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Davis, California

Davis California is one of the nicest towns to live in near the Sacramento Valley.  Located 20 minutes West of Sacramento, and 30 minutes East of a Bay Area county, the City of Davis has some of the nicest neighborhoods and homes within a 30 to 40 mile radius.  Davis is noted as the second most educated city in the US.  Wonderful weather, homes, and people make this the ideal town to move to.  Allow to locate or sell that perfect home in this ideal city.

Davis is a city in Yolo County, California, United States. As of the local census, the city had a total population of 64,821 (60,308 in 2000). Davis is well known in the state of California as being a socially and environmentally conscious university town, home to University of California, Davis. In 2006, Davis was ranked as the second most educated city (in terms of the percentage of residents with graduate degrees) in the United States by CNN Money Magazine, after Arlington, VA.


Davis grew around a Southern Pacific Railroad depot and railroad Wyewhich was built in 1868. It was then known as "Davisville," named for Jerome C. Davis, a prominent local farmer. However, the post office at Davisville shortened the town name to simply "Davis" in 1907. The name stuck, and the city of Davis was incorporated in March 1917.

From its inception as a farming community, Davis has been known for its contributions to agriculture along with veterinary care and animal husbandry. This has especially been true ever since the University of California decided to build a University Farm there in 1908, which was upgraded into the seventh UC campus, the University of California, Davis, in 1959. Now the city is also known for its contributions in the areas of biotechnology, medicine and other life sciences Davis has been known previously as a railroad town before the coming of the the University California Davis. Davis California has several tracks dedicated to railroad companies.


The climate in Davis resembles that of nearby Sacramento. Davis is also close to San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento River Delta, which moderate the more extreme temperatures found elsewhere in the Sacramento Valley and nearby San Joaquin Valley. Summers in Davis are dry and hot, while winters are rainy and mild.


Davis is internally divided by two freeways, Interstate 80 and California State Route 113(And a railroad with four tracks downtown, and two to three tracks uptown.), which unofficially partition Davis into several neighborhoods:

  • North Davis, which lies north of I-80 and east of Route 113, often further subdivided into
    • Old North Davis
    • Downtown Davis, together with old north Davis, the oldest portion of the city
    • Central Davis
    • East Davis (east of the railroad tracks)(Including Birch Lane Elementary School, and Harper Jr. High School.)
    • Wildhorse
    • Mace Ranch
  • South Davis, which lies south of I-80, which includes
    • El Macero, California, a neighborhood actually outside the city limits of Davis. It consists of large homes and and an 18-hole Championship Golf Course, formerly served by their own post office
    • Willowbank, part of which is technically outside of the city limits and is county maintained
    • Woodbridge, On the opposite (North) side of Putah Creek from Willowbank
    • Rancho Macero, North of Willowbank and due East of Woodbridge (one must pass through it via San Marino Drive to get to half of Woodbridge by car, the other half of Woodbridge is accessible only via La Paz Drive in the nominal neighborhood of West El Macero) Rancho Macero's street plan is a square bisected horizontally by La Canada Way. The southern edge of the square and the only entrance by car from Mace Boulevard is San Marino Drive, the eastern edge of the square is Santa Paula Way, the northern edge of the square is San Ramon Drive, the western edge of the square is Sierra Madre Way. San Marino Drive once dead-ended just past Sierra Madre Way, but this was later turned into the eastern terminus of the Putah Creek Bike Path. The Ricci Farm, which the bike path bordered, was sold and developed as Woodbridge. At this point, San Marino Drive ceased to be a dead end and became one of two entrances to the new development and the bike path was slightly re-routed to accommodate this. There is also an alley that provides access to rear-situated garages for houses on both the west side of Mace Boulevard and houses on the east side of Santa Paula Way. The alley opens onto San Marino Drive as one enters Rancho Macero to their immediate right. A small paved drive connects the other end of the alley with Santa Paula Way, just near 812 Santa Paula Way. Neighborhood children sometimes referred to the alley as Dead Cat Alley.
  • West Davis, which lies north of I-80 and west of Route 113, consisting of:
    • Stonegate
    • Cactus Corners
    • Eco-friendly Village Homes


