According to the spot-on meteorologists at channel 10, the weather is getting cooler. Can’t you feel those chilly breezes in your bones? Does your breath steam in the air yet? Of course not, because weather people are morons and should be given approximately 30 seconds of the news broadcast to give a five day forecast and then shut their traps.
Nevertheless, the weather will, even according to Al Gore, eventually cool off, which makes it perfect weather for daytripping. If you’re tired of Apple Hill, El Dorado/Amador/Sea of Tranquility wine tasting or cities with UC campuses, then I’ve got an idea for you, CHICO! Yes, that’s right, CHICO! (from now on all CHICO! references will be capitalized and exclamation pointed)
I recently visited CHICO! for a work related function and was very impressed by the town itself. Sure, we all know that CSUC(!) is a party haven and notorious for it’s wild parties, underage drinking and total, utter denial by any adult who sends their children there that they’re actually going for the education. What you may not realize is that CHICO! is a very cute and very interesting town that can be reached from Sacramento in less than two hours.
Let’s start at the university,CSU CHICO!, a school with a checkered present but a fantastic past. ( I couldn’t find anything about the history of the school on their website, but the buildings sure are pretty.) Despite what you hear though, it’s not all about the architecture at CHICO! State, they also sponsor myriad activities for the whole community, including the “Fun Without Alcohol Fair,” “An Evening With Carol Channing” (presumably with alcohol) and the Philippine National Dance Company.
Community events are also great fun, including farmer’s markets and on Oct 7, the National Yo-Yo competition. But, let’s face it, the real reason you drove two hours was to stop off in beer heaven, yes, that’s right, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. OK, fine, if you want to skip all the other crap, just get off hwy 99 at 20th street in CHICO! and you’ll run right into the brewery. The dining room is beautiful, the beer comes in over a dozen varieties and the gift shop is a fun place to browse. Just make sure to leave enough time for the brews to “settle” before you hit the road again. Even better, hire a teenager with his permit to drive you up and back so you don’t have to find a DD. Explore CHICO!