FW Discover Butte County 2017

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FALL 2017 • WINTER 2018

A guide to visiting and living in the North Valley



All about Chico, Paradise, Oroville and beyond

2 Discover

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Welcome to town P

eople don’t just like Chico, they love Chico! It’s not uncommon for visitors to come here once and stay forever. It’s that kind of place. Chico is a magical community just a short drive north of San Francisco. Surrounded by orchards and rice fields, the community embraces its agricultural roots, carrying on a “buy local” legacy that started long before the popular farm-to-fork trend. Shop at any one of our famous farmers’ markets and you’ll nibble on locally grown nuts, fruits, veggies and more. Then, once you’ve tried our farm-fresh goodies, give our restaurants a try! Sip on a Chico-brewed chai tea, share a local beer with friends, and taste some of the delicious breads fresh from our ovens. Whether you love the twinkling lights and friendly sounds of outdoor patio dining or want to tuck into a gourmet restaurant off the beaten path, we have it all. We not only know how to eat in Chico, we also know


how to eat right! There’s a reason that Chico is known as a bike town: We love to ride! Just steps from downtown, Bidwell Park, the crown jewel of our community, offers a perfect, paved loop for weekend rides on a cruiser. In Upper Park, you’ll find adventurous trails for mountain bikes. Just outside of town, there are miles of rolling slopes with wide shoulders and faraway views of the mountains—perfect for road bikes. Didn’t bring your ride? Visit one of our many local cycling shops and you may find yourself sitting on the bike you’ve always wanted. Now that you’ve eaten and explored the great outdoors in Chico, how about visiting our museums, taking in a concert, or strolling through the beautiful Chico State campus? Known for its aesthetic beauty, Chico State brings lush, green

charm to the community with iconic red brick buildings, art pieces and a rose garden. It’s a short walk from the shops, restaurants and events that routinely land downtown Chico on “best of” lists throughout the country. While you’re here, I hope you’re greeted with the friendly smiles that make Chico so special. We’re happy you’re here, and we’re happy that we’re here, too. Life feels sunnier and cheerier in Chico than it does in the bustle of big cities—and we like it that way. Whether you’re here for an hour, a week or a lifetime, enjoy all that Chico has to offer and welcome to our community! Thank you,


Katie Simmons President & CEO Chico Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center


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Contents Welcome to Butte County!


orthern California—and Butte County in particular—is one of the Golden State’s most lush regions. It has something for everyone, from the outdoors types who hope to explore our vast river and creek systems to those who come to experience Chico’s vibrant arts scene to history buffs who hope to catch a glimpse of Gold Rush life. To help you make the most of your visit here, the CN&R has created this guide to provide background for your adventure, whether it be for a short time or a lifetime. As you’ll see, we’ve organized Discover Butte County by city and town—so, if you’re planning a trip to Paradise, for example, you’ll know how to get to the Gold Nugget Museum or Bille Park and have some options when hunger strikes. There also are features, such as Agritourism and Outdoor Adventures, that apply to the entire region and might inspire their own themed outing—so within those chapters, you’ll find places worth visiting throughout the county. With so many things to do and see in this fair region, it was impossible for us to include everything. It was our intention, therefore, to provide the highlights so that you may start with our suggestions (or those from our readers—dining options in Chico, for instance, were based on those that won Best of Chico honors last year, as well as some editors’ picks). We encourage everyone to embark on their very own adventures to find their own favorite places. So, go forth and discover beautiful Butte County. —Meredith J. Cooper, Discover Butte County editor

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Discover Butte county Fall 2017/Winter 2018

EvEnts......................................... 8

Biggs ........................................ 64

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

Explore Butte’s smallest city.

ChiCo ........................................ 16 Butte County’s largest city and a university town to boot, Chico boasts a wide range of activities, from arts and entertainment to nature outings to eclectic shops and events. See the map of downtown on page 18.

orovillE ................................ 38 Explore the county seat, known for its rich agriculture offerings, historic downtown core and range of lake activities.

ParadisE ................................ 52

small-town rEtrEats ..... 36 Beyond the big city, Butte County is made up of dozens of old mining and timber towns, many of which have maintained their identities to this day. Plus, general information on Butte County and a map of the region on page 69.

agritourism ........................ 74 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.

outdoor advEnturEs ..... 82

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

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

gridlEy ................................... 60

highEr EduCation............ 89

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

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

Discover Butte County editors and writers: Jason Cassidy, Meredith J. Cooper, Melissa Daugherty, Ken Smith, Evan Tuchinsky design: Tina Flynn, Sandy Peters Photography: CN&R staff, Kyle Delmar advertising staff: Jamie DeGarmo, Laura Golino, Jack Jernigan, Chris Pollok, Autumn Stone, Lisa Beebe

Discover Butte County is published twice a year by the Chico News & Review, 530-894-2300, www.newsreview.com Copyright ©2017 Chico Community Publishing On the cover: Photo of Vincent Noble Orchards by Meredith J. Cooper

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What’s going on? A

h, fall in Butte County. With harvest season in full swing, there are plenty of opportunities to taste the local bounty. Then, of course, there are the holidays, which also offer a plethora of activities geared toward the cheer of the season. So, have fun—we dare you!


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

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Chapman Farmers’ Market, Fridays, 2-5 p.m., in Community Park, 1010 Cleveland Ave.

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 846-7505 (846-7505 on the weekends) or visit tinyurl.com/graywild for more info.

October Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest Sept. 29-30 & Oct. 6-7. 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., 893-3520. Chico Beer Week

include an extensive list of activities, concerts and art happenings. www.newsreview.com/chico

Throughout the season

foods, top-notch coffee, beer tastings and more. Hours: 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. And on Wednesdays, the North Valley Plaza Farmers’ Market offers produce 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., year-round, rain or shine. 893-3276. www.chicofarmers market.com Another option in Chico is the

Oct. 1-31, Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.5 p.m. The pumpkin patch is an annual attraction at Book Family Farm, which also offers interactive tours by appointment—feed the chickens, learn about rotational grazing, etc. 5153 Heavy Horse Lane, Durham, 342-4375, bookfamilyfarm.net

Pun’kin Patch at Maisie Jane’s

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

Book Family Farm pumpkin patch

Oct. 1-Oct. 31. Open to the general public on weekends, and for field trips on weekdays. Call for availability. With scavenger hunts, pumpkin relays and pumpkin picking. Also on site: giant sunflowers and gourds. 3764 Hegan Lane, 899-7909, www. maisiejanes.com

TJ Farms Pumpkin Patch

TJ Farms Pumpkin Patch

Oct. 1-31, Mon.-Fri., 2-6 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Pick your own of 16 different varieties of pumpkins (while supplies last) and EVENTS continued on page 10 Discover 9


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enjoy hay rides and obstacle courses, a blacksmith shop, farm animals to feed and a bouncy house. Gift shop on-site. 3600 Chico Ave., 343-2294, www.tjfarmsestates.com

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Chico Beer Week Oct. 5-14. The Chico News & Review and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. present Chico Beer Week 2017. 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. It all starts with Brewfork, a craft beer and food truck rally hosted by the Chico News & Review Foundation and Fork in the Road at Manzanita Place, Oct. 5, 5:30-8:30 p.m. www.chicobeerweek.net, www. facebook.com/chicobeerweek

Perry Mason Days Oct. 7, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Ehmann Home in downtown Oroville. This quirky annual event celebrates the life and works of Perry Mason creator Erle Stanley Gardner, who grew up in Oroville. Watch a video about Gardner, plus meet his family and talk about selected works. buttecountyhistoricalsociety.org 10 DISCOVER

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Johnny Appleseed Days Oct. 7-8. Johnny Appleseed Days traces its roots back to an annual fair first held in 1888. Nowadays, in preparation of the festival, Paradise residents bake 1,000 apple pies to celebrate the area’s apple heritage. Plus vendors, entertainment and a kid’s play area. Terry Ashe Park, 6626 Skyway, Paradise, www.paradise chamber.com

Sierra Oro Farm Trail Passport Weekend Oct. 7-8, locations vary. Tour Butte County’s farms and wineries and taste the very best they have to offer. New this year: lunch stops— $10 gets you a sandwich at either Maisie Jane’s in Chico or the Wagon Wheel in Oroville. www.sierraoro.org



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Harvest sidewalk sale Oct. 13-14, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., downtown Chico. 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. www.downtown chico.com

You Know You’re From Chico Festival Oct. 21, noon-8 p.m., Manzanita Place. 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.


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Open Studios Art Tour Oct. 21-22 & 28-29, various locations. Chico Art Center’s popular annual event brings all of Chico’s visual artists into one art-walking guide, 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

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YMCA Haunted House in Prospector’s Alley Oct. 27-28. Bring the kiddos to downtown Oroville for trick-ortreating on Oct. 27, from 4-8 p.m. Then dare to be scared at the annual YMCA Haunted House inside Prospector’s Alley on Myers Street Friday and Saturday nights.

