Venue information - travel to and from, local entertainment, and transportation.

Where DIBSI 2019 will happen

The venue for the Summer Institute is the Valley Hall teaching facility, located on the Health Sciences side of UC Davis main campus, in Davis, CA. (Google maps link)

Davis and Davis area.

Davis is a lovely town, with a walking-friendly downtown that has lots of restaurants, bars, and boutiques. The Davis Farmer’s Market takes place on Saturday mornings and Wednesday afternoons, with live music and picnicing opportunities on Wednesdays during the summer.

Davis is “centrally isolated” - you can get to San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, a number of state and national parks (including Big Basin Redwood State Park and Lassen National Parks), and Napa Valley within 2-3 hours. Yosemite and the California coast, including Big Sur and Redwood National and State Parks, are 3-5 hours away. Moreover, many large cities on the West coast, including Vancouver, Portland, Seattle, LA, and San Diego, can be reached within a few hours by flight.

Lodging information

On-campus lodging is being arranged through Conference Housing Services. We have reserved space, and non-UC Davis attendees are expected to stay in housing. Note, due to space constraints, we cannot guarantee single-room lodging for attendees, although in 2017 we were able to give everyone a single.

Note, lunch is not included in housing plan and breakfast/dinner is not included unless you are signed up for housing.

Travel to and from Davis.

Davis is located about 60 miles north of the Bay Area and 20 miles west of Sacramento.

Davis can be reached in about 30 minutes from the Sacramento International Airport (SMF), and is about an hour away from Oakland Airport (OAK?), and between 2 and 3 hours away from the San Francisco airport (SFO). There is frequent serious highway congestion between Davis and the Bay Area which should be accounted for in travel plans.

Public transportation from OAK and SFO is possible via BART (metro) and Amtrak, which arrives in downtown Davis. While much of downtown Davis is walkable, lodging is typically further and we recommend using ride sharing or taxi services.

The Davis Airporter and Supershuttle can be used for transportation to and from airports, but should be reserved well in advance. Ride sharing (e.g. Lyft) works well for local travel (to/from SMF).

Visa information for international travelers.

One attendee received the following information from their local US consulate:

You may apply for and request ESTA authorization under the Visa Waiver Program, which allows you to stay in the U.S. for 90 days or less. You may not exceed 90 days. If you plan to stay for longer than 90 days, you must apply for and obtain a visa beforehand.

Upon request to we can provide invitation letters for people coming from outside the country.

Note that we will provide full tuition and housing refunds to those who are unable to enter the country due to visa issues, irrespective of the official deadlines.

Transportation needs in Davis

A car is typically not needed in Davis, as the weather is almost always good. On campus housing is a short walk from drugstores and supermarkets, and a medium walk (~20 minutes) to downtown. Davis is very bike friendly and bike rentals are available on a daily or weekly basis (from Ken’s Bike and Ski and also the UC Davis Bike Barn). There are also a number of ZipCar locations on and near campus for hourly car rental, and Uber and Lyft work well within town during the day and evening.

The venue for the Summer Institute is the Valley Hall teaching facility, located on the Health Sciences side of UC Davis main campus. It should be no more than a 15 minute walk from any on-campus housing, and no more than a 25 minute bike ride from any location in Davis. During the summer there is ample on-site parking for about $9/day - see parking lots 50, 53, and 55. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners will be close to the workshop rooms and lodging; note that breakfast and dinner are covered only if you are in the conference housing, and lunch is not covered by the housing plan. Lunch each day should be about $10/day if you eat at the cafe.

Weather and attire.

Summers in Davis are almost uniformly sunny, dry, and hot, reaching temperatures of up to 110 deg F (38 deg C). We recommend bringing water bottles, hats, and sunscreen.

The workshops have no dress requirement and informal-wear (flip-flops and shorts!) are fine, although we do also have strong functioning air conditioning in the classrooms, so you might also bring some warm clothes.

Family and partners

Davis is very family friendly, and kids and partners are welcome at all social events. California is in general LGBTQ-friendly as well.

Please inquire if you want to stay on campus with a partner or your family. Note that there are some hotels that have family-suitable suites.

Summer camps and programs for kids often fill quickly in Davis, but there are many great offerings around! The Davis Enterprise has a good run-down of many local programs. Two more that are not in there are the preschool camp at Redbud Montessori and the (often full but worth a try) Aggie Camps on the UC Davis campus. Please get in touch if you have questions or need further recommendations!

Special requirements

Any special requirements (whether dietary, transportation, or family related) should be communicated to We will strive to accomodate your needs!

Entertainment and exercise

  • the UC Davis Activities and Recreation Center is close to the DIBSI lodging and teaching location.

  • the UC Davis Rec Pool is also close to the DIBSI on-campus lodging and teaching location.

  • the UC Davis Arboretum is an excellent several-mile-long park available for recreational purposes.

  • Davis in general is extremely friendly for exercise biking and running, with long and short biking and running trails.

  • The Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve is an excellent hiking area an hour away from Davis.

  • The Yolo Bypass is a good birding and ottering area; visitors may even see a wild Jonathan Eisen on occasion.

  • The City of Davis has many bookstores, bars, restaurants, and movie theaters within easy walking distance.

Address for shipping

If you want to order something from Amazon, shipping to campus can be tricky. The following address has worked well in the past:

Charles Titus Brown
re: <your name here>
1 Shields Ave // 251 CCAH
Davis, CA 95616-5270

You’ll need to contact one of the student assistants at DIBSI to retrieve your package, however!

If you have questions, please contact us at via e-mail at