Here are a few only-in-Davis activities — and one in neighboring Woodland — you won’t want to miss.
Yolo County Visitors Bureau
132 E St. Suite 200, 530-297-1900; http://www.yolocvb.org
Any visitor wanting to make the most of a trip to Davis should begin at the Yolo County Visitors Bureau. The resource-packed YCVB can supply visitors — and residents — with calendars of events, activity guides, bicycle and walking tour brochures, lodging information and a helpful staff. Its website provides many answers to questions about visiting Davis.
Choose from deli sandwiches, a burrito, sushi or Thai cuisine for lunch. Enjoy outdoor dining at many places or take your meal to Central Park for a picnic. Buy a book — new or used — stroll through the Arboretum and spend some tranquil time reading in the Redwood Grove.
Get pampered at a local spa, visit a salon for a new hairdo or find a new outfit at a boutique or thrift store. Take a date to dinner followed by ice cream and a movie, or peruse an art gallery. Hang out with friends at a coffee shop or listen to live music at a bar.
Where can all this be done? In downtown Davis, which offers a wide range of shopping, dining and entertainment options in just a few blocks.
Special seasonal events abound all year-round — free concerts; Second Friday ArtAbout evenings of open galleries and artists’ receptions each month on second Fridays at art locales throughout Davis; 5K and 10K running races; and holiday events including trick-or-treating at Halloween, and a children’s parade, open house and tree lighting in December.
U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame
303 Third St.; http://www.usbhof.org
Hours: 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays; other days and times by appointment.
The U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame has one of the most extensive bicycle collections in the world and is home to all the athletes inducted to the Hall of Fame throughout its 25-year history. Inductees include Olympians and championship cyclists such as Greg LeMond, Eric Heiden, Major Taylor and the founding inductee, Fred “Pop” Kugler.
The Hall of Fame gives visitors the opportunity to view the UC Davis Pierce-Miller Collection of antique bicycles, the extensive catalog of memorabilia from the Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame inductees and many more key cycling artifacts.
Davis Farmers Market
Central Park, Fourth and C streets; 530-756-1695; http://www.davisfarmersmarket.org
Hours: Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., year-round; Wednesdays, 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., March 20 through Oct. 30; Winter Wednesday Market hours are 2 to 6 p.m. through March 12, 2014.
In 2009, the Davis Farmers Market was crowned America’s favorite large farmers’ market by the American Farmland Trust and thousands of voters. The win represents the integral role the Davis Farmers Market plays in the community and the avid support of its dedicated customers and fans during its long history.
Explore the market stalls twice a week year-round, rain or shine, and you will find fruits, vegetables, nuts, flowers, honey, wine, cheese, crafts and gift baskets.
On Wednesday evenings between March and October, you’ll find all of the above, plus an international food fair and live music at the popular Picnic in the Park. Kids will enjoy Wednesday evenings with balloons, carousel and pony rides, face painting, bouncing bungalows, craft activities and much more.
720 Olive Drive; 530-757-2902; http://www.rocknasium.com
Rocknasium is one of the first climbing gyms in the country. It has 8,000 square feet of climbable terrain in a 3,600-square-foot facility with 23 walls and endless climbing possibilities for beginners and experts alike. No experience is necessary to come in and climb.
Rocknasium is open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. Walk-ins are welcome.
For a complete listing of facilities, parks and services, visit 1818 Fifth St., call 530-757-5626, or check the city’s website at http://cityofdavis.org
With more than 400 acres of parks and greenbelts throughout the community, Davis has plenty of places to go out and play.
Thirty-two neighborhood and community parks, 12 large, reservable picnic areas and many smaller ones, 33 tennis courts, and other amenities such as horseshoe pits, disc golf, basketball courts and four pool complexes provide opportunities for recreational and lap swimming, and swim classes.
Toad Hollow Dog Park
1919 Second St., http://community-development.cityofdavis.org/toad-hollow-dog-park
Toad Hollow Dog Park generally is the place to be for Davis’ four-legged friends. This 2.5-acre fully fenced park provides plenty of room for your dog to play.
Parking is available at the park and along Second Street next to the park. Your dog must be on leash from the parking area until you enter the park.
Just look around! A public art walking tour guide can be picked up at the Yolo County Visitors’ Bureau at 132 E St., Suite 200.
One way Davis likes to liven up its landscapes and neighborhoods is through public art.
Playful sculptures, functional pieces like a wall or a clock, and much more adorn the downtown area, shopping centers, parks, greenbelts and buildings throughout Davis.
Local galleries combine efforts for a festive evening on the second Friday of each month. For each Second Friday ArtAbout, galleries welcome visitors from 6 to 9 p.m. and host exhibits where people can meet artists and enjoy music and refreshments.
The community’s outdoor and indoor public art is available all the time for people to see — and, in some cases, to climb on.
A stroll through downtown might take you past “The Joggers” at Third and F streets, “Solar Intersections” at the train depot, “Clepsydra” clock and water feature on the E Street Plaza, the pieces in Central Park, or one of a couple of murals on downtown buildings.
Just north of the downtown area are a few pieces at the Davis Senior Center, 646 A St.; City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.; the Yolo County offices, 600 A St.; and a giant fiberglass tomato sculpture at the Davis Food Co-op, 620 G St.
In North Davis, a walk or bike ride would take you by several pieces on greenbelts — curious dogs or tumbling dominoes. In West Davis, a flying saucer crash-landed not long ago. At The Marketplace shopping center, ceramic pigs dance.
In East Davis, dolphins await playful kids in Slide Hill Park. Around that area, in the Mace Ranch neighborhood, artist Sam Tubiolo has created a piece that combines techniques to capture many uses of Mace Ranch Park and highlight its seasonal changes.
In South Davis, artist Troy Corliss built a rammed-earth wall titled “Alluvium” that varies in height and meanders in Walnut Park. Artist David Middlebrook’s “Ancient Shadows” adorn the Playfields Park bicycle tunnel.
UC Davis Arboretum
One Shields Ave.; 530-752-4880; http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu
The UC Davis Arboretum is a living museum with more than 4,000 kinds of trees, plants and shrubs. Established in 1936, the Arboretum stretches along the old north channel of Putah Creek, covering about 100 acres. Students and teachers use the plant collections for research and study.
Visitors come to attend classes, gather ideas for their own gardens and enjoy guided tours. The plants in the Arboretum are arranged in a series of gardens that represent different geographic areas, plant groups, horticultural themes or historical periods.
Gardens include: The Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California Native Plants; The Ruth Risdon Storer Garden of perennials and small shrubs; The Carolee Shields White Flower Garden; Peter J. Shields Oak Grove including conifers and acacias; The Mediterranean Section; The Weier Redwood Grove with North Coast Area and California Foothill Section; and The Desert Section.
Hattie Weber Museum
445 C St.; 530-758-5637; http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/go/hattie
Hours: The museum is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Hattie Weber Museum has exhibits depicting the history and heritage of the city of Davis and the surrounding area. The museum is operated by the Yolo County Historical Society for the Davis community.
Admission is free but donations are accepted with gratitude.
Bohart Museum of Entomology
1124 Academic Surge, UC Davis; 530-752-0493; http://bohart.ucdavis.edu
Hours: The museum is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.
The R.M. Bohart Museum of Entomology, founded in 1946 at UC Davis, is dedicated to teaching, research and service. It has the seventh largest insect collection in North America, totaling more than 7 million specimens. The museum also is home of the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect bio-diversity of California’s deserts, mountains, coast and Central Valley.
Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
UC Davis; (866) 754-2787; http://www.mondaviarts.org
This world-class performing arts venue on the UC Davis campus hosts performances year-round by world-class musicians and other performers. The Mondavi Center explores the full range of the performing arts, from the traditional to the innovative, and from diverse cultures and disciplines through presentation, education, public service and research.
Davis wetlands and ponds
City of Davis Public Works Department; 530-757-4828;
Hours:The wetlands are open every day from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Feb. 15 through Aug. 31; Mondays only, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. between Sept. 1 and Feb. 14. The ponds are open to the public day or night.
The city of Davis wetlands is a unique project established for the dual purpose of wildlife habitat restoration and water quality enhancement. The 400-acre project is one of the largest constructed wetlands in the United States, relying on treated wastewater and storm water runoff as water sources.
Docent-led tours of the wetlands occur on the first Saturday of the month. Call 530-757-4828 for tour times; tours last approximately two hours. Or, visit them on your own time and see Canada geese, American avocets, Cooper’s hawks, sandpipers, barn owls, wood doves, songbirds, muskrats, jack rabbits, beavers, turtles, bullfrogs, toads and other species.
The four ponds are:
* The West Area Pond, 31 acres at Shasta Drive and Arlington Boulevard;
* The North Area Pond, 16 acres at F Street and Anderson Road;
* The Core Area Pond, 15 acres at Second Street and Pole Line Road; and
* The Evergreen Pond, 5 acres, across from Sutter Davis Hospital.
Vic Fazio Yolo Wildlife Area
Interstate 80 at the Yolo Causeway between Davis and Sacramento; 530-758-1018; http://www.yolobasin.org
The 16,000-acre Yolo Wildlife Area is one of the largest public/private restoration projects with 3,700 acres of land in the Yolo Bypass floodway restored to wetlands and other associated habitats, with more restoration in the works. The California Department of Fish and Game manages the Yolo Wildlife Area to promote an increase in waterfowl and other bird populations.
Guided tours of the Yolo Wildlife Area are available.
California Raptor Center
School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis; 530-752-6091; http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/calraptor
Hours: The center is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon for self-guided tours.
The California Raptor Center is a unique facility that combines education, research and conservation. Students and volunteers learn under the direction of the School of Veterinary Medicine to provide medical care for an average of 200 raptors from throughout Northern California each year.
About 60 percent of the patients are released back into the wild, the non-releasable raptors serve as environmental ambassadors in educational programs, research for conservation biology and as foster parents. The center’s educational programs teach participants to respect and care for animal, plant and the human community of life.
Guided tours are available by appointment by calling 530-752-6091.
Heidrick Ag History Center
1962 Hays Lane, Woodland; 530-666-9700; http://www.aghistory.org.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m Wednesdays through Sundays
The museum features a world-class exhibition of more than 100 vehicles tracing the development of agriculture in this region from the late 1800s into the middle of the 20th century.
Heidrick, who once had the largest farming operation in Yolo County, collected rare, unusual and historic farm machinery. Among the vehicles on exhibit at the Stroll are a 1918 Fulton pickup truck, a 1948 Ford flatbed pickup truck and a Caterpillar Model 10-Expo.
The center has interactive exhibits and one of the world’s most complete antique collections. Admission for is adults (13-61) $8; seniors (62 and up) $7; Children (5-12) $5; and under 5 free.
— Information for this listing was provided by the Yolo County Visitors Bureau and UC Davis