Thursday, December 18, 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

Solano College trustees move back ‘home’

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Needs of small dog give Solano man life’s mission

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
Christmas comes early for prenatal program participants

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Police chief: Suisun crime up 3 percent in 2014

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Council OKs $65,730 pact to advocate for Travis base

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield pays $42,500 to settle soil suit

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

Jury convicts teen for role in 2012 DeBartolo’s heist

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Fairfield police log: Dec. 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Suisun City police log: Dec. 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

Pope played crucial role in US-Cuba rapprochement

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US travel industry carefully eyeing Cuba tourism

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

US-Cuba thaw could benefit farmers, energy and travel firms

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Cubans cheer historic renewal of US relations

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

Freed American endured years of declining health

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US, Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Fears fanned by hackers bring down Sony film

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

Like Iran, secret diplomacy leads to US-Cuba thaw

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Bay Bridge light sculpture to keep on shining

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

Study: Huge wildfire supports need for controlled burns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
A fresh setback for efforts to cure HIV infection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

14 charged in deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Study: Alcatraz inmates could have survived escape

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Colombian rebels announce unilateral cease-fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Russians flock to stores to pre-empt price rises

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

Pakistan buries victims of school massacre

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

 
Nigerian court sentences 54 soldiers to death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Opinion

Crime Witness Protocol 101

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7, 8 Comments

 
 
Editorial Cartoons: Dec. 18, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 18, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 18, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
My siblings don’t want to replace abusive mother’s pacemaker

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

25 movies chosen for the National Film Registry

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Saving Private Ryan’ among films being preserved

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
.

Sports

Carr faces another tough test in rookie season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
For MLB, changes in Cuba will take time to sort out

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Falcons cruise by crushers in girls basketball

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
49ers release McDonald amid further legal trouble

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Track coach Drummond gets 8-year doping suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Warriors’ Bogut out with knee injury vs. Thunder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP source: Romo close to $15M, 2-year deal with Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Baseball monitoring White House Cuba decision

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

APNewsBreak: Judge rejects NCAA concussions deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Painkillers lawsuit against NFL dismissed; may be appealed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Garcia resigns as FIFA prosecutor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Chattanooga women stun No. 7 Stanford 54-46

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
This date in sports history for Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

McDonald’s in Japan limits orders of fries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Amid scrutiny, Uber says it will focus more on safety

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Health care exchange sign-ups exceeding last year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

 
Fed to be ‘patient’ about a rate hike; stocks soar

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

Marian L. “Chicki” Downs

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

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

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9