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A guide to visiting and living in the North Valley



How to spend a sunny Saturday PAGE




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Paid for by Prop. 99 under contract #15-10215 4 DISCOVER


Discovery awaits SPRING/SUMMER 2020



elcome to spring and summer in beautiful Butte County. Whether you’re just visiting or you’ve recently settled down in this region, rest assured you’ve landed in a vibrant area with plenty to do and see. Beloved for its varied landscapes, this part of the North State abounds with natural wonders that have inspired generations of artists and art lovers. The area is rich in history and tradition—stemming from the indigenous people who cared for the land for centuries to the immigrants who came here during the Gold Rush era to the growth of the public university, the second oldest campus in the California State University system. Throughout the year, Butte County’s five municipalities—and many of the surrounding unincorporated hamlets—play host to numerous events celebrating their identities. To give you direction, the Chico News & Review publishes this guide—use it as a primer for exploring the county’s distinct communities, plus all of the restaurants, activities and attractions that make the region such a great place to live, work and play.


Events ..................................8

Outdoor Adventures ..............74

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

Butte County is home to two major rivers, countless creeks and other terrain ideal for spring and summertime outings.

Chico....................................14 Butte County’s largest city is home to a public university and boasts plenty of entertainment, outdoor activities, artistic adventures and culinary delights.

Oroville ................................36 The county seat, known for its namesake lake, offers a quaint downtown core teeming with Gold Rush history.

Paradise...............................46 Though still recovering from a devastating wildfire, residents are getting back to business in this beloved foothills community.

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

Biggs ....................................54 Butte County’s smallest city, Biggs embodies small-town charm.

Higher Education ..................80 Explore the Chico State and Butte College campuses, plus other educational opportunities.

Maps Chico ................. 28 Butte County ..... 59

Discover Butte County CN&R Editor: Melissa Daugherty Editors and writers: Andre Byik, Jason Cassidy, Meredith J. Cooper, Melissa Daugherty, Ashiah Scharaga, Evan Tuchinsky Design: Tina Flynn Photography: CN&R staff, contributors Advertising staff: Jamie DeGarmo, Adam Lew, Sonia Lockler, Jordon Vernau

County highlights ..................56 Butte County is made up of dozens of old mining and timber towns off the beaten path and worth exploring.

The Ideal Saturday................62 Chico News & Review editors suggest ways to get the most out of a weekend day in Butte County.

Agritourism ..........................66 For those hoping to get a taste of what this region produces, there are lots of options for spending a day on the farm.

Discover Butte County is published twice a year by the Chico News & Review 530-894-2300 newsreview.com discoverbuttecounty.net Copyright ©2020 Chico Community Publishing On the cover: Photo of the Sacramento River courtesy of Bureau of Land Management California




Out and about W

hen the sun is out, so are the citizens of Butte County. For those who appreciate big community gatherings, the warm weather of spring and summer are the time to visit the area. It’s when the farmers’ markets come alive, concerts are held outside and annual festivals show all the colors of the North State.

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, pick up a free copy of the CN&R, which comes out on Thursdays, or check out our website, both of which include an extensive list of activities, concerts and art happenings. newsreview.com/chico 8 DISCOVER

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 downtown Chico on Saturdays, rain or shine, in the parking lot at Second and Wall streets. 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 is open 8 a.m.-1 p.m., year-round, rain or shine. 893-3276, chicofarmersmarket.com 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-September. Another option in Chico is the Farm Stand behind Blackbird, Mondays, 4-7 p.m., spring to fall, 1431 Park Ave.

Movies in the Parkt

In Oroville, the Union Square Farmers’ Market is held Saturdays, 7:30-noon, May-October, at the corner of Myers and Montgomery streets.

gae and funk. The Downtown Chico Business Association books popular local bands for this summer tradition. 345-6500, downtownchico.com

First Fridays

Second Saturdays, 15 miutes before sunset. Chico Area Recreation and Park District (CARD) presents monthly family-friendly movies at Sycamore Field in Lower Bidwell Park. Bring your blankets and lowback chairs. Check site for movie info. 895-4711, chicorec.com

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. orovilledba.com

Fork in the Road On the third Friday from April through September, head on over to DeGarmo Park for what’s become a Chico summertime tradition. A ton of food trucks, live music and a beer garden—what more could you ask for? DeGarmo Park, 199 Leora Court, facebook.com/ForkInTheRoadChico

Friday Night Concerts Fridays, May-August, 6-7:30 p.m. Chico’s City Plaza fills with music of all sorts, from rock and jazz to reg-

Movies in the Park

March Chico Kite Day March 22, 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, chicorec.com

April Oroville Wildflower & Nature Festival April 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Celebrate the natural beauty that surrounds us. Live music, handmade natural items for sale, food trucks and a kids craft area. Riverbend Park, 60 Montgomery St., Oroville, frrpd.com

Spring Jamboree April 11. 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 and One-Mile Recreation Area, Lower Bidwell Park, 895-4711, chicorec.com

California Nut Festival April 18, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The big fest on the farm is back after a oneyear hiatus. The nut-themed culiEVENTS continued on page 10 DISCOVER 9


EVENTS continued from page 9

nary festival features gourmet foods and cooking demos, wine and beer tasting, an art show and two stages of live music on the grounds of the historical Patrick Ranch, 10381 Midway, Durham. californianut festival.com

Oro-Con April 18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Exactly what it sounds like, featuring comic book artists and costume contests.

Visit site for updates. Feather Falls Casino, 3 Alverda Drive, Oroville, featherfallscasino.com

Wildflower Music Festival April 25, 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. The annual all-day music festival that benefits Wildflower Open Classroom school has outdone itself this year. Co-headlining will be The California Honeydrops and legendary reggae crew The Wailers. Located at the End of Normal, 2500 Estes Road. Tickets are $50. wildflowermusicfest.com

North Sierra Wine Trail April 25-26, 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. northsierrawinetrail.com

Chico Wildflower Century

California Nut Festival


April 26, 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 are available, such as the Mildflower 65 and the Childflower 12. wildflowercentury.org

May Feather Fiesta Days May 1-9. Oroville’s hometown celebration for more than 70 years, Feather Fiesta Days includes a rib cook-off, pancake breakfast, beer festival, parades, food vendors, activities for the kids, a car show and much more. 538-2542, oroville chamber.net

Endangered Species Faire May 2, 10 a.m.-3 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. Cedar Grove, Bidwell Park, becnet.org

CAMMIES Festival & Awards Show May 9. Celebrate Chico-area musicians at this CN&R-sponsored festival featuring more than a dozen local acts. Sierra Nevada Big Room, 1075 E. 20th St., 892-4647, facebook. com/chicocammies

Chico Antiques & Design Faire May 9. The seventh annual Chico Antiques & Design Faire will feature vendors from around Northern California. Find on Facebook for updated info. Patrick Ranch, 10381 Midway, Durham

Great Adventures Begin at Mountain Sports Casual Clothing & Footwear

Outdoor Gear & Clothing

19 2005-2019


Mountain SportS 176 East Third Street • Downtown Chico (530) 345-5011 • www.chicomountainsports.com Proudly Serving Chico & The North Valley Since 1975

Durham May Day Parade & Picnic May 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The 103rd annual event kicks off with a parade at 10 a.m., followed by a picnic in the park. There will be food trucks, live music and a vendor fair. Durham Community Park, 1847 Durham Dayton Highway

Paradise Chocolate Fest May 9, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The 15th annual Chocolate Fest celebrates all things—you guessed it—chocolate. There will be a chocolate fountain, chocolate booths, chocolate pieeating, cookie-stacking contests and a kids zone. $5, proceeds benefit youth organizations on the Ridge. EVENTS continued on page 12

Paradise Chocolate Fest


Butte County Fair

July Fourth of July Fireworks July 4, sunset. The primary shows in Butte County happen in Chico at the Silver Dollar Speedway and in Oroville at Lake Oroville. Check sites as the holiday gets closer: silverdollarspeedway.com, visitoroville.com

Slice of Chico July 11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy sidewalk sales from downtown Chico merchants and free slices of ice-cold watermelon. downtownchico.net EVENTS continued from page 11

Terry Ashe Recreation Center, 6626 Skyway, Paradise, chocolatefest.us

Bidwell Bark May 16, 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, bidwellbark.com

Silver Dollar Fair May 21-25. Chico’s popular annual community fair at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds features exhibits, livestock, a carnival midway, car races and music. silverdollarfair.org

Sherwood Music Festival May 30, 4-10 p.m. Jamaican DJ


Anthony B headlines this outdoor springtime music fest. Locals Triple Tree and Dylan’s Dharma join the fun at the End of Normal, 2500 Estes Road. Tickets are $20-$30. A benefit for Sherwood Montessori School. sherwoodmontessori.org

June Soroptimist International Micro Brew Festival June 6, 2-6 p.m. The 25th 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, sibidwellrancho.org

August Butte County Fair Aug. 27-30. The Butte County Fairgrounds in Gridley brings a good-time country fair with a rodeo, booths, carnival, destruction derby, livestock and more. buttecountyfair.org

September Taste of Chico Sept. 13, noon-4 p.m. This popular annual event in downtown Chico features live music, art and shopping, along with delicious food and beverages from local restaurants, breweries and wineries. ● downtownchico.net

AdvocAtes Needed

catering available for all occasions

best asian cuisine best take-out best restaurant in oroville celebrating 108 years in business! 2009-2019

Become a state certified Long-Term Care Ombudsman and make a difference in the lives of the residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. We need volunteers in Oroville, Glenn, Tehama and Colusa Counties. If you have time and wish to make a difference, please call!

Oroville 533-1488 Chico 898-1388

530.898.5927 DISCOVER 13


Vibrant city

Thursday Night Market


hico is the cultural epicenter of Butte County. It’s the largest municipality in terms of population, the go-to destination for shoppers and entertainmentseekers in the region, and home to a California State University campus and two Butte College satellite campuses. It is also home to an impressive array of independent businesses and momand-pop shops that give the city its charming and vibrant character. That’s especially true downtown—a popular destination for shopping, dining, dancing and enjoying works of art—from public to rotating exhibits in galleries and cafes. Chico has long held the distinction as a Tree City USA community, a designation given by the national Arbor Day Foundation that recognizes the city’s


ample urban forest, from the tree-lined streets to the massive heritage oaks of Bidwell Park—the city’s 3,670-acre municipal green space. Incorporated in 1872, Chico dates to 1860, when Gen. John Bidwell settled this area, 90 miles north of Sacramento and originally inhabited by the Mechoopda tribe of Maidu Indians. Bidwell built a lavish Italianate-style mansion on his 26,000-acre Rancho del Arroyo Chico ahead of his wedding in 1868. His wife, Annie, outlived her husband, bequeathing the majority of the land for Bidwell Park to the public. Chico’s city limits encompass 33 square miles, and before the Camp Fire, its population was approximately 92,000. Post-fire, however, the city’s population increased by about 20,000 residents.

1975. It earned its name after rising from the ashes.

Senator Theatre The Senator Theatre, built in 1928, is a gem of art deco architecture that once hosted traveling vaudeville shows. It became a movie theater in the mid-20th century and now attracts big-name touring bands. 517 Main St., 898-1497, jmaxproductions.net

Shop Local Shepard Fairey mural

Downtown Chico Chamber of Commerce The gateway to learning about the city, the Chico Chamber of Commerce offers visitors brochures detailing everything from bike paths to downtown businesses. 180 E. Fourth St., Ste. 120, 891-5556, chicochamber.com

City Plaza The Chico City Plaza is the heart of downtown—a one-squareblock park that’s one of the public’s favorite outdoor gathering spaces and the site of many community events and concerts.

Downtown post office This United States Postal Service office on Fifth Street, situated just across the street from the City Plaza, is more than a place to buy stamps and send letters. A major downtown landmark, it’s recognized by the National Register of Historic Places and features a beautiful arched entrance and Renaissance revival architecture. It was built in 1916 and offers passport services five days per week. 141 W. Fifth St., 342-5048.

El Rey Theater This historic venue, built in 1906, was Chico’s first vaudeville theater. It served as a first-run movie theater for several decades until 2005. Then, it reopened as a performance venue. In 2017, its new owners completed

See Downtown Chico map, page 28

Made in Chico renovations, adding an open dance floor. 230 W. Second St., 570-8575, elreychico.com

Fred Davis Municipal Center Outside Chico’s civic center, named for longtime former City Manager Fred Davis, is one of Chico’s most iconic sculptures— “Our Hands,” a massive pair of hands with iconic images of Chico embedded in the surface. Inside the Municipal Center are city offices and more local artwork. Open Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 411 Main St., 8967200, chico.ca.us

Hotel Diamond The beautifully renovated Hotel Diamond is an homage to the original luxury hotel, built there in 1904. Now, it offers standard rooms and luxury suites (and you don’t have to be a guest to enjoy its fine bar and restaurant, Diamond Steakhouse). 220 W. Fourth St., 893-3100, hotel diamondchico.com

Old Municipal Building Built in 1911, this facility served as the center for city government for many decades. Now, it is home to a Chico Police Department substation and second-floor conference rooms that are regularly used for city-affiliated and community group meetings. 441 Main St.

Phoenix Building This downtown fixture, located at the southwest corner of West Fourth Street and Broadway, houses a variety of stores, including a yogurt shop, a salon and a long-beloved restaurant on its second floor. Constructed in 1889, the Phoenix Building was gutted by a fire in

The name 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 in downtown Chico. 127 W. Third St., 894-7009, madeinchicostore.com

The Outlet This weekend-only store (open Friday-Sunday) in downtown sells discounted women’s clothing from local company Lulus—don’t miss the vibrant “Love” mural at its headquarters on Humboldt Avenue. 232 Broadway, 999-2254, lulusoutlet.com

Upper Park Clothing and Provisions Chico and Butte County-themed apparel inspired by the outdoors, along with other locally designed and created items, from backpacks to wine glasses. 122 W. Third St., 487-7118, upperparkclothing.com

Arts & Culture ART GALLERIES 1078 Gallery The volunteer-run nonprofit’s mission is to present “exciting exhibitions of contemporary and experimental artworks in visual, musical, literary, film, and performance mediums.” Check website for calendar. Gallery hours: Thurs.– Sun., noon-4 p.m. 1710 Park Ave., 1078gallery.org

Art, Etc. Art, prints and framing in downtown Chico. 256 E. First St., 895-1161, facebook.com/artetc chicocalifornia CHICO continued on page 16 DISCOVER 15

CHICO continued from page 15

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: Mon.-Fri., noon-4 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 450 Orange St., Ste. 6, 895-8726, chicoartcenter.com

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. 261 E. Third St. 570-3895, chicoartschool.com

Chico Paper Company 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. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon4 p.m. 345 Broadway, 891-0900, chicopapercompany.com

G-Town Hot Shop G-Town Hot Shop is a community-oriented glass-blowing studio. Stop by on Sundays when the gallery is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. or sign up for a workshop to join the fun. 2280 Ivy St., Ste. 120, 899-9533, gtownhotshop.com

Idea Fabrication Labs

Sally Dimas Art Gallery & Studio

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, ideafablabs.com

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., Ste. 1, 3453063, sallydimasartgallery.com

Jacki Headley University Art Gallery “A laboratory and exhibition space for contemporary practices,” this campus gallery features exhibits by local, national and international artists. Arts & Humanities Building, Chico State. Hours: Mon.-Sat., noon4 p.m. 898-5864, headleygallery csuchico.com

Ninth Avenue Gallery & Studio Local-artist studio and gallery. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. 180 E. Ninth Ave., Ste. 1, 3182105, ninthavenuegallery.com

Orient & Flume Art Glass This Chico gallery offers a variety of world-class vases, bowls and assorted glassworks. Call for information about glass-blowing demonstrations. 2161 Park Ave. 893-0373, orientandflume.com

Provisions Gallery A white-wall gallery with painting and illustration exhibits that change every quarter. In the back of Upper Park Clothing. 122 W. Third St. provisionsgallery.com

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. Gallery hours: Tues.-Sat., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 819 Wall St., 345-7985, satava.com

Vagabond Rose Fine art, crafts and framing at this downtown shop. 236 Main St., 343-1110

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, blueroomtheatre.com

California Regional Theatre High-quality, large-scale musical and youth theater productions staged at the Chico Unified School District’s Center for the Arts (1475 East Ave.). 800-722-4522, crtshows.com CHICO continued on page 18

Jacki Headley University Art Gallery


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Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park Visitor Center

CHICO continued from page 16

Chico Theater Company Chico Theater Company has been producing musical theater since 2003. 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, 894-3282, chicotheatercompany.com

Legacy Stage New theater company run by local theater vets and instructors staging a wide range of classic and new works at rotating venues. legacystage.org

Slow Theatre A different kind of company committed to a deliberate approach to producing theater. Performances, including the Butcher Shop and Garage Fest theater festivals, are staged at various local venues. slowtheatre.com

MUSEUMS 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 restored state park, the home is open for tours, and visitors will find a localhistory display in the Visitor Center. Tours are $3 for children ages 5-17, $6 for adults. Children 4 and younger are free. Visitor Center hours: Sat.18 DISCOVER

Mon., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 525 Esplanade, 895-6144, bidwellmansionpark.com

Chico Air Museum This museum, located at the Chico Municipal Airport, includes an outdoor exhibit space featuring jets and propeller-driven aircrafts, as well as an indoor space with historic displays and artifacts. Hours: Thurs.Sun., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 165 Ryan Ave., 345-6468, chicoairmuseum.org

Chico Children’s Museum This museum in the heart of downtown Chico offers fun learning activities for kids of all ages. Plus, a sensory room created with autistic kids in mind. A variety of memberships—or day passes—available. Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. 325 Main St., 809-1492, chicochildrensmuseum.org

Chico History Museum Housed in a 1905 Carnegie Library, the Chico History Museum features permanent exhibits on Chico’s history, including a 19th-century Chinese temple. $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, students and children ages 5-12. Open Thurs.-Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 141 Salem St., 891-4336, chicohistorymuseum.org

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. Admission: $7 for adults, $5 for students and children

3-17, free for Chico State students and children under 2. Hours: Wed.Sun., noon-5 p.m. 625 Esplanade (next door to Bidwell Mansion), 8984121, www.csuchico.edu/gateway

Janet Turner Print Museum In addition to housing nearly 4,000 prints by such artists as Goya, Rembrandt and Renoir—as well as works by the museum’s namesake—this museum hosts themed showcases of its collection, as well as curated exhibits of contemporary works, including the annual Janet Turner National Print Competition and Exhibition. Hours: Mon.-Sat., noon-4 p.m., or by appointment. Arts & Humanities Building, Chico State. 898-4476, www.csuchico.edu/turner

Museum of Northern California Art This museum, in the refurbished Veterans Hall building, features contemporary and modern art in a variety of media—paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, ceramics and more. Hours: Thurs.-Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $5 admission. 900 Esplanade, 487-7272, monca.org

National Yo-Yo Museum The largest public display of yoyos in the country. It’s also home to the Chico Yo-Yo Club. Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. 320 Broadway (at the rear of Bird in Hand), 893-0545, nationalyoyo.org

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., 3423037, stansburyhome.org

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. Check site for hours (vary by season). 898-5397, www.csuchico.edu/anthmuseum


B eautiful J ewelry & M uch M ore !

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Cinemark 14 Chico’s big theater, with 14 screens showing first-run films. Now serving beer and wine. 801 East Ave., Ste. 2. 879-0143, cinemark.com

Pageant Theatre

Celebrating over 40 years of the Art of Glassblowing.

This downtown Chico landmark presents art-house films, cult classics and documentaries in a casual atmosphere. Get there early for the couches in the front row, and don’t miss out on Cheap Skate Mondays: $4. Now serving beer. 351 E. Sixth St., 343-0663, pageantchico.com

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 Middle/Upper Park. Lower Park’s thick canopy of trees provides shade for its many grassy fields and creekside hideaways. Middle Park is a relatively small section filled with some of the park’s most popular developed features, including Bidwell Golf Course, an observatory, Five-Mile Recreation CHICO continued on page 20

Art Glass Studio (530) 345–7985


819 Wall St, Chico



Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 9 to 4 Viewing of Glassblowing usually available Tuesday through Thursday during non-summer months! Discover 19

CHICO continued from page 19

Area and Horseshoe Lake. From there, the park gets much more wild. Upper Park—which extends 5 miles along both sides of Big Chico Creek Canyon—ranges from lush riparian habitat to rugged rock faces. Below are some special places within Lower and Middle Bidwell Park. For the more adventurous, see Outdoor Adventures (page 74) for details on Upper Park hikes. And visit the city’s website at chico.ca.us for more info and park updates. • Caper Acres A much-beloved playground with swings, slides, Humpty Dumpty on his wall and a soft, spongy central area with a ship and a dragon for kids to climb on. Open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Tues.-Sun. 500 S. Park Drive. • Cedar Grove Cedar Grove Picnic Area and Meadow offers easily accessible picnic tables and barbecues along with an open green space to relax near the creek and access to the World of Trees Independence Trail. Open 7:30 a.m. till 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. Museum hours: Wed.-Sat., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 1968 E. Eighth St., 891-4671, chicorec.com/ chico-creek-nature-center • One-Mile Recreation Area Soaking up the sun, swimming in the creek-fed 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 bike or automobile through entrances on Fourth Street, Vallombrosa Way and Woodland Ave. • Lower Bidwell Park trails Foot, bicycle and equestrian paths run the length of Chico’s Lower Bidwell Park. Trails run through stately oak groves and near the riparian zone of Big Chico Creek, 20 DISCOVER

One-Mile Recreation Area

where creekside paths offer beautiful views of the water and seclusion amid the trees. Take South Park Drive or Petersen Memorial Way to any turnoff.

barbecues, a shallow swimming area and ample space make it a popular spot for group gatherings. Accessible from Centennial Avenue or 5 Mile Road (off Wildwood Avenue).

• Chico Community Observatory The Chico Community Observatory is a delight for astronomers and amateur stargazers alike. It is home to two huge telescopes and an outdoor planetarium. Open from sunset to park closing on clear nights Friday-Sunday. Located near Horseshoe Lake in Middle Park (off Wildwood Avenue/Upper Park Road on Observatory Way), 487-4071

• Hooker Oak Recreation Area This area is home to the beautiful Doryland Field baseball facility, 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 circle left onto Manzanita Avenue—Hooker Oak will be on your right. 1928 Manzanita Ave.

• Five-Mile Recreation Area At the foot of Upper Bidwell Park, Five-Mile is a more relaxed and less populated family recreation area than One-Mile. Picnic tables,

• Horseshoe Lake A perfect place to walk the dog (with a designated off-leash area) or go fishing, Horseshoe Lake also serves as a jumping-off point for Upper Park’s miles of rugged trails.

Chico Seed Orchard A 1-mile, self-guided loop runs through the Mendocino National Forest 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. Drive to the gate at the end of Cramer Lane. Main gate open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; pedestrian gate open all week, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. (till 5 p.m. during winter). 934-3316

Gallery Hours 10am-5pm Mon-Sat EST.1972 2161 Parl Ave, Chico 530.893.0373 www.orientandflume.com

Children’s Playground Steps from downtown, this city park adjacent to Chico State features 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. The Bidwell Bowl Amphitheater is located along nearby Big Chico Creek. 202 W. First St.

Community Park Officially named Community Park, but also called “20th Street Park” and “MLK Park,” this popular 20-acre space features tennis and pickleball 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, chicorec.com

DeGarmo Park This north Chico complex 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. 199 Leora Court. 895-4711, chicorec.com

for s u n i jo

y a d i r f h c n lu




18 15

19 16




Dorothy F. Johnson Center Located near the heart of Chico’s southside Chapman neighborhood, the center comprises 3 acres and features a playground, basketball courts, an indoor gym, a picnic area, CHICO continued on page 22

345 West FiFth street ChiCo, CA 95928 (530) 891–6328 Open Fridays for Lunch 11:30am to 2:30pm

Now taking Reservations at 5thstreetsteakhouse.com

Join us for Happy Hour 7 days a week 4:30 to 6:00pm



Entrées less than $10 Entrées priced $10-$15 Entrées priced $15 and up

Mangrove Ave., 345-4571, restau rantsnapshot.com/TheBigTuna $

Chan Pheng’s Mandarin Cuisine This gem tucked into a strip mall offers traditional Mandarin, Hunan and Szechuan cuisine. Delivery available. Closed Mondays. 1140 Mangrove Ave., 894-6888, chanphengschico.weebly.com $

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

Coco’s Ramen

Coco’s Ramen

CHICO continued from page 21

office space and kitchen. 775 E. 16th St., 895-4707, chicorec.com

Humboldt Avenue Skate Park The park was completely remodeled in 2018 and now includes a bigger bowl and expanded street features. 371 Humboldt Ave., 895-4711, chicorec.com

Verbena Fields This 21-acre, rough-hewn nature park was formerly a gravel quarry. Located between Lindo Channel and East First Avenue near Verbena Avenue, it features native plants, a trail loop and the colorful Mechoopda Trail Youth Mural.

Wildwood Park A gateway to Upper Park, this 17-acre site features play structures, Little League fields and the Wildwood Pump Track, a 240-by180-foot dirt course for BMX and mountain bikers. The park, which was built in 1995, also has covered picnic areas and two softball fields. 100 Wildwood Ave. 895-4711, chicorec.com 22 DISCOVER

A real-deal ramen shop featuring build-your-own ramen (the rich tonkatsu is a great start), a variety of appetizers (pork katsu, gyoza, fried baby squid, etc.) and sakes. Open for dinner daily, lunch weekends. 1008 W. Sacramento Ave., Ste. 1A, 965-5541. $-$$

Halo Hawaiian BBQ & Poke Bar

Dining Note: Dining and nightlife listings in this guide are not comprehensive; we’ve included a mix of recent Best of Chico winners and editors’ picks to provide options. For full listings, check out Savor, a comprehensive dining and nightlife guide, which the CN&R produces annually.

ASIAN Aonami Sustainable Sushi This sleek, modern downtown restaurant offers Asian fusion and Japanese cuisine made mostly from North State ingredients. As the name says, the fish is sustainable (nothing on the “red” list), and there are plenty of vegan options, too. Closed Sundays. 128 W. Second St., 774-2981, aonamichico.com $$

Big Tuna Sushi Bistro Traditional Japanese sushi and a variety of appetizers are served in a cozy establishment. (Find its sister restaurant, Izakaya Ichiban, on Notre Dame Boulevard.) 1722

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

Happy Garden This family-operated restaurant specializes in delicious, authentic Chinese cuisine served in generous portions in a nice atmosphere. Takeout available. 180 Cohasset Road, 893-2574, happygardenchico.com $

Japanese Blossoms Creative Japanese cuisine crafted with local ingredients. In addition to sushi and sashimi, there’s a nice list of fully cooked entrees. Vegan and allergen-friendly dishes available. Open daily for lunch and dinner, with nightly happy hour specials. 2995 Esplanade, Ste. 104, 891-9022, japaneseblossoms.com $$

Momona Noodles + Bao Specializing in ramen, bao (steamed buns) and other Asianinspired dishes. Plus a sake bar! CHICO continued on page 24

• Now Open Thursday and Friday Lunch • Tuesday All Night Happy Hour • Early Bird Three Course Dinner 5-6pm Each Night • Wine Wednesdays with Live Music • Sunday Champagne Brunch • Wine Maker’s Dinners and Fun Events Such as Spanish Flamenco Nights, Portuguese Dinner and Tastes of France”

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CHICO continued from page 22

Closed Sundays and Mondays. 230 W. Third St., 487-7488, momona chico.com $$

more; lunch served weekdays. French-press coffee, espresso, beer and wine. 265 Humboldt Ave., 5669476, cafecoda.com $$

Noodle House


Delicious Vietnamese and fusion cuisine, including soups, bowls and wraps. 605 Mangrove Ave., Ste. 130, 345-2022 $

Ojiya Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar Sit around the hibachi and watch the chefs grill steaks, seafood and vegetarian fare with flair. Or, sidle up to the sushi bar. 2477 Forest Ave., 899-1199 $$

Pho C & C A variety of Vietnamese cuisine, including soups, rolls, noodles and grilled or barbecued meats. 3211 Cohasset Road, 892-1415 $$

The Rawbar Hip downtown sushi bar and Asian grill, with full bar, happy hour and affordable lunches. Reservations accepted. 346 Broadway, 897-0626, rawbarchico.com $$

Rice Bowl A sit-down restaurant serving delicious Chinese and Japanese cuisine. (Check out the Peking Beef!) Also featuring a sushi bar, tatami rooms, beer and wine. 2804 Esplanade, 899-9098, ricebowlchico. squarespace.com $$

Thai Express Good food, large portions and inexpensive prices. Regulars rave about the red curry. Be warned: “Thai hot” means hot! Open evenings. 305 Nord Ave., 898-8424 $$

Tong Fong Low Offering authentic Chinese cuisine, Tong Fong Low has been a staple in Oroville for more than a century and is well-established in Chico. 2072 E. 20th St., 898-1388, tongfonglow.com $$

Vietnam Bistro Fresh, authentic Vietnamese food, from summer and spring rolls to vermicelli soup. Patio seating available. 788 East Ave., 433-7108 $

BreakfaSt NookS Café Coda Serving breakfast, including scrambles, omelets, burritos and 24 Discover

Satisfy cravings for Mom’s homecooked specialties. Featuring breakfast favorites, fresh salads and sandwiches. Conveniently located near campus. 209 Salem St., 893-3447, momschico.com $$

Morning Thunder Café A popular breakfast (and lunch) café at the foot of Bidwell Park. 352 Vallombrosa Ave., 342-9717, morningthundercafe.com $-$$

Nash’s Restaurant Unique omelet selections made with fresh and local ingredients, as well as traditional breakfast fare. 1717 Esplanade, 896-1147, nashsrestaurantchico.com $$

Old Barn Kitchen Known for its Benedicts, but serving up plenty of other brunch options as well. Plus a full espresso bar. 301 Main St., 762-2224 $$

The Roost Café Specialties include eggs Benedict, corned beef hash and Roost burgers. (Plus, their potato pancakes are scrumptious.) Full espresso bar. Real food, real butter and real good home cooking. Serving breakfast all day and lunch at 11 a.m. 1144 Park Ave., 892-1281 $-$$

Sin of Cortez Enjoy specialty coffees or teas and a variety of pancake options at one of Chico’s favorite breakfast and lunch places. With a full bar, Sin also serves Irish coffees, Bloody Marys, mimosas and more. Cash only. 2290 Esplanade, 879-9200, sinofcortezchico.com $$

BurgerS, DeliS & DogS Burger Hut Burgers Serving ground beef with no hormones or antibiotics. Burgers are basted with Burger Hut’s signature barbecue sauce. Pair with fries, tater tots or onion rings and thick milkshakes. Plus, a topping bar, so you can make it just how you like it! Two locations: 3211 Cohasset Road, 3424555; 2451 Forest Ave., 891-1430, burgerhut.com $

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 St., 879-9100 $$

Fast Eddie’s Featuring tri-tip and pulled-pork sandwiches in addition to a massive menu of more than 70 specialty burgers and sandwiches. Also offers taters, flatbread pizzas and salads. 1175 East Ave., 342-8555, fasteddieschico.com $

Kinder’s Custom Meats & Deli Go for the marinated ball-tip steak sandwich, a Kinder’s specialty. Plus, killer sweet-potato fries (don’t forget the in-house sauce). Catering available. 221 Normal Ave., 3423354, kindersbbq.com $$

Nobby’s A local favorite for grabbin’ burgers and the original home of the “cheese skirt.” The veggie burger also is outstanding. Also offers cheesesteak sandwiches. Closed Sunday and Monday. 1444 Park Ave., 342-2285 $

Smokin’ Mo’s BBQ Smokin’ Mo’s is a fixture in downtown Chico. Ribs, chicken, tri-tip and more, all slow-smoked for hours. Plus, four barbecue sauces for ultimate slathering. 131 Broadway, 8916677, mosbbq.com $$

Spiteri’s Delicatessen A longtime Chico fave, Spiteri’s serves a variety of sandwiches with plenty of meat, along with daily specialty salads, beer and wine at great prices. Closed Sunday. 971 East Ave., 891-4797, spiterisdeli.com $

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

CaSual DiNiNg B Street Public House Delicious gastropub fare, along with an extensive list of craft brews and specialty cocktails. Offers brunch, and Ramen Mondays during the cold months. Great back patio. Try the trashy fried chicken tacos. CHICO continued on page 26

Centerville Museum & Schoolhouse Saturdays and Sundays 1:00 to 4:00

Mark your calendars to attend the

The historic Colman Museum and Schoolhouse is home to many collections of gold mining equipment, Native American basketry, antique tools, historic clothing, Civil War memorabilia, and interesting regional history. The museum and schoolhouse are open Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 in Centerville. Take Skyway to Honeyrun Road and pass the Honeyrun Bridge site. Veer left onto Centerville Road. The Centerville Museum is just 4 miles ahead.

Centerville Recreation & Historical Association

Annual 49er Faire on Sunday, June 7! There will be a large plant sale, silent auction, live music, beer and wine, many arts and crafts vendors, demonstrators, and a BBQ for your enjoyment! This ad sponsored by

13548 Centerville Road, Chico, CA 95928 www.centervillemuseum.com

Family owned and operated for 82 years

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Chico Mall (530) 809-4151

F R A M E W H AT Y O U L O V E New owners. New location. Same amazing service. 256 East 1st Street, Chico · 530-895-1161 · artinchico.com · artetc256@gmail.com


CHICO continued from page 24

117 Broadway, 899-8203, bstreet pub.com $$

Bacio Catering, Carry Out & Biz Box A popular south Chico eatery that serves an array of healthful, seasonal, local and delicious food. 1903 Park Ave., 345-7787, baciocatering.com $$

The Banshee Serving up burgers and a variety of other pub eats (don’t miss their mac ’n’ cheese and delish fish and chips) along with an impressive menu of draft and bottled beers. 134 W. Second St., 895-9670, thebansheechico.com $$

Big Hot Crab A Cajun-style seafood restaurant on the edge of downtown. They serve a variety of seasoned seafood options, such as shrimp and crab— in a bag! Prepare to get dirty. But don’t worry, you’ll wear a bib. 701 Main St., 879-1822 $$

Bill’s Towne Lounge One of downtown Chico’s newest hotspots, Bill’s Towne Lounge offers killer food (including catfish, pozole, and shrimp/mushroom and grits) and drinks, plus old-school arcade games. And a pool table on the enclosed patio! 131 Main St., 487-7031, billstownelounge.com $$

The Banshee

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 with a bird’s-eye view of downtown Chico. Plus, happy hour specials. 300 Broadway, 8998075, broadwayheightschico.com $$

Foodie Café

Fresh Twisted Café Also known as Hernandez Farms, Fresh Twisted Café offers fresh juices, hearty food and nondairy smoothies. Also serving up sandwiches and organic beef burgers. Organic and gluten-free options! 156 Eaton Road, Ste. E, 809-2489, ftcafechico.com $

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. Try the donut-topped milkshakes! 999 Marauder St., 433-5539, thefoodie cafe.com $

Italian Cottage Restaurant

Franky’s Pizzeria & Lounge

The Lab Bar & Grill

Locally owned for 25 years, serving pizza, Italian dishes, beer and wine. Open late on weekends, plus delivery available. 506 Ivy St., Take out: 898-9947; reservations: 8989948, frankyschico.com $$ 26 DISCOVER

Family-owned and -operated since 1965, Italian Cottage is known for its lasagna along with sandwiches, pizza, pasta and salads. Also serves breakfast. Two locations: 2234 Esplanade, 343-7000; and 2525 Dominic Drive, 342-7771, theitaliancottage.com $$ The Lab is no ordinary bar. It’s the home base for the Chico Beer Enthusiasts club, so there are always plenty of new and different brews on tap. Great food, too—the chicken sandwich is killer! 250 Cohasset

Road, Ste. 10, 487-8565, labbarand grill.com $-$$

La Salles La Salles is an upscale bar and eatery with two impressive patios— one along Broadway and another in the back. Serving lunch and dinner, plus happy hour daily and brunch on weekends. Closed MondayTuesday. 229 Broadway, 487-7207, lasalleschico.com $$

OM Foods Fresh, healthy, organic, vegetarian and vegan food. Fish options, too! Plus house-brewed teas, fresh squeezed lemonade, and acai bowls. 142 Broadway, 965-5263, iloveom foods.com $-$$

The Pour House American cuisine served in a casual atmosphere. Full bar with several taps of craft beer and a big selection of wines. The patio feaCHICO continued on page 28


Bakery Open 7 days a week 130 Main Street Downtown Chico www.uppercrustchico.com (530) 895-3866


530.891.9022 Open for Lunch, Dinner and Cocktails 2995 Esplanade #104 Chico, CA 95973

Sustainably Sourced Seafood Fresh Local Produce • Fully Cooked Entrees


Voted Best Sushi since 2015

2018 Best of Chico 1st place winner in Sushi, Chef & Local Restaurant categories! DISCOVER 27

CHICO continued from page 26

Beatnik’s Coffee House and Breakfast Joint

tures a huge, impossible-to-miss TV screen. 855 East Ave., 893-3000, chicopourhouse.com $$

Tender Loving Coffee Artisan house-roasted coffees and teas, plus a full bar. Also offers wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches and vegan options. Live music some nights. 365 E. Sixth St., 433-0414, tenderlovingcoffee.com $$

Popular local hotspot offering scrambles and omelets, pastries and coffee. 1387 E 8th St., 894-2800, chicobeatniks.com $

T. Tea Bar & Fusion Café More than 40 teas and fusion favorites, including hoisin barbecue salmon, London broil, pork tenderloin, sweet chili chicken bowls and wraps. Two locations: 250 Vallombrosa Ave., 895-8100; and 555 Flying V St., Ste. 1, 809-1545, ilovetbar.com $

Blackbird A bustling community space that operates as an anarchist bookstore, coffee shop, art gallery and performance space with live music and more. 1431 Park Ave., 433-1577 $

FINE DINING 5th Street Steakhouse Locally owned, full-service steakhouse featuring USDA prime beef, fresh seafood, house-made desserts and an extensive wine list. 345 W. Fifth St., 891-6328, 5thstreetsteak house.com $$$

Naked Lounge Tea & Coffeehouse


Serving handcrafted mochas, cappuccinos and fresh-brewed coffees, along with premium loose-leaf teas and gluten-free treats. Hosts live music performances. 118 W. Second St., nakedloungechico.com $

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

Basque Norte Family-owned since 1975, Basque Norte offers steak, lamb, chicken,












Chico Certified Farmers’ Market


Hotel Diamond


Old Municipal Building


Senator Theatre


Pageant Theatre


El Rey Theater


Bidwell Mansion


Chico Chamber of Commerce

Public parking D



quail, ribs and seafood in a rustic Basque atmosphere. Closed MondayTuesday. 3355 Esplanade, 891-5204, basquenorte.com $$$

Christian Michaels Ristorante Featuring a California-style, Mediterranean and Italian menu, with a full bar and extensive wine list. Happy hour daily. 192 E. Third St., 894-4005, chicochristian michaels.com $$$

Diamond Steakhouse Inside the Hotel Diamond, this restaurant uses fresh ingredients from local family farms, offering responsibly sourced seafood and prime cuts of steak. It all pairs well with the wine, bourbon and scotch offerings. 220 W. Fourth St., 8951515, diamondsteakhousechico.com $$-$$$

Grana Wood Fired Foods Farm-to-table-inspired Italian ostería featuring locally sourced, sustainable small plates, salads, entrees and traditional Neapolitanstyle pizza. Italian-focused wine list and craft beers. Closed Sunday– Monday. 198 E. Second St., 809-2304, granachico.com $$

Discover Butte county

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Practicing Meditation & Mindfulness

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 ball court. All-night happy hour on Tuesdays and live music on Wednesdays (and other evenings on occasion). 1250 Esplanade, 894-3463, redtavern.com $$$

Sierra Nevada Taproom & Restaurant Sierra Nevada boasts bistro fare, award-winning ales and lagers and an excellent wine list. Try a beer sampler. 1075 E. 20th St., 345-2739, sierranevada.com $$-$$$

Unwined Kitchen & Bar Restaurant/lounge specializing in roasted, wood-fired dishes, from starters to meals. Plus, more than 60 wines from around the world, as well as craft beers on tap. 980 Mangrove Ave., 809-2634, unwinedchico.com $$$ CHICO continued on page 30

Empowering You to Live Your Best Life!

A Welcoming Congregation Sunday services at 10:30 1289 Filbert Ave., Chico, CA (530) 343-1693 • uuchico.org

Demonstrating Oneness, Healing & Gratitude

530.895.8395 • cslchico.org 14 Hillary Ln, Chico 95973

All are Welcome... Trinity United Methodist Church We endeavor to be a church that is open, loving, welcoming, and accepting of all persons. Worship Services Sunday 8:30 and 10:30am Children, Youth & Adult Sunday School As followers of Jesus, we seek to help all people cultivate and deepen their relationships with God and each other.

285 E 5th St. ChiCo, California (530) 343-1497 • chicotrinity.org Discover 29

CHICO continued from page 29

Wine Time A renovated early 1900s barn is the home of this family-owned wine bar serving a variety of small plates tapasstyle, including farm-fresh salads, flatbreads and appetizers. Plus, vegan and vegetarian entree and dessert options. Extensive wine list, with weekly tastings featuring local offerings. Live music on Saturdays. Closed Sunday– Monday. 26 Lost Dutchman Drive, 899-9250, winetimechico.com $$

InternatIonal eats Inday’s Filipino Food Filipino specialties, from pork adobo to lumpia to halang halang. Breakfast and lunch daily, in addition to brunch and dinner on weekends. Plus, find Inday’s food cart at local events. Closed Monday-Wednesday. 1043 W. Eighth St., Ste. B, 520-2593, indays.weebly.com $

Priya Indian Cuisine Specializing in northern and southern Indian cuisine, served in a comfortable setting. Don’t miss the lunch buffet! 2574 Esplanade, 8991055, chicopriya.com $$

Sol Mexican Grill

Live Life Juice Co.

Burritos, tacos, enchiladas, tostadas and chimichangas served in a casual north Chico location. Hang out with friends on the patio or in the cantina (or order to-go). Plus, there’s a mobile app. Family-run since 2011. 3269 Esplanade, 342-4616, solmexicangrill.com $

Located in the heart of downtown, Live Life Juice Co. offers fresh juice and elixirs daily. Wonderfully tasty and healthful fruit and vegetable juice blends high in nutritional value. Plus gluten-free, vegan, readymade food options! 220 Broadway, 566-3466, livelifejuiceco.com $

Tres Hombres Long Bar & Grill

Lovely Layers Cakery

Freshly prepared guacamole, ceviche, sizzling fajitas, seafood chile rellenos, and abundant vegetarian options. Award-winning margaritas and over 120 premium tequilas. Sidewalk patio seating and private banquet facility available. Happy hour daily. 100 Broadway, 342-0425, treshombreschico.com $$

Freshly baked cupcakes and cookies available daily. Made-to-order specialty cakes and wedding cakes. Dozens of flavors on a monthly rotating menu—just get there early, as they sometimes sell out. Open Tuesday-Saturday. 131 Meyers St., 828-9931, lovelylayerscakery.com $

PIzza Celestino’s New York Pizza & Pasta Award-winning New York-style pizza, plus with fresh salads, hot sandwiches, lasagna, calzones and more. Available by the slice or as a full pie. Additional pasta menu at East Avenue location. 101 Salem St., 896-1234; and 1354 East Ave., Ste. V, 345-7700, celestinospizza.com $-$$

Midnite Munchies Cookies, brownies, milk—everything you’re craving at midnight but don’t have the energy to bake yourself. Delivers 8 p.m.-1 a.m., Mon.Sat. Plus, Midnite Munchies recently opened a dessert stand at 1008 W. Sacramento Ave. 514-3345, midnitemunchies.com $

Shubert’s Ice Cream & Candy

Specializing in borrego (lamb shank) and fresh fajitas: steak, chicken and shrimp. Two locations: 216 W. East Ave., 894-0119; and 2490 Fair St., 893-5050, casaramos.net $$

Artisan pizzas where the farmer is the star. Featuring local, organic and seasonal toppings and salads, and beer and wine served in a casual, fun, family-friendly atmosphere. Regularly hosts live music. 2359 Esplanade, 343-2056, farmstarpizza.com $$

This local favorite has produced handmade ice cream and confections for 75 years and running at its downtown location, which is open until 10 p.m. daily. Enjoy scoops, banana splits or root beer floats on the benches out front. Two locations: 178 E. Seventh St., 342-7163; and 1950 E. 20th St. (inside the Chico Mall), 8094151, shuberts.com $

Gordo Burrito

Woodstock’s Pizza

Sweet Chico Confections

Farm Star Pizza

MexIcan Casa Ramos

Serving burritos, tostadas, tortas, tacos, quesadillas and chimichangas. Great shrimp specials and friendly service. Find it inside the Valero gas station. 1295 E. Eighth St., 809-1211, gordo-burrito.com $

La Hacienda Serving traditional and contemporary Mexican cuisine since 1948! Make sure you try the restaurant’s signature pink sauce. Yum! Plus, delicious specialty margaritas. 2635 Esplanade, 893-8270, lahacienda-chico. com $$

Mariscos la Costa Mexican Seafood Grill Specializes in coastal Mexican fare, featuring shrimp, calamari, lobster, snapper and more. Think well beyond the fish taco. 1141 Forest Ave., Ste. 10, 342-3627 $$

This award-winning pizzeria recently relocated to spacious new digs at Third and Main streets. Cool vibe with a U-shaped bar indoors and fire pits and games on the patio. Still offering cold beer on tap, fresh salads, appetizers, sandwiches and desserts. Dine in, take-out and delivery. 2450 Main St., Ste. 100, 893-1500, woodstockschico.com $$

sweets La Flor de Michoacán Palatería y Nevería A Mexican ice cream shop with many homemade flavors and toppings, plus other sweet treats. Three locations: 1080 W. Sacramento Ave., Ste. C, 893-9999; 1354 East Ave., Ste. K, 774-2219; and 668 Mangrove Ave., 774-2461; lafloricecream.com $

30 Discover

sign off with date:

An old-fashioned candy store with more than 5,000 treats, including specialty chocolate and hand-scooped gelato and sorbetto. 121 W. Third St., 332-9866, sweetchico.com $

Tin Roof Bakery & Café If you’re in the mood for a flaky pastry or decadent tart, look no farther than Tin Roof. Also serving up French macarons, cookies and cakes, in addition to a full espresso bar. 627 Broadway, Ste. 170, 892-2893, tin roofbakeryandcafe.com $

Upper Crust Bakery & Eatery Baking fine pastries, specialty cakes, pies, cookies and cupcakes. Also serves breakfast and quick bites for lunch, including salads, sandwiches and soups. 130 Main St., 895-3866, uppercrustchico.com $ CHICO continued on page 32

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Nightlife DRINK UP The Allies Pub British Bulldog Brewery’s public face. Pop in for a true English pint and some bangers and mash. Plus, a dozen or so wines available. 434 Broadway, Ste. 130, 892-8759, britishbulldogbrewery.com

Argus Bar + Patio One of downtown Chico’s hipper hotspots, Argus offers craft cocktails, a beautiful patio and live music. 212 W. Second St., facebook.com/argusbar

Bella’s Sports Pub Great pub food and full bar along with sports on big-screen, high-definition TVs. Don’t miss Wing Wednesdays! 134 Broadway, 893-5253, bellassportspubchico.com; scheduled to move around the corner to 231 Main Street soon.

The Beach There’s a swanky VIP area on the second floor, complete with 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., 8989898, thebeachinchico.com

The Brew Kettle Taproom and Bottle Shop A laid-back beer bar where you can bring your crew to watch the game or just chill out and relax with a pint. Beer to go, too! 995 Nord Ave., Ste. 150

Chico Taproom Serving “craft beer for everyone, from craft beer beginners to craft beer nerds,” with 40 beers on tap. No food service, but customers are encouraged to bring their own meals or snacks. Open Wed.-Mon., lunchlate. 2201 Pillsbury Road, Ste. 114, 774-2943, thechicotaproom.com

The Commons Social Empourium Chico’s only pour-your-own beer bar, The Commons sells booze by the ounce—you choose among the

many taps flowing with craft beers, ciders and wines. Food trucks serve in the parking lot. 2412 Park Ave., 774-2999, thecommonschico.com

Crazy Horse Saloon This large bar specializes in country music. There’s occasional live music and even a mechanical bull to ride (after you sign some legal paperwork). 303 Main St., 894-5408

The DownLo 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. Order the bloody mary! Wednesday is dance night (10 p.m.) and Friday happy hour (4 p.m.) features live traditional Irish music ($1 entry). 337 Main St., 343-7718

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

LaRocca Vineyards Organic Wine Tasting Room Downtown satellite tasting room of the Forest Ranch winery. Open Wed.-Sun. 222 W. Second St., 8999463, laroccavineyards.com

The Lost Dutchman Taproom A craft beer bar to complement Wine Time across the parking lot. A small menu of comfort foods, plus 19 beers on tap. Open Mon.-Sat. 25 Lost Dutchman Drive, lostdutchman taproom.com

Madison Bear Garden Mouth-watering burgers and sandwiches and a full bar. Open every day, right next to campus. Fun décor, billiards upstairs and a great patio. 316 W. Second St., 8911639, madisonbeargarden.com

Oasis Bar & Grill “Chico’s oldest college beer joint” serves up great hand-pressed burgers, munchies and sandwiches, plus boasts seven pool tables and a full bar. 1007 W. First St., 343-4305, oasisbarandgrill.net The Commons Social Empourium

CHICO continued on page 34 32 DISCOVER

WHY MORE PEOPLE CHOOSE EARL’S PLUMBING AS THEIR PLUMBER IN BUTTE COUNTY • 97% Of Our Customers receive same day plumbing service • Our technicians wear booties to protect your home • Live person answering the phones 24/7 so if you have an issue, we send a plumber out no questions asked • Fully stocked vans so we can complete your plumbing project fast and you can get back to your life • 24 hour emergency plumbing service available. We know your plumbing doesn’t break on schedule. • Easy payment plans available for those unexpected plumbing emergencies.







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Baby Ballet • Ballet-Pointe • Tap • Hip Hop • Jazz Lyrical/Contemporary • Mommy & Me • Adult Dance Kinetics Dance Company • Birthday Tea Parties Open enrOllment

530-345-2505 • 627 Broadway St. #100, Chico • KineticsAcademyofDance.com DISCOVER 33

Maltese Bar & Tap Room

CHICO continued from page 32

outside. 212 W. Second St., 5702672, facebook.com/argusbar

Park Avenue Pub


Features half-pound, groundprime burgers, fresh-cut french fries, killer tots and a full bar. Catering available. 2010 Park Ave., 893-3500, parkavepub.net

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

Studio Inn Cocktail Lounge No-frills bar on the north end of town hosts live rock bands. 2582 Esplanade, 343-0662

LIVE MUSIC 1078 Gallery Longstanding cutting-edge art gallery hosts touring and local indie, experimental, punk, rock and metal acts a couple times a month. 1710 Park Ave., 321-9597, 1078gallery.org

Argus Bar + Patio Craft cocktail bar hostslive touring and local rock, indie and folk acts on the patio during during nice weather and inside when it’s cold 34 DISCOVER

Bookstore, community space, cafe hosts regular folk, indie, punk and spoken-word events. 1431 Park Ave., 433-1577, facebook.com/ blackbirdchico

El Rey Theater This historic venue has housed a Vaudeville theater, an Elks Lodge and a movie theater. It is now used for national touring music acts, local events and films. 230 W. Second St., 570-8575, elreychico.com

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., 892-2445, lostonmainchico.com

Maltese Bar & Tap Room 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, themaltesebar.com

Naked Lounge Hip downtown coffeehouse hosts

visiting and local rock, punk, indie and other styles of live music a few times a month. 118 W. Second St., nakedloungechico.com

Senator Theatre The ornate theater not only offers some great musical shows, but it’s also a major local landmark. Devil Makes Three, Modest Mouse and Snoop Dogg all have performed there. 517 Main St., jmaxproductions.net

Sierra Nevada Big Room The world-famous brewery’s “big” concert hall. See an eclectic mix of national indie, Americana, rock and folk acts—from Neko Case to Antibalas—in this state-of-the-art facility. 1075 E. 20th St., 892-4647, sierranevada.com/events

Tackle Box Bar & Grill Pub grub; live music from touring and local country, rock and hiphop acts; plus line dancing and pool tables. 379 E. Park Ave., 345-7499, tackleboxchico.com

Tender Loving Coffee Cozy cafe, with great food and coffee and a very eclectic calendar of live jazz, folk, blues, world, Latin and other music. 365 E. Sixth St., 433-0414, tenderloving ● coffee.com



Gold Rush town

Oroville State Theatre


ike much of Butte County, Oroville traces its roots—and its name—to the Gold Rush. Remnants of those times can be readily found in local museums, street names and historic buildings. Today, visitors are attracted to the city for its recreation—Lake Oroville offers plenty of opportunities for watersports, plus trails abound for hikers, bikers and horseback riders. 36 DISCOVER

Downtown is a growing 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 large manufacturers operate in Oroville. It’s also home to a number of agricultural enterprises, from wineries to olive and citrus orchards (see the Agritourism section on page 66 for more listings).

Give the Gift of Literacy

A Thinned Forest is a Healthy Forest!

Chinese Temple

The city proper has a population of nearly 20,000—buoyed by displaced residents of 2018’s Camp Fire. Including unincorporated communities in the vicinity, the greater Oroville area comprises 55,000 people (roughly one-fourth of the county’s population). The city’s boundaries encompass 17.1 square miles. Oroville sits below the lake, which is fed by four branches of the Feather River and in turn feeds the main stem of the river that winds through Oroville. The city is 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.

Downtown Miners Alley Once traversed by 49ers (of the Gold Rush variety) bringing their finds to the bank, Miners Alley spans about five blocks downtown. There’s an archway commemorating the history—and a brewery/restaurant that shares its name.

Oroville Inn This historic hotel was built in 1930 and over the past five years has experienced a renaissance. The exterior of the building and the residential wing were renovated first, with careful attention paid to historical features. The main building OROVILLE continued on page 38

Do you have an hour to spare? By 4th grade students are transitioning from learning-to-read to reading-to-learn. Over 60% of 4th graders in our community (and nation wide) do not read at grade level1. Statistically, 2/3rds of students who are not proficient readers by 4th grade wind up in jail or on welfare2.

Local biomass processing of forest vegetation will help our communities to create energy, heat & cooling

Thanks to Reading Pals volunteers, students enrolled in our program QUADRUPLE their literacy learning rate, gaining 1 full year of literacy skills in just 4 months in the program.

1 hour a week reading with a community volunteer changes a students life forever!

Join us now at readingpalschico.org 530.588.0119 readingpalschico.org 1. US Department of Education 2017 2. United Way: Illiteracy—A National Crisis

Learn More at ButteFireSafe.net 5619 Black Olive Dr. Paradise, CA 95969 (530) 877-0984 DISCOVER 37


OROVILLE continued from page 37

features a ballroom and large parlor area, where events are held. The residential wing opened to students of the Northwest Lineman College in 2016. 2066 Bird St., 990-7002

Oroville State Theatre Downtown Oroville wouldn’t feel complete without the State Theatre’s iconic marquee, which has been restored to its original grandeur. 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. 1489 Myers St., 538-2470, orovillestatetheatre. com

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 was originally 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 popular 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 sit and relax. 1101 Fifth Ave.

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

Rotary Park This park takes up an entire city block and features two baseball diamonds, a covered picnic area, barbecues, a basketball half court and a playground. 1200 Safford St.

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

Cycleland Speedway Open since 1963, Cycleland is 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, cyclelandspeedway.com

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. For larger boat rentals, including houseboats, check out Bidwell Canyon Marina (589-9175, bidwell canyonmarina.com) or Lake Oroville Marina (1-800-255-5561, lakeoro villemarina.com). And for more information on biking and personal watercraft rentals at the Forebay Aquatic Center or the Loafer Creek Horse Camp, see Outdoor Adventures, page 74. Lake Oroville info: 538-2542, lakeoroville.net. 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 OROVILLE continued on page 40


Sign off with date:

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OROVILLE continued from page 38

an observation platform, as well as underwater viewing windows. Self-guided and guided tours are available. Salmon spawning can be viewed best mid-September through mid-November, with steelhead best observed mid-December to midFebruary. Open daily, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. • 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 picnic tables and a sandy beach at the Thermalito Forebay South, but with its fourlane 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

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. West, 533-3922, tablemountaingolf.com

Arts & Culture 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

Diversity Arts Showcase Opened in summer 2018, this nonprofit gallery offers opportunities for local artists to display and sell their work. 1382 Myers St. 40 DISCOVER


MUSEUMS Bidwell Bar Bridge and Toll House Located at the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area is California’s very first suspension bridge, built in 1855 at Chico founder John Bidwell’s first settlement. Originally perched about a mile and a half away in what’s now Lake Oroville, both the bridge and toll house were relocated when the dam was built. Nearby is a replica of the Mother Orange Tree, which was planted by the bridge—the original is now located at the California State Parks headquarters in Oroville.

Bolt’s Antique Tool Museum A truly unique experience can be found inside Bolt’s Antique Tool

Museum. Bud Bolt started in the tool business as a Snap-On representative in the early 1950s. His love of the hand tool—the “most important man-made product on Earth”—has transformed over the years into a collection of over 12,000 tools. Stop in to check out the displays or attend one of the museum’s frequent talks, now led by Bud’s son Steven. 1650 Broderick St., Oroville, 538-2528, boltsantiquetools.com

Butte County Historical Society Museum This museum offers a glimpse into the region’s past, including Gold Rush-era artifacts. 1749 Spencer Ave., 533-9418

C.F. Lott Home—Sank Park 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 538-2401 for reservations). 1067 Montgomery St., 538-2497

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Chinese Temple Built in 1863, this registered California landmark was once the place of worship for the largest Chinese community north of Sacramento. The site is home to several exhibits showcasing the region’s Chinese and American cultures through time. It’s also still used as a place of worship on occasion. Open Tues.-Wed., Sat.-Sun., noon to 4 p.m. Closed Dec. 2-Feb. 28. Group tours can be arranged ahead of time. 1500 Broderick St., 538-2496

When you buy or sell a home with me I will donate $300 to the school or organization of your choice upon close of escrow! Layne Diestel

Realtor • DRE 01779121

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., 5335316

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 to visitors. Montgomery Street and Old Ferry Road, 538-2401 OROVILLE continued on page 42




Celebrating 36 ye

Serving Dinner Tuesday thru Sunday at 5pm A Chico Tradition Since 1984 Reservations Recommended Private Parties, Caterings and Special Events

Call 345-CAFE • 1020 Main Street • Chico DISCOVER 41

OROVILLE continued from page 41

Ishi monument One of the more fascinating stories to come out of Butte County is that of Ishi, the “last wild Indian.” He walked out of the wilderness in 1911, long after European settlers had rounded up or killed the others. He was the last of the few of his Yahi tribe who had survived. He was first spotted at a slaughterhouse in Oroville and arrested. (The jail door is on display at the Butte County Historical Society Museum at 1749 Spencer Ave.). Ishi moved to San Francisco, where he became a specimen of sorts, someone who could teach the old ways. A monument now stands near the slaughterhouse site at the corner of Oro Quincy Highway and Oak Avenue.

Lake Oroville Visitor Center The museum at the visitor center, jointly run by the state Department of Water Resources—which manages the dam—and California State Parks, features exhibits and videos about the lake, the dam and the surrounding area. In one half of the museum space, learn about the building of the dam and how it works; the other features the Native American tribes that inhabited the area before the Gold Rush brought European settlers here, as well as the Gold Rush itself. Workshops and speakers take over the theater regularly, which also runs films. And don’t forget to 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, 538-2219

Military Museum, Campground & PaintBall at Surplus City Perhaps the only place on Earth where you can view military memorabilia, play a game of paintball capture the flag, buy some old Jeep parts and then camp out along a river. 4514 Pacific Heights Road, 534-9956

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 and 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 42 DISCOVER

Surplus City

Montgomery St., 538-2529

The Boss Burger


Burgers done right, plus a full condiment bar. If you’re going to run a burger joint, you’ve got to have legit fries, too, and Boss Burger doesn’t disappoint. 2484 Montgomery St., 534-8806

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., 282-5603, birdcagetheatre.org

MOVIES Feather River Cinemas Oroville’s go-to spot for first-run movies. 2690 Feather River Blvd., 534-1885, frcmovies.com

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. East, 538-8544

Gourmet Kitchen


Fresh, cooked-to-order, authentic Chinese cuisine. Good prices and large portions. 2359 Myers St., 5332609, gourmetkitchenoroville.com

Betty Cakes and Coffee

The Italian Kitchen

Stop in to this neighborhood bake shop for a sweet treat and a cup of Peet’s Coffee. Special orders available. 1900 Oro Dam Blvd. East, Ste. 4, 712-9142, bettycakesbakery.net

Create-your-own pasta bowls and take-and-bake pizzas, along with salads, wraps and Italian favorites, including lasagna. 1580 Huntoon 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 that is big enough for two. 1751 Oro Dam Blvd. East, 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. East, 538-8101

Mike’s Grande Burgers Yes, the burgers are big, but don’t forget about Taco Tuesday. Mike’s serves a great house chili, too. Plus, a drive-thru! 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. Of course, house beers on tap! 2053 Montgomery St., 6934388, minersalleybrewingco.com

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

Nori Asian Kitchen + Grill Asian fusion featuring fantastic pho, rice and noodle dishes and a unique selection of seafood, including mussels and oysters. 2025 Bird St., 353-3329


Support your local farmers

and shop every week at the certified farmers markets in Chico, Oroville and Paradise!


Wednesdays/ Saturdays

7:30 AM 1:00 PM

Year Round



7:30 AM 12:00 PM

May - October



7:30 AM 12:00 PM

May - October

530.893.FARM ChicoFarmersMarket.com

A staple in Oroville, Papacito’s has been serving up delicious Mexican fare since 1989. Plus, they cater! 1751 Oro Dam Blvd., Ste. 14, 532-9344, papacitoscantina.com

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 OROVILLE continued on page 44 Discover 43

OROVILLE continued from page 43

100 percent naturally raised Niman Ranch beef. Mobile kitchen parked at 2546 Olive Highway

Souper Subs Subs made with love, including meats and cheeses that are sliced fresh daily. 1780 Oro Dam Blvd., 5388088, soupersubs.com

Tabletop Restaurant Specializing in breakfast and lunch entrees, this spacious eatery is also home to a full catering business and is available for special events. Try their homemade jams (also available for purchase by the jar) and variety of flavored mimosas. 109 Table Mountain Blvd., 533-9655

Tong Fong Low Tong Fong Low is an Oroville staple, and it also has staying power. The restaurant has been serving up authentic Chinese food in historic downtown for over a century (yes, really). 2051 Robinson St., 533-1488

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

Nightlife Butte County Wine Co. Nearly every winery in the county has a bottle in this joint. Butte County Wine Co. takes pride in offering the bounty of local vintners (and brewers, too). 1440 Myers St., 712-9350

Copa de Oro Reopened in 2018, this longtime local hotspot hosts live music alongside offering lunch and dinner menus and a full bar. Don’t miss the secondstory pub. 1445 Myers St., 534-7812

The Exchange One of Oroville’s newest downtown destinations, 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

Feather Falls Casino Along 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 44 DISCOVER

Butte County Wine Co.

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, featherfalls casino.com

Gold Country Casino This casino boasts an 87-room hotel, plenty of gaming and an array of other entertainment options, including karaoke, bowling, comedy nights, live music and wide-screen TVs. The facility also has a buffet, café and an espresso bar, as well as Safire, its nightclub/dinner spot. 4020 Olive Highway, 800-803-1911, goldcountrycasino.com

The Notty Room Frosty glasses, friendly staff, pool, darts and karaoke. 1171 Oro

Dam Blvd. West, 534-1880

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

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

The Spirit Driven by the desire to open a new creative hub for young and emerging artists, musicians Nathan Teboul and Andrew Bernard transformed the old KRBS radio station into an all-ages concert venue in summer 2018. They now showcase a variety of live, local music of all genres. 2360 Oro Quincy Highway, ● 764-0359



New beginnings P

aradise, just “up the hill” from Chico and Oroville, continues the recovery process following the 2018 Camp Fire. Virtually all segments of the municipality—including schools, churches, health care, construction and recreation—have been or are working to re-establish themselves. Meanwhile, new and old businesses alike have opened their doors to provide commerce options for Ridge dwellers and visitors.

Theatre on the Ridge PHOTO BY JAY JAMES


The Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce website (paradisechamber. com) keeps a database of those that have reopened. At the same time, as of February, at least 44 homes had been built and another 800 building applications were in the queue at Town Hall in this former mining community. Paradise officially incorporated as a “town” back in 1979, around 75 years after the county’s cities, but its history goes way back. In 1848, prospectors reached the Ridge, hunting for gold along the Feather River. Then, the 1850s brought lumber mills and a post office. Around that same time, Paradise got its name. The story goes that as William Leonard and his mill crew sought shade under a ponderosa pine, he sat and exclaimed, “Boys, this is paradise.” Of course, the region’s original inhabitants are the Maidu Indians who made the


foothill forests their home during scorching summers. Visit the Ridge this time of year and you’ll see exactly why the area is so appealing.

Arts & Culture Depot Museum The Gold Nugget Museum was the Ridge’s premiere destination for historical and cultural activities, but it was destroyed in the Camp Fire. However, the museum shared some good news last year: It acquired a new site just “a stone’s throw” from its old location. As it rebuilds, the museum has taken up residence in one of its smaller, but untouched, properties, the Depot Museum. 5570 Black Olive Drive, open ThursdayMonday, noon-4 p.m., 413-9129, goldnuggetmuseum.com

Paradise Art Center The center of art-making on the PARADISE continued on page 48 DISCOVER 47

Visit paradisechamber.com for a Ridge business directory and visitor information.

Your Downtown Shoe Store Since 1976

PARADISE continued from page 47

Ridge, with classes and workshops, plus rotating exhibits in the Wheeler Gallery. 5564 Almond St., 877-7402, paradise-art-center.com

Paradise Performing Arts Center

Quality Shoes, Socks & Accessories 6161 Clark road # 1 Paradise, Ca 95969 530.877.9356

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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. 777 Nunneley Road, 8728454, paradiseperformingarts.com

Theatre on the Ridge This 101-seat community theater puts on up to six productions a year, from comedies to serious dramas. 3735 Neal Road, 877-5760, totr.org

Parks & Recreation Bille Park A pride and joy of Paradise, this serene park survived the Camp Fire largely unscathed. There are multiple green spaces, a gazebo, picnic areas, playground and walking trails with stunning views of Butte Creek Canyon. 501 Bille Road or 6261 W. Wagstaff Road, paradiseprpd.com

Terry Ashe Recreation Center Located smack in the middle of town, this facility is home to a basketball court, picnic areas, a kitchen for rent and, in the winter, an ice rink. The hub of the Paradise Recreation and Park District, it also is the site of many community events, including Johnny Appleseed Days and Gold Nugget Days. 6626 Skyway, paradiseprpd.com

Dining Jen’s Place A laid-back, spacious bar with a large stage and dance floor, plus multiple game rooms. Dance, sing, play pool or darts, listen to live music and enjoy a cold one. 7126 Skyway, 413-9130

Maria’s Kitchen

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Meehos Mexican Restaurant This popular, family-owned Mexican eatery is operating out of its mobile kitchen as it rebuilds its brick and mortar restaurant. Though the menu is limited, Meehos continues to offer fresh, authentic dishes, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. 6808 Skyway, 774-7307

Mountain Mike’s Pizza Features all manner of delicious pies. 6626 Clark Road, 872-1991

Nic’s This eatery opened after the fire and quickly established itself as a Ridge favorite. Nic’s serves delicious sandwiches, soups, salads, cheese boards and a selection of sweets. Beer and wine, too! Take-out available. Open Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 6256 Skyway Rd, 413-9422

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Secrets of Paradise A gift shop that offers a variety of beautiful minerals and crystals, succulents and locally made products. Plus, snacks, beer and wine! 6433 Skyway, 413-9620

Sophia’s Thai Cuisine Sophia’s is a longtime staple on the Ridge, known for its affordable, delicious food and cozy atmosphere. Closed Sundays. 7641 ● Skyway, 877-4296




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

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GRIDLEY Manuel Vierra Municipal Park

Little city, big heart G

ridley prides itself on providing a quiet country lifestyle while offering the amenities and conveniences of larger cities. The southern gateway to Butte County, the town comprises a charming historic downtown, a bustling highway corridor of local and chain businesses, and vast agricultural land. After the November 2018 Camp Fire, Gridley welcomed several hundred displaced households via a neighborhood constructed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Among the city’s offerings are Orchard Hospital, several parks, a museum, a Ford dealership, 55 civic clubs and a chamber of commerce. Gridley also hosts the Butte County Fair each August at the Butte County Fairgrounds. The city is named after its founder, sheep rancher George Gridley, who owned 960 acres on the west side of town. In 1870, a railroad depot was established at the ranch, and the town began to grow. Gridley was incorporated in 1905, 24 years after its founder died, and encompasses 2.1 square miles today.

In addition to the county fair, Gridley is home to a popular summer farmers’ market and festivities like the familyfriendly annual Red Suspenders Days in May, which last year included a parade, street faire, live music and car show. Gridley also features historic places of interest, such as downtown’s Hazel Hotel and the Gridley Museum.

Downtown Hazel Hotel The Hazel Hotel is the sole remaining building from Gridley’s railroad era. It was built in 1888 in the Italianate style, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, senior housing, retail businesses and the Gridley Chamber of Commerce call it home. 880 Hazel St.

Packratt Trains & Toys In addition to a dedicated local following, this hobby shop attracts train and vintage toy enthusiasts from far and wide. It also sponsors the annual North State Model Train Show. 546 Kentucky St., 797-9264 GRIDLEY continued on page 52


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Historic downtown Gridley

GRIDLEY continued from page 50

Arts & Culture

kids’ birthday parties, tennis courts, and baseball and softball diamonds. At the end of Washington and Haskell streets.

Gridley Museum

Nick Daddow Plaza

Founded with the goal of preserving Gridley’s history, this museum housed in the historic Veatch Building features rotating exhibits depicting the development of Gridley as well as Butte and northern Sutter counties in the 19th and 20th centuries. 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

Railroad Park

Parks & Recreation Butte County Fairgrounds In August, the fairgrounds are home to the Butte County Fair, which has been around for more than 75 years. A variety of community events also are held here throughout the year. Plus, there’s a swimming pool, RV park and buildings, arenas and stages available for rent. 199 E. Hazel St., 846-3626, buttecountyfair.org

Gridley Skate Park A well-maintained, modern skate park downtown at the corner of Washington and Spruce streets.

Manuel Vierra Municipal Park A 13.5-acre park in the heart of Gridley, with expansive oak-shaded fields, a “splash pad,” picnic tables and barbecues, a fenced area for 52 DISCOVER

This 1-acre park has a gazebo, shaded picnic tables and barbecues. It’s the site of the annual Red Suspenders Days and free concerts. At Hazel and Virginia streets. This popular park includes a large play structure in the shape of a train, as well as a tranquil sitting area with a fountain, benches and tables. Located on Washington Street near Hazel and downtown.

