Danville, Indiana, the County Seat of Hendricks County, is located 25 miles west of downtown Indianapolis. The county was established in 1824, with the first non-Indian settlers moving to Danville in the 1820’s . Danville, a small town of just over six square miles, has blossomed into a community of more than 8,000 residents, with significant population growth occurring in the 1990s.
While not a bustling metropolis, Danville is conveniently located near State Road 39 and U.S. Highway 36, also serving as Main Street in Danville. Danville is about 20 miles from Interstates 70 and 465, where access to all of Indianapolis becomes easily available.
Danville has a thriving arts community where theater, music, fine arts and crafts are well represented. The Danville arts scene is respectable, though no competition for the thriving Indianapolis art community. The Hendricks County Civic Theatre offers several performances throughout the year in Danville, Danville High School puts on many drama productions, ArtsGo! is a Danville event that allows local artists to show off their best work, and residents get to enjoy the Hendricks Symphonic Orchestra and the Hendricks Symphonic Choir.
One of the most popular Danville attractions is the Hendricks County Museum. Founded in 1975 by the Hendricks County Historical Society, this former county jail is dedicated to preserving the rich history of this central Indiana county. Twin Bridges Golf Club is an Indiana golf course in Danville that offers 18 holes of luxurious greens. A historic Danville attraction is the Royal Theater, built in 1914 and recently renovated and restructured into a 600 seat monument to Danville performing arts and music.
When residents of Danville are looking to blow of steam on a Friday or Saturday night, there are few options for them in the Danville community. One is Cross’s Corner in the downtown sector of Danville, where you can find some good bar food, dancing and live music. Some of the best bars elsewhere in the area include Frank and Mary’s Tavern, a locally owned bar that specializes in seafood; Jug Heads Pub and Grub in Avon; and Legends Pub and Grill, another nearby bar, this one offering poker and other fun games.
Danville business mostly lives in the downtown area. Locally owned Danville restaurants like Wiggles, The Mayberry Cafe, and Cross’s Corner are all located downtown, so they’re perfect places to sate your hunger after an afternoon of Danville attractions. Downtown Danville is also home to some other great Danville businesses, like Carla’s Creations and Gifts, The Locker Room, and Game Swap Inc. With all these different places to spend money, it’s no wonder downtown Danville is the lynchpin in this town’s business.
Danville is a great place to raise children; the Danville education system is top notch, the community is small and cozy, and Danville parks are everywhere for kids to run around in. The Gill Family Aquatic Center has plenty of fun aquatic adventures for kids, Ellis Park lets kids exhaust themselves on the playground, the Haunted Train Station is a perfect family friendly Halloween activity, and the community puts on the Winterland Light Show every Christmas.
Downtown Danville would not be the vibrant area that it is without the assistance of the Downtown Danville Partnership, a local organization that seeks to promote and enrich the town’s courthouse square. They’ve restored the historic Hendricks County Courthouse and several other historic homes around downtown Danville.
Danville is home to the Danville Community School Corporation, an entity that encompasses four different Indiana schools: Danville Community High School, Danville Community Middle School, South Elementary School, and North Elementary School. The corporation also hosts Opportunity House, an institution where students can earn college credit.
Danville events are centered around the family, and are an excellent way to reconnect with your Danville children and put a smile on their faces. Summer Sounds on the Square is a community concert series; the Danville Farmers Market brings in fresh produce from local farms; Ellis Park holds concerts in its amphitheater; and the Winterland Light Show delights the community during the Christmas season with a massive light display and a visit from Santa.
Danville’s sick and out of shape like to take advantage of the Danville health facilities close to home. There’s a Danville branch of Hendricks Regional Health, a state of the art facility that’s home to some of the most accomplished physicians and diagnosticians in Central Indiana; and Danville health clubs like Snap Fitness and Curves keep residents fit and trim.
