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Davis, California

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Best Picnic Spot and Best Romantic Location: Arboretum

UC Davis Arboretum claims two titles in this year’s Best of Davis issue

With its serene and earthy atmosphere, filled with a plethora of nature and wildlife, the Arboretum shines through as a favorite spot on campus. Voted as both Best Picnic Spot and Best Romantic Location this year, the Arboretum is a place of relaxation for many, and an escape from the hustle of campus life. Here, you can sit on the grass, admire the beautiful water and friendly ducks and truly let go.

Naomi Rivas, a first-year history major, notes that, as a picnic spot, the Arboretum provides a place with shade where she can read a book or work on an assignment. At the same time, Rivas also enjoys going to the Arboretum with others. Rivas shared her experience at the Arboretum with a significant other, a happy memory that has stood the test of time. 

“The first time I visited Davis with my boyfriend, we sat down on a bench in the Arboretum and watched a family of ducks swim by in the water,” Rivas said. “Even though it’s been almost a year since we visited together, he still remembers how nice it was — and the family of ducks.”

What makes the Arboretum so special to students is the way it differs from the rest of campus. According to Bailey Cohen, a first-year animal science major, unlike the other bike-filled, noisy spots on campus, there is a feeling of tranquility at the Arboretum. 

“I love the Arboretum because it’s such a peaceful area,” Cohen said. “You can go there to clear your mind, study or just hang out with friends. It’s nice to see nature so close by. There’s not as many people walking or biking and you can just sit by the water and look at the ducks and fish.”

Due to COVID-19, nature areas like the Arboretum have become more popular as an escape from quarantine and an opportunity for fresh air while social distancing. In a message posted in April, the Arboretum’s director Kathleen Socolofsky emphasized that while the Arboretum remains open, all visitors must follow social distancing guidelines. 

Whether it’s to picnic or spend time with a significant other, the Arboretum provides a natural escape. For students like Rivas, it is an essential spot on campus. 

“The trees and the little river make me feel like I’m in a different world,” Rivas said. “I like to think of it as a small escape from whatever I have going on where I can just enjoy nature, even if it’s only for a moment. It’s definitely part of the Aggie experience.”

Written by: Nora Farahdel — features@theaggie.org


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