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Chico (California)

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Chico is in Butte County in California. It's best known for its State University.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

Chico is served by Amtrak's Coast Starlight. The times are very annoying — the southbound train arrives just before 04:00, and the northbound just before 02:00. But there are now some bus/train combinations heading south that come at reasonable times. Check the website for current information.

By car[edit]

Take Route 99 until you reach like mile marker 383. Or the fastest way is to get on Interstate 5 and take exit 618 (Route 32 East) through Orland and Hamilton City.

By bus[edit]

Greyhound has bus services from many destinations.

Get around[edit]

Ride a bike. One of the best bike friendly towns around, the locals and students prefer to bike around it.

There is bus service through B-Line Transit, with service in Chico or around Butte County.


  • Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park, 525 Esplanade, +1 530 895-6144, [1]. Mo 12:00-17:00, Sa,Su 11:00-17:00. This 26-room mansion formerly owned by John and Annie Bidwell was the first in the state to have indoor plumbing. 50 minute tours of the mansion depart every hour. (39.7423,-121.8478) edit
  • Honey Run Covered Bridge, Intersection of Honey Run Rd. and Centerville Rd.. Sep-Apr 10:00-16:30; May-Aug 10:00-19:00. The only covered bridge in the United States to have three distinct roof lines. Free  edit


  • Bidwell Park, 1968 East 8th Street (Chico Creek Nature Center), +1 530 891-4671 (, fax: +1 530 891-0837), [3]. 5:30AM-one hour after sunset. America's seventh largest municipal park offers hiking, biking, swimming, and numerous other options for outdoor recreation. The lower section of the park begins near Highway 99 and extends north-east through the city and continues five miles into the foothills north of the city.  edit
  • National Yo-Yo Museum, 320 Broadway, +1 530 893-0545. The largest collection of yo-yos in the US. Free.  edit


  • Bird in Hand, 320 Broadway St, +1 530 893-0545. Selling a wide range of products, from Tommy Bahama to toys. Also has a yo-yo museum, which houses the world's largest functioning wooden yo-yo.


  • Aca Taco, 133 Broadway St, +1 530 894-0191. Aca Taco is one of the most popular late-night treats in Chico. Their popular buritos are a perfect adendum to a night well spent.
  • Fifth Street Steakhouse, 345 West Fifth Street, +1 530 891-6328. Arguably the best restaurant in Chico, and certainly one of the most expensive, this small but divine steakhouse is known as much for its extensive wine cellar as it is for its steaks.
  • Italian Cottage, 2234 Esplanade. In business since 1965. Awesome breakfast omelettes, especially the spicy Italian one with marinara sauce, melted cheese, sausage, and pepperoni.
  • Leon's, # 817 Main Street Chico, CA 95928. Nice food and vibe.  edit
  • Pluto's, 210 Main Street, +1 530 343-0165, Fax: +1 530 343-0184, [4]. Pluto's specializes in sandwiches and salads that are both healthy and unbelievably tasty. Anything with roasted turkey is particularly recommended.
  • Red Tavern, 1250 The Esplanade, +1 530-894-3463, [5]. Chico's premiere dining establishment with expertly made, California-cuisine style meals. Reservations definitely needed on weekend nights. $15+.  edit
  • Smokin' Mo's BBQ, 131 Broadway St, +1 530 891-6677. They offer tri-tip, chicken, pork, and ribs. You have 4 different sauces to choose from and you can take as much sauce from each type as you want. Its an order-at-the-counter place.
  • Sierra Nevada Taproom and Restaurant, 1075 E 20th St, +1 530 345-2739, [6]. Tu-Th 11:00-21:00, F-Sa 11:00-22:00. This is one of Chico's landmark restaurants. Sierra Nevada Brewery has been a Chico icon since its founding in 1979. Chicoans take great pride in their local brewery and Sierra Nevada can be found all throughout the town. The accompanying taproom and restaurant is one of the most popular places to eat in Chico. Almost always filled to capacity, the wait can be long sometimes, but the prices are reasonable and the food is top tier.  edit
  • Sultan's Bistro, 300 Broadway St, ☎ +1 530 345-7455. The beef and lamb gyro plates make for one of the best dinners you'll ever have.
  • Windy's Chinese, 1000 W Sacramento Ave # G, ☎ +1 530 343-1788.
  • Woodstock's Pizza, 166 E 2nd St, ☎ +1 530 893-1500, Fax: +1 530 894-8156, . The title of best pizza joint in Chico is a contentious one and no one faults Woodstock's for throwing their hat into the ring. The variety of options and the tasty desserts are the perfect fuel for a night of studying or a night on the town.


