Top 30 Things To Do In Davis, California

things to do in davis california
| 14 min read

The college towns of California – including Davis, are some of the most exciting places to visit in the state. This is because such places are hotbeds of culture, given that students, as well as the academic staff present in the institutions of higher learning, come from all over the country, not to mention the ever-growing number of foreign students. In addition to these, California is a very picturesque state, with a plethora of attractions, thus guaranteeing a lot that you can see and do. If you are headed to this vibrant town, for a short stay or a long vacation, here are some of the best things to do in Davis. These are activities that you shouldn’t miss during your stay.

1. Visit the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art

Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art is a melting pot of creative practice for the makers, thinkers, and innovators of the current times. The imposing structure is well embedded in UC Davis’s legacy, given that it one-of-a-kind first-generation museum. The exhibitions you find in the museum are unique in all aspects, and they will give you a deeper understanding of art as a subject and as a practice. It is one of the best places to visit if you desire a keen interaction with some of UC Davis students, and get a feel of the campus’ culture in this city.

Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art

Address: 254 Old Davis Rd, Davis, CA 95616, USA

Website: Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 11am - 5pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 10 USD

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2. Check out the sculptures at the University of California Davis Campus

Also known as the Eggheads, the outdoor sculptures at Davis Campus are a series of five ceramic sculptures scattered in several places around UC Davis Campus. The sculptures are the work of artist Robert Arneson. Each of them is located at the most appropriate place within the campus. The names include See No Evil/Hear No Evil, Eye on the Mark, Bookhead, Yin & Yang, and Stargazer. If you want to show indisputable proof that you visited Davis, then simply take a photo next to the sculptures and no one will doubt you.

Davis Campus of the University of California

Address: 1 Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616, USA

Website: Davis Campus of the University of California

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3. Buy fresh farm produce at Davis Farmers Market

Visiting a farmers market is always a great opportunity to sample some of the region’s fresh produce. At Davis Farmer’s Market, thousands of locals and visitors gather once every week to buy what’s grown, raised and made within the Davis region. The market has rows of stalls lined on either side with fresh vegetables and fruits. It is also common to find stalls selling certified organic produce, seafood, wine, chicken, choice of meats, honey, and local eggs. Freshly baked goods, flowers, plants, and gifts are also available in plenty in the market.

Davis Farmers Market

Address: 301 C St Davis, California

Website: Davis Farmers Market

Opening hours: Wed: 4:30am - 8:30pm; Sat: 8am - 1pm (closed Thu - Fri, Sun - Tue)

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4. See the unique birds at California Raptor Center

Elana is the inspiration behind this week's limited-edition California Raptor Center shirt design (courtesy of our...

Posted by California Raptor Center on Tuesday, 28 May 2019

This center is affiliated to UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and its objective is to preserve and perpetuate the health of all species of raptors. Though their main focus is on raptors native to California and the west, you will find species from other parts of the world, including Brazil, South Africa, and Russia amongst other regions. It is a complex raptor educational, research, and health center where you will have a chance to learn more about this unique bird species, including their life cycle, habits and threats to their survival. You will also love the sight of the birds up close.

California Raptor Center

Address: 1340 Equine Lane Davis, California

Website: California Raptor Center

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 4pm; Sat: 9am - 12pm (closed on Sun)

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5. Taste premium wines at Great Bear Vineyards

How about immersing right into a Napa or European wine experience right in Davis? Well, this is what awaits you when you visit the Great Bear Vineyards. This is one of the top vineyards in the California wine region, and every aspect of its winemaking is done with the utmost care, flair, and passion. The vineyard has a boutique winery where guests can experience premium wine tasting in the gorgeous surroundings located on the edge of Davis. Be sure to get your tickets in good time because this is one thing you don’t want to miss when you visit Davis.

Great Bear Vineyards

Address: 24800 County Rd 101A, Davis, California 95616

Website: Great Bear Vineyards

Opening hours: Second Saturday every month: 12pm - 5pm

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6. Spend an afternoon at Impossible Acres

things to do in davis california | spend an afternoon at impossible acres
Source: instagram

Impossible Acres is a farm located on the outskirts of Davis, but a place totally worth visiting. The farm is relatively huge, and it grows a variety of fruits and vegetables. You will also find a few domesticated animals scattered in the expansive farmland. The fun in visiting this farm is to wander among the various fruit trees and eat as much as you can. This is where you experience the perfect definition of “farm to fork.” With the joy of picking and eating the fruits, playing with the animals, and hiding in the old barn, a visit with kids is extremely inviting.

