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Top 20 Things to Do in Chico According to TripAdvisor

As the urban hub of Butte Coun­ty, you could spend a life­time explor­ing Chico and all that it has to offer. But what if all you have is a cou­ple of days or even just a cou­ple of hours?

Start with our list of the Top 20 things to do in Chico, accord­ing to TripAdvisor . These are the high­est-rat­ed attrac­tions accord­ing to locals and vis­i­tors, so you know a vis­it will be a great one! How­ev­er long you’re here, fill your time with some of these favorites!

#1 Sier­ra Neva­da Brew­ery Tours & Tastings

The brew­ery that start­ed a craft brew­ery rev­o­lu­tion in the Unit­ed States, Sier­ra Neva­da Brew­ing Co. is a must-vis­it any­time you’re in the area! Even if you’re not a big beer drinker, a tour of the brew­ery is a delight­ful­ly edu­ca­tion­al expe­ri­ence — and there are more in-depth tours for fanat­ics. You can also skip the tour and head straight to the Tap­room for lunch, flight tast­ing, and of course, some good­ies from the Gift Shop to-go. 

#2 Bid­well Park

Stretch­ing near­ly 11 miles in length with over 3,600 acres, Bid­well Park is the crown jew­el of the city. Divid­ed into two parts, Low­er Bid­well Park offers a flat­ter, more relaxed expe­ri­ence while Upper Bid­well Park serves up more rugged ter­rain and epic views, per­fect for explor­ing on foot, bike, or even horse! With wild­flow­ers in the spring, nat­ur­al swim­ming holes in the sum­mer, gor­geous foliage in the fall, and mild tem­per­a­tures in the win­ter, it’s a per­fect year-round destination.

#3 Bid­well Man­sion State His­toric Park

As the for­mer home to Chico’s most famous cou­ple, John and Annie Bid­well, today their three-sto­ry, 26-room Vic­to­ri­an man­sion is a muse­um that acts as a memo­r­i­al to the pair and a peek into the city’s past. Come for a walk­ing tour through the Bid­well Man­sion (make sure to make a reser­va­tion!), learn about gen­er­al Chico his­to­ry in the no-reser­va­tions-required vis­i­tor cen­ter, or sim­ply get some pics in front of the icon­ic pink mansion. 

#4 Chico Cer­ti­fied Farm­ers’ Market

With the fresh­est fruits and veg­eta­bles, local­ly made gifts, fresh baked goods, and more, a stop at the Chico Cer­ti­fied Farm­ers’ Mar­ket is always a great start to any Chico adven­ture! The Sat­ur­day mar­ket in par­tic­u­lar will put you in the mid­dle of the action Down­town, so you can walk to oth­er local shops and restau­rants, but the Wednes­day mar­ket will be just as fun for any mid-week explorations.

#5 The Pageant Theatre

Movie buffs will def­i­nite­ly want to check out the Pageant The­atre, Chico’s only inde­pen­dent movie the­ater that screens art-house films. Fea­tur­ing inde­pen­dent, small-run, or niche movies in an inti­mate set­ting, you’re sure to leave feel­ing inspired, knowl­edge­able, moved — or all at once!

#6 Gate­way Sci­ence Museum

The hands-on, inter­ac­tive Gate­way Sci­ence Muse­um encour­ages youth inter­est in sci­ence, tech­nol­o­gy, engi­neer­ing, and math (STEM) con­cepts — but all ages will have fun here! Explore per­ma­nent and rotat­ing exhibits as well as gar­dens out­side that rep­re­sent four dis­tinct eco-regions of North­ern Cal­i­for­nia and get ready to leave know­ing more than when you arrived.

#7 Eighth & Main Antique Center

If you’re look­ing to score some deals or snatch up unique finds, you’ll want to make sure to check out Eighth & Main Antique Cen­ter. With over 3,000 square feet to explore, you’re sure to walk away with great gifts for friends, fam­i­ly, and, of course, yourself!

#8 Chico Air Museum

Locat­ed inside a WWII era hangar, the Chico Air Muse­um is a must for air­plane enthu­si­asts, though any­one who vis­its will find the sights of the air­craft on dis­play — which span near­ly 100 years — impres­sive. With both indoor and out­door air­craft on dis­play (even some that the kids can hop into!), edu­ca­tion­al exhibits, and friend­ly docents, you’ll find a vis­it well worth the trip.

#9 Sil­ver Dol­lar Speedway

The Sil­ver Dol­lar Speed­way is a Fri­day night sta­ple dur­ing the sum­mer. Locat­ed at the Sil­ver Dol­lar Fair­grounds, the high­ly banked quar­ter-mile clay track makes for a fast and fun race for the rac­ers and spec­ta­tors alike, espe­cial­ly when you’re in the packed and rau­cous grand­stands. Whether you’re there for spring car races, mon­ster truck ral­lies, or oth­er spe­cial events, get ready to cheer on!

