Davis, formerly known as Davisville, is home to the University of California and is the most populous city in Yolo County. The vibrant university city has much to offer in the way of things to see and do, including the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame, which features a fascinating collection of antique bikes and trophies, and the UC Davis Arboretum with acres of beautifully manicured gardens, walking paths and trails and a tranquil lake. Other attractions in the city include the Davis Farmers Market where delicious organic produce and handcrafted items can be found and the Hattie Weber Museum which documents the history of the region with exciting exhibits and displays.
1.UC Davis Arboretum
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The University of California, Davis Arboretum is a 100-acre botanical garden and research center that is set along the banks of the old north channel of Putah Creek. Founded in 1936, the arboretum features 17 gardens and collections, including the Arboretum Terrace Garden and Lois Crowe Patio, Australian, California Foothill, Conifer, Desert, and East Asian Collections, the Carolee Shields White Flower Garden and Gazebo, the Eric E. Conn Acacia Grove, and the Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California Native Plants, among others. The University of California, Davis Arboretum is open 24 hours a day every day of the year and is free to the public.
920 Garrod Drive, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-752-4880
2.California Raptor Center
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The California Raptor Center (CRC) is an educational and research facility that was founded to rehabilitate and care for injured and orphaned birds of prey, also known as raptors. The facility adopts up to 350 sick, injured, and orphaned raptors every year and successfully rehabilitates up to 60% of them so that they can return to the wild. The center provides hands-on training in the care and management of birds of prey, as well as educational programs for schools, ecological and environmental organizations, and the nearby university community. The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine supports the medical needs of these unique birds and offers a broad spectrum of care, from advanced imaging capabilities to surgical expertise. The California Raptor Center (CRC) is open to the public on weekdays and Saturdays.
1340 Equine Ln, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-752-6091
3.The Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
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The Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts is a performing arts venue located on the campus of the University of California, Davis. The center is dedicated to presenting an innovative program of diverse arts from contemporary music and dance to ballet, theatrical performances and orchestra. Named for the arts patron and vineyard owner Robert Mondavi, the state-of-the-art center features a striking façade comprising a sizeable glass-paneled lobby surrounded by sandstone and elegant interiors of the same stone. Facilities at the Mondavi Center include the 1,801-seat Jackson Hall, named after university professor William Jackson, and the 250-seater Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, named after former university Chancellor Larry N. Vanderhoef.
One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-754-2787
4.Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art
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The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, also known as the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art is a quaint fine arts museum located at the University of California, Davis that features an inspired collection of old master prints, East Asian art, and ceramics. Richard L. Nelson founded the renowned art faculty in the early 1960s and today boasts a permanent collection of more than 6,000 art objects, including many works by Bruce Nauman, Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Arneson, Roland Petersen, and other artists. In addition to being a financial patron of the museum, Jan Shrem has also donated works of art including sculptures from his private collection to the museum's collection. The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art are open Tuesday through Sunday.
254 Old Davis Rd, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-752-8500
5.Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven
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The Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven is a unique outdoor museum and garden which provides natural resources for local bee pollinators and provides a site for the observation and study of bees and the plants that support them. The museum garden aims to inspire and educate visitors to learn more about bees, their lifestyle and the critical role they play in the ecosystem and encourages visitors to create pollinator habitat gardens of their own. Located next to the Harry H. Laidlaw, Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis, the garden was generously donated by Häagen-Dazs and is open year-round during daylight hours.
Bee Biology Rd, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-902-8847
6.Davis Farmers Market
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The Davis Farmers Market runs every Saturday morning and Wednesday afternoon and evening, year-round and sells an array of artisanal, craft and farm produce. The bustling, vibrant market sells certified organic produce, fruits and vegetables, prime meats and chicken, local eggs and honey, flowers, herbs, plants and freshly baked bread, pastries, and sweet treats. The Market Shed is part of the market and sells handcrafted baskets, Market logo wear, and postcards. During the summer the Davis Farmers Market extends its Wednesday hours to host the annual Picnic in the Park, transforming the market into a festival of food, music, and fun.
301 C St, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-756-1695
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The Davis Greenbelt, also known as the Greenbelt is a green urban belt featuring paved walkways and bike paths running from north to south and east to west Davis. The Greenbelt forms part of a network of ten distinct and connected greenbelts near Davis and boasts 60 miles in the greenbelt of which approximately 10 square miles run through the town. The Greenbelt features an arboretum, large grassy lawns with picnic tables, and plenty of places to walk, jog, and cycle with bridges and tunnels for bikes to get through. The Greenbelts can be broken into their north, south, east, and west locations. North Davis includes the Covell, Perimeter, Northstar, and Senda Nueva Greenbelts, while the South Davis Greenbelts include Putah, Rose, and Willow Creek. East Davis is home to Green Meadows, Mace Ranch, and Wildhorse and West Davis, Aspen and Evergreen.
