Looking for the best things to do in Danville?
Danville is a small town in Central Kentucky, and it is considered where Kentucky statehood was born. This town is located along the Wilderness Road, which brought early settlers and pioneers to this region.
The Centre College, located in Danville, is a lively city with a vibrant cultural environment that fuels its history and annual events.
The location where the earliest constitution of Kentucky was drafted between 1785 & 1792 is currently known as Constitution Square downtown in Danville but was previously known as Crow’s Station.
Additionally, Danville is situated along several long-distance tourist and trail routes, including the Lincoln Heritage National Scenic Byway, which has many different themes, including religious history, the Civil War, bourbon, & Abraham Lincoln.
Below are the best things to do in Danville, Kentucky.
Things to Do in Danville, KY
1. Lincoln Heritage National Scenic Byway
Being able to obtain a map of the National Scenic Byway that travels through the Central Kentucky Knobs for its more than seventy miles is another reason to stop at this center.
Along the road, there are eight distilleries, the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, which is the oldest Trappist monastery in the nation, and the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site.
Constitution Square marks historic areas along the United States 31 East & United States 150 up to Hodgenville, the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln in 1809, which is located at the eastern side of this corridor.
The history of the Civil War, religious heritage, Abraham Lincoln, and bourbon are the unifying themes that tie these places together.
Address: 105 E. Walnut Street, Danville, KY 40422
2. Boyle County Farmers’ Market
Throughout April to October, a farmers’ market is held every morning on Saturday in historic Constitution Square.
You can buy locally and seasonally produced ingredients and food while supporting small businesses and learning more about the origins of your food by shopping here amid the historic buildings.
Fresh produce, baked products, flowers, plants, grass-fed meats, freshly roasted coffee, jams & jellies, sauces, honey, handcrafted items, organic balms and soaps, and a range of cooked foods should all be available on a normal Saturday.
Typically, the experience includes live music.
Address: 105 E Walnut St, Danville, KY 40422, United States
3. Millennium Park
A little stream that eventually joins the Dix River, located a few miles north of Danville drains the pond in the middle of Millennium Park. A few minutes northwest of downtown, Danville’s top park is a popular location for outdoor recreation.
A 2-mile perimeter circle and other pathways totaling over 3½ miles are available here, making them ideal for a thirty-minute jog or stroll.
Ducks, as well as other waterfowl, are swarming the pond, and there is nutritious duck feed available.
Other amenities include a number of baseball diamonds, a dog park, playgrounds for kids, basketball courts, picnic shelters, a skate park, and a soccer complex.
Address: Cunningham Dr, Danville, KY 40422, United States
4. Hemp Highway
In the decade since the Agricultural Act of 2014, industrial hemp production has resumed after being outlawed during the fight against Drugs.
The crop that was traditionally connected to the Bluegrass Region before tobacco—and which produced over ninety percent of the United States harvest in 1889—was hemp.
Hemp is currently farmed in seventy-three of Kentucky’s one hundred and twenty counties, although Danville is where the business originated.
This might be the starting point of a free self-guided tour of the Bluegrass Region, where you’d leave the interstate and go down side roads through picturesque farmland dotted with quaint stone fences and rolling green hills.
Danville is near the region of the earliest known hemp cultivation in Kentucky, which dates back to 1775, according to a historical sign you can find on the lawn of the Boyle County Courthouse.
There are a total of Fourteen historical markers, each of which highlights a distinct aspect of Kentucky’s hemp history.
5. Wilderness Trail Distillery
Grains that are locally sourced, an uncommon sweet mash method, a low entry proof for barrels, and a lack of chill filtration are just a few of the things that make Wilderness Trail Distillery stand apart (a process thought to degrade the taste).
The owners of this family-run bourbon distillery, which debuted in 2012 and is located just southwest of Danville, are two fermentation specialists with extensive backgrounds in ethanol manufacturing.
There are tours offered from Tuesday to Sunday that allow you to explore the distillery’s interior operations and learn about the many processes that make Wilderness Trail’s bourbons unique if you’re interested in learning more about the science behind whiskey making.
