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A guide to visiting and living in the North Valley FALL 2018 • WINTER 2019



A look at the region’s historical landmarks PAGE


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Welcome to Butte County! FALL 2018/WINTER 2019



all and winter in Butte County offer opportunities to explore the region at its most temperate. Known for its natural beauty, this area is home to a seemingly endless array of outdoor activities, from beginner hiking and biking trails to horseback riding to simply enjoying a picnic in the park. Don’t fret if you’re a more advanced explorer, however—there are many backcountry and river adventures waiting for you, too. Be sure to take advantage of downtown Chico’s restaurant patios, which are becoming ubiquitous, as well as the beautiful scenery—the changing of the leaves is breathtaking!—while exploring all corners of this fair county. The holidays, of course, offer plenty of community events for the whole family. Inside this guide, we hope you’ll find a fine mix of things to do, see and enjoy, wherever your interests lie. So, go ahead and explore! —Meredith J. Cooper Discover Butte County editor

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

Outdoor Adventures ..............84

Mark your calendar! Fall and winter are packed with activities.

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

Chico....................................16 Butte County’s largest city and a university town to boot, Chico boasts plenty of entertainment, outdoor activities, artistic adventures and foodie havens.

Oroville ................................40 Explore the county seat, known for its rich agriculture offerings, historic downtown core and range of lake activities.

Paradise...............................54 The largest community on the Ridge, Paradise is known for its pines, apples and charm.

Gridley .................................60 Home of the county fairgrounds, Gridley is rich in history.

Biggs ....................................62 Butte County’s smallest city.

Small-town retreats .............64 Beyond the big city, Butte County is made up of dozens of old mining and timber towns, many of which have maintained their identities to this day.

Blast into the past ................70 Butte County is more than meets the eye. For those hoping to learn a little while adventuring into oftforgotten areas, there are plenty of historical sites to peak your interest.

Agritourism ..........................76 For those hoping to get a taste of what this region produces, there are plenty of opportunities to get out on the farm or vineyard.


Sign off with date:

Higher Education ..................88 Explore the Chico State and Butte College campuses, plus other educational opportunities in the region.

Maps Chico ............... 30 Oroville ............ 40 Butte County.... 66 Discover Butte County Editors and writers: Jason Cassidy, Meredith J. Cooper, Melissa Daugherty, Ashiah Scharaga Design: Tina Flynn Photography: CN&R staff Advertising staff: Alec Binyon, Brian Corbit, Jamie DeGarmo, Laura Golino, Autumn Slone Discover Butte County is published twice a year by the Chico News & Review, 530-894-2300, newsreview.com discoverbuttecounty.net Copyright ©2018 Chico Community Publishing On the cover: Ilustration of Chico’s iconic water towers at Third and Orient streets by John W. Tomac.

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What’s going on?


ello, fall in Butte County. The months of drawn-out heat are behind us, and it’s time to get out and enjoy the community at various fall and winter events, from live concerts and arts festivals to agritours and, of course, the traditional holiday celebrations. Get out and go!

Tourism information There are so many things to do in and around Butte County that we can list only the highlights in this guide. Some of more popular places for live music and art to keep an eye out for include the Big Room at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., the Senator Theatre, Lost on Main, the Blue Room Theatre and Chico State. Also check with local chambers of commerce for community events or individual venues for special activities. For those new to the area—and even seasoned locals—if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, you definitely want to pick up a free copy of the Chico News & Review (every Thursday) or visit the newspaper’s website for our extensive calendar of activities, concerts and art happenings.

Throughout the season Farmers’ markets Many of the local farmers’ markets are seasonal, running roughly from May-October. For local produce sales yearround, check out the centerpiece of farmers’ markets—in 8 DISCOVER

Chico on Saturdays, rain or shine, in the parking lot at Second and Wall streets downtown. This market features a wide range of fresh, local fruits and veggies, crafts, locally prepared hot foods, top-notch coffee, beer tastings and more. Hours: 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. And on Wednesdays, the North Valley Plaza Farmers’ Market offers produce 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., year-round as well, rain or shine. 893-3276. chicofarmersmarket.com

Winter migratory waterfowl tours Each year, from September through March, more than 150 species of birds, including mallards, cranes, geese and California gulls, migrate to Butte County. By following a self-guided tour, visitors can cover 100 miles of nature-filled preserves. Guided 90-minute walks—departing from the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area outside of Gridley—are available as well. Call 846-7500 (846-7505 on the weekends) or visit tinyurl.com/graywild for more info.



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Kids’ Farm Day at Patrick Ranch

September Chico Beer Week Sept. 13-22. Chico News & Review and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. present Chico Beer Week 2018. For 10 days, Chico’s breweries, bars and restaurants will host an array of special events, including tap takeovers, beer/food pairings, specialty releases and style nights in celebration of the area’s growing craft-beer scene. Pick up the CN&R or go online for a full calendar of events. chicobeerweek.net, facebook.com/ chicobeerweek

Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest Sept. 28-29 & Oct. 5-6. Sierra Nevada’s annual fall celebration has

been expanded to two weekends of Oktoberfest food, beer and music under the tent in the brewery’s hop field. Visit the website for more info: sierranevada.com/oktoberfest. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., 1075 E. 20th St., Chico, 893-3520.

Touch of Chico Sept. 30. Local massage therapists gather for a festival of healing bodywork to raise awareness of holistic health options as well as funds for local community radio station KZFR 90.1 FM. Also featuring live music, organic foods, artisans, vendors and skill-share classes. Visit kzfr.org for more info. Chico Creek Nature Center, 1968 E. Eighth St.

October Book Family Farm pumpkin patch Oct. 1-31, Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.5 p.m. Educational trips for classes and community groups—feed the chickens, learn about rotational grazing, etc. Call to reserve a spot. Pumpkins available for purchase in October. 153 Heavy Horse Lane, Durham, 342-4375, bookfamilyfarm. net

TJ Farms Pumpkin Patch Oct. 1-31, Mon.-Fri., 2-6 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Choose from 16 different varieties of pumpkins (while supplies last) and enjoy hay rides and obstacle courses, a EVENTS continued on page 10 DISCOVER 9

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blacksmith shop, farm animals to feed and a bouncy house. Gift shop on-site. 3600 Chico Ave., Chico, 343-2294, tjfarmsestates.com


Harvest sidewalk sale

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Oct. 5-6, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Downtown Chico Business Association organizes this event, in concert with downtown stores, to offer shoppers great deals on merchandise before the holidays get into full swing. downtownchico.com

Asylum of the Dead haunted house


Oct. 5-27 & 31, Fri.-Sat. (and Halloween), 7-10 p.m. No house is more haunted than one that used to be an insane asylum. 3163 Esplanade, Chico. Find “Asylum of the Dead” on Facebook.

Open Studios Art Tour

The Paintball Thrill Ride Oct. 5-28, weekends. Get on the bus and go hunt for zombies! Splatter the undead with paintballs; it’s fun for the whole family! 4444 Pacific Heights Road, Oroville, (209) 918-9209. zombiewreckingcrew.com

Pun’kin Patch at Maisie Jane’s Oct. 6-Oct. 31. Open to the general public on weekends, and for field trips on weekdays. Call for availability. With scavenger hunts, mazes, pumpkin relays and pumpkin picking (sold by weight). 3764 Hegan Lane, Chico, 899-7909. maisiejanes.com

Nevada Brewing Co., 1075 E. 20th St., Chico, 893-3520.

Johnny Appleseed Days Oct. 6-7. Johnny Appleseed Days traces its roots back to an annual fair first held in 1888. Nowadays, in preparation for the festival, Paradise residents bake 1,000 apple pies to celebrate the area’s apple heritage. Plus, vendors, entertainment and a kids’ play area. Terry Ashe Park, 6626 Skyway, Paradise, paradise chamber.com

Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest

Sierra Oro Farm Trail Passport Weekend

Oct. 5-6. See September. Visit the website for more info: sierranevada.com/oktoberfest. Sierra

Oct. 6-7. One of the most anticipated agriculture-related weekends in the area, local farms and winer-

Chico Community Tree Lighting

ies open up to visitors. Go out and taste the very best they have to offer. sierraoro.org


Kids’ Farm Day


Oct. 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. With hay rides, a pumpkin patch and other fun farm-centric activities, Kids’ Farm Day is an annual event that the whole family can enjoy. Hosted by North State Parent magazine, which celebrates its 25th birthday this year. Patrick Ranch, 10381 Midway, Durham, 342-4359. patrickranchmuseum.org

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You Know You’re From Chico Festival Oct. 20, noon-6 p.m. This annual event combines a whole lot of things that make Chico, well, Chico. We’re talking live music, food and craft vendors and the Chico Icon Awards. Scotty’s Landing, 12609 River Road.

Open Studios Art Tour Oct. 20-21 & 27-28. Chico Art Center’s popular annual event brings all of Butte County’s visual artists into one art-walking guide (with some driving), allowing patrons to visit the artist studios, galleries and other art spaces in Chico and throughout Butte County over the course of two weekends. chicoartcenter.com

YMCA Community Haunted House Oct. 26-27, 5:30-9 p.m. Dare to be scared at the annual YMCA 10 Discover

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Haunted House inside Prospector’s Alley on Myers Street in Oroville. $3/kids; $5/teens and adults.

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Single, Fresh, Wet & Wild Hop Harvest Fest Oct. 30. Sierra Nevada’s biannual celebration of the fall hop harvest, featuring special hop-heavy releases from dozens of the best brewers in the world. Cost: $55. Visit the website for more info: sierranevada. com/hopharvestfestival. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., 1075 E. 20th St., Chico, 893-3520.

Dr. Hood and his staff are committed to providing children, teens and adults with the highest quality care and brightest smiles! Dr. Hood is a member of the American Association of Orthodontics Specializing in Braces and a certified provider for InvisalignTM.

Treat Street

2755 Esplanade Chico CA 95973 Phone 530.343.7021 • Fax 530.343.3672

Oct. 31, 2-5 p.m. Downtown Chico gets into the Halloween spirit for Treat Street, when businesses open their doors and hand out treats to costumed children.

5657 Clark Rd #5 Paradise CA 95969 Phone 530.877.4951 • www.hoodortho.com

November Farm City Celebration – Harvest Festival Nov. 3, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The centerpiece event of the annual Farm City Celebration is this free familyfriendly harvest festival featuring bee demos, butter churning, antique farm equipment, carriage rides, plus kids’ arts and crafts, a bounce house and more. Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park, 525 Esplanade, farm city.com



Christmas Preview Nov. 18, 4-8 p.m. A downtown Chico tradition since 1978, Christmas Preview is the official kick-off of the holiday season. The Sunday before Thanksgiving, downtown shops get festively dressed up and filled with cheer to show off their holiday wares, and the streets are closed to traffic to allow the musicians, dancers, Santa and revelers to gather and enjoy a night of communal celebration. downtownchico.com

Serving all of Butte County! of Chico of Paradise 1834 Mangrove 6635 Clark Rd. (530)896-9300 (530)872-5880

December Chico Community Tree Lighting Dec. 7, 6-8 p.m. Enjoy a festive musical program, St. Nick arriving and the countdown to the light ing of the tree during this Chico tradition at the downtown City EVENTS continued on page 12

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Polar Bear Swim

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Plaza. downtownchico.com

Glorious Sounds of the Season Dec. 7-9. Chico State’s music and theater faculty and students perform a wide-ranging selection of holiday music—from jazz and musical theater to various string/brass/ woodwind ensembles and sing-along hymns—in this popular annual scholarship fundraiser. csuchico. edu/soa

Gridley Tree Lighting & Holiday Parade of Lights Dec. 5, 5 p.m. The annual treelighting ceremony starts at Orchard Hospital with live music and refreshments, followed by the parade (at 6:30 p.m.) down Hazel Street to

see all of the festive holiday décor. Vendors line up along Kentucky Street, extending the fun into the night. gridleyareachamber.org

Handel’s Messiah Dec. 16-17 at Laxson Auditorium, Chico State campus. The North Valley Chamber Chorale performs all the holiday classics. Plus, a free lecture before each show. chicoperformances.com

The Nutcracker Dec. 14-16. The Northern California Ballet produces this holiday classic at the Paradise Performing Arts Center. Featuring the Paradise Symphony directed by Lloyd Roby. northerncaliforniaballet.com

January Polar Bear Swim Jan. 1, 1 p.m. Every year, many folks show up with their swim gear and a towel to start off a new year at Sycamore Pool at the One-Mile Recreation Area for this Chico tradition of swimming across the chilly creek. Why don’t you join them?

Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway Jan. 23-27. Bird-watch in one of the most diverse wildlife corridors of the Sacramento Valley. This popular four-day event includes field trips, presentations, workshops, a banquet and a silent auction. ● snowgoosefestival.org

we Serve the LgbtqI+ CommunIty • Information, advocacy, referrals and counseling • Social and support groups • Open, safe, and inclusive for all people • Community events, activities, and discussions • Free HIV+HepC Testing

Stonewall Alliance Center

stonewallchico.org • center@stonewallchico.org • transgnc.com Office: 530.893.3336 • • Counseling: 530.809.2485 12 DISCOVER

Providing direct services and advocacy for PeoPle with disabilities since 1980.

disability action center We are here to help you achieve your goals— however big or small. Services designed to increase self-reliance and self-direction.

1161 East avEnuE, ChiCo, CA 95926 • (530) 893-8527

• Housing strategies

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• information & referral

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• assistive tecHnology

• ada comPliance suPPort

• Peer advising

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• low vision/blind services (55+)

• Personal assistant referral

• indePendent living skills

• traumatic brain injury Program

1600 west street redding, CA 96001 • (530) 242-8550

www.ACtionCtr.org disabilityactioncenter (community organization)

We Listen. We Care.

342-6064 • Complementary Consultations 2539 Forest Ave Chico • Family Dentists Who Care

David C. Kyle, DDS • Cyrus G. Oster, DDS Discover 13

BLADELESS LASER-ASSISTED CATARACT SURGERY First LenSx certified laser cataract surgeons North of Sacramento!

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114 Mission Ranch Blvd Suite 50, Chico CA 95926 northvalleyeyecare.com 530-891-1900

7056 Skyway, Paradise CA 95969 ridgeeyecare.com 530-877-2250


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2009 Forst Ave Ste B, Chico 530-893-2727 M-F 9–8 | SAT 9–7 | SUN 10–5 supercuts.com

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City of trees F

or many reasons, Chico is the go-to destination in Butte County. If you visit the region, it’s likely you’ll find yourself here at some point, whether to tour the Chico State campus, explore the vast Bidwell Park or enjoy an eclectic mix of restaurants and nightlife options. Chico is the county’s most populous city, exceeding 100,000 when Chico State is in session. It boasts Bidwell Park, one of the largest city parks in the country, and Bidwell Mansion, a state historic park. Downtown is a shopping, dining and gal-


lery district that contributes to Chico’s recognition as an arts town. The city—incorporated in 1872—dates to 1860, when Gen. John Bidwell settled this area 90 miles north of Sacramento, originally inhabited by the Mechoopda tribe of Maidu Indians. Ahead of his wedding in 1868, Bidwell built a lavish Italianate-style mansion on his 26,000-acre Rancho del Arroyo Chico. Annie Bidwell, who outlived her husband, bequeathed to the public the majority of the land in the now 3,670-acre Bidwell Park.

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Chico’s city limits encompass 33 square miles and approximately 93,000 residents. Unincorporated pockets within and around the city add nearly another 10,000 permanent residents. This fall, the university has 17,500 students—some local, many from outside Chico. Downtown Chico evokes special affection among locals. Kitty-corner to Chico State, with City Plaza at its heart and the historic Senator Theatre at the opposite corner, the city center bustles with activity throughout the day and evening. It’s home to offices, businesses, shops, eateries and arts spaces. Outdoors and in, whatever time of year, there’s a lot going on in Chico. * The dining and nightlife listings in this guide are not comprehensive; we’ve included a mix of Best of Chico winners and editors’ picks to provide a good mix of options. For full listings, check out Savor, a comprehensive dining and nightlife guide the CN&R produces annually.

art. Municipal Center hours: Mon.Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 411 Main St., 896-7200, chico.ca.us

Old Municipal Building

Senator tower

Downtown Fred Davis Municipal Center Outside Chico’s municipal center, named for longtime former City Manager Fred Davis, sits one of Chico’s most recognizable sculptures—“Our Hands,” a giant pair of hands with iconic images of Chico embedded in their surface. Inside are city offices and featured local

Swing around to the Main Street side of the block to the renovated Old Municipal Building, built in 1911 and now home to the Chico Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. Those offices are great places to get insider tips and free brochures for area attractions. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 441 Main St., 800852-8570, chicochamber.com

Senator Theatre One of Chico’s most photographed buildings, the Senator Theatre, was built in 1928. The theater is a gem of art deco architecture and once hosted traveling vaudeville shows. It became a movie theater in the mid-20th century and now attracts big-name touring bands. 517 Main St., 898-1497, jmaxproductions.net CHICO continued on page 18


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The Phoenix Building

Downtown post office

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

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

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

Hotel Diamond The Hotel Diamond is a beautifully renovated homage to the original luxury hotel, which was constructed on this site in 1904. Now, the hotel offers standard rooms and luxury suites, and you don’t have to be a guest to enjoy its fine bar and restaurant. 220 W. Fourth St., 8933100, hoteldiamondchico.com

1078 Gallery

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

Arts & Culture ART GALLERIES 1078 Gallery Chico’s most adventurous local gallery is back in business after

spending a year homeless as its board searched for a new home. The 1078 Gallery was founded in 1981 at 1078 Humboldt Ave., and has since moved three times, settling this summer at 1710 Park Ave. 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 hours and a calendar. 1710 Park Ave., 1078gallery.org

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., noon4 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.4 p.m. 450 Orange St., Ste. 6, 8958726, 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


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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. 345 Broadway, 891-0900, chicopapercompany.com

Idea Fabrication Labs A member-driven maker space featuring an array of workspaces and state-of-the-art equipment (3-D printer, Shopbot, etc.) as well as rotating exhibits of works created in the lab. Hours vary. Open house Mondays, 5-7 p.m. Call or visit website for more info. 603 Orange St., 592-0609, ideafablabs.com

Jacki Headley University Art Gallery

Fresh Flowers | Unique Gifts | Pottery 2 Acres of Plant Material | Workshops & so much more! 406 Entler Ave, Chico • 530.345.3121 www.theplantbarn.com • Find us on Open 7 days a week

“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: Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 898-5864, universityartgallery.wordpress.com

James Snidle Fine Arts & Appraisals Based in Chico and San Francisco, the local James Snidle gallery houses a large collection of fine art and hosts regular exhibits highlighting contemporary artists from Chico and beyond. Snidle also offers fine-art and personal-property appraisals, plus art restoration and conservation. Hours: Wed.-Sat., 9 a.m.5 p.m., or by appointment. 254 E. Fourth St., (415) 850-7898, jamessnidlefinearts.com

Ninth Avenue Gallery & Studio


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Local-artist studio and gallery. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. 180 E. Ninth Ave., Ste. 1, 318-2105, 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

Sally Dimas Art Gallery & Studio This shop/gallery features original paintings, pottery, etchings and jewelry by local and regional artists. Hours: Tue.-Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m., or CHICO continued on page 20



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345 West Fifth Street 15 CA 95928 16 17 Chico, (530) 891–6328 Please call for reservations Open Fridays for Lunch 11:30am – 2:30pm Join us for Happy Hour every day 4:30–6pm Discover 19

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by appointment (or chance, as the sign says). 493 East Ave., 345-3063, sallydimasartgallery.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. Studio-viewing hours: Tues.-Thurs., 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 819 Wall St., 3457985, satava.com/studio

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

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

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

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

Janet Turner Print Museum In addition to housing nearly 4,000 prints by such artists as Goya, Rembrandt and Renoir—as well as the museum’s namesake—this print museum hosts themed showcases of its collection as well as curated 20 DISCOVER

Chico History Museum

exhibits of contemporary works, including the annual Janet Turner National Print Competition and Exhibition. Hours: Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m., or by appointment. Arts & Humanities Building, Chico State. 898-4476, janetturner.org

Museum of Northern California Art

century Chinese temple. Suggested donation: $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, students and children 5-12. Open Thurs.-Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 141 Salem St., 891-4336, chicohistorymuseum.org

Chico Air Museum

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. 900 Esplanade, monca.org

This museum, located at the Chico Municipal Airport, includes an outdoor exhibit space featuring jetand propeller-driven aircraft as well as an indoor space with historic displays and artifacts. 165 Ryan Ave., 345-6468, chicoairmuseum.org

Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park

Gateway Science Museum

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

The Gateway Science Museum offers a range of ongoing and special exhibits focused on our region’s natural heritage, from local flora to Ice Age skeletons. Check website for fall and winter hours. 625 Esplanade (next door to Bidwell Mansion), 8984121, csuchico.edu/gateway

Chico History Museum Housed in a 1905 Carnegie Library, the Chico History Museum features permanent exhibits on Chico’s history, including a 19th-

National Yo-Yo Museum The National Yo-Yo Museum is the largest public display of yo-yos in the country. It’s also home to the world’s largest wooden yo-yo, dubbed “Big-Yo,” as well as the Chico Yo-Yo Club. Stop by its meetings from noon-2 p.m. Saturdays for a “walk the dog” lesson. 320 Broadway (at the rear of Bird in Hand), 893-0545, nationalyoyo.org CHICO continued on page 22


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Kitchen Sto re 959 East Ave

Little Red Hen Five Chico Stores

Employing over 150 developmentally disabled adults, supported through our retail sales and donations. For more info or to donate visit LittleRedHen.org

Flo r al & Mo re Next to the


Kitchen Store Vi nt a ge Hen 215 Main St

GIF TS • TOY S 121 W. 3rd St Downtown Chico 530.332.9866 sweetchico.com Discover 21

Community Park

CHICO continued from page 20

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

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

Pageant Theatre This downtown Chico landmark presents art-house films, cult classics and even occasional live concerts in a casual atmosphere. Get there early for the couches in the front row, and don’t miss out on Cheap Skate Mondays: all seats just $4. Now serving beer. 351 E. Sixth St., 343-0663, 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 knolls and creekside hideaways. Middle Park is a relatively small section of the park composed of developed features immediately east of Manzanita, including Bidwell Golf Course, an observatory, Five-Mile Recreation Area and Horseshoe Lake. From there, the park gets much more wild, with the landscape of Upper Park—which extends 5 miles

along both sides of Big Chico Creek Canyon—ranging from lush riparian habitat to rugged rock faces. Here are some special places within Lower and Middle Bidwell Park. For the more adventurous, see Outdoor Adventures (page 84) for details on Upper Park hikes: • 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.-7 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 CHICO continued on page 24

22 Discover

Handcrafted &


Celebrating over 40 years of the Art of Glassblowing.

Bakery Lunch Cakes Full Espresso Bar Catering

Open 7 Days a Week!

130 Main St Chico (530) 895-3866

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!

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and picnic tables. Museum hours: Wed.-Sat., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 1968 E. Eighth St., 891-4671, bidwellpark. org • One-Mile Recreation Area Soaking up the sun, swimming in the creek-filled Sycamore Pool or picnicking beneath the towering valley oaks and white-barked sycamores is what One-Mile is all about. With its barbecues, horseshoe pits and playing fields, this iconic part of the park is located just a few blocks from downtown and is easily accessible by automobile through entrances on Fourth Street or Vallombrosa Way. • Lower Bidwell Park trails Foot, bicycle and equestrian paths run the length of Chico’s Lower Bidwell Park through stately oak groves and near the riparian zone of Big Chico Creek, where creekside trails offer beautiful views of the water and seclusion amid the trees. Take South Park Drive or Peterson Memorial Way to any turnoff. • Chico Community Observatory The Chico Community Observatory is a delight for astronomers and amateur stargazers. The observatory is home to two huge telescopes and the world’s first outdoor planetarium. Open from sunset to park closing on clear nights Friday-Sunday. Located near Horseshoe Lake in Middle Park (off

Wildwood Avenue/Upper Park Road on Observatory Way), 487-4071, chicoobservatory.com • Five-Mile Recreation Area At the foot of Upper Bidwell Park, Five-Mile is a more relaxed, less populated family recreation area than One-Mile. Picnic tables, barbecues, a shallow swimming area and ample space make it a popular spot for group gatherings. Accessible from Centennial Avenue. • Hooker Oak Recreation Area Home to the beautiful baseball facility Doryland Field, several softball fields, a children’s playground and the Sherwood Forest Kids’ Disc Golf Course (which is often full of adults). Take Vallombrosa Avenue east and turn left on Manzanita— Hooker Oak will be on your right. • Horseshoe Lake A perfect place to walk the dog (complete with a designated off-leash area) or do some fishing, Horseshoe Lake also serves as a jumping-off point for the Upper Park’s miles of rugged trails.

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

days. Drive to the gate at the end of Cramer Lane. 895-1176

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

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

DeGarmo Park This park in north Chico features the town’s only dog park, a fully fenced grassy area complete with doggie drinking fountains. For people, the site also includes three ball fields, walking paths, a playground, restrooms, benches and a sheltered picnic and concession area. Take The Esplanade north to Leora Court. 895-4711

Dorothy Johnson Center Located near the heart of Chico’s southside Chapmantown neighborCHICO continued on page 27

FRESH Fruits



SAT: Downtown Chico 2nd & Wall St. WED: North Valley Plaza, Pillsbury Rd

Nuts & Grains

Flowers & herbs


meats & Eggs m


TUES: 7:30AM-Noon Paradise Alliance Church, 6491 Clark Rd OROViLLE:

SAT: 7:30AM-Noon Dove’s Landing, 2600 Oro Dam Blvd. Chicofarmersmarket.com | (530) 893–FARM 24 Discover

Sign off with date:

breads & treats

Open Minds, Loving Hearts, Helping Hands Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Chico

Discover Butte county

Faith Communities

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

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 – 10:30am Children, Youth & Adult Sunday School As followers of Jesus, we seek to help all people find their way to God and God's will and grace.

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

Empowering You to Live Your Spiritual Magnificence

Inspiring... Empowering... Transforming

Practicing meditation and mindfulness. Demonstrating Oneness, healing & gratitude.

14 Hillary Lane, Chico 95973

530.895.8395 cslchico.org

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Restaurant, Tapas, & Bar FAMILY OWNED SINCE 1975

Seafood •SteakS • Lamb bbQ RibS •QuaiL •ChiCken

(530) 891-5204

3355 Esplanade Chico, Ca. 95926 Wednesday - Sunday Open at 5:00 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday

Check out our online menu!

www.basquenorte.com 26 Discover

CHICO continued from page 24

hood, the center comprises 3 acres and features a playground, outdoor basketball courts, a picnic area, an indoor basketball court and a pool table. 775 E. 16th St., 895-4707

Humboldt Neighborhood Park Better known as “the skate park,” this area for skateboarding was completely remodeled in spring 2018. On Humboldt Avenue between Orient and Flume streets. 895-4711

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

ES! M I T 16 Voted Best Bar, Mixologist, Place to Be Seen, Watering Hole for Townies & Bloody Mary!

Since 1989

337 MAIN ST (corner of 4th St. & Main)


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, the park features native plants, a trail loop and the colorful Mechoopda Trail Youth Mural.

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

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

The Practice Tee at Sunset Hills This nine-hole course in north Chico has been renovated with sand traps and small target greens to go along with a driving range and practice putting course. 13301 Garner Lane, 809-0351, facebook.com/ thepracticeteeatsunsethills CHICO continued on page 28 Discover 27

Shepard Fairey Peace mural on Broadway Street

CHICO continued from page 27

Chan Pheng’s Mandarin Cuisine

Skyway Golf Park

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

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

Dining ASIAN Aonami Sustainable Sushi Aonami offers Asian fusion and Japanese cuisine made mostly from North State ingredients. As the name implies, the fish is sustainable (nothing on the “red” list!). Lots of vegan options, too. Also stop by sister restaurant Lucky Poke across Second street. 128 W. Second St., 924-3168

Big Tuna Sushi Bistro A cozy restaurant featuring traditional Japanese sushi, plus a variety of appetizers. Sister restaurant Izakaya Ichiban is on Notre Dame Boulevard. 1722 Mangrove Ave., 345-4571

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

Halo Hawaiian BBQ & Poke Bar

2540 Esplanade, 342-8564; 1937 E. 20th St., 342-6304, hulasbbq.com

Japanese Blossoms Creative Japanese cuisine with local ingredients. In addition to sushi and sashimi, there’s a nice list of fully cooked entrees. Vegan and allergen-friendly dishes available. 2995 Esplanade, Ste. 104, 891-9022, japaneseblossoms.com

Pho Le/Wild Casian

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

Pho Le serves up Vietnamese favorites, from pho noodle soups to rice plates and rice noodle bowls. In 2018, the owners opened Wild Casian in the same space, specializing in New Orleans/Asian fusion. 2201 Pillsbury Road, 487-8933.

Happy Garden

Rawbar Restaurant & Sushi Bar

This family-run restaurant specializes in delicious Chinese cuisine served in generous portions in a nice atmosphere. Dine-in or take-out available. 180 Cohasset Road, 8932574 or 893-5068

Rice Bowl

Hula’s Chinese Bar-B-Q All-you-can-eat Mongolian barbecue with fresh vegetables, noodles, meats and sauces. You create your bowl, they cook it! Beer and wine.

Fab downtown sushi bar and grill offering a full bar, happy hour and affordable lunches. Reservations accepted. 346 Broadway, 897-0626, rawbarchico.com A sit-down restaurant serving Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Also featuring a sushi bar and tatami rooms. 2804 Esplanade, 899-9098 CHICO continued on page 30




$5 OFF any purchase of $20 or more


2020 Park Avenue, Chico · 530.343.3666 2745 Oro Dam Blvd. E., Oroville · 530.532.1272

Discover Chico coupon not valid with other specials. One coupon per visit. Expires 3/14/19

* Fiesta hour daily 4-6 pm * 125 premium tequilas * open 11:30 am daily

outdoor patio

private Banquet room

100 B r o a d w a y • do d o w n t o w n Chi ChiCo Co • 5 3 0 -3 4 2 -0 4 2 5 •

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

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Thai Express

The Buzz

Good food, large portions and inexpensive prices. Regulars rave about the red curry. Be warned: “Thai hot” means hot! 305 Nord Ave., 342-8842

Breakfast burritos, omelets, chicken-fried steak—this place has it all. What sets it apart is the selection of meats from Ike’s Smokehouse—the pulled-pork Benedict is to-die-for! 208 Cedar St.

Tong Fong Low

Café Coda

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

Locally owned eatery serving breakfast scrambles, omelets and burritos; lunch on weekdays. French-press coffee, espresso, beer and wine. 265 Humboldt Ave., 5669476, cafecoda.com

Vietnam Bistro


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

Satisfy cravings for Mom’s homecooked specialties morning, noon or evening. Breakfast favorites, fresh

salads and sandwiches and delicious supper creations. 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 -

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

The Roost Café Specialties include eggs Benedicts, corned beef hash and Roost burgers. Full espresso bar. CHICO continued on page 32










Chico Certified Farmers’ Market


Hotel Diamond


Old Municipal Building


Senator Theatre


Pageant Theatre


El Rey Theatre


Peace mural by Shepard Fairey

Public parking





Come See Why We’re A

Local Favorite! Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Sunday Champagne Brunch

Family owned and operated for 80 years



Since 1965! 17

www.shuberts.com Now Serving Chico at Two Locations! 178 East 7th Street (530) 342-7163

Chico Mall (530) 809-4151

2525 Dominic Dr., Chico 530-342-7771

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

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

Cocktails, Beer & Wine • Catering • Banquet Rooms

Teresa Larson 530 514-5925 top producing agent • Looking for an agent with Initiative, Drive, and a Proven Reputation? • Teresa is a Chico Native who knows the area. • She handles all of her transactions with care.


chiconativ@aol.com • 1101 el monte ave

DRE #01177950 Discover 31

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a a 2 The Handle Bar

Real food, real butter and real good home cooking. Where the locals go! 1144 Park Ave., 892-1281

brews in a modern downtown setting with a great outdoor patio. Plus a full vegan and vegetarian menu. 301 Broadway, 879-9100, burgersbrew.com

Sin of Cortez

Fast Eddie’s

CHICO continued from page 30

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

Featuring tri-tip and pulled-pork sandwiches in addition to a large menu of specialty burgers and sandwiches, taters, flatbread pizzas and salads. 1175 East Ave., 342-8555, fasteddieschico.com


Burgers, Delis & Dogs Alpaca Bob’s Sandwich Adventures Not your ordinary sandwich shop. Alpaca Bob’s makes unique sandwiches with an assortment of homemade sauces. Also available: hot dogs and homemade potato and macaroni salads. 672 Mangrove Ave., 342-3456, alpacabobs.com

Burger Hut Burgers Serving ground beef with no hormones and no antibiotics. All food is cooked to order and burgers are basted with Burger Hut signature barbecue sauce. Plus, fries onion rings and milkshakes. 3211 Cohasset Road, 342-4555; 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

Hot and cold fresh-made sandwiches, homemade soups and cookies. Also offering 3- to 6-foot party subs for any occasion. 138 Main St., 893-4344; 965 Nord Ave., 894-1635

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

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

Uncle Skinny’s BBQ Named after Great Uncle Skinny, this eatery inside the Phoenix Building serves up ribs, pulled chicken and pork, tri-tip and brisket. 300 Broadway, uncleskinnys.com

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Casual Dining B Street Public House Delicious gastropub fare, along with an extensive list of craft brews and specialty cocktails. Plus, brunch. 117 Broadway, 899-8203, bstreetpub.com

Bacio Catering, Carry Out & Biz Box A popular south Chico eatery that turns out an array of healthful, seasonal, local and delicious food. Take home or dine in. Catering and lunch deliveries available. 1903 Park Ave., 345-7787, baciocatering.com

Foodie Café Opened by the folks behind Chico Catering Co., this eatery offers a unique dining experience, from the repurposed furnishings to the eclectic breakfast and lunch items. Specialized menus for hashes, burgers and sliders. Plus beer and wine. 999 Marauder St., 433-5539, the foodiecafe.com

Hudson’s Gastropub This north Chico hotspot offers an eclectic menu of small plates, pizzas and burgers alongside an impressive wine and beer list in a chic environment. 2760 Esplanade, 636-4562

The Lab Bar & Grill At the Lab, the glasses are beakers—it is a lab, after all—and it’s also the home base for the Chico


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Beer Enthusiasts club, so there are always some new and different brews on tap. Good food, too! 250 Cohasset Road, Ste. 10, 894-5729 -

La Salles Reopened in 2018 after a complete renovation, La Salles has transformed into an upscale bar and eatery, with two impressive patios— one along Broadway and another in the back. 229 Broadway, 487-7207, lasalleschico.com

Original Paintings • Etchings • Hand Blown Glass • Jewelry Sculpture • Hand Carved Wooden Bowls By Local Artists

OM Foods Fresh, healthy, organic food with an emphasis on vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes. 142 Broadway, 228-4074

Gallery Hours: Tues - Sat 11am - 4pm or by appt.