Danville, which isn’t quite close enough to Indy to be a jumping off point for tourists, has no standard Danville hotels within the town limits. However, visitors coming in to experience one of several fun Danville events can stay at nearby Plainfield hotels and Brownsburg hotels; both towns are within an easy drive and have a variety of affordable or luxurious options. Danville does have one slightly unorthodox lodging option within the town proper: the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds.
This family oriented burg does have a few media outlets of its own, and these outlets retain Danville’s quaint atmosphere and quiet ideals. The Danville Republican is the town’s local newspaper; Danville news, Danville sports, goings on with Danville business, doings at Danville High School, and other stories of interest to the average resident can all be found within the pages of the Danville Republican. Danville is also home to WEDJ 107.1 FM, a Latino radio station.
For its small size, Danville music has offerings in almost every genre, from the sweet orchestrated sounds of the Hendricks Symphonic Society to the brash drumline of Danville High School to the whole breadth of popular music genres represented by local Danville bands. This Indiana town’s proximity to the Circle City has allowed its music scene to flourish and grow.
The Royal Theater is a hotspot for Danville nightlife any time of year. This historic venue shows popular movies, like Couples Retreat, Hotel for Dogs, and Kung Fu Panda, and classics of the silver screen. The Royal Theater isn’t all about movies, however; oftentimes, Danville music groups take the large stage to get crowds moving. Jennie DeVoe, Tad Robinson, and Vagabond Opera have all graced the stage at the Royal Theater, as have many other famous Indianapolis bands and artists.
One of the finest examples of Danville’s family focus is the Danville parks system. Designed to inspire the imagination, educate the mind, and strengthen the body, the community’s sprawling parks were made for self-improvement. The biggest park in Danville is Ellis Park, which contains an amphitheater, the Gill Family Aquatic Center, hosts tons of Danville events, and keeps the community active.
Danville has two famous sons: Actor Dick Van Dyke began his long, enormously successful career on a humble radio show in his then home-town of Danville. And Hall of Fame baseball player and Indianapolis sports legend Samuel Thompson, known as “Big Sam”, Samuel Thompson. Thompson still holds two major league records: one for most RBI’s per game (.923) and one for most RBI’s in a month (61). That’s pretty impressive, considering he was active in the late 1800′s!
Danville real estate offers a nice combination of price and value. Located roughly 30 minutes west of Indianapolis, in Hendricks County, Danville is close enough to afford locals convenient access to a major metropolitan area, while at the same time, far enough to maintain its own sense of small-time life. A variety of homes can be found in Danville, from classic bungalows and American Foursquares to modern ranches and Colonial Revivals. If you’re looking for style, character and affordability, look no further than Danville.
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Restaurants in Danville, Indiana cut a wide swath of choices, from Mexican to Italian to Chinese to down-home Midwest comfort food. Three of the most popular Danville restaurants are the Mayberry Cafe, a nostalgic trip back to a better time, Frank’s Place, a great Italian restaurant, and Wiggles, a unique restaurant that specializes in deep fried fair food.
You won’t find any massive mega malls in Danville; there’s no Best Buy, no Wal-Mart, very few large chain stores. Most Danville businesses are small, locally owned shops that sell handmade, unique items to customers. A quick perusal through the Chamber of Commerce’s business directory will show you that this town is about the little person with passion for his or her product, not the enormous, autonomous corporation.
Being the small Indiana town that it is, Danville, Indiana is not the home of any major sports teams. There are no professional teams here, no minor league teams, and the town only sponsors one other league, an amateur softball league held in a Danville park. Luckily, however, Danville sports enthusiasts live just twenty miles away from one of the greatest sports communities in the world: Indianapolis.
Things to do in Danville are all affordable, educational, and most of all, fun for the whole family. Plenty of historic places in downtown Danville provide a glimpse of Indiana life over the generations, shopping on Main Street can be a fun afternoon for everybody, and there’s always something going on at Ellis Park.
With Indianapolis only 30 minutes away by car, Danville, Indiana residents know the daily joy of country living, as well as the convenience and excitement of the big city. City folks can, and often do, discover a glimpse of that joy by visiting Danville.