Address: 4095 Lebanon Rd, Danville, KY 40422, United States
6. The Great American Brass & Festival
The 4-day Great American Brass Band Festival takes place in early June in downtown Danville & on the Centre College campus, drawing tens of thousands of visitors.
The two main events are on Friday, when there will be a Bayou & Brass party in the manner of New Orleans on the courthouse lawn, & on Saturday, which will begin with a parade & nonstop activities until midnight.
The occasion has been going on for over thirty years and features a 5k run, a hot air balloon race, a parade down Main Street, brass band performances, picnics, and several other activities. It attracts performers from all over the nation and abroad.
Address: 209 W Main St, Danville, KY 40422, United States
7. The Great American Dollhouse Museum
The Great American Dollhouse museum records American social history through the lens of dollhouse miniatures located on the northern side of the Centre College campus.
More than two hundred dollhouses are on display; all of them are spotless and equipped with astonishing levels of detail.
The collection is so comprehensive that it provides a detailed chronology of American history, starting with pre-colonial Native Americans and continuing through the Old West, Colonial Period, early Southwest, & modern times.
Another striking exhibit depicts a full-scale, miniature village from the beginning of the twentieth century. It is neatly divided into business, residential, and industrial districts and has a Shaker town on the outskirts.
The 3rd and also the last area is a whimsical forested fantasy world with trolls, witches, & elves living there, as well as a walk-in lair of a dragon.
Address: 344 Swope Dr, Danville, KY 40422, United States
8. Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site
The museum & visitor center, which is adjacent to the location where many Confederate soldiers were initially buried, tells the story of the war using graphics that include images and firsthand stories, as well as combat-related uniforms, weaponry, and artifacts.
A ten-mile trip west of Danville will take you to the location of the biggest Civil War action in Kentucky. Among the bloodiest battles of the whole conflict is known as having taken place in Perryville on the 8 of October 1862.
After both sides had heavy casualties, the action resulted in a pyrrhic Confederate triumph because Kentucky would remain under Union control for the duration of the war, and Braxton Bragg’s Army of Mississippi would soon be forced to evacuate to Tennessee.
The eight-hundred-and-ninety-acre battlefield is largely undisturbed, and interpretative markers, cannons, as well as other monuments denote its pivotal moments.
In addition to a wonderful stroll along up to nineteen miles of informative trails, you may enjoy a 3-mile drive tour of the conflict.
Address: 1825 Battlefield Rd, Perryville, KY 40468, United States
9. Norton Center for the Arts
This Art Center of about eighty-five thousand square feet houses the three hundred and sixty-seven-seat Weisiger Theatre as well as the smaller, one thousand four hundred and seventy-six-seat Newlin Hall.
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Dolly Parton, Yo-Yo Ma, ZZ Top, & touring Broadway dance and musical companies from around the world have all performed at the Norton Center.
This performing arts center at Centre College, which was first used in 1973, is located on the eastern side of the school and close to downtown Danville.
The vice presidential debates in the presidential elections of 2020 (Pence versus Harris), as well as 2012 (Biden versus Ryan), were also held on this stage.
Address: 600 W Walnut St, Danville, KY 40422, United States
10. Art Center of the Bluegrass
The majestic former post office structure in Danville, finished in 1909, is next to the Boyle County Courthouse. This Art Center has been a thriving center for community art participation since 2005, helping to develop the region of Danville’s extraordinary depth of artistic ability.
There are regular juried shows for anything from still lifes to landscapes, and in August, you can check out the Plein Air Artists of Central Kentucky’s annual display.
Recent exhibitions have covered Appalachian art & culture in Kentucky, modern abstract art, & quiltmaking, as well as individual exhibitions by artists such as Wayne Daugherty, David Ray Farmer, and Sarah Wiltsee.
Every year, the Art Center organizes a changing schedule of exhibitions that showcase the work of regional, local, & international artists.