493 East Ave. Suite 1 &3 • Chico, CA 95928 • (530) 345-3063 www.SallyDimasArtGallery.com

The Pour House New American cuisine served in a tasteful-yet-casual atmosphere featuring a full bar. The patio features a huge screen for outdoor viewing. 855 East Ave., 893-3000, chicopour house.com

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

CoFFee HouSeS 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

The Grateful Bean A cozy café with espresso, coffee, iced drinks, teas and a variety of bagels and pastries. 6 W. Eaton Road, 332-9250

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

Naked Lounge Tea & Coffeehouse Serving mouthwatering mochas, cappuccinos and fresh-brewed coffees along with premium loose-leaf teas and gluten-free treats. 118 W. Second St., 895-0676 CHICO continued on page 34 Discover 33

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Cafe Petra Mediterranean Cuisine Traditional Mediterranean fare, from hummus and falafel to shwarma and kufta, all in a fresh, modern dining space downtown. 163 E. Second St., 717-6789

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Inday’s Filipino Food Inday’s features Filipino specialties, from pork adobo to lumpia to halang halang. Try the traditional dinners on weekends. Plus, find Inday’s food cart at local events. 1043 W. Eighth St., 520-2593, indays.weebly.com

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Priya Indian Cuisine


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

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Sipho’s Restaurant & Café Fresh, spicy, healthy Jamaican fare served at a groovy eatery on the edge of town. Patio dining available and occasional live reggae music. 1228 Dayton Road, 895-1866, siphosjamaica.com


Christian Michaels Ristorante

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

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

Christian Michaels Ristorante Featuring a California-style, Mediterranean and Italian menu, with a full bar and extensive wine list. Reservations recommended. 192 E. Third St., 894-4005, chicochris tianmichaels.com

Crush Specializing in a combination of traditional and contemporary Italian flavors mixed with fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Known for its happy hour, pizza bar and creative cocktails. 201 Broadway, 342-7000, chicocrush.com 34 DISCOVER

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T Leon Bistro Freshly prepared California bistro cuisine made from locally sourced and organic ingredients. Menu items include steaks, fish, poultry and vegetarian options. Inquire about the cooking class schedule. 817 Main St., 899-1105, leonbistro.com

Red Tavern Offering delicious and innovative dishes based on influences from all over the world. Fresh, locally grown, seasonal, organic produce and meats. Full bar. Relaxing outdoor patio, with a bocce court. 1250 Esplanade, 894-3463, redtavern.com

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

Sierra Nevada Taproom & Restaurant Bistro fare, award-winning ales and lagers, and an excellent wine

list. 1075 E. 20th St., 345-2739, sierranevada.com

Two Twenty Restaurant Located inside the Hotel Diamond, Two Twenty offers an eclectic menu of steak, seafood, gourmet burgers and pizzas. 220 W. Fourth St., 895-1515, twotwenty restaurant.com

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

Wine Time A renovated early-1900s pig barn is the home of this wine bar serving a variety of small plates, including farm-fresh salads, flatbreads and appetizers. Live music on Saturdays. 26 Lost Dutchman Drive, 899-9250, winetimechico.com

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ItalIan Franky’s Pizzeria & Lounge Locally owned for 25 years, serving pizza, Italian dishes, beer and wine. Open late on weekends, plus delivery available. 506 Ivy St., 8989948, frankyschico.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, esoteric wine list and craft beers. 198 E. Second St., 809-2304, granachico. com

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

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

Taps Bar & Grill Opened in 2017, Taps serves up quality Italian dishes with modern flair. Full bar, plus big screens for taking in the game. 407 Walnut St., 636-4341

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

Gordo Burrito Serving burritos, tostadas, tortas, tacos, quesadillas and chimichangas. Awesome shrimp specials and friendly service. Inside the Valero gas station 1295 E. Eigth St., 809-1211, facebook.com/GordoBurrito

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

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

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

PIzza Bidwell Park Pizza With pizzas named after local landmarks, how can you go wrong? Served by the slice or whole pizza. Also serving up salads, pasta, sandwiches and calzones. 800 Bruce Road, Ste. 100, 894-0400, bidwellparkpizza.com

Celestino’s New York Pizza Award-winning New York-style pizza available by the slice or as a full pie, along with fresh salads, hot sandwiches, lasagna, calzones and more. 101 Salem St., 896-1234; and 1354 East Ave., 345-7700, celestinos pizza.com -

Farm Star Pizza

Specializing in borrego (lamb shank) and fresh fajitas: steak, chicken and shrimp. 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, seasonal toppings; fresh, organic salads; and beer and wine served in a casual, fun, family-friendly atmosphere. 2359 Esplanade, 343-2056, farmstarpizza.com

El Guayacan

Pop’s Pizza

Casa Ramos

Mexican dishes including “homestyle” seafood entrees. Open for lunch and dinner. Catering available. 2201 Pillsbury Road, 893-3777

Top-quality ingredients, dough made from scratch and it’s all cooked to order. 2031 Forest Ave., 864-2760, popspizzachico.com CHICO continued on page 36 Discover 35

Lost on Main

a full bar. 1007 W. First St., 3434305, oasisbarandgrill.net

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

Tackle Box Bar & Grill A south Chico hotspot featuring exotic appetizers like frog legs and fried alligator, along with traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner options and a full bar. Live music, line dancing and pool tables, too. 379 E. Park Ave., 345-7499, tackleboxchico.com

SWEETS Jon & Bon’s Yogurt Shoppe Jon & Bon’s has been serving up sweet sensations for over 34 years. Twelve flavors of frozen yogurt daily, along with ice cream, Hawaiian snow and smoothies. Open late. 300 Broadway, 899-9580; 1722 Mangrove Ave., 899-0484; and 2485 Notre Dame Blvd., Ste. 450

La Flor de Michoacán Palatería y Nevería A Mexican ice cream shop with many delicious flavors, plus other sweet treats. 1080 W. Sacramento Ave., Ste. C; 1354 East Ave.; 8939999; and 668 Mangrove Ave. CHICO continued from page 35

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

PUB GRUBBIN’ The Banshee Serving up burgers and a variety of other pub eats (don’t miss their mac ’n’ cheese), along with an impressive menu of draft and bottled beers. 132 W. Second St., 895-9670, bansheechico.com

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, 8935253, bellassportspubchico.com

The DownLo

Live Life Juice Co.

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

Lovely Layers Cakery

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

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

Oasis Bar & Grill “Chico’s oldest college beer joint” serves up great hand-pressed burgers, munchies and sandwiches and boasts seven pool tables, 15 TVs and


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The sisters who run Live Life Juice Co. offer up pure, fresh juice and elixirs. Plus readymade yogurts and cold salads. 220 Broadway, 5663466, livelifejuiceco.com Freshly baked cupcakes and cookies, plus soups and special-order cakes. 131 Meyers St., Ste. 120, 8289931, lovelylayerscakery.com

Shubert’s Ice Cream & Candy This local favorite has produced ice cream and confections for the better part of a century. Banana splits or root beer floats on the benches and at the tables out front. Open till 10 p.m. daily! 178 E. Seventh St., 342-7163; and 1950 E. 20th St. (inside Chico Mall), 3427163, shuberts.com

Tin Roof Bakery & Café If you’re in the mood for a flaky pastry or decadent tart, look no CHICO continued on page 38

From Formal to Fun and Everywhere in Between Make your event a huge success with our beautiful 12 and a half acre facility. Whether using our luxurious ballroom, spacious outdoor pavilion or our vibrant tree lane and lawn... Manzanita Place at Chico Elks Lodge is the perfect, affordable venue for any occasion. Call, email or drop in and start planning your next event.

1705 Manzanita Ave, Chico, CA 95926 l 530.343.5617 Discover 37

The Best Adventures Begin at Casual Clothing & Footwear

Outdoor Wear & Gear

CHICO continued from page 36

further than Tin Roof. Also serving up French macaroons, cookies and cakes, in addition to a full espresso bar. 627 Broadway, 892-2893

Upper Crust Bakery & Eatery Serving fine pastries, specialty cakes and pies from scratch, as well as cookies and cupcakes. 130 Main St., 895-3866, uppercrustchico.com


17 2005-2017

Mountain Sports 17

176 East Third Street • Downtown Chico • 345-5011 Serving Chico Since 1975 • ChicoMountainSports.com

Small School,


drink up Argus Bar + Patio One of downtown Chico’s hipper hotspots, Argus offers premium cocktails occasional live music. 212 W. Second St.

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

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

Chico Taproom

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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 Weds.-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 up good eats in the parking lot. 2412 Park Ave., 774-2999


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

Your Downtown Shoe Store

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

$20 Minimum

Since 1976

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., 343-4915, themaltesebar.com


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Downtown Chico 345-4880

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Other hOtspOts Blackbird A bustling community hangout space that operates as an anarchist bookstore, coffee shop, art gallery and performance space with live music and more. 1431 Park Ave., 433-1577, facebook.com/blackbird chico

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., 342-2727

Senator Theatre The ornate Senator Theatre not only offers some great musical shows, but it’s also a major landmark in Chico’s history. Devil Makes Three, POD and Snoop Dogg all have performed there. 517 Main St., 898-1497, jmaxproductions.net

FINE DINING IN THE TRADITION OF SOUTHERN ITALY Serving Dinner Tuesday thru Sunday at 5pm Since 1984 Reservations Recommended Private Parties, Caterings and Special Events

Call 345-CAFE • 1020 Main Street • Chico MATTRESSES





Sierra Nevada Big Room The world-famous Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is home to a muchloved concert venue—the Big Room. Watch for an eclectic mix of national indie, Americana, rock and folk acts—from Neko Case to Of Montreal—in the state-of-the-art, 350-seat facility. 1075 E. 20th St., 892-4647, sierranevada.com/brewery l /california/big-room


VISIT OUR SHOWROOMS TODAY: 1354 Humboldt Ave in Chico & 2111 Myers St in Oroville Discover 39


City of gold T

he city of Oroville is the county seat and the second-largest municipality in the region. As such, it is home to a wealth of opportunities for exploring the outdoors, wine and olive oil tasting, casino entertainment and culinary adventure. 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 citrus orchards (see the Agritourism section on page 76 for more listings). 40 DISCOVER

The city proper has a population of almost 20,000; including unincorporated communities in the vicinity, the greater Oroville area comprises 55,000 (one-fourth of the county’s population). The city’s boundaries encompass 17.1 square miles. Located where the Feather River flows out of the Sierra Nevada, Oroville draws its name from its place in Gold Rush history (“oro” is Spanish for “gold”). Its location represented a navigational marker for river travel; moreover, a gold discovery at Bidwell Bar brought thousands of prospectors. Oroville has deep multicultural roots. It’s home to the Berry Creek Rancheria of Maidu Indians, who operate Gold Country Casino. The Concow-Maidu of Mooretown Rancheria, who operate Feather Falls Casino in town, descend from the Northwestern Maidu, who settled Butte County’s eastern foothills.



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ies and shops. 2066 Bird St., 9907002, facebook.com/orovilleinn

Oroville State Theatre Downtown Oroville wouldn’t feel complete without the State Theatre’s iconic marquee. Built in 1928, the theater was once a bustling entertainment hotspot. In 2014, the city handed the keys over to the Oroville State Theatre Arts Guild, which runs the space with volunteers. 1489 Myers St., 538-2470, orovillestate theatre.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 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

Lake Oroville Visitor Center

OROVILLE continued on page 42

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


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

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225 Main St. • (530) 899-3753

Feather River Fish Hatchery

Cycleland Speedway

OROVILLE continued from page 41

theater and shaded spots to just sit and relax. 1101 Fifth Ave., 538-2415

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

Rotary Park This park takes up an entire city block and features two baseball diamonds, a covered picnic area, barbecues, a basketball half court and a playground. 1200 Safford St., 538-2415

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

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, cycle landspeedway.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. Due to ongoing work to repair part of the dam, some activities may be limited. Please check ahead. For larger boat rentals, including houseboats, check out Bidwell Canyon Marina (5899175, bidwellcanyonmarina.com) or Lake Oroville Marina (1-800-2555561, lakeorovillemarina.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 OROVILLE continued on page 45


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OROville continued from page 42

preserve the chinook salmon and steelhead trout that spawn in the Feather River, the hatchery features an observation platform as well as underwater viewing windows. Self-guided and guided tours are available. Salmon spawning can be best viewed mid-September through mid-November, with steelhead best observed mid-December to mid-February. Open Mon.-Fri., 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 some 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, dingervilleusa.com

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

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 OROville continued on page 46 Discover 45

OROVILLEcontinued continuedfrom frompage page4544 OROVILLE

Ehmann Home

ChineseArts Temple Diversity Showcase

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 inin1863, this 2018, registered Opened summer this Californiagallery landmark wasopportunionce the nonprofit offers place worship fortothe larg- and ties foroflocal artists display est their Chinese community north sell work. 1382 Myers St. of Sacramento. Now, the site includes several exhibits showing the region’s MUSEUMS Chinese and American cultures through time. Tool It’s also still used as a Bolt’s Antique Museum place of worship occasion.can 1500 A truly uniqueon experience Broderick St., Oroville, 538-2496 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

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

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Feather River Nature Center

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

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 538-2415 for reservations). 1067 Montgomery St., 538-2497

place of worship for the largest Chinese community north of Sacramento. Now, the site includes 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 daily noon to 4 p.m. Closed Dec. 15-Jan. 31. Group tours can be arranged ahead of time. 1500 Broderick St., 538-2496

Chinese Temple

Ehmann Home

Built in 1863, this registered California landmark was once the

Chinese TempleCounty Home base of the Butte Historical Society, this is the

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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 the river. 4514 Pacific Heights Road, 534-9956

Mother Orange Tree Mother Orange Tree

“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

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 guid-

ance for visitors. Montgomery Street and Old Ferry Road, 538-2415

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. Learn about the building of the dam and how it works in one half of the museum space; another 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

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Not so much a museum as a place of interest, the Mother Orange Tree is the oldest living orange tree in Northern California, originally planted at Bidwell’s Bar and moved when the Oroville Dam was built. Located at the local headquarters of California State Parks at 400 Glen Drive.

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 Montgomery St., 538-2497 OROVILLE continued on page 48

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

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

Oroville State Theatre The iconic State Theatre hosts performances and is available to rent for special events. The Oroville State Theatre Arts Guild recently reinstalled a Wurlitzer pipe organ. 1489 Myers St., 538-2470, oroville statetheatre.com

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

Dining Boss Burger Burgers done right, plus a full condiment bar. If you’re going to be a burger joint, you’ve got to have legit fries, too, which Boss Burger does. 2484 Montgomery St., 534-8806

Gourmet Kitchen

Cafe One Sixteen

Delicious, authentic Jamaican food, including a nice selection of vegetarian dishes. 3001 Olive Highway, 353-1153

Opened in summer 2018, this spacious cafe is owned by the folks behind Souper Subs—so expect Nana’s soups and a variety of subs and paninis. Plus, there’s a full breakfast menu, with espresso drinks and infused teas. Drive-thru available, with online and call-in orders available for quick pick-up. 116 Table Mountain Blvd., 532-0163

The Good Earth Coffee & Tea House

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

Fresh, cooked-to-order, authentic Chinese cuisine. Good prices and large portions. 2359 Myers St., 533-2609

Ifa Journey

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

Jake’s Burgers & More Great place for a burger. However, burgers aren’t the only thing on their grill: Jake’s serves a chicken-fried steak breakfast burrito that is big enough for two. 1751 Oro Dam Blvd. E., 534-8588

Jenn’s Cafe This family-owned cafe focuses on service and offers an array of

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Oroville State Theatre

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pastries and hot breakfast items, in addition to lunch. 1905 Mitchell Ave., 532-1418

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

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

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

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Mug Shots Coffee House Start your day at local favorite Mug Shots, which serves organic coffee, pastries, breakfast, lunch OROVILLE continued on page 50

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1368 Longfellow Ave 530.342.6421 DISCOVER 49

Copa de Oro

OROVILLE continued from page 49

and dinner. 2040 Montgomery St., 538-8342

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

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

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

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

Tabletop Restaurant Specializing in breakfast and lunch entrees, this spacious eatery is also home to a full catering busi50 Discover

ness 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

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

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

Tong Fong Low Consistently voted Best Restaurant in Oroville in the Chico News & Review readers’ poll, Tong Fong Low also has staying power. It’s been serving up authentic Chinese food in historic downtown for over a century (yes, really). 2051 Robinson St., 533-1488

Vallarta Grill Authentic Mexican grill offering a daily taco special and service with

a smile. 2100 Fifth Ave., 712-9390

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

Nightlife Butte County Wine Co. Nearly every winery in Butte County has a bottle in this joint. Butte County Wine Co. takes pride in offering the bounty of local vintners. Great for before or after dinner. 1440 Myers St., 712-9350

Copa de Oro Reopened in 2018, this longtime local hotspot is experiencing a rebirth. Starting with the front bar and restaurant, it’s slowly reopening and hosts live music alongside offering lunch and dinner menus and a full bar. Second-story pub expected to open in fall 2018. 1445 Myers St., 534-7812 OROVILLE continued on page 52



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OROVILLE continued from page 50

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

Feather Falls Casino With gaming aplenty, this casino frequently welcomes touring musicians and other entertainers. Eat at the cafe or buffet and stay the night at The Lodge, which has a fitness center and an indoor/outdoor swimming pool area. Check out the Feather Falls Casino Brewing Co., featuring house-brewed beers, gourmet food (including fresh sushi and sashimi) and more live music. 3 Alverda Drive, 533-3855, feather fallscasino.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 night, live music and wide-screen TVs. The facility also has a buffet, café and an espresso bar, as well as SaFire, it’s hot new nightclub/dinner spot which took over the space previously occupied by the steakhouse. 4020 Olive Highway, 800-803-1911, gold countrycasino.com

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

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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 a concert venue in summer 2018, and are now showcasing a variety of live, local music of all genres. 2360 Oro Quincy Highway, 764-0359, facebook.com/webuild l thespirit

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Paradise Art Center & Wheeler Gallery

Up the hill F

rom Chico, Butte County’s secondlargest municipality is literally located “up the hill.” More romantically referred to as “on the Ridge,” Paradise is a mountain town, its 18.3 square miles covering elevations ranging from 2,000 to 2,800 feet above sea level. Its population is just over 26,500, with another 12,000 or so living at higher elevations in “Upper Ridge” communities (predominantly in Magalia).


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N Paradise incorporated as a town in 1979—around 75 years after the county’s cities—but traces it origins as a community to the Maidu Indian tribes who made the foothill forests their homes during hot-weather seasons. Prospectors reached the Ridge in 1848 to seek gold along the Feather River; the 1850s brought lumber mills. A post office opened in 1857, around the time Paradise got its name. (Story goes, William Leonard and his mill crew sought shade under a ponderosa pine, he sat and sighed, “Boys, this is paradise.”) The town also has roots in agriculture. Farmers planted orchards— apples, prunes, pears—and utilized the railroad service established in 1904 to speed their crops to market. Johnny Appleseed Days, an annual autumn festival, stems from the

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Paradise Harvest Festival of 1889 that celebrated fruit and winter vegetables. Ridge residents are served by Adventist Health Feather River, wellknown for its birthing center. Due to geographical contours, the town’s traffic mainly flows uphill-downhill along three main roads (Skyway, Clark and Pentz) that become a single road at the top end of town. Paradise has a downtown district along the Skyway and another commercial corridor along Clark Road and both are blossoming with new businesses, especially restaurants. Just up past the town limits, Magalia Dam (at Magalia Reservoir) serves as a landmark between Paradise and the Upper Ridge.

Arts & Culture Art House Also known as Cory Tile Art, the Art House is best known for its custom gift items. Choose from a catalog of favorite images or bring in your own and have it printed on an array of items from coasters and trivets to magnets and wall hangings. Also, create custom tile art for your patio. 5475A Skyway, 7627238, corytileart.com

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

Norton Buffalo Hall An outreach of Paradise Community Guilds, this space regularly hosts touring acts as well as serving as a gathering spot for potluck dinners, open mics and speakers. Named after the beloved musician who lived out his last years in Paradise. 5704 Chapel Drive, 7621490, nortonbuffalohall.com

Paradise Art Center & Wheeler Gallery One of the goals of the art center and gallery is to be an artistic hub for all art lovers. As such, you’ll find an array of classes and workshops alongside an eclectic mix of exhibits and shows. Memberships available. 5564 Almond St., 877-7402, paradise-art-center.com

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

Paradise Performing Arts Center The home base of the Paradise Symphony Orchestra, the 762-seat PPAC hosts a wide range of community events, from concerts and ballets to seminars and religious ceremonies. It’s also known to attract some big-name performers. 777 Nunneley Road, 872-8454, paradis eperformingarts.com

Theatre on the Ridge This 101-seat community theater puts on six productions a year, from comedies to serious dramas. 3735 Neal Road, 877.5760, totr.org PARADISE continued on page 56

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PARADISE continued from page 55

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

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

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

Paradise Ice Rink


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

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

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

Terry Ashe Recreation Center

Lava Creek Golf Course Lava Creek is a scenic, yearround nine-hole course and driving range. There’s disc golf, too! 5235 Clark Road, Paradise, 872-4653

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

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

Celestino’s Pasta & Pizza Thin-crust, New York-style pizza, plus a large selection of PARADISE continued on page 58


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Campus Tours 800-542-4426

Campus Info 530-898-4636

University Box Office 530-898-6333 Discover 57

PARADISE continued from page 56

sandwiches, salads, appetizers and pasta dishes. Delivery available— including beer! 6505 Skyway, 876-0460, celestinospizza.com

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

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

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

Ikkyu Japanese Restaurant Friendly service complements the fresh, artfully prepared sushi and other traditional Japanese dishes. 140 Pearson Road, 876-1488, ikkyujapaneserestaurant.com

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

Mamma Celeste’s Gastropub & Pizzeria Opened in summer 2018, this new addition to the Ridge is an

old Chico favorite. Run by the Flanagan family, Mamma Celeste’s serves up delicious, Chicago-style thin-crust pies along with a whole menu of pub favorites and a full bar. 5522 Skyway, 877-1190, mammacelestes.com

Sliced Fire Baked Pizza Started as a mobile pizza truck, Sliced opened a brick-and-mortar shop in August 2018. With five stars on Yelp(!), locals swear by this place. 7665 Skyway, 518-2697

Sophia’s Thai Cuisine A longtime Ridge favorite with delicious Thai dishes at a reasonable price. 7641 Skyway, 877-4296, sophiathai.com

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

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

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

aMEricaN caNcEr sociEty 'thE shop' An UpScAle ReSAle BoUTiqUe Clothing, Shoes, Accessories for people of all ages. Household items, Furniture and Decor Books for the whole family to enjoy Costume and fine jewelry Picture frames, Art, Specialty Items (530) 343-6178 • Mon-Fri 10-6, sat 10-5, sun Noon-5 Fun Monthly Events. The proceeds from ‘ The Shop’ fund services

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t Ra i l e R s laW n & Ga Rde n

5649 Skyway paradiSe, Ca 95969 (530) 872-3372 9am – 6pm, mon – Fri

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Small-town charm B

utte County’s southern gateway for the Highway 99 corridor, Gridley is the “big city” for farmers living in the rice belt a half-hour from Chico and Yuba City. Gridley’s population is just 7,000, but it boasts a hospital (Orchard Hospital), Ford dealership, museum, 55 civic clubs, chamber of commerce and local newspaper (the Gridley Herald). The city also has the distinction of holding the Butte County Fairgrounds, site of the Butte County Fair each August. Gridley is named after its founder, George Gridley, whose sheep ranch covered 960 acres on the west side of town. In 1870, his ranch became home to a railroad depot, which effectively established the town. The city incorporated in 1905— 24 years after his death—and encompasses 2.1 square miles. 60 DISCOVER

P R Hazel Street

Along with the county fair, Gridley hosts the annual Snow Goose Festival in January, drawing enthusiasts of birding and the arts to the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area west of downtown (see Outdoor Adventures, page 84). Other popular attractions include Nick Daddow Park, location of the summer farmers’ market; the Hazel Hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places; and the Skate Park and Gridley Museum, both downtown.

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

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


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Arts & Culture Gridley Museum Rotating exhibits in the museum, which is housed in the historic Veatch Building, depict early life in Gridley. Pick up a downtown walking tour map here or arrange for a docent-led tour. Open Tues.-Fri., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 601 Kentucky St., 8464482, gridleymuseum.com

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

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

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

Manuel Vierra Municipal Park This 13.5-acre park in the heart of Gridley offers something for

Railroad Park

everyone, from tennis courts and baseball and softball diamonds to a “splash pad” to picnic tables and barbecues. Located at the end of Washington and Haskell streets.

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

Railroad Park This popular park with a large play structure—in the shape of a train!—and picnic benches for relaxing and enjoying a meal with friends is located on Washington Street near Hazel and downtown.

Dining Casa Lupe Opened by the DeLaTorre family in 1971, Casa Lupe—with another location in Yuba City—is a consistent source of fresh, authentic

Mexican cuisine. Salsa and guacamole made fresh throughout the day, plus a full bar. Stop in to the market next door for produce and other food items, including Casa Lupe-brand tortillas and salsa. 130 Magnolia St., 846-5152

El Tamborazo Restaurant Good, traditional Mexican food, plus margaritas and fried ice cream. 1761 Highway 99, 846-2041

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

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

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

Nightlife The Bungalow Bar A dive to be sure, this smalltown pub has karaoke, pool tables, a full bar and their famous $1 Jell-O shots. 101 Virginia St., 846-4111 ● Rail House Pub & Grill





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he smallest municipality in Butte County, Biggs—with a population of about 1,700—sits 25 miles south of Chico and 25 miles north of Yuba City. You’ll find it off Highway 99 by turning onto B Street at the corner by Pizza Round-Up. The city was established in 1903, though its origins as a community trace to 1871, when it was named Biggs Station after a local political leader, Maj. Marion Biggs. A few years later, the city received a $5,000 Carnegie grant to build its library. Biggs covers 338 acres encompassing (among other things) a historic downtown, vintage homes, farms and a school district. Prominent businesses include Bayliss Ranch, an organic lavender farm (see Agritourism, page 81); SunWest Foods, a rice-milling operation; and Victorian Rose, a venue for weddings and events.


