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North America > United States of America > California > Shasta Cascades > Butte County > Chico (California)

Chico

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Travel Warning WARNING: The Camp Fire has been fully contained as of Nov 26, 2018, but services in Chico and area may continue to be unavailable. Updates can be found at the California fire website. Air quality is also poor throughout large portions of California.
(Information last updated Nov 2018)


Chico is in Butte County in California. It's best known for its state university.

Get in[edit]

Map of Chico (California)

By train[edit]

Amtrak serves Chico via its daily Coast Starlight service between Los Angeles and Seattle. However, the timings are not very convenient with northbound trains arriving at 2AM and southbound at 4AM. 1 Chico station is located downtown at 450 Orange St.

By car[edit]

Take Route 99 until you reach like mile marker 383. Or the fastest way to get there is to get on Interstate 5 and take exit 618 (Route 32 east) to get to Chico faster on Route 32 when you reach to it. It's better than taking Route 99.

By bus[edit]

Greyhound bus service is available, as well as North Valley Shuttle service to and from Sacramento International Airport.

By plane[edit]

The nearest international airport is in Sacramento. Chico also hosts a general aviation airport known as the Chico Municipal Airport.

Get around[edit]

Ride a bike. One of the best bike friendly towns around, the locals and students prefer to bike around it.

Taxis are prolific and cheap, and must be called to your location to pick you up.

The bus transit system, the B-line, will take you most places around the city at an hourly rate.

See[edit]

Do[edit]

  • 1 Bidwell Park, 1968 East 8th St (Chico Creek Nature Center), +1 530 891-4671, fax: +1 530 891-0837, e-mail: . 5:30AM-one hour after sunset. America's seventh largest municipal park offers hiking, biking, swimming, and numerous other options for outdoor recreation. The lower section of the park begins near Highway 99 and extends north-east through the city and continues five miles into the foothills north of the city. Bidwell Park on Wikipedia Bidwell Park (Q4904294) on Wikidata

Buy[edit]

  • Bird in Hand, 320 Broadway St, +1 530 893-0545. Selling a wide range of products, from Tommy Bahama to toys. Also has a Yo-yo museum, which houses the world's largest wooden yo-yo.

Eat[edit]

  • 1 Aca Taco, 133 Broadway St, +1 530 894-0191. Aca Taco is one of the most popular late-night treats in Chico. Their popular buritos are a perfect adendum to a night well spent.
  • 2 5th Street Steakhouse, 345 West Fifth St, +1 530 891-6328. An expensive fine dinner restaurant, this small but divine steakhouse is known as much for its extensive wine cellar as it is for its steaks.
  • Italian Cottage, 2234 Esplanade. Awesome breakfast omelettes, especially the spicy Italian one with marinara sauce, melted cheese, sausage, and pepperoni.
  • Jedidiah's, 817 Main St. Great breakfasts.
  • 3 Morning Thunder Cafe, 352 Vallombrosa Ave, +1 530 342-9717. Large portions and voted Best Breakfast of Chico for many years by vote in the local newspaper The Chico News and Review. They have a different flavor muffin everyday, and the muffins are recommended when the meal comes with a choice of bread. Breakfast potatoes can be made extra crispy if you ask and are particularly good if you do so.
  • Nobby's, 1444 Park Ave, +1 530 342-2285. Popular burger joint. Burgers can come with a crispy cheese skirt. Outdoor seating is available and preferable on a nice day since the inside can be a little cramped.
  • Pluto's, 210 Main St, +1 530 343-0165, fax: +1 530 343-0184. Pluto's specializes in sandwiches and salads that are healthy and unbelievably tasty. Anything with roasted turkey is particularly recommended. In addition to the standard fries they have a wide array of other sides such as stuffing, macaroni and cheese, and garlic fries.
  • 4 Red Tavern, 1250 Esplanade, +1 530 894-3463. Expertly made, California-cuisine style meals. Reservations definitely needed on weekend nights. $15+.
  • Smokin' Mo's BBQ, 131 Broadway St, +1 530 891-6677. They offer tri-tip, chicken, pork, and ribs. You have 4 different sauces to choose from and you can take as much sauce from each type as you want. Its an order at the counter place.
  • Sierra Nevada Taproom and Restaurant, 1075 E 20th St., +1 530 345-2739. Tu-Th 11AM-9PM; F Sa 11AM-10PM. This is one of Chico's landmark restaurants. Sierra Nevada Brewery has been a Chico icon since its founding in 1979. Chicoans take great pride in their local brewery and Sierra Nevada can be found all throughout the town. The accompanying taproom and restaurant is one of the most popular places to eat in Chico. Almost always filled to capacity, the wait can be long sometimes, but the prices are reasonable and the food is top tier.
  • Sultan's Bistro, 300 Broadway St, +1 530 345-7455. The beef and lamb gyro plates are recommended.
  • T. Bar and Fusion Cafe, 250 Vallombrosa Ave, +1 530 895-8100. California fusion cuisine and a wide variety of teas, the Chocolate Chai Frost being one of their most popular drinks. Although not stated on the menu any drink can be made into a frost, sparkling, etc. Just ask, for example, to turn a Strawberry Lime sparkling tea into a Strawberry Lime frost and they will be happy to oblige.
  • 5 Windy's Chinese, 1000 W Sacramento Ave # G, +1 530 343-1788.
  • 6 Woodstock's Pizza, 166 E 2nd St, +1 530 893-1500, fax: +1 530 894-8156. The title of best pizza joint in Chico is a contentious one and no one faults Woodstock's for throwing their hat into the ring. The variety of options and the tasty desserts are the perfect fuel for a night of studying or a night on the town.

