Eugene O'Neil Historic Site - Tao House

The Eugene O'Neil Historic Site preserves the great American playwright's unique home, affectionately named "Tao House." The site draws visitors from around the globe and from various interests. Fans of the playwright, bibliophiles, architecture students and historians walk the wood floors and scenic grounds alongside historians, nature photographers, anyone who appreciates peaceful places and high school kids vying for extra credit.

Parking and public transportation at The Eugene O'Neil Historic Site - Tao House
Shuttle rides are needed because (for preservation purposes) visitors are not allowed to drive their own vehicles to the actual site of Eugene O'Neil's Tao House. Reservations are required for the guided tours offered three times daily on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Otherwise, you can enjoy a self-guided tour on Saturdays. Free parking can be found next to the Museum of the San Ramon Valley in downtown Danville. The free National Park Service Shuttle picks visitors up on Railroad Avenue.

Best and worst time to go to The Eugene O'Neil Historic Site -Tao House
Tours are offered year round but the site is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. For panoramic views of the San Ramon Valley with the added benefit of green hills and nature in full bloom, visit during the springtime and don't forget your camera.

Admission to The Eugene O'Neil Historic Site - Tao House
Both the shuttle ride and the tours of Tao House are absolutely free. Donations to the Eugene O'Neil Foundation or the National Park Service are never anticipated or expected but always greatly appreciated.

Must see/do at The Eugene O'Neil Historic Site - Tao House
Animal lovers shouldn't miss the touching memorial O'Neil left at the gravesite of his pet dog "Blemie", complete with the beloved dalmation's last will and testament. Whether enjoying a self-guided tour or following one of the many knowledgeable rangers, guests are encouraged to explore the grounds and Blemie's grave is worth the short walk. It will always stand as a testament to mankind's eternal bond with "man's best friend".

Other places to visit near The Eugene O'Neil Historic Site - Tao House
Eugene O'Neil and his wife Carlotta both had a passion for Chinese culture, architecture and art that was inspired by their travels in Asia. It was this passion that influenced the design, furnishings and name of their home. With that in mind, what better way to end a day of touring the Tao House than to enjoy a meal of Chinese food at The Amazing Wok? This family run restaurant is a short drive from the shuttle stop and offers delicious food and friendly service in a comfortable, ambient and modern environment. Their lunch specials offer a choice of entrée with soup and a side for a very reasonable price but the Mandarin and Szechuan set dinners are worth the splurge if you want leftovers to share later.

Insider tip for visitors to The Eugene O'Neil Historic Site - Tao House
During the month of September downtown Danville and the Tao House are home to the Eugene O'Neil Festival each year. During the festival, the Eugene O'Neil Foundation, in association with the National Park Service, holds full productions of O'Neil's plays in the Tao House's barn. These performances offer an incredible opportunity for true fans of the playwright to see his works performed live, on the site of his cherished home and the place where he actually wrote The Iceman Cometh and Long Day's Journey Into Night among other plays.

Author's bio: Ann Milligan is a wife, mom, author, artist and California native. She can often be found photographing golden poppies, dancing with her kids and nom-nom-noming.