Hop on your bike for a cruise through this university city.
Situated in the Sacramento Valley, just west of the state capital, the city of Davis is best known for the esteemed University of California, Davis. It’s also a great place for cyclists, with around 50 miles of bike trails. The parks in and around town are fantastic, from the UC Davis-run Putah Creek Riparian Reserve—which offers easy access to boating on Putah Creek—to the 320-acre Grasslands Regional Park, which offers excellent birdwatching opportunities. While most visitors to Davis stay in hotels, you’ll find private camping not too far from town, particularly in and around the nearby communities of Wilton and Woodland.
Some of the best opportunities for outdoor exploration in the Davis area are situated in the massive Eldorado National Forest, an hour or so’s drive east of the city. Here you'll find over 400 miles of trails, an extensive network of rivers and streams, and dozens of campgrounds, many with beautiful lake or river views.
Stretching for miles along the North and Middle Forks of the American River, the dog-friendly Auburn State Recreation Area is a popular spot for whitewater rafting, and there are dozens of outfitters in the area offering river adventures. The park also has three primitive campgrounds for tent camping, including a boat-in option.
A good base for exploring the wineries of the surrounding Napa Valley, Bothe-Napa Valley State Park offers cabins and yurts for rent plus tent and RV camping. It's a great place for hiking, particularly if you want to see gargantuan coast redwoods.
Davis has a pretty pleasant climate throughout most of the year. Winters here tend to be mild, and temperatures rarely drop below freezing, but July and August can get hot, with highs in the low- to mid-90s. Spring and fall are the best times to visit, when it's generally warm enough for outdoor activities, though late fall and early spring can be foggy and rainy at times.