Chico Cheats

Quick bits of essential Chico knowledge

That Flynn sure can frolic.

That Flynn sure can frolic.

You’ll learn a lot about Chico during your stay here. We’ll get you started with these few bits of knowledge:

• The streets have a way of changing names. One minute you’re on Nord Avenue, the next it’s Walnut. Perhaps the most discombobulating street is the one that begins down by the fairgrounds in south Chico as Fair Street, then moving north becomes Mulberry, then Cypress (a one-way that changes to Pine Street going south), then Mangrove, then Cohasset. Got that?

• A number of movies have been filmed in Chico, the most famous being The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. The outdoors scenes were shot in Bidwell Park.

• The numbered streets (First Street, etc.) and the numbered avenues all run east-west. The difference is that the streets are south of Big Chico Creek and the avenues are north of it.

• There are six one-way streets downtown: Broadway and Main, Third and Fourth, Eighth and Ninth. This won’t fully sink in until the day you go down one of them the wrong way and have 20 drivers honking at you.

• Chico’s a biking town. You can get anywhere quickly on a bicycle. There’s no better way to get around, and if you go down a one-way wrong, no big deal—unless you fail to dodge the cars.

• You’ll have no problem finding good Mexican food (some of the best comes out of the taco trucks). Ditto Thai, Chinese and barbecue. If you have a hankering for Ethiopian, you’re out of luck.

• The Chico State campus is off-limits to bike riding. (Fortunately, it’s compact enough to walk across in five minutes.) Ditto the downtown sidewalks. If you ride your bike on a downtown sidewalk, you could get a ticket. Or, worse, injure someone’s grandmother as she steps out of a store.

• Depending on the time of year, there are as many as half-a-dozen farmers’ markets each week. And because Chico has good soil and lots of sunshine and water, the fruits and vegetables in the markets are beyond delicious.

• There’s no hip-hop station in Chico. Sorry.

• In Chico as elsewhere, cabs are cheaper than DUIs.

• Chico has several commercial radio stations, one public-radio station (KCHO 91.7FM), a lively community radio station (KZFR 90.1 FM), three commercial television stations, a daily newspaper (the Chico Enterprise-Record) and an alternative newsweekly (the Chico News & Review). You can pick up KIXE-TV, the public television station in Redding, with a good roof antenna, and of course it’s also available on cable.

• The Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. makes the best beer in the world. Check it out. Take the tour.

• There’s a great music scene here, lots of art galleries, several terrific community theater groups, and of course all the cultural offerings at the university. You won’t lack for entertainment or artistic pleasures.

• There’s a single movie multiplex, called Tinseltown, at the North Valley Plaza shopping center. It shows most first-run movies. Downtown, the Pageant Theatre offers art-house fare in a funky, fun environment. And there are several good film programs at the university, especially the University Film Series.