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

November Christmas Preview Nov. 19, 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 EVENTS continued on page 12

art Glass Studio (530) 345–7985


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Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 9 to 4 (Viewing of glassblowing usually available Tuesday to Thursday from October through June. Please call ahead for exact days and times.) DISCOVER 11

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traffic to allow the musicians, dancers, Santa and revelers to gather and enjoy a night of communal celebration. www.downtownchico.com

Gridley Holiday Parade of Lights Nov. 29, 5 p.m. The annual treelighting ceremony starts at Orchard Hospital with live music and refreshments, followed by the parade 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

A Very Chico Nutcracker Nov. 30-Dec. 3 at Laxson Auditorium, Chico State campus. Based on the classic ballet, but infused with local history, A Very Chico Nutcracker follows the Stansbury family on the night before Christmas. Performance by Chico Community Ballet. chico performances.com

December Biggs Tree Lighting Dec. 3, 3-8 p.m. Held in downtown’s Pocket Park, the city of Biggs’ annual Christmas tree lighting transforms the area into a holiday spectacle.

Chico Community Tree Lighting Dec. 1, 6-8 p.m. Enjoy a festive

musical program, St. Nick arriving and the countdown to the lighting of the tree during this Chico tradition at the downtown City Plaza. www.downtownchico.com/dcba

Choose Your Own Tree Nov. 24-Dec. 23, Mountain View Christmas Tree Farm. Every year, Mountain View Christmas Tree Farm in Paradise opens its gates to locals who want to chop down their own

tree—or choose among the precut varieties. Tours of the farm available September-May, with the tree farm open for Christmas shoppers the day after Thanksgiving. 1986 Mountain View Drive, Paradise, 872-0165, mtnviewtrees.com

Glorious Sounds of the Season Dec. 1-3. Chico State’s music and theater faculty and students perform a wide-ranging selection of

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Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway

A Very Chico Nutcracker

holiday music—from jazz and musical theater to various string/brass/ woodwind ensembles and sing-along hymns—in this popular annual scholarship fundraiser. schoolof thearts-csuchico.com

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

Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway

The Nutcracker Dec. 15-17. The Northern California Ballet produces this holiday classic at the Paradise Performing Arts Center. northern californiaballet.com

Jan. 24-28. 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. www.snowgoose festival.org



Polar Bear Swim

Keep Chico Weird Talent Show

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?

Feb. 22-24. The Chico News & Review celebrates local weirdness of all stripes, with all the fun, creative, funky and freaky performers and artists taking the stage for the fourth annual Keep Chico Weird Talent l Show on Saturday, Feb. 24.


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Where nature and culture collide


hough not the county seat, Chico in most every other respect is the capital of Butte County, if not the North State region. It’s the county’s most populous city, exceeding 100,000 when students attend Chico State—the California State University campus serving 12 counties in northeastern California. It boasts Bidwell Park, one of the largest city parks in the country, and Bidwell Mansion, a state historic park. Downtown is a shopping, dining and gallery district that contributes to Chico’s recognition as one of the top 10 arts towns in the country. 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 3,670 acres comprising Bidwell Park.


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Downtown Chico Municipal Center Outside Chico’s Municipal Center, at the corner of Fourth and Wall streets, sits one of Chico’s most recognizable sculptures—“Our Hands,” a giant pair of hands with iconic images of Chico embedded in their surface. Inside are city offices and featured local art. Municipal Center hours: Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 411 Main St., 896-7200, www.chico.ca.us

Old Municipal Building Swing around to the Main Street side of the block to the renovated Old Municipal Building, built in 1911 and now home to the Chico Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. Those offices are great places to get insider tips and free brochures for area attractions. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 441 Main St., 800-852-8570, chico chamber.com

Senator Theatre

Chico’s city limits encompass 33 square miles and approximately 92,500 residents. Unincorporated pockets within and around the city add nearly another 10,000 permanent residents, though two neighborhoods (Chapman and Mulberry) soon will be annexed. The university draws around 17,000 students—some local, many from outside Chico. Municipal government consists of a seven-member City Council, elected in citywide elections to four-year terms (four members in one cycle, three members the next), who elect the mayor from among themselves. The council oversees the city manager, chief administrator at City Hall. City-run services include fire, police, street maintenance and parks—though a separate organization with its own elected body, the Chico Area Recreation District, shares some park maintenance and activities responsibility, too. Public safety responders beyond the Chico Police

and Chico Fire departments include the Butte County Sheriff’s Office, Cal Fire and Butte County EMS. The city has its own K-12 school district, the Chico Unified School District, governed by an elected board. Along with the university, Chico has a satellite campus of the local community college, Butte College; and a law school, Cal Northern. Downtown Chico evokes special affection among locals. Kitty-corner to Chico State, with City Plaza at its heart and the historic Senator Theatre at the opposite corner, the city center bustles with activity throughout the day and evening. It’s home to offices, businesses, shops, eateries and arts spaces. Bidwell Park starts at the northeast edge of downtown and extends into the foothills east of the city. It’s so large that popular recreation areas are known by mile markers. Outdoors and indoors, whatever time of year, there’s a lot going on in Chico.

One of Chico’s most photographed buildings, the Senator Theatre, was built in 1928. The theater is a gem of art deco architecture and once hosted traveling vaudeville shows. It became a movie theater in the mid-20th century and now serves as the region’s main stop for big-name touring bands. 517 Main St., 898-1497, www.jmax productions.net

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

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

Stansbury House This gleaming-white Victorian home, built in 1883, sits at the corner CHICO continued on page 19 Discover 17



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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., 895-3848, www.stansburyhome.org

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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.

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

El Rey Theatre 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’s now used to host live music and the occasional film festival. 230 W. Second St., www.jmaxproductions.net

Madison Bear Garden Worth a look-see even if you’re not in the mood for a killer burger or some drinks on the patio with friends. The décor is simply indescribable. Beyond that, the building CHICO continued on page 20 DISCOVER 19

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has history. It was built in 1883 and, nearly a decade later, in 1977, it opened as a restaurant and bar. The Bear, as it’s known, is now a fixture of the Chico—and Chico State— experience. 316 W. Second St., 8911639, www.madisonbeargarden.com

Arts & Culture Art gAlleries & museums Chico Art Center Established in 1956, this nonprofit gallery produces regular group exhibits featuring local and visiting artists and offers classes for all levels. Hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, noon4 p.m. 450 Orange St., Ste. 6, 8958726, www.chicoartcenter.com

Chico Art Center

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

Chico Paper Co. In the heart of downtown, this custom framing and retail shop features works by local artists, plus an excellent selection of greeting cards, handmade jewelry and more. Open weekdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4 p.m. 345 Broadway, 891-0900, www.chico papercompany.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, 6-8 p.m. Call or visit website for more info. 603 Orange St., 592-0609, www.ideafablabs.com

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

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

Janet Turner Print Museum In addition to housing nearly 4,000 prints by such artists as Goya, Rembrandt and Renoir—as well as the museum’s namesake—this print

museum hosts themed showcases of its collection as well as curated exhibits of contemporary works, including the annual Janet Turner National Print Competition and Exhibition. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.4 p.m., or by appointment. Arts & Humanities Building, Chico State. 898-4476, www.janetturner.org

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

Ninth Avenue Gallery & Studio Local-artist studio and gallery. 180 E. Ninth Ave., Ste. 1, 318-2105. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, noon5 p.m. www.ninthavenuegallery.com

Orient & Flume Art Glass Art glass at its finest. This Chico gallery offers a variety of world-class vases, bowls and assorted glassworks. Call for information about glass-blowing demonstrations.

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Jewelry Lapidary Museum Mineral & Mining Museum Gift Items & Home Decor

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2161 Park Ave. Hours: MondaySaturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 893-0373, www.orientandflume.com

scripts ranging from the locally written to contemporary and modern favorites. 139 W. First St. (upstairs), 895-3749, www.blueroomtheatre.com

Sally Dimas Art Gallery

Chico Theater Company

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

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

TheaTer Blue Room Theatre This longstanding community theater in downtown Chico specializes in cutting-edge works, with

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, www.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. www.slowtheatre.com

MuseuMs Chico Air Museum This museum located at the Chico Municipal Airport includes an outdoor exhibit space featuring jet- and propeller-driven aircraft as well as an indoor space with historic displays,

Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology

photos and artifacts. 165 Ryan Ave., 345-6468, www.chicoairmuseum.org

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

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

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

Movies Cinemark 14 Chico’s big theater, with 14 screens showing first-run films. 801 East Ave., 879-0143, www.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, www.pageantchico.com CHICO continued on page 24 22 Discover

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Discover 23

CHICO continued from page 22

One-Mile Recreation Area

Parks & Recreation

Soaking up the sun, swimming in the creek-filled Sycamore Pool or picnicking beneath the towering valley oaks and white-barked sycamores is what One-Mile is all about. With its barbecues, horseshoe pits and playing fields, this iconic part of the park is located just a few blocks from downtown and is easily accessible by automobile through entrances on Fourth Street or Vallombrosa Way.

