Family Adventure Getaway Artist Birding

Perfect Pairings

Butte Coun­ty exem­pli­fies how seem­ing­ly con­trast­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics com­bine per­fect­ly. From the rur­al to the urban, farm to city, and val­ley to moun­tains, Butte Coun­ty comes togeth­er to cre­ate a tru­ly spe­cial expe­ri­ence for vis­i­tors and locals alike with these per­fect pair­ings. Whether you’re bring­ing the fam­i­ly, tak­ing off with your part­ner-in-crime, or explor­ing solo, this is a great time to explore Butte County.

Snow Goose Festival

A win­ter high­light in the area is the annu­al bird migra­tion along the Pacif­ic Fly­way, which starts in Novem­ber and peaks in Jan­u­ary and sees hun­dreds of thou­sands of birds, includ­ing the beau­ti­ful snow goose, touch base in Butte County. 

One of the best ways to cel­e­brate the migra­tion is with the annu­al Snow Goose Festival , which runs the last Thurs­day-Sun­day in Jan­u­ary and fea­tures dozens of fun and edu­ca­tion­al field trips. Whichev­er excur­sion you choose, you’ll want to make sure you wear com­fort­able walk­ing shoes, lay­ers, and, of course, sunscreen! 

Check the offi­cial Snow Goose Fes­ti­val web­site for the detailed itin­er­ary and to reg­is­ter for events, which includes dozens of field trips through­out the coun­ty and an avian-themed art exhib­it at mon­ca. From all-day explo­rations to two-hour excur­sions, there’s an event for every type of visitor.

If all the field trips are sold out, don’t wor­ry! You can still enjoy your own self-guid­ed field trips at great bird­ing spots across Butte Coun­ty.

Whether you attend the fes­ti­val or go bird­ing on your own, this is a per­fect pair­ing with any­thing else you do in Jan­u­ary this month.

The High Country

An hour out­side of Chico, Butte Mead­ows and Jonesville can be explored year-round, but are most pop­u­lar dur­ing the wet sea­son when Butte County’s high coun­try turns into a win­ter won­der­land. Vis­it both for a per­fect­ly paired snow day.

Enjoy a Snow Day

If it’s been a par­tic­u­lar­ly wet win­ter, Jan­u­ary is a great time to take a trip up to the moun­tains. From cross-coun­try ski­ing and hik­ing to snow­mo­bil­ing at Jonesville. You nev­er know what the weath­er will be like, so be ready to take your own per­son­al snow day to enjoy the best and fresh­est snow­fall possible.

Explore Par­adise

Just a 20 minute dri­ve east of Chico, Par­adise pairs a deep his­to­ry with nat­ur­al beau­ty, per­fect for cold weath­er explo­rations. Make it a day on the ridge by explor­ing shops on the Sky­way and oth­er hid­den gems just wait­ing to be discovered.

Explore on Foot

Locat­ed in Mag­a­lia, Par­adise Lake is a post­card pic­ture of a serene forest­ed lake that is beau­ti­ful any time of year. Enjoy some of the best views of the lake with an easy walk on the flat trail that bor­ders the water and build up your appetite for din­ing later.

Dis­cov­er His­to­ry at the Gold Nugget Museum

At the Gold Nugget Muse­um, you can learn more about the impact of the Gold Rush in Par­adise and walk away with a bet­ter under­stand­ing of life in the 1850s, the city’s local his­to­ry, and the fact that a 54-pound gold nugget was found in the area!

Gold Nugget Museum

The Gold Nugget Muse­um is a local muse­um in Par­adise ded­i­cat­ed to pre­serv­ing and show­cas­ing the his­to­ry of the Par­adise Ridge through exhibits & artifacts.

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Antique Shop Til You Drop

If you love hunt­ing for the per­fect antique find, then Par­adise is your place. With a vari­ety of shops, includ­ing Trea­sures from Par­adise and the Sky­way Antique Mall, in town, you could eas­i­ly spend hours going from shop to shop in pur­suit of the per­fect item to add to your home.

Sat­is­fy Your Sweet Tooth

Before head­ing back down the hill, make sure to stop at Ridge-favorite Joy Lyn’s Can­dies for a sweet com­ple­ment to your din­ner (and some to-go for the rest of your trip!).

End the Night With a Show

There’s noth­ing like din­ner and a show, so make your own per­fect pair­ing at The­atre on the Ridge, the longest-run­ning com­mu­ni­ty the­ater in the North State. The inti­mate, 100-seat venue puts on pro­fes­sion­al-lev­el shows through­out the year and is a great way to end the night.

Perfect Pairings

Explore Oroville & Chico

Back in the val­ley, Oroville and Chico make their own per­fect pair­ing for more urban yet still nature-filled explorations.

Dis­cov­er Nat­ur­al Beauty

As the coun­ty seat, Oroville is the county’s third-largest city and packed with nat­ur­al beau­ty, par­tic­u­lar­ly the pop­u­lar Lake Oroville. Just because it’s not sum­mer doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy this city jew­el. At the Lake Oroville Vis­i­tor Cen­ter, you can enjoy a muse­um and exhibits about the lake, dam, and sur­round­ing areas. Make sure to climb atop the 47-foot tow­er to get a spec­tac­u­lar panoram­ic view of the lake and Oroville Dam, which is the tallest earth­en dam in the coun­try, and more! 

Play at the Chico Chil­dren’s Museum

If you have kids in tow and are look­ing for some­thing more hands-on, be sure to take a few hours to explore the Chico’s Chil­dren Muse­um. With a mis­sion to con­nect and learn through play, one-third of the space is a minia­ture artis­tic repli­ca of Chico, which includes a climb­ing tree and a num­ber of hands-on exhibits. The oth­er two-thirds house inter­ac­tive rotat­ing exhibits. This is a great space for fam­i­lies of all needs and abilities.

Kick Off the New Year with a Craft Mocktail

While known as a craft beer des­ti­na­tion, Chico is also home to a grow­ing num­ber of loca­tions that offer deli­cious craft mock­tails. Led by the work of All the Bitter , an alco­hol-free bit­ters com­pa­ny oper­at­ing out of Meri­am Park, Chico is a great place to par­tic­i­pate in Dry Jan­u­ary or sim­ply enjoy some zero-proof drinks with friends. Find great options at Roselle Bar and Lounge and Crush, for starters. More of a beer per­son? Crack open a (dry) cold one from Sier­ra Neva­da Brew­ing Co. with one of their non-alco­holic options.

Dis­cov­er His­to­ry at the Bid­well Mansion

Those inter­est­ed in the his­to­ry of Chico should def­i­nite­ly take a tour of Bid­well Man­sion, the home of John Bid­well, founder of Chico, and his wife, Annie. Hour-long tours are offered of the three-sto­ry Vic­to­ri­an man­sion and cov­er not only the his­to­ry of the Bid­wells and their home, but also region­al his­to­ry of both set­tlers and native tribes. Tours are cur­rent­ly avail­able on a first come, first served basis on Wednes­days and Sat­ur­days at 12pm and 3pm. Can’t make the tour? The Vis­i­tor Cen­ter is open on the same days from 11am-3pm.

Take a Hike

Just because Jan­u­ary is one of the wet­ter months in Butte Coun­ty doesn’t mean that it’s not a great time to get out­side! The beloved Bid­well Park is one of the best places to start — whether you explore Low­er Bid­well or Upper Bid­well, you’ll nev­er be far from Chico, just in case a rain cloud just hap­pens to roll through. And if you’re look­ing for hikes beyond Chico, there are plen­ty of great win­ter hikes around the rest of the county.