Danville may appear to be an unassuming town today but the ornate (and elaborate) facades of 47 stately mansions here hint at its big-bucks past. Located just over the state line from North Carolina, Danville was in an earlier age a manufacturing hub (particularly cotton) and important tobacco auction center, also of note as the first city in the country to activate its own power plant. Stimulated by flourishing industry (and the successof tobacco), affluent entrepeneurs flocked to town and constructed the elaborate homes which now are the focus of Millionares' Row, a stretch of historic buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A good place to start your tour is on a walk along this prestigious section of Main Street, stopping to explore area history and art at the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History (housed in one of the aforementioned mansions). An 1899 railroad passenger station is home to Danville Science Center, a satellite of Richmond's science museum, and the former tobacco warehouses nearby have been retooled to suit the needs of modern residents, filled now with shops and restaurants not tobacco bails. Also of interest to history buffs is the American Armored Foundation Tank Museum, which calls its own the largest private collection of armored combat vehicles and weapons.
Danville's history is even seen at Virginia International Raceway where an 1830s plantation home serves as clubhouse. Motorcycle races and historic sports car events are scheduled year-round, though the real crowds flock to Martinsville, a short drive west, where the shortest NEXTEL cup circuit track is located (Martinsville Speedway).
Located on both sides of the Dan River, outdoor activities include walking along Riverfront Trail, golfing and horseback riding. Dan Daniel Memorial Park is home to the Danville Braves, farm club of the Atlanta Braves.
Danville is located 82 miles northwest of Raleigh, NC and 160 miles southwest of Richmond, VA on Highway 58.