Moving to Chico

Welcome to your ultimate Chico relocation guide. Let's dive into the charm and allure of Chico, California - a hidden gem nestled in the Golden State. Known for its vibrant art scene, lush parks, lively farmer's markets, and top-notch education system, this city offers more than meets the eye. Whether you're drawn by its exceptional quality of life, the inviting community, or the mesmerising natural beauty, Chico will captivate your heart and soul. We're here to equip you with all the info you need to make your move as smooth as possible. So buckle up, we're off to Chico!

Moving to Chico, CA landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Chico

1. Small Town Feel, Big City Amenities

If your mind paints the idyllic picture of a hometown where everyone knows your name, but with plenty of events, restaurants, and services to keep you entertained, Chico is the place. It's a city that beautifully balances a small-town vibe with the conveniences of urban life. You'll find quaint farmers markets, live performances at the downtown theatre, bustling local businesses, and a variety of tempting restaurants.

2. Home to The Largest Municipal Park in the US

Yes, you read it correctly. The Bidwell Park in Chico boasts an impressive 3,670 acres, making it the largest municipal park in the United States! This is undoubtedly a hiker's and outdoor enthusiast's paradise. With its diverse flora and fauna, rippling streams, and multiple hiking and biking trails, there's no shortage of outdoor fun.

3. A Rich Cultural Scene Powered By A State University

Chico State University doesn't just bring in students from all corners of the world, it also contributes to an unavoidable and incredibly rich cultural scene. The city hosts art galleries, film festivals, music concerts, food fairs and so much more. There's always something happening, something to look forward to.

4. Chico's 'Wine Slushy' is an Insider's Favorite

Moving to Chico means you'll have the chance to taste a local delicacy -- Wine Slushy in Chico. The wine slushy is just as it sounds: a deliriously delicious mixture of wine and ice that locals and visitors love. Our favorite spot to enjoy this unique treat is often at Almendra Winery. It's unusual, delightful, and gives a different spin to 'wine tasting'.

5. It's an Agricultural Haven

As part of the Sacramento Valley, Chico is surrounded by some of the richest agricultural lands in the state. The local farmers markets are a foodie's dream with a plethora of fruits, vegetables, nuts, honey, dairy, and meat, primarily soil-to-table fresh. Plus, it's quite common to come across roadside fruit stands on your drives around the city.

6. Nob Hill: Not just a San Francisco Treat!

We bet you didn't know this, but Chico has its own Nob Hill. Unlike its San Francisco counterpart, it's not recognized for its steep inclines or rich mansions. Instead, it's known for its gorgeous panoramic views, especially from the lookout at the top of a place fondly called Monkey Face. This well-kept local secret is a must-visit for every Chico newbie.

All in all, embracing Chico, California, means welcoming a rich, dynamic life filled with natural beauty, abundant local produce, heady wine slushies, and a thriving cultural scene. It's a city that has a little something for everyone, a place where new memories can be built at every corner. So, pack your bags, and don't forget your hiking boots, Chico awaits!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Chico

Pros of Living in Chico

Thriving Arts Scene

Chico boasts a vibrant arts community, including the Chico Art Center and numerous galleries showcasing local artists. Whether it's visual art, theater, dance, or music, there's usually an event going on that caters to various tastes.

Access to Natural Beauty

The city is surrounded by amazing natural beauty, featuring Bidwell Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the country. Furthermore, rivers, lakes, nature trails, and mountains in the vicinity provide endless opportunities for outdoor activity enthusiasts.

Quality Education Institutions

Chico State University is well-regarded and brings a vibrancy and diversity to the city. Also, Butte College, which boasts the country's first grid-positive college campus, offers an excellent range of vocational and academic courses.

Friendly Community

Chico is known for its friendly and welcoming community. Whether it's getting involved in local events or simply getting to know your neighbors, living in Chico makes it easy to feel connected to your community.

Plentiful Farmers Markets

Chico prides itself on its local agriculture and fresh produce. The city regularly hosts farmers markets where residents can purchase locally grown and organic produce directly from the farmers themselves.