Parks & Playgrounds Bidwell Park Bidwell Park is a 3,670-acre preserve and the natural heart Chico Seed Orchard and soul of the community. Divided by Manzanita Avenue, the park comprises two distinct Caper Acres sections. The area to the west of A much-beloved playground with Manzanita bordering Big Chico Creek swings, slides and a soft, spongy is known as Lower Park, while the central area full of things for kids land to the east, which extends into to climb on. Open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. the Sierra Nevada foothills, is known Tuesday-Sunday. 500 S. Park Drive. as Upper Park. Cedar Grove Lower Park’s thick canopy of trees Cedar Grove Picnic Area and provides shade for its many grassy Meadow offers easily accessible picknolls and creekside hideaways. nic tables and barbecues along with The landscape of Upper Park, which a green place to relax near the creek extends 5 miles along both sides of and access to the World of Trees Big Chico Creek Canyon, ranges from Independence Trail. 7:30 a.m.-an lush riparian habitat to rugged rock hour after sunset. 1890 E. Eighth St. faces. To reserve picnic areas, call 896-7800. For trail and road condiChico Creek Nature Center tions, call 896-7899 or visit www. The family-friendly Chico Creek chico.ca.us (select “Bidwell Park”). Nature Center features a nonreleasHere are some special places able living animal collection—the within Bidwell Park. For the Janeece Webb Living Animal more adventurous, see Outdoor Museum—as well as the Howard Adventures (page 82) for details on S. Tucker Exhibit Hall and Kristie’s Upper Park hikes: Nature Lab. There’s also creek access and picnic tables. 1978 E. Eighth St., 891-4671, www.bidwellpark.org

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. tinyurl.com/bidwellparkmaps

Chico Community Observatory The Chico Community Observatory is a delight for astronomers and amateur stargazers. The observatory is home to two huge telescopes and the world’s first outdoor planetarium. Open from sunset to park closing on clear nights Friday-Sunday. Located near Horseshoe Lake at Chico’s Upper Bidwell Park (off Wildwood Avenue on Observatory Way), 487-4071, www.facebook.com/ ChicoCommunityObservatory

Five-Mile Recreation Area At the foot of Upper Bidwell CHICO continued on page 27

65 Years of Service

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Discover Butte county

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Rock of Life Fellowship is where people gather to learn that Jesus is Real, Relevant, and He wants to have a relationship with you!


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We endeavor to be a church that is open, loving, welcoming and accepting of all persons. We are enriched by the gift of persons of different ages, abilities, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientation, education and economic class. 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

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women since 1978

328 Broadway

26 Discover

Downtown Chico

CHICO continued from page 24

Park, Five-Mile is a kicking-off point for forays deep into the canyon and a great destination on its own. Picnic tables, barbecues and ample space make it a popular spot for group gatherings. Accessible from Centennial Avenue.

Hooker Oak Recreation Area Home to the beautiful baseball facility Doryland Field, several softball fields, a children’s playground and the Sherwood Forest Kids’ Disc Golf Course (which is often full of adults). Take Vallombrosa Avenue east and turn left on Manzanita— Hooker Oak will be on your right.

Horseshoe Lake A perfect place to walk the dog (complete with a designated off-leash area) or do some fishing, Horseshoe Lake also serves as a jumping-off point for the park’s miles of rugged trails. Visit nearby Chico Community Observatory for nightly constellation tours. www.chicoobservatory.com

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

Chico Seed Orchard A 1-mile self-guided loop through the Mendocino National Forest’s Genetic Resource & Conservation Center (commonly referred to as “the tree farm”) in south Chico. The walk features many varieties of stately trees bordering a fast-flowing creek. Most of the trail is wheelchair accessible. Open weekdays during the day. 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 as well. 202 W. First St.

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

DeGarmo Park

fenced grassy area complete with doggie drinking fountains. For people, the site also includes three ball fields, walking paths, a playground, restrooms, benches and a sheltered picnic and concession area. Take The Esplanade north to Leora Court. 895-4711

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

Humboldt Neighborhood Park Better known as “the skate park,” this area for skateboarding and inline skating features a 10,000-square-foot skate track equipped with a pyramid, a rail, a box, two 3-foot-wide steps, curbing and steel coping on which to shred. 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.

This park in north Chico features the town’s only dog park, a fully CHICO continued on page 28

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530-343-7718 Discover 27

Bidwell Park Golf Course

CHICO continued from page 27

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 walking trail loop and the colorful Mechoopda Trail Youth Mural.

Skyway Golf Park

Cocodine Thai Cuisine

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, www.skywaygolfpark.com

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


Public golf courses AsiAn Bidwell Park Golf Course

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

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

Big Tuna Sushi Bistro A cozy restaurant featuring traditional Japanese sushi, plus a variety of appetizers. 1722 Mangrove Ave., 345-4571 $$

Chan Pheng’s Mandarin Cuisine Serving delicious Mandarin, Hunan and Szechuan cuisine. Delivery available. 1140 Mangrove Ave., 894-6888 $

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

Hula’s Chinese Bar-B-Q All-you-can-eat Mongolian barbecue with fresh vegetables, noodles, meats and sauces. Beer and wine available. 2540 Esplanade, 342-8564; 1937 E. 20th St., 342-6304, www.hulasbbq.com $$

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

CHICO continued on page 30 28 Discover

Making Memories T H AT L A S T A


Exper i en ce am azi n g q uali t y, excellen t ser vi ce & a kn owled g eable st af f f or all of your speci al m om en t s PA R A D E | G A B R I E L L E & C O . VENETTI | ANCORA DESIGNS



Dining in Chico Find out where to go inside SAVOR—the compact, comprehensive guide to all eateries in Chico. From fine dining to casual grub, international cuisine to local favorites, even mobile trucks and other street food, we’ve got it covered. Plus, a Nightlife section that gives you options for eats, drinks and entertainment into the late night hours!

Pick up your FREE copy of SAVOR at select locations around Chico or at the Chico News & Review office: 353 E. Second St., Chico



2017-2018 | FRE



Local chefs dish it out

Discover 29

CHICO continued from page 28

Momona Noodles + Bao Specializing in ramen, bao (steamed buns) and other Asianinspired dishes. Plus a sake bar! 230 W. Third St. www.momona chico.com $$

Peking Chinese Restaurant San Francisco chef Ken Zeng presents lunch and dinner specials in this charming underground restaurant, which transforms into a nightclub on Friday nights. Closed Sunday. 243 W. Second St., 895-3888 $$

Rawbar Restaurant & Sushi Bar Fab downtown sushi bar and Asian grill offering a full bar, happy hour and affordable lunches. Reservations accepted. 346 Broadway, 897-0626, www.raw barchico.com $$

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

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

Breakfast Nooks Breakfast Buzz Breakfast burritos, omelets, French toast and more in a college atmosphere. Did somebody say bottomless champagne? 208 Cedar St., 343-3444 $

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

Mom’s Satisfy cravings for Mom’s homecooked specialties morning, noon or evening. Featuring breakfast favorites, fresh salads and sandwiches and delicious supper creations. 30 Discover

Café Coda

Conveniently located near campus. 209 Salem St., 893-3447, www.moms chico.com $$

Morning Thunder Café Chico’s popular breakfast (and lunch) café at the foot of Bidwell Park. 352 Vallombrosa Ave., 3429717 $-$$

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

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

Sin of Cortez Enjoy specialty coffees or teas at one of Chico’s favorite breakfast

and lunch places. With a full bar, Sin also serves Irish coffees, Bloody Marys, mimosas and more. 2290 Esplanade, 879-9200, www.sinof cortez.com $$

Burgers, Delis & Dogs 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, paired with piping hot fries or onion rings and thick milkshakes. 3211 Cohasset Road, 342-4555; 2451 Forest Ave., 8911430, www.burgerhut.com $

The Dog House Serving charcoal-grilled gourmet hot dogs and sausages, as well as burgers and sandwiches. Two locations. 1008 W. Sacramento Ave., 894-3641; 1354 East Ave., 894-2242, chicodoghouse.com $ CHICO continued on page 32

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sona 142

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


S bles ture 899-


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Kinder’s Custom Meats & Deli Try the marinated ball-tip steak sandwich, a Kinder’s specialty. Catering available. 221 Normal Ave., 342-3354, www.kindersbbq.com $$

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

Smokin’ Mo’s BBQ

S capp fees teas 118 Crush

Family-owned Southern-style barbecue, Smokin’ Mo’s is a fixture in downtown Chico. Ribs, chicken, tri-tip and more, all slow-smoked for hours. Plus, four savory barbecue sauces to slather on your favorite “Q.” 131 Broadway, 891-6677, www.smokinmosbbq.com $$

Big Hot Crab

Spiteri’s Delicatessen

Broadway Heights California Cuisine

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, www.spiterisdeli.com $

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

CASUAL DINING Bacio Catering, Carry Out & Biz Box A popular south Chico eatery that turns out an array of healthful, seasonal, local and delicious food. Take home or dine in. Catering and Biz Box lunch deliveries available. 1903 Park Ave., 345-7787, www.baciocatering.com $$ 32 DISCOVER

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

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

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

Fresh Twisted Café Also known as Hernandez Farms, Fresh Twisted Café offers fresh juices and nondairy smoothies that locals have come to love. Also serving up

EC sandwiches and organic beef burgers. 156 Eaton Road, 809-2489 $

OM Foods Fresh, healthy, organic, vegetarian and vegan-friendly food stand. 1008 W. Sacramento Ave., in the Safeway parking lot, 228-4074, www.facebook.com/omfoodstm $