As of the United States 2000 CensusGR2, there were 60,308 people, 22,948 households, and 11,290 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,228.2/km² (5,769.2/mi²). There were 23,617 housing units at an average density of 872.6/km² (2,259.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 70.07% White, 2.35% Black or African American, 0.67% Native American, 17.5% Asian, 0.24% Pacific Islander, 4.26% from other races, and 4.87% from two or more races. 9.61% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[1]

There were 22,948 households out of which 26.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.3% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.8% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the city the population was spread out with 18.6% under the age of 18, 30.9% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 16.7% from 45 to 64, and 6.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,454, and the median income for a family was $74,051. Males had a median income of $51,189 versus $36,082 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,937. About 5.4% of families and 24.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.8% of those under age 18 and 2.8% of those age 65 or over.

Demographics are unusual, even among "college towns". This city of approximately 65,000 people is home to a university campus of 31,000 students.


With its flat terrain and temperate climate, Davis is naturally a very good place for bicyclists and has had a very high cyclist per capita ratio since the 1960s. The town has taken advantage of this. From its early history, the streets have been built wide. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Davis became a pioneer in the implementation of cycling facilities, particularly bike lanes and bike paths. As the city expands, new facilities are usually mandated. As a result, Davis is covered in bike lanes and bike paths. Biking remains one of the more common types of transportation, used especially by UC Davis students because of bicycling's relative inexpensiveness and the relatively large size of the campus, though claims that this is a result of the cycling facilities are arguably dubious since cycling was at least as popular in Davis before any facilities were built. Regardless, Davis is a great place for cycling, as the streets are wide, most of the bike paths are in good repair, and one can get to just about any destination comfortably on a bicycle. In 2005 League of American Bicyclists recognized Davis as the first Platinum Level city in the league's Bicycle-Friendly Community program. [2] In 2006, Bicycling magazine named Davis the best small town for cycling in its March edition's list of America's Best Biking Cities.[3]


Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Davis. The city's passenger rail station is located at 840 Second Street. Amtrak Train 5, the westbound California Zephyr, is scheduled to depart Davis at 2:46pm daily with service to Martinez and Emeryville across the bay from San Francisco. Amtrak Train 6, the eastbound California Zephyr, is scheduled to depart Davis at 10:36am daily with service to Sacramento, Roseville, Colfax, Truckee, Reno, Sparks, Winnemucca, Elko, Salt Lake City, Provo, Helper, Green River, Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, Denver, Omaha, Galesburg, and Chicago. California NorthernSupplies Davis as well, heading north to Woodland, and souh to Sacramento one way, and to Suisun.

Amtrak also operates its Capitol Corridor trains through Davis, providing service several times daily between San Jose to the west and Reno, Nevada via Sacramento to the east.

Amtrak Thruway service provides a bus connection from Davis to Stockton, California, where passengers can board the San Joaquin trains south to Bakersfield and another bus connection to Los Angeles.

Sights and Events

Farmers Market

Every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning, families and friends flock to the Central Park (on 4th and C street) in Davis to buy fresh produce, a healthy meal or baked goods at the Davis Farmers Market. Open rain or shine, this event allows the participation of independent farmers, non-profit organizations, craftspeople and local businesses in a communal atmosphere.

The times for the year-round Saturday market, as of 2006, are 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. while the Wednesday market changes times with the season. During the months of April to October the popular Picnic in the Park runs from 4:30-8:30 p.m. while October through March the market is from 2:00-6:00 p.m.

