-5 p.m. 555 Avocado Road, Bangor; 603-1501,

Dog Creek Cellars Opened in 2011 by Cline Organics in Durham, Dog Creek Cellars offers a nice variety of estate-grown wines made from certified organic grapes. Tasting room is open from noon-5 p.m. the first Sunday of each month or by appointment. 9975 Garden Chinese Temple Creek Road, Durham, 345-3714,

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Gale Vineyards Steve and Creasia Gale’s boutique winery is nestled among the shadegiving oak trees on their 6-acre property just a short drive south of Chico. The grapes used in Gale Vineyards’ wines are organically grown on-site and processed in a cool straw-bale facility. Tasting room hours: Sat.-Sun., noon-5 p.m. 9345 Stanford Lane, Durham, 891-1264,

certified kosher. “Simple tastings” available most weekdays, 9 a.m.3:30 p.m., but call ahead. 2309 Park Ave., Chico, 345-6405, www.honey

noon-5 p.m. for tastings and to see the estate. 652 Luds Way, Oroville, 566-4259,

Long Creek Winery & Ranch

Chico’s first rum distillery opened up in 2016 in what’s becoming this town’s very own brewing district. Run by two longtime friends who both happen to be general contractors, Hooker Oak Distillery bottles four varieties of rum: light, pineapple, vanilla bean and apple pie. Free tours of the distillery on Saturdays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays noon-4 p.m., and tastings Mon.-Sat. 2420 Park Ave., Chico, 809-0720,

Long Creek Winery, under new ownership as of August 2017, is more than your average tasting room—it’s an adventure. Experience the estate-grown Long Creek wines. Take a self-guided walking tour of the ranch, where you can see the vineyards, olive and mandarin orchards and the working cattle ranch. Then sit back and enjoy a glass of wine in the oak grove bordering the 2-acre pond on site. Tasting hours: Sat.-Sun., noon-5 p.m. 323 Ward Blvd., Oroville, 5893415,

As the name implies, the Hickman vineyard and winery is a family affair. With the first grapes planted over a decade ago, the winery officially opened in 2011 and features estate-grown zinfandels along with a wide selection of reds and a few whites. The beautiful estate is available for weddings and other special events. Tasting hours: Sat.-Sun., noon-5 p.m. 77 Orange Ave., Bangor, 679-0679, hickman

LaRocca Vineyards

Nesseré Vineyards

Family-owned LaRocca Vineyards is the oldest and largest producer of 100 percent, USDA-certified organic wine in the North State. If you can’t make it to the vineyards in Forest Ranch, visit the tasting room in downtown Chico. Tasting room hours: Wed.-Fri., 1:30-8 p.m.; Sat. noon-8 p.m.; Sun. 1:30-6 p.m. 222 W. Second St. Vineyards: 12360 Doe Mill Road, Forest Ranch, 899-9463,

HoneyRun Winery

Live Vine Vineyards & Winery

Nestled just 10 minutes from downtown Chico in Durham, the family-run Nesseré Vineyards makes several estate-grown wines as well as those using hand-picked grapes from around the region. The tasting room is comfortably situated amongst the vineyard, offering a comfortable location for a special occasion. Tasting hours: Sat.-Sun., noon-5 p.m. 3471 Durham-Dayton Highway, Durham; 345-9904,

Grey Fox Vineyards Grey Fox winery also offers a relaxing live-oak picnic area. The tasting room is open noon-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 90 Grey Fox Lane, Oroville, 589-3920,

Hickman Family Vineyards

Founded in 1992 by John and Amy Hasle, HoneyRun Winery produces five types of honey wines and meads—blackberry, elderberry, cherry, cranberry and dry mead. HoneyRun’s wines have no added sulfites or preservatives and are


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Hooker Oak Distillery

Butte County’s newest winery, Live Vine offers varieties aged in stainless-steel tanks or oak barrels. The young operation currently has only a few wines on offer, including a Viogner and a zinfandel, in addition to a few red blends. Visit Sat.-Sun.,

New Clairvaux Vineyard New Clairvaux Vineyard is run by fifth-generation winemaker Aimee Sunseri along with the Trappist monks of the on-site monastery. The first Cistercian winery in North AGRITOURISM continued on page 70


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Wyandotte orchards. Taste Butte View’s mission and ascolano olive oils, as well as its various flavored olive oils—lemon, blood orange, basil and rosemary—in the facility’s tasting/bottling room. Tours, tastings and shopping by appointments phoned in a day or two in advance. 2950 Louis Ave., Oroville, 534-8320

AGRITOURISM continued from page 69

America, New Clairvaux has a variety of offerings, including a blend called Petite Temptation. The tasting room is open every day (excluding holy days), 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 26240 Seventh St., Vina, 839-2200,

Lodestar Farms Lodestar Farms, run by the Johansson family, has produced its extra-virgin, California-style olive oil since 1993. Visit Lodestar’s tasting room to try its Late Harvest Mission, lemon and garlic olive oils, as well as its balsamic dipping oil. The tasting room is open noon-5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 3719 Foothill Blvd., Oroville, 534-6548,

Odyssey Winery and Vineyards This attractive, Greek-style winery is owned by local dentist Norm Rosene and his wife, Janice. Odyssey features wines made from organic grapes grown on-site, plus a selection of local artwork and locally produced foods. The tasting room is open Saturdays, 1-6 p.m., from May to December. 6237 Cohasset Road, Chico, 891-9463,

Purple Line Urban Winery Located just off Montgomery Street in downtown Oroville, Purple Line Urban Winery offers a delicious variety of wines made with Northern California grapes that are crushed, fermented, barreled and aged on the premises. Regular events, including live music and potluck dinners. Tasting room hours: Wed. 2-8 p.m., Thurs.-Sat. noon-7 p.m., Sun. noon5 p.m. 760 Safford St., Oroville, 5341785,

Quilici Vineyards This 10-acre family-run winery in the Sierra foothills has been around for more than 20 years. Tastings are available without charge with the purchase of wine (or $3 without). Tasting by appointment only. 72 Quail Hill Place, Oroville, 589-5088,

Roney Wines This small, family-run winery in north Chico gathers grapes from around Northern California to create a variety of delicious reds. Tastings available by appointment. 5900 Anita Road, Chico, 518-9333,

Spencer-Shirey Wines Spencer-Shirey Wines is a boutique winery nestled in a serene valley of the north Sierra foothills. Open Sat. and Sun., noon-5 p.m. 6857 La Porte Road, Bangor, 2053579, 70 Discover

Spencer-Shirey Wines

Olive oil Bamford Family Farms In 2016, Bamford Family Farms opened its tasting room in downtown Oroville and hasn’t looked back since. Stop in for a taste of a variety of olive oil flavors—from traditional Mission to garlic, jalapeño, lemon and blood orange (it’s delicious on ice cream!). They’re all made from century-old olive orchards near Table Mountain in Oroville. Also available for tasting are a handpicked selection of balsamic vinegars, including flavors like mango, honey and cranberry-apple. Don’t forget to peruse the handmade olive oil soaps, olive wood cutting boards and other locally made goods. 1442 Myers St.,

Berkeley Olive Grove 1913 Named for the group of UC Berkeley professors who invested in Butte County land in 1913 and went on to form the Berkeley Olive Association, this producer of awardwinning organic olive oils is owned and run by Oroville locals Darro and Olivia Grieco. Tours and tastings by appointment. You can also “adopt” one of the olive trees, harvest your own olives, and learn curing methods. 8 Rocky Drive, Oroville, 5331814,

Butte View Olive Co. Butte View Olive Co. presses delicious, boutique olive oils from the olives grown in its Palermo and

Lucero Olive Oil Mill Lucero Olive Oil is located in the nearby town of Corning and features a mill, bottling room and tasting room/retail store in which to try its internationally acclaimed olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Hours: daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., tours available by appointment. 2120 Loleta Ave., Corning, (877) 330-2190,

Fruits, nuts, vegetables and more Chaffin Family Orchards This productive, fifth-generation family farm boasts a little of everything—apricots, figs and pomegranates; extra-virgin olive oil; heirloom-fruit jams; pastureraised chicken eggs; and grass-fed beef and goat meat. The organic, sustainability-focused farm also offers yarn made from the fleece of its Shetland sheep. Farm tours and field trips by appointment. 606 Coal Canyon Road, Oroville, 533-1676,

Chico Chai This favorite local beverage can be found in many a coffee shop— and at the Saturday Chico Certified Farmers’ Market. If that’s not enough (and it never is), the first Sunday of each month the friendly AGRITOURISM continued on page 72


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Discover 71

AGRITOURISM continued from page 70

folks at Chico Chai open up their brewery for free tours and tastings, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 1919 Park Ave., 8970822,

The Lavender Ranch The Lavender Ranch offers a little taste (and scent!) of the south of France in the southern part of Butte County. Take a walk through the lavender fields and experience the beauty. Then go home with a few sachets or lotions and relive the tranquility. Tours offered AprilOctober. Call for dates and times. Store hours: Mon.-Thurs., 8 a.m.4 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 17 W. Rio Bonito Road, Biggs, 8685151,

Lundberg Family Farms Since 1937, the organic rice farmers at Lundberg Family Farms have championed environmental stewardship. Their products now include rice cakes, risottos, pastas, brown-rice syrup, flour, and gluten-free and non-GMO options, which you can purchase at the super-swanky visitor center. Group and individual tours available by appointment. 5311 Midway, Richvale, 538-3500,

Mooney Farms Olive trees, fragrant lavender plants and fountains welcome visitors to family-run Mooney Farms’ lovely tasting room—a great place to sample healthy Mediterraneaninspired eats, including sun-dried tomatoes, pesto and pasta sauce from their award-winning Bella Sun Luci line. Gift baskets and work by local artists also available. 1220 Fortress St., Chico, 899-2661, www.

Mt. Ida Mandarin Ranch The ranch, which specializes in tree-ripened, hand-picked Satsuma and Owari mandarins, is open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. November-January (and during the Sierra Oro Farm Trail Passport Weekend in October). 845 Mt. Ida Road, Oroville, 589-5799,

TJ Farms The 15-acre farm is only 3 miles from downtown Chico, but seems like a world away. The immaculate grounds include waterfalls, foun72 Discover

tains, ivy-covered trellises, a gazebo and more. TJ Farms has a pumpkin patch in the fall for kids, and features an on-site gift shop (open during seasonal events) that sells jams, mustards, vinegars, dressings and pickles. Call for a private tour. 3600 Chico Ave., Chico, 343-2294,

University Farm This working 800-acre farm on the outskirts of Chico is used as a teaching facility for Chico State’s agriculture students. Chickens, cows, sheep and pigs all call the University Farm home, and organic vegetables and other crops take up the rest of the space. Open to the public only on special occasions. But the Meats Lab is open year-round and offers affordable, fresh, USDA-inspected meat. 311 Nicholas C. Schouten Lane, 898-6343, ag/farm

Vincent Noble Orchard Co. Noble Orchards offers tree-ripened stone fruits—cherries, peaches, pluots and nectarines—during the July-September season, and 17 varieties of apples including various heirloom varieties from September to March. Visit the packing shed/ farmstand for fruit, apple butter and gift boxes from July through March. Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., weekends 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 7050 Pentz Road, Paradise, 877-4784, facebook. com/nobleorchards