Impossible Acres

Address: 26565 County Road 97D Davis, California 95616

Website: Impossible Acres

Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)

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7. Learn about insects at Bohart Museum of Entomology

Visiting the Bohart Museum of Entomology is free so you have no reason to miss. The museum was founded in 1946 and currently has the seventh-largest insect collection in North America. It will bog your mind to know that the museum is home to more than seven million specimens of freshwater and terrestrial arthropods. Since the facility is an active working area, you will get to see the actual insects, and also interact with the staff as they go about their duties. It is your chance to fill in the gaps you may be in your knowledge about insects.

Bohart Museum of Entomology

Address: 1124 Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane, University of California, Davis, California 95616

Website: Bohart Museum of Entomology

Opening hours:Mon - Thu: 9am - 12pm, 1pm - 5pm (closed Fri - Sun)

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8. Admire the beautiful gardens at UC Davis Arboretum

WHO ELSE GROWS grows over 100 species, varieties and hybrids of oaks of the 500 that exist worldwide? WE DO! Learn more...

Posted by UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden on Monday, 13 May 2019

UC Davis Arboretum is one of the top-maintained university arboretums you will find in the United States. The lawns are mowed to perfection and so are the shrubs. Being home to thousands of plant and flower species, the place is akin to paradise in spring. Whether you want to relax after an entire campus tour, or you need a cool, and quiet place to read a book within Davis, you will love the kind of experience you’ll have in the Arboretum.

UC Davis Arboretum

Address: 448 La Rue Road Davis, California 95616

Website: UC Davis Arboretum

Opening hours: 24/7

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9. Explore the attractive artworks at John Natsoulas Center of the Arts

Posted by John Natsoulas Gallery on Thursday, 20 September 2018

John Natsoulas Center of the Arts was established nearly three decades ago and has consistently supported emerging artists as well as advancing the growth of fine arts. The museum hosts exhibitions by historical and high profile artists and publishers. It is a common venue for various educational conferences. And, it also has more than 50 sculptures and murals by both local and international artists. The information and the murals in this facility are so huge that you will need a good amount of time for a full exploration.

John Natsoulas Center of the Arts

Address: 521 1st St Davis, California 95616

Website: John Natsoulas Center of the Arts

Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 11am - 5pm (closed Sun - Tue)

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10. See the native plants at Central Park

Originally known as Davis City Park, the Central Park was created in 1937, and it currently boasts of a pure beauty made from 100 percent native plants. The park is volunteer-managed and has some of the most amazing themed gardens, you will ever find in California. The bright colors of the flowers, the sweet scent they generate and the chirping of birds on the trees up above create just the perfect environment you need to relax, recharge, or meditate as you draw inspiration and motivation from the universe.

Central Park Gardens

Address: B Street Between 3rd and 4th Streets Davis, California 95616

Website: Central Park Gardens

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11. Play golf at Wildhorse Golf Club

Most of the good golf resorts you will come across will be very expensive or exclusive to members alone. However, that is not the case with Wildhorse Golf Club. It was recognized as the best public golf course in Davis, and it is a charming place to go and try out how good or bad your swing is.

Wildhorse Golf Club

Address: 2323 Rockwell Drive Davis, California 95618

Website: Wildhorse Golf Club

Opening hours: 6am - 7pm (daily)

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12. Go biking and enjoy the views at Davis Greenbelt

Posted by Greenbelt Bike Tours on Monday, 2 April 2018

The Davis Greenbelt was created out of the need to make UC Davis and the neighboring regions bike friendly. It was an attempt by a landscape professor to encourage students to go biking or jogging after spending hours upon hours studying. The greenbelt currently features a series of bike and jogging trails. It is approximately 12 miles (27.7km) in length, with bridges, tunnels and other infrastructure designed to give a good biking experience. It is a nice, quiet and a peaceful trail to enjoy your bike rides, and also to get out and interact with nature.

Davis Greenbelt Bike Rides

Website: Davis Greenbelt

Opening hours: 24/7

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13. Get fascinated by the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven

Posted by Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven at the University of California, Davis on Wednesday, 12 June 2019

If you have always been fascinated by how bees make their honey, live in colonies, and the kinds of plants that support them, then you have every reason to check out Hagaan-Dazs Honey Bee Haven. It is a unique outdoor museum where visitors get a chance to see and learn more about bees, including the various plant types that supports them. The museum is free, and open throughout the year during daylight hours. But don’ worry about getting attacked by the bees because you will be observing and learning from a safe distance from the actual bees.

Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven

Address: 1 Bee Biology Rd. Davis, California 95616

Website: Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven

Opening hours: 6am - 7pm (daily)

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14. Watch a performance at Robert & Margrit Mondavi Center For The Performing Arts

Robert & Margrit Mondavi Center For The Performing Arts is right within UC Davis Campus, and it is another attraction worth checking out when in Davis. The center usually has a packed calendar, with a myriad of performances, featuring both local and international artists. Whether you are interested in watching a talented student perform, or you want to carry along your family for family-friendly events, you will have several options to consider after you look at the calendar and your schedule.

Robert & Margrit Mondavi Center For The Performing Arts

Address: 9399 Old Davis Road, Davis, California 95616

Website: Robert & Margrit Mondavi Center For The Performing Arts

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 12pm - 6pm (closed on Sun)

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15. Admire the vibrant flowers at Carolee Shields White Flowers Garden

Posted by Alexander Kozik on Saturday, 16 March 2019

If you have heard or seen the medieval moon-viewing gardens of Japan and India, then you will find something very similar at the Carolee Shields White Flowers Garden. It is a theme garden based on the same medieval concept. The garden has a variety of fragrant plants and pale flowers that become luminous under the moonlight. Of course, the best time to visit this garden would be at night, but if that is not possible, you can enjoy the magical scenes of the garden during the day, as you relax and inhale the nice natural fragrances.

Carolee Shields White Flowers Garden Tours

Address: Davis, CA 95616, USA

Website: Carolee Shields White Flowers Garden

Opening hours: 24/7

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16. Tour the fantastic exhibits at US Bicycling Hall of Fame

Historic bicycles at the U.S. Cycling Hall of Fame
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Brholden used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

The United States enjoys over 120 years of bicycling history, and there is no better place to experience this history than a visit to the US Bicycling Hall of Fame in Davis. The Bicycling Hall of Fame recognizes competitive cyclists and contributors to the sport for their various achievements. It is where you will get to learn about the incredible strides the sport has undergone in the country, and you will also have a chance to see fantastic exhibits that defined the sport nearly a century ago. You will be amazed at the various transformation the bike has had over the years, beginning with the very rudimentary models and advancing to the classic models we now have that can be used on tough terrains such as mountainous regions.

US Bicycling Hall of Fame

Address: 303 3rd St Davis, California 95616

Website: US Bicycling Hall of Fame

Opening hours: Wed: 4pm - 8pm; Sat: 10am - 2pm; (closed on Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri & Sun)

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17. See the contemporary arts at Artery

Happy Mother's Day! We know things can get busy so we want you to know we'll be open from 12-5pm today. We have a...

Posted by The Artery of Davis on Sunday, 12 May 2019

If you love contemporary art, then be sure to not miss a visit to the Artery. Contemporary art may not be something new, but the depth of variety and coverage you find at Artery will give you a completely new perspective of art. You will see artworks by renowned artists of the past centuries, including magnificent pieces by upcoming artists, both from the United and abroad. Be ready to appreciate lots of contemporary paintings, mixed media, public art, fine art photography, short films, video arts, and various performances.

Artery Gallery Tour

Address: 207 G St Davis, California 95616

Website: Artery

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm

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18. Try hands-on activities at Explorit Science Center

Explorit Science Center in Davis aims to ignite and foster curiosity in nature and science through discovery and inquiry. If you love science and you consider yourself a hands-on guy or you have an inquisitive kid with passion about science, then this will be a great destination for you. The center usually holds various public events with the most popular being the Family Exploration programs. These programs normally feature guest scientist right from within the community who come to teach and pique the audience’s interests in science and innovation.

Explorit Science Center

Address: 3141 5th St Davis, California 95618

Website: Explorit Science Center

Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 1pm - 5pm (closed on Mon, Tue & Thu)

Price: 5 USD

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19. Check out the unique Solar Intersections

Solar Intersection refers to a tall piece of art that was created by Robert Behrens in 1989. The structure is made of a holographic material that reflects the colors of the rainbow when hit by sunlight. They are aesthetically pleasing, though the holographic material used on them fades with time, and depending on the time of your visit, you may not find them as brilliant as before.

