Thursday, August 28, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Davis: A great diversion close to home

Bicycling Hall of Fame

The U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in Davis. (Photo by George Medovoy)

By
From page B10 | March 01, 2014 |

DAVIS — Who hasn’t traveled Interstate 80 from Fairfield to Davis?
But how many have actually stopped to explore and spend some time in Davis? 
If you haven’t done so recently, now might be a good time. The town has seen an upsurge in downtown activity in recent years, with locals and visitors taking advantage of a bustling downtown scene, including restaurants.
Whether they come as students, on an academic sabbatical or just as visitors, one of the attractions of Davis is that it’s the home of the northernmost campus of the University of California.
With Putah Creek meandering past sloping lawns, the campus still includes some of the original wood-frame buildings dating to the very early part of the 20th century, when what would later become the University of California, Davis was known as the University Farm – a kind of stepchild to the University of California, Berkeley’s College of Agriculture.
Today, the Davis campus stands on its own, boasting some of the finest academic and research specialties in the world, from medicine and genetics to plant physiology and the arts.
One of the latest additions to UC Davis, the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, is named for the well-known California winery and plays host to top American and international performers.
Over the years, many of the world’s leading winemakers have trained in the university’s Viticulture and Enology Department, whose spacious, state-of-the-art, new facility borders 12.5 acres of experimental vineyards off Old Davis Road.
The department’s in-house winery, used by students in their studies, attracts international notice for path-finding, sustainable features, including a system that captures rainwater to irrigate the winery’s landscaping.
An example of the many international researchers who have come to Davis is Yosi Shalhevet, who served as chief scientist of the Israel Ministry of Agriculture.
Shalhevet spent a yearlong sabbatical in the UC Davis Department of Land, Air and Water Resources and later became Israel’s first official representative in Beijing, serving as director of the Liaison Office of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities – a prelude to the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and China in 1992.
The international presence in Davis is reflected at International House, an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes international student interaction with activities like free international movies, potlucks and art shows.
While it’s well-known as the home of UC Davis, the Central Valley town is also famed for “bike power.”
Often called the bicycle capital of America, Davis pioneered the concept of suburban bike lanes, many of which weave their way gracefully through suburban greenbelts.
If you’re interested in doing some serious biking, you can also head out along Russell Boulevard, past historic, arching walnut trees, to enjoy the area’s flat terrain and go all the way into farm country and the small town of Winters, about 14 miles away.
For the “very serious” bikers, there’s always the Davis Double Century, which is sponsored by the Davis Bike Club in May. The event is open to a maximum of 1,000 riders.
With all the emphasis on bikes, it’s no coincidence that Davis is also home to the U.S. Bicycle Hall of Fame, housed in a modest building next to Central Park, where crowds gather for the ever-popular Davis Farmers Market.
For a peek at some of the town’s colorful history, you can always take the easy bike loop past historic Davis buildings.
Among my favorites is the old Davis city hall, a Spanish Colonial Revival-style structure dating to 1938, which once housed city hall and the fire department and is now the very cool City Hall Tavern, next to Bistro 33, which offers both indoor and patio seating.
Another stop I like along this route is the Dresbach-Hunt-Boyer Mansion, a two-story Italianate dwelling, circa 1871, at one time the home of William Dresbach, the first postmaster of what was then known as Davisville.
Next door is the classic Varsity Theater, whose art deco, red-and-blue neon sign lights up the Davis night.
The Varsity is one of three movie theaters in town, but its distinction, besides the wonderful signage, is that it screens films you won’t generally see in other theaters.
A short hop away on this loop is the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, built in 1913 in Mission Revival style, where Amtrak trains pull in and where you can also hop a commuter train for the San Francisco Bay Area.
Davis also has a rather unique way of getting around that isn’t tied to bikes at all – it’s Unitrans, a university-operated bus system with student drivers, whose fleet includes vintage double-deckers from London with many of the original stops, like London Bridge Station, posted on the outside of the red buses.
Whatever you choose to do in Davis, don’t forget to make time for a relaxing cup of coffee at one of the town’s numerous cafes.
It’s yet another way to savor small-town living in a very special place called Davis.
George Medovoy writes on travel at www.postcardsforyou.com.

George Medovoy

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Locke an unparalleled universe in the Delta

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Small-town heroism on display in Napa

By Angela Borchert | From Page: A2

 
 
Review set for Vacaville fitness center suit

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield motorcyclist hurt in Beck Avenue crash

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Logue misses meet with Libertarians in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

Chamber event looks at health care law

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B5 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

Winterhawk Winery up for auction

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B5 | Gallery

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

.

US / World

Boy hurt in California quake: ‘I should be dead’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Lawmakers approve groundwater management bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California sets ride-sharing insurance standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Feds allow logging after huge California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California beach town sees flooding from hurricane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California Senate passes gun restraining order

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

US to consider spousal abuse in immigration claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
UK sex abuse report prompts outrage, reflection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Dad acquitted in slaying of driver who killed sons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Q&A: Few laws govern children at shooting range

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Mom pleads for release of captive US journalist

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Israeli premier, Hamas declare victory in Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Q-and-A on Westerners who join the fight in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Sources: US considering new relief mission in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Shooting by 9-year-old girl stirs debate over guns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
.

Opinion

Let’s improve entertainment control units

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
Seizing the day with old friends

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11

Signs of possible healing in Ferguson

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A11

 
Poor constituent service no longer acceptable

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11

 
Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 28, 2014

By Kim Durbin | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My boss insists that we all eat lunch with her in cafeteria

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Chris Soules is ABC’s new ‘Bachelor’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

John Lennon’s killer sorry for being ‘an idiot’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Reality star accused of rape, child molestation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Source: BET suspends producer after Blue Ivy joke

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Judge lets ‘X-Men’ director’s accuser drop lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Rapper Young Jeezy pleads not guilty to gun charge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
‘Cops’ crew member killed in Omaha police shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Maria Sharapova comes through in 3 sets at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders rookie QB Derek Carr to start vs. Seahawks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Fuld’s homer in 9th lifts A’s over Astros 5-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Posey hits game-ending 2-run homer for Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Keenum, Savage to settle Texans’ backup QB duel vs. 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

USC’s Shaw admits to lying about injuries, rescue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
IndyCar sets April 12 New Orleans date

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

No. 23 UNC suspends 4 players for opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Clippers sign Doc Rivers to 5-year extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cal needs more from its running game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford’s Kevin Hogan a ‘stabilizing agent’ at QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Chicago’s Little League champs return as heroes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
NFL suspends Browns star WR Gordon for 2014 season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders hope rebuild pays immediate dividends

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
After trio of near misses, 49ers chase Super Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

US economy forecast to grow by 1.5 percent in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Reports: FBI probes JPMorgan hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Time Warner Cable says outages largely resolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Video games come of age as spectator sport

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Malaysia Airlines set for shakeup after disasters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
IMF chief Lagarde under investigation in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

SEC adopts rules on loan-backed securities

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Stocks drift higher; S&P 500 holds on to 2,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

.

Obituaries

Gary Allen Person

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Fernanda Dee Villarosa

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Herman P. Sorensen

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Lyle R.C. Cullum

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Frank W. Moy Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9