Davis, California Photos and Information
 

  Davis Population: 56,000  

 

 

Davis, California is a college town with nearly half the population made up of students. As you exit the fast paced Highway 80 eleven miles west of Sacramento, you discover a charming city that's very flat, has lots of trees and is bicycle-friendly. The city logo even includes an old fashioned highwheel bike commemorated at several areas such as the courtyard in front of Borders Books. The city encourages bicycling to enhance the slow-paced lifestyle and provide an environmentally safe, friendly place with less pollution and car traffic. Spending money on bike maps, bike routes and bike education has paid off. When you drive around, you notice lots of people pedaling and walking.

 

385 miles north of Los Angeles and 72 miles northeast of San Francisco, Davis enjoys a beautiful campus, old-fashioned downtown shopping area, state-of-art Davis Transit Depot and fantastic works of art such as Solar Intersections. The panels that rise into the air at the gateway to the train station are mesmerizing to watch. Prisms reflect light from the coated steel panels, sending rainbows of color to the watcher.

 

This great art sculpture is hardly noticed by the dozens of students pouring out of the Depot with their suitcases and cell phones. This college town enjoys a reputation not only for the public's willingness to ride bikes, but also for the high standard of education provided and the intelligence or determination of those attending school in Davis. More students receive PhD's in the biological sciences at UC Davis than at any other university in the nation. UC Davis undergraduates have the highest rates of graduation of UC campuses and Law School graduates rank among the top 3 of 60 law schools in California in their passage rate of the state bar exam.

 

Davis sits in the Pacific Flyway, a major migration route for waterfowl and other North American birds. Several wildlife preserves, offering a natural environment, dot the landscape. The Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area - one of the most successful public-private partnerships for wildlife preservation – was recognized by President Clinton in 1999. It provides habitat for thousands of resident and migratory waterfowl on more than 2500 acres of seasonal and semi -permanent wetlands. Open to the public, the facility provides educational opportunities regarding wetlands and associated wildlife species.

The Central Valley is the agricultural heart of the state and provides one of the most highly developed and integrated agricultural systems in the world. Scientists conduct research in Davis because its physical location allows re-creation of nearly limitless soil and environmental conditions. The area surrounding Davis has some of the most productive agricultural land in California, sustaining hundreds of different crops – from rice to tomatoes to almonds. Thus conservation of prime agricultural land through limited urban growth is a priority as part of the city’s General Plan. Other directives include resource conservation and the efficient use of energy, open space and water resources. These priorities have garnered Davis international acclaim for accomplishments in recycling; water conservation; and innovative, energy-saving design.

Davis also sits in the eastern portion of the Putah Creek Plain, a major feature of the southwestern Sacramento River Valley. The land slopes at generally less than one percent. Elevations range from 60 feet in western parts of the city to 25 feet in some eastern parts, with an official elevation level of 51 feet. The city limits cover 9.9 square miles.

Davis is noted for its desirable quality of life, its seeming small town atmosphere, and an emphasis on parks and open spaces. Twenty-two miles of greenbelts wind their way through the neighborhoods of North Davis and South Davis. Davis’ parks contain picnic facilities, ball fields and swimming pools. An expanded Central Park includes a Teen Center and the Davis Farmer’s Market. The Davis Farmers Market is held year-round twice weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays in Central Park. It is a unique grocery shopping experience. In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables sold by local farmers, often organic, attendees can find gourmet foods, live entertainment, specialty products, arts and crafts, and even splash fountains for children’s enjoyment.


The area offers myriad cultural and entertainment attractions. A Northern California Mecca for artists of many media, Davis features a community-built Art Center, more than two dozen private and public galleries, an annual downtown Street Faire, an exciting collection of unusual public objects d’art and the restored downtown Varsity Theater performing arts and conference center. In almost any direction one turns, the stroke of the local artist is evident. Demonstrating the city’s dedication to art in public places, nearly $200,000 of publicly owned art can be seen in a walk around downtown Davis.

Galleries like “The Artery”, a local artists’ cooperative, provide an opportunity for artists to show and sell their work. Longtime downtown anchor, the “Pence Gallery”, hosts exhibits year-round and the outdoor performing area is home to music concerts and theater productions. The Davis Musical Theater Company is the west’s only full time, year-round, musical theater, company, and the Davis Comic Opera Company stages classic operettas. The quaint Palms Playhouse produces intimate live music concerts with big name stars and UCD Presents brings world class entertainers to the area. More than a dozen major dance concerts are produced in town each year and the UC Davis Drama Department always has a top-notch theater season.


Take a trip back to the days of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The train stops at Elkhorn park for a delicious old fashioned barbeque and a gunfight along the shores of the Sacramento River.

Friendly to pedestrians and bicyclists alike, downtown Davis presents an appealing, vibrant cornerstone to the larger community offering shopping, dining, arts and entertainment. With over 65 specialty stores and a variety of wonderful restaurants and cafes, downtown Davis is an enjoyable destination. Special seasonal events abound all year around - don't miss the free concert series in the summer, our Friday Night Downtown Labor Day 5K : 10K races and Holiday events including a parade, open house, and tree plaza lighting.

The Putah Creek Bike Path is the newest section in the city's network of multi-use paths, which extends for more than 50 miles in dedicated right-of-ways with grade separations (bridges and underpasses) to minimize traffic interaction. This extensive path network complements another 50-odd miles of bike lanes on shared roadways. One particularly delightful feature of life in Davis is observing the morning and afternoon "rush hours" on the greenbelt paths, as groups of children travel to and from school on bikes, skateboards and scooters.

