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“fascinating tour”

Ranked #2 of 15 things to do in Danville
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Attraction details
Owner description: The home of playwright Eugene O'Neill is open to the public for tours.
Lafayette, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“fascinating tour”
Reviewed 11 June 2012

the tour guide was excellent. we throughly enjoyed leaning the history of O'Neill and tour his home.

Visited July 2011
Thank martinos5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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47 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Danville, California
Level Contributor
50 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Local attraction mot locals do not know with world wide importance”
Reviewed 25 March 2012

Very few locals know of or visit here. Excellent guides. BAcks up to part of the East Bay Trail system and you can walk forever from here. Beautiful trees, creeks, ferns, etc on the trail also poison oak! If visiting the Tao House and are a nature lover consider easy hike from rear of property.

Thank AKE94506
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Danville, CA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Worth the trip. Very educational. If you love history, you will love this place.”
Reviewed 28 January 2012

Not the best place for young kids unless they are well behaved but certainly a great history lesson about an American Hero of literary arts. Also a great place to learn about Danville's history.

Visited January 2012
Thank Richard D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fairfax, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“every literate american should visit this place”
Reviewed 24 January 2012

Eugene O'Neill spent his most productive years in danville, california, overlooking Mt Diablo.
the government has preserved his house to educate us about the giant of american drama. the house is near hiking trails where we may have passed without knowing about this treasure. it is now only accessible via a shuttle bus from downtown danville, because the neighbors fly a lot of american flags, but don't really want americans in the neighborhood.
it doesn't matter. the park guides make the short bus ride and parking inconvenience worth the trouble. it isn't really trouble, as there are some long parking zones in danville, and a farmer market on saturday morning. i asked in the visitor center if the bus would be crowded, but it was only myself and my friend.

Visited January 2012
1 Thank patersondave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hamilton Square, New Jersey
Level Contributor
159 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 195 helpful votes
“Your tax dollars at work!”
Reviewed 30 May 2011

We spent a rainy March afternoon at Tao House and even under not exactly optimal conditions, the scenery was gorgeous. The place sits right in the middle of a well-heeled suburb but the land has been so well conserved that you feel as if you are a thousand miles from the nearest town while you are there. The tour includes about 20 minutes to wander the grounds, which we used to run back to the barn and visit O'Neill's beloved dog Blemie's grave and say hello to the cattle grazing on the hill; I just wish it had been a nicer day so that we could have walked down to the pond or strolled around the yard in front of the house, where the view is almost endless on clear days.

I am not a huge O'Neill fan and I was afraid I would feel lost on the tour, but the guide does an excellent job of explaining the circumstances that led O'Neill to Danville and the personal tragedies that he mined while writing his greatest plays in his study upstairs. I think the tour would be interesting to people with any level of interest in/knowledge of American literature or history. As a fan of historical houses, my only quibble is that the house has been left only partially furnished. The house's board apparently chose to concentrate on collecting furnishings belonging to O'Neill and spend very little on reproduction furniture, and since the O'Neills returned everything in the house to the store that furnished it when they vacated, there was almost nothing original left. Whiel the living room and O'Neill's study are faithfully represented, many rooms in the house are subsequently empty or virtually empty. I suspect that insuring the house against fire damage might be a problem if it were full of books and furniture (the property is only accessible via a narrow one-lane road, and visitors actually have to be driven up in a Park Service van) but still one wishes to get a more complete picture of what life at Tao House was like when the O'Neills lived there.

On the whole, this is a wonderful place to go if you are looking for a day trip while staying in San Francisco or Oakland. And it's FREE--I love the National Park Service! If we had more time that afternoon I would have gone for a drink at Elliott's in Danville, the old bar where O'Neill used to tip a glass from time to time--it looked really interesting.

Visited March 2011
3 Thank develbow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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