Cons of Living in Chico

Heat in Summer

Summers in Chico can get extremely hot, with temperatures often exceeding 100 degrees. Residents often have to adjust their outdoor activities to cope with the intense heat during the peak summer months.

Wildfire Risk

Chico lies in a region of California that is prone to wildfires. Residents have to stay prepared and vigilant, especially during particularly dry and windy periods.

Higher Cost of Living

Although cheaper than California's coastal cities, the cost of living in Chico is relatively high compared to national averages. This includes housing, groceries, and utilities, among other expenses.

Limited Options for Shopping and Dining

While Chico has a reasonable selection of shops and restaurants, it may not satisfy those used to living in larger cities. The variety and choices might be narrower than what one might expect.

Lack of Public Transportation

Public transportation options are limited in Chico. While the city does offer a bus service, it might not be enough for residents who do not own a vehicle, and could make getting around a little difficult.

Modern day picture of Chico, CA highlighting pros and cons of living in Chico, CA

Is Chico a Good Place to Live?

Chico, CA is a great place to live because of its diverse recreational activities, a strong sense of community, and a rich educational heritage anchored by the California State University, Chico. With an abundance of parks for outdoor activities, a thriving arts scene and various events throughout the year, residents never lack things to do. Plus, the weather is pleasantly warm, offering a perfect environment for those who love sunny days.


What Is Chico Famous For?

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Known as one of the powerhouse breweries of the craft beer movement, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company was established in Chico in 1980. Their trademark Pale Ale has become a staple in bars and liquor stores nationwide, serving as a testament to the city's brewing prowess.

Chico State University

Home to the second oldest campus in the entire California State University system, Chico's reputation in higher education is well established. The university offers over 100 bachelor's degrees and it is renowned for programs such as Business, Engineering, Computer Science and Nursing.

Bidwell Park

Bidwell Park, one of the largest city parks in the United States, is a natural gem that locals and travelers alike can't get enough of. Whether you're a fan of hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, or simply relaxing by the creek, this park has something for everyone.

The National Yo-Yo Museum

Can you 'Walk the Dog' or master the 'Cradle'? Chico takes fun and games very seriously with the National Yo-Yo Museum. The museum houses the world's largest public collection of yo-yo artifacts, proving that in Chico, it's not just all about work!

Capital building of Chico, CA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, Chico, CA residents face an average property tax rate of 0.74%, which is lower than the US national average of 1.07%. This tax rate is generally considered among the lower end in the nation, primarily due to California's prop 13 that limits the amount property tax can increase annually.

Sales Tax

Chico, CA has a sales tax rate of 7.25% as of 2023, which is equal to the state's base rate making it lower than many other major Californian cities that have local taxes on top of the base rate. The national average in the US for combined state and local taxes is approximately 8.5%.

Income Tax

The income tax for residents in Chico, CA, like all of California, is based on income brackets, with rates ranging from 1% to 13.3% as of 2023. California has one of the highest state income tax rates in the US, with only Hawaii, New York, and Oregon having top rates that are higher.


Housing Market

Chico, CA's housing market can be described as moderately competitive, with added affordable options compared to pricier areas like San Francisco or LA. As of 2021, the median home price is approximately $385,000, a year-over-year increase of 14.9%. Renters can expect to pay an average of $1,150 per month for a 2-bedroom apartment. Compared to the national averages of $287,148 for home prices and $1,097 for rents, Chico offers relatively balanced opportunities for both house buyers and renters. However, prospective buyers and renters should be mindful of limited availabilities due to its high demand.


Cost of Living

The cost of living in Chico, California is moderately lower than the state average but higher than the national average. The city sees higher expenses in categories such as housing and transportation, largely comparing to the overall Californian lifestyle. However, the area does benefit from comparatively lower costs in healthcare and utilities. While some find it more affordable than many Californian cities, like Los Angeles and San Francisco, others may find it pricier than cities in other states with a lower cost of living.


