A land rich in Native American and Gold Rush History, was first inhabited by the Maidu Indians, then Europeans in the 1800’s. In 1848, General John Bidwell, was a member of the first wagon trains to California, and among several miners who discovered Gold on the Feather River. With his new found wealth, Bidwell bought 28,000 acres on both sides of Chico Creek and opened the first store of the Gold Rush (located on the corner of 1st and Main – now Tres Hombres). The city of Chico was founded in 1860 and later incorporated in 1872. What started as a dream and a vision, has now blossomed into the successful and rich city we now have today.

Chico is home of the Chico State University, founded in 1887 and built on land donated by the Bidwells. The university is home to over 16,000 students, and offers over 400 undergraduate and graduate academic programs.

As you stroll the downtown area of Chico located at Main and Broadway, you will find hot spots for the famous Chico Night Life, novelty shops, music, antiques, gifts, and a large variety of restaurants and tucked away eateries. The atmosphere is filled with youthful enthusiasm and a popular attraction for the young as well as the young at heart.

There are plenty of things to do in and around Chico throughout the year. From weekly Farmers Market, to Music in the Park, local live theaters and fine art galleries. For the outdoor enthusiasts you will find lakes, streams, mountains to climb, bicycling, bird watching, and more all at our doorstep.

Listed below you will find just a few of the things to see and do in and around the Chico area. For a complete list, please visit the official Chico Chamber Of Commerce web site.

Bidwell Mansion
The three-story mansion is furnished with Victorian pieces, many having belonged to the Bidwells. The carriage house stores four of Bidwell’s carriages. There is a visitor center next door which offers a gift shop, 25 minute movie of the Bidwells, and a wonderful display.

Farmers Saturday Market
Locally Grown Produce, hand made goods, music and fun.
Every Saturday 7:30am to 1pm “Rain or Shine”

Farmers Market June – October
Locally Grown Produce, hand made goods, music and fun.
June – October Every Wednesday morning
Located at corner of E. Ave. and Pillsbury (North Valley Plaza Mall)

Thursday Night Market
Put on by the Chico Downtown Association is held weekly
Featuring local produce, arts and crafts, live entertainment. Always a popular “Hot Spot” for downtown Chico.
April – October 6pm – 9pm
Located on Broadway between 2nd and 5th Street.

National Yo-Yo Museum
Annual National Yo-Yo Contest early October.
The National Yo-Yo Museum is home to the world’s largest wood Yo-Yo weighing in at a whopping 256 pounds. The Museum is open daily and admission is free.

Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation
Visit lions, tigers and leopards located minutes away from Chico at the Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation.

Chico Museum
The old Carnegie Library built in 1904 offers permanent and rotating exhibits. Some of the permanent displays are artifacts from Chico’s Chinese Temple, 19th century musical instruments, and other historical artifacts and photos of Chico and surrounding area.

Stansbury Home
Built in 1883 by Dr. & Mrs. Oscar Stansbury.This Victorian style home is listed in the National Historic Register. It is one of the most original and unaltered homes in California.

Orient & Flume Art Glass
Internationally known, Orient & Flume creates beautiful and very intricate, three dimensional designs encased in delicately hand blown glass.

Chico Fun Land
Home of Cal Skate! Enjoy skating, batting cages, miniature golf, hockey, and scheduled teen dances.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Award winning beer known across the nation. Come do a tour of the brewery and visit their new gift shop.

AMF Orchard Lanes Bowling

Bocce Ball Court at Red Tavern

The Wing Group Balloon Co.
Enjoy a breathtaking ride over Chico, North Sacramento Valley, and Northern California, in one of our Hot Air Balloons.

Honey Run Covered Bridge
The Honey Run Covered Bridge, built in 1894, is the only three-level covered bridge in the nation, and one of the few still standing in California. Enjoy swimming, wading, and tubing in the summer. Don’t forget to bring a picnic.
Follow Skyway 5 miles East of Chico, turn left onto Honey Run Rd.
Follow the road along the river. The bridge is on the right.