Once a thriving Gold Rush era town, the city of Oroville is still referred to as the ‘City of Gold’. You’ll find yourself surrounded by charming Old West environments, the beauty of the Central Valley flatlands and the Sierra Nevada, and a number of unique things to see and do that you won’t find anywhere else. For example, one of the places you can visit is the magnificent Chinese Temple and Museum Complex complete with mediation gardens. Another must-visit attraction includes the Lake Oroville Recreation Area where you can spend the day hiking, picnicking, horseback riding, swimming, fishing, boating, water-skiing, and much more. With so much to see and do, you’re sure to have an amazing time during your stay in Oroville.
1.North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve
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North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve spans over 3,300 acres and was created by basalt, or ancient lava, flows. The elevated basalt mesa has many stunning features like a rare vernal pool, lava outcrops, spring wildflowers, and several waterfalls. The property was designated an ecological reserve by the Fish and Game Commission, which means that you’re sure to see an abundance of flora and fauna during your visit there. Popular activities that many visitors participate in include hiking, hunting, fishing, wildlife photography, and nature photography. Animals that are present during hunting seasons are deer, turkey, and quail - please note that you will require a Wildlife Area Hunting Pass to hunt at North Table Mountain.
2488 Cherokee Road, Oroville, CA 95965, Phone: 916-358-2869
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The Oroville Chinese Temple was built in 1863 as a place for the 10,000+ Chinese residents in the community at that time to go for prayer and worship. The temple and its furnishing were directly funded by the Emperor and Empress of China while most of the labor was conducted by the local community. Visitors today will be able to see much of the original structure, though additions and renovations were made in 1968. The temple has three chapels, the main of which is dedicated to worship of many faiths whether it be Buddhism, Taoism, or Confucianism. Other aspects of the temple complex include the Tapestry Hall which has an extensive collection of parade parasols and embroidered tapestries, and the magnificent garden which was designed to house several plants indigenous to China while doubling as a place of meditation.
1500 Broderick St, Oroville, CA 95965
3.Lake Oroville Visitor Center
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Lake Oroville is a manmade lake that was created by Oroville Dam around the late 1960s. You can see the dam and the lake from the Lake Oroville Visitor Center complex which can be found atop Kelly Ridge. The visitor center comprises several aspects including a 47-foot viewing tower which will give you panoramic views of your surroundings; there are two high-powered telescopes at the top of tower which will let you see as far as Sutter Buttes Mountain Range and the Sierra Nevadas. Other features of the center are a museum, multiple exhibits and displays, videos, and a store. Some of the displays feature photographs and artifacts reflecting the native people who lived there, the area’s history, and the dam’s construction.
917 Kelly Ridge Rd, Oroville, CA 95966, Phone: 530-538-2219
4.Lake Oroville State Recreation Area
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Spanning nearly 30,000 acres, the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area is a wonderful place to spend the day outdoors exploring solo or with family and friends. There is so much to see and do at the park, which was established in 1967 and is focused around Lake Oroville - a manmade reservoir created by Oroville Dam. You can spend your time there hiking, picnicking, horseback riding, swimming, fishing, boating, water-skiing, or camping on land or in boats. Be sure to stop by the Lake Oroville Visitor Center which has a museum and several exhibits on the history of the land and construction of the dam.
917 Kelly Ridge Rd, Oroville, CA 95966, Phone: 530-538-2219
5.The Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation
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The Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation is a non-profit organization that cares for and preserves all wildlife and their habitats while educating people on the importance of responsibly owning companion animals. The foundation, which was created in 1994, is now home to an innumerable number of non-releasable, endangered, and exotic animals that are indigenous to the area as well as from around the world. During your visit there, you’ll be able to see several animals such as black bears, snow leopards, mountain lions, hawks, coyotes, Burmese pythons, alligators, and Bengal Tigers. They host many events throughout the year which the public is invited to attend; if you happen to find yourself in the area at the time, be sure to stop by for their annual BBQ Spooktacular and other fun occasions.
