5 Favorite June Activities in Butte County
The start of summer is almost officially here, and with it comes no shortage of places to go and things to see in Butte County. The heat is here, but won’t reach its peak until the later summer swoon, making June the ideal time for a weekend getaway for some outdoor activity.
Explore Oroville Water Sports
Since the construction of the city’s historic dam, Oroville has always been the spot for outstanding water recreation opportunities, especially in the summer. Lake Oroville’s west branch (call ahead to check water levels) is quieter and typically better for bass anglers, but also can provide a mellow spot to find a cove and hide out for the day, while the north branch is wide open and ideal for skiers, wakeboarders, boaters and jet skiers alike.
The Forebay Aquatic Center, meanwhile, is easily accessible and great for quick family excursions. A picnic and a swim or a moderate kayak session are always on the table here. Similarly, the Thermalito Afterbay is a more serene aquatic option meant for paddling, swimming and fishing. As with all Butte County recreational areas, it’s worth checking in with the sites to ensure access.
Go on a Mural Scavenger Hunt
Both Chico and Oroville have vibrant public art scenes, rife with opportunities to build an impressive camera roll folder. While public art in both cities extends beyond wall paintings (sculptures and other various landmarks beautify both areas), making a list of murals you haven’t seen in person yet, then snagging a photo with each, is a rewarding way to take in the sights.
Check out Chico’s offerings, or if you’re further south in the county in Oroville, see how many of the downtown murals, painted as part of Downtown Oroville revitalization efforts, you can find. Not to be forgotten, Paradise has its share of public art as well.
Picnic in the Park
Butte County has dozens of amazing parks and recreation areas, so you should explore them before the heat picks up—and few things beat a picnic in the park. Grab lunch to-go from any number of delicious eateries that offer pick-up options for your health and convenience. For a classic sandwich lunch, check out Ike’s Place in Chico for carnivorous and vegan options aplenty, Upper Crust Bakery & Café for nosh from a Chico favorite, or Oroville’s Souper Subs for a great homemade sandwich and soup combo. Looking for something different? Grab a charcuterie board from Nic’s as you explore Paradise Ridge, vegan dumplings from Drunken Dumplings, or a British pasty from The Allies Pub.
Whatever you choose, the only other thing you need is a blanket big enough for the family, and you’re set for your picnic.
Taste the Best of Butte County
Butte County has some of the best produce in the state, and by June, all the county’s farmers markets are open and the summer fruits are ripening. You can check out Paradise’s Tuesday market, Oroville’s Wednesday market, or Chico’s Wednesday market for delicious goods. For a larger market experience, you’ll want to make it out to Chico’s popular Saturday market, where you’ll find local growers and producers selling fruits, vegetables, meats, bread, nuts, honey, and more, as well as crafters, food trucks, and live performances. And with a prime spot right across the street from the hub of Downtown Chico, it’s a great place to start your Chico explorations.
Celebrate the Season with Free Summer Concerts
Chico and Paradise kick off the season with free concerts.
Since 1978, Downtown Chico has hosted their summer classic Friday Night Concert series, stretching from May all the way through September. June has four great shows to take in, whether you’re seeking to get some family entertainment after a downtown dinner and an ice cream cone, or just beginning your evening with some festivities.
Up in Paradise, the Party in the Park Music & Marketplace celebrates the summer with eight weeks of live music and vendors every Wednesday in June and July. It feels like the whole town comes out for this event, which also includes intermission acts featuring dance, youth groups, and demonstrations.