Available products at the Farmer's Market include fruits (including local citrus fruit) and vegetables that are currently in season, baked goods, and dairy and meat products, often from certified organic farms. Other goods that may be available include locally-produced olive oil, crafts, plants and flowers, and food from various restaurants. The available stands and overall atmosphere, including musicians or events, depend on each particular market. For example Picnic in the Park is geared towards family attendance during dinner time because of the presence of a band and multiple restaurant stands. During the fall and winter months the Wednesday market becomes smaller and more geared towards weekly shoppers.

Toad Tunnel

The Post Office is a great place to stay if you're a toad.

Davis' Toad Tunnel is a wildlife crossing that was constructed in 1995 and has drawn much attention over the years, including a mention on The Daily Show. Because of the building of an overpass, animal lovers worried about toads being killed by cars commuting from South Davis to North Davis, since the toads hopped from one side of a dirt lot (which the overpass replaced) to the reservoir at the other end. After much controversy, a decision was made to build a toad tunnel, which runs beneath the Pole Line Road overpass which crosses Interstate 80. The project cost $14,000. The tunnel is 21 inches wide and 18 inches high.

The tunnel has created problems of its own. The toads originally refused to use the tunnel and so the tunnel was lighted to encourage its use. The toads then died from the heat of the lamps inside the tunnel. Once through the tunnel, the toads also had to contend with birds who grew wise to the toad producing hole in the ground. The exit to the toad tunnel has been decorated by the Post-Master to resemble a toad town.

Whole Earth Festival

Typical sights at the Whole Earth Festival

The Whole Earth Festival (WEF) is a three-day music and education festival in the Spring, which usually takes place during Mother's Day Weekend on UC Davis' main quadrangle. It is considered by many to be a must-see Davis event. Every year, thousands of environmentally conscious, politically active and/or music-loving people make the pilgrimage to Davis for this event, for which the UCD quad is filled with hundreds of craft booths, music acts, education booths, and food booths.

A continuous stream of bands, speakers and various workshops occurs throughout the weekend on each of WEF's three stages and other specialty areas. The majority of the festival is solar powered.

WEF is organized primarily by UC Davis students, in association with the Associated Students of UC Davis (ASUCD) and the university.

UC Davis Arboretum

The UC Davis Arboretum is a fine arboretum and botanical garden. Plants from all over the world grow in different sections of the park. There are notable Oak and native plant collections and a small redwood grove. A small waterway spans the arboretum along the bed of the old North Fork of Putah Creek. You can occasionally see herons, kingfishers, and cormorants around the waterways, as well as the ever present ducks. Tours of the arboretum led by volunteer naturalists are often held for grade school children.

Picnic Day

Picnic Day is an annual event held on the University of California, Davis towards the end of the month of April and is the largest student-run event in the US. Picnic Day starts off with a parade, which features the California Aggie Marching Band, and runs through campus and around downtown Davis and ends with the Battle of the Bands, which lasts until the last band stops playing (sometimes until 2 am). There are over 150 free events and over 50,000 attend every year. Other highlights include: the Dachshund races, aka the Doxie Derby, held in the Rec Hall; the Davis Rock Challenge, the Chemistry Magic Show, the sheep dog trials, and of course the wonderful food made by student groups. Many departments have exhibits and demonstrations, such as the Cole Facility, which until recently showed a fistulated cow (a cow that has been fitted with a plastic portal (a "fistula") into its digestive system to observe digestion processes). Unfortunately, the cow is no longer on display.


Like most towns across America, Davis has baseball. Davis Little League or DLL has 5 divisions of play, tee-ball, farm, AA, AAA, and majors. Afterwards comes competitive leagues and etc. Davis American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) is a recreation soccer league for under 5 years old to under 19 years old. Its popular Fall season has over 2,100 children participating. AYSO also has a more competitive winter season and an additional recreation spring season. A competitive soccer league also runs year round. Roller Hockey is a great sport in this town. A new rink was just put in called Davis Indoor Sports Center or DISC for the reason. They also host a competitive hockey team, Northern California Extreme (Norcal Extreme). It contains six divisions to play. 8 and unders, 10 and unders, 12 and unders, 14s, 16s,18s and 21s. They play all over the state and country. They hold Recreational leagues such as DIHA and DISC. Davis Senior High School's athletics program is one of the top in the area and often win their sections title in baseball, soccer (men's and women's), waterpolo, cross country, tennis, roller hockey and other sports. In 2005 the DSHS alpine ski team took first overall at the statewide competition, and placed second in 2006. Other high school teams are volleyball, field hockey, wrestling, basketball, lacrosse, football, track and field, golf, crew, and rugby.


