Water fun at Big Chico Creek
Big Al’s Drive In
Day Two: Gallery hop, play with yo-yos, sip a shake ― or a Sierra
Wake up to '50s-style Morning Thunder Café, the spot for a hearty breakfast. For lighter fare, hit the Saturday morning farmers' market ― Chico's market is particularly bountiful and bustling since the town is surrounded by farms.
The area is also famous for glass artists, including sculptor Richard Satava, who creates stunning glassblown sea creatures. Orient & Flume Art Glass, a cooperative of glass artists, is another studio to seek out. Extend your self-led tour to several on-campus galleries, including the University Art Gallery ― and be sure to pop into the National Yo-Yo Museum: a nook in a downtown toy shop that's home to the world's largest wooden yo-yo, weighing in at 256 pounds.
With its East-meets-West sensibility ― and funny little name ― Teaz Me Fusion Café makes a perfect light-lunch stop. Then it's time to check out your choice of Chico's homegrown libations: a glass of Butte County, paired with hot buttered popcorn, at the new Monks Wine Lounge & Bistro; or free tours and frosty brews at the town's most celebrated corporate resident, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Dinner depends on your mood: sushi at Rawbar or a thick, tasty milk shake from Big Al's Drive In.
• Morning Thunder Café. $; breakfast and lunch daily. 352 Vallombrosa Ave.; 530/342-9717.
• Chico Certified Farmers' Market. 7:30-1 Sat. Second and Wall Streets; 530/893-3276.
• Satava Art Glass. Closed Sun-Mon. 819 Wall; 530/345-7985.
• Orient & Flume Art Glass. Closed Sun. 2161 Park Ave.; 530/893-0373.
• University Art Gallery. Alva Taylor Hall, First and Normal Streets; www.csuchico.edu or 530/898-5864.
• National Yo-Yo Museum. 320 Broadway St.; 530/893-0545.
• Teaz Me Fusion Café. $; lunch and dinner daily. 250 Vallombrosa; 530/895-8100.
• Monks Wine Lounge & Bistro. 4:30-11 daily. 128 W. Second; 530/343-3408.
• Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Free tours daily. Sierra Nevada Taproom & Restaurant ($$; lunch and dinner Tue-Sun). 1075 E. 20th St.; 530/893-3520.
• Rawbar. $$; lunch and dinner Mon-Sat. 346 Broadway; 530/897-0626.
• Big Al's Drive In. $; breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. 1844 Esplanade; 530/342-2722.