Drink[edit]

  • 1 Joe's Bar, 749 West 5th St, +1 530 894-3612. Sawdust on the floor, music blaring, cheap drinks, a back patio, and a crowd that will be singing along after midnight.
  • 2 Madison Bear Garden, 316 W 2nd St, +1 530-891-1639. "The Bear" as it is locally known is a favorite of the students of CSU Chico. A variety of burger variations is enough to keep any student sated for years. For the particularly adventurous the Jiffy Burger (a hamburger with peanut butter!) is a must. At night the Bear transforms from a kitchy burger spot for locals to a late-night party with theme nights, contests, and music on the second floor into the wee hours of the morning.
  • 3 Sierra Nevada Brewery, 1075 E 20th St, +1 530 893-3520. Take a tour, try some of the best microbrew in the country. Privately owned, the brewery offers an alehouse with excellent food and good beer for around $2.50 a glass. Try the beer sampler.
  • Butte Creek Brewing Co, 945 W 2nd St, +1 530 894-7906. The definition of a microbrewery this modest outfit, often outshadowed by its big brother, Sierra Nevada, they offer tastings and tours.
  • 4 Panama's Bar and Cafe, 177 E 2nd St, +1 530 895-8817. A favorite of students this cafe-cum-bar is an energetic and vibrant club known almost as much for its dance floor as it is for its Long Island Iced Teas. The fun tropical theme and fun atmosphere makes a fun alternative to some of the larger bars in Chico. While not a gay bar, necessarily, it does have a gay-friendly atmosphere.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

Mid-range[edit]

Splurge[edit]

  • 8 Hotel Diamond, 220 West 4th St, +1 530 893-3100. The original Diamond Hotel opened for business in 1904 as the "only strictly first-class house in Chico, and the superior of any North of Sacramento." A major fire in 1916 closed the doors. From the 1920s to the 1990s, the building was occupied by Chico State University students as dormitory or a low-cost hotel and eventually abandoned empty. The new Hotel Diamond opened its door in May 2005.

Go next[edit]

  • Gold Country - Where the formation of California really took place.
  • Mount Lassen - Excellent outdoor hiking and breathtaking scenery in the volcanic park about an hour and a half from Chico.
  • Oroville - Twenty minutes east of Chico is this town that has more history as a Gold Rush-era boom town.
  • Sacramento - About 1 hour and 45 minutes south of Chico and the capital of California.
Routes through Chico
Redding via I-5.svgRed Bluff  N California 99.svg S  Yuba CitySacramento


This city travel guide to Chico is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.