The Pour House New American cuisine served in a tasteful-yet-casual atmosphere featuring a full bar, several taps of craft beer and a big selection of wines by the glass. The patio’s features a huge screen for outdoor viewing. 855 East Ave., 893-3000, www.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 Arabica Cafe This cozy downtown coffee shop offers an array of caffeinated beverages, including Turkish coffees, and serves up a selection of fresh-made baked goods, sandwiches and per-

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


Dutch Bros. Coffee A drive-thru featuring mochas, lattes, smoothies, the “Dutch Freeze” and various baked treats. Multiple locations. dutchbros.com $

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 $

All volunteer store, Non-Profit store funding spay/neuter of cats, dogs & the Neighborhood Cat Advocates’ feral cat trap, neuter, return program


ECLECTIC EATS Cafe Petra Mediterranean Cuisine Delicious traditional Mediterranean fare, from hummus and falafel to shwarma and kufta, all in a fresh, modern dining space downtown. Offering an extensive menu of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees and desserts. Open daily for lunch and dinner. 163 E. Second St., 717-6789 $$

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

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

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

17 18

SEASON Scott Seaton Music Director

JOIN US FOR A CONCERT! Masterworks Series... at Chico’s Laxson Auditorium

1: Reflections Sunday, September 24 Sibelius Symphony #2 Rachmaninoff “Paganini Rhapsody” 2: Infectious Rhythms Saturday, November 11 Stravinsky “Firebird” Dan Pinkston, Violin Concerto 3: Almost Vienna Sunday, February 25 Beethoven Symphony #7 Young Artist Audition Winners 4: As Fate Would Have It Saturday, May 12 Elgar Cello Concerto Tchaikovsky Symphony #5

See you at the Symphony!

... and More! Holiday Concert Friday, December 8 St. John’s Episcopal Church Chamber Music Saturday, January 27 Zingg Recital Hall Youth Concert: The Colors of the Symphony Tuesday, March 13 Laxson Auditorium The Best of John Williams Saturday, April 7 Laxson Auditorium Tickets: University Box Office 530-898-6333 www.chicostatetickets.com General Information: 530-898-5984 www.northstatesymphony.org

CHICO continued on page 34 DISCOVER 33

La C

CHICO continued from page 33

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3221 Esplanade, 891-4500, www.rootscatering.com $$

Wine Time

La H

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

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Argus Bar + Patio

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., 891-6328, www.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, 8915204, www.basquenorte.com $$$

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

Leon Bistro Freshly prepared California bistro cuisine made from locally sourced and organic ingredients. Menu items include steaks, fish, poultry and vegetarian options. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Inquire about the cooking class schedule. 817 Main St., 8991105, www.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, all-night happy hour on Tuesdays and live music April-October. 1250 Esplanade, 894-3463, redtavern.com $$$

Sicilian Café

Jack’s Family Restaurant

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

Diner-style food at reasonable prices in a casual atmosphere. 540 Main St., 343-8383 $

Sierra Nevada Taproom & Restaurant


Bistro fare, award-winning ales and lagers, and an excellent wine list. 1075 E. 20th St., 345-2739, www.sierranevada.com $$-$$$

Specializing in a combination of traditional and contemporary flavors mixed with fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. 201 Broadway, 3427000, www.chicocrush.com $$$

Two Twenty Restaurant

Italian Cottage Restaurant

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

Unwined at 980 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, unwinedat980.com $$$


Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Cozy Diner favorites: crepes, Cobb salad, prime-rib burger, broasted chicken, steak, espresso, beer and wine. 1695 Mangrove Ave., 895-1195, cozydinerchico.com $


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Family-owned and -operated since 1965, serving local favorites: sandwiches, pizza, pasta and salads. Also serves breakfast. 2234 Esplanade, 343-7000; 2525 Dominic Drive, 3427771, www.theitaliancottage.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 $$

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

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


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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., 345-2254, www.lacomidarestaurants.com $

La Hacienda Traditional and contemporary Mexican cuisine. 2635 Esplanade, 893-8270, lahacienda-chico.com $$

Sol Mexican Grill Burritos, tacos, enchiladas, tostadas and chimichangas served in a relaxed north Chico location. Hang out with friends on the patio or in the cantina. Plus, there’s a mobile app. Family-run since 2011. 3269 Esplanade, 342-4616, www.solmexicangrill.com $

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

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

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

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

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

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., 8931500, www.woodstockschico.com $$

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STREET FOOD Gordo Burrito Serving burritos, tostadas, tortas, tacos, quesadillas and chimichangas. Awesome shrimp specials and friendly service. Corners of Eighth and Pine streets and 20th Street and Park Avenue, www.facebook. com/GordoBurrito $

Oroville 533-1488 Chico 898-1388

CHICO continued on page 36 DISCOVER 35

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CHICO continued from page 35

Ike’s Smokehouse

Shubert’s Ice Cream & Candy

The flavorful barbecue taste diners have come to expect from CJ’s Last Chance Diner, on a smaller, more mobile scale. Specializing in beef, chicken and pork on a bun or in a wrap. Plus melt-in-your-mouth ribs. www.ikessmokehouse.com $

This local favorite has produced ice cream and confections for 75 years and running. Enjoy 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, www.shuberts.com $

Tacos el Pinolero

Sweet Chico Confections

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

SweetS Country Morning Bakery & Café Cozy breakfast and lunch restaurant featuring delicious house-baked breads, pies, muffins and cinnamon rolls. Closed Sunday and Monday. 2625 Aztec Drive, 899-0527 $

The Joker’s Bakery Gourmet, unique and artisanal cheesecakes, with 16 flavors and additional seasonal ones. Store open by appointment only. Order by phone or online. (917) 885-8014, www.thejokersbakery.com $$

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

La Flor de Michoacán Palatería y Nevería A Mexican ice cream shop with many flavors and toppings, plus other sweet treats. 1080 W. Sacramento Ave., Ste. C; and 1354 East Ave.; 893-9999 $

Lovely Layers Cakery Freshly baked cupcakes and cookies available daily. Made-to-order specialty cakes and wedding cakes. Open Tuesday-Saturday. 131 Meyers St., Ste. 120, 828-9931, www.lovely layerscakery.com $

36 DiScOver

killer small plates (including Bella’s wings!). 115 Third St., 632-4875, www.parksidetaphouse.com

Keep it caSual The Banshee

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

Serving up burgers and a variety of other pub eats, along with an impressive menu of draft and bottled beers. Also with a late-night takeout window. 132 W. Second St., 8959670, www.bansheechico.com

Tin Roof Bakery & Café

Bella’s Sports Pub

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

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

Nightlife Out On the tOwn Argus Bar + Patio One of downtown Chico’s hipper hotspots, Argus offers premium cocktails and food from nearby Mediterranean restaurant Ali Baba. 212 W. Second St.

B Street Public House Delicious gastropub fare, along with an extensive list of craft brews and specialty cocktails. 117 Broadway, 899-8203, www.bstreet pub.com

Parkside Tap House Chico’s brand-spanking-new downtown hotspot, Parkside Tap House, was opened by the guys who run Bella’s Sports Pub—so you know it’ll be a fun place to hang. In addition to the bar with 24 taps that opens onto a vast outdoor patio, Parkside also serves up some

Great pub food and a huge beer selection along with sports on bigscreen, high-definition TVs. 134 Broadway, 893-5253, www.bellas sportspubchico.com

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

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

The End Zone A sports bar serving up more than a dozen appetizers, along with burgers, sandwiches, salads and weekend brunch. 250 Cohasset Road, 345-7330, endzonechico.com

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

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


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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

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

Monstros Pizza & Subs This pizza-and-subs eatery has established itself as the go-to spot for punk-rock shows catering to punks of all ages. 628 W. Sacramento Ave., 345-7672, www.facebook.com/ monstrospizzachico

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

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


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The Winchester Goose The Winchester Goose is first and foremost a craft beer bar. But in case you need something to go along with that IPA, saison or barrel-aged imperial stout, there’s an eclectic food menu, too. 800 Broadway, 7150099, www.thewinchestergoose.com

Goodman House

clubbin’ 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 acts at its spacious downtown location. Also, they have lasers! 319 Main St., 891-1853

Peking Chinese Restaurant A Chinese restaurant by day, Peking transforms into a full-fledged dance venue on Friday nights during BassMint, a weekly electronica showcase. 243 W. Second St., 895-3888, www.facebook.com/bassmintchico

The Rendezvous An elegant venue that’s also available to rent out for weddings and other events, The Rendezvous offers occasional concerts open to the public. 3269 Esplanade Ste. 142, 864-2525, www.chicorendezvous.com

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

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

Hotel James Chico’s first true boutique hotel, the Hotel James, was designed with wine lovers in mind. Each of the five suites is named after a different type of wine, and it is located next door to the elegant Wine Time restaurant and newly opened Lost Dutchman Taproom. The hotel is also pet-friendly. 10 Lost Dutchman Drive, 894-5743, www.hoteljames l chico.com Discover 37

OROVILLE continued from page xx


City of Gold T

here’s a lot more to Oroville than meets the eye. Butte County’s eastern-most city has several conspicuous features: Oroville Dam, Oroville Hospital and County Center—site of the main courthouse, jail and administrative complex. Look closely, past the hallmarks of a rural county seat, and you’ll find distinctive richness. Downtown has grown into a revitalized district, with shops, eateries and the Oroville State Theatre as attractions. Historic homes, including Victorians, line the streets. Businesses ranging in size 38 DISCOVER

from mom-and-pop shops to manufacturers such as Sierra Pacific Industries operate in Oroville. The city proper has a population of almost 20,000; including unincorporated communities in the vicinity, the greater Oroville area comprises 55,000 (one-fourth of the county’s population). The city’s boundaries encompass 17.1 square miles. Located where the Feather River flows out of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Oroville draws its name from its place in Gold Rush history (“oro” is Spanish for “gold”). Its location represented a navigational marker

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for river travel; moreover, a gold discovery at Bidwell Bar brought thousands of prospectors. The original name, Ophir City, changed to Oroville when the first post office opened in 1854; the city incorporated in 1906. 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.) The Oroville Chinese Temple was built in 1863, during the Gold Rush, when the area’s population of Chinese residents reached as high as 10,000; the building remains as a museum and place of worship. The city continues to have a large community of Hmong—an ethnic group from southeast Asia and southern China—and, thus, is home of the Hmong Cultural Center of Butte County. Oroville has an elected city council and is the county’s lone municipality in which the mayor gets elected directly by citizens, not by and from council members. Mayor Linda Dahlmeier received national media attention during the Oroville Dam crisis of February 2017, when both the main spillway and emergency spillway failed and the Oroville area got evacuated. Many of the city’s recreational opportunities stem from Lake Oroville and the Feather River, such as the Forebay Aquatic Center, but Oroville also boasts three golf courses, numerous trails, dining, shopping, arts organizations and more.

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OROVILLE continued on page 40

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OROVILLE continued from page 39

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

315 FLUME ST., CHICO 530-343-1326

Handcrafted &

Wholesome Bakery Lunch Cakes Full Espresso Bar Catering

Oroville Inn Renovation of this historic hotel, built in 1930, began with the exterior of the building and the residential wing, which opened to students of the Northwest Lineman College in 2016. Since then, the ballroom and grand entry also have been refinished, with work still underway on the street-side eateries and shops. 2066 Bird St., 990-7002, 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. It hosts performances and is available for rent for special events. The guild is currently working to reinstall a Wurlitzer pipe organ, a project it hopes to complete by April 2018, to commemorate of the theater’s 90th birthday. 1489 Myers St., 538-2470, orovillestatetheatre.com

Washington Block Building

Open 7 Days a Week!

130 Main St Chico (530) 895-3866 40 Discover

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

Exchange, a tapas bar and cocktail lounge, opened in summer 2017 in a portion of the space.

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

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

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

OROVILLE continued on page 43

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42 Discover

OROVILLE continued from page 40

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, www.bidwellcanyonmarina. com) or Lake Oroville Marina (1-800255-5561, www.lakeorovillemarina. com). And for more information on biking, personal watercraft rentals at the Forebay Aquatic Center or the Loafer Creek Horse Camp, see Outdoor Adventures, page 82. Lake Oroville info: 538-2542, www.lake oroville.net. Here are some key features: Lake Oroville Visitor Center Visit the museum at the visitor center, which features exhibits and videos about the lake, the dam and the surrounding area, as well as a shop. Then check out the expansive view of the Sierras and the Sacramento Valley from one of the two high-powered telescopes at the top of a 47-foot tower. 917 Kelly Ridge Road, 538-2219

Feather River Fish Hatchery Built after the Oroville Dam to preserve the chinook salmon and steelhead trout that spawn in the Feather River, the hatchery features an observation platform as well as underwater viewing windows. Salmon spawning can be best viewed 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, Oroville, 533-9343, www.ding ervilleusa.com

Oroville Golf & Event Center Featuring a restaurant, bar, tennis courts and the nine-hole, par-33 Lake Oroville Golf Course. Collared OROVILLE continued on page 44

Centennial Plaza DISCOVER 43

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OROVILLE continued from page 43

shirts required. Scheduling a tee time is also necessary after 5 p.m. 5131 Royal Oaks Drive, Oroville, 589-0777, facebook.com/ LakeOrovilleGolf

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., Oroville, 533-3922, www.table mountaingolf.com

Arts & Culture

Art gAlleries & museums 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, artistsof rivertown.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

theAter 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

museums Bolt’s Antique Tool Museum A truly unique experience can be found inside Bolt’s Antique Tool 44 Discover

C.F. Lott Home

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. 1650 Broderick St., Oroville, 538-2528, www.bolts antiquetools.com

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

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

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OROVILLE continued from page 44

Ehmann Home

Chinese Temple

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

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

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

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46 Discover

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Lantrip’s Ashtray Museum: Trays of LBJ and Reagan

Boss Burger

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

Military Museum, Campground, & PaintBall at Surplus City

Bulldog Express Drive Thru

ry ille,

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

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

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

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

All of the Mexican favorites locals have enjoyed from Bulldog Taqueria (450 Oro Dam Blvd.), but with a drive thru! 2161 Feather River Blvd., 353-3491 $

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

Gourmet Kitchen

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 chickenfried 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 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

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

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 $

Ifa Journey

Miner’s Alley Brewing Co.

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

This brewery has one of the more extensive menus in town, including OROVILLE continued on page 48

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OROVILLE continued from page 47

Souper Subs

The Waffle Shop

pub fare and staple entrees such as prime rib. Plus house beers on tap! 2053 Montgomery St., 693-4388 $$

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

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

Start your day at local favorite Mug Shots, which serves organic coffee, pastries, breakfast, lunch and dinner. 2040 Montgomery St., 5388342 $

Taqueria Estrella

Wagon Wheel Marketplace

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

Nori Asian Kitchen + Grill

Taqueria Maria’s

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

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

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 $

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

Vallarta Grill

The Exchange

Mug Shots Coffee House

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

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

Butte County Wine Co.

One of Oroville’s newest downtown hotspots, The Exchange serves OROVILLE continued on page 50

Butte County Wine Co.

48 Discover

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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, www.featherfallscasino.com

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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 steakhouse, buffet, café and an espresso bar. 4020 Olive Highway, (800) 803-1911, www.goldcountry casino.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

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

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Discover 51

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The Wine Room & Pub


Life in the pines


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utte County’s second-largest municipality towers over the rest. Paradise is a mountain town, its 18.3 square miles covering elevations ranging from 2,000 to 2,800 feet above sea level. Its population is just over 26,500, with another 12,000 or so living at higher elevations in “Upper Ridge” communities (predominantly in Magalia). Paradise incorporated as a town in 1979—around 75 years later than 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. With water supplied by the Paradise Irrigation District (or PID), farmers planted orchards— apples, prunes, pears—and utilized the railroad service established in 1904 to speed their crops to market. Johnny Appleseed Days, an annual autumn festival, stems from the Paradise Harvest Festival of 1889 that celebrated fruit and winter vegetables. Local government, run by an elected town council, provides public safety through the Paradise Police Department but contracts with a state agency, Cal Fire, for firefighting. The Paradise Unified School District serves the entire Ridge, while the Paradise Recreation and Park District serves the Ridge and several neighboring communities. Due to geographical contours, the town’s traffic mainly flows uphill-downhill along three main roads (Skyway, Clark and Pentz) that become a single road at the top end of town. They’re connected by four crossroads (Pearson, Elliott, Bille and Wagstaff). Like Skyway, Neal Road also runs directly to Highway 99.

Paradise has a downtown district along the Skyway and another commercial corridor along Clark. Feather River Hospital, the regional medical center operated by Adventist Health, sits along the Feather River Canyon on Pentz. Just up past the town limits, Magalia Dam (at Magalia Reservoir) serves as a landmark between Paradise and the Upper Ridge. Paradise itself, not to mention the entire Ridge, features a variety of parks and trails. The park district operates an ice rink during winter months. The Paradise Performing Arts Center, Norton Buffalo Hall and Theater on the Ridge host music, dance, dramas and musicals. The town and various organizations hold events, such as the annual Chocolate Festival in May. The Gold Nugget Museum, commemorating the Ridge’s mining history, regularly holds events including Gold Nugget Days each spring.

