Davis is located on Interstate 80, which runs between the Bay Area and Sacramento and beyond. Headed west from the Bay Area you will want to take Highway 80 heading East to Sacramento. From Sacramento or the Lake Tahoe area take 80 West towards San Francisco. Take the UC Davis Exit to get to campus and the Mondavi Center, or Richards Blvd or Olive Drive to go downtown.
There is an Amtrak stop within walking distance of campus, which serves the California Zephyr, Capitol Corridor, and Coast Starlight routes. Tickets from the Bay Area cost approximately $30 round trip. If you are flying into San Francisco Amtrak is the best way to get to Davis. From SFO take BART to Richmond. Exit BART and then take the stairs or elevator up to the Amtrak platform. The Richmond station is unstaffed so Amtrak tickets can be purchased on board the train for no additional fee.
Although UC Davis has its own (small) airport, it is really only possible to reach Davis by plane through commercial airports. The closest option is Sacramento International Airport (SMF), from which one can then take a shuttle or taxi to Davis. A cheaper alternative is to take Yolobus. For $1.50 the #42 bus will take you to downtown Davis. You can then either utilize Unitrans, the local bus service or take a taxi to your destination. The airport is approximately a 30-minute drive from Davis.
The Oakland (IATA: OAK) and San Francisco (IATA: SFO) airports are also options for people who wish to visit the Bay Area as well as Davis. If your trip itinerary does not include the Bay Area, however, then SMF is the best option for commercial air travel to Davis. Amtrak trains are available from Oakland and San Francisco.
The Davis Airporter is another option for people flying in commercially. While it provides service to your front door and is available at all hours of the day and night, it is considerably more expensive than public transportation. See also the Yolo Airporter and the Super Shuttle.
Davis has the highest per capita number of bikes of any city in the U.S. It's the preferred method of transportation for most students and locals due to the prevalence of bike paths and the relative flatness of the area. Unitrans (the local municipal bus system) also runs quite frequently. For undergraduate students riding is free, for everybody else (including graduate students) one journey costs a dollar.
Downtown Davis is also very pedestrian friendly. The UC Davis campus and the heart of the downtown area run alongside one another and it's easy to stroll through both in a couple of hours.
Probably the worst way to experience Davis is by car. The huge numbers of bikers and pedestrians make driving slow and tedious at many times throughout the day.
- UC Davis California Raptor Center. An educational centre that rehabilitates injured and orphaned birds of prey found in the surrounding counties. Large displays are present at the facility that allow visitors to see many of the birds up close.
- UC Davis Arboretum. A 100 acre tract of land running along the banks of the Old North Channel of Putah Creek, on the UC Davis Campus. The arboretum is home to plant species that range from Mediterranean to South African and even includes somewhat smaller examples of California's North Coast Redwoods. It is the main source of horticultural information for inland California. The arboretum is a popular place for Davis students for walk, jog, bike, study, or just relax in the sun.
- Public art. Can be found all over town. It is difficult to go anywhere or do anything without encountering sculptures, mosaics, paintings, or stenciled designs. An art enthusiast could be kept busy for days.
- Toad Tunnel. A nationally infamous example of civil engineering gone horribly wrong. Located in southeast Davis near the Post Office and the Sudwerk brewery, the Toad Tunnel was designed to assist the local population of toads cross an I-80 overpass. Arguably, it has caused more problems for the toads than it solved. If you have any friends pursuing degrees in town planning, ask them about Davis' Toad Tunnel.
- Davis Wiki: for more information about what to do and see in Davis, including event listings and reviews of local restaurants.
- Become a student. Davis is currently ranked as the second most educated city in the United States according to CNN Money Magazine and it shows. The downtown area is very youthful and is peppered with bars, coffee shops, and restaurants that are popular among the college crowd. The city of Davis is very conducive to college and graduate school lifestyles.
- Mondavi Center. Located on campus. A wide variety of performances can be seen year round, ranging from music to theatre to puppetry.
- Farmers Market. Open twice a week on Saturdays and Wednesdays, the Davis Farmers Market takes place in Central Park and offers fresh, locally grown foods. Much of the produce is grown organically. From March through September, the Wednesday evening Farmers Market becomes the Picnic in the Park, offering several restaurant stands, live music, and various other events geared towards a wide variety of ages.