The Worm Farm Head down to the Worm Farm to see how red worms are raised or sign up for a worm-bin workshop. Don’t eat the worms, but you sure as heck can enjoy the robust vegetables and fruits grown in soil amended with nutritious, worm-casting compost. 9033 Esquon Road, Durham, 8941276,

Weds.-Sun. 1440 Myers St., Oroville, 712-9350, www.buttecountywine

Chico Natural Foods Cooperative Located in downtown Chico, this cooperative is open to the public and has a wide variety of locally grown produce and other locally made products. 818 Main St., 8911713, Chico,

Made in Chico The name of this downtown store says it all. Made in Chico specializes in locally made gifts, including foodstuffs ranging from jams and spreads to nuts and rice chips. Open daily. 127 W. Third St., Chico, 894-7009,

Maisie Jane’s Maisie Jane’s California Sunshine Products has been producing handcrafted quality almond products, as well as other nut products, since 1993. The quaint country store features a range of gift baskets featuring all manner of local goods, from artisan foods to giftware. Open Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Extended hours around the holidays. 1324 Dayton Road, Chico, 809-2374, www.maisie

New Earth Market Chico’s newest grocery store, New Earth Market, offers a wide array of local foods, from wines and cheeses to jams and oils. 864 East Ave., Chico, 891-9355, www.newearth

S&S Organic Produce & Natural Foods

Keep it local

Known as simply S&S, this fullservice grocery store started out as a roadside produce stand. Its focus is on organic, nutritious foods and it has a dedication to supporting local growers and craftspeople. Open daily. 1924 Mangrove Ave., Chico, 343-4930,

Butte County Wine Co.

Sohnrey Family Foods

For those who want to taste some of the best that the region’s wineries have to offer but can’t make it out to the vineyards, stop by Butte County Wine Co., a hip new wine bar smack in the middle of historic downtown Oroville. Also serving local microbrews. Open

Opened in 2015 by fifth-generation farming family the Sohnreys, who specialize in almonds, almond butters (try the snickerdoodle!), walnuts and rice, the gift shop also offers a variety of other local foodstuff. 41 Skillin Lane, Oroville, 871-1975, www.sohnrey l

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Open 5 days a week Wednesday–Friday 1:30pm–8pm 530.589.3920 Saturdays 12–8pm • Sundays 1:30 – 6pm 90 Grey Fox Lane Visit Oroville unique 222 W. 2nd our Street Downtown Chico Greyfox.Net tastiNG 800.808.9463 • Weekends 12-5 rOOm!

652 Luds Way, Oroville Open Sat & Sun 12 pm–5pm • 530.566.4259


Oct. Tasting Room 5-14, 2017

Open 5 days a week Wednesday–Friday 1:30pm–8pm Saturdays 12–8pm • Sundays 1:30 – 6pm


222 W. 2nd Street Downtown Chico 800.808.9463 • Discover 73

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Get out there

Forebay Aquatic Center


rom almost any spot in Butte County, it’s possible to drive 20 minutes and find yourself surrounded by natural beauty. The region offers endless opportunities to appreciate a range of natural wonders, from birdwatching on the valley floor to kayaking on pristine mountain lakes in the Sierra Nevada foothills. So, get out there—smell the fresh mountain air, find your favorite swimming hole, take a challenging hike or just settle on a soft spot of grass in Bidwell Park—and enjoy the great outdoors.


Butte County Big Bald Rock Explore this impressive geological formation on an easy walk along Big Bald Rock Trail or by taking a far more extensive and challenging hike to the bottom of the canyon on Dome Trail, where an upstream slog along the middle fork of the Feather River reveals a series of idyllic swimming holes and eventually Curtain Falls. But beware: The Dome Trail is not well-maintained and poison oak is ever-present. The trail heads are accessed from different points on Bald Rock Road in the Berry Creek area, nestled in the foothills east of Lake Oroville. 534-6500, berrycreek