Dining ABC China Restaurant Specializing in Hunan and Szechuan Cuisine. Don’t miss the under $10 lunch specials during the week. 1580 Highway 99, 846-2254

Casa Lupe The DeLaTorre family has served authentic, fresh Mexican cuisine since 1971. Casa Lupe, which has another location in Yuba City, serves fresh salsa and guacamole daily and offers a full bar. Plus, its market next door includes a variety of produce and authentic Mexican foods, including Casa Lupe-brand tortillas and salsa, as well as a bakery and deli. Restaurant closed Mondays. 130 Magnolia St., 846-5152

Gridley Grill & Crab Shack Delicious diner breakfasts and lunches on weekdays and dinner—

crab-boil-style—on weekend nights. 484 Highway 99, 846-5171

Ice Burgie A Gridley staple that’s been around since the 1950s, with a walkup window and picnic seating. Proud home of the popular Bulldog Burger (on grilled sourdough), crushed-ice sodas and delectable milkshakes. 1575 Highway 99, 846-2939

Los Charros Taqueria Known for its Taco Tuesday specials (only $1 each!) and fresh salsa bar, Los Charros is a go-to for its great prices and authentic taqueria fare. Has another location in Yuba City. 1516 Highway 99, 846-8226

Rail House Pub & Grill This family-owned and -operated establishment opened in 2017 and recently expanded. Rail House serves up traditional pub food with a twist—garlic fries, fried mac-andcheese balls, blue-cheese burgers, etc. Plus, frequent specials and chili made from scratch. 1495 Highway 99, 797-9384

Nightlife The Bungalow Bar A small-town dive bar with karaoke and pool tables, plus $1 Jell-O shots. 101 Virginia St., 846-4111

KC Bar This country bar in historic downtown Gridley offers everything from karaoke to duck plucking during hunting season. One of the oldest continuously running bars in Butte County. 955 Hazel St., ● 846-3002










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Small-town charm


n the heart of rice country, nestled among farms and processing facilities, Biggs is Butte County’s smallest municipality. The city’s origins trace back to 1871, when it was named Biggs Station after a local political leader, Maj. Marion Biggs. A few years after incorporation in 1903, Biggs received a $5,000 Carnegie grant to build its library. Located 25 miles south of Chico, it covers 338 acres encompassing (among other things) a quaint, historic downtown, vintage homes, farms and a school district. Prominent businesses include Bayliss Ranch, an organic lavender farm (see Agritourism, page 66); SunWest Foods, a rice-milling operation; and the Victorian Rose, a venue for weddings and events.


Biggs Family Park

Biggs Branch, Butte County Library PHOTO BY JASPERDO (VIA FLICKR)

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. In 2016, Mike and Marci Shadd bought the building and they recently opened up parts of the ground floor for retail businesses. These days, it’s open during special events for tours. 479 B St., thecoloniabuilding.com

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 AprilOctober. 429 B St., 888-793-ROSE, thevictorianroseofbiggs.com

Dining Big Momma’s #1 BBQ Diane and Melvin Strong opened the Big Momma’s barbecue joint in downtown Biggs in August 2018 and it immediately gained a following for not only its ribs, chicken and pulled pork, but also the Southern comfort of its mac ‘n’ cheese, baked beans and collard greens. 490 B St., 868-1500

Pizza Roundup Conveniently located along Highway 99, Pizza Roundup is a family favorite. 2 B St., 868-5500

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 DISCOVER 55


More to Butte B

utte County encompasses 1,677 square miles along the eastern edge of the north Sacramento Valley, approximately 90 miles north of Sacramento on highways 70 and 99. Urban, rural and natural open spaces run from the Sacramento River banks to mountain forests as high as 7,124 feet. In addition to its four cities (Chico, Oroville, Gridley and Biggs) and one town (Paradise), the county is home to many smaller “census-designated places.� What follows is a general overview of the area, as well as a rundown of the many charming smaller communities of Butte County. 56 DISCOVER


Moderate temperatures in spring and fall make those seasons the favorites for outdoorsy folks, and winters are fairly mild but can be wet. If you can handle the heat, the North Valley has plenty of it! Summer temperatures regularly rise past 100 degrees, with balmy days sprinkled throughout the long season.


Butte County has approximately 226,000 residents, with

most (approximately 112,000) in Chico, according to population estimates released by the California Department of Finance last year. The county seat is Oroville, the second most populous city (nearly 22,000). After the November 2018 Camp Fire, the population of Paradise is estimated at just under 5,000, with many of the displaced residing in nearby communities. The county, which incorporated in 1850, draws its name from the Sutter Buttes, a mountain range to the south that was

Magalia Community Church pastor Kevin Lindstrom and his wife, Sandy.


Due to Butte County’s rural spread, transportation can be difficult for those without a vehicle, though there are several local taxi companies and ride-share options, such as Uber and Lyft. Butte Regional Transit, or the “B-Line,” the county’s bus system, is also an option. Tickets cost $1.75 for in-town and $2.40 for regional services. Riders ages 6 to 18 receive a discounted fare ($1.25 and $1.75, for in-town and regional rides, respectively). Children under 6 years old ride free (limited to two children per family). Chico State students, faculty and staff ride for free. Check blinetransit.com for complete fare and route information. The B-Line runs every day, except on certain holidays, and some routes are not active each day. Seniors and the mobilityimpaired can catch a ride from the B-Line Paratransit (342-0221). And Greyhound and Amtrak leave from the train station at 450 Orange St. in Chico. For motorists, Highway 99 is the main arterial route through Butte County, running north/south and mainly serving Chico. Highway 70 is the main route for Oroville, also running north/south (to Paradise and Marysville, respectively). Connecting the two highways and cities is Highway 149. And stretching from central Chico westward over the Sacramento River, Highway 32 intersects with Interstate 5, along with running northeast into mountainous regions.


There are six facilities that make up the Butte County Library

once within county boundaries. The region is served by an elected fivemember Board of Supervisors, and most of the county offices, including the jail and main courthouse, are in Oroville. According to recent data, the average per-capita income is $26,304, and the median household income is $46,516. Approximately 1 in 5 residents live in poverty, and the unemployment rate is 5.6 percent. Though Butte County wages are notoriously low, the cost of living is considerably lower than in the Bay Area.

system, with branches in Biggs, Chico, Durham, Gridley, Oroville and Paradise. In addition to literacy services and veterans resources, the library also hosts storytimes, virtual reality sessions, movie nights, design lab classes and other family-friendly events. For more information and library hours, buttecounty.net/bclibrary or call 855-379-4097.


Butte County has three awardwinning hospitals, in addition to clinics and specialists who provide a breadth of care, ranging from eye and ear care to plastic surgery:

Enloe Medical Center 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 to Butte County! Here are a few unincorporated communities in the county with attractions worth visiting:

Bangor This small town of approximately 600 was founded in 1855 and gets its name from the city of Bangor, Maine. The region, which rests on the southern tip of Butte County, has become a hotspot of the local wine scene, with Bangor Ranch Vineyard & Winery, Hickman Family Vineyards and Spencer Shirey Winery COUNTY HIGHLIGHTS continued on page 58

Chico Amtrak station


COUNTY HIGHLIGHTS continued from page 57


opening within the past decade (see Agritourism on page 66).

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.

Bangor Bake Shoppe A Mennonite-run bakery and gift shop with fresh, hand-crafted pastries, plus coffees and other goodies. Tip: If the shop is closed, pop into the store next door—they sell goods from the bakery, too! Open Wed.Sat. 5704 La Porte Road, 679-2200

Centerville Schoolhouse and Colman Museum

Bangor Church This church is the oldest still standing in the county, built in 1882. It now serves as one of the museums run by the Butte County Historical Society, and can be rented for weddings. Open noon-2 p.m. first and third Saturdays (closed December-January, July-August). 5370 LaPorte Road, 679-2112

Berry Creek Home to about 1,300 people, Berry Creek is the site of the annual Berry Festival, held every August on Bald Rock Mountain, one of two peaks in the town (the other being Bloomer Hill). The town also includes a California Department of Forestry Fire Department station, post office and the 15-acre Berry Creek Park & Community Center at 300 Rockerfeller Road.

Butte Meadows This tiny community of approximately 40 people on the farnorthern edge of the county is a popular mountain retreat for bikers, hikers, fishermen and really anyone seeking a respite from city life.

Bangor Bake Shoppe

The Outpost Restaurant & Bar The Outpost serves up delicious food and ice-cold beers and hosts live concerts and barbecues. Also, three cabins are available to rent. 7589 Humboldt Road, 873-3050

Butte Valley Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation Since 1994, this wildlife sanctuary and educational center has been caring for endangered and exotic animals that cannot be released into the wild. The nonprofit also teaches responsible ownership of companion animals. Visitors on a self-guided tour of the 19-acre sanctuary will spot Bengal tigers, lions, leopards, foxes, lynxes, exotic birds, bears and reptiles. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.Sun. 4995 Durham-Pentz Road (near Butte College), 533-1000, kirshner.org

Bambi Inn The Bambi Inn is a staple of Butte Meadows, whether you’re stopping in for a beer on the patio (dogs welcome), to play a game of pool inside or to stay overnight in one of the inn’s cabins. 7436 Humboldt Road, 873-4125

Butte Meadows Mercantile & Resort This cafe/general store/rustic retreat was built in 1903 and offers three cabins to choose from, plus RV hookups for those who bring their own accommodations. 7473 Humboldt Road, 873-5016



Built in the late 1800s, the historic Centerville Schoolhouse is located alongside the Colman Museum, which presents an impressive amount of regional history. Open Sat.-Sun., 1-4 p.m. 13458 Centerville Road, 893-9667, center villemuseum.com

Cherokee A town rich in history, Cherokee was named after a band of Cherokee Indians who traveled here from Oklahoma. In its heyday in the late 19th century, the once-vibrant mining town boasted 1,000 residents, 17 saloons, eight hotels, two schools, a theater, racetrack and brewery. President Rutherford B. Hayes and Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman reportedly visited, as well as Thomas Edison (who, for a time, had an electric shop in Oroville). Edison reportedly helped create Cherokee’s effective yet controversial hydraulic mine, and some of the first diamond discoveries in America were made here. Today, the population hovers around 70, and there are no known businesses.

Butte County

Redding 36

Red Bluff Butte Meadows



Stirling City

Forest Ranch












Yankee Hill

Durham Cherokee Butte Valley


Berry Creek


Lake Oroville 99 162




Sacramento River








Cherokee Cemetery

the region’s agricultural attractions.

This pastoral cemetery, established in the 1850s, harks to the town’s pioneers, and is said to be haunted by the angry spirit of a murderer burned to death in the mid19th century. 3927 Cherokee Road.

Almendra Winery & Distillery

Durham Durham (population 5,518), a small town built on farming, is located just south of Chico. Drive down the Midway from Chico to “the four-way stop” and you’ve reached downtown. There you will find a general store, antique shops, a couple of food trucks and restaurants. See Agritourism, page 66, for more on

The restaurant offers small plates, pizzas, salads and desserts served in a family-friendly atmosphere. Beverages include locally crafted wines and specialty cocktails. On Fridays, Almendra hosts live music. Don’t miss the happy hour every Wednesday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. Closed Monday-Tuesday. 9275 Midway, 3436893, almendrawinery.com

Durham House Inn This beautiful 1874 Italianate Victorian is the former home of W. W. Durham and his wife, Minnie Van Ness, and is now a bed-andbreakfast listed on the National

Register of Historic Places. The inn, located on lush, expansive grounds just 10 minutes from Chico, features three elegant rooms and a cottage decorated with period furniture. 2280 Durham Dayton Highway, 342-5900, durhamhouseinn.com

Chatterbox Cafe A beloved local coffee shop—with killer food—that serves breakfast fare and a variety of lunch offerings, including salads and sandwiches. 2500 Durham Dayton Highway, Ste. 2, 892-9538

Pueblito Mexican Grill A local favorite serving up authentic Mexican fare. 9402 Midway, 893-8896 COUNTY HIGHLIGHTS continued on page 60 Discover 59


for those impacted by the Camp Fire. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 13700 Old Skyway, 877-7963

Oregon City Founded by a group of Oregonians who arrived in 1848, Oregon City is a state historical landmark and one of the first mining camps in Butte County. The group’s leader, Peter H. Burnett, briefly served as the first civil governor of California a year after his arrival, according to a plaque highlighting the town’s historical significance. COUNTY HIGHLIGHTS continued from page 59

Forbestown Once a large mining center, Forbestown was founded in 1850 and named after B.F. Forbes, who opened a store there. Today, this town on the southeastern edge of Butte County has just over 300 residents and boasts an impressive museum complex and bustling general store that serves hot food daily and pizzas on weekends.

Forbestown Freemason Lodge #50 One of the six lodges in Butte County, the local chapter of Freemasons started renting this building in 1862 and continues to meet there today. (The original building it used burned down in a fire that destroyed half of the small gold-mining community in 1860.) It’s one of a rare few chapters that gathers on the ground floor, according to the lodge’s website. 201 Old Forbestown Road

Oregon City covered bridge as well as genealogical information. The flat, located outdoors, is a replica Gold Rush town that includes a pioneer homestead, schoolhouse, church, saloon, mercantile, dressmaker’s shop and millinery, and jailhouse. 19096 New York Flat Road, 675-1025

Forest Ranch The beautiful foothills hamlet of Forest Ranch is also the home of organic winery LaRocca Vineyards, which has a tasting room in downtown Chico. At last census count, it had about 1,100 residents.

Magalia This mountain community (formerly known as Dogtown) above Paradise got its claim to fame for being the site of the world’s largest gold nugget discovery. K. Stearns discovered the 54-pound behemoth in 1859.

Forbestown Cemetery

Hilltop Cafe

This old pioneer cemetery no longer accepts new burials but contains stories galore. It’s maintained by the county of Butte, yet feels long forgotten, with weeds covering what once were footpaths through the tombstones. Located a short walk behind the Freemason lodge.

Having survived the Camp Fire, Jaki’s Hilltop Cafe came under new ownership and reopened with a new name and new menu, which includes some old favorites. 14112 Skyway, 873-1275, hilltopcafe magalia.com

Yuba Feather Museum and Gold Trader Flat At this indoor-outdoor museum, visitors will find a variety of exhibits depicting early life in the region, 60 DISCOVER

Magalia Community Church This Protestant church’s chapel was built in 1896. Though it has since moved, it remains intact and in use as a place of worship that has become an epicenter of relief efforts

Located on Oregon Gulch Road right outside the city, a plaque commemorates those who built the Oregon City bridge, also known as the Castlebury Covered Bridge.

