UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden has been on my local list of attractions for a while. I can’t say why I haven’t gone before but I haven’t. And after visiting today looking for some fall colors I certainly regret not having gone sooner. I can say the Arboretum and gardens were not at all what I expected…in a good way. I expected just a large park with some glorious old trees and a place for my son to run around reasonably free. Instead, I found a lovely meandering creek called the Putah Creek lovingly surrounded by well maintained gardens and walking bridges. Visitors can walk the entire thing or sections and can follow both sides of the creek. They will be joined by runners, students, local residents, gossiping women, and visitors like me.
It is hard to be unhappy in a place like this even with heavy smoke in the air from the Butte Fire raging a small distance away. Several distinct gardens keep one’s interest while they get their steps in. Acacia gardens, redwood gardens, desert gardens, and plants and trees from China were the highlights. Ducks followed us everywhere we went. This perfect little park is a quiet oasis placed smack in the middle of one of California’s premier Universities.