Multiple Cities Agritourism & Locally Grown

Gridley & Biggs: Gateway to Main Street

Cruis­ing along High­way 99 through Gri­d­ley and Big­gs offers a legit­i­mate Cal­i­for­nia-style tour of Americana:

  • A mix of main-street drags full of most of the town’s busi­ness, din­ing, and leisure activ­i­ties? Check.
  • A check­er board of food-pro­duc­ing crops grow­ing not only a boun­ty of food for farm­ers, but liveli­hoods for many of the area’s res­i­dents? Check.
  • Hon­est-to-good­ness water tow­ers and a coun­ty fair­ground? Check.

Gri­d­ley: Agri­cul­tur­al Americana

Found­ed by a sheep ranch­er before its incor­po­ra­tion in 1905, Gri­d­ley has held on to its farm-cen­tric lifestyle in many ways. The Butte Coun­ty Fair is a year­ly occur­rence at the local fair­grounds, where clas­sic small ag-town delights reign: piglet races, live­stock judg­ing, rodeo and mut­ton bust­ing, mud truck­ing, and Lynyrd Skynyrd cov­er bands all authen­ti­cate the experience.

With its preva­lent his­to­ry of farm and ranch work, a large pop­u­la­tion of migrant work­ers con­tributes to a major­i­ty His­pan­ic pop­u­la­tion in this part of south Butte Coun­ty and shapes the cul­ture sig­nif­i­cant­ly, espe­cial­ly seen in some of the local cui­sine. A few key taco trucks appeal to the mass­es in prime loca­tions, and the local Casa Lupe is a des­ti­na­tion those from out of town seek out. Gridley’s cul­tur­al blend feels par­tic­u­lar­ly bal­anced between clas­sic Amer­i­cana and agri­cul­tur­al Lati­no heritage.

Big­gs: Qui­et Living

Neigh­bor­ing Big­gs, north of Gri­d­ley along High­way 99 and small­er still, might be best known for its rejec­tion of a 2002 request to change its name to Got Milk,” CA, at the request of state’s Milk Proces­sor Board. But those who know it well find that it is so much more than that. Thanks to abun­dant access to land water, pop­u­lar­ly rep­re­sent­ed in a pic­ture-famous water tow­er, Big­gs offers a diverse spate of farm­lands, with rice and wal­nuts as the main crops, that sur­round the city on all sides.

Pri­mar­i­ly res­i­den­tial, Big­gs tends to eschew com­mer­cial­ism in favor of a quaint, qui­et feel for the peo­ple who live there, hap­py to live with­in easy dri­ving dis­tance of the county’s vast recre­ation­al oppor­tu­ni­ties. But Piz­za Roundup — an eatery well known to any coun­ty trav­el­er who has had a hunger dri­ving through — is a can’t‑miss and wor­thy spot at the town’s major four-way inter­sec­tion on 99. Even the small­est towns need a go-to place to eat.

Clas­sic Out­door Recreation

Locat­ed at the foot of the Sut­ter Buttes (which, fun fact, are not actu­al­ly in Butte Coun­ty), Gri­d­ley and Big­gs are a stone’s throw from out­door play. Sports­men and women in par­tic­u­lar will find the appeal of hunt­ing, fish­ing and nat­u­ral­ist oppor­tu­ni­ties all over. The Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, which is more than 8,000 acres of Pacif­ic Fly­way wet­lands, is locat­ed just 10 miles south­west of Gri­d­ley. And launch ramps for both the Feath­er Riv­er and Lake Oroville are just 10-minute to the northeast.

What Gri­d­ley and Big­gs may lack in urban com­forts, they more than make up for in wide-open spaces, a nos­tal­gic home-town feel for those com­fort­able in the coun­try, and an unmis­tak­able Main Street, USA vibe.

For More Information

Con­tact the Gri­d­ley Area Cham­ber of Com­merce, (530) 8463142