Great Adventures Begin at Mountain Sports Casual Clothing & Footwear

Outdoor Gear & Clothing

17 2005-2017

Mountain SportS 176 East Third Street • Downtown Chico 17

(530) 345-5011 • Proudly Serving Chico & The North Valley Since 1975

Bidwell Park Bidwell Park is a 3,670-acre preserve and the natural heart and soul of the community. Divided by Manzanita Avenue, the park comprises two distinct sections. The area to the west of Manzanita bordering Big Chico Creek is known as Lower Park, while the land to the east, which extends into the Sierra Nevada foothills, is known as Upper Park. Lower Park’s thick canopy of trees provides shade for its many grassy knolls and creekside hideaways. The landscape of Upper Park, which extends 5 miles along both sides of Big Chico Creek Canyon, ranges from lush riparian habitat to rugged rock faces. To reserve picnic areas, call 896-7800. For trail and road conditions, call 896-7899 OUTDOOR ADVENTURES continued on page 76

Let us Make You

Happy with the Best Chinese Food! 2017

2002-2010 & 2016-2017

Happy Garden Chinese restaurant

11:30AM-8:30PM • Closed Mondays • Food to Go 180 Cohasset Road • (Near the Esplanade) 893-2574 or 893-5068 • Discover 75

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES continued from page 75

or visit (select “Bidwell Park”). For more on this attraction, see Parks within the Chico section of this guide (page 14). Here are some special places within Bidwell Park for the adventurers out there: North Rim Trail Skirting the north edge of Big Chico Creek canyon, the North Rim offers one of the area’s most popular trails. The “B” Trail, which descends from the North Rim, offers rugged and scenic mountain biking and hiking. Take Wildwood Avenue off Manzanita Avenue, and then go 1 mile to parking lot B.

Annie Bidwell Trail This less-traveled trail is one of the more rugged in Upper Bidwell Park. It runs from the old police pistol range, above Bidwell Park Golf Course and along the south side of the canyon (splitting off to more difficult Guardians and South Rim trails higher up). For a day hike, take Annie Bidwell Trail to the lessfrequented south side of Bear Hole and return on Upper Park Road or the creekside Yahi Trail. The trailhead is beyond Five-Mile, where Centennial Drive dead-ends at Chico Canyon Road. Upper Park Road Wildwood Avenue in Chico turns into a rocky, rutted dirt road 2 miles

into Upper Park, where it becomes Upper Park Road. It’s usually passable for most vehicles in dry weather. The road runs 5 miles to the end of Upper Park along Big Chico Creek, but is fully accessible only by foot and bike; motorists reach a locked gate just past Bear Hole. Three trails parallel Upper Park Road to the north—Lower, Middle and Upper trails. The latter two are favored by mountain bikers and hikers alike for their up-and-down ruggedness and secluded scenery. Yahi Trail Designated on trail markers as “easiest,” the Yahi Trail runs along Big Chico Creek in Upper Park. Constructed in 1967 by the local Yahi Group of the Sierra Club, the trail is notable for its lush, shady greenery and access to numerous picturesque spots along the creek. Erosion is a problem on the Yahi, so no bikes or horses are allowed. It begins just east of Horseshoe Lake off Wildwood Avenue.

Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve In addition to preserving the natural habitats of the nearly 4,000-acre reserve, BCCER offers public hikes and group and private tours. There is also a self-guided tour available, with pamphlets on BCCER’s website. From Chico, take Highway 32 east. From the intersection of Bruce Road, travel 9.7 miles and turn left at the green 3521 sign onto a paved, single-lane road. Sign in at the check-in gate. 898-5010,

Bille Park Nature Trail Located at the back edge of the Bille Park expansion in Paradise, this half-mile, one-way hiking trail is steep in some places but offers spectacular views of Butte Creek Canyon. Bille Park is at 501 Bille Road, Paradise. A separate entrance closer to the trail is located at 6261 W. Wagstaff Road.