- Picnic Day. If you want to experience the single largest student-run event in the United States, visit Davis in late April and revel in Picnic Day. The day consists of over 150 free events, most of which take part on campus, including dog races, food tastings, exotic animal shows, an infamous Battle of the Bands, an exciting fashion show displaying unique student work and much much more. As one might expect, a good amount of drinking takes place throughout the day and by late afternoon there tends to be intoxicated people everywhere, but the mood of the event is very positive and arrests are very few relative to the number of the 50,000+ attendees.
- Whole Earth Festival. Whole Earth is an annual celebration of counterculture, art, politics, sustainability, and music, taking place over a three-day period on Mother's Day Weekend. Tens of thousands of hippies, punks, and miscellaneous weirdos descend on Davis for this event, taking place on the UC Davis quad.
One thing Davis is not short on is restaurants. Whatever your taste, Davis has a means to at least attempt to satisfy your hunger.
Most restaurants are in the downtown area, with the majority being within a few square blocks. Fast food restaurants are clustered near the Mace Blvd and Richard Blvd exits off of the freeway. There are also several restaurants in the shopping centers that ring the town. Other notable restaurants that are not in downtown include Osteria Fasulo, a fancy Italian restaurant located in the Village Homes neighborhood.
- Dos Coyotes Border Cafe, 1411 W. Covell Blvd (The Marketplace), ☎ +1 530 753 0922. A very popular and excellent cafe serving up delicious south-western style cuisine, with inventive specials like corn quesadillas and monstrous salads. Started here in Davis, it's now got several locations in the Sacramento area. A second location in Davis at Oakshade Town Center, 2191 Cowell Blvd.
- Tres Hermanes, 805 2nd St., Davis CA 95616, ☎ +1 530 756-8737. Across from the train station, Mexican food and margaritas.
- Thai Canteen, 117 E St, ☎ +1 530 231-5465. Popular Thai restaurant serving authentic dishes; order at the counter.
- Preethi Indian, 712 2nd Street, Davis CA 95616, ☎ +1 530-759-2040. Indian restaurant serving south Indian specialties; comprehensive lunchtime buffet on weekdays and weekends.
Davis is right in the middle of farm country and has access, as you might expect, to a variety of farm stands.
- Ikeda's (off the Mace Blvd exit). Open all year round and is a source of fresh vegetables, pies and tamales.
- de Vere's Pub, 217 E St, ☎ +1 530-204-5533. Irish pub serving drinks and food, including brunch on the weekends. Happy hour from 3:30-6:30 M-F.
There are multiple hotel options in Davis. There are several hotels in downtown, a cluster of hotels off the Richards Blvd exit, a cluster of hotels near the Mace Blvd exit (on Chiles road), and one hotel actually on campus (the Hyatt), which is directly across from the Mondavi Center. All of the hotels in downtown are within walking distance of campus.
- Best Western Palm Court Hotel, 234 D St, ☎ +1 530 753-7100, fax: +1 530 753-8761.
- Best Western University Lodge, 123 B St, ☎ +1 530 756-7890, fax: +1 530 756-0245.
- Hallmark Inn, 110 F St., Davis CA 95616, ☎ +1 800 753-0035.
- Aggie Inn, 245 1st St, ☎ +1 530-756-0352.
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, 1771 Research Park Dr, ☎ +1 530 758-2600.
- Motel 6 Davis - Sacramento Area, 4835 Chiles Rd, ☎ +1 530 753-3777, fax: +1 530 753-0569.
- Stone Villa Hotel, 4100 Chiles Rd (Davis, California 95616), ☎ +1 530-792-0800. Complimentary breakfast and WiFI, outdoor swimming pool and meeting rooms.
Davis is nearby to both the San Francisco Bay Area (particularly the East Bay and Berkeley) and Sacramento; the Amtrak line goes to both places. It is also situated roughly in the middle of California when driving north to south on Interstate 5, perhaps from Mount Shasta to Los Angeles. Davis is also only an hour away from Napa Valley, and only a few hours away by car (or by Amtrak) to Yosemite National Park. Davis is about 1.5 hours to Lake Tahoe and two hours from Reno.
|Routes through Davis|
|Emeryville ← Martinez ←||W E||→ Sacramento → Salt Lake City|
|Auburn ← Sacramento ←||N S||→ Fairfield → Emeryville|
|San Francisco ← Dixon ←||W E||→ West Sacramento → Sacramento|