4995 Durham-Pentz Rd, Oroville, CA 95965, Phone: 530-533-1000
6.Feather Falls Scenic Trail
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Located within Plumas National Forest, Feather Falls Scenic Trail is a favored hike with locals and visitors. The nine-mile loop has a moderate to strenuous difficult level depending on whether you take the upper or lower trail. The four to five hour hike is completely worth it as you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the plunging 640-foot-tall Feather Falls. Take your camera along, because along the way you’ll also come across Bald Rock Canyon and Bald Rock Dome. The scenic trail is open to visitors all year long and is just perfect for a day hike; younger visitors may find the lower loop a bit difficult due to steep elevation changes.
Feather River Ranger District: 875 Mitchell Avenue, Oroville, CA 95965, Phone: 530-534-6500
7.Feather River Fish Hatchery
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Visitors of all ages will love spending some time exploring the Feather River Fish Hatchery, which can be found below Lake Oroville just along Feather River. The hatchery is split into two sections, the east side of Table Mountain Boulevard which comprises the fish barrier dam, observation platform, and underwater viewing area, and the west side, which includes the rearing ponds, hatchery, and spawning room. Fish are present in the rearing ponds throughout the year for visitors to see; the best time to observe salmon spawning is from mid-September to mid-November and steelhead spawning is best seen from mid-December to mid-February. If you happen to be visiting in September, be sure to stop by the Oroville Salmon Festival which is celebrated at the hatchery and downtown Oroville.
5 Table Mountain Blvd, Oroville, CA 95965, Phone: 530-538-2222
8.Mother Orange Tree
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Surviving floods, freezes, and the Gold Rush, Mother Orange Tree is the oldest orange tree in the state of California. The citrus sapling hails from Mazaltan, Mexico and upon its arrival in Sacramento, made quite an impression on the people there who traveled far and wide to eat the exotic and sweet oranges. Many would then gather the seeds and plant them in their own yards, spawning a generation of citrus farmers - even today, visitors will be able to see several trees on street corners and in local orchards, all of which grew from the seed of the Mother Orange Tree. The original location where the tree was planted is now submerged under the Lake Oroville Reservoir, but was transplanted to the California Parks & Recreation Department headquarters for people to still experience its lush canopy and ancient branches full of fruit.
400 Glen Dr, Oroville, CA 95966, Phone: 916-653-6995
9.Grey Fox Vineyards
© Grey Fox Vineyards
Grey Fox Vineyards is the brainchild of two family friends, the Cecchis and the Arrigonis, both of whom would indulge in their passion for flying small planes while discussing their dreams of opening a vineyard and winery. Eventually, the two couples took viticulture courses and founded Grey Fox Vineyards in 1996. During your visit there, you’ll see that the team is constantly identifying ways to improve their vineyard so that it produces great fruit which will eventually become high quality wine. You can spend your day exploring the vineyard, having a chat with the friendly people there, learn about winemaking, and have a taste of a few of Grey Fox’s premium wines.
90 Grey Fox Ln, Oroville, CA 95966, Phone: 530-589-3920
10.Bolt's Antique Tool Museum
© Bolt's Antique Tool Museum
Bolt’s Antique Tool Museum was founded by Bud Bolt in 2006 and is now one of the largest and most detailed antique tool museums in the United States. They have over 12,000 tools and other artifacts from their collection on display - you’ll be able to see historic tools not only from the United States but even some dating back as far as 400 B.C. having been created by the Egyptians and Romans. A favored exhibit is one of the 125 tools which represent work that was done on the nation’s 50 different railroads. Other artifacts include blacksmith tools, a barbed wire collection, and several old gas pumps.
