The weekend is fast-approaching and it’s shaping up to be beautiful, sun-soaked weather. You’re looking for a short drive that will pay off with a long weekend. We’ve got you covered with this guide to a spectacular weekend spent savoring fresh apples picked from 100-year-old trees, and riding your road bike through quiet, oak-draped roads.
We start the trip by taking you right off the beaten path. While Oroville and Chico are towns right alongside Butte County’s main thoroughfare, a drive up “the ridge” to Paradise rewards visitors with cooler temperatures and the pine-scented air of the mountains. Take Highway 191 (Clark Rd.) off of Highway 70 to reach Paradise (the town is also accessible via Skyway Boulevard from Chico).
With your appetite cured, drive to Noble Orchards (7050 Pentz Rd.) to taste the freshest apples, peaches and other stone fruit around. This storied orchard, which had grown fresh fruit since 1921, is run by Jim Noble, a 3rd generation farmer, and Laurie Noble. Bring home some of Laurie Noble’s famous Apple Butter, along with a sampling of tree-ripened fruit. Other novelties include fresh apple cider and Pink Ladies, one of 31 varieties of apples grown at Noble.
Drive back to Paradise for drinks and dinner at the Wine Room and Pub , where an ample wine list, craft beer selection and small-plate menu awaits.
Rest, Relax and Recharge
Relax and take a dip at the pool back at your Paradise hotel of choice —options include Paradise Inn, Lantern Inn and Ponderosa Gardens Motel.
Butte County Lodging
Oroville’s centrally located Holiday Inn Express and Suites has an indoor pool and hot tubs, complimentary breakfast — perfect for families or couples. Other options include affordable rooms at America’s Best Value Inn and Suites, Days Inn and variety of other locations. Visit the lodging page for a full list of Oroville lodging options.
Start the day by driving down beautiful Skyway Boulevard to Chico. Stop at the lookout over the scenic Butte Creek Canyon, often referred to as Butte County’s Little Grand Canyon, before pulling into Beatniks Coffee House & Breakfast Joint for coffee and breakfast. Grab the “Jack Kerouac” if you are feeling healthy (poached eggs on spinach, topped with sun-dried tomato relish, feta and onions) and wash it down with the “Beatnicks Blend” premium coffee.
It’s time to see the county by bike. Butte County’s many quiet road, and the majestic valley oaks that line these two-lane treasures, make road biking a peaceful endeavor. Pick from the Durham Loop , which offers up a flat ride through the valley, or ride the Honey Run Road Loop , which climbs back up to Paradise for a more intensive athletic challenge.
For those interested in less sweat and more shopping, explore downtown Chico shops like Chico Paper Company , pop into the new Museum of Northern California Art or take a self-guided tour of public murals.
Dine downtown at Christian Michaels Ristorante where you can choose from small plates or entrees, like the Wild Mushroom Risotto or Cioppino.