Life in Chico is conducive to a balanced way of living. Family, leisure, and health can all share priority with work here. Chico has a culture that values logging off devices at the end of the workday and tuning into nature. And with a wealth of outdoor opportunities both in the city and a short drive away, it’s easy to do.
One of the biggest draws of living in Chico is that you can be anywhere in the city in 15 minutes or less. So if you live and work in Chico, your job is only a short ride away. If you’re used to longer commutes, that means you can save up to 10 hours a week previously spent in the car. That means more free time to share with family and friends or take a stroll in one of our beautiful parks before heading off to a leisurely dinner.
If you’ve been dreaming of biking to work, it’s easy to make that a reality in Chico. The city is bike-friendly and full of paths and lanes that encourage cyclists. There are ample racks scattered around the city for those who need to park their bikes. Ready to hit the road? Pick up a bike map at the Visitor Center or download one on the City of Chico website. Or join Chico Velo, a local non-profit dedicated to promoting cycling in Chico on one of their organized rides around town. If you’re a mountain biking enthusiast, Upper Bidwell Park is home to hundreds of trails and incredible views.
Nature lovers delight in Chico’s close proximity to the mountains. A 20 minute drive will put you in a forest of pine trees, breathing in fresh mountain air. You can hike along rushing rivers and keep an eye out for birds and other wildlife that populate the area.
In the wintertime, Chico is a great jumping off point for skiing day trips. There are ski resorts less than two hours away, making it easy to skip town for some time on the slopes. Or drive a little over two hours and you will arrive at some of the world-class skiing resorts in South Lake Tahoe. Looking for something in the North State? Mt. Shasta is a quick 2-hour drive up Interstate 5.
Need some Vitamin Sea? Chico’s proximity to the coast makes it simple to plan a coastal getaway. In a 3-to-4-hour drive, you can follow breathtaking seaside roads to places like Point Reyes, Mendocino, Gualala, and Bodega Bay. Visit one of the local oyster farms in Tomales Bay and grab some for a picnic in one of the nearby parks or beaches in West Marin. Or check out the unique architecture of Sea Ranch and stay in one of the iconic cottages.
From Chico, it’s an easy drive to many cultural hubs. Sacramento is only 1.5 hours away by car, and it’s only 3 hours to San Francisco. Feeling up for a roadtrip? San Luis Obispo is 5 hours away, or head north to Ashland, Oregon in just 3.5 hours.
Whether you want to hit the green or dive into aquatics, Chico has something for you. During the hot summer months, many locals seek refuge in the cool creeks and swimming holes around town. For those who want swimming lessons, check out CARD’s programs that utilize the Pleasant Valley Pool. Golfers can enjoy the public Bidwell Park Golf Course, or try one of the private clubs in the area.
In Chico, big city culture makes itself at home in cozy art deco theaters, eclectic art galleries, and vintage train stations turned craft breweries. From upscale French restaurants to your favorite food trucks and farmers markets, there’s a flavor for every palette. Kids, seniors, and every age in between knows how to soak up the seasons on sprawling bike paths, swimming holes, and leafy parks, while book clubs, service teams, and good old fashioned trivia nights bring friends and families together across the city. The culture in Chico is lived everyday by its community.