Danville has been in existence since the gold rush days. Daniel and Andrew Inman bought 400 acres in what is now Old Town Danville with their mining earnings in 1854, and the town has flourished ever since. The Town’s connection to its Old West past is preserved in the downtown cluster of narrow roads and the remarkable number of early buildings that still remain. Danville was originally a grazing and agricultural center, and was a stage coach stop during the 1800′s. In the late 1800′s, Southern Pacific railroad came to the valley, and a train stop was located on Railroad Ave near downtown.
With the completion of Interstate 680 in the late 1960′s, Danville began to experience growth, as families began to move East for more affordable housing and a sunnier climate. With the boom in office space and business parks in San Ramon and Walnut Creek in the 1970′s and 1980′s, Danville quickly became a desirable destination due to its charming downtown, as well as its quaint neighborhoods with generous lot sizes. In the 1980′s, Danville became known for its luxury home developments, specifically with the development of Blackhawk, a gated luxury golf course development in the foothills of Mt. Diablo. Beginning in the 1980′s, development began to envelope the Tassajara Valley, a former ranching area on the Eastern flank of Danville with rolling hills and spectacular views. Huge subdivisions sprang up seemingly overnight in this once rural area, and road and school construction strained to keep up with the pace of development. Danville has purposely shunned the large scale commercial development that put San Ramon and Pleasanton on the map, preferring to keep its unique downtown as the center of commerce.
With a population of approximately 45,000, the Town of Danville is known for its small-town atmosphere and its outstanding quality of life. Several parks, with ball fields, tennis courts, picnic facilities, playground equipment and walking trails, offer family activities all year long. The Iron Horse Trail provides miles of paths for biking and walking. Danville’s weather boasts nearly 300 days of sunshine every year.
Special events bring out the small-town atmosphere. The Fourth of July Parade and Light the Old Oak Tree are highlights of the year along with art festivals and holiday festivities. The Village Theatre offers live theater productions. The art gallery in the same building showcases local talent. “Music in the Park” a summer concert series, features local groups.
First-rate restaurants draw people from as far away as San Francisco. A wide variety of outstanding cuisine is available. The lovely Danville Hotel Territory, with its cluster of specialty shops, has a favorite eating establishment and is a special Danville landmark. Another popular restaurant, Bridges, was made famous when segments of the movie Mrs. Doubtfire were filmed there.
Danville’s quaint downtown area is a natural for unique specialty shops. Parking is plentiful. The Danville Farmers’ Market draws big crowds to Old Town every Saturday from 10:00 AM to 1 PM. Other retail stores include antiques, jewelry, and gift and art shops.
Discover Danville. You’ll find out why it is one of the leading small communities in California – offering the feel of yesterday and the opportunities of tomorrow.
Be sure to check out our Danville Video page for videos about the Town of Danville.