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

Norton Buffalo Hall An outreach of Paradise Community Guilds, this space regularly hosts touring acts as well PARADISE continued on page 56 DISCOVER 53

54 Discover

Discover 55

PARADISE continued from page 53

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

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

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—Dwight Yoakam visited in August. 777 Nunneley Road, 872-8454, paradiseperformingarts.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, www.totr.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

Terry Ashe Recreation Center Bille Park

This park features a community center, gazebo and picnic areas. Also the site of the seasonal ice rink. 6626 Skyway, 872-6393 PARADISE continued on page 58

56 Discover

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

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

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

Smokie Mountain Steak House & Lounge

the weather, the shop is open only October-May. 183 Bille Road, 8729167, joylynscandies.com


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 $

Kalico Kitchen

The Optimo

Ikkyu Japanese Restaurant

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

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

Smokie Mountain Steak House & Lounge

The Wine Room & Pub

Green Paradise Cafe

Friendly service complements the delicious sushi and other traditional Japanese dishes. 5225 Skyway, 8761488, ikkyujapaneserestaurant.com $$

Joy Lyn’s Candies Joy Lyn’s opened in 1969 and has since been passed on to four different owners. Offering a selection of traditional caramels, creams, truffles and clusters, Joy Lyn’s also has a popular line of beer bark made with Sierra Nevada ales. Due to 58 Discover

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

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

Pelican’s Roost Chowder House

White Water Saloon

Opened in 1983, Smokie Mountain Steak House serves up a mean sirloin. Or rack of ribs. Or succulent scallops. Great for date night—you can even split your plate! The lounge gets hopping on the weekends, with a DJ on Saturday nights, aka ladies’ night. 7039 Skyway, 872-3323 $$$

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 •

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GRIDLEY continued from page xx


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, 60 DISCOVER

his ranch became home to a railroad depot, which effectively established the town. The city incorporated in 1905—24 years after his death—and encompasses 2.1 square miles. Two large fires in the late 19th century destroyed the business district, but it’s since been restored as a historic downtown, lining Sycamore Street. A city council governs Gridley, overseeing City Hall operations led by a city administrator. The city provides several services, such as police and animal control, to neighboring Biggs. Along with the county fair, Gridley hosts the annual Snow Goose Festival in January,

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drawing enthusiasts of birding and the arts to the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area west of downtown (see Outdoor Adventures, page 82). Other popular attractions include Nick Daddow Park, location of the summer farmers’ market; the Hazel Hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places; and the Skate Park and the Gridley Museum, both downtown.

GRIDLEY continued on page 62


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Downtown Hazel Hotel

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

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

Arts & Culture Gridley Museum

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

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

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

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

Dining Casa Lupe

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

Butte County Fairgrounds

62 Discover

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 and cheese balls, blue cheese burgers, etc. 1495 Highway 99, 797-9384

Parks & Recreation

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, www.buttecountyfair.org

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, www.casalupe.com

Nightlife Rail House Pub & Grill

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 •


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BIGGS continued from page xx


Little town T

he smallest municipality in Butte County, Biggs—population 1,700—sits 25 miles south of Chico and 25 miles north of Yuba City. You’ll find it off Highway 99 by turning onto B Street at the corner by Pizza Round-up. The city was established in 1903, though its origins as a community trace to 1871, when it was named Biggs Station after a local political leader, Major 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) historic downtown, vintage


homes, farms and a school district. Biggs has its own city government but provides several services—such as police and animal control—with its neighbor four miles south, Gridley. The two communities also share a cemetery and hospital. Chico City Councilman Mark Sorensen works as Biggs’ city administrator, the lead staff member at City Hall. Prominent businesses include Bayliss Ranch, an organic lavender farm (see Agritourism, page 74); SunWest Foods, a rice-milling operation; and Victorian Rose, a venue for weddings and events.


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

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


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


COUNTY TOWNS continued from page xx


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f, as the old saying goes, variety is the spice of life, then Butte County offers enough enticing flavors for even the most adventurous aficionado. 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. Each of the county’s five municipalities and dozen or so unincorporated communities has a distinct character.


Nesseré Vineyards, Durham

Weather, for the most part, is a major draw. 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 will rise past the 100-degree mark regularly, with balmy days sprinkled throughout the season. Winters are fairly mild and wet, with the most rainfall coming in January. The average annual rainfall is about 27 inches, though 2016-17 brought more than triple that total. 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 incorpo-

rated 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, where the board meets. Two of the five elected supervisors represent Chico because of its relatively large population. Butte County’s nickname is “The Land of Natural Wealth and Beauty.” Government, Chico State and services such as health care and retail trade continue to be the largest employers, but dominant behind the scenes is the $450 million-a-year agriculture industry (walnuts, almonds and rice, in particular). 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

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the unemployment rate was 5.6 percent as of April 2017. While Butte County wages are notoriously low, the cost of living here is considerably lower than in Sacramento or the Bay Area.

GettinG around Transportation between cities can be challenging for those without a vehicle, though taxi services such as Uber have taken root. The bustransit 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. An important aspect of any area is its public library. The Butte County Library system is composed of six facilities (in Biggs, Chico, Durham, Gridley, Oroville and Paradise) and a bookmobile. Literacy services and veterans resources are also available. For more information and library hours, call 855-379-4097

Forbestown General Store

or visit buttecounty.net/bclibrary. Another significant element is health care. Butte County boasts four award-winning hospitals: Enloe Medical Center in Chico, Oroville Hospital, Feather River Hospital in Paradise and Orchard Hospital in Gridley. Enloe is one of only two level II trauma centers between Sacramento and the Oregon border, and the only level II neonatal intensive care unit. Along with the university, the county features a community college—Butte College—along with local school districts serving students in grades K-12. That’s just an overview. Keep reading; you’ll find there’s a lot more in Butte County! Here are a few unincorporated communities with attractions worth visiting:

Bangor The small town of Bangor, on the southern tip of the county, was founded in 1855 and named after the city of Bangor, Maine. The region is making a name for itself in the local winery scene, with Hickman Family Vineyards, Bangor Ranch Vineyard & Ranch and Spencer Shirey Winery all opening within the past decade. (See Agritourism on page 74 for more info on the wineries.)

Bangor Bake Shoppe This Mennonite-run bakery and gift shop is not to be missed. Fresh, COUNTY TOWNS continued on page 68 discover 67

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house-made baked goods, plus coffees and other handmade goodies in stock. Open Wed.-Sat. 5704 La Porte Road, 679-2200

Bangor Church

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

The oldest original church still standing in Butte County, Bangor Church was built in 1882 and is now used as a museum by the Butte County Historical Society and can be rented for weddings. Open noon2 p.m. the first and third Saturday of the month (closed DecemberJanuary). 5370 LaPorte Road, 679-2112



493 East Ave. Suite 1 • Chico, CA 95928 • (530) 345-3063 SallyDimasArtGallery.com • Gallery Hours: Tues - Sat 11am - 5pm or by appt.

Butte Meadows


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

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

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

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, buttemeadows mercantile.com

The Outpost Restaurant & Bar Under new ownership as of 2017, the infamous Outpost is still busy as ever, serving up delicious eats (whole hogs—really!) and ice cold beers. There are also three cabins on-site for rental. 7589 Humboldt Road, 873-3050, www.outpostbutte meadows.com

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

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.


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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. President Hayes and Gen. Sherman were said to have visited the town, as did Thomas Edison (who also had an electric shop in Oroville for a time). He reportedly helped create Cherokee’s effective yet controversial hydraulic mine. At last count (2010), its population was 69. There are no businesses to speak of,

Cherokee Museum

though there is a museum and a cemetery that harks to the town’s former inhabitants.

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


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

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of local Maidu Indian history. 4226 Cherokee Road, 533-1849

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 mostly home to people who prefer to live in nature, off the land and out of civilization. It’s home to several festivals throughout the year at the Lake Concow Campground.

We Refill All Major Brands • 530-342-3333

Lake Concow Campground 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

Durham Located just south of Chico, Durham 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 (and a new Dollar General), antique shops, Butte County’s longest surviving bar and restaurants. See Agritourism, page 74, for more on the region’s agricultural attractions, including several wineries and the Patrick Ranch, which houses a historical museum and holds regular events.

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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


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

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

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

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

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

Red Rooster A country diner serving breakfast and lunch staples daily, except Sundays. 9418 Midway, 343-9565 72 Discover

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, it’s the site of an impressive museum complex and a bustling general store.

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, 675-1025

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

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

LaRocca Vineyards Owned and run by Phil LaRocca, who has dedicated his life to creating wines that are organic as well as sulfite-, GMO- and preservativefree. Visit the vineyard, which overlooks Butte Creek Canyon, by appointment any day of the week. 12360 Doe Mill Road, 899-9463, laroccavineyards.com

Magalia 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: Jaki’s Hilltop Cafe and The Depot Cafe and

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general store and plan to renovate and reopen the hotel. 16975 Skyway, 873-0858

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.

Yankee Hill This old mining town 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.

Happy Day

Yankee Hill Historical Society Museum

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

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

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

Rock House Restaurant

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.

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

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 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.

