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Stories from the valley

Five Fun Finds in Oroville

Contributed by Keli Gwyn

Oroville has a lot to offer, as my husband, Carl, and I discovered. From recreational opportunities to historical sights to good eats, you’re sure to enjoy your visit.

To get a glimpse of Oroville’s early days, plan on exploring the 6,000 square-foot Butte County Pioneer History Museum, which is chock full of attractive and informative displays.

You can make your taste buds happy with a stop at the Lodestar Olive Oil Tasting Room, where I was greeted by a friendly free-range chicken. After savoring all the samples, I left with three bottles of delicious flavored olive oils.

We stayed the night, so dinner was in order. Although there’s a great selection of fast-food and chain restaurants, we sought some local flavor. Gold City Grill with its diner fare and friendly servers fit the bill. We chose salads, but there are many other choices, including Angus burgers and the broasted chicken they’re known for.

Our second day began with a visit to Oroville Dam. Due to construction, all roads leading to the dam are closed, but visitors can view the back side from the observation tower at the Lake Oroville Visitor Center, tour the museum there and watch a video history of the spillway incident.

Having seen Sacramento Valley’s spectacular drone flyover of the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve, I was eager to experience the wildflowers there myself. This is one of the best displays I’ve seen. Acre after acre is blanketed in brilliant violet-blue, sunny yellow and pretty pink flowers. Visitors can follow the well-traveled path to two waterfalls or take off cross country. Be sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes, carry water and buy your CDFW land pass beforehand. Since parking is limited, plan to arrive early.

There are many more great destinations in Oroville, so I’m already planning a return trip.