Davis grew around a Southern Pacific Railroad depot which was built in 1868. At that time it was known as "Davisville" (named for Jerome C. Davis - a prominent local farmer). However, the post office at Davisville shortened the town name to simply "Davis" in 1907. The name stuck, and the city of Davis was incorporated in March of 1917.

From its inception as a farming community, Davis has been known for its contributions to agriculture along with veterinary care and animal husbandry. This has especially been true ever since the University of California decided to build a land grant university there in 1908. Now the city is also known for its contributions in the areas of biotechnology, medicine and other life sciences.

Neighboring towns include Dixon, Winters, and Woodland. area of 10.4 mi of  land a

Davis' Toad Tunnel has drawn much attention over the years including a mention on The Daily Show. Because of the building of an overpass, animal lovers worried about toads being killed by cars commuting from South Davis to North Davis, since the toads hopped from one side of a dirt lot (which the overpass replaced) to the reservoir at the other end. After much controversy, a decision was made to build a toad tunnel, which runs beneath the Pole Line Road overpass.

The tunnel has created problems of its own. The toads originally refused to use the tunnel and so the tunnel was lighted to encourage its use. The toads then died from the heat of the lamps inside the tunnel. The exit to the toad tunnel has been decorated by the Post-Master to ressemble a toad town.

Whole Earth Festival
The Whole Earth Festival aka WEF is a three day music and education fest in the Spring, which usually takes place during Mother's Day Weekend. It is considered by many to be a must-see Davis event. Many of the environmentally conscious make a pilgrimage to Davis for this very event, and the UC Davis Quad area is littered with hundreds of craft huts, music acts, massage tables, food and a child care area. Various workshops occur throughout the weekend as well. The WEF is organized solely by UCD students. Volunteers receive a free shirt.

UC Davis Arboretum
The University of California, Davis, Arboretum is a fine arboretum and botanical garden.
 

Picnic Day
Picnic Day is an annual event held on the University of California, Davis durring the month of April and is the largest Student Ran event in the US. Highlights of the event include the battle of the bands held in the University of California, Davis, Arboretum and the Dachshund races held in the Rec Hall.

Davis, California - Frog Tunnel - Toad Hollow miniature village
Toad Hollow is the famous miniature village located on the eastern entrance of the Toad Tunnel near the main Davis Post Office. Ted Puntillo Sr., the builder of the Toad Hollow village, has also written a book title "The Toads of Davis," which tells the story of the town's legendary toad tunnel. In 1995, the city of Davis spent $14,000 to build a frog and toad tunnel under the Pole Line Road overpass across Interstate 80. [Anna, 09/16/2000]

Directions: Located on Pole Line Road next to the Post Office.

The Central Valley is the agricultural heart of the state and provides one of the most highly developed and integrated agricultural systems in the world. Scientists conduct research in Davis because its physical location allows re-creation of nearly limitless soil and environmental conditions. The area surrounding Davis has some of the most productive agricultural land in California, sustaining hundreds of different crops – from rice to tomatoes to almonds. Thus conservation of prime agricultural land through limited urban growth is a priority as part of the city’s General Plan. Other directives include resource conservation and the efficient use of energy, open space and water resources. These priorities have garnered Davis international acclaim for accomplishments in recycling; water conservation; and innovative, energy-saving design.

Davis also sits in the eastern portion of the Putah Creek Plain, a major feature of the southwestern Sacramento River Valley. The land slopes at generally less than one percent. Elevations range from 60 feet in western parts of the city to 25 feet in some eastern parts, with an official elevation level of 51 feet. The city limits cover 9.9 square miles.

Davis is home to the University of California at Davis. UC Davis is a world class university with such varied attractions as the arboretum along Putah Creek, cultural performances, galleries, and general, medical, and law libraries. The highly ranked University of California, Davis has 26,000 students. Though many students live in Davis and contribute to a low housing vacancy rate, a great number of student’s commute from the surrounding communities.

UC Davis has emerged an acknowledged international leader. It is gaining similar recognition for excellence in the arts, humanities, social sciences, engineering, health sciences, law and management. The University occupies 5,200 acres and is the largest physical campus in the nine campus UC system. In addition to more than 100 undergraduate majors, 80 minors, and 70 graduate programs, the university has four professional programs: the School of Law, the Graduate School of Management, the School of Medicine, and the School of Veterinary Medicine, the latter being the only such school in California.

An acknowledged international leader in agricultural, biological, biotechnological and environmental sciences, it is also gaining similar recognition for the excellence of its teaching and research in the arts, humanities, social sciences, engineering, health sciences, law and management. Two years ago, UCD was admitted into the prestigious Association of American Universities. Membership in this group of 62 institutions of higher learning is by invitation only. In 1999, U.S. News & World Report magazine ranked UC Davis among the top 12 public universities nationwide. In addition, many of the UCD programs ranked in the top 10 nationwide.

More than 150 new varieties of fruits, grains and vegetables have sprung from agricultural research at UC Davis. The strawberry varieties alone represent the majority of strawberries grown commercially around the world. The university’s viticulture and enology department has influenced winemakers around the world, and its studio art program is widely regarded as one of the best in the country.

The University Arboretum is home to one of the best collections of dry lands plants in the country, and occupies about 200 acres along the north fork of Putah Creek. The Arboretum contains 2,000 trees, flowers and bushes, including more than a dozen rare or endangered species, and serves as an important teaching and research resource as well as a campus and community open space amenity.

UC Davis has a wide range of diverse offerings in music, drama, dance, the visual arts and design throughout the year. The Department of Music sponsors nearly 100 concerts each year, including those by the University Symphony, Chorus, Chamber Singers, Early Music Ensemble, Concert Band and Electronic Music Studio. The department regularly brings to the campus distinguished professional musicians to perform in concert, and each year hosts a visiting Artist-in-Residence of international reputation.