Living in Danville

Parent Q&A

Select any title to view the full question and replies.

  • Advice on Danville, San Ramon, Pleasanton

    (3 replies)


    We currently live in Oakland (Montclair) and contemplating a move to either Danville, San Ramon and Pleasanton. We have 2 grade school children who currently go to a great elementary school but our concern here is middle and high school. I realize its not about the test scores but Ive actually toured some of these schools and unfortunately there are some underlying issues with OUSD that I dont think will change. Nearly 95% of the kids in our neighborhood go to private school and no one plays in the front yard. We are hoping to move to a neighborhood where our kids can have a yard, ride their bikes around the neighborhood and hopefully make some friends that live on the same street that go to the same school etc. Not mention that Oakland is getting fairly expensive and its cheaper in certain areas of Danville, San Ramon and Pleasanton. We also dont have to commute to SF no more so no need to be as close. With that was hoping to get any advice on Danville, San Ramon and Pleasanton. Overall thoughts on culture, community. What are the differences in area ie the seperation of the 680. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

    Hi there!

    Our family is going through a similar transition we lived in Oakland, moved back to the San Francisco for work, and now we are finally landing in Dublin / Pleasanton due to our toddler's school. For us, the crime in certain parts of Oakland (that we lived in) has reached a point that we can't understand for the price point, and the city was no longer a necessity due to permanent remote work now. I realize not everyone has this option, but that's what drove our move to the Dublin/Pleasanton area the most. 

    We honestly never spent much time in the area before now, but we have been really surprised with how much we like it. We are actually paying less than San Francisco with a much larger house and are still close to the amenities (Whole Foods, Target), and beautiful parks nearby. While our child is attending private school in Pleasanton for now, we figured we would make the jump now and start to explore the top rated public schools in the area for him to eventually attend. We also don't need to be closer for a better commute to SF, but it helps to know if we ever need to in the future that we are close to BART and highways that are easily accessible. 

    We're a mixed family, racially and culturally (Black/Hispanic), so I don't know if that is what you mean by thoughts on culture and community. I will say that the teachers at our child's school go out of their way to make sure everyone feels included, safe and multiculturalism is celebrated. Our child has come home with amazing artwork celebrating Jewish, Sikh, and American traditions. But I do think this area is overall more conservative compared to Oakland and SF.

    Since the area is very family oriented you will find that most of the area is pretty safe and geared towards a calmer lifestyle which we appreciate.

    Best of luck! :)

    I wouldn't call this advice, but the grapevine in the Cupertino area (South Bay), at least a couple years ago, says that the general migration pattern is towards San Ramon.

    My sister lives in Alamo with her two girls and they love it.  They use to live in Oakland and made a move for similar reasons.  Even though it is cheaper out in some of those areas, a large portion of the people are still fairly affluent.  I like the convenience of being able to walk to places in Berkeley but I totally get wanting to have a yard that your kids can play in.  

  • Alamo/Danville Area

    (4 replies)

    We are looking into Alamo/Danville area and wanted to get some feedback on living there, schools, community, etc.

    I am worried that we will be outcasted as we are non-white family.

    I know the schools are top-notch and I like the flat streets and the parks.

    Can anyone provide any feedback on how you like or dislike those towns?

    Appreciate any feedback!

    My best friend grew up in Alamo/Danville during the 1980s-1990s and I remember her saying that most of the cheerleaders and other "popular" kids were non-white. That's just an anecdote, not a direct experience, but based on my experience in the East Bay I would guess that discrimination there is more likely to be socioeconomic rather than race- or ethnicity-based. If you can afford to live there, you fit it. Enjoy the awesome schools.

    Hi there,

    We moved to Alamo over four years ago from San Francisco and could not be happier! The schools and community are AMAZING.  It is also getting more diverse as more and more young families are moving into the area.  You also get wonderful lots and the parks are great.  I have to say that I have not seen or heard any issues from any of my non-white friends who live in the area.  I can't speak for every school here, but our elementary school, Rancho, has an inclusion and diversity committee and last year I attended one of the most exciting, beautiful events at our school, where we had so many cultures represented. The woman who runs it is amazing and she is always reaching out to new families to get them involved.  Although many at our school look "white" we have families from Europe, Africa, Latin America, etc.  Granted, it is suburbia and much different than what you'd see in SF or Berkeley, but we love it. Danville is also great and has a cute downtown. Both are close to Walnut Creek for shopping, restaurants, etc. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or want more information. 

    I'm Caucasian and wouldn't want to live there. I'm sure this may anger some who live there, but I find the demographics to be close to 95% Caucasian (or at least it feels that way when I'm there) Perhaps if you are of Indian Or Asian decent you might feel more welcome. But I would definitely not want to live there if I were African American. I don't live there, but I live near there, have friends who live there and my kids play sports with their teams and in those towns. If you want your kids to feel out numbered by about 95%, of the population, maybe you like it. 

    Our daughter has spent her junior and senior years at the Athenian School in Danville.  We live in Oakland, and while we've had a really positive experience at Athenian, which is quite diverse, have noticed that Alamo and Danville are very white.  I'd suggest spending some time in those communities before committing.