Weather & Natural Disasters

Located in Northern California's Sacramento Valley, Chico boasts a Mediterranean climate characterized by hot, dry summers and wet, cool winters. Temperatures in summers peak around 100degF, while winters usually see temperatures ranging from 40deg to 60degF. The annual rainfall averages around 26 inches, the bulk of it falling from October through April. Wildlife is abundant due to the city's diverse landscapes of forests, rivers, and parks.While Chico is generally spared from extreme weather conditions, it isn't immune to natural disasters. Given its state-wide susceptibility, there's a risk of earthquakes, although the city itself is not located on an active fault line. On several occasions, the area has also been affected by wildfires, including the devastating Camp Fire in 2018. Flooding can occur during intense rainfall, though effective watershed management has minimized the risk. Overall, Chico's climate is generally pleasant with occasional natural disasters.

Typical weather in Chico, CA

Economy & Job Market

* Healthcare and Social Assistance

* Educational Services

* Retail Trade

* Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

* Manufacturing

Chico, the 'City of Trees' has a rich economy that has experienced a significant shift over the years. Historically, agriculture was the driving force behind the city's economy especially due to the abundance of almond orchards, hence, the nickname 'the Almond Capital of the World'. Yet as time went on, the economy diversified embracing industries such as manufacturing, retail trade, and education. The city's largest employer today is the healthcare sector while it is also home to the California State University, Chico which boosts the educational sector. Amidst the golden and verdant landscapes, you'll also find active businesses in professional, scientific, and technical services. Let's not forget the innovative breweries that add a fizzy kick to the local economy!

If you've got Chico, CA in your sights for a move, then you're in for an economically vibrant experience. The city boasts a lower unemployment rate compared to the national average, with job growth projected to increase in the coming years. Healthcare professionals, teachers, artisanal brewers, and tech geniuses will find themselves welcomed with ample job opportunities and a thriving community. For the shopaholics looking to transition into retail careers, the city's charming downtown provides a perfect setting with its plethora of boutiques and stores. Be it pursuing a career in the traditional almond agriculture or venturing into the modern tech business, in Chico, you have the freedom to make your job market dreams come true!


Traffic and Transportation

Hey there, fellow adventurer! Get ready to spark your curiosity about Chico, CA's transportation scene. You might be pleased to know, compared to the national average, Chicoans spend less time commuting - roughly 17 minutes on an average. In case your ride's in the shop, fret not! There's always B-Line providing public transportation across Butte County, with plenty of routes darting across Chico. Or why not get on your bike? Chico's a champion with bike-friendly roads, making pedal power a fun and healthy option. If you're more of the "sky's the limit" type, Chico Municipal Airport has got you covered, even though commercial flights aren't available, general aviation services will make you feel like you're conquering the world. All in all, Chico's traffic and transportation make it a sweet ride!

What is the traffic like in Chico, CA?

Best Neighborhoods in Chico

1. Downtown Chico

Known as the heart of the city, Downtown Chico is famous for its vibrant atmosphere and historical charm. The area thrives on its local arts scene, with events such as the Thursday Night Market and the Chico Art Center's Art Walk attracting locals and visitors alike. The downtown district offers an eclectic mix of modern and antique shops, local eateries, galleries, and theaters. It is also home to the Chico State University, adding a palpable youthful energy to the area--great for those looking for a lively and dynamic neighborhood.

2. The Avenues

Where old-world charm meets modern living, The Avenues neighborhood boasts historic homes, broad tree-lined avenues, and close-knit community vibes. Residents of The Avenues enjoy a slower, more laid-back lifestyle, with local parks and gardens providing spots for leisurely afternoons. Local eateries offer delicacies from casual brunches to fine dining - perfect for foodies!

3. Bidwell Park

Surrounding the picturesque 3,670-acre Bidwell Park, this neighborhood is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. With a myriad of trails for hiking, biking and horse riding, golf courses, swimming holes, and picnic spots, the Bidwell Park neighborhood provides a tranquil and scenic living atmosphere. Home to Chico Creek Nature Center, not to mention its namesake park-- one of the largest in the nation-- nature abounds in this leafy neighborhood.

4. Barber District

The Barber District is a historic neighborhood bustling with charm and character. Its vintage-inspired homes, locally-owned businesses, and active community ethos provide a nostalgic vibe, making it feel like a small town within the city. Here, you'll find specialty shops, coffee houses, and microbreweries. The district's namesake park, Barber Park, is a popular spot for community gatherings and festivals, further enhancing its neighborly feel.

