The tradeoffs of Davis housing spots
When it comes to housing, people find themselves worrying most about rent and who to room with, but it is also worth it to get to know the town, and yourself, well enough so you know what types of things you’d like to live near. Living in a location that best suits your habits can help you better manage your time. If you and your roommates can’t decide between several similarly priced places in entirely different settings, here is a look at some things to expect from living in some of Davis’s neighborhoods.
Living in an apartment or small house downtown is perfect if you want to be close to a variety of restaurants and cafes while also not being too far away from campus. Several bus lines run straight through downtown on Second and Third streets, so it is easy to get to the Silo or MU quickly. Of course, it’s also a very short bike ride.
If you are the type of person who likes to study in a busy public place with lots of hustle and bustle, then living downtown is quite convenient. You can study late at cafes like Mishka’s or Temple without having to worry about a long commute home.
Up G Street in the northwest corner of downtown is the Davis Food Cooperative, which, for downtown residents, is probably the most optimal place to do grocery shopping. It’s also not a far bike or bus ride from the Safeway on the south side of Interstate 80.
Despite its relatively small area compared to some of Davis’s other neighborhoods, West Village has sprung up over the last decade as a mini city of its own. West Village has amenities like a gym and pools, and the relative quality of the construction is very nice compared to some of the older apartments across Davis. Getting to campus is quite easy by taking the V line to the Silo, or by biking on one of the sky bridges that go over Route 113. The ARC is the first main landmark you hit when arriving on campus, so it is convenient for students who like to work out at the start or end of their days.
One complaint about West Village is that it can feel quite isolated compared to some other areas of town. Since the majority of the population is students, it can also be easy to feel a bit detached from the outside world. Some students may prefer this and think it more conducive to focusing solely on their studies, while other students derive great energy from being immersed in the Davis community. Since the campus separates West Village from downtown, it can be quite a trek to get to restaurants or other downtown activities.
Anyone who lives in North Davis has at one point in time been asked the question, “Do you shop at Safeway or Savemart?” This is certainly a logical question — the sea of North Davis apartment complexes seems to revolve around the axis of Safeway and Savemart. Both grocery stores are located right along the routes of the J and G Unitrans lines, making it easy to fit a quick trip to the store into your busy schedule. Trader Joe’s is also conveniently located along the G/J Line route. Just be careful — it’s easy to mix up the G and the J since their timing is synchronized, so don’t get on the G to the MU when you have a midterm in SciLec.
If you choose to bike instead, you may prefer taking Oak, which is much less busy than Anderson. The never-ending trek up and down Anderson at least twice a day makes Anderson Road the ultimate Sisyphean nightmare for residents of North Davis.
South Davis is an interesting mix because it is still relatively close to the activity of downtown, but it feels more isolated since you need to cross Interstate 80 to get to class every day. There are bus lines that run along Lillard Drive that help make the commute easy, but some may prefer the peaceful bike ride along the Putah Creek section of the Davis Bike Loop. Davis’s other Safeway is located here along with some restuarants. This is also a good location if you’re looking to get hired or volunteer at the research centers in South Davis.
For people who enjoy spending time downtown, but don’t mind being further away at a lower price, East Davis may be the perfect place. Stopping downtown is easy since it’s on your route everyday for the bus or on your bike, but the further east you go, the more inconvenient it becomes to bike. If biking to and from campus everyday is important to you, you may want to live in a different area of town. That said, one major advantage of east Davis is being close to Target.
The streets across from the north side of campus, such as Oeste and Parkside, are coveted areas that make up Central Davis. This area mainly includes residential houses as well as the popular Sycamore Lane apartment complex. If you prefer doing errands downtown, in North Davis or at the University Mall, try scoring housing in Central Davis.
This is a good area to live in if you want a more suburban feel with a mixture of students and families. This vibe can also be achieved as you move further east in South Davis, but Central Davis is more ideally located because it’s just about equidistant from most places you would want or need to go, especially campus.
Written by: Benjamin Porter — firstname.lastname@example.org