Butte Creek Trail

Bille Park Nature Trail


Known for its scenery, this trail offers a rugged path down to Butte Creek. Turn off the Skyway onto Humbug Road just past De Sabla and pick up the trail head on your left after crossing the bridge. Allow for 30 minutes down to the creek and about 90 on the way up, accounting for huffing, puffing and water breaks.

North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve

Camelot Equestrian Park Bring your horse(s) to 1,600-acre Camelot Equestrian Park, which features horse and hiking trails, picnic areas, water troughs throughout the park, a beautiful shaded campground, turnouts and paddocks for traveling horses and several arenas and riding courses. 1985 Clark Road (Highway 191), Butte Valley, 5212122,

Feather Falls While the main attraction is unquestionably the majestic 410foot waterfall midway through this 9-mile round-trip hike, the trail also offers stunning views of Big Bald Rock looming above the Plumas National Forest and the middle fork of the Feather River. The hike is moderately difficult and poison oak grows along the trail. 534-6500,

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Located 10 miles west of Gridley near the Sutter Buttes (at Pennington and Rutherford roads), the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area is made up of more than 9,000 acres of seasonal wetlands favored by birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway,

as well as local species. The area features 80 miles of roads, 50 miles of walking/cycling trails and a small wildlife museum. 846-7505, www.

Honey Run Covered Bridge Originally built in 1887, Honey Run Covered Bridge is the only trispan bridge in the U.S. and one of the few remaining covered bridges in California. Located between Chico and Paradise on Butte Creek, this is a beautiful spot for a picnic or a dip. 1670 Honey Run Road, 891-1838

Lake Oroville California’s second-largest reservoir offers activities like boating, water skiing, fishing, swimming and camping. Visit the museum at the Lake Oroville Visitor Center (917 Kelly Ridge Road, 538-2219) or check out the expansive view of the Sierras and the Sacramento Valley from one of the two highpowered telescopes at the top of a 47-foot tower. Due to ongoing work to repair part of the dam, some activities may be limited. Please check ahead. For larger boat rentals, including houseboats, check out Bidwell Canyon Marina (589-9175, or Lake Oroville Marina (1-800-2555561, Lake Oroville info: 538-2542, Forebay Aquatic Center Rent all manner of personal watercraft, from kayaks and canoes to pedal boats and hydrobikes. 930 Garden Drive, 774-7934, www.fore Freeman Bicycle Trail Completed in 1996, the 41-mile trail offers scenic off-road riding, and panoramic views of Lake Oroville, the Sutter Buttes and the Sacramento Valley. Parts of the trail were damaged this past winter. Inquire about passability as needed. Pick up a map at the Lake Oroville Visitor Center, 917 Kelly Ridge Road, 538-2219 Loafer Creek Horse Camp Relish the outdoors with your equestrian companion at Loafer Creek Horse Camp at Lake Oroville. There is a 17.5-mile loop trail, along with 15 campsites (two horses per site), a restroom with shower facility, a horse washing station and OUTDOOR ADVENTURES continued on page 78 Discover 77

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horse tethering and feeding stations. Loafer Creek Road, 538-2217

North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve This flat-topped “mountain” is actually two plateaus—North and South Table Mountain—featuring waterfalls, caves, lava formations and the impressive Coal Canyon. In the spring, Table Mountain’s wildflowers are in full bloom and the waterfalls—most notably Phantom Falls, which disappears entirely in summer months—are at their most spectacular. In late 2017, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife added Table Mountain to its list of destinations requiring a lands pass for visitors 16 and older. Go to Licensing/Lands-Pass for more info. Take Highway 70 to Oroville and exit at Grand Avenue. Take a right on Grand, and then a left on Table Mountain Boulevard.