Davis, CA 95616
8.Davis Campus of the University of California
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The Davis Campus of the University of California is a public institution and one of 10 schools in the University of California system. Founded in 1905 as a farm school for UC – Berkeley, the University of California offers a wide range of academic options across undergraduate, graduate and professional schools and colleges. Set on a 5,300-acre campus just 15 miles from Sacramento, the University is home to an airport, a fire department and a unique collection of outdoor sculptures called Eggheads and there are more than 500 student organizations on campus. The UC Davis has more than 20 NCAA Division I teams and is home to the Aggie Pack, the largest student spirit organization in the country.
1 Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-752-1011
9.Great Bear Vineyards
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Great Bear Vineyards is a wine estate and vineyard on the northern edge of Davis that produces superb wines with intense flavor from the highest quality grapes. The estate is set on beautiful grounds with rolling vineyards and boasts a grand homestead, barn, and gardens that date back to 1860. It is located close to the University of California, Davis, with its world-renowned Viticulture and Enology Department and resident experts who share their passion for wine and their knowledge freely. Great Bear Vineyards have a small selection of premium wines available for sale at certain wine tasting events and through their exclusive wine club.
24800 Co Rd 101A, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-574-1516
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Impossible Acres is a family farm in Davis where visitors are invited to pick their produce. The farm produces a variety of seasonal fruit and vegetables throughout the year such as boysenberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, peaches, apples, pumpkins, corn, and gourds which visitors can pick themselves. The farm is also home to goats, chickens, and ponies and offers hayrides and maze games. During the fall, Impossible Acres turns into a Pumpkin Patch and has farm animals, petting zoo and more fun activities for children to enjoy, and the beautiful surrounding farmlands are perfect for picnicking in the summer.
7945 Co Rd 31, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-750-0451
11.The Carolee Shields White Flower Garden
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The Carolee Shields White Flower Garden and Gazebo is a beautiful theme garden located in the UC Davis Arboretum and based on medieval moon-viewing gardens of India and Japan. Named for Carolee Shields, an avid gardener, and wife of one of the founders of the UC Davis campus, the garden features curving paths framing a vine-covered gazebo and exquisite flowering and fragrant plants whose pale flowers are particularly luminous by moonlight. Features of the garden include the Lois Crowe Patio, the Native American Contemplative Garden, the Foundation, The Putah Creek Lodge Bridges, a dock and a boathouse, and the pretty gazebo. The Carolee Shields White Flower Garden and Gazebo is a popular venue for weddings and other celebrations and special events.
Davis, CA 95616
12.US Bicycling Hall of Fame
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The US Bicycling Hall of Fame is a museum dedicated to preserving and promoting the sport of cycling. Founded in 1986 in Somerville, New Jersey, the museum features an extensive collection of historic bicycles, including the bikes of Major Taylor and Frank Louis Kramer as well as cycling memorabilia, souvenirs and championship sash and medals from Frank Kramer. The main floor of the museum includes topical exhibits such as a display about Greg LeMond and a presentation about the Tour of California, while the basement boasts an extensive array of historical and landmark bicycles that includes bicycles from the 1950s through the present that illustrates the rapid recent evolution of the bicycle and Draisine and Velocipede models. The United States Bicycling Hall of Fame is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.
303 3rd St, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-341-3263
13.Bohart Museum of Entomology
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The Bohart Museum of Entomology is a museum dedicated to entomology and features a collection of more than seven million specimens of terrestrial and freshwater arthropods. Founded in 1946 on the campus of the University of California, Davis., the museum is currently the seventh largest insect collection in North America with species from Australasia, Indonesia, and the Western Hemisphere. The museum is closely tied to the Entomology Department at UC Davis and provides research support for the department, as well as houses teaching insect collections for undergraduate level entomology courses taught on campus. The Bohart Museum of Entomology is open to the public Monday through Thursday.
