While Davis is not the biggest town in the Sacramento area, with a population of fewer than 70,000 residents, there are plenty of things to do and activities that can make your day.
From parks and green areas where you can relax and reunite with nature and breathtaking landscapes to museums with interesting exhibitions and performing arts centers, Davis has a wide range of plans to suggest. Not to mention its amazing food scene: various eateries, bars, and coffee shops are also a hallmark of this town.
In this review, we will provide you with the top places in town where you can go if you visit Davis randomly, go here on purpose during your Sacramento trip, plan to move in here, or live here for several years and feel a bit bored. We hope that all places below will help you get inspired and experience the best that the town can offer today.
1. Cycle or walk through the local greenbelt
One of the things that Davis is mostly famous for is its greenbelt that comes through the whole town. It takes over 50 miles around the town and offers well-maintained roads and tunnels for cyclists as well as paved walkways for those who wish to have a blissful walk. Other options that greenbelt has are places where you can have a picnic with your beloved ones and the Davis Arboretum and Public Garden spot where you can check out beautiful gardens and plants.
Besides the greenbelt that surrounds the town, there is also a vast Community Park with an amusing playground for kids and a couple of skate parks. You will not regret heading there on a sunny day. Another green zone to visit in Davis is Walnut Park, where you can enjoy watching dogs running around in a special dog-walking area. Lastly, Davis Central Park is a perfect spot to enjoy the breathtaking landscapes of California and beautiful gardens.
2. Check out the local university campus
If you are close to the arboretum mentioned in the previous section, consider visiting the campus of the University of California, Davis (or simply UC Davis). Even though the university became a separate educational institution at the end of the 1950s, many tourists and locals are attracted by its major territory that has an exquisite atmosphere.
Besides a simple walk in the campus and its buildings’ observation, you are welcome to sign for a guided tour, too. There, you will find out everything about the institution’s rich history and key milestones.
3. Try something delicious in the local eateries
Being a tourist often means that you don’t want to bother yourself with cooking and would rather prefer visiting a restaurant or a simpler place where you can grab a bite. And if you live in Davis, it works vice versa: on some days, you just feel like it’s not the best evening to have dinner at home and start looking for a place where you can book a table and eat something delicious.
For both these cases, here is our brief list of various eateries you can find in Davis. Cuisines of different countries are represented there to fit everyone’s taste.
Dos Coyotes Border Café is a place where you can try traditional South American and Mexican cuisine. Come there for amazing quesadillas, a huge variety of burritos (including interesting ones with shrimps or paella), and tacos, of course. By the way, other places nearby called Taqueria Davis and Taqueria El Burrito are also famous for their tacos and other Mexican cuisine gems.
Asian eateries’ options in Davis include T-Kumi Ramen & Rice Bowl for soups, alongside Mikuni, Jusco, and Huku Japanese Bistro for sushi; Chinese cuisine can be found in the Tasty Kitchen eatery. For Mediterranean food, visit Sam’s Restaurant or Ali Baba. Pizza & Pints will satisfy you if you are looking for Italian-American traditional pizzas accompanied by beers, and D Street Steakhouse is perfect for steaks.
To have a massive and delicious burger, head to one of the well-known and highly-rated Davis burger places: In-N-Out Burger or Burgers and Brew. Also, there is a place called The Hotdogger close by that offers wonderful hot dogs.
Finally, for healthy options and farm to table approach, you should come to Farmer's Kitchen Cafe at Natural Food Works. Here, you can order soups, salads, and main courses cooked from the best quality products delivered by the local farmers.
4. Make your day extremely enlightening with all the Davis’s museums
For such a moderate town in terms of size, Davis has a surprisingly big number of interesting museums and performing arts centers.
You can spend a whole day going to different exhibitions and finding out historical facts about the area, and here is a quick review of the seven best spots.
- US Bicycling Hall of Fame
Davis is famous for its cycling movement and numerous paths that you can explore by bike. And there’s more: the town has a bicycle statue and a museum dedicated to the topic where you can check out a huge collection of bikes that has been gathered from the middle of the 20th century.
- Hattie Weber Museum
This is a historical museum that will tell you everything about the town’s history. The building where you can find a museum now used to serve as a library. The name comes from the first paid librarian in the area, Hattie Weber. The library was preserved and moved to another building at the end of the 1980s; since then, locals and guests of Davis can visit this museum and familiarize themselves with the region’s history.
- Explorit Science Center
This place encourages kids’ interest in nature and science and has an aim to cause one for those children who are not quite into the topic. Visit the museum with your kids to get an interactive experience and lots of fun combined with knowledge.
- Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art
An outstanding fine arts museum is located on the above-mentioned university campus. Here, you can enjoy hundreds of art objects and come every couple of months to see something new. Tickets are free but you should book them in advance for a certain time through the museum’s website.
- Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven
This is an outdoor museum opened by the famous American ice cream brand. The place is dedicated to studying bees and supportive plants, and visitors can find out new facts about these useful insects. It is a lovely outdoor spot where you can both enjoy nature and get some new knowledge.
- Bohart Museum of Entomology
A scientific museum for bug fans that welcomes all visitors interested in entomology and various insects.
- Design Museum of UC Davis
Another museum that you will find in the UC Davis campus. Here, you will discover notable works created by the students that are worth seeing and grasp the university atmosphere (because sometimes classes are taught in the same building).
For all the above-listed museums, ensure that you check their schedule in advance; some of them are open only a couple of days a week. Some of them are also closed from time to time due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its new waves.
5. Buy a ticket to a gig in one of the performing arts centers
Besides museums, there is another cultural aspect well-represented in Davis: you can visit various shows in the local performing arts centers.
