South Davis, the portion of Davis which lies south of I-80, is a veritable smorgisborg of desirable neighborhoods connected by greenbelts. No one master planned community dominates, a la Mace Ranch in East Davis. Even though separated by I-80, traveling by bike to and from South Davis is a snap. The most scenic route is the path leading from the south end of Davis Commons (Borders, etc) parking lot and the eastern edge of the UC Davis arboretum. The route, which includes a $4.5 million I-80 bike underpass, constructed in 2000, follows Putah Creek, and is arguably the most beautiful path in all of Davis. This author frequently straps on his skates and breezes along the Putah Creek path - 20 minutes round trip from Putah Creek Park to the cul-de-sac at Da Vinci Court.
For those who prefer bridges to tunnels, a pedestrian/bike overpass will transport you to and from South Davis. The bridge connects Cowell Blvd. (just north of Willow Creek Park) in South Davis with a path extending north of Second St. leading to Mace Ranch Park. The Pole Line Road I-80 overpass nicely accomodates all forms of transportation, while the other two links over I-80 into South Davis, Richards Blvd. and Mace Blvd. are best left to pedestrians and autos.
The Oakshade neighborhood, built in the early 1990s, lies to the north of Putah Creek and its path. Oakshade's many cul-de-sacs and quiet U-shaped streets feature exsquisite southern views of the mature trees along the creek. The neighbood of custom and semi-custom residences is dissected by a greenbelt running north-south. Homes on Oakshade's eastside can be accessed via Montgomery Ave., and auto access along the western side utilizes Valdora St. Marguerite Montgomery Elementary School and Walnut Park sit to the north of Oakshade homes.
As you follow Montgomery Ave. to the east, over a narrow bridge, you find yourself removed from suburban-esque Oakshade and Davis, more generally. To the north lies the oldest section of the Willowbank neighborhood, technically in unincorporated Yolo County. To the south is Solano County farmland. Old Willowbank homes are eclectic in design, with large shady lots. Like the elegant ranch homes of the El Macero Country Club community to the east of Davis, Willowbank is within the boundary of the Davis Joint Unified School District. Newer Willowbank homes are to the east, abutting Mace Blvd.
There is a wonderful little pedastrian/bike bridge over the creek connecting Willowbank with the Woodbridge neighborhood, a nature trail, and a park to the north. Other older South Davis neighborhoods connected to the path are Rosecreek, El Macero Park and Rancho Macero. Newer neighborhoods sprinkled among South Davis include Diamond Park, (so named as it lies adjacent to the ball fields of Playfields Park), Willowcreek and Parque Santiago.
South Davis continues to the east of Mace Blvd., featuring older homes from the 70's, Pioneer Park and Pioneer Elementary School. Traveling east along Cowell Blvd., you'll find a neighborhood of large, newer properties, most of which were built by Warmington Homes in the early 2000's, along Davis's most eastern edge. To the east, a vast stretch of farmland and the seasonally flooded Yolo Basin (Yolo Bypass) featuring its incredible variety of shorebirds, ducks and bats. At the eastern horizon one glimpses the Sacramento skyline, and on a clear day, the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains.