Butte County exemplifies how seemingly contrasting characteristics combine perfectly. From the rural to the urban, farm to city, and valley to mountains, Butte County comes together to create a truly special experience for visitors and locals alike with these perfect pairings.
An annual highlight in the area is the Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Highway, which runs January 22-26. The perfect pairing for the festival is the 2nd annual Butte County Restaurant Week, running simultaneously from January 17-26. Whether bringing the family, taking off with your partner-in-crime, or exploring solo, with a week packed with activities and perfect pairs, this is a great time to explore Butte County.
By the fourth week of January, Butte County’s Restaurant Week will be in full swing. As part of Visit California’s Restaurant Month, from Friday, January 17 through Sunday, January 26, you’ll be able to experience the best that the region has to offer across dozens of participating restaurants across the county. You can look forward to event-exclusive specials for this year’s theme, “Perfect Pairings.”
Just a 20 minute drive East of Chico, Butte County’s second largest city, Paradise, is filled with history, natural beauty, and rich in history, and friendly people. While you're in town dining at one of the participating restaurants for Restaurant Week, see what else there is up in the pines.
Discover History at the Gold Nugget Museum
At the Gold Nugget Museum, you can learn more about the impact of the Gold Rush in Paradise and walk away with a better understanding of life in the 1850s, the city’s local history, and the fact that a 54-pound golf nugget was found in the area!
Antique Shop 'Til You Drop
If you love hunting for the perfect antique find, then Paradise is your place. With a variety of shops, including Treasures from Paradise, in town, you could easily spend hours going from shop to shop in pursuit of the perfect item to add to your home.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Before heading back down the hill, make sure to stop at the newly-reopened Joy Lyn's Candies for a sweet complement to your dinner (and some to-go for the rest of your trip!).
There’s nothing like dinner and a show, so after experiencing some perfect pairings in Paradise, head to The Chico Theater Company to create your own. With shows year-round, The Chico Theater Company is a fantastic way to see great local theater, and starting January 24, you can enjoy performances of the classic show, "The Music Man." Cap off your first night in Butte County with a show!
Discover Its Natural Beauty
As the county seat, Oroville is the county’s third-largest city and packed with natural beauty, particularly the popular Lake Oroville. Just because it’s not summer doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy this city jewel.. At the Lake Oroville Visitor Center, you can enjoy a museum, exhibits, and videos about the lake, dam, and surrounding areas, plus guided hikes every Saturday morning. Make sure to climb atop the 47-foot tower to get a spectacular panoramic view of the lake and Oroville Dam, which is the tallest earthen dam in the U.S., and more!
Enjoy Another Perfect Pairing
Explore Downtown Oroville or take a drive to Gridley to enjoy a perfect pairing at one of their participating restaurants.
After lunch, if you’re here the last week in January, you’ll want to return to Chico to rest and maybe change for some more outdoor adventuring, as the Snow Goose Festival starts on Wednesday 1/22 and kicks into high gear on Friday 1/24! Whatever activity you choose, you’ll want to make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes, layers, and of course sunscreen!
Friday is filled with field trips appropriate for the whole family. Check the official Snow Goose Festival website for the detailed itinerary and to register for events, which includes dozens of field trips throughout the county, free and youth events, painting and photography classes, and an avian-themed art exhibit at monca. From all-day explorations to two-hour excursions, there’s an event for every type of visitor.
You’ll have your pick of both Snow Goose Festival activities and Restaurant Week meals the last weekend in January! Even if you’re here earlier in the month, you can still enjoy these Chico favorites!
The Masonic Center is the hub for all youth activities during the Snow Goose Festival. Many of them run for multiple hours a day and are free, such as exhibits, sun and solar viewing, and hands-on activities. Others require registration, such as the Raptor ID, Trapping, & Banding. Be sure to check out the website for the dozens of youth and free activities as well as other field trips and workshops, such as hikes and painting classes.
Play at the Chico Children's Museum
If you have kids in tow and are looking for something more hands-on, be sure to take a few hours to explore the Chico’s Children Museum. With a mission to connect and learn through play, one-third of the space is a miniature artistic replica of Chico, which includes a climbing tree a number of hands-on exhibits. The other two-thirds house interactive rotating exhibits. There will also be a multi-sensory environment zone in that space, especially designed for children with special needs, and a swing that allows children in wheelchairs to safely swing, so this is a great space for families of all needs and abilities.
Taste at Sierra Nevada Brewery
The Sierra Nevada Brewery should be a stop for any beer-lover visiting Chico. Those with kids 12 and older can experience several tours that focus on the state-of-the-art facilities and sustainability practices at the brewery. Those without kids in tow can enjoy reservation-required beer-focused and tasting tours.Whether you simply want to taste the legendary hops or decide to make it an afternoon and stay for food in the Taproom, Sierra Nevada is a must-see institution.
Open daily; see website for tours and Taproom hours.
Discover History at the Bidwell Mansion
Those interested in the history of Chico should definitely take a tour of Bidwell Mansion, the home of John Bidwell, founder of Chico, and his wife, Annie. Hour-long tours are offered of the three-story Victorian mansion and cover not only the history of the Bidwells and their home, but also regional history of both settlers and native tribes. Saturday through Monday. 11 am - 5 pm, with last tour starting at 4 pm.
Dine, Dine, and Dine Some More!
And of course, you should explore Downtown Chico, where you’ll find several restaurants participating in Restaurant Week with unique Perfect Pairings to try, as well as shops selling locally made gifts and foods.