  • Hi there, we are a family of four moving from Auckland, New Zealand to Danville in December for my husbands work. We have two young boys aged 4 and 19 months and I was hoping to get advice from mum's in the local area to make the transition and settling in process for my kids a little easier. It would be great to hear your experience of living with a young family in Danville and the best way to make friends. I would also really appreciate a recommendation for a pre-school for my 4 year old and advice on whether places at preschools are hard to come by? Are there lots of activities to do with kid in the area and local groups for mums? And are there any other NZ or British families living in the area (my kids and I are dual citizens and my husband is a Kiwi)? Thanks for your help! Emma

    Kia Ora and welcome!  I'm an American who used to live in Auckland and take my daughter every summer to visit her Kiwi dad.  I live in Oakland myself, but I could put you in touch with people in the Danville area through my real estate company.  Lots of nice Danville people, including moms, who can give you good information.

    My recommendation in general is to join groups and NZ chamber of commerce / ex patriate groups.  Both are great ways to make friends.

    Also, there are a bunch of Kiwis in the Bay Area who come here for yachting.  Alameda and San Francisco's marinas might be a good place to start to find them.  :)

     Hi Emma! There are tons of wonderful things to do in Danville that will be perfect for you and your family. The community is very family focused. One avenue for making friends with other moms of is the Iron Horse mothers club. You can find it online - it's a great group of moms with kids of all ages and could be a great starting point for you!

Parent Reviews

My son goes to school in Danville, and the kids there have a ton of freedom (in a good way). Several of my friends have moved to Castro Valley recently, and have encountered the awesome environment you described, but if money is no object, you may not like it (it's cheaper and less charming than the areas you mentioned). Living on a cul-de-sac is key, wherever you choose.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions about Living in Danville

2008 - 2014 Reviews

Moving away from Oakland - Danville or Piedmont?

March 2014

We know all the pros/cons about most things when comparing these two areas - cost difference, culture, commute, weather, lifestyle, etc. What we can't get a handle on is the difference between the public school sports programs at the middle and high school level. Piedmont seems to support nearly all levels of budding athletes and as a result almost all the kids who want to play for a school team have a fairly good chance of doing so. Conversely we hear that in Danville only the true elite get to play on school and/or club level teams and there's not much in the way of recreational leagues after 5th grade. Our 2 boys love sports(soccer, basketball, flag football, tennis and lacrosse) and can't imagine not being about to play therefore our decision will be more heavily weighted by those opportunities than API scores for the public high schools. Who lives in Danville and/or Piedmont, loves kids/teen sports and can set us straight? MS

We live in Danville and have three children, ages 16, 12 and 12. Girls and boys of all abilities can play club soccer through high school here -- Mustang is the club, white is the level. The high school teams are very competitive and only the best club kids make a team. That would be D1 players (silver or gold level). LAX club goes only through middle school. High school LAX is not as competitive as high school soccer. Golf is very competitive and I'm not sure if there are club teams. The men's golf team at Monte Vista High School is mostly kids who learned on the local country clubs. Just the facts, m'aam.

Living in Danville Blackhawk area

March 2013

Hello. We are considering moving from Oakland to Danville/Blackhawk area with our two young children. Has anyone lived there and have an opinion of the area? How is the diversity, schools, crime, safety, community feel, weather, people, etc.? I am also concerned about people being too materialistic, is this true for this area? Is it easy to meet friends like in Oakland? Any information will be appreciative. Thanks! moving

Hi, we live in Danville/near Blackhawk Plaza, and I actually work in Oakland, so I do have a point of reference. we moved from the Peninsula 4 years ago, specifically because of schools. I think that Danville/San Ramon is more condusive to having a family, there're more parks, more friendly family- oriented people, etc. To address some of your questions: Schools - I only have direct experience with Elementary Schools and Daycare - both are excellent. I like my son's teachers, they're professional, caring and effective. They have a nicely equipped computer lab, good library, PTA funds para-professionals to help the teachers 3/4 days, there is a LOT of parent involvment, as far as funding for supplies, presentations, holiday events for the kids, etc. Environment - We love the parks, clean play grounds, safe bike trails, and a lot of families around with small/young kids. We found people to be friendly, we know our neighbors and my son plays outside with other neighborhood kids (this was NOT the case when we lived on the Peninsula). Yes, there're some very high income earners, and it affects kids' lifestyles and perceptions; nobody is pushing their lifestyle at you, and we found friends easily; NOT everyone is materialistic and drives a Ferrari (some pp definitely fall in that category). The one stable difference is how kids spend summers/free time, they travel more, go to more after-school activities, sports, music, etc.. this is certainly a reflection of a higher income population. We found that it also affects the quality of these programs (they're very good), and my son found himself spending a LOT more time outdoors(due to good weather and the fact that he's more involved in a sport) Diversity - I don't think you'll be able to match the level of diversity in Berkeley/Oakland area; maybe in Dublin or Walnut Creek/Concord. Weather - it's great, we spend a lot more time outside, in the parks, bbq's, etc. Safety - I feel much safer, we take walks when it's dark, leave strollers outside our front door, etc.. not to say that any place is totally safe these days. We had a hard time moving, so Im happy to share my experienc. L

