In this town on the Feather River, you’ll find stately Victorian buildings, including the 1856 C. F. Lott Home (open for tours) as well as landmarks such as the Chinese Temple and Museum Complex. Originally a place of worship for Chinese labourers dating back to 1863, it’s still occasionally used as a religious centre and is filled with tapestries and costumes from the Far East. You can also wander through the temple’s traditional Chinese garden.
To learn about Oroville’s Gold Rush and Native American history, visit the Pioneer History Museum, which was built to resemble the stone cabin of a 49er (someone who took part in the 1849 Gold Rush). And while still due for a full restoration, the Oroville State Theatre in the heart of the city centre gives the community a historic venue for live performances.
Oroville is also the gateway to Lake Oroville State Recreation Area, where the country’s tallest earth-filled dam creates California’s second largest reservoir—with a remarkable 167 miles of shoreline. If you’re into fishing, the lake is your kind of place. It’s a haven for anyone hoping to hook both small- and wide-mouth bass, and the underwater windows at the recreation area’s Feather River Fish Hatchery give visitors a unique glimpse of salmon and steelhead during their spawning seasons.
And in addition to swimming at designated beach areas, there’s plenty to do on land, too. The recreation area’s network of paths enables mountain bikers, hikers and horse riders to venture out into the hills surrounding the lake. During periods of high water, boats on Lake Oroville can cruise to within a quarter of a mile of Feather Falls, but you’ll earn your views of these 195-metre-tall cascades on the Fall River via 7- or 9-mile round-trip hikes along the Feather Falls National Scenic Trail.
Other scenic outdoor destinations near Oroville include Big Bald Rock, where a short, easy path leads to views that extend out over the lake and Sacramento Valley. And if you’re into spring wildflowers, Table Mountain, a basalt plateau and part of North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve less than 20 minutes from Oroville, delivers one of California’s premier wildflower displays—especially in years with good rainfall.
California’s north-east corner is an outdoor-lover’s paradise, with safe-to-explore volcanoes, hushed forests and trout-filled rivers. This is the place for blue-ribbon fishing, houseboats anchored in cool lakes, countless campgrounds and inviting trails for hiking and mountain biking.
"When I first caught sight of it I was weary and 50 miles away and afoot. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.” --Author John Muir, upon seeing Mount Shasta in 1874
All this, plus friendly towns like Chico and Chester and inviting rural farms in fertile lands near the Upper Sacramento River. Redding, the region’s largest city, makes a good base, with riverfront trails, Turtle Bay Exploration Park and elegant Sundial Bridge, designed by Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava.
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