Moving to the Chico Area, CA
Berkeley Parents Network >
Housing, Neighborhoods, & Moving >
Moving to the Chico Area, CA
Dear former residents of Chico, CA,
I have read the positive things on BPN about Chico, and am very impressed. I
got a job offer from Chico and would greatly appreciate any information and
recommendations about good neighborhoods, elementary schools, any parent's
network there, etc. Please advice. I am going to rent an appartment and any
suggestions re good appartment complexes would be greatly appreciated.
In Chico stay as close to Bidwell Park as you can get. Stay East of the
Esplanade and as close to downtown as you can get.
Enjoy the downtown farmers market on Saturday morning, it is
delightful. There is an apt/condo project right next to the One Mile
(Big Chico Creek). There is an apartment complex across from Bidwell
Mansion that is beautiful. Both would make good homes. Stay within
biking distance from downtown, the cultural heart of the jewel of the
valley, my hometown.
I like the neighborhood around Sierra View and Neal Dow elementary schools.
Rent is much cheaper there than here, you may be able to afford to rent a
house or a duplex. While the downtown/college area is undoubtedly the most
beautiful part of Chico, it is also the most heavily populated with college
students, which can be loud. My other advice to you would be not to rent
through a property management company, particularly ''Reliable'' Property
Management. Their name is ironic.
My husband has just been offered a job in Chico. We know
nothing about the Chico area. We have a child in elementary
school and one in high school. Does anyone have any
information about the schools, where in the area to move to,
and what the place and people are like? Any information or
contacts would be appreciated. Thank you.
I saw your message about moving to Chico and I thought I would offer my two cents since I grew up there (1965 - 1987)and still go back regularly. I can't tell you much about the schools anymore but I can tell you that it is a wonderful town, that the college is great despite what you may hear and the outdoor life is the best. Hiking at a moment's notice, swimming areas everywhere (which you will treasure during those HOT summer months) and the third largest park in the US (Bidwell Park runs all the way through the town). I lived in pretty much every area of Chico and with small children the only areas I might avoid would be very close to the college, and only because the college is right next to the downtown and student housing etc. Honestly if I hadn't grown up there I would move back. Good Luck!
My husband and I grew up in the Chico area and plan to return
there within the next couple of years. Chico is a growing
community and as any community grows, it experiences growing
pains. However, overall, Chico is a safe, comfortable (though a
bit more conservative than the Bay Area) town/city. Most people
send their kids to public school as there are few private school
options and the public schools are generally good. There are
two public high schools in Chico - Chico High and Pleasant
Valley and both are similar in size and reputation. There is a
lot of new development in Chico. I'm not sure of your price
range for homes, but the homes in the Canyon Oaks development
are new, very nice and a bit pricey (based on Chico standards).
I would contact a local real estate agent for assistance. I
suggest Andrea Motta - she knows the area better than anyone. I
prefer the older homes in the neighborhoods around Bidwell
Park. It's great to be able to walk to downtown Chico and
Bidwell Park. I'm sure you will experience some sort of culture
shock moving from the Bay Area to Chico. There isn't as much
going on up there, but I find that refreshing. Still, Chico has
good theatre, nice restaurants, the university and all the good
(and bad) that comes with it, etc. The Chico campus is
beautiful, a creek runs right through downtown Chico, and there
are tons of wonderful places near Chico (Lassen, Shasta,
Oroville Lake, Feather River Canyon/Highway 70, Feather Falls,
Butte Creek Canyon, Lake Almanor - the list goes on). The
communities of Paradise and Durham are also lovely alternatives
to living in Chico proper and are only a short drive to Chico.
Oh! And the best thing - Chico just got a Trader Joe's! Feel
free to email me if you have any questions.
I was born and raised in Chico and it is a great place to live and raise children. The college provides a good cultural base to the community. Bidwell Park offers marvelous walking, biking, and swimming. The schools are considered to be quite good, as well. It has become a bit more upscale in recent years, which basically means that you can actually go out for a pretty decent restaurant meal now (and they just got a Trader Joe's--a boon to busy parents!). The Farmer's Market is fabulous, too. Real estate prices are not cheap--they are really going up, just like in the Bay Area, though it is still far more affordable to live there than here. As it is in the valley, it is colder in the winter than the Bay Area and can get quite hot in the summer, so most people depend on air conditioning from May-August to stay comfortable. Please e-
mail me if you would like to talk to my best friend, who raised both her kids there--she still lives and works there with her husband. She might be willing to chat with you and give you more detailed information.
i lived in chico for 5 years and it is definately a college town, however, there are areas on the outskirts that are quite nice and away from the college. i think it tends to be a bit rowdier campus, but then that is where all the beautiful craftsman homes are. i loved the weather while there, though it does get hot, and they have great parks and bike trails throughout town.
i sent my aunt, who still lives there email and this was her response. she said she'd be happy to answer more questions which you can channel through me if you have any. best of luck in your decision. -tami
Chico is a great place for schools and the Arts, Restaurants, events, etc. !! The new Jr. high is great and I recommend PV high school. It is better than Chico High but Chico has a great school system. As far as a place to live. [where they live... off of bruce road] is perfect, close to schools, the park, shopping. there are a lot of good Realtors that could help them. They can call the Chamber of Commerce and get a lot of information sent to them.