Main Campus, 1124 Academic Surge Building UC, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-752-0493
14.Explorit Science Center
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The Explorit Science Center is an interactive science museum dedicated to fostering curiosity about science and nature through exploration and discovery. The museum features hands-on activities and exhibits for children of all ages and hosts school field trips on weekday mornings and summer camps. Exhibits at the museum include Mars - some of NASA missions to Mars; Planets – a chart with basic facts about our Sun's nine planets; Science "Factoids" about all things science; Touring the Galapagos Islands – a pictorial essay; and Astronomy QR: Comet Hale-Bopp: Comet Hyakutake. Children can enjoy challenging games, quizzes, and stumpers on a variety of topics that encourage learning through play and the museum host popular events and family programs throughout the year.
3141 5th St, Davis, CA 95618, Phone: 530-756-0191
15.John Natsoulas Center for the Arts
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The John Natsoulas Art Gallery, now called the John Natsoulas Center for the Arts, is a large art gallery in the heart of downtown Davis that is dedicated to promoting art history, arts education, and the exhibition of regional talent and California artworks. Spanning four floors of art including a sculpture roof garden, the gallery also provides a place for cultural meetings, conferences, and public activities, along with a variety of visual, literary and musical events held throughout the year. The largest of the city’s art galleries and a vital part of the Davis art scene, the gallery also operates the Log Cabin Gallery in the former Boy Scout Cabin. And features a casual café where light meals and drinks are served during opening hours.
521 First Street, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-756-3938
16.Hattie Weber Museum
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The Hattie Weber Museum is dedicated to highlighting the history and development of the city of Davis and its surrounding regions. Built-in 1911 and named after Harriet Elisha (Hattie) Weber, the first paid librarian in Davis, the museum features an array of exhibits showcasing the history and culture of the city with a variety of outstanding interactive exhibits and displays. The museum is housed in what was formerly a public library, which has been beautifully restored to its former glory and relocated to the northwest corner of C and Fifth in Central Park. The Hattie Weber Museum is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.
445 C St, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-758-5637
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Central Park Gardens is an award-winning public park with a variety of themed gardens and beautiful landscapes. Established in the early 1990s, Central Park Gardens has an array of different gardens ranging from drought tolerant and edible plantings to California native flora and wildlife attracting flowers. Gardens include Rose and Flower, Sensory, California Natives, Vegetable, Meadow, Beneficial Insect Habitat, and Waterwise. The gardens are complemented by a fantastic collection of public art in the form of sculptures and paintings by local artists, and the gardens are a favorite place for visitors to come and relax, enjoy picnics and spend a day learning more about the fauna and flora of the region.
B Street between Third and Fourth Streets in Downtown Davis, Davis, CA 95616
18.Design Museum of UC Davis
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The Design Museum of UC Davis is a university museum that explores design shapes influence the objects we use in everyday life and how they are made more economically viable. The museum features a rotating selection of exhibitions throughout the year that changes each quarter, as well as showcase the works that the undergraduate and graduate students of the university have completed in the spring quarter of each year. The museum also hosts photographs and exhibition statements about earlier shows and enlists the services of senior undergraduate students from the Department of Design to help with the process of installation design, preparation and the handling of objects. The Design Museum of UC Davis is open Monday through Friday and on Sundays at various times.
Cruess Hall, #124, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-752-6150
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19.Veterans Memorial Theater
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The Veterans Memorial Theatre is a 325-seat theater that hosts a variety of performances from dance recitals and music concerts to live theatre and conferences. Located next to the Memorial Theatre is the Veterans Memorial Center which boasts a multi-purpose room, a catering kitchen, and a games room and can be used to hosting special events and functions. The Veterans Memorial Center is well known for hosting church services, community meetings, and weddings, as well as Yoga and Pilates classes. Amenities at the Veterans Memorial Theatre and Center include a grassy lawn area for outdoor functions, off-street parking, a snack bar, and modern restrooms.
203 East 14th Street, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-757-5626
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20.Wildhorse Golf Club
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The Wildhorse Golf Club in Davis is an award-winning golf course that has been voted as the ‘Best Public Golf Course in Yolo County.’ Designed by renowned course architect Jeff Brauer, the course uses natural elements such as ponds, bunkers, trees, Covell Creek to frame each hole from the tee box along with pristinely manicured fairways and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. The Club also boasts excellent practice facilities with 24 range practice mats that are open year round, and 30 grass stalls that are open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in late spring, summer, and early fall. A Learning Center offers golf lessons and game improvement advice from golf professionals at the Club.
