The Town of Danville is located in the San Ramon Valley in Contra Costa County, California. It is one of the incorporated municipalities in California that uses "town" in its name instead of "city". The population was 41,715 in 2008. Danville is an upscale suburb of Oakland and San Francisco.
Danville is one of the wealthiest suburbs in the San Francisco Bay Area, with some of the most expensive and exclusive country clubs and houses in the country. It still preserves the characteristics of a town, being compact, largely self-sufficient as far as shopping goes, and having only a couple of commercial centers. Its downtown is noted for its somewhat rustic charm, intensively upgraded owing to its now extremely affluent demographics and its popularity as a regional destination for dining and light shopping. With heavy restrictions on large development, the downtown consists of many small shops on several traditional-styled plazas. It does not have its own hospital, being well-served by nearby regional medical centers including John Muir Hospital, San Ramon Regional Medical Center, and Kaiser Permanente. With the exception of a Costco location near its boundary with San Ramon, it does not host the "heavy shopping" provided by shopping malls located in nearby cities to the north or south. Danville's main street is Hartz Avenue in downtown Danville.
The city is home to numerous businesses including the headquarters of Aviva Energy Corp, an energy consulting firm as well as all major realtors, banks and investment firms.
Every Saturday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Danville hosts a farmer's market, where merchants gather under makeshift tents and umbrellas to sell a wide variety of goods. One can buy all sorts of fresh goods from the market, from freshly grown fruits and vegetables, to kettle corn, to baking goods, to flowers, to drinks, to olive oil, to the services of a musician who usually entertains people passing by. The market can be found on a weekly basis next to the San Ramon Valley Museum.
The Iron Horse Regional Trail runs through Danville. It was first a rail road that is now converted to a 80-foot (24 m) wide corridor of bike and hike trails as well as controlled intersections. Extending from Dublin to Concord, the trail passes through Danville. Walkers, bikers, skaters, and joggers usually find the Trail a source of outdoor recreation and exercise. Furthermore, the Trail is relatively isolated from the heavy traffic on the main roads; so it's a safe path to travel on. The trail is also close to all the major bookstores, shops, cafes and restaurants in Danville, so those who are doing a long trip often stop in Danville to eat or drink.
The Danville Library hosts a number of community events, such as the annual Halloween activities for kids and book sales. The Museum of the San Ramon Valley is located in downtown Danville and hosts regional history exhibits and traveling shows in the converted railroad station adjacent to the Iron Horse Trail.
Danville is home to two main public high schools: Monte Vista High School and San Ramon Valley High School, which both share a longstanding cross-town rivalry. There is a continuation high school called Del Amigo, which is stationed next to San Ramon Valley High. It is also home to the private and exclusive Athenian School, a college preparatory school for grades 6-12 that is nestled in the foothills of Mount Diablo State Park.
There is also a town theater called "The Village Theater," where productions of mostly Broadway shows are produced. But also, kids younger than eight can put on fun plays during all of the seasons.
Danville is named, in part, after Daniel Inman, who bought 400 acres (1.6 km²) there in 1854 with his brother Andrew, using their Gold Rush earnings. They rejected the name "Inmanville" and settled on Danville. However, "According to the modest Dan, the name was chosen as much or more out of respect for Andrew's mother-in-law, who was born and raised near Danville, Ky.," says one historical account. It was initially a farming community, switching from wheat to fruits and nuts after the Southern Pacific Railroad built a spur line through the area in 1891. It developed as a residential suburb starting in 1947 when the first sizable housing tracts were constructed and its population boomed in the 1970s and 1980s.
A post office opened in 1860.
Adjoining towns and cities are San Ramon to the south, Diablo, and Alamo to the north. Walnut Creek is 5 miles (8.0 km) north, while Pleasanton is about 5 miles (8.0 km) south.
Interstate 680 serves as the main means of transport out of the town.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.1 square miles (46.9 km²). All of it is land and none of it is covered by water.
Danville is set in a narrow section of the San Ramon Valley with the Las Trampas Ridge to the west and the Diablo Range to the east. The most prominent landmark of Danville is the backdrop of Mount Diablo, which stands to the east at 3,849 feet (1,173 m) and provides a picturesque backdrop for Danville and neighboring towns and cities. Sycamore Creek drains some of the Mount Diablo slopes and flows through Danville.
As of the census of 2000, there were 41,715 people, 14,816 households, and 11,867 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,305.6 people per square mile (890.3/km²). There were 15,130 housing units at an average density of 836.2/sq mi (322.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 86.30% White, 0.92% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 9.00% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 0.91% from other races, and 2.55% from two or more races. 4.66% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 14,816 households out of which 42.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.7% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.9% were non-families. 15.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the town the population was spread out with 28.6% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 29.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $126,797, and the median income for a family was $147,101. Males had a median income of $93,953 versus $53,235 for females. The per capita income for the city was $50,773. About 1.3% of families and 2.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.6% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.