Rich History Lives Here
A community full of history, attraction, and spirit, Danville Kentucky is a wonderful place to visit (or stay!) A place where culture meets small-town charm. Established in 1787, Danville is known as The City of Firsts. It is home to the first courthouse in Kentucky, first college and law school in the west, as well as first state-supported School for the deaf. Kentucky’s first constitution was signed at constitution square in Danville, the same year Kentucky became a state, in 1792.
Full of stately homes and parks, bourbon distilleries, and battle reenactments, there is no lack of adventure to be found. Downtown you will find vintage storefronts, bakeries, cafes, and local eateries where you can experience some of the best Kentucky flavors around. Don’t forget to take a walk around the breathtaking Centre College campus, Danville’s small liberal arts college, founded in 1819.
The main hub in Boyle County, Danville is surrounded by other historic cities such as, Perryville, Forkland, and Junction City.
Experience the culture and history
Constitution Square Historic Site
Constitution Square Historic Site features historic log structures, being the original public square of Danville, Kentucky. You will also find the original log structure of the first U.S. Post Office built west of the Allegheny Mountains. It is known as the Birthplace of the Commonwealth, since the first Constitutional Convention in the West was held at Constitution Square in 1792 when Kentucky’s first Constitution was signed.
McDowell House Museum and Apothecary
Dr. Ephraim McDowell, a pioneering surgeon, made history here in 1809. It was Christmas morning when McDowell performed the first successful ovarian tumor removal in history. Take a guided tour of this restored, historical landmark.
Abraham Lincoln Museum
Featuring memorabilia about Abraham Lincoln, whose grandmother, Lucey Shipley Hanks Sparrow, was a local to the Forkland area for over thirty years. You will also experience the community heritage and historical artifacts of the beautiful Forkland area, located about 20 minutes from Danville.
Civil War Driving Trail
This tour will take you through several Civil-War-era historical sites throughout the town of Perryville, where the largest battle on Kentucky soil was fought and kept Kentucky in Union hands for the remainder of the war.
Every October, Perryville hosts a world-famous annual reenactment of the Battle of Perryville that occurred in 1862.
Historic Merchant’s Row
Another Perryville attraction, you don’t want to miss out on the Perryville Walking Tour. This tour guides you down historic Merchant’s Row, where you will see original 1800s buildings that now host a variety of gift shops, restaurants, and museums.
Jacob’s Hall Museum
Experience what life was like in the 19th century for deaf students at the Kentucky School for the Deaf, the fourth oldest school for the Deaf in the United States, and the first in the state of Kentucky.
Great American Dollhouse Museum
Another attraction unique to Danville, the exhibits in this museum will take you through United States history, from Native American, to the modern day 21st century.
Wilderness Trail distillery
Take a tour of this local distillery that is a part of the famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and see the fascinating process of making the high-quality bourbon, which features water from Kentucky’s natural limestone springs, and locally-grown grains, that Wilderness Trail is known for.
Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill
Home to the third largest Shaker community in the United States from 1805 to 1910, this site features beautiful historic buildings and 3,000 acres of stunning Kentucky scenery. Take guided tours of the traditional Shaker buildings, or hike one of the many scenic trails.
Have dinner at The Trustees Table, where you can Discover Seed-To-Table Freshness, or stay overnight at The Inn, the perfect place for a quiet getaway.
The oldest outdoor theatre in Kentucky, Pioneer Playhouse was founded in 1950 by Colonel Eben C. Henson and his wife Charlotte Henson. It was Henson’s dream to bring “Broadway to the Bluegrass.” Thousands of actors have walked the stage at Pioneer Playhouse including, Lee Majors, John Travolta and Kentucky’s own Jim Varney. Enjoy a variety of shows, as well as delicious feasts and music at this quaint, summer theatre.
Lincoln Heritage National Scenic Byway
There is no better way to experience the beautiful countryside and history of Kentucky than to travel the Lincoln Heritage Scenic Byway. Begin in Danville and wind your way through the knobs of Kentucky as you experience Kentucky’s Civil War and Religious history, view parts of the famous Bourbon Trail, and end your tour at the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln in Hodgenville. Visit his boyhood home at Knob Creek, and don’t miss the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park, where a stunning memorial to the 16th president resides.
World Class Events
Danville is well-known for it’s variety of famous festivals that occur annually and attract thousands of visitors from around the globe.
Great American Brass band festival
Hosted on the beautiful Centre College campus in Downtown Danville, this festival has been a Danville tradition for over 30 years. This festival attracts nearly 40,000 visitors annually. Featuring some of the best brass bands, a parade, picnic, and children’s activities, this festival is family friendly and packed full of fun. The perfect way to spend a summer weekend with your family!
Kentucky State BBQ festival
If you love good BBQ you don’t want to miss the Kentucky State BBQ festival. Hosted at Wilderness Trail Distillery, this festival is packed full of amazing food and drinks, live entertainment, a variety of local vendors, and mouth-watering BBQ served up by award-winning celebrity Pitmasters from around the country!
Stay in comfort
Book your getaway at one of Danville’s historic B&B’s, a cozy Inn, or choose from a variety of quality hotels. Browse a full list of places to stay here.
You are welcome here
In 2014, Business Insider ranked Danville #2 out of the “10 Best Small Towns in America.” The city was also listed as “the most beautiful town in all of America” back in 2012. We love our community here in Danville, and we know you will too! We look forward to seeing you upon your visit!