Butte County is a land of remarkable contrasts. North of Sacramento, between the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada, it’s a diverse agricultural region where citrus groves thrive and a growing assortment of specialty crops, such as lavender, has made Butte County a destination for agritourism. Follow the Sierra Oro Farm Trail and you’ll discover olive oil producers, cherry orchards, and the collection of wineries that have put Butte County on the California wine map. For the month of October, visitors can get the most out of the trail via the Farm & Wine pass, downloadable to your smart phone, which includes discounts on produce and other farm goodies at more than 30 locations.
With its vintage downtown filled with shopping and dining and a vibrant arts scene centered on Cal State University Chico, the city of Chico—Butte County’s most populous city—blends small-city charms and a surprising sophistication. Home to the iconic Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, the county helped pioneer America’s craft beer movement, and today an assortment of newcomers have joined the local brewing community. Check out British Bulldog Brewing Company, which specializes in porters and stouts as well as English- and Scottish-style ales, or Eckert Malting and Brewing, which was founded to serve those in search of sudsy gluten-free options.
Give yourself time to experience the charm of the county’s other historic towns, including such spots as Oroville, Biggs (which, despite its name, is actually Butte County’s smallest municipality), and Gridley.