Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Danville, CA

  • Published 2022/05/30

Travel to the municipality of Danville east of San Francisco, known for its Tuscan landscape, for an unforgettable vacation.

Danville is one of the top destinations in San Francisco and Sacramento, excellent for family, travel buddies, and those who travel alone.

Part of Contra Costa County, Danville is a mixture of leisure and natural sceneries while showcasing its rich history.

This former Gold Rush-era settlement has blossomed into a vibrant town famous for shopping, dining, and outdoor fun.

Danville is full of hidden gems and local treasures, all worth exploring.

Here are the best things to do in Danville, CA:

Explore the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site

A study in Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site house

JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This famous historic site in Danville was once the home of the Nobel Prize-winning American playwright Eugene O’Neill.

The historic site isolated the writer from Danville’s entire community and the world.

Its seclusion gave O’Neill not just peace but helped him focus on finishing his notable plays.

In this house, O’Neill wrote his classic plays, Long Day’s Journey into Night and The Iceman Cometh.

His estate converted the house and its surroundings into the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site.

The National Park Service manages the site.

This place is worth visiting because of its fascinating backstory, peaceful environment, and charming beauty.

Join guided tours during the weekends.

You can also do self-guided tours.

Browse the Museum of the San Ramon Valley

Exterior of Museum of the San Ramon Valley

Californiathegreat, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another famous historical location in Danville is the Museum of the San Ramon Valley.

This fascinating museum preserves and celebrates San Ramon Valley’s vibrant heritage and history.

The building housing the Museum of the San Ramon Valley is the Southern Pacific Depot, constructed in 1891.

Side facade of Museum of the San Ramon Valley

Pi.1415926535, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The depot underwent several restorations to preserve its old beauty.

Check out the museum’s rotating and permanent exhibits, featuring artifacts, documents, photographs, and artworks from the area’s early settlers.

Grab souvenirs at the gift shop after your tour.

Bike along the Iron Horse Regional Trail

Daytime view of Iron Horse Regional Trail

Pi.1415926535, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the best outdoor recreations in Danville is off-road mountain biking.

To experience this exciting outdoor activity in Danville, head to the Iron Horse Regional Trail, which passes through numerous towns by the former Southern Pacific Railroad.

It’s an excellent outdoor biking adventure that offers not just an exciting activity but also a meaningful historical tour.

After its closure in 1977, the Southern Pacific Railroad became a multi-purpose trail that connects the cities of Pleasanton and Concord.

You’ll pass through 12 cities, spanning more than 32 miles between two counties.

The Iron Horse Regional Trail has a mixture of paved and off-road trails which passes through forested, residential, commercial, and natural areas.Go Hiking at the Sycamore Valley Regional Open Space Preserve

Danville has many outdoor destinations for hardcore outdoor enthusiasts or the whole family.

Head to the Sycamore Valley Regional Open Preserve east of Danville for a relaxing hike.

This regional park is part of the bigger East Bay Regional Parks system.

However, it has become famous as a hiking destination.

This park features six hiking trails also used for running and biking.

So, bring your family to this popular outdoor destination for an entire day of outdoor adventure.

Enjoy a Picnic at the Sycamore Valley Park

Sycamore Valley Park's water fountain

Rafael Abdalla /

Having a picnic with your loved ones or travel buddies is one of the most enjoyable experiences in Danville.

Head to Sycamore Valley Park for a picnic.

This community park is famous for its recreational fountain, children’s playground, reflective pond with waterfall, hiking and jogging paths, and picnic area.

Besides its charming picnic area, it also features a barbeque pit in each picnic spot.

At the same time, numerous baseball diamonds are situated nearby the Sherburne Hills Drive entrance.

Marvel at the Blackhawk Museum

Exterior of Blackhawk Museum

Jon ‘ShakataGaNai’ Davis, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take a break from hiking, biking, park exploring in Danville, and head to the Blackhawk Museum.

This famous museum in Contra Costa County is a must-visit if you love cars.

This museum is famous for its five noteworthy galleries that mainly feature rare and vintage automobiles collected from various parts of the world.

Vintage cars inside the Blackhawk Museum

Jay Cross from Berkeley, California, US, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Besides the massive and marvelous collection inside the museum, you’ll also marvel at its uniquely designed monolithic building.

Outside, you can marvel at the view of Mount Diablo.

A car displayed in Blackhawk Museum

ZikG /

Check Out the Historic Veteran’s Memorial Building of San Ramon Valley

This historic building on Hartz Avenue has become one of Danville’s most preferred events centers since 1925.

This historic building has hosted thousands of activities from the veterans to the Danville community, making it a worthwhile place to visit.

If you’re looking for a spot in Danville to meet locals, check out this place.

You might catch some birthday parties, weddings, or special occasions.

Who knows, you might get invited to join the party?

In addition, the Veteran’s Memorial Building is full of history.

Learning about its past is as fascinating as visiting other tourist areas in Danville.

The Veteran’s Memorial Building of San Ramon Valley is a witness to Danville’s storied past.

Visit the Hap Magee Ranch Park

Aerial view of Hap Magee Ranch Park

Kyle Hawton, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This park, which also welcomes visitors with its iconic barn facade, is a unique place in Danville.

Hap Magee Ranch Park has a storied past.