Oregon City School The deed to this schoolhouse was granted to the Butte County Historical Society in 1981; the site is currently undergoing a restoration. (Don’t miss the original outhouse building behind the school.) Open Sat.-Sun. 1-4 p.m. 2100 Oregon Gulch Road, 533-1849

Richvale Legend has it that this town’s name was created to trick Midwestern farmers into thinking the land was fertile. In reality, it’s more like clay—which is great for growing what Richvale is known for today: rice. It’s no surprise, then, that Richvale, just south of Durham, is the site of the headquarters of the Butte County Rice Growers Association. Lundberg Family Farms is the town’s biggest claim to fame, plus the fact that it’s the home of congressional Rep. Doug LaMalfa, who also is a rice farmer.

Richvale Cafe A quaint, cozy country cafe that’s been around since 1975, it’s operated by the Richvale Foundation as “a place where [the community] could get good food close to where they work at reasonable prices.” Open Mon.-Fri. for breakfast and lunch. 5285 Midway, 882-4421

Stirling City Stirling City, located up the hill from Paradise, is another historic Butte County town. It was founded in 1903 by the Diamond Match Co., developed at the end of the rail line as a loading spot for lumber. Today, it has about 300 residents.

Clotilde Merlo Park One of the most charming and breathtaking spots in Butte County, Clotilde Merlo Park encompasses 20 acres, including ponds, nature trails, picnic spots, horseshoe pits and a bocce court. There’s a popular outdoor wedding chapel as well. The park is dedicated to the memory of Clotilde Merlo, who ran a boarding house in the town’s mill days. According to the park’s Facebook page, Merlo “always appreciated the beauty of the land and being close to nature.” 22 Retson Road. (Take the Skyway to Stirling City, turn right at the P Line road, then left at the R Line road.) Open May-October, Thursdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. 873-1658

Stirling City Museum This museum is run by the local historical society to chronicle and preserve the history of this lumber town. Open Sat.-Sun., 1-4 p.m., or by appointment. 16993 Skyway, 873-0583, stirlingcityhistory.org

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 put the property up for sale. 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.

Scooter’s Cafe Having survived the Camp Fire with minimal damage, Scooter’s reopened in early 2019. Back in the hands of its original owners, the cafe has long been a popular stop for bikers and foothills residents. 11975 Highway 70, 534-4644


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this must be yours

Yankee Hill Historical Society Museum Formed in 2002, the society calls 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, yankeehillhistory.com


G IF T S • T O YS 121 W. 3rd St Downtown Chico 530.332.9866 sweetchico.com Scooter’s Cafe DISCOVER 61


Nice little Saturday CN&R staffers share an ideal day out and about


utte County offers boundless options for exploration, and here we offer a couple of ideas, gained through firsthand experience, to inspire short adventures.

Up the hill and back Bille Park

For this marginally active halfcentenarian, the ideal Saturday— sunny, warm, gently breezy—begins with breakfast at Mom’s in downtown Chico, early, before the wait line builds. (Two thumbs up for the Mimosa Benedict!) Next comes a day trip to Paradise, where both nature and residents have made remarkable recoveries since the Camp Fire. Fit folks bike up the hill—sorry, I drive. Bille Park, on the west side of town, remains one of my favorite spots in Butte County. There, a short walk leads to views of Butte Creek Canyon—a vista that evokes the Grand Canyon. The museum at Depot Park downtown, on Pearson Road, starts (or ends, depending on trajectory) a historical trail commemorating local pioneers. Nic’s, the deli/bar Nicki Jones runs on the Skyway, is the locals’ hangout, whether for lunch or a drink and chat. Heading off the Ridge, I like to continue into south Chico and visit Orient and Flume, the art glass makerspace and gallery on Park Avenue— pieces there are museum quality. As sun sets, fine dining at Red Tavern on The Esplanade nightcaps the day. —EVAN TUCHINSKY


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Downtown Chico date Every once in a blue moon, my hubby and I go on a Saturday “day date.” We start mid-morning with a slow ride through Lower Bidwell Park to our first destination: the Chico Certified Farmers’ Market at Second and Wall streets. There, we pick up veggies and fruit—sometimes cut flowers—from our favorite stands. Then we head farther into the city center—to the Naked Lounge or Upper Crust—for coffee or Chico Chai tea and a pastry (coffee cake for me, raspberry danish for hubby). Afterward, it’s treasure-hunting time at our favorite nearby shops: Little Red Hen Vintage (near Second and Main) and Eighth & Main Antique Center. The latter is chockfull of antiques and collectibles from various sellers. We’ve spent hours going from booth to booth, admiring vast collections—from mid-century (and older) furniture and decor, to hard-to-find records to various oldtimey trinkets. If we don’t get too lost in nostalgia, we’ll make one last stop at The Banshee (for the pho or the fish and chips) or Grana (for whatever is in season) before slowly rolling home. —MELISSA DAUGHERTY

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

DAY TRIP continued from page 63

A quirky jaunt

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For a lot of folks, the thought of Saturday in Oroville means a day on the lake, but for those looking for something different, the City of Gold has some under-the-radar treasures. A great place I like to start an excursion is Bolt’s Antique Tool Museum (1650 Broderick St.). This unique spot houses a collection of more than 13,000 hand tools from the past two centuries—everything from a metacarpal bone saw to a giant potato masher. Just up the block is the Chinese Temple (1500 Broderick St.), a California landmark that weaves Eastern religion and art together. The temple is primarily a museum, but it’s also a place of worship that incorporates aspects of three Eastern religions: Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. One of the quirkiest spots as any you’ll find in Butte County is the C.F. Huntington Museum, located inside the Huntington’s Sportsman’s Store (601 Oro Dam Blvd. E). The exotic animal collection features taxidermy specimens from North America and Africa. There’s a warthog, a dik-dik, a zebra, even a bald eagle bagged when it was still legal to do so. —JASON CASSIDY


Barry Kirshner Wildlife Sanctuary & Educational Center

Open Tuesday-Sunday 9AM to 5PM Located at 4995 Durham-Pentz Rd., Oroville, CA 95965

(530) 533-1000 or on the web at:

www.kirshner.org Visitors are welcome to walk on their own with no appointment necessary. We offer 2 hour personal tours. The Barry Kirshner Wildlife Sanctuary & Educational Center is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization

Upper Bidwell Park

Views, brews and books Some of my most satisfying Saturdays in Chico have had a few things in common—Bidwell Park, brews and books. Especially on sunny days, starting the day at Upper Park on the eastern edge of town sets the stage nicely for a few post-hike beers. Trek to the top of Monkey Face for some of the best views of the valley, or venture to Salmon Hole, one of the park’s several swimming holes. Back on city streets, I’ll head to Secret Trail Brewing Co., a relatively new craft brewery located C.F. Huntington Museum

on Meyers Street—just off South Park Avenue, the city’s “beverage district.” The brewery offers a top-notch American porter, Trail of Darkness, and a slew of tasty IPAs. Rotating food trucks are on hand as well. Drunken Dumpling, which cooks up spicy dishes with an Asian influence, is a solid choice for some sustenance. From there, I like to further treat myself by stopping into Blackbird on Park Avenue, a welcoming cafe and bookshop, or The Bookstore, a Chico staple on Main Street downtown. It’s hard to walk out of either without a paperback in hand. —ANDRE BYIK

Sally Dimas Art Gallery Featuring LocaL artists

Original Paintings Etchings Hand Blown Glass Jewelry • Sculpture Silk Flowers & Plants gaLLery Hours: tues - sat 11am - 4pm 493 east ave suite 1 chico, ca 95928 530.345.3063 www.sallyDimasartgallery.com DISCOVER 65


Attractions 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 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: Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.3 p.m. 10381 Midway, Chico, 3424359, patrickranchmuseum.org

Breweries Cellar Door Cider

Farm fresh

This cidery in the “beverage district” makes handcrafted, barrelaged ciders using Nor Cal apples. Except for harvest season in the fall—when owner Bryan Shaw is processing apples and brewing—the tasting room usually is open Saturdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (call ahead). 11 Commerce Court, Ste. 2, Chico, 200-6857

Feather Falls Casino Brewing Co. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.


griculture plays a significant role in Butte County. The northern Sacramento Valley’s rich soil, water supplies and Mediterranean climate have drawn farmers to the region since well before the Gold Rush. Conditions here suit row crops, rice fields and orchards, especially walnuts and almonds. Large ranches and farms abound, as do smaller oufits selling their bounty at local grocers and farmers’ markets throughout the county (see Events, page 8). This proximity to fresh ingredients has inspired locals to experiment—creating craft beer and ciders, boutique wine and specialty olive oils. Many growers and purveyors open their operations seasonally to the public, giving visitors a look behind the scenes. 66 DISCOVER

Located at Feather Falls Casino, this tribe-owned brewery offers a wide variety of regular and specialrelease 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, featherfalls casino.com/brewing-co

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 bars and by the bottle at grocery and liquor stores. Tasting room hours: 1-5 p.m. Saturdays. 26 Bellarmine Court, Chico, 5930555, lassencider.com

Miners Alley Brewing Co. This restaurant and brewhouse 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. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Fri.Sat. 2053 Montgomery St., Oroville, 693-4388, minersalleybrewingco.com

Nor Cal Brewing Co. Brewing-industry vet Jim Hardesty brought his homebrews to the taproom in 2018, opening his Chico brewery in a warehouse deep in the “beverage district.” He recently moved his tasting room to the south side of downtown, at West 9th Street and Broadway. The new spot still features rotating food AGRITOURISM continued on page 68

Sofa $699

Glenwood Farmhouse at Patrick Ranch DISCOVER 67

OROVILLE continued from page 44

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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 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

The ales and Nature lagers brewed at & Feather River Center Chico’s flagship craft brewery are Native Plant Park

world-famous. A mini-glass sampler The bath house, built in the at the taproom is a good way to 1930s to serve those fishing and familiarize yourself with Chico’s swimming at Oroville’s first city park most celebrated brews. Numerous at the site, is now a nature center guided tours are available: of providing educational programs, the brewhouse, the grounds (the exhibits and docents who give Sustainability Tour, offered Aprilguidance for visitors. Montgomery October) and an extensive Beer Street and Old Ferry Road, Oroville, Geek Tour. Shorter, self-guided 538-2415 tours also are available. Check the website for times and reservations. 1075 E. 20th St., Chico, 899-4776, sierranevada.com

Wineries & distilleries Almendra Winery & Distillery

Bangor Ranch Vineyard & Winery

AGRITOURISM continued from page 67

and tasting room in south Chico in late 2017, and the operation quickly earned a stellar reputation with local brewhounds. With food trucks often parked outside and a dog-friendly patio, this fun hangout spot is open daily: 3-9 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun. 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120, Chico, 487-8151, secrettrailbrewing.com

trucks and the brewery’s small-batch craft beers. 9-10 p.m. Tue, 3-10 p.m. Wed.-Thurs, 3-11 p.m. Fri., noon11 p.m. Sat., 3-7 p.m. Sun. 800 Broadway, Chico, 592-3845, norcalbc.com

Secret Trail Brewing Co. Secret Trail opened its brewery


Family-owned and -operated, Almendra Winery & Distillery offers locally crafted wines and spirits, a full bar, pizza and small plates. Live music in the tasting room on Friday evenings. The tasting room also offers Almendra merchandise, wine and spirits to take home, and specialty meats from the family ranch. Open Wed.-Thurs., 11 a.m.9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; and Sun., 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 9275 Midway, Durham, 343-6893, almen drawinery.com

Bangor Ranch Vineyard & Winery This family-owned boutique winery takes its name from the old Chinese Temple Sierra Nevada mining town in which

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it operates. There, sustainable farming techniques are used to grow several varietals, including primativo and petite sirah. Open Sat.-Sun., noon-5 p.m., weekdays by appointment. 5768 La Porte Road, Bangor, 679-0867, bangor-ranch.com

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 handcrafted grappa moonshine and neutral brandy. Tasting hours: Sat.-Sun., noon-5 p.m. 555 Avacado Road, Bangor, 603-1501, cobbleridgedistillery.com

Dog Creek Cellars Opened in 2011 by Cline Organics in Durham, Dog Creek Cellars offers a variety of estategrown wines made from certified organic grapes. Tasting room open by appointment; well-behaved (leashed) dogs are welcome. 9975 Garden Creek Road, Durham, 894-8393, dogcreekcellars.com

Gale Vineyards Steve and Creasia Gale’s boutique winery is nestled among the shadegiving oak trees on their 6-acre property in Durham. 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., noon5 p.m. 9345 Stanford Lane, Durham, 891-1264, galevineyards.com

Grey Fox Vineyards

Live Vine Vineyards & Winery

Among Grey Fox Vineyards’ offerings are four main estate-grown varietals. The popular Oroville winemaker is home to a relaxing live-oak picnic area and a fantastic view of the foothills from the tasting room patio and rooftop chill spot. The tasting room is open noon-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun.; groups weekdays by appointment. 90 Grey Fox Lane, Oroville, 589-3920, greyfox.net

Overlooking the Thermalito Afterbay near Monument Hill, Live Vine offers varietals aged in stainless-steel tanks and oak barrels. Releases include a viogner, barbera, syrah rosé and zinfandel rosé, in addition to a red blend. Plus, cider! Visit Sat.-Sun., noon-5 p.m., for tastings and to see the estate. 652 Luds Way, Oroville, 566-4259, livevinewines.com

Hickman Family Vineyards

Long Creek Winery & Ranch

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 several 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 familyvineyards.com

Long Creek Winery is more than your average tasting room—it’s an adventure. Take a self-guided walking tour to see the vineyards, olive and mandarin orchards, and the working cattle ranch. Then sit back and enjoy a glass of estategrown wine in the oak grove bordering the 2-acre pond on-site. Tasting room hours: noon-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 323 Ward Blvd., Oroville, 589-3415, longcreekwinery andranch.com

LaRocca Vineyards

Nascere 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, laroccavineyards.com

Just 10 minutes from downtown Chico, near Durham and Dayton, the family-run Nascere Vineyards makes several estate-grown wines, as well as those using hand-picked grapes from around the region. The tasting room is situated among the vineyards. Tasting hours: noon5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 3471 DurhamDayton Highway, Chico, 345-9904, nascerevineyards.com AGRITOURISM continued on page 70

Discover 69

The Lavender Ranch

AGRITOURISM continued from page 69

New Clairvaux Vineyard Just north of the county line is New Clairvaux Vineyard, the first Cistercian winery in North America. It’s run by fifth-generation winemaker Aimee Sunseri, along with the Trappist monks of the on-site monastery. New Clairvaux has a variety of red and white varietals, including tempranillo and viognier. The tasting room is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily (excluding holy days). 26240 Seventh St., Vina, 839-2200, newclairvauxvineyard.com

Odyssey Winery and Vineyards 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 1-6 p.m. Saturdays from May to December. 6237 Cohasset Road, Chico, 891-9463, odysseywinery.com

Purple Line Urban Winery Located just off Montgomery Street in downtown Oroville, Purple Line Urban Winery offers a variety of wines made with Northern California grapes that are crushed, fermented, barreled and aged on the premises. Events include live music, bocce and potluck dinners. See pur plelinewinery.com for tasting hours. 760 Safford St., Oroville, 534-1785 70 DISCOVER

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, quilicivineyards.com

Olive Association, this producer of award-winning organic olive oils is located in Oroville. Tours and tastings by appointment. You also can “adopt” one of the olive trees, harvest your own olives, and learn curing methods. 8 Rocky Drive, Oroville, 533-1814, berkeleyolive grove.com

Roney Wines

Butte View Olive Co.

