Visiting Chico’s National Yo-Yo Museum

This fall on our epic road trip things didn’t go entirely as planned. We initially planned to haul it to Oregon but through circumstances beyond our control ended up spending a few days in the Sacramento area. Really, this was no problem at all because the area is a beautiful part of our state and allowed us to detour through the lovely city of Chico.

Located 90 miles north of Sacramento Chico is home to Chico State University, the historic Bidwell Mansion (seen above) and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

Though limited in time we did manage to have a delicious dinner at the brewery and stroll around the historic downtown. The latter is filled with lovely shops and cafes and one truly unique spot, the National Yo-Yo Museum.

If you know me you know I love quirky, roadside attractions so the museum was a must-see sight and it did not disappoint.

Located inside the Bird in Hand gift shop the museum houses a humongous collection of historic yo-yo’s. Available in numerous shapes and sizes and made of a variety of materials they are truly fascinating pieces of pop culture.

I must admit, my yo-yo skills are pretty dismal. I had a cheap, plastic version as a kid and I could barely get it to go up and down once. Despite my shortcomings I still appreciate the skill involved in mastering the instrument. The museum offers regular classes and if I lived in the area I’d definitely be signing up!

In addition the massive variety of yo-yo’s the museum does contain a pièce de résistance.

The Worlds Largest Working Yo-Yo! How awesome is that! And this sucker is big weighing in at 256 pounds. Thanks to a crane it was actually put to use but now it sits in retirement as the centerpiece of the museum.

The National Yo-Yo Museum is a small roadside wonderland that is certainly worth seeking out. I’m so glad we ended up detouring through Chico so I could visit.

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