#10 Chico His­to­ry Museum

His­to­ry buffs and first-time vis­i­tors to Chico should check out the small but mighty Chico His­to­ry Muse­um. Housed in the his­toric Andrew Carnegie Library locat­ed in the heart of vibrant down­town Chico, and imme­di­ate­ly adja­cent to the Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty cam­pus, this muse­um hosts a vari­ety of per­ma­nent and rotat­ing exhibits cov­er­ing every­thing from gen­er­al Chico his­to­ry, local Native tribes, region­al agri­cul­ture, and more!

#11 Ori­ent & Flume Art Glass

Since 1972, Ori­ent & Flume Art Glass has been pro­duc­ing high-qual­i­ty hand-blown glass art. While you could go all the way to such famed muse­ums as the Met­ro­pol­i­tan, the Smith­son­ian, or the Corn­ing Glass Muse­um to see their work, we find it much eas­i­er to vis­it at their stu­dio right in Chico. While no longer pro­duced out of the name­sake car­riage house that was locat­ed between Ori­ent Street and Flume Street, you’ll find the qual­i­ty and beau­ty as time­less as ever.

#12 Secret Trail Brew­ing Co.

Look­ing to drink off the beat­en path? Check out Secret Trail Brew­ing Co. Fea­tur­ing arti­san, local­ly brewed craft beers, Secret Trail is a great start to, or stop on, your own per­son­al ale trail. Relax on their patio with a pint or flight tast­ing and some grub from the food-truck-of-the-day for a chill Chico experience.

#13 DeGar­mo Park

A local favorite, DeGar­mo Park has it all: a dog park, pic­nic areas, play­ground, base­ball and soc­cer fields, and a walk­ing trail. With all the ameni­ties, you’ll find it a pop­u­lar place most days of the week, espe­cial­ly on the week­ends with youth sports tour­na­ments. Whether you’re local need­ing play space for the kids or need a spot to let the dog off leash dur­ing a road trip, there’s some­thing for every­one at DeGarmo.

#14 Butte Creek Eco­log­i­cal Preserve

Locat­ed on 93-acres along the mid­dle sec­tion of Butte Creek, the Butte Creek Eco­log­i­cal Pre­serve includes more than a mile of creek frontage, which allows access to the creek and amaz­ing views of the canyon. The pre­serve is a crit­i­cal habi­tat for Cen­tral Val­ley Spring Run Chi­nook as well as a great place for bird watch­ing opportunities.

#15 Bid­well-Sacra­men­to Riv­er State Park

Chico’s share of the Sacra­men­to Riv­er — the largest in the state — shines at the Bid­well-Sacra­men­to Riv­er State Park. Vis­i­tors can get on the water for riv­er tub­ing and boat­ing adven­tures or stay on shore for milder explo­rations, such as pic­nick­ing, hik­ing, and wildlife viewing.

#16 Sycamore Pool

The most acces­si­ble of all of Bid­well Park’s swim­ming holes, Sycamore Pool at One Mile Recre­ation Area is a pop­u­lar sum­mer­time des­ti­na­tion. The con­crete pool filled with the cool flow­ing waters of Big Chico Creek makes for a unique­ly Chico expe­ri­ence, and one that is a per­fect solu­tion to the some­times bru­tal sum­mer temperatures.

#17 Nation­al Yo-Yo Museum

There is per­haps no more unique-to-Chico loca­tion than the Nation­al Yo-Yo Muse­um. Locat­ed inside local favorite Bird in Hand in Down­town Chico, this muse­um is the bona fide mec­ca of Amer­i­can yo-yo cul­ture. At the muse­um, you can learn about the sport’s his­to­ry, take a pic­ture with Big Yo,” and even enjoy free lessons on Saturdays.

#18 Com­mu­ni­ty Park

With 40-acres to explore, Com­mu­ni­ty Park is South Chico’s pre­mier pub­lic recre­ation facil­i­ty. With mul­ti­ple play­grounds, horse­shoe pits, var­i­ous sports courts and fields, and more, you’ll find it bustling with activ­i­ty on any giv­en day.

#19 Chico The­ater Company

At the Chico The­ater Com­pa­ny, you can enjoy musi­cals and plays through­out the year in an inti­mate per­form­ing arts space. Get updates for their lat­est pro­duc­tions on their Face­book page.

#20 Chico Chil­dren’s Museum

Locat­ed in the heart of Down­town Chico, the Chico Chil­dren’s Muse­um (CCM) is the per­fect kid-friend­ly attrac­tion for fam­i­lies of all needs and abil­i­ties. The front half of the muse­um is ded­i­cat­ed to a minia­ture artis­tic repli­ca of Chico, which includes a tree­house and a num­ber of hands-on dra­mat­ic play exhibits, and the oth­er half divid­ed into a sen­so­ry sen­si­tive space and a more con­struc­tive play area.