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What to Do in Our Public Garden on Campus

Think of the UC Davis Arboretum as your great escape.

At UC Davis you can plan some alone time in your schedule, wandering through the cool redwoods or discovering your own special place to study in one of our shady groves and flower-filled gardens. You can also be very social in our nature preserve: Take selfies with friends and the ducks near Spafford Lake, jog with friends,  picnic, pull together student meetings, take music and art classes, join a folk jam, watch a play.…

Think about signing up for a guided tour to learn more about our flora and fauna. And definitely look into an internship with the Arboretum and Public Garden’s Learning by Leading Program. Here’s where you can learn leadership skills while helping to create a healthier environment and more sustainable world. Check out these arboretum activities.

Bring Your Camera at All Times

The arboretum offers great backdrops for photos: selfies or group shots. Who knows what creatures you'll capture.

Make Music With Friends

Practice drums in our Samba School or jam with folk musicians on the Wyatt Deck, which is a great place to contribute tunes to the neighborhood.

Run the Loop

You’ve got 3.5 miles of path to challenge you, with arched bridges, small slopes and side paths through 100 acres of gardens.

Have a Picnic

Buy tasty fare at the Davis Commons shopping center east of the Arboretum Gateway Garden and wander paths until you find the right spot.

Discover Another World in the Redwoods

Transport yourself to the Sierra Nevada or misty coast in our redwood grove, perhaps the largest valley planting of coast redwoods outside their native range in California.

Find the Locks of Love Bridges

Yup, there are two bridges among many with padlocks along the waterway. It’s up to you to imagine romantic stories attached to each one.

Hang out at Spafford Lake

Pick a spot on the grassy knoll above the lake and decide if you are going to study, people watch, duck watch, chat with friends or… take a nap.

Concentrate With the Equines

Our Animal Science Gateway Garden offers a quiet place to study. Take a tractor seat and set up your laptop on the bar. Nearby horses will keep you company.

Meet for Reflective Gatherings

If you need an appropriately thoughtful place to confer, we suggest the Native American Contemplative Garden with seating along the circular wall.

Take an Art Class

Learn to see the arboretum with an artist’s eye when you take Reinterpreting Landscape offered each spring through our art department.

Drink in Our Botanical Beauty

Learn about the world’s botanical gardens from Mediterranean climates similar to UC Davis … many are identified for you. Just look for the signs.

Escape the Heat

Chill out in your choice of shade: deep in the redwoods, under our heritage valley oaks, in the Animal Science Gateway Garden, at the Shields garden gazebo…

Identify Our Animals

Can you find the more than 30 species of mammals, 45 species of butterflies and nearly 140 species of birds living in the arboretum?