California’s college towns are some of the most unique cities in the state, with a host of fun things to do and see. Davis is not only home to one of the most prestigious universities in the nation but also boasts a variety of activities and some beautiful sites to explore. Whether you’re a fan of the outdoors or looking for some late-night fun, you’ll be impressed by what Davis has to offer.
Davis’s University of California is a beautiful and worthwhile spot to visit when in the city. Sprawling across over 5000 acres, the campus itself is an amazing place to relax in or explore. Teeming with student activities and University events, the evergreen campus is home to a number of renowned facilities and hidden treasures. Grab a bite to eat, hunt down all of the quirky Egghead statues, or take in the University’s rich history with a campus tour.
1 Shields Ave, Davis, CA, USA +1 530 752 1011
UC Davis Arboretum
UC Davis provides a number of unique contributions to the city. Perhaps one of the University’s greatest offerings is the Arboretum, a must-see for all outdoorsmen. Comprising 100 acres of scenic gardens and foliage, the Arboretum offers a serene experience unlike any other. Educational and engaging exhibits and demonstrations aside, the Arboretum is the perfect place to unwind and get some sun. Strolling around and taking in the countless varieties of plants, trees, and flowers is a rare and fulfilling treat for nature lovers.
1046 Garrod Dr, Davis, CA, USA +1 530 752 4880
Like most college towns, the city of Davis is extremely bicycle-friendly. Students can be seen biking around at all times of the day. In fact, biking is one of the most popular activities for locals and can provide a wonderful time for visitors looking to get familiar with the city. Boasting a great selection of bike trails for riders of all experience-levels and capabilities, Davis is one of the best stops for biking enthusiasts in the area. Additionally, Davis is home to the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame!
If you’re a fan of the symphony, in love with jazz, or enamored of the performing arts, UC Davis’s Mondavi Center has got you covered. One of the many gems the University provides to the city, the Mondavi Center plays host to some of the most renowned performers in all categories. From headliners that showcase the very best of the orchestral and symphonic genre to performing arts companies that dazzle and inspire, the Mondavi Center has something for everyone. One of the area’s premier venues, it is a must-see spot for anyone visiting the city.
1 Shields Ave, Davis, CA, USA +1 530 754 5000
Farmer's Market & Picnic in the Park
Farmers' Market, Market, Healthy
Farmer’s Market & Picnic in the Park
Regarded as one of the best in the nation, Davis’s farmer’s market is a delightful place to find a fresh, wholesome selection of fruits and vegetables. A popular stop for locals, the farmer’s market offers delicious and healthy options that’ll keep you satisfied. The annual Picnic in the Park is yet another great way to get outdoors and enjoy great music and great food with loved ones. Enjoy the ambiance and indulge in vendors serving fare from around the world!
C St & 4th, Davis, CA, USA +1 530 756 1695
Marathons & Races
For serious athletes, Davis offers some truly fun and challenging running events. The annual Davis Stampede has something for everyone, with 5k, 10k, and half-marathon routes. The unique Davis Moonlight Race gives you the chance to run or walk later in the day, complete with glow-in-the-dark, themed festivities. If you’re a first time participant or a seasoned marathon runner, these events are a great way to have some fun and test yourself! They are also family-friendly, as kids are encouraged to participate.
Whole Earth Festival
If there’s one thing college towns always have plenty of, it’s culture. This is embodied by the many eccentric festivals and events hosted year-round. One of Davis’s most loved and celebrated events, the Whole Earth Festival on the University campus is a family-friendly affair that occurs every Mother’s Day Weekend. With countless vendors showcasing handmade crafts and jewelry, delicious vegan eats, and an eco-friendly message that promotes environmental responsibility, the festival is an awesome way to spend this special weekend with loved ones.
1 Shields Ave, Davis, CA, USA +1 530 752 2569
In the spirit of the outdoors, Davis’s Rocknasium offers world-class facilities for avid climbers and beginners alike. With over 5000 square feet of vertical terrain to traverse, the Rocknasium is a great place to get in a workout in a fun and exciting manner. It has been around for over 20 years and boasts climbing and yoga classes, personal training, and a host of fun events for individuals and families.
720 Olive Dr, Davis, CA, USA +1 530 757 2902
Downtown Davis is an amazing place to shop, explore, and eat! There are countless great restaurants to choose from, with many serving cuisine from around the world. Whether you’re in the mood for Japanese, Indian, or Italian, or you just want a delicious burger done right, downtown is bubbling with options. Always alive with locals, students, and passersby, and often host to public events, it’s also a great place to just hang out and take in the city.
826 2nd St, Davis, CA, USA +1 530 756 8763
Bars & Pubs
Like any college town, Davis has a fun and active nightlife. Bars and pubs around the city are great places to visit for drinking and socializing. De Vere’s Irish Pub is a popular destination among locals, serving great food and great drinks in an old-school pub atmosphere. For beer lovers, The Davis Beer Shoppe is sure to please with an awesome selection and great daily tastings. Exploring Davis and discovering great spots to drink, eat, and meet new people is part of the city’s irresistible charm!
By Ro Joshi
Twenty-something. Lover of food, film, and all things art.