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Stories from the valley

10 great things to do in the Fall in the Sacramento Valley

Contributed by Steve Beckley

thundFall is my favorite time of year in the Sacramento Valley as it’s emerging from a long hot summer and there’s optimism for rain.  The days are cooler, the leaves are turning color and waterfowl are arriving for their winter stay.

There are many activities in the area to do and this is my Top 10:

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10. Drive Highway 45

State Route 45 follows the west side of the Sacramento River from Knight Landing to Hamilton City and goes through several of the great valley towns, including my home town of Grimes.

9. Watch the racers

A neat place to watch sports car and motorcycle enthusiasts race around the track is Thunderhill Raceway Park located west of Willows and, most of the time, admission is free

8. Drive around the Sutter Buttes

A great trip any time of year, but fall is special as the Buttes too are looking forward to cooler weather and rain.

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7. Visit a winery

Two of my favorites are Matchbook in Zamora and New Clairvaux in Vina.  I’m not sure which town is the smallest.

6. Visit the Sacramento Valley Museum

Located in Williams, this is a great place to learn about the history of the area.

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5. Visit a Wildlife Refuge

We are so lucky to have great state and federal wildlife refuges in our area with car routes around them.  Check them out – The Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge in Willows, Colusa National Wildlife Refuge  and the California’s Gray Lodge Wildlife Area west of Gridley.

4. Have lunch on the banks of the Sacramento River

Along the river is a great place to enjoy lunch, and two of my favorite places are in Colusa – The Steelhead Lodge or bring your own at the Colusa Levee Scenic Park.

3. Visit Chico on a Saturday

Great farmers market, take a walk on the Chico State Campus, visit Bidwell Mansion, stop by the National Yo-Yo museum and the area trees turn beautiful colors in the fall.

2. Eat Mexican Food

The valley has a great Mexican culture and excellent food is available throughout.  Three of my favorites are the Tacos Michocian Truck- Arbuckle, Roberta’s Taqueria,-Williams and Don Habaneros-Colusa.

1. Play golf

My golf game is terrible, but when I play at The Arbuckle Golf Club, just west of town, I am treated to excellent views of the valley. Just remember that the greens break towards the Sutter Buttes.

I invite you to enjoy our great valley and post some of your favorite things to do.