The Chico area is the land of many outdoors activities. You have Mt. Shasta nearby, Mt. Lassen Nat'l Park nearby, great fishing in the Sacramento River, Snow skiing in the winter. The coast is a couple hours away, so if the summer heat is oppressive, you can always make a trip over to Eureka and the wonderful cooling fog. The coast itself is a treasure. It's are only a few hours to San Francisco. Hills, mountains, valleys. Take your choice.
Have fun and be creative!