Danville, located in what is referred to as the “southside” part of the state, remains today a depressed center for the tobacco and textile industries. Textile giant Dan River Corporation makes its home there, and the atmosphere is generally business-friendly. However, the current employment and job-prospect figures reflect the poor economic state of the dominant industries.
Physically, the downtown area is a mix of historic and small-scale, modern buildings. The Millionaire’s Row section of Main Street is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and there are a few minor cultural assets. But the rest of the area reflects its depressed and largely working class climate, with older, uninteresting residential areas, some in poor shape, dotting the hillsides surrounding the city. The city has the lowest home prices and cost of living among Virginia’s metropolitan areas, but the declining economy and lack of intellectual stimulation gives the area a notably low rank for the state. We don’t see much change going forward.
The Dan River bisects the city on a rolling and wooded plain. Hilly, mostly wooded areas surround the city. Danville enjoys four distinct seasons with warm summers and crisp but moderate winters. The nearby hills and mountains to the northwest block extreme cold and strong storms. Precipitation is spread evenly through the year, occurring mainly as summer thunderstorms and periods of fall and winter rain, with occasional snow and freezing rain. First freeze is mid-October, last is late April.