Oroville Wildlife Area Just south of the Lake Oroville Afterbay, the Oroville Wildlife Area, overseen by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, offers plenty of activities for the whole family. Camping, boating, fishing and hunting are popular pastimes. There’s also a shooting range. 945 Oro Dam Blvd. West, wildlife

Sacramento River Famous for its fishing, this waterway is home to many endangered animals, including species of migratory birds. It’s common to see an array of predatory birds, including osprey, red-tailed hawks and bald eagles. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages several sites along the river, providing a bounty of recreational activities like camping, boating, bird watching, photography, hiking and biking.

And beyond Black Butte Lake Recreation Area Tent and RV camping available at two sites, with access to fishing, sailing and water-skiing, as well as more than 20 miles of hiking and mountain-biking trails. Equestrian trails and a disc-golf course also onsite. About a 45-minute drive east, past Orland. 865-4781, blackbuttelake

Caribou Wilderness Located within Lassen National Forest and maintained by the National Park Service, the Caribou Wilderness is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Great for hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, fishing and rock climbing. 258-2141

Ishi Wilderness Area Adventurers can explore deep

canyons, rugged lava formations and valley plateaus at the Ishi Wilderness Area, just 20 miles northeast of Chico. Limited campsites, but back-country camping is available. From Chico, take Cohasset Road north. About 6 miles from where the pavement ends, bear right and head down a steep hill for a mile until you see a sign for the Deer and Mill creek trailheads. 258-2141

Lassen National Forest Lassen National Forest is more than a million acres of pristine wilderness, including about 350 miles of maintained hiking and backpacking trails. There are nearly 50 campsites, including several along Highway 32. Eagle Lake and Potato Patch are popular spots, and both include RV hookups. From Chico, take Highway 32 east. 257-2151,

Plumas National Forest Located just east of Oroville, Plumas National Forest is home to numerous lakes and streams, valleys and peaks, and is a hotspot for outdoor recreation. Camping, hiking, mountain biking, fishing and hunting are popular activities here. For the truly adventurous, there’s the Plumas Backcountry Discovery Trail, accessible to SUVs and fourwheel-drive vehicles. Campgrounds open June-October. Take Highway 70 toward Quincy. 283-2050, www.

Sutter Buttes Plumas National Forest photo courtesy of usfs

Just south of Chico, near Marysville, lie the Sutter Buttes, the “smallest mountain range in the world.” The Buttes were considered a sacred place by many local Native American tribes and are now privately owned. Guided hikes are available through Middle Mountain Interpretive Hikes. 671-6116,

Woodson Bridge State Recreation Area A beautiful location along the Sacramento River for boating, fishing, camping and hiking, with views of Mount Lassen, Mount Shasta and the Trinity Alps. It also contains a nature preserve, which is a winter home to the bald eagle. From Chico, take Highway 99 north to South l Avenue. 839-2112 78 Discover



Campus Tours 800-542-4426

Campus Info 530-898-4636

University Box Office 530-898-6333

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Class acts B

utte County has several options for those pursuing an education beyond high school. The area is home to several fine institutions of higher learning, and the crown jewel among them is Chico State. As part of the California State University system, the school offers bachelor’s and master’s programs on a beautiful campus in the heart of downtown Chico. Butte College, part of the Butte-Glenn Community College District, offers associate’s degrees, opportunities to transfer, certification programs and an outstanding athletics program (Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers got his start here). There are also a handful of vocational schools for those looking to fast-track their way into a new career.


Chico State

Chico State

Founded in 1887 as a teacher’s college, Chico State opened in 1889 with 60 students and five faculty members. The university today is home to about 17,500 students, including graduate students. About 2,000 of them reside in campus-run housing, with the rest spread out through the south campus neighborhood and the rest of the community.

