11 Things to Do Before You Graduate

When sunny days turn into warm nights and that familiar cow stench floats through the air, you know it’s that time again: a Davis summer! Before we gear up for summer vacation, we must first say goodbye to our graduating seniors.

If you’re on the eve of your last final, you might look back fondly on the memories of your undergraduate years — but have you missed anything? Before leaving Cowtown for good, make sure you’ve crossed these classic Davis activities off your bucket list.

Wednesday or Saturday Farmers Market

The Farmers Markets held in Central Park every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning are popular chill-out spots. With food stands, fruit carts, and live music, these downtown events are the perfect picnic venues. While you’re at the market, be sure to grab a jug of fresh, cold apple cider and a Davis Farmers Market hat (a classic Davis accessory!).

Image source: UC Davis

Picnic on the Quad

Now that the grass is finally dry, the quad in front of the Memorial Union is full of students taking a break between classes. You can’t say you’re an Aggie until you’ve spent a lunch break eating under the trees or lying in a hammock — that is if you’ve managed to snag one!

Arboretum

The arboretum is a must-hit spot among important Davis sites. It’s a great place to go with old friends to reminisce about dorm days, or to visit alone so you can reflect on your own growth and change over the past four years. In addition, the arboretum’s waterway construction this past year has made it larger and more hospitable to all sorts of bird life.

Trivia Night at the Bars

Every night from Monday through Friday, a different bar in Davis hosts a trivia night during which teams can purchase drinks and answer topical trivia questions. Sophia’s Thai hosts a popular Tuesday night version that sometimes even offers prizes to the last-place team!

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Salsa Night at the Grad

You don’t have to be 21 to experience one of the most appealing dance scenes at Davis. Salsa Night at The Davis Graduate (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays) welcomes novices and experienced dancers alike to cut loose and dance away the stresses of school. Located at the U-Mall, the Grad is adjacent to delicious boba tea cafes that provide the perfect pre-dance fuel.

Pictures with Eggheads

Over the years, the Eggheads start blending into the background of the campus landscape. So spend an afternoon finding each one and taking a cool selfie next to each. They also make egg-cellent backgrounds for graduation photos.

Image source: UC Davis

Death Star Nerf Wars

The Davis Nerf Club hosts a version of Humans and Zombies (and other nerf games) at the Social Sciences and Humanities Building (otherwise known as the Death Star) every Saturday night from 7 to 10 p.m. This on-campus adventure is one of the Davis quirks you hear about early on as a freshman, so be sure to take advantage of it before you leave. Just bring a nerf gun and your game face!

Visit the Cows and Horses

Davis’s Equestrian Center and cow barn (aka Dairy Teaching and Research Facility) are great places to go to soak in what it really means to live in an old farm town like Davis. The equestrian center sometimes puts on public events where you can view riding shows and even ride a horse yourself.

Winters Taco Truck

A 25-minute drive outside of Davis, Winters is home to some of the best authentic tacos around. El Verduzco taco truck tacos are affordable and delicious and can be found on E. Grant Avenue. Winters also has a charming downtown, perfect for munching on those tacos and getting away from Davis’s busy city center.

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Hike Around Lake Berryessa

The most accessible hike near Davis is Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve, a 35-minute drive from Davis. The hike provides great views of Lake Berryessa and both Solano and Napa Counties and is a reminder of the broader landscape that surrounds our often insular town.

Museums Downtown

The museums in downtown Davis are quirky and unique gems, and it would be a shame to leave without paying them a quick visit! Check out the Pence Gallery, U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame, and the Artery for a day of interesting art and Davis culture.

There are just a few weeks left before summer, so get started on your bucket list soon, Aggies!

Maria is a fourth year at University of California, Davis where she is double majoring in Economics and Comparative Literature. When she's not studying for her classes or writing up an article, you can find her playing soccer with her friends, working with the UCD School of Education or chowing down on some delicious Thai food with her roommates.

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