Dayton, Ohio is a city steeped in history, teeming with cultural activity, and known for its inventive spirit. The National Museum of the United States Air Force is one of Dayton’s most well-known landmarks due to its status as the world’s oldest and largest museum dedicated exclusively to military aviation. Over 360 airplanes and missiles, many of them historic and rarely seen, are on display at the museum, giving guests a rare glimpse into the development of aviation.
Dayton is well-known not only for its significant role in the aviation industry but also for its many cultural institutions and historic sites. City institutions like the Dayton Art Institute, Victoria Theatre Association, and Schuster Performing Arts Center exhibit the city’s artistic and cultural diversity. Also, Dayton is known for its progressive spirit and close-knit community. The Wright Brothers National Museum is just one of many reminders of the city’s significance as the birthplace of aviation pioneers. The University of Dayton Research Institute is located in Dayton and is at the forefront of innovative study in fields like aerospace engineering, energy and environment, and materials science.
15. Explore the Dayton Local Food Scene
Dayton, Ohio has a vibrant local food scene that is growing and evolving. The city is home to a variety of restaurants, cafes, and food trucks that serve up delicious dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.
There are also several farmer’s markets and community gardens that provide fresh produce to the community. The city is also home to several craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries that offer unique and flavorful beverages. Dayton is also home to a number of food festivals and events that celebrate the city’s diverse culinary culture. With its growing local food scene, Dayton is becoming a destination for food lovers from all over the world!
14. Dayton Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark
Dayton Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark is a public park located in Dayton, Ohio. It is a part of the Five Rivers MetroParks system and is one of the largest parks in the area. The park features a variety of gardens, including a formal rose garden, a wildflower meadow, a butterfly garden, and a children’s garden.
There are also several trails for walking, biking, and running, as well as a lake for fishing and canoeing. The park also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and educational programs.
13. Dayton Five Rivers MetroParks
The Dayton Five Rivers MetroParks is a system of parks and trails located in and around Dayton, Ohio. The system includes over 11,000 acres of parkland, including rivers, lakes, wetlands, and forests. The MetroParks offer a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, biking, fishing, camping, and more.
The MetroParks also hosts a variety of educational programs, such as nature walks, bird watching, and outdoor skills classes. The MetroParks is managed by the Five Rivers MetroParks Board of Commissioners, which is appointed by the Montgomery County Commissioners.
12. Dayton RiverScape Park
Dayton RiverScape Park is a public park located in downtown Dayton, Ohio. It is situated along the banks of the Great Miami River and is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. The park features a variety of recreational activities, including a skate park, bike trails, a playground, and a riverwalk.
The park also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, such as concerts, festivals, and outdoor movies. The park is also home to the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, which features interactive exhibits and educational programs. Dayton RiverScape Park is a great place to spend a day outdoors and explore the beauty of the city.
11. Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra
The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra is a professional symphony orchestra based in Dayton, Ohio. Founded in 1933, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra is the largest and oldest performing arts organization in the Dayton region. The orchestra performs a wide variety of classical, pop, and educational concerts throughout the year.
The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra is led by Music Director Neal Gittleman, and is comprised of over 70 professional musicians. The orchestra performs at the Schuster Center, a state-of-the-art performance venue located in downtown Dayton. The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra also offers a variety of educational and outreach programs, including the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the Dayton Philharmonic Chamber Music Series, and the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Choir.
10. Montgomery County Fairgrounds
Dayton History at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds is a museum and educational center dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of Dayton and Montgomery County. The museum features a variety of exhibits and programs that explore the history of the area, from its Native American roots to its industrial and technological development.
Visitors can explore the museum’s collections of artifacts, photographs, documents, and other materials that tell the story of Dayton’s past. The museum also offers educational programs and activities for all ages, including lectures, workshops, and field trips. The Montgomery County Fairgrounds also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including the annual Montgomery County Fair.
9. Dayton Dragons Stadium
The Dayton Dragons Stadium is a Minor League Baseball stadium located in Dayton, Ohio. It is the home of the Dayton Dragons, a Class A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.