It commemorates the ranch life of the people who raise the majestic longhorn steer.

Besides being a ranch, Hap Magee also became a summer campsite for orphans from San Francisco named “Camp Swain.”

Today, Hap Magee is a beautiful community park that highlights Danville’s laid-back environment.

The entire park encompasses 17 acres of picnic areas, a dog park, a children’s playground, walking trails, and the drinking fountain commemorating Camp Swain.

Step Back in Time at the Danville Station

The Danville Station was an old Southern Pacific Railroad train station in the late 1800s.

It opened on June 7, 1891, and transported its last passenger in 1934, capping off nearly 50 years of service.

If you’re looking for more historical places in Danville, Danville Station is the perfect place to visit.

Nearly two decades after Danville Station closed, it was sold in 1951 and became a general merchandise store.

In 1996, it was purchased anew and became part of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley.

Today, it’s a magnificent place to learn about Danville and San Ramon Valley’s rich history.

Take Excellent Photos at the Scenic Oak Hill Park

If you’re searching for an idyllic spot in Danville for a fabulous photoshoot, head to Oak Hill Park.

Oak Hill Park is famous in Danville for its picturesque view of Mount Diablo.

It is ideal for locals to hold photoshoots for weddings, family portraits, etc.

Besides picnics, Oak Hill Park is ideal for spending your day unwinding.

The park spans 43 acres of nicely maintained park amenities and beautiful sceneries.

In addition, it’s also where special events in town happen, like concerts, games, and community-related activities.

Bring out your best selfie or pose while taking photos at Oak Hill Park.

Wander Downtown Danville

Buildings along Downtown Danville

Danvilleca, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore Danville’s downtown area, teeming with shops, restaurants, and local businesses.

Before returning home, grab lunch or dinner, or perhaps buy unique souvenirs.

If you want to go shopping, head to downtown Danville.

Road of Downtown Danville

Jon ‘ShakataGaNai’ Davis, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s where you can find most local businesses, such as shops, boutiques, and cafes.

In addition, it’s also where you’ll find some of the town’s most famous attractions, such as the Blackhawk Museum, the Museum of San Ramon, and various art galleries.

Cars along Downtown Danville

Jon ‘ShakataGaNai’ Davis, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Unwind at the Charming Osage Station Park

If you’ve enjoyed enough hiking or biking on Danville’s famous trails, head to Osage Station Park for some afternoon relaxation.

This community park along Brookside Drive in Danville is known for its gorgeous memorial rose garden.

At the same time, it has a well-maintained children’s playground with its own makeshift train station.

Osage Station Park encompasses more than 35 acres.

It’s not just a charming community park but also a busy outdoor sports area in Danville.

This park, named after Osage Oranges Ranch, has numerous sports facilities for baseball, softball, tennis, and soccer.

If you want to play some sports, go to Osage Station Park.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Park

Scenic view of Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Park

Sundry Photography /

This massive 5,342-acre regional park is in San Ramon, California, eight minutes away from Danville.

One of its main entrances is in Danville, making it one of the most recommended natural areas in town to visit.

The World “Las Trampas” comes from “For the Traps” or “The Snares” since it was a hunting ground back in the day.

A gorgeous waterfall at Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Park

Waterfall581, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Today, it’s one of the best natural areas in Contra Costa County that offers excellent outdoor recreation.

When visiting Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Park, expect a lot of hiking, trail running, and biking.

It features more than 30 trails for these outdoor activities.

At the same time, it also offers scenic views, making it an excellent place for nature photography.

A wildflower at Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Park

Miguel Vieira, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sit Back and Relax at the Scarlett Wines & McGah Family Cellars

Danville is also an excellent place for leisure activities.

To do this, head to Scarlett Wines & McGah Family Cellars along Danville Boulevard in Alamo, five minutes away.

One of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders co-founders also co-owns this family-operated winery and cellar.

This winery has produced wine for four generations.

In 2015, the winery rebranded itself to its current name.

Through the years, it followed winemaking traditions, making it an excellent place to unwind with a glass of its famous varieties.

After exploring Danville’s attractions, head to Scarlett Wines & McGah Family Cellars if you want some wine.

Spend the Day at Mount Diablo State Park

Scenic view of Mount Diablo State Park

Chris LaBasco /

Your visit to Danville won’t be complete without discovering the vast and natural beauty of Mount Diablo.

First off, don’t let its scary name intimidate you.

In Walnut Creek, California, this natural area spans more than 20,000 acres of unique geological landmarks, explorable terrain, and vibrant flora and fauna.

Walnut Creek is 11 minutes away from Danville.

Fossil ridge at Mount Diablo State Park

Kara Jade Quan-Montgomery /

If you want to visit Mount Diablo State Park, its best access is through the South Entrance in Danville.

One of the best activities to enjoy inside Mount Diablo State Park is hiking with a side of nature photography.

To get the most of Mount Diablo’s beauty, trek the 18-mile long out-and-back trail, which features a moderately challenging route.

You’ll pass through forested and open fields along the way while you slowly ascend to Mount Diablo.

Sun shining down on Mount Diablo State Park

Chris LaBasco /

Final Thoughts

Stop looking for other quick weekend getaway destinations because Danville has everything you want.

This small California town is packed with many exciting things, from history to leisure and outdoor recreation.

Start planning your Danville adventure today!

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