Finding Fun and Unexpected Finds in Chico

Dear Chico, 

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” 

Borrowing from Elizabeth Barrett Brown’s famous sonnet, we think it’s easy to count the ways we love our fair city. In fact, anyone who celebrated the Big Birthday Bash in 2022 could tally up at least 150 amazing ways to experience how much we love it, from visiting local curiosities to sharing live music events with the community. While the anniversary party may have ended in September, you can bet your britches the fun hasn’t stopped. Chico still has so many unexpected finds to discover, or rediscover. Check out some of these neat things to do and see around town! 

Echo chamber

Some of the most unique things in Chico are hiding in plain sight. Have you been to Tri-Counties Bank at Fifth and Salem? Then you’ve walked by the nearby echo chamber there! This special space allows sound to reverberate back to you. Stand facing west on the concrete seams and let ‘er rip. 

Downtown mosaics

One of Chico’s claims to fame is being listed as #10 in the book, The 100 Best Art Towns in America. With so much public art on display, it’s no wonder! Some of the most beautiful examples are the mosaics downtown. Diamond Alley has mosaic-pillared arches adorned in a kaleidoscope of colorful tiles painted by children. Or check out the Chinese Luminary Art Bench, one of the 16 mosaic benches and pedestals located downtown in honor of the people who helped shape Chico. 

Cork Oak Trees

While cork oak trees are native to northwest Africa and southwestern Europe, you can actually find some here in Chico. Over 100 years ago, a grove of these special trees was planted in Lower Bidwell Park near what is now the Chico Creek Nature Center. These gentle giants can grow around 60 ft tall and live hundreds of years, and the bark can only be harvested by hand to make corks. Next time you’re in the park, go say hello to Chico’s very own natural wonders! 

Honey Run Covered Bridge

Before the 2018 Camp Fire destroyed this local icon, the Honey Run Covered Bridge was the only three-span truss bridge of its kind in the USA. This unique structure used Pratt trusses, giving it a distinctive look with its wood beams running diagonally, vertically, and horizontally. Generations of visitors came to stroll through the bridge, and it has been sorely missed by many. But thanks to the Honey Run Covered Bridge Association and generous donations from residents, Phase 1 of the rebuild has been completed and with continued support, the bridge will rise again!

Yo-Yo Museum

Did you know Chico is the only place in the USA where you can go to a yo-yo museum? Fans of old-fashioned fun can explore the world’s largest collection of yo-yo memorabilia at the National Yo-Yo Museum. The highlight might be the 265 lb “Big Yo” yo-yo featured in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest working wooden yo-yo in 1982. Come see this astonishing collection yourself!

Looking for more fun things to do around town? Visit Choose Chico and explore social, cultural, and educational events and more!