Introduction to Davis, California
The city of Davis is located in Yolo County, California, 11 miles west of Sacramento and 72 miles northeast of San Francisco. Davis is served by two major freeways, Interstate 80 and California State Route 113. Home to University of California at Davis, the city is known as a university town with a progressive and environmentally conscious mind set. The city is also home to an off-campus branch of Sacramento City College. Davis is often referred to as the "most bicycle friendly town in the world" due to its wide streets and numerous bike paths. Since the 1960s, Davis has had one of the highest cyclist per capita ratios in the nation.
Founded in 1868, the city was originally named Davisville for Jerome C. Davis, a prominent local farmer. By the time of its incorporation in 1917, the city's name had been shortened to Davis. Historically an agricultural town, Davis became home to the University of California at Davis in 1908, at which time the university was known as the "University Farm School." Today Davis is widely noted for its contributions not only in agriculture, but in many other fields, including life sciences, biotechnology, veterinary medicine, medical technology, and engineering.
Arts, Culture, and Entertainment in Davis
One of Davis's strong points is its emphasis on parks and open spaces. The city's Central Park is home to the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame and the Davis Farmer's Market, an event held every Wednesday and Saturday year round at which attendees can find gourmet foods, arts and crafts and specialty products, and can also enjoy live entertainment. The area also offers many cultural attractions.
Art lovers can sample works at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Schrem Museum of Art and a number of galleries including "The Artery," a local artists' cooperative, and at a longtime downtown site, the "Pence Gallery." Music lovers can enjoy year-round performances by The Davis Musical Theater Company. Other year-round performances are available at the Mondavi Center. Other local attractions include:
- Toad Tunnel: Constructed in 1995 to prevent frogs from being killed by traffic on a newly-constructed overpass which replaced a crossing route to the reservoir, the 18-inch high and 21-inch wide tunnel went unused at first because the frogs refused to use it. When the tunnel was lit to encourage its use, some frogs died from the heat of the lamps. Another problem: word got around in the bird community about the frog-producing hole in the ground at the tunnel's exit. The tunnel still lives, however, and its exit has been decorated to resemble a toad town.
- UC Davis Arboretum
- Whole Earth Festival: A three-day annual music and education festival which takes place at UC Davis during Mother's Day Weekend.
- Picnic Day: Another annual event held at the UC Davis campus every April, this is the largest student-run event in the US. Over 150 free events are featured including a large parade and a Battle of the Bands.
Proximity to the State Capital of Sacramento yields quick and easy access to several attractions there, including the following:
- California State Railroad Museum
- Old Sacramento
- Sacramento Zoo
- Sacramento Convention Center
- Discovery Museum
- Crocker Art Museum
The city of San Francisco, 72 miles to the southwest, has a wealth of attractions of its own, including:
- Golden Gate Bridge
- Nob Hill
- Embarcadero Square
- Cable Car Museum
- Ghirardelli Square
- Fisherman's Wharf
- San Francisco Zoo
Fans of professional sports can see teams in either of these cities. Some of the choices include:
- Major League Baseball (MLB): Oakland Athletics (American League)
- Major League Baseball (MLB): San Francisco Giants (National League)
- Minor League Baseball (MiLB): Sacramento River Cats (Oakland A's AAA affiliate)
- Minor League Baseball (MiLB): San Jose Giants (SF Giants single-A affiliate)
- National Football League (NFL): San Francisco 49'ers
- National Football League (NFL): Oakland Raiders
- National Basketball Association: Golden State Warriors
- National Basketball Association: Sacramento Kings
- United Soccer League: Sacramento Republic Football Club
- World Indoor Soccer League: Sacramento Knights
- Major League Lacrosse (MLL): San Francisco Dragons