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

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

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

Dining Big Momma’s #1 BBQ Diane and Melvin Strong opened 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 63


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tep outside of Butte County’s municipal centers and into the land of mountains and valleys, rivers and lakes, and wide open spaces molded to grow myriad crops that fill our farmers’ markets—and our bellies. Butte County was built on the riches and promises of the Gold Rush, and evidence of those old mining towns exists today. In fact, much of rural Butte County is steeped in history, from old railroad depots transformed into museums and restaurants to quaint corner stores offering the local bounty in addition to modern conveniences. Located 90 miles north of Sacramento, along highways 70 and 99, the county covers 1,677 square miles along the eastern edge of the north Sacramento Valley. Urban, rural and preserved natural open spaces run from the Sacramento River banks on the valley floor to mountain forests at elevations as high as 7,124 feet.


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


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

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in 1850, draws its name from the Sutter Buttes, a mountain range to the south that was once, for a short time, within the boundaries of Butte County. The county is served by an elected five-member Board of Supervisors. Most of the county offices are in Oroville, including the jail and main courthouse. According to recent data, the average per-capita income is $24,249, and the median household income is $43,444. Approximately 1 in 5 residents live below the poverty level, and the unemployment rate was 5.3 percent as of June 2018. While Butte County wages are notoriously low, the cost of living here is considerably lower than in Sacramento or the Bay Area.

Bambi Inn in Butte Meadows


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

to intersect with Interstate 5, and also into the mountainous regions to the northeast.


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


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

Adventist Health Feather River 5974 Pentz Road, Paradise, 877-9361

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 with attractions worth visiting:

Bangor The small town of Bangor (population 646), on the southern tip of the county, was founded in 1855 and named after the city of Bangor, Maine. The region is making a name for itself in the local wine scene, with Bangor Ranch Vineyard & Winery, Hickman Family Vineyards (the owners of which also run Cobble Ridge Distillery) and Spencer Shirey Winery opening within the past decade. (See Agritourism on page 78 for more info on the wineries.)

Bangor Bake Shoppe This Mennonite-run bakery and gift shop is not to be missed. Fresh, house-made baked goods, plus coffees and other handmade goodies in stock. (Insider tip: If you miss the bakery’s open hours, pop into the store next door and inquire about bakery goodies sold there.) Open Wed.-Sat. 5704 La Porte Road, 679-2200

Bangor Church One of the oldest churches still standing in Butte County, Bangor Church was built in 1882 and is now used as a museum by the Butte County Historical Society and can be rented for weddings. Open noon-2 p.m. the first and third Saturday of the month (closed DecemberJanuary). 5370 LaPorte Road, 679-2112 COUNTY TOWNS continued on page 66 DISCOVER 65

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Bambi Inn

COUNTY TOWNS continued from page 65

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

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

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

Butte Meadows Mercantile & Retreat A no-frills stop, this cafe/general store/rustic retreat was built in 1903 and keeps guests coming back. Three cabins to choose from, plus RV hookups for those who bring their own accommodations. 7473 Humboldt Road, 873-5016, butte meadowsmercantile.com

The Outpost Restaurant & Bar Under new ownership as of 2017, the infamous Outpost is still busy as ever, serving up delicious

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eats (whole hogs—really!) and ice cold beers. There are also three cabins on-site for rental. 7589 Humboldt Road, 873-3050, outpost buttemeadows.com

Butte Valley Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation This nonprofit organization cares for endangered and exotic animals that cannot be released into the wild and teaches responsible ownership of companion animals. Take a selfguided tour of the 19-acre sanctuary, which includes Bengal tigers, African lions, leopards, foxes, lynxes, exotic birds, bears and reptiles. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. 4995 Durham-Pentz Road (near Butte College), 533-1000, kirshner.org

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Centerville 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.

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

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


Concow While all of California was inhabited by Native Americans before Europeans settled the area, the story of the Concow Maidu is one of the uglier in Butte County history. They ultimately were rounded up and sent by foot to a reservation near Paskenta. That trek is known as the Concow Trail of Tears, because 461 members embarked on the journey and only 266 reached their destination. Today, Concow is home to about 700 people who prefer to live in nature, off the land and out of civilization. It’s also the site of several festivals throughout the year at the Lake Concow Campground.

76, for more on the region’s agricultural attractions, including several wineries.

Durham House Inn Just a 10-minute drive from Chico, the Durham House Inn is a beautiful 1874 Italianate Victorian listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The home-turnedB&B features three elegant rooms and a cottage decorated with period furniture, as well as beautiful and expansive grounds. 2280 Durham Dayton Highway, Durham, 342-5900, durhamhouseinn.com

Chatterbox Cafe A beloved local coffee shop— with some killer food—since 2009. 2500 Durham Dayton Highway, Ste. 2, 892-9538

Cherokee Cemetery

Lake Concow Campground

This final resting place is said to be haunted by the angry spirit of a murderer burned to death in the mid19th century. 3927 Cherokee Road

Run by Konkow Partners, a “group of healers, activists and friends dedicated to preserving this sacred land,” Lake Concow Campground offers tent camping as well as self-contained RV hookups. 12967 Concow Road, 518-4531



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

Cherokee Museum Housed in what used to be a miner’s boarding house as well as a stagecoach stop, the Cherokee Museum is currently closed, but the building itself is worth a gander. Local history buffs are itching for the place to reopen, as it contains historical pieces from Cherokee as well as others that illustrate Gold Rush life. Outside the building is an old train car, which contains exhibits of local Maidu Indian history. 4226 Cherokee Road, 533-1849

Located just south of Chico, Durham (population 5,518) is a community built on agriculture. Take a drive down the Midway from Chico to “the four-way stop” and you’ve arrived in downtown Durham. There’s a general store, antique shops, a couple of mobile food trucks and restaurants. See Agritourism, page

Also known as Two Broke Girls Burgers, this truck can be found most days parked on the Midway outside the former Empire Club bar. You guessed it—yummy burgers!

Patrick Ranch Museum

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community events. Museum hours: Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.-3 p.m., from midFebruary through December. Gift shop hours: Fri.-Sun., 11 a.m.3 p.m. 10381 Midway, 342-4359, patrickranchmuseum.org

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

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

and a bustling general store that serves hot food daily and pizzas on weekends.

town Chico. At last census count, there were about 1,100 people living in Forest Ranch.

Yuba Feather Museum and Gold Trader Flat


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

Forest Ranch A beautiful foothills community, Forest Ranch is perhaps best known as the home of LaRocca Vineyards, which has a tasting room in down-

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

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

Happy Day A longstanding favorite, Happy Day serves up fresh, delicious Chinese food with attention to customer service. 14455 Skyway, 8734719, happydaymagalia.com

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

Oregon City One of the first mining camps in Butte County, Oregon City was founded by a group of Oregonians who arrived in 1848. According to a plaque signifying the town’s historical significance, the group’s leader, Peter H. Burnett, became the first civil governor of California a year after his arrival. The city boasts a cemetery as well as one of Butte County’s two covered bridges (see Feature story on page 70).

Oregon City School Owned by the Butte County Historical Society, the schoolhouse


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Stirling City

offers a glimpse into the region’s past. It’s 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

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

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

Stirling City Museum This museum, run by the local historical society, chronicles the history of this lumber town. 16993

Skyway, 413-7785, stirlingcity history.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 maintained the general store and plan to renovate and reopen the hotel. 16975 Skyway, 873-0858

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

Rock House Restaurant A great place to relax with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine while taking in the live music or just chilling on the patio. Open for breakfast and lunch daily and dinner on weekends. Live music on Saturdays at 5 p.m. Plus, now offering wine tastings. 11865 Highway 70, 5321889, rockhousehwy70.com

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

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

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 DISCOVER 69

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Into the


Meredith J. Cooper mere d i thc @ n ew sr ev i ew. com




hen people come to Butte County for the first time, it’s often to either visit the university, or Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico. What they might not realize—but many locals have come to appreciate—is that this region is steeped in history. We’re smack dab in the middle of 49er country, meaning this is the area where the masses flocked when they heard of “gold in them thar hills.” Butte County was also home to Ishi, the “last wild Indian,” as well as his and other tribes in the region—long before those first European settlers began calling this place home.

When it comes to historical tourism in Butte County, there’s a broad mix of things to see, from Native American grinding bowls to pioneer cemeteries, ancient hotels and old homes. Most of the populated areas of the county have historical societies that help to maintain not just the written histories but also buildings and monuments. In Oroville, a handful of property owners have been mounting a massive effort to rebuild—and refurbish—the downtown area. The same can be said of Chico, which also boasts a heritage association, whose particular passion is houses and buildings. In recent years, many a protest has built to “save” local treasures in Chico, from the El Rey Theater on Second Street to the Bidwell Mansion, the city’s most famous home that’s named for its founders. History most certainly is a factor in economics as well as adding to a region’s charm, says local history professor Michael Magliari. He was the driving force behind a recent successful

effort to preserve the two water towers downtown, at the corner of Orient and Third streets, which Cal Water had threatened to remove over seismic concerns. We chose to highlight those on the cover of this guide, as they very much are iconic as well as historical. There are far too many historical landmarks and sites worth visiting than there is space to list here. Peruse the rest of this guide for information on museums, many of them dedicated to preserving the past, and other places of interest, including the Hotel Diamond in Chico and the recently renovated Oroville Inn. Here are a few others that are a little less well-known than the big-ticket attractions:

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church The oldest church in Chico, the Bethel AME Church was built in 1867 on Main Street and later moved to its current site along Highway 32. Known for its “perfect acoustics,” the house

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Oregon City covered bridge

of worship is well-attended not only for its religious message but also for the gospel choir (services are at 11 a.m. on Sundays; all are welcome). An effort is currently underway to completely renovate the building, which, when it was moved lost its bell tower. Watch out for fundraisers throughout 2018 and 2019 to help pay to rebuild that tower and refurbish the interior of the chapel. 821 Linden St., Chico.

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 replication of the Mother Orange Tree, which was planted by the bridge—the original is now located at the California State Parks headquarters in Oroville.

Forbestown Cemetery

Forbestown Freemason Lodge #50 The original building where the local chapter of Freemasons met burned down in a fire that ripped through Forbestown in 1860, destroying half of the small gold-mining community. The chapter rented the building that still stands on Forbestown Road in 1862—and it meets there now, one of a rare few that gathers on the ground floor, according to the lodge’s website. Today, it’s one of six lodges in Butte County. 201 Old Forbestown Road, Forbestown. LANDMARKS continued on page 72 DISCOVER 71

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Forbestown Cemetery Located a short walk behind the Freemason lodge, this old pioneer cemetery is no longer used for new burials but holds stories galore for those willing to sit a while. It’s maintained by the county of Butte, but feels long forgotten, weeds covering what once were footpaths through the tombstones.

Hazel Hotel Originally built in 1888, the Hazel Hotel is oft considered the heart of Gridley. Located on Hazel Street in the historic downtown, it’s now owned by CHIP, the Community Housing Improvement Program, which rents the second floor to lowincome seniors. The ground floor is occupied by businesses, so those interested in stopping by can step right into history. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places as an excellent example of Italianate architecture. At Hazel and Kentucky streets, Gridley.

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 a small few

Bidwell Bar Bridge and Toll House

of his Yahi tribe who had survived despite it all. 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.

Oregon City covered bridge Oregon City, one of the earliest mining camps in the county, was formed in 1848 and also served as

Forbestown Freemason Lodge #50

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a supply center. The bridge is one of two covered bridges in Butte County—the other being the more renowned Honey Run Covered Bridge. Many such structures have LANDMARKS continued on page 74

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gone the way of the dodo, so to have two is quite rare, Magliari says. A plaque commemorates those who built the Oregon City bridge, also known as the Castlebury Covered Bridge. Located on Oregon Gulch Road right outside Oregon City.