1650 Broderick Street, Oroville, CA 95965, Phone: 530-538-2528
11.Lodestar California Olive Oil
© Lodestar California Olive Oil
Oroville is the birthplace of California’s commercial olive production and Lodestar Farms has been producing some of the area’s best olive oil for over a hundred years. Established in 1898, the farm is renowned for their quality extra virgin olive oil which has a distinct style and flavor making it different from others. They’ve won many awards and accolades over the years for products such as their Late-Harvest Mission Olive Oil and Lemon Flavored Oils. The Lodestar tasting room is located on an 80-acre olive ranch complete with an outdoor patio area and is surrounded by stunning views of the Sierra foothills. You can spend time at their olive oil tasting bar or purchasing local products and gifts that are available there.
3719 Foothill Blvd, Oroville, CA 95966, Phone: 530-534-6548
12.Chaffin Family Orchards
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Chaffin Family Orchards is a permaculture-based family farm that can be found right beside the stunning Sacramento Valley. The farm has been in the Chaffin family for over three generations, all of whom focused their energies on promoting wildlife, preserving nature, and producing foods using non-toxic farming methods. The farm is known for their array of fresh fruits such as avocados, pomegranates, oranges, peaches, lemons, mandarins, pears, and more which vary all year long. Their award-winning extra virgin olive oils are a favored product due to its rich, smooth flavor. During your visit you’ll also be able to learn about the ranch’s humanely-raised grass-fed beef.
606 Coal Canyon Rd, Oroville, CA 95965, Phone: 530-533-8239
13.Gold Country Casino
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Gold Country is an award-winning hotel and casino that houses one of the most exciting casino floors in the state of California. Gaming is offered at its finest within their array of slot machines, card tables, bingo games and much more. After you place your bets - hopefully, for the win - spend your time exploring all of the dining and entertainment options that are available at Gold County. You can have a casual meal at their 24-hour cafe, dine in their award-winning steak house, indulge in the buffet, or re-energize yourself at the espresso bar. The party never stops at Gold Country so take a break from gambling and head over to the Spirits Lounge where you can drink and dance the night away.
4020 Olive Hwy, Oroville, CA 95966, Phone: 800-334-9400
14.Feather Falls Casino
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Feather Falls Casino was established in 1996 by the Mooretown Rancheria of Maidu Indians and is still owned and operated by them today. It has become one of the most popular casinos in the area and has over a thousand slot machines and tables games such as poker and blackjack. There are several other aspects of the casino for visitors to enjoy such an on-site hotel, two cocktail lounges, a buffet restaurant, a microbrewery, and an award-winning KOA campground. Events and performances like Football at the Falls, Barry Manilow Tribute Dinner Show, and themed karaoke nights are scheduled throughout the year. Combined, this makes Feather Falls one of California’s best destinations for gaming, dining, and entertainment.
3 Alverda Drive, Oroville, CA 95966, Phone: 530-533-3885
15.The Last Yahi Indian
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Much of the Native American Yahi people were killed in the California genocide in the 19th century; while a group of them managed to escape, further killings by cattlemen drove Ishi and a handful of others to go into hiding in the wilderness. It was 44 years later, in 1911, when Ishi walked out into the western world in Oroville - the last Yahi Yana Indian in the world. He passed away five years later but during that time Ishi worked with anthropologists at the University of California helping them reconstruct Yahi culture. Visitors will be able to see the historic landmark of where Ishu was discovered and learn a lot about his life and the Yahi people.
2547 Oroville-Quincy Hwy (at Oak Avenue), Oroville, CA 95965
16.Quilici Vineyards and Winery
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Quilici is a family owned and operated vineyard and winery that can be found on the Sierra Foothills of Northern California. Gary Quilici, owner and winemaker, concocts delicious handcrafted estate red wines for people to enjoy. Visitors are urged to arrange a visit to the vineyard with their ‘Meet the Winemaker’ tour; this includes a private tasting and discussion with Gary as you enjoy stunning views of the gardens, vineyard, topiaries, bocce ball court, and the surrounding Central Valley and Coastal Range mountains. Otherwise, bring along a picnic and enjoy with a glass of flavorful wine in their lush and beautiful picnic area.
