You may have never heard of Danville, KY, and that's fine, because that means we get to introduce to one of the hidden gems in the South. Ranked among the 10 Best Cities for Historic Preservation, as well as the 10 Best Small Towns in America, Danville is a community with outdoor opportunities, charming neighborhoods, quality schools, top healthcare and fun festivals like the annual Great American Balloon Race. Here are highlights of life in Danville.
In the past few years, Danville has completed more than 100 downtown renovation projects, highlighted by a vibrant new retail and restaurant cluster on South Fourth Street, or SoFo. Smart city planning resulted in historic buildings becoming economically vital again, and a key component to the downtown renaissance is Heart of Danville, the city’s award-winning Main Street revitalization effort.
You earn extra credit for knowing that Danville has a top academic system in place, including the Boyle County Schools district that ranks among the top 20 school systems in Kentucky. Also serving area students is the Danville Schools district and the Kentucky School for the Deaf, while private institutions include Danville Christian Academy and Danville Montessori School.
Centre College is a four-year college with an enrollment of 1,350 students, and 27 majors to choose from. Bluegrass Community & Technical College provides in-demand programs such as computerized manufacturing and machining, electrical technology, industrial maintenance technology, practical nursing and welding technology.
Relish the Flavor
Danville has many independent restaurants and cafes that offer a slice of the good life. For early morning coffee drinkers, there’s The Hub Coffee House & Café along with Sweet Beans N’Things, while popular lunch spots include Cue on Main, Fazoli’s, Grace Café and House of Cheung. When it’s dinnertime, try places like Bluegrass Pizza & Pub, Cheddars, Freddie’s Italian Restaurant, Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant, Mallard’s and Tut’s.
Plenty of Play Time
It’s “game on” in Danville, where residents have many choices for sports and recreational activities, both indoors and outdoors. Spacious popular parks include Cowan Street, Henry Jackson and Millennium parks, while William E. “Bunny” Davis Recreation Complex is a key recreation resource for residents.
The McDowell Wellness Center is a family-oriented health and wellness facility, while Herrington Lake offers boating options and fishing spots, and golfers in Danville can enjoy Danville Country Club and Old Bridge Golf Club.
It’s Show Time
Present-day artists and attractions along with historic charm and preservation are what help make Danville a nice place to live and visit, with several interesting things to see and do. Norton Center for the Arts is where visitors can attend a variety of performances and events, and Pioneer Playhouse serves dinner and an outdoor play Tuesdays through Saturdays during summer months.
West T. Hill Community Theatre produces plays year round and maintains a vibrant children’s theater program, and also available for arts enthusiasts are the Ephraim McDowell House Museum, Great American Dollhouse Museum and the Stephen Rolfe Powell Studio.