The stadium opened in 2000 and has a capacity of 8,000. It features a natural grass playing surface, a full-service restaurant, and a variety of concession stands. The stadium also features a state-of-the-art sound system, a video board, and a variety of seating options. The stadium is located in the heart of downtown Dayton and is easily accessible by car or public transportation.
8. Dayton View Historic District
The Dayton View Historic District is a residential neighborhood located in Dayton, Ohio. It is located just north of downtown Dayton and is bounded by the Great Miami River, the Dayton View Bridge, and the Dayton View Cemetery. The district was established in the late 19th century and is home to a variety of architectural styles, including Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and Craftsman.
The district is also home to a number of historic churches, including the Dayton View United Methodist Church, which was built in 1891. The district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a popular destination for visitors to the city.
7. Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park is a national historical park located in Dayton, Ohio. It was established in 1992 to commemorate the Wright brothers’ invention of the airplane and the contributions of the Wright brothers, Wilbur and Orville, to the development of aviation. The park includes four sites: the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center, the Wright Cycle Company Complex, Huffman Prairie Flying Field, and the Wright Brothers Memorial. The Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center is a museum that tells the story of the Wright brothers and their invention of the airplane.
The Wright Cycle Company Complex is the site of the Wright brothers’ bicycle shop, where they developed the skills and knowledge that would eventually lead to their invention of the airplane. Huffman Prairie Flying Field is the site of the Wright brothers’ first successful powered flights. The Wright Brothers Memorial is a monument to the Wright brothers and their invention of the airplane.
6. Paul Laurence Dunbar House
The Paul Laurence Dunbar House is a historic house museum located in Dayton, Ohio. It was the home of the African-American poet and novelist Paul Laurence Dunbar from 1904 until his death in 1906. The house was built in 1892 and is a two-story frame house with a wrap-around porch.
It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962 and is now operated as a museum by the Ohio Historical Society. The house contains many of Dunbar’s original furnishings and personal items, as well as a library of his works. The museum also offers educational programs and special events throughout the year.
5. Victoria Theatre Association
The Victoria Theatre Association (VTA) is a non-profit organization located in Dayton, Ohio. It is dedicated to providing the community with quality performing arts experiences. VTA operates the historic Victoria Theatre, the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, and the Loft Theatre.
It also produces a variety of events, including Broadway shows, concerts, comedy shows, and more. VTA also offers educational programs for students of all ages, including classes, workshops, and summer camps. VTA is committed to making the performing arts accessible to everyone in the Dayton area.
4. Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is a science and history museum located in Dayton, Ohio. It is part of the Dayton Society of Natural History and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The museum features interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and a zoo.
The museum’s exhibits focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as natural history and anthropology. The museum also offers educational programs, special events, and camps. The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is a great place for families to explore and learn about the world around them.
3. Dayton Zoo
The Dayton Zoo is a zoological park located in Dayton, Ohio. It is home to over 400 animals from around the world, including lions, tigers, giraffes, and more.
The zoo also features a variety of educational programs, events, and activities for visitors of all ages. The zoo is open year-round and is a popular destination for families and animal lovers alike.
2. National Museum of the United States Air Force
The National Museum of the United States Air Force is the world’s largest and oldest military aviation museum. Located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, the museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles on display.
The museum also houses a library, archives, and educational programs. Visitors can explore the museum’s galleries, which feature aircraft from the Wright Brothers to the present day, as well as exhibits on the history of the U.S. Air Force. The museum also offers a variety of interactive activities, such as flight simulators and a 4D theater.
1. Dayton Art Institute
The Dayton Art Institute is a museum located in Dayton, Ohio. It was founded in 1919 and is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the state. The museum features a wide variety of art from around the world, including European, American, African, Asian, and Oceanic art.
It also has a large collection of modern and contemporary art. The museum also hosts a variety of educational programs, lectures, and workshops. It is a great place to explore the world of art and culture.
As you can see, Dayton has a lot to offer everyone. If you are looking to do more in the surrounding area, check out other weekend trips from nearby Dayton, Ohio.
These areas are perfect for a quick day trip or a long weekend getaway. Explore our favorite things to do or peruse some pre-built itineraries.