John Natsoulas Gallery is something more than just a gallery: various art conferences and music events are held here throughout the year. Among the recent events are Mellon Music Festival, California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Arts, and Davis Jazz and Beat Festival.
Veterans Memorial Theater is a must-visit for theater lovers, offering a wide range of performances in different genres. The place has less than 400 seats, and this makes every performance rather intimate and exclusive.
Mondavi Center is a performing arts spot where you can enjoy concerts, operas, theater acts, movie screenings, and other outstanding events. The center is also located on the university campus.
6. Take a look at the local Farmers’ Market
Visitors say this place is “full of happiness and kindness” and “one of the best markets they’ve ever visited”. Sounds like a place that is worth visiting, right? Here, you can buy plenty of goods produced by the local farmers; this includes food, arts and crafts, flowers, and other interesting products.
If you are in Davis in summer, you will have a chance to visit the festival organized at the market called Picnic at the Park. The event features live gigs along with delicious food, happy guests, and an amazing vibe.
7. Start your day in Davis in one of the amazing coffee shops
There are several decent and atmospheric coffee shops where you can both get a cup of delicious coffee and have a nutritious breakfast or brunch. Most of them are located in the Old Davis area. We especially recommend going to Philz Coffee, Temple Coffee Roasters, Crepeville, and Black Frog Coffee.
8. Visit a family-owned vineyard and farm
Another well-known and worth-visiting spot in Davis is Great Bear Vineyards, where you can taste different wines and get an unforgettable experience. The place’s owners and staff are friendly and nice, welcoming visitors not only at wine tasting but also at private parties and events. If you are a Davis resident thinking of a perfect place for your wedding, consider calling there and booking a date.
There is something more than a vineyard that offers tastings: locals appreciate this place for an opportunity to buy exclusive wines and sometimes have attractive discounts. You can join a wine club here as well for more information. Overall, Great Bear Vineyards are included in the list of the top vineyards in the California region by numerous experts.
9. Try skydiving with amazing instructors
Skydiving may sound like an extremely unusual activity to you, and some readers might even be afraid of it. However, many people have a solid dream of trying parachute jumps for what it’s worth. If you recognize yourself in the second example, maybe it is time to make your dream come true, and SkyDance SkyDiving center in Davis will help you with that.
It is a perfect place for both newbies and experienced jumpers. Guests especially note that they would love to come back here one day and instructors are amazing, being informative and helpful. If you have a friend in Davis or nearby areas and you know they want to experience skydiving, you can buy a gift card in the center, too.
10. Spend a day at a golf club
If you are a fan of golf, Davis has a spot that you must visit. Wildhorse Golf Club is an enormous territory where you can play golf and take lessons from pros. The club is one of the best in the region and is located in a green and beautiful area. You will be surrounded by mountains and fantastic views, which is perfect for a game on a blissful day.
Both adults and kids love this place; if you have a child and want them to start playing golf, bring them to the Wildhorse and attend a lesson together.
11.Watch plants in a botanical garden
There is a special place inside the arboretum, which we have mentioned before. The Carolee Shields White Flower Garden and Gazebo welcomes everybody who wants to hide from the town life with all its buildings, cars, and people.
Here, you can sit and stare at various plants for hours, or reach harmony while strolling and looking around. Take your time and enjoy the garden’s relaxing atmosphere.
12. Watch animals and buy fruits, veggies, and berries
Another amazing location in Davis is Impossible Acres. It is a farm where you are welcome to pick up fruits, veggies, and berries; a spot where you and your kids can watch ponies, birds, and goats; and a field full of pumpkins in autumn.
Guests love this place for its opportunity to interact with baby animals. For example, you can even take eggs out of a chicken, pay for them and bring them home.
13. Watch birds and learn something new about them
Besides plants and animals, there are birds to watch in Davis. The California Raptor Center is a place that supports hurt birds, helps them survive, and lets them out to the wild. It invites visitors to watch beautiful species and find out new details about birds and their rehab that may surprise them.
14. Try rock climbing
Another unusual thing Davis can suggest is rock climbing, and there is a special center for that called Rocknasium. People of all ages are welcome here, regardless of their climbing experience. The staff is professional and friendly, and many guests come back for a unique atmosphere full of fun and good vibes.
The center’s calendar is full of different training classes, and you can consult with its workers to find out what will suit you the most. There are also regular competitions for climbers at which you can sign up via the official website.
15. Have a glass of beer or wine in one of the local bars
Lastly, after all these amusing and attractive activities in Davis, we have to provide you with a list of decent bars and pubs where you can relax and order a glass of your favorite beverage.
Beer admirers in Davis should definitely visit the University of Beer where they will find dozens of beers: the list starts with local beers and continues with sour, stout, IPA, Belgian, and many other kinds. There is also a great and spacious patio for marvelous summer evenings with friends.
Sudwerk Brewing Co. Dock Store is a local brewery that offers plenty of beers to visitors. Its friendly staff will help you navigate through the beer types, and the atmosphere is easy and nice. Moreover, according to the guests’ reviews, if you are lucky, you can catch the best comedy show in town.
Wiki Bar is a great place to socialize and meet new people in Davis. Besides beers, you can order spirits and wines here, and enjoy friendly service and easy-going bartenders. It is a cozy place that is not too crowded.
Lastly, there is an amazing option for wine lovers: Davis Wine Bar. An adorable place that fits perfectly for a meeting with friends, it has wine gems in its collection that will impress wine experts for sure. There is a nice patio to sit outside as well.
So, that was our list of places that are worth visiting in Davis. As you can see, there are many fantastic things to do; hopefully, you will be satisfied with all these spots if you are a guest in town or have been living there for years.