Additionally, the center offers a variety of classes for students of all ages, workshops, open studios, and luncheon lectures as part of its arts education programming.
Address: 401 W Main St, Danville, KY 40422, United States
11. Mcdowell House Museum
Ephraim McDowell, a pioneering surgeon, lived in a preserved Federal-style residence that faces Constitution Square (1771-1830).
The home was constructed gradually beginning in 1795, & after McDowell bought it in 1802, he added the current clapboard exterior and the little office behind the rear porch.
The first successfully reported removal of an ovarian cyst took occurred here in 1809 under the direction of McDowell, making history at this location (weighing twenty-two pounds)
Despite the fact that Mrs. Jane Crawford, the patient, underwent this treatment without anesthesia or antisepsis, she went on to live for an additional 32 years.
You may learn more about the work that McDowell has done on tour and take in the meticulously recreated house & pharmacy, which are furnished with period pieces and medical artifacts.
Address: 125 S 2nd St, Danville, KY 40422, United States
12. Jacobs Hall, Kentucky School for The Deaf
Children who are hard of hearing or deaf can receive an elementary or high school education at the Kentucky School for the Deaf, which was founded in 1823.
The Italianate Jacobs Hall (1857), the campus’s oldest structure, now houses the KSD superintendent’s office, a museum, and a residence.
(1763-1843)General Elias Barbee, a state senator who had a deaf daughter, was one of the driving forces behind the founding of this school, which at the time was the first of its sort west of the Allegheny Mountains.
The latter, which is open throughout the week, reflects the institution’s past by emulating a classroom & a dorm from the middle of the 19th century.
Address: 303 S 2nd St, Danville, KY 40422, United States
13. Pioneer Playhouse
Here in Kentucky, the oldest outdoor theater in the state boasts alumni like Lee Majors, Jim Varney, & John Travolta.
The box office has a unique history, having been constructed by MGM as a set for the Danville-shot Raintree County (1957) movie starring Elizabeth Taylor & Montgomery Clift and later transformed by Henson.
(1923-2004)Eben Charles Henson, a Danville native who relocated to Manhattan after World War II to pursue a career in theater, founded the Pioneer Playhouse in 1950, bringing Broadway to the Bluegrass.
This was put on hold when Eben’s father became ill; however, Eben utilized his resourcefulness and creativity to construct his theater closer to his house.
This Pioneer Playhouse, made of two-hundred-year-old timbers from a nearby livery stable & wood from Kentucky School for the Deaf and historic Centre College Structures, is an item in and of itself.
Five plays are typically performed each season, four of which are outdoors and one of which is moved indoors on wet nights.
Address: 840 Stanford Rd, Danville, KY 40422, U.S
14. Downtown Danville
The majority of the places on this list can be located in or just a short stroll from downtown Danville, which can be located at the junction of Main Street and Third Street.
This neighborhood, which is teeming with independently owned shops, begs to be explored on foot in order to fully appreciate its charmingly painted storefronts & wealth of imposing landmarks.
The (1862)Boyle County Courthouse, built in the Renaissance Revival architectural style, must be considered the keystone because it served as a hospital after the Battle of Perryville, which took place only a few months after it was finished.
An increasing number of intriguing local stores in Downtown Danville provide items like tea, jewelry, gifts, toys, antiques, bike parts, and more. The area also boasts a vibrant food & drink scene that includes pizza, bakeries, southern delicacies, a delicatessen, a coffee shop, & modern dining.
15. Constitution Square Historic Site
In this 3-acre park in the center of Danville, you can see where the original Kentucky constitution was drafted and signed.
The Supreme Court for the District of Kentucky was established in 1785 & held its proceedings in this square, which was then known as Crow’s Station. It remained in operation until 1792, when Kentucky became a state.
The location quickly fell into disuse but was turned into a state park in 1937 (it’s now a county park). It’s littered with monuments, historical markers, and recreated historical buildings, including the jail, log cabin courthouse, stocks, and meetinghouse.