Oroville’s historic cemeteries To look at the historic Chinese cemetery in Oroville, one will see just the entrance, no more. A stone marker and plaque indicate it was established in 1850 to serve the Chinese community that arrived with the Gold Rush. It was decommissioned in 1944. No grave markers remain. 27802800 Feather River Blvd. Check out the Chinese Temple at

1500 Broderick St. for more on local Chinese history. Nearby, at 1874 Feather River Blvd., is Oroville’s Jewish Cemetery, created in 1858 to serve that community, which also was attracted by the Gold Rush. It’s still used today, so maintenance is better than most. Among the first family grave sites upon walking through the gate is for the Kusels, who arrived in Oroville with the pioneers and whose decendants remain today— check out Kusel’s Big Store downtown at 1858 Montgomery St.

Water towers When the effort to save the two towers on Orient Street in Chico was mounted, many didn’t realize there’s

more to them than just iconic imagery and reminiscence—there’s history. For Magliari, a history professor at Chico State, that’s reason enough to keep them. After all, they are on the California Register of Historical Resources. According to his research and that of the Chico Heritage Association, the first was built in 1905 and the second in 1913, both by Chicago Bridge and Iron Works. They’re reminders of Chico’s early 20th century growth, Magliari says. They’ve been decommissioned but still stand tall—and will continue to do so, since Cal Water decided to let them be rather than take them l down.

Hazel Hotel

Oroville’s Chinese cemetery

BIG TUNA 1722 Mangrove Ave, Chico • 345-4571 Open Sun-Thurs: 11:30am-10pm Fri-Sat:11:30am-10:30pm 74 Discover

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IZAKAYA ICHIBAN 2000 Notre Dame Blvd., Chico · 342-8500 Corner of E. 20th & Notre Dame, behind Best Buy Open 7 Days 11:30am - 10pm Patio Seating Available · Live Music Tue & Sat

reCruitiNg Foster graNDpareNts

Foster Grandparents are volunteers who provide support in schools, afterschool programs, preschools, and child care centers in Butte and Colusa County. They are role models, mentors, and friends to children, focusing on literacy, mentoring, and school readiness. If you are 55 or over and want to stay active by serving children and youth in your community, you have what it takes to be a Foster Grandparent. Foster Grandparents serve 15 to 40 hours per week. Volunteers may qualify to earn a tax-free, hourly stipend. You’ll receive pre-service screening, orientation, placement at your volunteer station and monthly training.

New VoluNteer orieNtatioN: october 4th and october 5th Faith lutheran Church 667 e. 1st ave., Chico, Ca 10am - 2pm (by reservation only) Call For Future Dates!


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

Oroville 533-1488 Chico 898-1388 Discover 75



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ith its mild Mediterranean climate, rich soil and rolling expanses of prime grazing land, the northern reaches of the Central Valley are a veritable bread basket, the source of farm-fresh vegetables, delectable meats and an expansive array of fruits and nuts exported throughout California and far beyond. And that’s not to mention our locally made beers, wines and other delicacies. In Butte County today, many farmers focus on sustainable and organic practices to produce healthy, natural food. There are a number of farmers’ markets held regularly throughout the county (see Events, page 8, for a schedule), offering opportunities to meet the people who grow our food. Plus, many farms of all sizes invite visitors to take a firsthand look at their operations. 76 DISCOVER

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Bamford Family Farms

Breweries Cellar Door Cider Another local cidery has joined the “beverage district” block, this one making handcrafted, barrel-aged ciders using Nor Cal apples. Except for harvest season in the fall—when owner Bryan Shaw is processing apples and brewing—the tasting room is usually open Saturdays, 2-6 p.m. (call ahead). 11 Commerce Court, Ste. 2, Chico, 200-6857, facebook.com/cellardoorcider

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Feather Falls Casino Brewing Co. Located at Feather Falls Casino, this tribe-owned brewery is headed up by veteran brewmaster Roland Allen. There’s always a wide variety of regular and special-release beers on tap, including the amber Coyote Spirit and the Volcano Mudslide stout. Bar hours: Sun.-Thurs., 9 a.m.-midnight; Fri.-Sat., 9 a.m.1:30 a.m. Restaurant open daily at 11 a.m. 3 Alverda Drive, Oroville, 533-3885, featherfallscasino.com/ brewing-co

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

What can we build for you?

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

Design and Engineering

Pre-engineered Metal Buildings

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


Nor Cal Brewing Brewing-industry vet Jim Hardesty has brought his homebrews to the taproom, opening Chico’s newest brewery this summer in a warehouse deep in the new “beverage district.” There are several beers on tap at the casual spot that features outdoor seating and rotating food trucks on the back patio. 180 Erma Court, Ste. 100, Chico, 592-3845, facebook.com/norcalbrew

Construction Management

Whether you need to build a nut processing plant or a personal shop, we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work As your local Butler Builder® we offer solutions that combine superior performance, long lasting roof and wall finishes and flexible interior configurations for unmatched functionality and productivity. #30 Seville Ct. Chico, CA 95928 Phone: 530-345-7296


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

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. The ales and lagers brewed at Chico’s flagship craft brewery are world-famous. An extensive miniglass sampler at the taproom is a good way to familiarize yourself with Chico’s most celebrated brews. Three different guided tours are available: of the brewhouse, the grounds (the Sustainability Tour, offered MaySeptember) and an extensive Beer Geek Tour. Shorter, self-guided tours are also available. Check the website for times and reservations. 1075 E. 20th St., 893-3520, Chico, sierra nevada.com

Wineries & distilleries Almendra Winery & Distillery Family-owned and -operated, Almendra Winery & Distillery offers locally grown wine and spirits, a full bar, pizza and small plates. Enjoy local musicians in the tasting room every Friday evening from 6-9 p.m. Open Wed.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 9275 Midway, Durham, 343-6893, almendrawinery.com

Bangor Ranch Vineyard & Winery Bangor Ranch closed following the fires in Bangor in 2017, but now it’s back in action! Open Sat.-Sun., noon-5 p.m. 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, rum and neutral brandy. Tasting hours: Sat.-Sun., noon-5 p.m. 555 Avocado Road, Bangor, 603-1501, 78 DISCOVER


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

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

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

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

HoneyRun Winery Founded in 1992 by John and Amy Hasle, HoneyRun Winery produces five types of honey wines and meads—blackberry, elderberry, cherry, cranberry and dry mead. HoneyRun’s wines have no added sulfites or preservatives and are certified kosher. “Simple tastings” available most weekdays, 9 a.m.3:30 p.m., but call ahead. 2309 Park Ave., Chico, 345-6405, honey runwinery.com

Hooker Oak Distillery Chico’s first rum distillery opened up in 2016 in what’s becoming this town’s very own brewing district.

Run by two longtime friends who both happen to be general contractors, Hooker Oak Distillery bottles four varieties of rum: light, pineapple, vanilla bean and apple pie. Free tours of the distillery on Saturdays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays noon-4 p.m., and tastings Mon.-Sat. 2420 Park Ave., Chico, 809-0720, hookeroakdistillery.com

LaRocca 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

Live Vine Vineyards & Winery Butte County’s newest winery, Live Vine offers varieties aged in stainless-steel tanks and oak barrels. The young operation currently has only a few wines on offer, including a viogner and a zinfandel, in addition to a few red blends. Visit Sat.-Sun., noon-5 p.m. for tastings and to see the estate. 652 Luds Way, Oroville, 566-4259, livevine wines.com

Long Creek Winery & Ranch Long Creek Winery is more than your average tasting room—it’s an adventure. Experience the estategrown Long Creek wines. 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 wine in the oak grove bordering the 2-acre pond on-site. Tasting hours: Sat.-Sun., noon5 p.m. 323 Ward Blvd., Oroville, 589-3415, longcreekwinery.com

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

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noon-5 p.m. 3471 Durham-Dayton Highway, Durham; 345-9904, nesserevineyards.com

New Clairvaux Vineyard New Clairvaux Vineyard is run by fifth-generation winemaker Aimee Sunseri along with the Trappist monks of the on-site monastery. The first Cistercian winery in North America, New Clairvaux has a variety of offerings, including a blend called Petite Temptation. The tasting room is open every day (excluding holy days), 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 26240 Seventh St., Vina, 839-2200, newclairvauxvineyard.com

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

Purple Line Urban Winery Located just off Montgomery Street in downtown Oroville,

Purple Line Urban Winery offers a delicious variety of wines made with Northern California grapes that are crushed, fermented, barreled and aged on the premises. Regular events, including live music and potluck dinners. Tasting room hours: Wed. 2-8 p.m., Thurs.Sat. noon-7 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m. 760 Safford St., Oroville, 5341785, purplelinewinery.com

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

Renaissance Winery & Vineyard With a minimalist approach to wine-making, Renaissance, founded in 1978, focuses on terroir and “listening to the grape.” It also boasts an impressive back catalog of estate vintages dating into the early 1990s. Tastings by appointment only—call for directions. Oregon House, 692-3159, renaissance winery.com

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

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

Olive oil Bamford Family Farms In 2016, Bamford Family Farms opened its tasting room in downtown Oroville and hasn’t looked back. Stop in for a taste of a variety of olive oil flavors—from traditional mission to garlic, jalapeño, lemon and blood orange (it’s delicious on ice cream!). They’re all made from century-old olive orchards near AGRITOURISM continued on page 80 DISCOVER 79

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Table Mountain in Oroville. Also available for tasting are a handpicked selection of balsamic vinegars, including flavors like mango, honey and cranberry-apple. Don’t forget to peruse the handmade olive oil soaps, olive wood cutting boards and other locally made goods. As of summer 2018, it also sells meat from cows raised on the farm (and fed olive oil byproducts). 1442 Myers St., Oroville, bamfordfamilyfarms.net

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

Butte View Olive Co. 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 olive oils—lemon, blood orange, basil and rosemary—in the facility’s tasting/bottling room. Tours, tastings and shopping by appointments phoned in a day or two in advance. 2950 Louis Ave., Oroville, 534-8320

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

brewery for free tours and tastings, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 1919 Park Ave., Chico, 897-0822, chicochaitea.com

The Lavender Ranch

Fruits, nuts, vegetables and more

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

Chaffin Family Orchards

Lundberg Family Farms

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

Mooney Farms

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

Patrick Ranch




Saturdays and Sundays thru October 28th 10 am to 4 pm

Calendar of EvEnts December 1st & 2nd Annual Holiday Artisan Faire 10 am to 4 pm

Since 1937, the organic rice farmers at Lundberg Family Farms have championed environmental stewardship. Their products now include rice cakes, risottos, pastas, brown-rice syrup, flour, and gluten-free and non-GMO options, which you can purchase at the super-swanky visitor center. Group and individual tours available by appointment. 5311 Midway, Richvale, 538-3500, lundberg.com Olive trees, fragrant lavender plants and fountains welcome visitors to family-run Mooney Farms’ lovely tasting room—a great place to sample healthy Mediterraneaninspired eats, including sun-dried tomatoes, pesto and pasta sauce from their award-winning Bella

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December 8th 1st Annual Gingerbread House Workshop 10 am to 12 noon December 15th Annual Holiday Tea & Fashion Show 1 pm to 4 pm

10381 Midway, Between Chico and Durham • Call 342-4359 or visit www.PatrickRanchMuseum.org A Far West Heritage Association Event 80 Discover

Locally owned and operated sine 1964

530.342.1200 | 872 EAST AVE, CHICO |

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tains, ivy-covered trellises, a gazebo and more. TJ Farms has a pumpkin patch in the fall for kids, and features an on-site gift shop (open during seasonal events) that sells jams, mustards, vinegars, dressings and pickles. Call for a private tour. 3600 Chico Ave., Chico, 343-2294, tjfarms estates.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 yearround and offers affordable, fresh, USDA-inspected meat. 311 Nicholas C. Schouten Lane, Chico, 898-6343, csuchico.edu/ag/farm

Vincent Noble Orchard Co.

Vincent Noble Orchard Co.

