5 Things To Do In Chico, California

If you are planning to pay a visit to the Golden State, consider enriching your itinerary with a stop at the charming city of Chico. Nestled in Northern California, Chico is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Here are five fascinating places you surely wouldn’t want to miss.

1. Upper Bidwell Park

Start your exploration by immersing yourself in the beauty of nature at Upper Bidwell Park. This expansive area, which is one of the largest city parks in the United States, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Covering over 3,600 acres, Upper Bidwell Park boasts numerous hiking trails, swimming holes, and picnic spots. In the heart of the park, you’ll find the mesmerizing Manzanita Avenue filled with its iconic gnarled manzanita trees. Here, you can enjoy a scenic jog or bike ride while soaking in the surrounding vistas. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some wildlife, including squirrels, deer, and a wide variety of bird species. As the day cools, head to one of the park’s many picturesque spots to enjoy a tranquil sunset.

2. Chico Air Museum

After a day outdoors, step back in time at the Chico Air Museum. This small but captivating museum offers a glimpse into aviation’s rich history. It hosts an impressive collection of aircraft, artifacts, and exhibits that vividly illustrate mankind’s journey in conquering the skies. Here, you can see everything from early gliders to modern jets, as well as learn about their operation and significance in historical context. The knowledgeable staff are always ready to answer your questions, making your visit both entertaining and educational. Whether you’re an aviation enthusiast or just curious, the Chico Air Museum is sure to dazzle and inspire.

3. Gateway Science Museum

Keeping with the learning journey, your next stop is the Gateway Science Museum. This interactive museum aims to inspire and engage people of all ages in the exploration and understanding of science. Featuring a variety of exhibits spanning different scientific disciplines, the Gateway Science Museum offers a fun and hands-on learning experience. From archaeology to ecology, astronomy to geology, there’s something to pique everyone’s curiosity. Make sure to visit the museum’s living garden, a vibrant space full of native plants and animals. The museum’s dedication to fostering a lifelong love for science makes this an essential stop on your Chico visit.

4. Sycamore Pool

Now, it’s time to switch gears and head to Sycamore Pool for some relaxation. This unique pool is located in the heart of Chico’s One Mile Recreation Area and is quite literal: a sandy-bottomed section of Big Chico Creek which has been converted into a massive swimming pool. Delight in the warm California sun as you wade in the cool, flowing waters. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience. The surrounding sycamore trees provide a lovely backdrop and ample shade for when you need a break from swimming. Sycamore Pool is a beautiful confluence of mother nature and man’s ingenuity that all should experience.

5. Pageant Theatre

End your Chico adventure with a visit to the Pageant Theatre, the city’s independent movie house. Since 1978, it has been a staple in the community for screening independent, foreign, and alternative films that you wouldn’t typically see in mainstream cinemas. With its comfortable seats and cozy atmosphere, the Pageant Theatre offers a unique movie-going experience. Don’t forget to try their famous popcorn, touted by locals to be the best in town. An evening at the Pageant Theatre will make for a perfect conclusion to your Chico experience, leaving you with a lasting impression of this wonderful city.

Chico, California has a lot to offer. From nature’s beauty to cultural riches, the experiences you’ll find here are diverse and invigorating. So pack your bags and get ready to make unforgettable memories in Chico!