Davis has one daily newspaper, the Davis Enterprise, founded in 1897. There is a community television station (DCTV), along with numerous commercial stations. There are also two free-form community radio stations: KDVS, on the University of California campus, and KDRT, a subsidiary organization under DCTV and one of the first low-power FM radio stations in the United States. See the Davis Wiki's media page for more information. It should also be noted that DavisWiki is also the biggest City Wiki in the world, with over 7000 pages.


University of California

Main article: University of California, Davis

The University of California, Davis, or UCD, a campus of the University of California, had an enrollment of 30,065 students as of Fall 2004, and is a major research university. UCD provides a major influence on the social and cultural life of the town.

D-Q University

Entrance and mural at D-Q University.

Also known as Deganawidah-Quetzalcoatl University and much smaller than UC Davis, D-Q University is a two-year institution located on Road 31 in Yolo County 6.7 miles west of California State Route 113. This is just west of Davis near the Yolo County Airport. About four miles to the west, the Road 31 exit from Interstate 505 is marked with cryptic signage, "DQU." The site is about 100 feet above mean sea level (AMSL). NAD83 coordinates for the campus are 38°34′02″N, 121°53′12″W

The curriculum is said to include heritage and traditional American Indian ceremonies. The 643 acres and 5 buildings were formerly a military reservation according to a National Park Service publication, Five Views. The full name of the school is included here so that readers can accurately identify the topic. According to some tribal members, use of the spelled-out name of the university can be offensive. People who want to be culturally respectful refer to the institution as D-Q University. Tribal members in appropriate circumstances may use the full name.

Other colleges

An off-campus branch of Sacramento City College is located in Davis.

Public schools

The city has nine public elementary schools (North Davis, Valley Oak, Birch Lane, Pioneer Elementary, Patwin, Cesar Chavez, Robert E. Willet, Marguerite Montgomery, and Fairfield Elementary, which is technically outside the city limits but opened in 1866 and is Davis Joint Unified School District's oldest public school). Davis has one school for independent study (Davis School for Independent Study), three public junior high schools (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Harper), one main high school (Davis Senior High School), an alternative high school (Martin Luther King High School), and a small technology-based high school (Leonardo da Vinci High School). Cesar Chavez is a Spanish immersion school, with no English integration until the third grade. The junior high schools contain grades 7 through 9. Due to a decline in the school-age population in Davis, several of the elementary schools face closure. The Davis elementary schools have fallen under budget problems because of low enrollment in the district, which is projected to continue until 2014. Accordingly, the Board of Education may have to close one or more of the older elementary school sites.

At one time, Chavez and Willet were incorporated together to provide elementary education K-6 to both English-speaking and Spanish immersion students in West Davis. Cesar Chavez served grades K-3 and was called West Davis Elementary, and Robert E. Willet served grades 4-6 and was known as West Davis Intermediate. However there was a strong demand for the schools to be separated, which was eventually justified. Willet now serves K-6 English speaking students, and Chavez supports the Spanish immersion program for K-6.

City services

The Davis Fire Department, founded in 1930 after a series of devastating fires, has three stations. Two of the existing stations, downtown and in south Davis, were built in 1960; the third, in west Davis, was built in 1980. The UC Davis Fire Department is a separate organization working in cooperation with the city. Only two UC campuses have fire departments: Davis and Santa Cruz.

The Davis Public Library is located in Community Park, and is a branch of the Yolo County Public Library system.

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