Davis is noted for its desirable quality of life, its seeming small town atmosphere, and an emphasis on parks and open spaces. Davis’ parks contain picnic facilities, ball fields and swimming pools. The Davis Farmers Market is held year-round on Wednesdays and Saturdays in Central Park. It is a unique shopping experience. In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables sold by local farmers, often organic, attendees can find gourmet foods, live entertainment, specialty products, and arts and crafts. Davis is also known for its innovation in all aspects of community life as a leader in fostering and implementing non-traditional approaches to traditional problems. Known as an environmentally aware and socially innovative city, Davis boasts more than 50 miles of bicycle paths and more bicycles per capita than any other city in the nation. Residents of Davis are active in local, national, and international political causes, sports, arts, and community organizations.

The Davis community combines the right blend of safe neighborhoods, convenient retail and service establishments, and cultural amenities for a variety of tastes and plentiful recreational activities. There are 31 parks and 453 acres of improved developed landscape owned and maintained by the city.

The area offers myriad cultural and entertainment attractions. A Northern California Mecca for artists of many media, Davis features a community-built Art Center, more than two dozen private and public galleries, a monthly downtown "Art-About", an exciting collection of unusual public objects d’art, and the restored downtown Varsity Theater. In almost any direction one turns, the stroke of the local artist is evident. Demonstrating the City’s dedication to art in public places, more then $200,000 of publicly owned art can be seen in a walk around downtown Davis.

Galleries like "The Artery", a local artists’ cooperative, provide an opportunity for artists to show and sell their work. Longtime downtown anchor, the "Pence Gallery" hosts exhibits year-round and the outdoor performing area is home to music concerts and theater productions. The Davis Musical Theater Company is a full time, year-round, musical theater company, and many other community theater groups offer seasonal productions. UC Davis' Mondavi Center brings world class entertainers to the area. More than a dozen major dance concerts are produced in town each year and the UC Davis Drama Department always has a top-notch theater season.

The International House is a haven for foreign visitors, scholars and students with facilities to welcome and serve guests from all over the world.

Sutter Davis Hospital and Kaiser Permanente Medical Facilities provide excellent primary and continuing health care for the residents of Davis. Private clinics and physicians’ groups are available to meet a variety of health care needs.

As a university town, Davis has the advantages of a small town coupled with the numerous intellectual, recreational and cultural activities serving a wide variety of interests.