Solar Intersections

Address: Davis, CA 95616, USA

Website: Solar Intersections

Opening hours: 24/7

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20. Solve a puzzle at de Vere’s Irish Pub

things to do in davis california | solve a puzzle at de vere’s irish pub
Source: instagram

At de Vere’s Irish Pub, you are guaranteed more than just an authentic Irish experience. The bar is a common joint for revelers and party goers who are keen to impress their dates or friends with their intelligence. While enjoying your favorite Irish whiskeys, you can engage in trivia and puzzle games to test each other’s wit as you drown the drinks. It is also a great place if you were looking for a private venue to hold parties in Davis.

de Vere’s Irish Pub

Address: 217 E St Davis, California 95616

Website: de Vere’s Irish Pub

Opening hours: Mon - Tue: 11:30am - 12am; Wed - Fri: 11:30am - 2am; Sat: 10am - 2am; Sun: 10am - 12am

Price: 15 - 30 USD

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21. Listen to jazz at Mondavi Center

Be transfixed by the power of music on Sun, June 2 when the Alexander String Quartet with Joyce Yang take the stage at Jackson Hall. Your ticket is just a click away>

Posted by Mondavi Center on Thursday, 30 May 2019

The Mondavi Center is not just for art exhibitions alone. It is very popular among jazz enthusiasts in Davis and you can always visit to enjoy great performances by both local and international jazz masters. The programs are always available online before the performances commence, and this allows you to check in advance what is lined up for the day so that you are well informed before you visit.

Mondavi Center

Address: 9399 Old Davis Road Davis, California 95616

Website: Mondavi Center

Price: 27 USD onwards

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22. Get thrilled at SkyDance Sky Diving

Posted by SkyDance SkyDiving on Friday, 21 June 2019

If you consider yourself an adrenalin junkie, then the prospects of going for a skydive will always bring great joy to your heart. When you are in Davis, and you wish like feeling some adrenalin rush, then all you need is to go for skydiving at SkyDance Skydiving. The friendly facility gives you the chance to experience human flight after being dropped from an aircraft hundreds of miles above the ground. While you make your way back to the surface, you will simply enjoy the city’s view from above. The center is well equipped and has expert skydivers who will inspire in you the confidence you need to take the jump from more than 22,000 miles (35405.6 km) above the surface.

SkyDance Sky Diving

Address: 24390 Aviation Ave, Davis, California 95616

Website: SkyDance Sky Diving

Opening hours: Mon & Thu: 9am - 9pm; Fri - Sun: 8am - 9pm (closed on Tue & Wed)

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23. Admire the works at the Design Museum of UC Davis

things to do in davis california | admire the works at the design museum of uc davis
Source: instagram

Design Museum of UC Davis is a modern facility aimed at helping young artists and designers nurture their talents. The museum highlights both graduate and undergraduate student works during the spring of each year. If you happen to visit around spring, then you can take some time to admire and appreciate the works of young talents, who may possibly be future Picassos. However, you will still find a lot to see and admire during other times. You will find samples of exhibition statements as well as photographs of the past exhibition within the museum. If you are passionate about works of art, then it will be in order for you to prioritize the visit to this museum.

Design Museum of UC Davis

Address: Cruess Hall, #124, Davis, CA 95616, USA

Website: Design Museum of UC Davis

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 12pm - 4pm; Sun: 2pm - 4pm (closed on Sat)

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24. Taste craft brews at Burgers & Brew

Burgers & Brew has been around for nearly a decade, and it has emerged as a favorite spot for craft beers in Davis. The establishment was started by two brothers who were very passionate about craft brews and burgers made from the freshest ingredients. Currently, the establishment has incredible knowledge and experience in craft brew, and they have more than 30 taps from which you can taste. Their experience and knowledge in burgers are also incredible, given that they serve over 25 different types of burgers to their guests. With such, you are likely to find the experience a bit overwhelming, but their friendly staff will be at hand to guide you and help you have a great experience. If you so desire, you can go on a sampling spree where you will get a little bit of nearly everything that Burgers & Brew has on offer.

Burgers & Brew Tours

Address: 403 3rd St Davis, California 95616

Website: Burgers & Brew

Opening hours: Sun - Wed: 11am - 12am; Thu - Sat: 11am - 3am

Price: 11 - 30 USD

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25. Attend a poetry night at John Natsoulas Gallery

Big shout out to @sofaexpo for this fantastic photo of #esthershimazu at the @natsoulasgallery booth in Chicago. Thank you! ? #sofachicago #ceramics #artfair #art #artists #artoninstagram #figure #sculpture

Posted by John Natsoulas Gallery on Saturday, 8 December 2018

Experience magical poetry nights at the famous John Natsoulas Gallery. The gallery was established over three decades ago, and it has won numerous honors. So far, it is one of the best sites where budding poets and other artists go to nurture their artistic skills. The poetry nights are on from Wednesday to Sunday, and even if not for the entertainment, you can always visit to support the upcoming artists.

John Natsoulas Gallery

Address: 521 1st St Davis, California 95616

Website: John Natsoulas Gallery

Opening hours: Wed - Thu: 11am - 5pm; Fri: 11am - 9pm; Sat - Sun: 12pm - 5pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

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26. Enjoy rock climbing in Davis Rocknasium

Posted by Rocknasium on Thursday, 30 May 2019

Have you ever thought of being a professional rock climber or just doing it for fun? Well, this is something normally reserved for the adrenalin junkies and those who are never scared of heights. If you have ever fancied the idea of rock climbing or you are just looking for something fun, new and challenging to do in Davis, then you should check out Davis Rocknasium. This is a professional fitness center, complete with a rock gymnasium where you are given a chance to try your skills in rock climbing. Whether you have never climbed a rock before, or you are a regular climber and you want to test new heights, this facility will make it possible for you in a safe and fun environment. Don’t worry about the heights because you will be well-kitted, with very minimal chance of getting any injuries.

Davis Rocknasium

Address: 720 Olive Dr, Ste S Davis, California 95616-4740

Website: Davis Rocknasium

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 11pm; Sat: 10am - 9pm; Sun: 10am - 6pm

Price: 10 USD onwards

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27. Meet the bats of Yolo Causeway

things to do in davis california | meet the bats of yolo causeway
Source: instagram

What would you feel if you saw more than 250 bats all flying together at the same time? The causeway is a 3-mile (4.8 km) duct that connects Sacramento and Davis on the I-80. The causeway is elevated because underneath it lies the largest wetland restoration project in the United States. Visiting this place at dusk will treat you to the mesmerizing and somewhat scary sight of thousands of Mexican free-tail bats as they leave for the valley to eat crop pests and insects. Guided bat tours are available from mid-June to mid-September. During the tours, you will learn more about bat natural history and see thousands of live bats as they leave for the night.

Bats at Yolo Causeway

Address: Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Yolo Causeway, Davis, California

Opening hours: Right before dusk

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28. Catch a wonderful concert at Veterans Memorial Theatre

The City of Davis Veterans Memorial Theatre is the place to be if you want to treat yourself to exciting, entertaining and relaxing concerts from performers coming from within and out of the United States. The theatre is a state-of-the-art facility with a seating capacity of 325 and always attended to by well-trained theatre staff to help ensure the success of every event. If the theater is not being used for live performances, then it may be the venue of conferences, workshops and other types of artistic performances.

City of Davis Veterans Memorial Theatre

Address: 203 E 14th St Davis, California 95616

Website: City of Davis Veterans Memorial Theatre

Opening hours: 8am - 12am (daily)

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29. Watch a movie at a vintage art-house cinema

Catching a movie at one of the vintage art-house cinema is an awesome way to spend your afternoons and evenings, especially during the weekends. It will give you a chance to interact with a good part of the Davis population, including both students and the locals. The movie experience will never fall short of stellar, and you can always check the internet to see the upcoming shows. Tickets are always available on the same day of the show. The cinema has more than one auditorium, and each is equipped with closed captioning and assistive listening system for visitors who may need such to have a great movie watching experience.

Davis Varsity Theatre

Address: 616 2nd St, Davis, CA 95616, USA

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30. Check out the interactive displays at Hattie Weber Museum

Hattie Weber Museum is where you will find the exhibits that tell the history and the development of Davis and the neighboring regions. The museum opened its doors in December of 1961, and ever since, it has ingrained itself as one of the trusted keepers of the region’s history and culture.

Hattie Weber Museum

Address: 445 C St, Davis, CA 95616, USA

Website: Hattie Weber Museum

Opening hours: Wed & Sat: 10am - 4pm (closed on Sun, Mon, Tue, Thu & Fri)

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Enjoy to the maximum when you visit Davis

UC Davis
Source: Pixabay

With so many things to see and do in Davis, your visit should never be a boring one. Irrespective of your likes and preferences, Davis always has something for everyone. Whether you like arts, history, culture, adventure, or you feel more at home soaking in natural sceneries, you will find a variety of options in Davis that will make you enjoy every moment you spend. The good thing is that most of these experiences are free, so you don’t have to worry about spending a lot of money for getting entertained during your Davis trip.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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