You're in Davis. It's the weekend. OR maybe it's not. But regardless you're bored and you're tired and want to get out of Davis. But where can you go and how long will it take to get there? The destinations are broken down by approximate driving time if you drive without stopping (or traffic slowdown) and at the posted speed limit.
Also see Outdoor Activities and follow some links or check out Hiking and Backpacking for lots of wilderness destination leads. The Northern California page contains a lot of information also. UCD students interested in archaeology and outdoor activities might consider the field schools offered by the Anthropology department. And don't forget about Beaches, although some particular ones are listed below.
If you require something more linear, see I-80 car-trips ("Idiot proof trips").
For trips inside California, you can check road conditions on the Department of Transportation Website or visit the website TrafficReport.com to obtain traffic information for areas in California.
< 1 Hour Away
- Sacramento (Sacramento Wiki), Woodland (Woodland Wiki), Winters (Winters Wiki) and Dixon (Dixon Wiki)
- Sutter's Fort SHP
- Museums in Woodland CA, Museums in Sacramento CA
- A couple Indian Casinos (See Gambling.)
- Folsom Lake (longer if you bike)—If the water levels are especially low, you can see the remains of a gold rush town called Mormon Island.
- Davis Paintball Center
- di Rosa Preserve (46 mi., 55 min.) -art and sculpture garden
- Jepson Prairie Reserve
- Stevenson Bridge
- Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve
- Yolo County Grasslands Regional Park - archery, birdwatching, R/C glider soaring
- Jelly Belly Factory Tour with samples and goodies.
- Budweiser Factory Tour with free samples and free soda for the kids!
- The Baxter House
- Yolo County Recreation
- Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (formerly Marine World) Roller Coaster Theme Park in Vallejo.
- Woodland Corn Maze - Seasonal, in September and October.
1 Hour Away
- Napa Valley (Wine tasting, sightseeing, gourmet food, Hot Air Balloon Rides)
- Sonoma Valley (Wine tasting, sightseeing, gourmet food)
- Various Indian Casinos (See Gambling.)
- Lake Berryessa (Fishing, water sports, sightseeing) and the Morning Glory Spillway—Low water levels means land access to some normally unreachable islands.
- Cache Creek (hiking, camping, rafting, nature)
Berkeley (Shopping, mischief, excellent ethnic food)
- Telegraph Avenue
- College Avenue
- Berkeley Outlets
- Zachary's Pizza (An adventure for your taste buds)
It's a shame UC Berkeley doesn't have a wiki for Berkeley because there are so many restaurants there which are ridiculously good: IN THE MOOD FOR... Indian? Naan'n Curry or TK's. Hot Dogs? Top Dog or Fat Dog. Sandwiches? IB's or Bongo Burger. Latin? Cafe de la Paz. (it's a bit expensive, but good) - Emily Tung
They used to have one, but it went down. -jr
- Technically they still do, but no one does anything with it -MichelleAccurso
- Davis, California does indeed have Indian, Hot Dogs, Sandwiches, and Latin cuisine as well. Why waste the gas/train/bike lube money? -Jason Dunne
1.5 Hours Away
San Francisco (Gourmet food, museums, art galleries, clubbing, sightseeing, shopping)
- AT&T Park
- North Beach
- Fisherman's Wharf
- Castro District
- Haight and Ashbury
- Apple Hill (located up HWY 50 past Placerville; offers a scenic drive and during the fall farms are open to guests to pick apples, pick pumpkins, eat apple pie, eat caramel apples, and drink apple cider)
- Lover's Leap (best climbing in the area; located on highway 50 before Lake Tahoe)
- Desolation Wilderness: 63,960 acres of subalpine and alpine forest, granite peaks, and glacially-formed valleys and lakes in the El Dorado National Forest.
- Wilbur Hot Springs A sanctuary for the self. Established 1865. 1h 32m away.
- Muir Beach and Muir Woods (beach, hiking, fresh air, peace and quiet, history of parks, redwoods). Just north of San Francisco.
- Mount Saint Helena (Hiking and climbing after nice drive with great views.)
- Clear Lake (hiking ,fishing, water sports, and wine). The town of Clearlake Oaks offers access to the lake and is 90 miles from Davis.
- Stinson Beach & Steep Ravine Trail in Marin County
- University Falls Located near the town of Georgetown in El Dorado National Forest. It's about a 45 minute hike from the road where you park. There are 4 waterfalls, and you can slide down the first three-natural granite watersides! (CLOSED due to visitors not packing out their trash, you may be fined for entering the private land that leads to the falls)
- Yuba River Depending on the area, you could enjoy a calming river float or spend the day scrambling over boulders to reach swimming holes.