Magalia Community Church Photo courtesy of WilliamWesleycollins at english WikiPeDia

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

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

A great place to relax with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine while taking in the live music or just chilling on the patio. Open for breakfast and lunch daily and dinner on weekends. Live music on Saturdays at 5 p.m. Plus, now offering wine tastings. 11865 Highway 70, 532-1889, 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 cut and chooseand-cut Christmas tree farm that offers tours year-round as well as hay rides and picnic tables for gathering on weekends during the season. 11452 Nelson Bar Road, 533l 4593, santadeliverstrees.com

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Home-grown goodness W

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



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

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, www.featherfalls casino.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, www.featherriver brewing.com

Lassen Traditional Cidery Started by Ben Nielsen in 2016, Lassen Traditional Cidery is just as its name implies. Using local heirloom apples, Nielsen—who began crafting ciders in 2005—bottles several varieties of cider that are available on tap at local beer bars and by the bottle at grocery and liquor stores. A tasting room opened in September 2017. 26 Bellarmine Court, Chico, (541) 7605583, www.lassencider.com


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Miners Alley Brewing Co. This restaurant and brew house in the heart of downtown Oroville features a variety of craft beers brewed AGRITOURISM continued on page 76

(530) 891-3090 www.inspirecusd.org

Open Daily till 10pm 178 E. 7th St Chico, CA www.shuberts.com 530.342.7163 DISCOVER 75

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on-site, including a chocolate porter, IPA and citrus wheat. Also serving local wines. 2053 Montgomery St., Oroville, 693-4388, www.minersalley brewingco.com

Secret Trail Brewing Co. Secret Trail Brewing Co. is scheduled to open its 15-barrel brewery and tasting room in south Chico in mid-October 2017, but the brewery already has a stellar reputation with local brewhounds. The company’s Baltic and Bourbon Barrel Vanilla porters both scored gold medals in the 2016 Chico Homebrewers Competition. 132 Meyers St., Ste. 120, Chico, (916) 709-4820, www.secrettrail brewing.com

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

Waganupa Brewing Technically, “nano-brewery” Waganupa Brewing’s beers are made in neighboring Plumas County, in the charming mountain town of

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Chester. However, since the brewery serves its delicious artisanal brews—like the Berliner Weisse and Chocolate Cherry Stout—at a delightful, tucked-away tasting room in Chico, it qualifies as local and is well worth a visit. The tasting room has limited hours: Wed.-Sat., 4-9 p.m. 1346 Longfellow Ave., Chico, 259-3705, www.waganupa.com

Wineries & distilleries Almendra Winery & Distillery Almendra Winery & Distillery, run by the Bertagna family, offers locally grown wines on tap and mandarinand almond-infused brandies in a rustic environment. Its tasting room offers wine-tasting events and wine by the glass and bottle. Also on tap are wines from Bertagna Son Kissed Vineyards. Tasting hours: Tues.-Sun., 11 a.m.5 p.m.; Fri. till 9 p.m. Group tours by appointment. 9275 Midway, Durham, 343-6893, almendrawinery.com

Bangor Ranch Vineyard & Winery Bangor Ranch is run by longtime home-winemaker-turned-professional Gary Fox and features an impressive selection of wines, from Cabernets to Syrahs to Barberas. The vineyards are home to nebbiolo and mourvèdre grapes, and a century-old olive


Hooker Oak Distillery

orchard provides fruit for Bangor Ranch’s estate-grown olive oils. Tasting hours: Sat.-Sun., noon5 p.m. 5768 La Porte Road, Bangor, (510) 658-2056, 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. On the horizon: rum and neutral brandy. Tasting hours: Sat.-Sun., noon5 p.m. 555 Avocado Road, Bangor; 603-1501, www.cobbleridge distillery.com

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-

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Gale Vineyards Steve and Creasia Gale’s boutique winery is nestled among the shadegiving oak trees on their 6-acre property just a short drive south of Chico. The grapes used in Gale Vineyards’ wines are organically grown on-site and processed in a cool straw-bale facility. Tasting by appointment. 9345 Stanford Lane, Durham, 891-1264, www.galevine yards.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, www.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, www.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, www.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, www.laroccavineyards.com

Long Creek Winery & Ranch Long Creek Winery, under new ownership as of August 2017, is more than your average tasting room—it’s an adventure. Experience the estategrown Long Creek wines. Take a self-guided walking tour of the ranch, where you can see the vineyards, olive and mandarin orchards and the working cattle ranch. Then sit back and enjoy a glass of wine in the oak grove bordering the 2-acre pond on site. Tasting hours: Sat.-Sun., noon5 p.m. 323 Ward Blvd., Oroville, 589-3415, www.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., noon5 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 AGRITOURISM continued on page 78


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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, 8392200, www.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, www.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: Weds. 2-8 p.m., Thurs.-Sat. noon-7 p.m., Sun. noon5 p.m. 760 Safford St., Oroville, 5341785, www.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, 5895088, www.quilicivineyards.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, roney wines.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 78 DISCOVER

Lundberg Family Farms gift shop

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

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

Fruits, nuts, vegetables and more Chaffin Family Orchards This productive, fifth-generation family farm boasts a little of everything—apricots, figs and pomegranates; extra-virgin olive oil; heirloomfruit jams; pasture-raised chicken eggs; and grass-fed beef and goat meat. The organic, sustainabilityfocused 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, www.chaffin familyorchards.com

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

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

Lundberg Family Farms Since 1937, the organic rice farmers at Lundberg Family Farms have championed environmental stewardship. Their products now include rice cakes, risottos, pastas, brown-rice syrup, flour, and 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, www.lundberg.com

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Mooney Farms Olive trees, fragrant lavender plants and fountains welcome visitors to family-run Mooney Farms’ lovely tasting room—a great place to sample healthy Mediterraneaninspired eats, including sun-dried tomatoes, pesto and pasta sauce from their award-winning Bella Sun AGRITOURISM continued on page 80

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Luci line. Gift baskets and work by local artists also available. 1220 Fortress St., Chico, 8992661, www.mooneyfarms.com

Vincent Noble Orchard Co.

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

TJ Farms The 15-acre farm is only 3 miles from downtown Chico, but seems like a world away. The immaculate grounds include waterfalls, fountains, ivy-covered trellises, a gazebo and more. TJ Farms has a pumpkin patch in the fall for kids, and features an on-site gift shop (open during seasonal events) that sells jams, mustards, vinegars, dressings and pickles. Call for a private tour. 3600 Chico Ave., Chico, 343-2294, www.tjfarmsestates.com

University Farm This working 800-acre farm on the outskirts of Chico is used as a teaching facility for Chico State’s agriculture students. Chickens, cows, sheep and pigs all call the University Farm home, and organic vegetables and other crops take up the rest of the space. Open to the public only on special occasions. But the Meats Lab is open year-round and offers affordable, fresh, USDA-inspected meat. 80 Discover

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., 891-1713, Chico, www.chico natural.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. 127 W. Third St., Chico, 894-7009, www.madeinchicostore.com

Patrick Ranch Museum Patrick Ranch serves as an “interactive agricultural and natural history learning center.” Its stately Glenwood Farmhouse, built in 1877, houses the indoor museum, but the expansive acreage surrounding it boasts all the trappings of a working farm, including antique tractors and outbuildings, bucolic fields and a chicken coop. The ranch also hosts many popular community events. Museum hours: Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.-3 p.m., from mid-February through December. Gift shop hours: Fri.-Sun., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 10381 Midway, 342-4359, www.patrick ranchmuseum.org

Chico Natural Foods Cooperative

311 Nicholas C. Schouten Lane, 8986343, www.csuchico.edu/ag/farm

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

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

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

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

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


WInERIES Over 15 Varietals including port wines Gift Shop Picnic Area Under Live Oaks Beautiful Valley Views 530.589.3920

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tasting room open daily 11am-5pm 26240 7th Street, Vina CA (530) 839-2200 newclairvauxvineyard.com Discover 81

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rom almost any spot in Butte County, it’s possible to drive 20 minutes and find yourself surrounded by natural beauty. The region offers endless opportunities to appreciate a range of natural wonders, from birdwatching on the valley floor to kayaking on pristine mountain lakes in the Sierra Nevada foothills. So, get out there—smell the fresh mountain air, find your favorite swimming hole, take a challenging hike or just settle on a soft spot of grass in Bidwell Park—and enjoy the great outdoors. 82 DISCOVER

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Butte County Big Bald Rock Explore this impressive geological formation on an easy walk along Big Bald Rock Trail or by taking a far more extensive and challenging hike to the bottom of the canyon on Dome Trail, where an upstream slog along the middle fork of the Feather River reveals a series of idyllic swimming holes and eventually Curtain Falls. But beware: The Dome Trail is not 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, berrycreekca.org/recreation


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352 Vallombrosa Ave 342–9717 Mon–Fri 6:30am–2pm Sat–Sun 7am–2pm

Bidwell Park trails

Come discover why we’ve been voted best for 15 years! breAkFASt & lunch reStAurAnt cafe • outdoor patio dining

19TH ANNUAL Bidwell Park Bidwell Park is a 3,670-acre preserve and the natural heart and soul of the community. Divided by Manzanita Avenue, the park comprises two distinct sections. The area to the west of Manzanita bordering Big Chico Creek is known as Lower Park, while the land to the east, which extends into the Sierra Nevada foothills, is known as Upper Park. Lower Park’s thick canopy of trees provides shade for its many grassy knolls and creekside hideaways. The landscape of Upper Park, which

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extends 5 miles along both sides of Big Chico Creek Canyon, ranges from lush riparian habitat to rugged rock faces. To reserve picnic areas, call 896-7800. For trail and road conditions, call 896-7899 or visit www. chico.ca.us (select “Bidwell Park”). For more on this attraction, see Parks within the Chico section of this guide (page 24). 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 1.5 miles to the parking lot. Annie Bidwell Trail This less-traveled trail is one of the more rugged in Upper Bidwell Park. It runs from the old police pistol range, above Bidwell Park Golf Course and along the south side of the canyon (splitting off to more difficult Guardians and South Rim trails higher up). For a day hike, take Annie Bidwell Trail to the less-frequented south side of Bear Hole and return on Upper Park Road or the creekside Yahi Trail. The trailhead is beyond Five-Mile, where Centennial Drive dead-ends at Chico Canyon Road.

