6 Guided Tours to Experience in Butte County
Agritourism & Locally Grown
Seasoned travelers know that guided tours provide an insider view of local attractions and often include interesting details and offerings not available if you visited on your own. Take advantage of the many free and affordable tours available in Butte County. If you’re lucky, you might even snag a fun lunch or dinner recommendation from your guide or fellow attendees.
Bidwell Mansion Historic State Park

Travel back in time to see and learn about the area’s history with a guided tour of John and Annie Bidwell’s grand, 26-room Italian-style mansion, carriage house and grounds. Entertaining docents showcase the home’s period furnishings and discuss the Bidwell’s contributions to the city and state, the famous guests they entertained, how the home later served as a college dormitory, and tales of Annie Bidwell’s ghost.

Tours: Available on the hour from 11am to 4pm Sat.-Mon.

Admission: $6 for adults $3 for ages 5-17; free for children under 4.

Take a stroll through history in this 19th century Victorian-era architectural beauty located in the heart of the city of Chico.

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Chinese Temple

Take a fascinating tour of Oroville’s Chinese Temple, which was built in 1863 as a place of worship for the nearly 10,000 Chinese laborers that called Oroville home during the Gold Rush. Inside the museum and active temple, you’ll view an extensive collection of embroidered tapestries, parade parasols, costumes, furnishings and artifacts representing daily life during this time period. You can also enjoy the Chinese garden and koi pond. The temple is open Tues.-Wed. and Sat.-Sun. from Noon to 4pm. It is closed on holidays and from Dec. 15 through Jan.

Tours: To schedule a guided tour, call (530) 538-2508

Admission: $3 adults/$2.50 for groups and AAA members; children under 12 are free.

Built in 1863, this temple is on the National Register of Historic Places. Now a museum, it is still an active temple and used occasionally for worship.

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CSU, Chico University Farm

All ages will enjoy the one hour, tractor-driven tour of the university’s working farm – an 800-acre ‘living laboratory’ for ag students. Located just south of Chico, you’ll learn about and interact with farm animals, take a peek at the organic dairy operations, and enjoy the scenic beauty of row crops and orchards. You’ll see the Meats Lab, which sells farm-raised beef, pork, lamb, goat and other items every Th-F from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free guided public tours are offered at 2 p.m. on the third Friday of each month (no tours are offered in Jan., June and July).

Tours: Reservations are recommended but not required. Call 530-898-3737 to reserve your space on the tour. Self-guided tours are not permitted.

Admission: Free

The 800-acre Paul L. Byrne Agricultural Teaching and Research Center (ATRC), more commonly known as the University Farm, helps Chico State agriculture students put classroom concepts into practice.

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Feather River Fish Hatchery

Visit the Feather River Fish Hatchery for a fascinating view of how this spawning facility keeps Chinook salmon and steelhead populations strong in California. Visitors can watch from observation platforms and underwater windows as thousands of fish swim up the hatchery’s ladders to the spawning operations. Salmon viewing is best mid-September through November; steelhead spawning is most visible January and February. Visitors will still see fish March through May.

Tours: Call (530) 534-2306 to arrange a guided tour to learn more about these life cycle and population efforts. Self-guided tours are available daily from 8am to 5pm.

Admission: Free

The Feather River Hatchery in Oroville CA raises salmon & steelhead along the Feather River. Watch the Fall salmon migration or Spring trout spawn. For the best experience, schedule a guided tour.

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Lavender Ranch™

Experience the exquisite sights and smells of lavender fields in bloom during a guided tour of the Lavender Ranch™ in Biggs. Walk the historic farm, learn about the many botanicals it grows, and discover how organic essential oils are distilled on site for use in health and beauty products. Then visit the gift shop for everything lavender. Peak season for bloom is May through July.

Tours: By reservation only and require 48-hours notice. Schedule a tour online or by phone.

Admission: $5 per person (children under 10 are free). The farm is open M-Th 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., F-Sat 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Experience the timeless beauty of Mother Nature at Lavender Ranch. Offering tours through the rolling hills of lavender where you can enjoy many delightful botanical aromas!

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Sierra Nevada Brewery

There’s a tour for every taste at Chico’s landmark brewery. Choose between different topics, lengths and beer samplings at this state-of-the-art, environmentally sustainable operation. Enjoy the ever-popular, complimentary 45-minute brewery tour with tastings, or consider tours geared toward beer geeks, hop heads, sustainability, gardens, educational tastings and more. You can also take a self-guided tour, and taste specialty brews and foods, at the brewpub. Tours fill up quickly, so it’s a good idea to make online reservations in advance.

Tours & Admission: Visit the website for different tour details, costs, and hours.

At Sierra Nevada Brewery, tour the state-of-the-art, environmentally sustainable brewery, taste specialty brews and eat at the expansive brewpub, or catch a show in the Big Room.

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