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13 Things to Do in Davis Here's a List of Activities You Can Enjoy

By Susanne Rockwell on January 10, 2016 in Student Life

Quick Summary

  • Bicycles and the farmers market are big
  • A café culture flourishes
  • Entertainment includes films, trivia nights and music

Learn what makes the college town of Davis, one of the best-educated — and brainiest — cities in the country, also be a great community for college students. UC Davis students live and contribute to creating a high quality of life. This listicle includes information about our arts, culture, film, theater and more.

Likeable, bikeable Davis

Two men fixing a bike
Karin Higgins/UC Davis photo

With 45 percent of university commuters using bikes as their main mode of transport, you would expect a bike-friendly city when you visit Davis. In fact, our parks are intertwined by bicycle paths and greenbelts. The Davis Bike Club is known for its dedication to cycling and related activities. The city also hosts the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame. Looking for help with that flat tire? The Davis Bike Collective is a public D.I.Y. shop.

Movies, movies and more movies

Autidence of students in a movie theater having fun
Karin Higgins/UC Davis photo

You have film choices in Davis. The city houses three cinema complexes within a few blocks of each other. These include a five-plex and six-plex plus a vintage art-house cinema. Popcorn, anyone?

Davis Farmers Market

Woman selling avocados
Martin H. Wong/UC Davis photo

Every Saturday morning, the Davis Farmers Market, one of the nation’s best farmers markets offers ready-made meals and desserts, fresh produce from regional farms, and live music. And Wednesdays mid-March through October the market hosts Picnic in the Park, when the whole town gathers for music, dinner and the market.

Café culture

Two women eating at table outdoors
Karin Higgins/IUC Davis photo

Downtown Davis is about hanging out in cafés. You’ll find many eateries where you can enjoy fresh-air dining. Or sit inside with your laptop and snack. And did you hear? The food is delicious! 

Pub quizzes and trivia

Drawing of a person and his brain, showing regions of the brain with various words
Thinkstock photo

Test your team mettle at one of several trivia nights downtown, including deVere’s Irish Pub, Froggy’s, G Street Wunderbar, KetmoRee and Sophia’s Thai Kitchen. Warning: It’s about what’s in your collaborative heads, not on the cell phone.

Keep your pace around town

Many people running in a race
Golden Valley Harriers/photo

Join one of a number of running groups, including the Golden Valley Harriers, to challenge yourself while making fleet-feeted friends. The city has miles of bike paths to keep you safe from traffic as well as several charity runs during the year.

Thrift store bargains

Two women comparison shopping in a thrift store
Karin Higgins/UC Davis photo

Find bargains among our half dozen or more second-hand stories specializing in clothing, furniture and other household items. Some offerings are on consignment, others are thrift, but you know you will have fun on your treasure hunt.

On stage

Women on stage with one in foreground acting
Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis photo

If you like local theater, Davis offers a number of opportunities to get involved or to attend. These include classic Shakespeare ensembles, musical theater, dance theater and a semi-professional theater company dedicated to rarely produced musicals and plays.

Art Is Davis’ middle name

Five people jumping in the air in front of a mural of paint splashes
Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis photo

If you like art — especially pieces with whimsy and storytelling — you’ll love Davis. You can’t walk a block in the downtown without seeing a sculpture or mural. On a daily basis you’ll discover compelling pieces on restaurant walls, in the artists’ co-op or our many galleries. And each month the 2nd Friday ArtAbout attracts flocks of art lovers to installations and receptions at galleries, art co-ops, and businesses throughout the downtown. Check out maps and photos to all of the public art on display.

Music to your ears

Painted piano
You can use the painted pianos in the downtown during the summer and fall. (CIty of Davis courtesy photo)

Listening for music? We play the full scale. In fact, in 2017, the city launched Make Music Day to be celebrated each June 21. You may hear the tinkling of ivories from one of our decorated public art pianos. They are installed in several places to bring impromptu music downtown in the summer and fall. Maybe you’ll enjoy the guitar strums of singers in a public plaza. And many of our restaurants host live music through out the week

Hyperlocal radio

Deejay Jake Kelly in a radio studio
Eunah Cho/photo, courtesy of KDRT

KDRT broadcasts new music and more at 95.7FM / KDRT.org. Join the station on the mic or behind the scenes. Daytime shifts are available. Visit KDRT.org for volunteer info.

Worship in Davis

Two burning candles
Thinkstock/photo

You can find many religious and spiritual groups in Davis, including Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Wicca and more. These organizations hold discussions, worship services and other activities you might be interested in joining.

Poetry Night in Davis

Male poet reading outloud from a book
Andy Jones/photo

On alternating Thursday evenings for Poetry Night in Davis, renowned poets read their work at the John Natsoulas Gallery on First Street, followed by an open-mic session that features songs and stand-up comedy.

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