Ohmygosh! Chico is one of my very favorite CA towns, I would move there in a heartbeat. As a matter of fact, we tried to move there in '99 but my husband could not find a job that paid anywhere near what he was making here so even though we had found a FABULOUS house on an acre for $115,000 we had to cancel escrow and stay put. Chico is a wonderful town for families with young kids. Yes, there are plenty of hard partyin' college kids but having the University there means you get good bands coming through town, excellent organic groceries(as well as a kick ass farmer's market right downtown) and lots of cheap (and yummy) eats. Did you know that Chico is home to the third largest municiple park in the US (Bidwell Park)? what a treasure it is - a fabulous swimming hole called One Mile, Butte Creek, the Honeyrun Covered Bridge, the Nature Center, Skate Town, a wonderful funky downtown that STILL EXISTS! Matinee movies at Tinseltown for $5.00, Celestino's pizza, the Graduate (che!
ap great food, huge beer selection
Re: Leaving the Bay Area for a more rural life
Hello, I grew up in the bay area, lived there 36 years, many different
cities, and my family is still there. Three years ago, after extensive
research, I bought a house in Red Bluff, which is two hours north on
Interstate 5 from Vacaville, or three hours from San Francisco / east
bay. Red Bluff is called the victorian city on the river, as it is on
the Sacramento river. This town has such a wonderful feeling, like
stepping back in time, not just because of the buildings but it's a
noticeably slower pace. Every other weekend I return to the bay area and
when I come back, it's just so relaxing compared to the crowds and
traffic down there. I know all of my neighbors and they are super nice,
helpful and friendly. I can't say the same for any place I lived in the
bay area. Chico is 45 minutes and Redding is 30 minutes. Lassen is a
one hour drive, skiing at Mt. Shasta is 2 hours away. Whiskeytown lake
is 40 minutes (the cleanest water that will ever touch your body!).!
Last week we rafted on the Sacramento river, 3 blocks away,
wonderfully cool water when it's 108 degrees outside! Everything I need
is within ONE mile! Raley's, TWO Starbuck's drive-throughs, Home Depot,
WalMart, banks, post office, dmv, etc. My son can attend preschool
through high school from 1/2 mile away to 2 blocks! and there is a small
college as well, and a new campus is being built. It's a completely
flat town, so walking and bike riding are very popular, and the bus
system is great. I can't say enough about it. I compare police logs to
San Francisco, the east bay, etc and the crimes here are so petty and
non-violent compared to the bay area. I have never in three years had
anyone panhandle me at a gas station (happens all the time in the bay
area) and I have never felt uncomfortable walking or bike riding. We
have our town nuts, like every town, and the economic status is lower
than much of the bay area, but it's different, the people may be poor but
they're not violent criminals.
I have seen tremendous improvements in the last 3 years, in terms of houses being redone. On the cultural level,
there is a theatre that offers dramatical productions and comedians that
tour through (many of the same ones from the bay area), movies, bowling,
mini golf, awesome skate park, public swimming pool, airport, etc. Hey,
you can always take a trip to San Francisco for the opera once a year.
So, it's a trade off. On the one hand I have an affordable home and
yard, LOVE living here, and on the other hand the types of peers my son
will have won't be as culturally diverse or perhaps as sophisticated as
maybe you'd find in Berkeley. I did find a great piano teacher for my
On a side note I had several health issues, one for over 10
years, another for three years, and several other things, which I noticed
after six months of living here disappeared! The city water is 100%
untreated deep underground well water, from 14 wells 250-600 feet deep.
NO chlorine, NO fluoride...NOTHING.
Anyways, this is !
a wonderful, ''small'' town (pop 16,000). Good luck finding your
''spot''. If my family wasn't here I would probably move to a small East
Coast town, but Red Bluff has sort of the same feeling..without the
freezing cold winters! NOTE: when I was doing extensive research on where
to live near the bay area, I found out that the internet has lots of
incorrect info. For example, City-Data said that Red Bluff gets snow.
It does not. In fact I was much colder in San Francisco than I ever was
here. So my advice is don't go too much by internet info, go see for
yourself. My health is MUCH better, I feel better, less stress, it's
hard to explain, but so many people here have come from the bay area or
southern california tell me they feel the same way.
this page was last updated: Jul 31, 2010
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network