Multiple Cities Getaway Artist

5 Tips for Planning a Butte County Staycation

When you want to get away but stay close to home, indulge in a staycation.

Turn­ing your own back­yard (some­times lit­er­al­ly) into your play­ground for a few days is a great way to see your home in a new light — from the per­spec­tive of a vis­i­tor! It renews the sense of adven­ture you might have had that attract­ed you here in the first place, it restores the appre­ci­a­tion for every­thing right at your fin­ger­tips, and it allows you to recharge your bat­ter­ies with­out need­ing to hit the road or make that sad, back-to-real­i­ty car ride home.

Why is Butte Coun­ty a great spot for a stay­ca­tion? Most­ly, for the range of activ­i­ties and leisure avail­able for all paces, for any­one from a lone adven­tur­er to a full-sized fam­i­ly. Make the most of your stay­ca­tion by fol­low­ing these five tips:

Stay­ca­tion Tip #1: Keep It Simple

You can make plans, but don’t over­com­pli­cate things and defeat the pur­pose of the stay” part of things. The whole point is to do some­thing you’re famil­iar with that you sim­ply don’t have time in your reg­u­lar sched­ule to do. Stay close to home, list out one or two major activ­i­ties to do or places to vis­it a day, and build on that. Itin­er­aries are for cap­i­tal V Vaca­tions — for your stay­ca­tion, simplify.

Stay­ca­tion Tip #2: Indulge

It can be tempt­ing in a famil­iar place to do famil­iar things. Any­one who’s work­ing from home can attest to the dis­trac­tions that house­hold chores add to the work day. But to get the most out of your stay­ca­tion, you’ve got to do some make-believe. Dis­en­gage from your respon­si­bil­i­ties and pre­tend you’re visiting.

Pre­pare enough clean changes of clothes so you’re not tempt­ed to do laun­dry on your stay­ca­tion; pack a bag, if you need to! Espe­cial­ly if you’re shar­ing this time with some­one else, pro­tect it: Dish­wash­ing, oven clean­ing, floor sweep­ing, and toi­let scrub­bing will all be there for you when your stay­ca­tion ends. Don’t let them intrude on your relax­ation time.

If the prospect of stay­ing in your own house and dis­en­gag­ing from being your own house­keep­er is too daunt­ing, make your stay­ca­tion offi­cial and grab a local hotel room. It’s usu­al­ly a nov­el expe­ri­ence — hon­est­ly, how often do you grab a hotel in the town you live in? — and your house can’t get messy if your crew isn’t there. And with more deliv­ery and curb­side pick-up options than ever before, you can enjoy din­ner out from the com­fort of your hotel room.

In Oroville, book a room at the Hol­i­day Inn Express, America’s Best Val­ue Inn, or, if you want to rough it a lit­tle bit, Rif­fles RV Resort and Camp­ground. In Chico, spend a few nights at some pop­u­lar vis­i­tor options like the Res­i­dence Inn or Court­yard by Mar­riott, Best West­ern Her­itage Inn, or Chico’s Hol­i­day Inn Express.

Stay­ca­tion Tip #3: Find a Splash Zone

Each of the hotels men­tioned above fea­tures a pool, which is cru­cial if you’re a) stay­ca­tion­ing in sum­mer and b) schlep­ping kids around. But you don’t need to lim­it your swim­ming and splash­ing to your hotel — the whole point of giv­ing your­self a break is to make time for excur­sions you wouldn’t nor­mal­ly take!

If swim­ming is your thing, lev­el up your expe­ri­ence by par­tak­ing in local swim­ming holes. It’s always sur­pris­ing to hear how many locals actu­al­ly nev­er have spent an after­noon at Salmon Hole, Bear Hole, or Brown’s Hole, for exam­ple. For a quick, easy dip, of course, Sycamore Pool at One Mile is about as easy as it gets. If your stay­ca­tion is in Oroville, shoot for water and beach spots on the Feath­er Riv­er—the sandy beach at River­bend Park is per­fect for a relax­ing water­side picnic. 

Lake Oroville and the Fore­bay and After­bay are also prime for pic­nick­ers and swim­mers, but you can get even more out of your day at those loca­tions if you bring or rent some water­craft. Oroville in par­tic­u­lar offers open spaces if you want to do some fish­ing or water­sports, while the Fore­bay Aquat­ic Cen­ter offers an array of kayak and pad­dle­board rental options.

And, near­ly all of these cool-down choic­es come with the abil­i­ty to pair with a hike, whether you tra­verse Upper Park in Chico or the many trails around Lake Oroville. Just remem­ber: It’s sup­posed to be a vaca­tion! Try some­thing new.

Stay­ca­tion Tip #4: Enjoy the Local Flavor

Whether it’s lit­er­al or fig­u­ra­tive, get­ting a taste of the town is a must if you are approach­ing your stay-at-home vaca­tion as a vis­i­tor would. Try to cap­ture the feel­ing of being a tourist and pack in musts” as well as some nov­el experiences.

Local art is an incred­i­ble way to soak up cul­ture and in both Chico and Oroville, you aren’t nec­es­sar­i­ly miss­ing out on it if you can’t make it to a muse­um—both cities fea­ture walk­a­ble art tours com­plete with sculp­tures, murals, and oth­er instal­la­tions wor­thy of explo­ration. You’ll also find a few murals around town in Par­adise or Durham, as well, if you’re out explor­ing already.

And, of course, what would a vaca­tion be if you didn’t treat your­self to the local fare? This is a per­fect time to order some­thing off the menu you haven’t tried before at a favorite restau­rant, or, to go even fur­ther, try a new place. 

If you’re adven­tur­ing in the near­by out­doors, trek up the hill around Par­adise, Mag­a­lia, and Stir­ling City. You’ll find great hik­ing and nature walk­ing, and there are some new­er options for quick, sat­is­fy­ing bites, too. Check out the Green Par­adise Café, which now oper­ates as a food truck, for a deli­cious yet healthy meal. If your local cruise takes you across Hwy. 70, Rock House Din­ing & Espres­so in Yan­kee Hill makes for a per­fect stop to recaf­feinate and snag a din­er-style breakfast.

And com­bin­ing take­out or deliv­ery with your hotel stay? You’ll for­get you’re just a few miles from home. You can go a bit fanci­er if you’re in Chico — think take­out of a boat­load of tasty, ele­gant rolls from The Raw­bar or ele­vat­ed fare from the likes of Bur­ban Kitchen. What­ev­er you’re crav­ing, you’ll find it close by. 

Stay­ca­tion Tip #5: Extend Your Busi­ness Trip

One key vaca­tion strat­e­gy we’ve always been fond of when trav­el­ing for busi­ness is to turn the trip into an oppor­tu­ni­ty for some per­son­al fun time, too. Why waste the vis­it, right? Well, the same rules apply on stay­ca­tion. Bring a day of remote work with you, fin­ish up in the hotel while the kids are in the pool (or, even bet­ter, get some work done pool­side your­self!), and call it a day. Boom: You’re on site and ready for your much-deserved break already.

Trav­el for work rocks when you don’t have to go any­where AND you can still get the ben­e­fit of a vacation.

No mat­ter what you do to fill up your nor­mal vaca­tion, Butte Coun­ty pro­vides avenues for all of it. The biggest trick is turn­ing your trip” on its head: You can always make a tem­po­rary des­ti­na­tion your home for a week­end. Mak­ing home your des­ti­na­tion? It’s not only pos­si­ble, but a great way to gain a new appre­ci­a­tion for your home­town and all it has to offer.