About Yolo County

Interstate 80 traverses the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, a major stop on the Pacific Flyway.

Interstate 80 traverses the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, a major stop on the Pacific Flyway.   BondRocketImages   Shutterstock.com

About Yolo County and California Local

California Local gives you reliable information about Yolo County, beginning with three pillars of old-fashioned journalism: Yolo County news, Yolo County traffic, and Yolo County weather.

Our primary mission is to support democracy in California by presenting honest news about local—in this case Yolo County—government and politics. We also provide access to community organizations and nonprofits throughout the county.

Yolo’s Migratory Pathways

While not densely populated, Yolo County is both agrarian and urban. Its substantial acreage—baking in the summer, foggy in the winter—includes the college town of Davis, history-rich Woodland, and rustic Winters. Its east terminus in West Sacramento is the gold painted Tower Bridge into Sacramento—still the best way to approach the capitol.

Yolo Causeway; photo by Grant Carlton/Shutterstock

Interstate 80, which bisects the county, follows some of the old Pony Express route, bordering the wetlands of the 1,600-acre Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. This important bird preserve, home to egrets, cranes and ducks, is a major stop for migratory birds traveling along the Pacific Flyway.

For migrating people, the county’s transportation system includes three interstate highways, major rail lines, a deep water port, and regional airfields: the Yolo County Airport in Davis, and the Watts-Woodland Airport (which the county describes as “the oldest privately owned, public use airport in continuous operation” in the United States).

The region has been changed by such developments, but the drama of the eastward journey endures. In an hour you’ve crossed from the volcanoes and inland seas of the Bay Area to a riparian flatland that could be any place in Mississippi—if it weren’t for the Sierra Nevada looming, pale and glowing, over the Sacramento Valley.

Living Off the Land

Orchard near Winters; photo by yhelfman/Shutterstock

Agriculture is the leading industry in Yolo, its rural areas blessed with productive soil. Ample water supplies support fruit and nut orchards, wine grapes, tomatoes, and various grain crops. The ag sector also provides jobs in food processing, warehousing, and distribution. And the University of California, Davis is a major center of agriculture and biotechnology research and development, ensuring that Yolo County continues to diversify with innovative farming techniques and emerging food technologies.

According to the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, for decades Yolo County has led the state in agricultural preservation, primarily by directing growth into its incorporated cities. The agricultural bounty has made Yolo County a destination for foodies, drawn by the region’s farm-to-fork culture. And the cities of Winters, Woodland and Davis make up the Beer-Muda Triangle, a hotbed of craft brewing.

Outward Mobility

Bicycles at the Davis Train Depot; photo by ZikG/Shutterstock

Part of the greater Sacramento metropolitan area, Yolo is one of the original 27 counties that were created in 1850. Its population of less than a quarter-million has plenty of room to move around outdoors. In the cities, well-preserved historical districts offer pleasant places to walk and cycle. Bicycles are welcome throughout the county, but particularly in Davis, where emphasis is placed on making it easy for residents to run errands and commute to work and school on two wheels.

Woodland, the county seat, is a history buff’s delight. Located about 15 miles northwest of Sacramento, its 370-acre downtown district is included on the National Register of Historic Places. There are about 25 city parks, and other highlights include the Gibson House, the California Agricultural Museum and the Woodland Opera House State Historic Park. The city of Winters, just off Highway 128, has its own picturesque downtown, with plenty of shops, restaurants, bars and brewpubs.

Some of the highlights in Davis are relatively new and can be found on the UC Davis campus—notably, the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, which opened in 2016, and the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts (2002), a venue for musical concerts, theater, dance, lecturers and other entertainers. When it comes to older roots, there’s the UC Davis Arboretum. Founded in 1936. It’s open 24/7 and admission is free.

About California Local

California Local produces community journalism for the digital age. Headquartered in Santa Cruz, we have a virtual state bureau in Sacramento and freelancers throughout the state.

In addition to original reporting in the form of statewide California government news, and “explainers” that put the day-to-day news in context, our Yolo County Media Directory points our readers to trusted local news.

California Local also offers you free access to a comprehensive “civic database” that is fully integrated with our news products. At its heart is a Community Groups directory, where you will find hundreds of Yolo County-based nonprofits and community groups listed under 25 topics, from Agriculture and Animals to Veterans and Water.

The staff and volunteers at these organizations do important work in Yolo County. We make it easy for you to learn about them, contact them, volunteer, and donate.

Historic Woodand. Photo by ZikG/Shutterstock

Our database also makes it easy to find information about elected officials in Yolo County, including:

Each of these officials has a page on California Local where you can find info compiled by our writers, as well as easy access to the public officials’ websites, social media channels and contact information. 

In a nutshell: California Local offers you reliable news and information, and access to the people who make Yolo County tick. In other words: We make it easy to citizen. And again, Yolo County traffic and Yolo County weather!

West Sacramento; photo by Cassiohabib/Shutterstock

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