P1290992A short drive from Chico , about twenty minutes, is the small town (hamlet, really) of Paradise. Situated higher than Chico, it affords a sweeping view of the valley.

You will among the Sutter Buttes (  Old Volcanic domes from the backbone of the smallest mountain range in the world! ) …. read/see more:

BLOG Sutter Buttes CA

The main street, called the Skyway,  is a hodge-podge of small businesses and restaurants.   We even found a wonderful bakery ( Blue Sugar Cafe)  with organic treats: the cupcakes are the BEST we’ve tasted.   Paradise looks rather shabby and funky, even a bit weird…there is no feeling of a center to this place.    And yet, there are some fascinating characters that inhabit this affordable hamlet.    Here we found quite a few of the older, real hippies with their “far-out” beliefs and lifestyles still intact !     Other than these folk, it is a well-known retirement community.    Of course there are no mansions and the homes are , mostly, ordinary and many are on the ramshackle side.      The Seventh Day Adventist community has an acclaimed hospital here which draws, now, even more of the retired to the area.    We found two lovely parks.   In the photo, Jaimie is hooping at the park everyone refers to, simply, as “the duck park.”     On the other side of town is Billie Park, a larger park, with lots of hiking and spectacular  views of the deep valley.

In short, there is a whole lot more than meets the eye in Paradise.    We suggest driving around town, up and down the hills, and exploring the uniqueness .  P1290914

The chicken is in front of Meehos, a  Mexican restaurant  that specializes in very cheap and very good food….definitely a fave of the locals.    It is near a mini mall  where a small grocery store, Hospice thrift store (find amazing books here), an ice cream parlor, and a few other practical businesses….in other words, this is not a gentrified place at all.   In fact, it is  more of hippie holdouts meet country kitsch meet conservative suburbia meet redneck meet new-age meet church-going sweet people.  You just don’t know who you will see or meet.   There is no one type or one thing that makes Paradise Paradise.


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