2 Hours Away
- Reno, NV (Gambling, Prostitution technically not in town but nearby)
- Lake Tahoe, CA (Water sports, snow sports, hiking)
- Lake Tahoe, NV (Gambling, Water sports, snow sports, hiking)
Santa Cruz, CA (Shopping, sightseeing, beaches, hiking, general awesomeness)
- Beach Boardwalk
- UC Santa Cruz
- Chico, CA, including Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
- Great America amusement park
- Hershey Plant in Oakdale. 99 south to CA120. They no longer do factory tours.
- Harbin Hot Springs Soak, or go hiking, socialize, or attend workshops. 2h 10m away.
2.5 Hours Away
- Monterey, CA (aquarium, ocean, beach, hiking)
3 Hours Away
- Mendocino, CA (hiking, wine, ocean, hippies)
- Lake Shasta (houseboating)
Lassen National Park (Wikipedia entry) (hiking/backpacking etc.)
- I've once gotten there in under 2 hours. I love I-5 - JulienBiewerElstob
4.5 Hours Away
- Yosemite National Park (website) (hiking/backpacking, climbing, sightseeing, nature, fresh air)
- Mono Lake (Wikipedia entry) (sightseeing, nature, unique ecosystem)
- San Luis Obispo, CA (Ocean, shopping, yuppies)
- Eureka, CA (hiking, the Lost Coast)
- Black Rock City, NV for Burning Man (Wikipedia entry)
5 Hours Away
- Valencia, CA (Six Flags Magic Mountain!)
- Arcata, CA (Kinetic Sculpture Race, Humboldt State University)
5.5 Hours Away
- Mammoth Lakes, CA (snow sports, water sports, mountain biking, hiking and backpacking, sightseeing, nature (volcanoes!)
Los Angeles, CA (Shopping, sightseeing, clubbing, smog, beach)
- Venice Beach
- Garment District
- Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (hiking and backpacking, camping, sightseeing, nature, fresh air)
6.5 Hours Away
- Anaheim, CA (Disneyland!)
- UC Irvine
- Irvine Spectrum
- Redwood National and State Parks
8 Hours Away
San Diego, CA (Shopping, sightseeing, beach)
- Gas Lamp District
- Tijuana, B.C. - Mexico (Practice Spanish, shopping, sightseeing, smog, beach)
Death Valley National Park (website) (hiking/backpacking, camping, sightseeing, nature, fresh air)
- Note: Southern Route (by way of Bakersfield) is safer and faster, but less fun. Northern Route (by way of Reno) is more scenic. Two-lane roads that go through towns make travel-time extremely unpredictable for both routes.
- Joshua Tree National Park (website) (hiking and backpacking, climbing, camping, sightseeing, nature, fresh air)
Las Vegas, NV (Gambling, sightseeing, food, clubbing)
- The Strip (Las Vegas Blvd.)
- Fremont Street (Classic Downtown casinos)
Portland, OR (Shopping, sightseeing, food, fresh air)
- Powell's Bookstore
- Columbia River Gorge
As far away as possible
If driving somewhere far like Las Vegas, consider renting a car, especially if you have a gas guzzler. With rental car rates as low as $10-20/day, sometimes this is a net cost savings when you can get a car with 35-45mpg. Plus you spare your car the added mileage.
- Of course, if you're not at least 25, several companies will not rent to you, while others will charge you an outrageous fee. Having a AAA membership or creating an account with USAA might waive the under 25 fee.
- Be sure to bring one or many co-adventurers. If none of your friends share your wanderlust, perhaps the Ride Board can hook you up.
- AAA is your friend. In addition to towing, lock-out and fuel delivery services, they also can make road trip calamities better. If your car breaks down, many AAA memberships will pay for your hotel and food costs while your vehicle is being fixed or, alternatively, your return transportation (either air, bus, train or rental car). Keep in mind, however, that the AAA frequently advocates against bicycle-friendly laws and infrastructure when there is no benefit to automobiles. A more bicycle-friendly alternative is The Better World Club.
- Don't forget your cell phone charger. And don't expect your cell phone to work in the middle of Nevada.
- The Davis Travelaires lead trips that can help get you comfortable and excited about travel.
- Note: If you are driving through LA on the I-5, remember that the Grapevine can be tricky for older cars to navigate smoothly, and that downtown LA traffic is not your friend.