  • Joe's Bar, 749 West 5th St, ☎ +1 530 894-3612. Sawdust on the floor, music blaring, cheap drinks, a back patio, and a crowd that will be singing along after midnight.
  • Madison Bear Garden, locally known as "The Bear", is a favorite of the students of CSU Chico. A variety of burger variations is enough to keep any student sated for years. For the particularly adventurous, the Jiffy Burger (a hamburger with peanut butter!) is a must. At night the Bear transforms from a kitschy burger spot for locals to a late-night party with theme nights, contests, and music on the second floor into the wee hours of the morning.
  • Sierra Nevada Brewery, +1 530 893-3520. Take a tour, try some of the best microbrew in the country. The brewery offers an alehouse with excellent food and good beer for around $2.50 a glass. Try the beer sampler.
  • Butte Creek Brewing Co 945 W 2nd St, +1 530 894-7906. The very definition of a microbrewery, this modest outfit, thou often overshadowed by Sierra Nevada, they offer tastings and tours.
  • La Salles, 229 Broadway St, (530) 893-1891. One of the rowdiest bars in Chico, second only to the Crazy Horse, this is one of the most exciting venues in Chico. Thought the long lines, $10 cover and crowds are a source for complaints, anyone walking downtown on a Friday or Saturday night knows exactly where the party is. A raucous and exciting bar and venue, a must see for the not-faint of heart.  edit
  • Panama's Bar and Cafe, 177 East Second Street, (530) 895-8817. A favorite of students this cafe/bar is an energetic and vibrant club known almost as much for its dance floor as it is for its Long Island Iced Teas. The fun tropical theme and fun atmosphere makes a fun alternative to some of the larger bars in Chico. While not a gay bar, necessarily, it does have a gay-friendly atmosphere.  edit


  • Hotel Diamond in Chico, 220 West 4th Street, ☎ +1 530 893-3100. The new Hotel Diamond opened its door in May 2005 in the same building as the original that was first opened for business 3 Sep 1904. The original Diamond Hotel was the "only strictly first-class house in Chico, and the superior of any North of Sacramento." The reign of the Diamond was a relatively short 12 years, as a major fire in 1916 closed the doors. Between 1920's through 1990's, the building was occupied by Chico State University students as dormitory or a low cost hotel and eventually abandoned empty.
  • Vagabond Inn Chico, 630 Main S, +1 530 895-1323, [7]. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 11am. Business and pet friendly rooms, cable TV, free continental breakfast, swimming pool, Wi-Fi, and other services. (39.727191,-121.836993) edit

Additionally, throughout Chico, are a wealth of Bed and Breakfasts, most of which are independently owned and operated. This is a great way to see a more residential side of Chico as well as get a local's perspective on the town.

Get out[edit]

  • Gold Country - Where the formation of California really took place.
  • Mount Lassen - Excellent outdoor hiking and breathtaking scenery in the volcanic park about an hour and a half from Chico.
  • Oroville - Twenty minutes east of Chico is this town that has more history as a Gold Rush-era boom town.
  • Sacramento - About an hour and 45 minutes south of Chico and the capital of California.

Routes through Chico
Redding via I-5.pngRed Bluff  N noframe S  Yuba CitySacramento

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