Bicycles whir through the streets of Davis, a vibrant oasis of culture, food and progressive politics. Much of the energy comes from the students who flock to the University of California, Davis (UCD), which boasts one of the nation's leading viticulture departments. Bikes outnumber cars two-to-one (it has more bikes per capita than any other American city) and students make up half the population. It's a fun and free-spirited place that makes an excellent pit stop when traveling in or out of the Bay Area.
Strolling the downtown grid, you'll pass family-operated businesses (city council has forbidden any store over 50,000 sq ft – sorry, Wal-Mart), public art projects and affordable international restaurants.
I-80 skirts the south edge of town, and you can reach downtown via the Richards Blvd exit. UCD is southwest of downtown, bordered by A St, 1st St and Russell Blvd.