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The 5 Best Places To Enjoy The Sunshine In Chico

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal State Chico chapter.

Chico State students know that winter can be brutal. The rain is heavy and the sun disappears for months, but March brings back hope for sunny days ahead. Springtime activities bring back my Chico State pride and always boost my mood. Everyone is happier when it’s sunny! During the winter, I find myself having to get creative with indoor activities because the heavy rain prevents me from visiting some of my favorite spots. I’m always happy when I can visit my favorite summer hangout spots to enjoy the sunshine. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m always excited for spring daylight savings change because it means hot summer nights and warm weather are near.

As the weather improves, there are so many popular and hidden spots to explore around Chico. I love checking out these places with my friends, or even sometimes when I need some alone time, I love to hang out with myself and enjoy the sunshine and beautiful views that Chico has to offer. There are so many peaceful places that I encourage everyone to check out. I believe in trying new things and getting a change of scenery because you never know what you might enjoy!

1. Stoble Coffee

The first place I encourage everyone to check out (if you haven’t already heard of it) is Stoble Coffee. You might be wondering why I would recommend hanging out in a coffee shop on a sunny day, but Stoble is a three-story cafe with a rooftop! The rooftop is the perfect location for a brunch date with friends or to take yourself on a date! Located at 418 Broadway Street, Chico, Stoble is about a five-minute walk from the edge of campus making it an accessible location to check out even if you don’t have a car. They have a diverse menu, ranging from sweet to savory, and a ton of unique coffee flavor combinations to try. This is also a great place to dress up in clothing you feel confident in and take pictures on the rooftop or inside the cafe.

2. Bear Hole

Bear Hole is a part of Butte County’s Upper Bidwell Park. It is one in a series of swimming holes that are filled by Big Chico Creek that runs through the park. Upper Bidwell Park is a great place to hike or just walk to the swimming holes and enjoy the sun! There are tons of rocks that are perfect for sunbathing or socializing, along with different water depths to choose to swim in. Some spots can be deep and other areas are shallow enough to just stand to get your feet wet, so friends with a more adventurous side can still explore with the friends who like to sit back and relax. Bear Hole can be busy, as it is a very popular spot for students and locals when the sun is out, so come prepared!

3. WREC Pool

A classic spot to hang out and tan during sunny days is the pool at the WREC. Being open to all students, the WREC pool will certainly be busy and it can often be hard to get a spot on a chair. My advice would be to get to the pool early to grab a good spot for tanning! This is a great option for a summer hangout because it’s available to all students and if you live on or around campus, it’s a walkable location. The WREC has activities on some days like a tightrope over the pool, beachballs, or free food! This is my favorite spot to soak up the sunshine and get a tan in Chico.

4. Lower Bidwell Park

The good nature spots are not limited to Upper Bidwell Park! Lower Bidwell Park has a ton of different locations perfect for hanging out on a sunny day. Big Chico Creek also runs through Lower Bidwell Park and provides some great places to get into the water. Sometimes I prefer Lower Bidwell instead because it’s closer and easier to access than Upper Bidwell. Lower Bidwell has miles of grassy areas to enjoy as well. One of my favorite summertime activities is setting up a picnic with my friends on the grass. The options of activities to do here are endless. It’s a great place to paint, picnic, have a photoshoot, or soak in the sun!

5. Grass Lawns on the Chico State Campus

An easily overlooked spot to hang out in the summer is the grass lawns on campus! This is another one of my favorite places to hang out with my friends because if you live on campus it’s only a few minutes walk from your dorm and still a close location for students who live near campus. There are trees for those who like a shady spot to sit or direct sunlight for those like me who like to soak up the sun. My favorite way to enjoy this spot is by setting up a picnic blanket and doing my homework, journaling, or painting. My friends and I love to grab a snack or our favorite drinks from Butte Station to enjoy while we hang out. There are a ton of spots to choose from to hang out on campus so the options are endless!

Kacy Minehan

Cal State Chico '26

Kacy Minehan is currently a sophomore at California State University, Chico. She is majoring in business marketing and has a passion for writing. Kacy has explored creative and professional writing throughout her life. Kacy has a passion for life and exploring the old and the new! Kacy believes the best way to share your thoughts and feelings is to put them into writing.