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UC Davis Magazine

Volume 32 · Number 1 · Fall 2014

Parents: A guide to the Aggie-built campus

Map with numbered call-outs for Coffee House, Hickey Pool, London bus, Bike Barn and club sports

Click on map to see enlarged view

Students have been leaving their marks on UC Davis from the days of their first arrival in 1908–09 — and by that we don’t mean unauthorized nail holes in their residence hall rooms. Aggies over the years have literally helped shape the place — grading the first athletic track, installing an irrigation system for the Quad, digging a swimming pool, establishing a popular eatery and launching the bus system.

More than just physical monuments (though those dot the UC Davis landscape too), many Aggie installations have become an integral part of university life. Here’s a self-guided tour of some student-created destinations that you can explore the next time you visit campus. (Be sure to check back often to discover what your student may have added to the map.)

Experience it for yourself

1. Eat a cookie.

Visit the Coffee House for a treat — or, if you’re really hungry, have breakfast or lunch. Students established the CoHo in 1968, and they’re still running the place — cooking and serving the made-from-scratch food (some of it with organic produce grown at the campus Student Farm). Depending on the weekday, you can try popular lunch entries like chicken tetrazzini, tofu chili, meatloaf and pasta with creamy tomato and feta sauce. Among the top-selling desserts are biscotti and pumpkin cookies.

2. Swim laps.

After digesting your CoHo food, head north across the street to Hickey Pool. In the late 1930s, students used picks and shovels to help dig the hole for the pool, which was home to swimming and diving teams for nearly seven decades. The pool is heated and the seven lap lanes are short — 25 yards. You can buy day passes for family members 18 years and older at the MU Games Area as well as the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC).

3. Ride a bus.

Just west of Hickey Pool is a Unitrans terminal. Hop aboard one of the red buses, and the first person you’ll meet — the driver — will be a student. Students started the bus service in 1968, importing two vintage double-decker buses from London. Today Unitrans serves the campus and the city of Davis with a fleet of 48 buses, most of them running on clean-burning fuels and all of them driven by students. The fleet now includes two modern double-deckers. If you want to ride a historic Routemaster, catch the E line to downtown Davis or the F line to the north part of town. The H line, which runs during the school year, will take you on a loop around the edge of core campus. Find schedules and maps for all 19 routes at Unitrans' website. The fare for nonstudents is $1.

4. Ride a bike.

If you’d rather travel under your own power, rent a bicycle at the Bike Barn and pedal down one of the many campus bike paths. The Bike Barn, started as a bike tool exchange in 1971, is one of the oldest student-run bike shops in the nation. Bikes can be rented by the day, weekend or the week.

5. Watch club sports.

Head west down Hutchison Drive to La Rue Road, where some of the many student-run intramural and club teams play. Depending on the season, you can find students playing flag football, soccer, Ultimate Frisbee or a Harry Potter-inspired game of Quidditch. Other teams can be found on other campus fields, in the ARC, at the MU bowling alley and, in the case of UC Davis-invented inner-tube water polo, at the aquatic center.

Kathleen Holder is managing editor of UC Davis Magazine.