twitter icon facebook icon youtube icon instagram icon

Stories from the valley

Summer in the Valley, Part One

Contributed by Steve Beckley

Summertime will soon be here in the Sacramento Valley and it will be warm.  It’s a great time as the hot weather is what makes crops like rice adapt so well to the area.  There are lots of great things to do in the summer and these are some of my favorites.

Go on a picnic

Lot of great locations with big trees for shade including: Ellis Lake – Marysville, Bidwell Park – Chico, and Levee Scenic Park – Colusa.  I usually pick up some tacos at one of the local taquerias or trucks and enjoy the moment.

Summer Part One - 1

Go Swimming

An obvious way to cool off and one of the classic places to go swimming is at Chico’s Bidwell Park’s.  Sycamore Pool, located at the One-Mile Recreation Area, it is a unique swimming experience, being a pool built around Big Chico Creek. Also many valley towns have public swimming pools including Arbuckle, where I took swimming lesson when I was young.   If you cool off in any of the creeks or the river, please be safe as the water can be very deceiving.

Summer Part One- #2

Have a donut or two

On hot days, it is best to get an early start and what’s a better way to get going then to have a donut.  Among the areas independent shops are: Donut Wheel – Colusa, Fresh Donut (Great use of a Taco Bell building) – Yuba City and Timothy’s Bakery – Woodland.  These shops always have tables of regular customers that can solve any of the world’s problems.

Summer Part One #2a

Enjoy a beer

Craft beer is a great way to cool off and in many cases the brewers use locally grown agriculture products.  Valley brewers include: Sutter Buttes Brewing – Yuba City, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. – Chico and  Blue Note Brewery – Woodland.

Summer Part One #3

Eat Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Enjoy the bounty of the Sacramento Valley by shopping at a Farmers Market.  Not only purchase the best, but meet the growers.  Check to find where and what day they are.  Many of these markets are only open in the summer and on weeknights.  Almost every valley town has one.  They are all my favorites.

Smell the Flowers

Sunflowers, grown for seed, are a major valley crop and the field will turn bright yellow.  Also check out the Mezger Zinnia Patch on the I5 front road just north of Yolo (local ag businessman Mark Mezger grows them for the community enjoyment) and I need to check out the new George Peterson Rose Garden by Big Chico Creek on the Chico State Campus.

We have a big valley with many things to see and appreciate.  Coming soon is part two of some of my favorite Sacramento Valley summer activities.