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, roneywines.com

Butte View Olive Co. presses delicious, boutique olive oils from the olives grown in its Palermo and Wyandotte orchards. Taste Butte View’s mission and ascolano olive oils, as well as its various flavored 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

Spencer-Shirey Wines A boutique winery, nestled in a valley of the north Sierra foothills, Spencer-Shirey Wines releases varied varieties—including chardonnay, rosé and merlot. Open noon-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 6857 La Porte Road, Bangor, 205-3579, spencershirey wines.com

Olive oil 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

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 (closed January-March). 3719 Foothill Blvd., Oroville, 534-6548, lodestarfarms.com

Fruits, nuts, vegetables & more Chaffin Family Orchards This permaculture-based, fifthgeneration 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, 533-8239, chaffinfamilyorchards.com

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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 folks at Chico Chai open up their brewery for free tours and tastings, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 1919 Park Ave., Chico, 897-0822, chicochaitea.com

The Lavender Ranch The Lavender Ranch offers a little taste (and scent!) of the south of France in the southern part of Butte County. Experience the beauty of the lavender fields and go home with a few sachets or lotions and relive the tranquility. Tours offered May-July. Call for dates and times. Store hours: Mon.-Thurs., 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 17 W. Rio Bonito Road, Biggs, 868-5151, lavenderranch.com

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 glutenfree and non-GMO options, which you can purchase at the swanky visitor center. Group and individual tours available by appointment. 5311 Midway, Richvale, 538-3500, lundberg.com

Mooney Farms Olive trees, fragrant lavender plants and fountains welcome visiAGRITOURISM continued on page 72 Discover 71

AGRITOURISM continued from page 71

tors to the family-run Mooney Farms Company Store—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. Open weekdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 1220 Fortress St., Chico, 899-2661, mooneyfarms.com

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

University Farm This 800-acre working 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 Thursday and

Friday year-round and offers affordable, fresh, USDA-inspected meat. 311 Nicholas C. Schouten Lane, Chico, 898-6028, csuchico.edu/ag/ university-farm

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

Keep it local Butte County Wine Co.

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 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, maisiejanes.com

New Earth Market The locally owned New Earth Market offers a wide array of regional foods, from wines and cheeses University Farm to jams and oils. 864 East Ave., Chico, 891-9355, newearthmarket.com

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 wine bar smack in the middle of historic downtown Oroville. Also serving local microbrews and cheese platters. Open Mon.-Sat. 1440 Myers St., Oroville

S&S Organic Produce & Natural Foods

Chico Natural Foods Cooperative

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 offers a variety of other local foodstuff. 41 Skillin Lane, Oroville, 871● 1975, sohnreyfamilyfoods.com

Located in downtown Chico, this cooperative is open to the public and has a wide variety of locally grown, organic produce and other locally made products. Open daily at 7 a.m. 818 Main St., 891-1713, Chico, chiconatural.com

This full-service grocery store started out as a roadside produce stand in 1968. Its focus is on organic, nutritious foods and it supports local growers and craftspeople. Open daily. 1924 Mangrove Ave., Chico, 343-4930, ssproduce.net

Sohnrey Family Foods

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Nature abounds

o really get a taste of what Butte County’s environs are all about, you have to explore the great outdoors. This region is one of the most beautiful natural areas in the state. From the varied landscapes of Chico’s massive Bidwell Park, to the lesser-traveled trails found along the Sacramento River or in the foothills and mountains of the national forests, there are virtually endless opportunities to take in the sights. Hike, swim, bike, or just relax and take in the scenery. Adventure awaits!

Butte County Big Bald Rock

Table Mountain


Explore this impressive geological formation on an easy walk along the Big Bald Rock Trail (.5 miles) or by taking a far more extensive and challenging hike to the bottom of the canyon on Dome Trail (2.5 miles), 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 wellmaintained and poison oak is ever-present. The trailheads are accessed from different points on Bald Rock Road in the Berry Creek area, nestled in the foothills east of Lake Oroville. berrycreekca.org/ recreation

Bidwell Park Bidwell Park is a 3,670-acre preserve and the natural heart and soul of the Chico community. Divided by Manzanita Avenue, the park comprises three distinct sections. The area to the west of Manzanita bordering Big Chico Creek is known as Lower Park, while the regions to the east, which extend into the Shasta Cascade foothills, are known as Middle and Upper Park. Lower Park’s thick canopy of trees provides shade for its many grassy areas and creekside hideaways. Middle Park is a relatively small section of the park. It’s composed of developed features immediately east of Manzanita, including Bidwell Park Golf Course, an observatory, Five-Mile Recreation Area and Horseshoe Lake. From there, the park gets much wilder, with the landscape of Upper Park—which extends 5 miles via a canyon along both sides of Big Chico Creek—ranging from lush riparian habitat to rugged rock faces. To reserve picnic areas, call 8967800. For more information, including trail and road conditions, call 896-7899 or visit chico.ca.us (select “Bidwell Park”) or bidwellpark.org. 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. There are a few minor (and rugged) trails that descend from the North Rim, as well as the far out B Trail, which offers uneven 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 along the south side of the canyon—splitting off to the more difficult Guardians and South Rim trails higher up (note: much of Guardians remained closed at press time due to post-wildfire repair). For a day hike, take the Annie Bidwell Trail to the less-frequented south

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OUTDOOR ADVENTURES continued on page 76 Discover 75

Black Butte Lake Recreation Area

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES continued from page 75

begins just east of Horseshoe Lake off Upper Park Road.

side of Bear Hole, then take a dip, and return along the other side of the creek on Upper Park Road or the creekside Yahi Trail. The main trailhead is beyond Five-Mile, where Centennial Drive meets Chico Canyon Road. • Upper Park Road Wildwood Avenue turns into Upper Park Road, which turns into a rocky, rutted dirt road as Middle Park gives way to Upper Park. It’s usually passable for most vehicles in dry weather. The road runs 5 miles, almost to the end of Upper Park along Big Chico Creek; however, a portion of it will be undergoing improvements and repairs this year. 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 the north side of Big Chico Creek in Upper Park. Constructed in 1967 by the local Yahi Group of the Sierra Club, the path is notable for its lush, shady greenery and access to numerous picturesque spots and swimming holes along the creek. Erosion is a problem on the Yahi, so no bikes or horses are allowed. It

Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve


Chico State Enterprises manages the 4,000 acres of natural habitat that shares a border with the eastern edge of Bidwell Park. The school offers public hikes as well as 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 checkin gate. 898-5010, www.csuchico. edu/bccer

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. The site was largely spared from the Camp Fire. Bille Park is at 501 Bille Road, Paradise. A separate entrance closer to the trail is located at 6261 W. Wagstaff Road. paradiseprpd.com

Butte Creek Trail Known for its scenery, this trail offers a rugged path down to Butte Creek in Paradise. Turn off the Skyway onto Humbug Road, just past De Sabla, and pick up the trailhead 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.

Camelot Equestrian Park Bring your horse(s) to this 1,600acre 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, camelotequestrianpark.com

Feather Falls While the main attraction is unquestionably the majestic 410-foot waterfall on this 9-mile round-trip (or a more strenuous 7-mile round-trip) trail, the hike also offers stunning views of Big Bald Rock looming above the Plumas National Forest and the middle fork of the Feather River. The long hike is moderately difficult and poison oak grows along the trail. 534-6500, tinyurl.com/ featherfalls

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Located 10 miles west of Gridley near the Sutter Buttes (at Pennington and Rutherford roads), Gray Lodge is 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. 8467500 (weekdays), 846-7505 (weekends), tinyurl.com/graylodgewildlife

before visiting. Download a map at lakeoroville.net or pick up one at the Lake Oroville Visitor Center. 917 Kelly Ridge Road, 538-2219

Lake Oroville

• 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 a shower facility, a horse washing station, and horse tethering and feeding stations. Loafer Creek Road loop, 800444-7275, reservecalifornia.com

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. For larger boat rentals, including houseboats, check out Bidwell Canyon Marina (589-9175, bidwellcanyonmarina.com) or Lake Oroville Marina (800-255-5561, lake orovillemarina.com). Lake Oroville info: 538-2542, lakeoroville.net. See the Oroville section on page 36 for more Lake Oroville activities. • Forebay Aquatic Center Rent all manner of personal watercraft, from kayaks and canoes to pedal boats and hydrobikes. 930 Garden Drive, 570-2866, forebay aquaticcenter.com • Freeman Bicycle Trail Completed in 1996, this 41-mile trail offers scenic off-road riding, and panoramic views of Lake Oroville, the Sutter Buttes and the Sacramento Valley. Inquire about trail conditions

Coffee Pastries Breads Pies Sandwiches Soups Salads

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. Visitors 16 and older must obtain a land pass from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Take Highway 70 to Oroville and exit at Grand Avenue. Take a right on Grand, a left on Table Mountain Boulevard, and a

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right on Cherokee Road. From there, it’s 6.3 miles to the reserve. tinyurl. com/tablehike

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. tinyurl.com/orovillewildlife

Sacramento River Famous for its fishing opportunities, this waterway is home to many endangered animals, including species of migratory birds. It’s common to see an array of predatory birds, such as osprey, red-tailed hawks and bald eagles. The Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park (12105 River Road, Chico) provides a bounty of recreational activities like camping, boating, bird watching, photography, hiking and biking. 342-5185

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 are also 78 DISCOVER

on-site. About a 45-minute drive east from Chico, past Orland in neighboring Glenn County. 865-4781, tinyurl. com/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, tinyurl. com/caribouwilderness

Ishi Wilderness Area Adventurers can explore deep canyons, lava formations and valley plateaus at the Ishi Wilderness Area, just 20 miles northeast of Chico. Limited campsites, but backcountry 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. 257-2151, tinyurl. com/ishiwilderness

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, fs.usda.gov/lassen

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 150-mile-long Plumas Backcountry Discovery Trail, accessible to SUVs and four-wheel-drive vehicles. Campgrounds open June-October. Take Highway 70 toward Quincy. 283-2050, fs.usda.gov/plumas

Sutter Buttes South of Chico, just outside of Yuba City in nearby Sutter County, 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. 3704777, middlemountainhikes.org

Woodson Bridge State Recreation Area North of Chico, in nearby Tehama County, this beautiful location along the Sacramento River is a prime place for boating, fishing, camping and hiking, with views of Lassen Peak, Mount Shasta and the Trinity Alps. It also contains a nature preserve, which is a winter home of bald eagles. From Chico, take Highway 99 north to South Avenue. Closed Oct. 31-April 1. 8392112, tinyurl.com/woodsonbridge ●

Chico State Recognized As 2019

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Best Colleges for your Money

Top-10 Regional Public University in the West for nearly 20 years

Best College for Transfer Students Federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institution since 2014 DISCOVER 79


Lifelong learning W

hatever your educational aspirations may be, you’re likely to find a school in Butte County that fits your needs. The area is home to numerous institutions of higher learning, including Chico State. As part of the 23-campus California State University system, the school offers bachelor’s and master’s programs on a beautiful campus located in downtown Chico. Butte College, part of the ButteGlenn Community College District, offers associate’s degrees, opportunities to transfer, certification programs and a storied athletics program. It also offers a scholarship program that pays tuition and fees for all first-time students who enroll full-time, for up to two years. Additionally, there are a handful of vocational schools for those looking to pave their way into a new career.


Chico State campus

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 17,000 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. Tickets and team info can be found at chicowildcats.com. There are plenty of other attractions on the Chico State campus that appeal to students and the

greater community alike. 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, there’s the the Performing Arts Center, home of two theaters and a recital hall. The public also is 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. There, you’ll find 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, register at www.csuchico. edu/admissions/visit/tours 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 several 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 maker space and the fabulous Black Box Theatre. A grand opening for the school’s $23 million welding and manufacturing facility was held in October. Butte College’s satellite campus, the Chico Center, makes it possible for students to attend classes without making the drive to the main campus. And the Skyway Center in south Chico is home to the automotive-technology program and economic work-force development programs. The accredited two-year college offers associate’s degrees and transferable general-education courses, as well as vocational programs. The college also has been recognized nationally for its commitment to sustainability. It has the distinction as the first college campus in the country to go grid-positive. In fall 2018, Butte College started its Promise Scholarship Program, which pays tuition and fees for EDUCATION continued on page 82

Butte College main campus DISCOVER 81

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all first-time students who enroll full-time. The program has since expanded from one year of benefits to two. Main campus: 3536 Butte Campus Drive, Oroville, 895-2511; Chico Center: 2320 Forest Ave., 895-1352; Skyway Center: 2480 Notre Dame Blvd., 895-2511, butte.edu

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, calnorthern.edu

Northwest Lineman College

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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, 888-546-3967, lineman.edu

Oroville Adult Education Career & Technical Center This institution started in Oroville in 1924 and recently began offering classes in Chico, too. Take anything from beginner’s Spanish to business management. You even can get your GED! 2750 Mitchell Ave., Oroville; 3760 Morrow Lane, Ste. C, Chico, 538-5350, orovilleadulted.com

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 “Myths, Legends & Tales of the Celts” to “Spanish Conversation” to “Artisan Bread Making.” 400 W. First St., Chico, 898-4020, rce.csuchico.edu/osher l