5. California Park

California Park is a planned community complete with man-made lakes, parks, and several hiking trails. It's perfect for those who appreciate a meticulous neighborhood design that harmoniously blends natural beauty and modern amenities. This district fosters a sense of community with neighborhood clubs and gatherings, yet maintains a peaceful ambiance. Whether you fancy a leisurely walk around the lake, a barbecue in the park, or a friendly tennis match, California Park offers a balanced suburban lifestyle.

In conclusion, each of Chico's neighborhoods offers its own unique charm and lifestyle amenities. Whether you lean more towards a vibrant downtown experience, a traditional residential community, or a place packed with outdoor adventure, Chico has a neighborhood that will fit your needs perfectly. The city's camaraderie and community spirit are evident no matter where you decide to settle. Now, all that's left for you to do is pick your favorite neighborhood and start your exciting new chapter in Chico, CA!

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Things to Do

If you're moving to Chico, California, get ready for a delightful mix of classic American charm, quirky personality, and some surprising finds. Famous for Bidwell Park, Chico State University, and its vibrant local culture, there's definitely more to Chico than meets the eye. To help you get acclimated to your new home, we've compiled a list of the top 7 things to do in the city that will make you fall in love with it in no time.

1. Explore the vastness of Bidwell Park

First stop? None other than Bidwell Park. Hailed as the third largest city park in California, Bidwell Park boasts over 3,600 acres of lush sceneries, hiking trails, swimming holes, and even a nature center. Whether you prefer a serene picnic or an energetic hike, Bidwell Park has you covered.

2. Revel in the history at Bidwell Mansion

As a testament to Chico's rich history, Bidwell Mansion is a must-visit spot. This three-story Victorian house was once home to Chico's founders, John and Annie Bidwell. The mansion is meticulously preserved, and it's like stepping through a time portal to the 1860s.

3. Unearth vintage finds at Eighth and Main Antique Center

Here's where our suggestions take a unique turn. The Eighth and Main Antique Center hosts over 30 vendors selling an assortment of vintage items. From antique jewelry to retro decor, who knows, maybe you'll unearth a priceless artifact to give your new pad in Chico some historical charm.

4. Visit the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

For the beer connoisseurs out there, visiting the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is an absolute must. Take a tour and learn about their brewing process, then settle in their taproom to savor a variety of craft beers. Don't forget to try their legendary Pale Ale!

5. Connect with nature at Chico Creek Nature Center

As a newcomer to Chico, there's no better introduction to the diverse California wildlife than visiting Chico Creek Nature Center. This living museum features live animals, exhibits, and nature trails. The center serves as a gateway to the local park system and is perfect for families or those who want to appreciate the natural splendor of Chico.

6. Discover the art scene at 1078 Gallery

One of the best-hidden gems in Chico is the 1078 Gallery. It's a nonprofit, volunteer-run space that showcases contemporary visual and performance art. To truly immerse yourself in Chico's local culture, catch an art exhibit or live performance here. You might just find inspiring creations by your new neighbors.

7. Take a leisurely stroll at Downtown Chico

Lastly, downtown Chico is a bustling center of shops, restaurants, and arts. From shopping at local boutiques to indulging at farm-to-table restaurants, your jaunt downtown could easily take the whole day. Plus, the City Plaza park at its heart retains the perfect charm to end your day on a relaxing note.

With all its allure, quirkiness, and vibrant culture, Chico promises a lifestyle that mixes relaxation with fun. Whether you're into history, nature, arts, or culinary adventures, moving to Chico will open doors to countless enriching experiences. So go ahead, seize your days in Chico and create memories from these (and more) unique spots in the city.

Things to do in Chico, CA?

Find Movers for Your Chico Relocation

Let the charm of Chico, CA welcome you, and let the convenience of Great Guys Moving enhance your relocation journey. With our extensive network of top-quality, licensed, and insured movers, your move is made simple and worry-free. We connect you with the movers best equipped for your individual needs, ensuring an affordably priced, reliable service. Without further ado, allow us to help make your transition to Chico a smooth one. Request your free moving quote from Great Guys Moving today, taking your first step towards embracing your new home.

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