Moving to Walnut Creek or Danville

Jan 2013

My husband and I moved from San Francisco to the Oakland foothills 5 years ago. We now have children and need more space. We have been researching Walnut Creek and Danville and are wondering if anyone out there has recent advice. We know that the Walnut Creek School District is more desirable than Mt. Diablo, but have heard that the schools that feed into Foothill Middle School and Northgate High are good. Any advice for Danville would be greatly appreciated. Nicole

Hi Nicole, Our family, including 2 school aged boys (6 & 8) moved to Danville from Houston, TX last August. We too looked at other parts of the East Bay before deciding on Danville. Our priorities were also school-driven and we looked at Lamorinda, Walnut Creek, Alamo and Danville. We couldn't be happier with our choice! The community we live in is wonderful - warm, friendly and family-oriented - and the school the boys go, John Baldwin Elementary, is very good. I can't speak to the quality of schools in the Mt. Daiblo school district because we're zoned to San Ramon Valley USD, and although we find the education standard in general lower than what we had in Texas, the school is wonderful. Great teachers & staff, nurturing environment and involved parents. From what I understand, the other elementary schools in the district are very similar. We feed into Charlotte Woods Middle School and San Ramon HS, and I've heard that both are excellent. Danville as a town is lovely too, and we're only ten minutes from Walnut Creek and go whenever I need the bigger stores, etc. Like I said, we're delighted with our choice. I'm happy to talk with you off-line if you'd like more information. SB
I missed the original post but just wanted to say that it really depends on what you are looking for. My brother has been living in Danville for the past 5 or so years and despite what others love about it, he really dislikes a few important things. Weather: hot, dry and windy in summer. He and his kids spend all day in doors where it is air-conditioned. Too hot to play outside in summer. Yuck. Culture: none. No diversity of any kind, lots of emphasis on materialism. If it's suburbia you want, it's perfect. If you are from the East Bay or any other city, it might be slightly Stepford for you. --City girl

2004 - 2007 Reviews

2003 & Earlier

How do you like living in Danville?

November 2002

We are starting on the journey towards moving to a larger house. While we hope to be able to stay in Walnut Creek, our realtor suggested considering Danville as well. I was wondering if any of you live in Danville and how you like it. What are the family-friendly neighborhoods? How are the public schools, specifically middle schools(s) and high school(s). Anything else we should consider? Thanks for any input. LB

We live in Danville and love it! Danville is the definition of family-friendly, in almost all neighborhoods. The ones with small streets and culdesacs have the most kids. My kids are young, the oldest is 6, so I can't speak to middle schools and high schools much, but they score well on tests and the student body is on average very high-achieving and college-bound. I'm not sure what else you're looking for, but if it's family- friendly, you'll definitely find it in Danville. The community center is strong, the restaurants are almost all kid-friendly, there are lots of mothers groups and newcomer groups, more stay- at-home moms than working moms, the churchs have great youth programs, and almost anything you want is within 15 minutes drive to Walnut Creek or Pleasanton/Dublin. Staying close to the freeway makes San Francisco more doable, but otherwise neighborhoods are a matter of asthetic preferences. Happy house hunting and don't fear Danville, it's great! Julie K.
Having grown up in Danville and recently moved back to Danville to raise kids, here's my 2 cents. Extremely kid friendly stores/restaurants (they'd be out of business if they weren't). Can't beat the weather. Lots of outdoor activities (surrounded by state parks) and organized sports (you name it they've got it). Very involved parents which keeps the schools on their toes and the kids out of trouble (for the most part). Competitive public schools, (some of the best in the state actually) and have caught the attention of all the best colleges/universities nationwide. Schools still offer music, dance, electronics shop etc. Parents make sure these programs are kept in the schools despite budget cuts. Great library/community center and several very nice kiddie parks (Oak Hill, Osage). A great place to raise kids. I remember making fun of living there when I was a kid because it seemed so boring, compared to San Francisco, but as an adult I appreciate the tranquility and the access to everything we could ever need. Bart service from Walnut Creek is key to my pleasurable AM commute to SF. I could go on and on. Email me if you want to hear more of the good and the bad. Nancy

More reviews of Danville

Sept 2003

Re: Moving to Lafayette - pressure on teens? I had to answer this post in defense of Danville. I have 2 small kids(3 and 4)and moved to Danville from Upper Rockridge about a year ago. I have found Danville to be a wonderful, ''kid centered'' town. I'm not sure what part of Danville you were in, but my block is chock full of vans (not luxury vehicles). There are alot of stay at home moms on a limited budget. My block has a close community of moms that give each other help & advice (when asked for!). The emphasis is definetly not on ''keeping up with the Joneses'' but trying to raise kids as part of a loving community.

I would guess that Danville is a lot like Lafayette...there are areas of extreme wealth and areas of more moderate incomes. I had concerns before I moved to Danville (''older'' parents, adopted kids, mid-level income)but I have found a friendly & welcoming community and we love it here!! roz