72 Quail Hill Pl, Oroville, CA 95966, Phone: 530-589-5088
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17.Feather Falls Casino Brewing Co.
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Located within the casino, the Feather Falls Casino Brewing Company is a wonderful place for you to relax, indulge in a beer, and feast on an array of foods such as hand-tossed pizzas and gourmet dishes from their varied menu. There are several signature and seasonal brews and ales for you to indulge in at the renowned brewery; patron favorites include the Soaring Eagle pilsner, pale Broken Arrow IPA, Feather Falls Thunder which is an apricot infused wheat ale, and the full-bodied IPA, Naughty Native. Many events are hosted at the brewery throughout the year including the popular Beer Pairing Dinner with brew master Roland Allen.
3 Alverda Dr, Oroville, CA 95966, Phone: 530-533-3885
18.Tong Fong Low
© Tong Fong Low
Tong Fong Low has been a part of the Oroville community since 1912, winning many awards and recognitions over the years such as ‘Best Asian Restaurant’, ‘Best Take Out Restaurant’, and ‘Best Local Restaurant’. The family owned business is a favored place to dine with both residents and visitors, not only because of the delicious authentic food that is served, but the friendly family-like atmosphere that can be found there as well. All of the dishes are prepared use fresh ingredients and with techniques and kitchen secrets that have been passed down over the years. Patron favorites include the lemon chicken, BBQ pork fried rice, shrimp chow mein, and the eggplant with garlic sauce.
2051 Robinson St, Oroville, CA 95965, Phone: 530-533-1488
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19.The Exchange Spirits & Tapas
© The Exchange Spirits & Tapas
Located in historic downtown Oroville, The Exchange Spirits & Tapas offers an array of drinks and foods in a full-service, upscale bar setting. The full bar has an elaborate collection of California-based wines, several classic and specialty cocktails, and at least ten local craft beers on tap. The chefs at The Exchange pride themselves on always using locally sourced ingredients to create flavorful dishes such as soups, salads, sandwiches, daily specials and desserts that are sure to satisfy your craving. Nothing makes the experience better than game nights and live local music which is scheduled there every weekend.
1975 Montgomery St, Oroville, CA 95965, Phone: 530-693-4276
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19 Best Things to Do in Oroville, California
- North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve, Photo: Courtesy of AlessandraRC - Fotolia.com
- Chinese Temple, Photo: Courtesy of napatta - Fotolia.com
- Lake Oroville Visitor Center, Photo: Courtesy of semanita - Fotolia.com
- Lake Oroville State Recreation Area, Photo: Courtesy of semanita - Fotolia.com
- The Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation, Photo: Courtesy of lordbphotos - Fotolia.com
- Feather Falls Scenic Trail, Photo: Courtesy of Arkadii Shandarov - Fotolia.com
- Feather River Fish Hatchery, Photo: Courtesy of TheDigiPix - Fotolia.com
- Mother Orange Tree, Photo: Courtesy of Natalia - Fotolia.com
- Grey Fox Vineyards, Photo: Grey Fox Vineyards
- Bolt's Antique Tool Museum, Photo: Bolt's Antique Tool Museum
- Lodestar California Olive Oil, Photo: Lodestar California Olive Oil
- Chaffin Family Orchards, Photo: Courtesy of Arkadii Shandarov - Fotolia.com
- Gold Country Casino, Photo: Courtesy of andrys lukowski - Fotolia.com
- Feather Falls Casino, Photo: Courtesy of ilolab - Fotolia.com
- The Last Yahi Indian, Photo: Courtesy of yana136 - Fotolia.com
- Quilici Vineyards and Winery, Photo: Courtesy of loki_ast - Fotolia.com
- Feather Falls Casino Brewing Co., Photo: Courtesy of dusanpetkovic1 - Fotolia.com
- Tong Fong Low, Photo: Tong Fong Low
- The Exchange Spirits & Tapas, Photo: The Exchange Spirits & Tapas
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of AlessandraRC - Fotolia.com