5 July Activities to Enjoy in Butte County
Summer is in full swing as we’ve reached the midway point of the year in Butte County! The “dog days” tend to creep up a bit sooner in the area thanks to our warmer climate, but that shouldn’t suggest that July is lazy days only. On the contrary—even as the thermometer rises, there's a wide range of activities for everyone to enjoy.
View the Fourth of July Fireworks
Independence Day in Butte County is a blast, and there’s nothing quite like celebrating the Fourth of July by watching the rockets’ red glare over the rolling hills. With several options across the county, you can find your perfect patriotic display!
- Oroville's annual 4th of July Celebration will again be at the Oroville Airport. Come in the morning for a car show, vendors, food, and fly-ins, and then return at sunset for the firework show!
- Biggs is presenting its annual 4th of July fireworks extravaganza with pyrotechnics set off from the high school football field.
- Enjoy fast cars and fireworks with the Silver Dollar Speedway's giant firework display in Chico.
- Paradise will have their 1,100 flags out from 6am to 6pm along Skyway and Elliot Road for a beautiful and patriotic drive up the ridge.
Go for a Dip
In Chico, Explore Bidwell Park’s swimming holes. Once upon a time, the tucked-away spot on Big Chico Creek in Upper Bidwell Park known as Bear Hole was sort of a locals-only secret. Those days are long gone, but all that means is that it’s turned into a sort of natural public pool on its busiest days. The water’s always fresh and cold, and thus the perfect cure for those 100-degree days. And that’s only the most popular one!
Other quality swimming holes in the park include Alligator Hole (great if you have little ones with you, since it’s quite shallow and close to the easily accessible parking lot and trailheads), Salmon Hole—further up the trail than Bear Hole and a bit more secluded—and Brown’s Hole, which is farthest from the park entrance but worth the journey if you value the exercise and the opportunity for some solitude.
In Oroville, relax at Riverbend Park. Check the flows first, but typically the Feather River moseys by the park, which itself is a clean, well-maintained place to play for families. Shallower spots near the park will allow you to wade in and cool off from a grassy shore; there are also several spots locals use for diving where the river is deeper. It’s a great spot for a swim if you’re also planning a picnic or a game of fetch with a furry friend.
If you’ve got a boat, the deep, cool waters of Lake Oroville—the city's top recreational site—are tough to beat for local watersports. But it would be a mistake to discount it as a great swimming spot, too. Hundreds of coves, especially on the deeper north branch, make a day in the water just a short watercraft ride away—and many others still are within short hiking distance.
Get a Frozen Treat
Butte County has no shortage of ice cream, gelato, and frozen yogurt establishments where you can find a creamy dessert any time. And with National Ice Cream Day landing on the 3rd Sunday in July, what better way to celebrate than by giving one of these locations a visit?
- Sweet Chico Confections. The Downtown Chico confectioner has a gelato selection perfect for warm summer evenings, with a good variety of flavors ranging from fruity to truly indulgent.
- La Flor de Michoacán. A massive selection of Mexican-inspired flavors, as well as more familiar classic ones. Whether it’s tamarind, almond or a classic strawberry or chocolate, “La Flor” will definitely have something you’ll like—and there are multiple locations in Chico and one in Oroville.
- Foster’s Freeze in Oroville: If old-fashioned Americana is what you’re craving, this Oro Dam eatery has options to satisfy any sweet tooth with dipped cones, shakes, sundaes, and splits.
- Unicone: Enjoy hand-scooped ice cream, shakes, floats, and other treats at Unicone—get it to-go to enjoy as you explore the rest of Downtown Oroville.
Catch a Show at Gold Country Casino
Oroville has compiled an impressive list of guests and performances at Gold Country over the past few years, and a couple more promising acts are on the docket for late July. On July 16th, enjoy a throwback show with Blue Öyster Cult on July 16th. Then get ready to laugh all night long on July 30th with comedian Jimmy O. Yang, known for his starring role in Love Hard as well as his breakout role in Crazy Rich Asians.
Enjoy a Slice of Chico
One of downtown Chico’s more popular summertime traditions, Slice of Chico offers family-friendly fun designed to put downtown’s eateries in the spotlight, with one summery twist: Watermelon! On Saturday July 23, multiple watermelon stations offer cold slices of the refreshing fruit, and select restaurants offer watermelon-themed menu items. Check in closer to the event for more event details.