Explore Chico & The North State

A Bit About Chico

The City of Chico is located 90 miles (144.84 km) north of Sacramento, CA in the northern end of the lush Sacramento Valley. With an urban population of approximately 90,000, Chico has the charm of a small town, with all the amenities of a big city. Downtown Chico is within a block of campus and offers a wide variety of shopping, dining, and cultural experiences. Bidwell Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the country at 3,670 acres, stretches nearly 11 miles (17.7 km) from campus east into the foothills and provides year-round recreation activities.


Trinity Hall

California State University, Chico

Founded in 1887, CSU, Chico is one of the twenty-three California State University system campuses. The 16,000-student residential campus provides a beautiful setting for reflection and learning. The campus grounds feature historic brick buildings, paved level pathways, a creek that runs year-round through the middle of campus, and a beautiful setting within a natural arboretum.

Sierra Neveda Brewery

Sierra Nevada Brewery

Chico is home to Sierra Nevada Brewery, the 10th largest brewery in the nation. They provide an impressive tour of their facility, including the brew process, bottling and packaging lines. Sierra Nevada has an unwavering commitment to the environment and tours also highlight their use of fuel cells as well as practices of recycling, heat recovery, CO2 recovery, energy efficiency, water conservation and byproduct recycling.

Bidwell Mansion & The Gateway Science Museum

Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park, adjacent to the Chico State campus, is the historic home of John and Annie Bidwell, founders of Chico. Tours are offered daily of this three story, pink Victorian mansion, which during its time featured very modern indoor plumbing, gas lighting and water systems. The Gateway Science Museum is 100 yards from Bidwell Mansion. It was opened in Spring 2010 and provides a hands-on learning environment to explore, interpret, and celebrate the magnificent natural heritage of our region.
Sierra Oro Farm Trail

Sierra Oro Farm Trail

The Sierra Oro Farm Trail is a non-profit association of farmers and business people in Butte County with a shared passion for agriculture and our community, highlighting not only an enthusiasm for local agriculture but also an excitement to share it with visitors to the area. Member farms and wineries share the bounty and heritage of Butte County agriculture by opening their doors for tastings and tours.
New Clairvaux Vineyard

New Clairvaux Vineyard

The Abbey of New Clairvaux is a community of Cistercian or "Trappist" monks that was founded in 1955. New Clairvaux's Vina location, 20 miles (32.19 km) north of Chico, is noted for its deep, fertile loam soils and mild climate, which enabled the site to blossom under the ownership of Peter Lassen during California's colonial days; and later as Leland Stanford's Great Vina Ranch, the world's largest vineyard, winery, and distillery by 1890. Today, Father Paul Mark Schwan, Abbot of the New Clairvaux monastery, and Aimee Sunseri, fifth generation California winemaker, have combined their vision and passion for wine and history to create a unique and memorable wine experience. Also of interest, the Abbey of New Clairvaux is also home to The Sacred Stones project—the reconstruction of an 800-year-old Chapter House from a Cistercian monastery in Oliva, Spain.

Lassen National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to smoking fumaroles, meadows freckled with wildflowers, clear mountain lakes, and numerous volcanoes. Jagged peaks tell the story of its eruptive past, while hot water continues to mold the land. Lassen Volcanic offers opportunities to discover the wonder and mysteries of volcanoes and hot water for visitors willing to explore the undiscovered. All four types of volcanoes found in the entire world are represented in Lassen Volcanic National Park. The 29-mile Main Park Road was constructed between 1925 and 1931, just 10 years after Lassen Peak erupted. Near Lassen Peak the road reaches 8512 feet (2.59 km), making it the highest road in the Cascade Mountains. It is not unusual for 40 feet (12.19 m) of snow to accumulate on the road near Lake Helen. 
 Thursday Night Market vendor sales

Thursday Night Market

Explore Downtown Chico’s Thursday Night Market, filled with farm-fresh produce, delicious food, arts and crafts, and live entertainment! Held weekly (rain or shine), the market is a street festival and CDFA Certified farmers' market. Streets are lined with more than 100 popular vendors—authentic crafts and artwork, handmade clothing and jewelry, mouth-watering prepared foods—plus, certified farmers offer the season's freshest assortments of fruits & vegetables, bouquets of fresh cut flowers, nuts & honeys, houseplants and more! A diverse selection of local musicians and entertainers showcase their talents each week. Performances range from magicians to African dancers, and from classic jazz to bluegrass.

City of San Francisco

San Francisco has all-around appeal. The sights and scenery. The one-of-a-kind events and world-class food. The welcoming people, the diversity and rich history...it all comes together to make the City by the Bay 49 of the most interesting square miles on the planet. San Francisco was even named the “greenest” city in the first North American Green Cities Index in 2011.
University Farm with cows

University Farm

Agriculture can’t be learned solely from a textbook. That’s why our 800-acre Paul L. Byrne Agricultural Teaching and Research Center, more commonly known as the University Farm, is so important to our educational program. It’s the place where our students literally get their hands dirty putting into practice the concepts they learn.
Lake Tahoe with mountains in background

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is one of the most popular destinations in California. Located 3 hours from Chico, guests enjoy the crystal clear waters of the natural lake, nearby towns of Truckee and Donner, as well as an abundance of indoor and outdoor activities.


Sacramento is not only the state's capital but home to Sutter’s Fort, which at one time was the economic center of California. Now a State Historic Park, you can step back in time to when California was just becoming a state and gold was just being discovered. Sacramento also has a summer Shakespeare festival, zoo, and lively restaurant scene.
Vineyard grapes on the vine

Sonoma & Napa

Napa Valley and Sonoma County are a wine and food paradise. Just 2.5 hours from Chico, you can be immersed in California wine country. Reservations are highly recommended and, in many locations, required.


Around & About in Chico, CA