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Wanderful Media, (aka, the brains behind Find n Save) will soon be getting a new home in downtown Chico, a beautiful, yet sometimes confusing network of streets, businesses, arts and culture that reflects the small town atmosphere the inhabitants and visitors enjoy. In this three part series, I will discuss the confusing street system of downtown Chico, give readers information on what to do and see while there and which establishments are popular and convenient.

One of the more confusing aspects of downtown Chico is the numbered Streets vs. Avenues and the multiple one-way streets. Main Street runs one way starting at 8th Street running Northwest towards the Esplanade, a two way street bisecting the numbered Avenues. Broadway runs one way starting at the Esplanade, running Southeast towards Park Avenue which is the two way street bisecting the numbered Streets. Crossing Broadway and Main Streets are the numbered Streets, some are one way and some are two way streets. Big Chico Creek runs right through the Northwest part of downtown Chico, through the Chico State campus, which borders the northside of downtown Chico.


Downtown Chico is home to many art galleries, studios, restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques. Chico City Plaza is the focus of downtown Chico, located between Fourth & Fifth Streets. It has recently been renovated to include a fountain, a mini amphitheater, chess tables, lighting and a mural. On hot days many people end up at Chico City Plaza to run through the fountain, which is lit up at night with lights. Downtown Chico is mere minutes from the Chico State campus, Bidwell Park’s One Mile and Sycamore Pool, Bidwell Mansion and the Gateway Science Museum. There are a few public art exhibits throughout downtown Chico (a pdf brochure is available online here, under the Public Art Program link), and Chico was recently named the #10 art town in America by John Villani in The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America.

Downtown Chico is vibrant and full of interesting things and we’ll be exploring it in more depth next time in part 2.

Written by Heather Johnston

Written by Heather Johnston

(Map Courtsey of