The City That Davis Built
Long ago, there was Davisville, a farm town about 15 miles west of Sacramento and 75 miles east of San Francisco. Jerome C. Davis saw potential in this little slice of agricultural heaven and it really is no wonder why. The area is naturally flat as a field and the climate is predictably Mediterranean; dry warm summers followed by cool rainy winters. This pleasant environment has lead to the rise of a Davis icon: the bicycle.
“Most Bicycle Friendly City in the World”
At its biggest, Davis is about 6 miles wide. Given this, it's a bit surprising that there are over 95 miles of bicycle paths running in and around town. Since the 1960s the city has planned its development around the cyclist as number one commuter (not many towns can say that!). The result... all you need to get around Davis is your trusty two-wheel.
Physical activity not for you? Still got those training wheels? Don’t worry, Davis hasn’t excommunicated standard transportation. Unitrans and Yolobus offer bus routes around town and out to neighboring cities. There is an Amtrak station in downtown. And you can still drive your car, just be prepared to share the road with cyclists and hunt for parking. Be wary of parking signs and time restraints, especially when parking closer to and downtown.
Let's ride our bikes through Davis!
One look at the map will tell you that the city of Davis is smaller than many neighborhoods in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles. But there is a sense of quality that is valued here, over size. While Davis offers a premium of housing that will make big city people feel like they warped into Pleasantville, there are still considerations to make based on lifestyle preferences. Let’s hop on our bikes and see the city from the street (“ring ring” from my bike bell), follow me!
First stop - South Davis
To the south of the 80 freeway you will find some nice new apartments. There is a level of calm in South Davis. There is also a nearby shopping center. As we go further east, while staying below the 80, we run into El Macero golf course and the surrounding community.
Lets cross the 80 – East Davis
Now we are riding through the neighborhoods east of L street and above the 80 freeway. Most of the properties around here are older homes with apartments scattered throughout. As we peddle to the north east our bike path leads to Wildhorse golf course (we'll get to the Frisbee golf courses soon). This is an area full of newer homes. Now let’s start heading west and stop for a bite to eat at my favorite spot for a sandwich, the Nugget grocery store. They got the best deli in town.
Peddle up – North Davis
Ready to peddle up? Don’t worry, there aren’t any hills in Davis! We are going to ride through the neighborhood east of L street all the way to the 113 while staying above 14th Street. North Davis is pretty evenly split between houses and apartments. Most of them are a little on the older side. Another perk about the north - they have a comprehensive shopping center.
Cross the 113 – West Davis
Let’s head across the 113 to west Davis. We will pass the Sutter Davis hospital. The west has a mix of houses and apartments, old and new.
Now we’re peddling east of the 113, south of 14th, and west of L street. Downtown has the look and feel of a boutique country town. It’s clean and full of small businesses, coffee shops, and restaurants. At night you will find it offers a stimulating assortment of bars. The eastern portion of downtown has food, boutiques, shops, and some housing all bundled together. Let’s stop at Manna Korean Restaurant (Bulgogi! Bulgogi!). I think I will hang out here for a while. Why don’t you keep reading about Davis and plan your own bike ride through town?
Fitting In and Finding Culture
A large Farmers Market is held on Wednesday evening and Saturday mornings in Downtown – just 1/10th of a mile from Barefoot Studio. Perhaps the biggest celebration is the annual Picnic Day (held on the third Saturday each April) that consumes the entire Davis Community. You can expect a full blown parade, battle of the bands, Dachshund racing (yeah, you read that right.), lots of eating, drinking, and fun times. The Mondovi Center hosts internationally renowned acts throughout the year. Finally, the Whole Earth Festival is a large waste free and sustainable event which has been entertaining citizens for decades.