The school mascot is the Wildcat and its colors are cardinal and white. With 13 Division II men’s and women’s sports teams, there’s plenty of action to be caught on the field or court. Info on tickets and teams can be found at There are plenty of attractions on the Chico State campus that appeal to more than just students. Take the Arts & Humanities Building, for instance—home to multiple art galleries as well as a 200-seat recital hall. There’s also Laxson Auditorium, which attracts big-name performers throughout the school year. For student productions, check out the Performing Arts Center, home of two theaters and a recital hall. The public is also invited to check out the Chico State Wildcat Store, located within the Bell Memorial Union, and Meriam Library, the state’s largest library north of Sacramento. The library also is home to the Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology, which offers rotating exhibits. Campus tours are scheduled through the Admissions Office in the first-floor lobby of the Student Services Center. To make a reservation, visit or call 898-6322. In addition to the main campus, the University Farm (see Agritourism, page 66) and Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve (see Outdoor Adventures, page 74) also are part of Chico State.

Butte College

Opened in 1968, the local community college has come a long way since its early years, when classes were held in portable buildings. In the mid-1970s, Butte College moved to its spacious campus located on a 928-acre wildlife refuge near the geographic center of Butte County. In recent years, the campus core has changed dramatically, with a complete overhaul and expansion of the library, and the addition of three new state-of-the-art buildings. The impressive two-story Arts Building offers an art gallery, a full digital recording studio, a print studio, a cutting-edge graphic-design lab and the fabulous Black Box Theatre. Butte College’s satellite campus in Chico makes it possible for students to attend classes without making the drive to the main campus. Its newest addition is the Skyway Center in south Chico, home to the automotive-technology program. The accredited two-year college offers associate degrees and fully transferable general-education courses, as well as vocational-certificate programs. The college also has been recognized nationally for its commitment to sustainability practices. It has the distinction as the first college campus in the country to go gridpositive.

Jewelry Lapidary Museum Mineral & Mining Museum • Crystals • • Minerals • • Fossils •

HIGHER EDUCATION continued on page 82

• Fine Jewelry • • Custom Designs • • One-of-a-kind styles • • Repairs • Butte College

78 Belle Mill Rd Red Bluff • 530-527-6166 Discover 81

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FREE DRINK w/ purchase of burrito

exp. 09/14/18

Breakfast ~ Lunch ~ Dinner Open Early ~ Open Late


133 Broadway (530)894-0191


1000-D W. SACRAMENTO AVE (530)343-0909

Starting in June 2018, Butte College will offer cosmetology classes through its new beauty school in Chico, at the site of the now-closed Marinello School in the Almond Orchard shopping center. Main campus: 3536 Butte Campus Drive, Oroville, 895-2511; Chico Center: 2320 Forest Ave., 895-1352,

More schools Cal Northern School of Law The need for a law school with night classes in the North State was filled by Cal Northern School of Law, accredited by the State Bar of California since 1992. The four-year course of study provides prospective attorneys with real-world training. 1395 Ridgewood Drive, Ste. 100, Chico, 891-6900,

Columbia College

Forest Ranch Charter is an innovative, small K-8 school committed to helping students achieve a growth mindset through high quality, student centered instruction. FRCS is Chico’s small school alternative where children thrive in a safe, supportive, and positive environment

Travel Study Field Trips STEM Visual and Performing Arts GATE Outdoor Education

This private college offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees online in more than 20 different concentrations and caters to adults working full-time and nontraditional students. 2615 Forest Ave., Ste. 120, Chico, 592-3196,

Northwest Lineman College Offering top-notch training in electrical linework, Northwest Lineman College’s California campus is located in Oroville, just east of the Thermalito Afterbay. Students can arrange their own accommodations or choose to live in the historic Oroville Inn downtown. When they graduate—there are three terms per year—they’re ready to work for utilities including PG&E. 2009 Challenger Ave., Oroville, 888-LINEWORK,

OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute This college within a college (it’s hosted by Chico State) is geared toward students 50 and older who want to “learn for the love of it.” Classes are taught by volunteer peer leaders and range from “Reading Homer’s Iliad” to “Español Para Gringos” to “Home Curing Olives.” l 82 Discover

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