For some cars are just a way to get from Point A to Point B, but at the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, they are “rolling sculptures”. The combination of beautiful classic car displays and educational enrichment make the museum the must-see destination for any automobile enthusiast, or anyone with a love of art, technology, culture and history.
In addition to the fascinating exhibits, the stunning architecture of the Blackhawk Museum itself—often referred to as a “jewel box”— and its location in the San Ramon Valley foothills, makes it the premiere location for special events such as weddings and parties.
Started in 1988 as a nonprofit corporation, the 70,000-square-foot museum, located at 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, seeks to preserve automotive history through displaying automobiles for both public enjoyment and education. The museum also operates a museum shop and bookstore, sponsors monthly lectures and maintains the Automotive Research Library.
There are always about 90 automobiles on display, from all over the country and the world. Car collectors are generous about sharing their automotive masterpieces with the museum. As a Smithsonian Gallery affiliate, the museum also sometimes displays automobiles from the Smithsonian’s collection. Exhibits are continually changed and updated in each of two 2,100-square-foot galleries.
The Blackhawk Museum is often the next stop for classic cars that were on display at one of the west coast’s most famous auto shows, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance every August. According to the museum’s website, some of the famous and award-winning autos that have come through after Pebble Beach include a 1903 Mors J. Rothschild & Fils limousine, a 1909 Winton Touring Model 17, a 1911 Mercedes Labourdette Skiff, a 1936 M.G. PB Airline Coupe, a 1968 Bizzarrini 5300 S.I. Spyder, and a 1937 Figoni et Falaschi Delahaye 135.
Visitors can plan an entire daytrip around a visit to the Blackhawk Museum, which is located adjacent to the Blackhawk Plaza shopping center, one of the premier shopping and dining destinations in the East Bay. The museum is also located in the shadow of Mount Diablo and the state park that surrounds it, and is just a half hour from the Livermore wine country.
Or plan a special event at Blackhawk, which can host groups from 25 to 1,500. Guests are treated to delicious meals from a full on-site kitchen, while seated amongst unique automobiles in the Automotive Dining Room. The 5,000-square-foot space can be adapted to hold the most intimate parties, to large-scale events. The year-round successful special events service brings more than 200 events a year to the museum.
The Blackhawk Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and some Monday holidays throughout the year, with extended hours around the Christmas and New Year’s holidays; check with the museum for more information. The museum bookstore is open Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for students with a valid ID, or seniors age 65 and older. Children under 6 are free with a paid adult, and active military personnel are also free.