Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park

UPDATE (March 31, 2020): This park is temporarily closed to vehicular access. The park remains open for locals who wish to walk, hike and bike (in parks with bike trails) in the park, provided they practice social/physical distancing of 6 feet or more. This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach.

In an effort to prevent visitation surges and help stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), State Parks has implemented the following safety measures to date:
  • Closed some parks, meaning all trails and restrooms within these parks are closed.
  • Closed vehicular access at remaining parks, including for off-highway vehicle riding.
  • Closed all campgrounds, museums and visitor centers.
  • Cancelled all events.

A list of closures is available online at parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve. The list is dynamic and updated on a regular basis.

Phone Number

(530) 895-6144

Park Hours

The Visitor Center is open
Saturday – Monday 11 AM to 5 PM
(Closed Tuesday - Friday)

Driving Directions to Bidwell Mansion SHP

From Highway 99: Take East First Avenue and go left onto The Esplanade, the Mansion is on your right(west).
From Highway 5: Take Highway 32 exit at Orland east 20 miles to West Sacramento Avenue. Turn left (east) onto West Sacramento Avenue to The Esplanade where you turn right (south).
The Mansion is located at 525 The Esplanade. The Visitor Center is open Saturday through Monday 11am-5pm. Tours are on the hour, with the last tour at 4:00 pm.

Online reservations are not available for this park.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Museums
Family Programs
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Parking
Restrooms
Drinking Water Available

APPROVED GENERAL MESSAGE FOR TEMPORARY CLOSURES OF VISITOR CENTERS/MUSEUMS

In an effort to protect public health and the safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff as the state responds to the continued threat of COVID-19, California State Parks is temporarily closing the museum and visitor center at Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park. While we are not directly affected by COVID-19, we are monitoring the situation carefully and are committed to being responsive and following California Governor’s updated policy on social gatherings to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The park will remain open for all other activities such as day use and hiking. We recognize the importance of visiting Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park represents an opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy fresh air with family and friends and escape from our daily routines. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause your visit. We thank you for your patience, trust and continued support. We’d also like to thank our volunteers and staff for their commitment and dedication as public servants through these challenging circumstances. For the most up-to-date information, please follow our park webpage at www.parks.ca.gov.

About Bidwell Mansion

Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park is a beautiful, three-story, 26 room Victorian House Museum that stands as a memorial to John and Annie Bidwell. John Bidwell was known throughout California and across the nation as an important pioneer, farmer, soldier, statesman, politician and philanthropist. Annie Ellicott Kennedy Bidwell, the daughter of a socially prominent, high ranking Washington official, was deeply religious, and committed to a number of moral and social causes. Annie was very active in the suffrage and prohibition movements.

The Bidwell's were married April 16, 1868 in Washington, D.C. with then President Andrew Johnson and future President Ulysses S. Grant among the guests. Upon arrival in Chico, the Bidwell's used the Mansion extensively for entertainment of friends. Some of the guests that visited Bidwell Mansion were President Rutherford B. Hayes, General William T. Sherman, Susan B. Anthony, Frances Willard, Governor Stanford, John Muir, and Asa Gray.

When constructed, Bidwell Mansion featured the most modern plumbing, gas lighting and water systems. The overall style of the three-story brick structure is that of an Italian Villa, an informal, warmly romantic style. The building's exterior is finished with a pink tinted plaster.


Location - Directions

The Mansion is located at 525 Esplanade.

From Highway 99:
  Take East First Avenue exit and head west.  Turn Left on Esplanade.  The park is located on the right hand side of the road at Memorial Way and Esplanade. 

From Highway 5:  Take Highway 32 exit at Orland east 20 miles to West Sacramento Avenue.  Turn left (east) onto West Sacramento Avenue to The Esplanade where you turn right (south).

Seasons/Climate Recommended Clothing

Summer and spring are warm; fall and winter can be cool. Layered clothing is advised. The mansion is temperature controlled.

Accessibility

Tours consist of three floors of Bidwell Mansion, including approximately 50 stairs.  The first floor of Bidwell Mansion is accessible via an exterior ramp.  The two upper levels are only accessible by stairs.  For visitors unable to climb stairs, an open-captioned video of the 2nd and 3rd floors may be viewed in the Visitor Center. 

The Visitor Center is completely accessible.  It includes restrooms, water fountain, a lobby, a museum store, an exhibit hall and a theater.

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