Sun Luci line. Gift baskets and work by local artists also available. 1220 Fortress St., Chico, 899-2661, mooneyfarms.com

(and during the Sierra Oro Farm Trail Passport Weekend in October). 845 Mt. Ida Road, Oroville, 589-5799, holidaymandarins.com

Mt. Ida Mandarin Ranch

TJ Farms

The ranch, which specializes in tree-ripened, hand-picked Satsuma and Owari mandarins, is open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. November-January

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

Noble Orchards offers tree-ripened stone fruits—cherries, peaches, pluots and nectarines—during the July-September season, and 17 varieties of apples including various heirloom varieties from September to March. Visit the packing shed/ farmstand for fruit, apple butter and gift boxes from July through March. Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., weekends 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 7050 Pentz Road, Paradise, 877-4784, facebook. com/nobleorchards AGRITOURISM continued on page 82


AGRITOURISM continued from page 81

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

Keep it local Butte County Wine Co. For those who want to taste some of the best that the region’s wineries have to offer but can’t make it out to the vineyards, stop by Butte County Wine Co., a hip new wine bar smack in the middle of historic downtown Oroville. Also serving local microbrews. Open Weds.-Sun. 1440 Myers St., Oroville, 712-9350, buttecounty winecompany.com

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

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


Sohnrey Family Foods

127 W. Third St., Chico, 894-7009, madeinchicostore.com

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

New Earth Market The locally owned New Earth Market offers a wide array of regional foods, from wines and cheeses to jams and oils. 864 East Ave., Chico,

891-9355, newearthmarket.com

S&S Organic Produce & Natural Foods Known as simply S&S, this fullservice grocery store started out as a roadside produce stand in 1968. Its focus is on organic, nutritious foods and it has a dedication to supporting local growers and craftspeople. Open daily. 1924 Mangrove Ave., Chico, 343-4930, ssproduce.net

Sohnrey Family Foods Opened in 2015 by fifthgeneration farming family the Sohnreys, who specialize in almonds, almond butters (try the snickerdoodle!), walnuts and rice, the gift shop also offers a variety of other local foodstuff. 41 Skillin Lane, Oroville, 871-1975, sohnrey ● familyfoods.com


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26 Bellarmine Ct., Chico • (530) 593-0555


Wine Tasting for Two Butte County’s Newest Winery Family-run micro-winery

Expires 8/1/19

652 Luds Way, Oroville • Open Sat & Sun 12 pm–5pm LiveVineWines.com • 530.566.4259 Discover 83


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Monkey Face, Upper Bidwell Park


rom almost any spot in Butte County, rugged natural beauty is just a 20-minute drive away. Whether it’s the miles of trails that stretch through Upper Bidwell Park in Chico or a pristine mountain lake in the Sierra Nevada foothills, this region offers endless opportunities to hike, bike, swim, fish, boat or just chill and bear witness to the stunning natural wonders of Northern California.


Butte County Big Bald Rock 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 trail heads are accessed from different points on Bald Rock Road in the Berry Creek area, nestled in the foothills east of Lake Oroville. 534-6500, berry creekca.org/recreation

Bidwell Park Bidwell Park is a 3,670acre preserve and the natural heart and soul of the Chico community. Divided by Manzanita Avenue, the park comprises two distinct

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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 knolls and creekside hideaways. Middle Park is a relatively small section of the park 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 more wild, with the landscape of Upper Park—which extends 5 miles along both sides of Big Chico Creek Canyon—ranging from lush riparian habitat to rugged rock faces. To reserve picnic areas, call 8967800. For more park information, including trail and road conditions, call 896-7899 or visit chico.ca.us (select “Bidwell Park”) or bidwell park.org. For more on this attraction, see Parks within the Chico section of this guide (page 22). Here are some special places within Bidwell Park for the adventurers out there: • North Rim Trail Skirting the north edge of Big Chico Creek canyon, the North Rim offers one of the area’s most popular trails. The B Trail, which descends from the North Rim, offers rugged and scenic mountain biking and hiking. Take Wildwood Avenue off Manzanita Avenue, and then go 1 mile to parking lot B. • Annie Bidwell Trail This less-traveled trail is one of the more rugged in Upper Bidwell Park. It runs along the south side of the canyon (splitting off to more difficult Guardians and South Rim trails higher up). For a day hike, take Annie Bidwell Trail to the lessfrequented south side of Bear Hole, then take a dip and return 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, but is fully accessible only by foot and bike; motorists reach a locked gate just past Bear Hole. Three trails parallel Upper Park Road to the north— Lower, Middle and Upper trails. The latter two are favored by mountain bikers and hikers alike for their upand-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 trail 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 begins just east of Horseshoe Lake off Upper Park Road.

Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve In addition to preserving nearly 4,000 acres of natural habitats, BCCER offers public hikes and group and private tours. There is also a self-guided tour available, with pamphlets on BCCER’s website. From Chico, take Highway 32 east. From the intersection of Bruce Road, travel 9.7 miles and turn left at the green 3521 sign onto a paved, single-lane road. Sign in at the check-in gate. 898-5010, 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. 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 OUTDOOR ADVENTURES continued on page 86

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


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OUTDOOR ADVENTURES continued from page 85

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

Feather Falls While the main attraction is unquestionably the majestic 410foot waterfall on this 9-mile roundtrip (or 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), the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area is made up of more than 9,000 acres of seasonal wetlands favored by birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway, as well as local species. The area features 80 miles of roads, 50 miles of walking/cycling trails and a small wildlife museum. 846-7505, wildlife.ca.gov

Valley from one of the two highpowered telescopes at the top of a 47-foot tower. Due to ongoing work to repair part of the dam, some activities may be limited. Please check ahead. For larger boat rentals, including houseboats, check out Bidwell Canyon Marina (589-9175, bidwellcanyonmarina.com) or Lake Oroville Marina (800-255-5561, lakeorovillemarina.com). Lake Oroville info: 538-2542, lakeoroville.net. See the Oroville section on page 40 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, 774-7934, forebay aquaticcenter.com • Freeman Bicycle Trail Completed in 1996, the 41-mile trail offers scenic off-road riding, and panoramic views of Lake Oroville, the Sutter Buttes and the Sacramento Valley. Inquire about trail conditions before visiting. Download a map at lakeoroville.net or pick up one at the Lake Oroville Visitor Center, 917 Kelly Ridge Road, 538-2219 • Loafer Creek Horse Camp Relish the outdoors with your equestrian companion at Loafer Creek Horse Camp at Lake Oroville. There is a 17.5-mile loop trail, along

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


North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve This flat-topped “mountain” is actually two plateaus—North and South Table Mountain—featuring waterfalls, caves, lava formations and the impressive Coal Canyon. In the spring, Table Mountain’s wildflowers are in full bloom and the waterfalls—most notably Phantom Falls, which disappears entirely in summer months—are at their most spectacular. In late 2017, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife added Table Mountain to its list of destinations requiring a lands pass for visitors 16 and older. Go to wildlife.ca.gov/Licensing/Lands-Pass for more info. Take Highway 70 to Oroville and exit at Grand Avenue. Take a right on Grand, a left on Table Mountain Boulevard, and a right on Cherokee Road. From there, it’s 6.3 miles to the reserve.

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 hunt-

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Lake Oroville California’s second-largest reservoir offers activities like boating, water skiing, fishing, swimming and camping. Visit the museum at the Lake Oroville Visitor Center (917 Kelly Ridge Road, 538-2219) or check out the expansive view of the Sierras and the Sacramento

with 15 campsites (two horses per site), a restroom with shower facility, a horse washing station and horse tethering and feeding stations. Loafer Creek Road, 538-2217

C Lassen peak above Manzanita Lake



ing are popular pastimes. There’s also a shooting range. 945 Oro Dam Blvd. West. tinyurl.com/oroville wildlife

Wilderness is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Great for hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, fishing and rock climbing. 258-2141

Sacramento River

Ishi Wilderness Area

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

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

And beyond

Lassen National Forest

Tent and RV camping available at two sites, with access to fishing, sailing and water-skiing, as well as more than 20 miles of hiking and mountain-biking trails. Equestrian trails and a disc-golf course also onsite. About a 45-minute drive east from Chico, past Orland. 865-4781, tinyurl.com/blackbuttelake

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

Caribou Wilderness

Plumas National Forest

Located within Lassen National Forest and maintained by the National Park Service, the Caribou

Located just east of Oroville, Plumas National Forest is home to numerous lakes and streams, val-

Black Butte Lake Recreation Area

leys 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/main/plumas

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

Woodson Bridge State Recreation Area A beautiful location along the Sacramento River for boating, fishing, camping and hiking, with views of Mount Lassen, Mount Shasta and the Trinity Alps. It also contains a nature preserve, which is a winter home to the bald eagle. From Chico, take Highway 99 north to South ● Avenue. 839-2112 DISCOVER 87


Scholarly pursuits B

utte County offers many opportunities for life-long learners seeking a variety of educational adventures after high school. The area is home to several fine institutions of higher learning, with the crown jewel being Chico State. As part of the California State University system, the college offers bachelor’s and master’s programs on a beautiful campus connected to the lively downtown Chico. (Seriously, the entire 119-acre college is a designated arboretum with a creek running through it.) Butte College, part of the Butte-Glenn Community College District, offers associate’s degrees, transfer opportunities, certification programs and an outstanding athletics program (Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers got his start there). Additionally, the region is home to a handful of vocational schools. 88 DISCOVER

Chico State Founded in 1887 as a teacher’s college, Chico State opened in 1889 with 60 students and five faculty members. The university today is home to about 17,500 students, including graduate students. About 2,000 of them reside in campus-run housing, with the rest spread out through the south campus neighborhood and the rest of the community. The school mascot is the Wildcat and its colors are cardinal and white. With 13 Division II men’s and women’s sports teams, there’s plenty of action to be caught on the field or court. Tickets and team info can be found at chicowildcats.com. There are plenty of other attractions on the Chico State campus that appeal to more than just students. Take the Arts & Humanities Building, for instance— home to multiple art galleries as well as a 200-seat recital hall. There’s also Laxson Auditorium, which attracts big-name performers throughout the school year. For student productions, check out the Performing Arts Center, home of two theaters and a recital hall.


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Chico State campus: Trinity Hall (above); Bell Memorial Union (left).

The public is also invited to check out the Chico State Wildcat Store, located within the Bell Memorial Union, and Meriam Library, the state’s largest library north of Sacramento. The library also is home to the Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology, which offers rotating exhibits. Campus tours are scheduled through the Admissions Office in the first-floor lobby of the Student Services Center. To make a reservation, register at tinyurl.com/ csuctour or call 898-6322. In addition to the main campus, the University Farm (see Agritourism, page 78) and Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve (see Outdoor Adventures, page 84) also are part of Chico State.

Butte College Opened in 1968, the local community college has come a long way

since its early years, when classes were held in portable buildings. In the mid-1970s, Butte College moved to its spacious campus located on a 928-acre wildlife refuge near the geographic center of Butte County. In recent years, the campus core has changed dramatically, with a complete overhaul and expansion of the library, and the addition of three new state-of-the-art buildings. The impressive two-story Arts Building offers an art gallery, a full digital recording studio, a print studio, a cutting-edge graphicdesign lab and the fabulous Black Box Theatre. A new welding and manufacturing building is set to be completed next September. Butte College’s satellite campus in Chico makes it possible for students to attend classes without making the drive to the main campus. Its latest addition is the Skyway Center in south Chico, home to the automotive-technology program. The accredited two-year college offers associate degrees and fully transferable general-education courses, as well as vocational-certificate programs. The college also has been recognized nationally for its commitment to sustainability practices. It has the distinction as the first college campus in the country to go gridpositive. In summer 2018, Butte College started offering cosmetology classes and is now accepting clients at its Cosmetology Center in Chico, in the Almond Orchard shopping center at 2201 Pillsbury Road. Main campus: 3536 Butte Campus Drive, Oroville, 895-2511; Chico Center: 2320 Forest Ave., 895-1352, butte.edu

More schools

excellence Science




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 EDUCATION continued on page 90


(530) 891-3090 www.inspirecusd.org Discover 89

EDUCATION continued from page 89

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

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

OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute

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

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.” rce.csuchico.edu/osher ●

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

Butte College main campus


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2018–2019 Season



Blue Room Young Company


Chico Voices

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The Best of Christmas


You and Me and Christmas


An Airy Circus Spectacle



Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom


Alaska’s Fiddler Poet


Tim Hernandez, Book In Common Lecture


National Geographic Live



Monica Bill Barnes & Company



Inspired By the Polar Express


Uncle Dad’s Art Collective


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SF Opera Grand Cinema Series


SF Opera Grand Cinema Series






Fare Thee Well . . . Tour 2018

National Geographic Live

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SF Opera Grand Cinema Series



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SF Opera Grand Cinema Series



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