Upper Park Road Wildwood Avenue in Chico turns into a rocky, rutted dirt road 2 miles into Upper Park, where it becomes Upper Park Road. It’s usually passable for most vehicles in dry weather. The road runs 5 miles to the end of Upper Park along Big Chico Creek, but is fully accessible only by foot and bike; motorists reach a locked gate just past Bear Hole. Three trails parallel Upper Park Road to the north—Lower, Middle and Upper trails. The latter two are favored by mountain bikers and hikers alike for their up-and-down ruggedness and secluded scenery. Yahi Trail Designated on trail markers as “easiest,” the Yahi Trail runs along Big Chico Creek in Upper Park. Constructed in 1967 by the local Yahi Group of the Sierra Club, the trail is notable for its lush, shady greenery and access to numerous picturesque spots along the creek. Erosion is a problem on the Yahi, so no bikes or horses are allowed. It begins just east of Horseshoe Lake off Wildwood Avenue.

Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve In addition to preserving the natural habitats of the nearly 4,000acre reserve, BCCER offers public hikes and group and private tours.

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area photo courtesy of cA Dept of fish & wilDlife

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, www. csuchico.edu/bccer

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

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

Camelot Equestrian Park Bring your horse(s) to 1,600acre 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, 521-2122, www.camelotequestrianpark.com

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

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Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Located 10 miles west of Gridley near the Sutter Buttes (at Pennington and Rutherford roads), the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area is made up of more than 9,000 acres of seasonal wetlands favored by birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway, as well as local species. The area features 80 miles of roads, 50 miles of walking/cycling trails and a small wildlife museum. 846-7505, www. tinyurl.com/graywild

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

Lake Oroville California’s second-largest reservoir offers activities like boating, water skiing, fishing, swimming and camping. Visit the museum at the Lake Oroville Visitor Center (917 Kelly Ridge Road, 538-2219) or check out the expansive view of the Sierras and the Sacramento Valley from one of the two high-powered 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 (5899175, www.bidwellcanyonmarina. com) or Lake Oroville Marina (1-800255-5561, www.lakeorovillemarina. com). Lake Oroville info: 538-2542, www.lakeoroville.net Forebay Aquatic Center Rent all manner of personal watercraft, from kayaks and canoes to pedal boats and hydrobikes. 930 Garden Drive, 774-7934, www.fore bayaquaticcenter.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. Parts of the trail were damaged this past winter. Inquire about passability as needed. Pick up a map at the Lake Oroville Visitor Center, 917 Kelly Ridge Road, 538-2219 Loafer Creek Horse Camp Relish the outdoors with your equestrian companion at Loafer Creek Horse Camp at Lake Oroville. There is a 17.5-mile loop trail, along with 15 campsites (two horses per site), a restroom with shower facility, a horse washing station and horse tethering and feeding stations. Loafer Creek Road, 538-2217

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

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

Table Mountain 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 OUTDOOR ADVENTURES continued on page 86 Discover 85

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spectacular. Take Highway 70 to Oroville and exit at Grand Avenue. Take a right on Grand, and then a left on Table Mountain Boulevard.

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

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

Burtte Creek flumes

86 Discover

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

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

Plumas National Forest Located just east of Oroville, Plumas National Forest is home to numerous lakes and streams, valleys and peaks, and is a hotspot for outdoor recreation. Camping, hik-

ing, mountain biking, fishing and hunting are popular activities here. For the truly adventurous, there’s the Plumas Backcountry Discovery Trail, accessible to SUVs and fourwheel-drive vehicles. Campgrounds open June-October. Take Highway 70 toward Quincy. 283-2050, www. 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, www.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 l Avenue. 839-2112


Lassen Volcanic National Park! Enjoy 150 miles of hiking, snow-shoeing and cross country skiing trails for all ability levels 7 Newly Built Rustic/Elegant Cottages Modern Amenities • Gas Fireplaces 175 Acre Estate • View of Lassen Volcanic National Park

Beautiful Restaurant and Bar Fine Dining at its Best Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Late May-October Open Daily 7:30am-9pm November-Late May Open Thursday 4:30pm-9pm Friday-Sunday 8am-9pm Large Dining Deck • Banquet/Conference Room • Private Dining Room


C A L I F O R N I A S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y, C H I C O www.csuchico.edu/admissions


Campus Tours 800-542-4426

Campus Info 530-898-4636

University Box Office 530-898-6333 Discover 87

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Making the grade W

hatever your educational aspirations may be, you’re likely to find a school in Butte County to help make those goals a reality. The area is home to several fine institutions of higher learning, and the crown jewel among them is Chico State. As part of the California State University system, the school offers bachelor’s and master’s programs on a beautiful campus. Butte College, part of the Butte-Glenn Community College District, offers associate’s degrees, opportunities to transfer, certification programs and an outstanding athletics program. There are also a handful of vocational schools for those looking to fast-track their way into a new career.


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. Information on tickets and teams can be found at www.chicowildcats.com.

There are plenty of attractions on the Chico State campus that appeal to more than just students. Take the Arts & Humanities Building, for instance—home to multiple art galleries as well as a 200-seat recital hall. There’s also Laxson Auditorium, which attracts bigname performers throughout the school year. For student productions, check out the Performing Arts Center, home of two theaters and a recital hall. The public is also invited to check out the Chico State Wildcat Store, located within the Bell Memorial Union, and Meriam Library, the state’s largest library north of Sacramento. The library also is home to the Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology, which offers rotating exhibits.

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Campus tours are scheduled through the Admissions Office in the first-floor lobby of the Student Services Center. To make a reservation, log onto www.tinyurl.com/ csuctour or call 898-6322. In addition to the main campus, the University Farm (see Agritourism, page 74) and Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve (see Outdoor Adventures, page 82) also are part of Chico State.

Butte College

Opened in 1968, the local community college has come a long way since its early years, when classes were held in portable buildings. In the mid-1970s, Butte College moved to its spacious campus located on a 928-acre wildlife refuge near the geographic center of Butte County. In recent years, the campus core has changed dramatically, with a complete overhaul and expansion of the library, and the addition of three new state-of-the-art buildings. The impressive two-story Arts Building offers an art gallery, a full digital recording studio, a print studio, a cutting-edge graphic-design lab and the fabulous Black Box Theatre. Butte College’s satellite campus in Chico makes it possible for students to attend classes without making the drive to the main campus. Its newest addition is the Skyway Center in south Chico, home to the automotive-technology program. The accredited two-year college offers associate degrees and fully transferable general-education courses, as well as vocational-certificate programs. The college also has been recognized nationally for its commitment to sustainability practices. It has the distinction as the first college campus in the country to go grid-positive. Main campus: 3536 Butte Campus Drive, Oroville, 895-2511; Chico Center: 2320 Forest Ave., 895-1352, www.butte.edu

HIGHER EDUCATION continued on page 90

Butte College main campus

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

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, www.ccis.edu/ online

Chico Beauty College With new classes beginning every six weeks, Chico Beauty College, in partnership with Butte College, offers hands-on experience with hair, nail and skin-care services under the watchful eye of credentialed instructors. 1356 Longfellow Ave., Chico, 343-4201, chicobeautycollege.net

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 This college within a college (it’s hosted by Chico State) is geared toward students 50 and older who want to “learn for the love of it.” Classes are taught by volunteer peer leaders and range from “Reading Homer’s Iliad” to “Español Para Gringos” to “Home Curing Olives.” rce.csuchico.edu/osher • 90 Discover

Giving you direct access to Real-Time bus information! With our new feature you can now, in Real-Time, map the location of your bus AND Ànd its actual arrival time at your stop.

You can access this on your browser at our website, blinetransit.com or your mobile device by downloading the DoubleMap app from the app store and selecting “Butte Regional Transit” as your system.

Once at the map, you can select all the routes, or just the ones you are interested in.

Click whatever stop you want information for and the actual arrival time will be displayed.

You can also use the text message feature by texting the Bus Stop ID# to 5309245533, and you will receive an immediate reply of the arrival time.

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2017-18 Season

SEPTEMBER 7 Disney’s The Lion King Jr 9 Chico World Music Festival 12 Acrobats of Tianjin 16 Tower of Power 17 Porgy and Bess: San Francisco Opera 30 Spanish Harlem Orchestra OCTOBER 10 Emmylou Harris 24 Matt Richtel:Book In Common 31 Dia De Los Muertos Tour NOVEMBER 4 MOMIX 5 Lysander Piano Trio 12 An Evening With Travis Tritt 12 Boris Godunov: San Francisco Opera 25 Under the Streetlamp 30 A Very Chico Nutcracker DECEMBER 1-3 A Very Chico Nutcracker 8 Pink Martini 16/17 Handel’s Messiah JANUARY 10 Kris Kristofferson 26 Spotlight Performances FEBRUARY 4 Guitar Festival 9 Sleeping Beauty 13 Cirque Eloize: Saloon 18 Lucrezia Borgia: San Francisco Opera 27 Dublin Irish Dance

MARCH 1 Singin’ in the Rain 3 Jad Abumrad 4 5IF 1BDJkD (VJUBS &OTFNCMF 9/10 The Songs of Stevie Wonder 18 Goitse 30 Black Arm Band APRIL 12/13 The Banff Mountain Film 22 Aida: San Francisco Opera 27 Broadway Boogie MAY 6 St. Lawrence String Quartet