Chico : California


What It Is Like to Retire in Chico

Chico, California represents a more affordable California retirement community for baby boomers who are looking for an active outdoor lifestyle. Located in the Sacramento River Valley, the city is the cultural, economic, and educational center of the northern Sacramento Valley. There are more than a dozen parks and greenways. Fishing, skiing, biking, and hiking are abundantly available in the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains. Live oak and ash trees provide shade in the hot summers. About 70,000 people live in Chico, which is in Butte County.

California State University, Chico makes this town especially popular with active adults 50+. The university not only provides a lively environment and youthful presence, but it also encourages retirees to attend classes and take part in the university’s cultural offerings. Watch this short Youtube video presented by Downtown Chico: Find out more about what it is like to retire in California.

Where to Retire in Chico and Home Prices

There are many new developments on the edge of town where active adults would be happy. In some cases these have rental apartments or condominiums. There are several large new urbanist neighborhoods, either planned or under construction, including Doe Mill, Barber Yard, Meriam Park, and Westside Place. Within the town there are older neighborhoods where adults can live in a mixed generation environment. Mansion Park is the old high-end neighborhood.

Prices are relatively modest compared to much of California. According to the median home value was $428,408 in mid-2021.


What Is Special about Chico

Bidwell Park is one of the largest parks in the U.S., weekly farmers' markets, Sierra Nevada brewery, California State University-Chico, the Sierra Nevada mountains


What Is Not Special about Chico

It is a drive to nearest big city. Hot in summer. Chico is near the town of Paradise, CA, which suffered catastrophic losses from the Campfire forest fire in November, 2018.


Who Will Like Retirement in Chico

Chico attracts a community of who enjoy living in a small college town near the mountains.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Education, medical services, brewing (Sierra Nevada), agriculture, and financial services are the principal drivers of the economy

Climate and Physical Environment

Chico is on flat ground which gives way to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada just outside of town. Summers are hot and dry; most rainfall comes in winter.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

California State University, Chico provides much of the cultural opportunities. There are many musical venues such as the North State Symphony, Several theatres, 4 museums, and numerous galleries. There are a number of public sculpture and mural art expositions provided by the City of Chico Public Art Portfolio.


Crime in Chico is just over the national average.


Medical Facilities

The Enloe Medical Center is here, 3 other hospitals are within 30 miles.


Chico Municipal Airport is the major airport, where United Express operates. Amtrak operates the Coast Starlight service. The B-Line (Butte Regional Transit) serves the Chico Urban area with eight routes. Chico is considered very bike-friendly.  

Valuable Links

City of Chico


What people are saying about Chico

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