Downtown Chico is vibrant with many interesting shops, galleries and restaurants. The CSU Chico campus is adjacent to the downtown. Both are good places for walking. Big Chico Creek skirts the edge of the downtown area and runs through the college campus. There are many riparian natives growing along the creek.
The Saturday year-round, open-air Farmer's Market, located at 2nd St. and Wall Ave., is open from 7:30 am to 1 pm. Besides locally-grown flowers and produce, you can find many other prepared foods and craft items.
Chico Museum. The museum's permanent exhibit covers the history of Chico from 1830 to 2000 and includes photos, portraits and artifacts. A highlight is a Chinese Taoist Temple with altars and original artifacts from Chico's Chinatown. The current temporary exhibit is "Secret World of Bees." 141 Salem St. Open 12-4. 530-891-4336.
A trip to
Chico wouldn't be complete without a trip to Bidwell Park, which
contains more than 3600 acres. The park is divided
by Manzanita Ave. West of Manzanita is Lower Park, which is primarily
flat, wooded and riparian. It contains
Sycamore Pool (better known by locals as One Mile), a swimming pool
formed by a dam across Big Chico Creek. There's also Caper Acres, a
children's playground. East of Manzanita is Upper Park, which stretches
for miles into the foothills. Upper Park is wilder and more open with many hiking trails. Here's a link with more information:
Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park. This 3 story, 26 room Victorian house was formerly the home of John and Annie Bidwell, founders of Chico. There are tours every hour beginning at 11 am, with the last tour at 4 pm. Corner of Memorial Way and Esplanade. 530-895-6144.
Floral Native Nursery sells a wide variety of California natives. 2511 Floral Ave. 530-892-2511.