The ancient post office is among the original structures; it was built before 1792 and was the first west of the Allegheny Mountains.
The Governor’s Circle, which honors every Governor of Kentucky, but especially (1750–1826)Isaac Shelby, who served as the state’s first & fifth governor, is a distinctive modern feature of the west side.
Address: 105 E Walnut St, Danville, KY 40422, U.S
16. Danville Cinemas Eight
Let’s hope for a new year that is filled with happiness, amusement, and priceless movie memories!
With 3 DTS theaters and 5 Dolby Surround theaters, Danville Cinemas Eight offers the most recent in sound engineering. There aren’t any terrible seats in stadiums because of the seating arrangement.
Address: 1001 Ben Ali Dr, Danville, KY 40422, U.S
17. Bowlarama Lanes
Without a doubt, this is among the top bowling alleys you can locate close to Kentucky. Come bowl with them for a terrific night of entertainment while enjoying beer, lights, and music!
This bowling alley, which is located in the Danville area and offers all the amenities that patrons demand, is a great option if you want to have fun bowling with your friends or family, and it provides both novice and seasoned players with all they need.
Address: 1050 E Lexington Ave, Danville, KY 40422, U.S
18. Gypsy Run Brewery
In addition to serving artisan beer, this Brewery in Danville, Kentucky, also sells wines, ciders, and munchies. You can meet locals at this brewery who share your love for making (and serving) outstanding beer in a welcoming setting.
Fantastic location for getting a beer with family or friends. The staff is well educated about the flavor qualities of their craft beers as well as the brewing process. The brewmaster is skilled at creating some distinctly memorable beers, it must be noted.
Address: 131 N 4th St, Danville, KY 40422, United States
19. Windjammer Fun Center
Set your course for this Fun Center if you’re seeking hours of nonstop entertainment. For the entire family, they provide fun, games, and activities.
They have a sizable roller rink with DJs spinning the newest hits and dance lighting. Blast your way to victory by visiting their Laser Blast laser tag arena.
Additionally, this center provides inflatables, child rides, & arcade games. The nicest birthday celebrations may be had at this center. To meet your requirements and your price range, they provide a wide range of birthday packages.
Address: 3846 S Danville Bypass, Danville, KY 40422, United States
20. Maple Tree Gallery
A little store with a unique selection of goods located in the center of Danville’s charming old downtown.
There, they usually have the most unusual presents and gifts. The ideal location to shop or simply look around. They sell goods created by regional artisans, making it an even greater treat.
Address: 225 W Main St, Danville, KY 40422, United States.
21. Shears Talk Beauty Salon & Spa
The salon in Danville gets the most attention. Do you want a fresh appearance or simply a straightforward haircut? Every visit to the Shears Talks beauty salon will be a restorative and soothing experience.
We want to ensure you feel and look your best. Shears Talk, a hair salon in the center of Danville, Kentucky, provides a range of hair care services, which include updos, Brazilian blowouts, Brazilian color, highlights, body waxing, perms, facials, and more.
All of our clients receive first-rate services from our team of stylists, who come from various backgrounds.
22. Sakura Spa and Asian Massage
A kind of Asian massage salon called Sakura Spa can help you lower stress, get rid of chronic pain that has built up, and live a more fulfilling life in general.
They specialize in offering a variety of reasonably priced, uniquely designed treatments to satisfy the demands of a vast range of customers in a serene environment! In the cherished city of Danville, Kentucky, they take great pride in offering services for Authentic Asian Massage therapy.
Your needs for relaxation after a demanding day at work are perfectly met by their professional Asian staff! At this Spa, they offer a contemporary Asian ambiance that’ll make every visit extremely pleasant and leave you feeling like a fresh, revitalized version of yourself.
Visit them right away; you can either make an appointment by calling right away or just drop by.
Yes, there is a certain allure to smaller cities. You won’t have to spend much time in Danville before you fall in love, whether you’re visiting for a weekend getaway or remaining for a little while. There are so many amazing activities to do & fascinating locations to see that you won’t want to leave!