2100 W Warm Springs Rd, Henderson, NV 89014, Phone: 702-434-9000
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SkyDance SkyDiving has been providing exhilarating skydiving experiences and skydiving training in the Davis region for more than 30 years. The company has the only drop zone with an FAA waiver to skydive above 28,000 feet and offered the first Tandem Skydiving program in the country. SkyDance SkyDiving features a USPA Training Center and works with licensed USPA instructors with a combined experience of more than 45 years and 25,000 skydives. SkyDance SkyDiving offers a variety of services from fun skydiving experiences for all levels, training for advanced skydivers and military personnel, and halo diving. They also provide video packages enabling skydivers to share their expertise with others.
24390 Aviation Ave, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-753-2651
22.Davis Transmedia Art Walk Tours
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The John Natsoulas Center of the Arts offers artist and curator-lead group and family art walking tours of the top transmedia art walk in the country. Guided tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays by appointment only and explore the artworks of some of the nation’s most distinguished artists, including Roy DeForest, Manuel Neri, Robert Arneson, and Wayne Thiebaud. The guided walking tour ends with a private luncheon and tour of the John Natsoulas Center of the Arts and lasts between two and three hours. Private tours for groups can also be arranged.
521 First Street, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-756-3938
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The Artery is an artist-owned and operated cooperative gallery dedicated to displaying the fine art and contemporary crafts of local artists. Founded in 1974 with the aim of providing a space in which local artists can exhibit their works and share their passion for art with the public, the Artery showcases the works of its 70 members in an array of mediums from oil and watercolor paintings, stone and metal sculpture, photography, and woodwork to ceramic tableware, textile art, handcrafted jewelry, and more. Featured artists include John Alexander, Richard Bartlett, Heidi Bekebrede, Meg Black-Smith, Linda Bird, Sharon Bloom, and Marie Brown, to name but a few. The Artery is open Monday through Sunday at various hours.
207 G St, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-758-8330
24.Burgers & Brew
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Burgers & Brew is a sleek local brewpub chain that serves a menu of gourmet burgers and sides, sandwiches, salads and desserts along with a selection of craft beers on tap and casual wines in a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere. Founded over ten years ago, Burgers & Brew was created by two brothers who wanted to serve a solid burger made with prime meat and fresh local ingredients and accompanied by crisp craft brews and Burgers & Brew was born. Boasting four locations around the country with two more on the way, and a menu offering over 25 different burgers and specialties and more than 30 brews on tap, Burgers & Brew is the place to go for a great burger and beer!
403 3rd St, Davis, CA 95616, Phone: 530-750-3600
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25 Best Things to Do in Davis, California
- UC Davis Arboretum, Photo: Courtesy of AlessandraRC - Fotolia.com
- California Raptor Center, Photo: Courtesy of asferico - Fotolia.com
- The Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, Photo: Courtesy of andrys lukowski - Fotolia.com
- Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, Photo: Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art
- Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, Photo: Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven
- Davis Farmers Market, Photo: Courtesy of smashingoats - Fotolia.com
- Davis Greenbelt, Photo: Courtesy of celeste clochard - Fotolia.com
- Davis Campus of the University of California, Photo: Courtesy of Tiffany - Fotolia.com
- Great Bear Vineyards, Photo: Courtesy of Patrick Daxenbichler - Fotolia.com
- Impossible Acres, Photo: Courtesy of kostik2photo - Fotolia.com
- The Carolee Shields White Flower Garden, Photo: Courtesy of MIGUEL - Fotolia.com
- US Bicycling Hall of Fame, Photo: US Bicycling Hall of Fame
- Bohart Museum of Entomology, Photo: Bohart Museum of Entomology
- Explorit Science Center, Photo: Courtesy of Rawpixel.com - Fotolia.com
- John Natsoulas Center for the Arts, Photo: John Natsoulas Center for the Arts
- Hattie Weber Museum, Photo: Hattie Weber Museum
- Central Park, Photo: Courtesy of darekb22 - Fotolia.com
- Design Museum of UC Davis, Photo: Courtesy of Rawpixel.com - Fotolia.com
- Veterans Memorial Theater, Photo: Courtesy of Jochen Schönfeld - Fotolia.com
- Wildhorse Golf Club, Photo: Courtesy of VAKSMANV - Fotolia.com
- SkyDance SkyDiving, Photo: Courtesy of Joggie Botma - Fotolia.com
- Davis Transmedia Art Walk Tours, Photo: Davis Transmedia Art Walk Tours
- Artery, Photo: Artery
- Burgers & Brew, Photo: Burgers & Brew
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of AlessandraRC - Fotolia.com