The Most Instagram-Worthy Spots in Butte County
Instagram is one of our favorite ways to show off Butte County to the rest of the world. It’s also one of our favorite ways to see the region through the eyes of our residents and visitors. While the list of Instagrammable spots in Butte County is practically endless, we’ve narrowed this list down to a few of our (and your) favorites!
So come discover the beauty of Butte County with these Instagram-worthy spots.
Make sure to tag us in your Instagram posts while you’re exploring these (and other beautiful) spots by using #ExploreButteCA and #BUTTEiful! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram at @ExploreButteCountyCA.
Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge
Spanning Lake Oroville’s eastern edge where the Middle Fork and South Fork of the Feather River meet, the Bidwell Bar Bridge offers iconic views from every angle. Whether you use it as a backdrop for your adventures on the lake, drive across for up-close views, or stop at the vista spot to take in expansive views of the lake, you’ll find Bidwell Bar Bridge photo-worthy from every angle.
Built in 1865, the Bidwell Mansion is a beautiful, three-story, 26-room Victorian that was home to John and Annie Bidwell, the city of Chico’s founders. Its iconic light pink exterior and Italian Villa vibes make for beautiful photos any time of year—but you’ll find the grounds in the spring and fall particularly photo-worthy.
Butte Creek Watershed Overlook
If you visit Paradise, you’ll want to make sure to stop at the Butte Creek Watershed Overlook as you head down the Skyway. Sometimes simply referred to as the Paradise overlook or vista stop, the Butte Creek Watershed Overlook offers a sweeping view of this “mini Grand Canyon.” Early morning and near sunset are particularly beautiful times, but any time is a good time to take in the views.
Chico Seed Orchard
Also known as the tree farm, the Chico Seed Orchard is a 209-acre botanical gem, filled with a variety of species of plants. A part of the Mendocino National Forest, the Seed Orchard focuses on producing seed trees for projects such as reforestation and wildfire recovery—and for visitors, this means a lush backdrop for photos. It’s an especially photo-worthy spot in the fall, and you’ll find it a popular location for couple and family photos.
The second-oldest school in the California State University system is one of the prettiest! The entire Chico State campus is a designated arboretum (with over 200 species of woody plants and trees planted), features a rose garden, Big Chico Creek, a variety of on-campus sculptures, and iconic and historic buildings—including the picturesque Kendall Hall. With 123 beautiful acres to explore, you can spend a whole day filling up your camera with shareable photos.
Clotilde Merlo Park
Tucked away in historic Stirling City, Clotilde Merlo Park is one of the prettiest parks in all of Butte County. The 20-acre, privately owned park features a forested atmosphere and the winding boardwalks and footpaths at 3,500 feet in elevation. Snap a photo or two at one of three large ponds, in front of the surrounding forest, or among ornamental trees and flowers. Open May through October, Thursday through Sunday, Clotilde Merlo Park is worth planning a trip for.
A hub of dining, shopping, and events, Downtown Chico is also home to plenty of photo-worthy spots. Classic brick buildings add to the overall charm and beauty of the downtown landscape, and you'll also find a number of murals, installations, and sculptures—such as Our Hands—that make for perfect backdrops and subjects.
Gray Lodge Wildlife Area
Covering 9,100 acres and home to more than 300 species of resident and migrant birds and mammals, nature enthusiasts will love photographing the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area in Gridley. The fall and winter seasons are especially great ones to visit, as Gray Lodge fills with thousands of migrating birds—with two trails to explore, ducks blinds, and high-powered telescopes on an observation deck, it’s easy to get your perfect shot.
There are dozens of photo-worthy murals across Chico, but none is so iconic as the Love mural. Painted by popular muralist Jed Speer (who has painted several other popular murals across Butte County), the Love Mural is the unofficial welcome sign to Downtown Chico with its location at Park Avenue and Main Street. Its bright colors and positive message make it a popular selfie spot.
Whether you’re taking pictures of it or from it, Monkey Face in Chico’s Upper Bidwell Park will serve up beautiful views. From the ground, the iconic rock formation looks to have the appearance of a bridged brow over two eyes, similar to a monkey’s. From the top, you’ll enjoy a sweeping vista overlooking Bidwell Park. Enjoy a sunset hike for a beautiful golden hour glow in your photos.
North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve
North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve—more simply known as Table Mountain—always ends up on “best of” lists, and for good reason! During the rainy season, this popular Oroville spot flows with up to 14 waterfalls, and in the spring, is covered in wildflowers. It’s easy to get beautiful photos here—just make sure to do your part to help protect the reserve by staying on established trails, not picking the flowers, and buying your CDFW lands pass before you visit.
Oroville State Theatre
A historic landmark constructed in 1927, the Oroville State Theatre is a photo-worthy beauty inside and out. Inside, find restored historic murals from the 1920s and 1930s, art deco details in a nod to its past, and even a Wurlitzer pipe organ. Outside, find an elegant blend of modern and vintage with the theatre’s digital marquee styled after the marquee the one from the 1930s. At night, the marquee shines bright in Downtown Oroville and is a great time for a photo stop.
A small reservoir actually located in Magalia, Paradise Lake is all that its name implies. The calm water is surrounded by beautiful wooded land, with miles of shoreline and trails to explore. Enjoy a quiet shoreside hike or calm kayak paddle on the water capturing photos any time of year.
Table Mountain Bridge
Spanning the Feather River near Downtown Oroville, the historic, now pedestrian-only Table Mountain Bridge, built in 1907, is worth a walk over. You can use it to get from Downtown Oroville to the Feather River Fish Hatchery—two photo-worthy spots in their own right—and also get beautiful shots of the Feather River. For landscape photographers, capture beautiful shots of the bridge from the nearby Feather River Nature Center.
Wild & Scenic Highway 70 Feather River Scenic Byway
One of the first rivers to be officially designated as Wild and Scenic, the Highway 70 Feather River Scenic Byway is worth the drive alone. Traveling 60 miles west-east across Butte and Plumas counties along the North Fork Feather River, few California highways feature such natural beauty and diversity in terrain, landscape, wildlife and elevation as the Canyon portion of Feather River Scenic Byway. Capture images of spring waterfalls and wildflowers and brilliant colors in the fall as well as a variety of historic bridges.