Famous for being the birthplace of modern aviation, Dayton is a city surrounded by beautiful trails and filled with cultural attractions, making the “Gem City” well worth anyone’s attention.
The city was home to the Wright Brothers, inventors of the first aeroplane, and there are plenty of attractions related to the history of flight. Learn about airborne travel at the National Air Force Museum, see the first working plane at Huffman Prairie and attend one of the town’s many air shows.
Away from the skies, Dayton is also home to an excellent Art Institute, a quirky museum dedicated to the household hoover as well as a unique International Peace Museum. The town has a ballet company, a philharmonic orchestra and many theatre companies, offering culture fans something to see throughout the year.
Outside the centre of town, the city also offers one of America’s finest networks of trails and paths in the Miami Valley. Rent a mountain bike and test yourself on specially prepared trails or take a free map and enjoy the fresh air and beauty of the region.
Dayton is also a superb family destination. Take the kids to watch one of the Dayton Dragons’ baseball matches, learn about science at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, skate at the Riverscape park or spend a rainy day in the enormous Scene 75 indoor amusement centre.
There are other outdoor attractions as well. Take the family to see the farm animals at Carriage Hill Metro Park, or enjoy a round of golf. See the butterfly house at the Cox Arboretum or try something more exciting by booking a paintball session in Huber Heights.
If all of that is not enough, Dayton is close to the Great Lakes and charming cities like Cincinnati and Columbus, providing a great choice of day trips for those with access to a car.
The seasons in Ohio can be extremely varied but the city has something to offer all year round. In winter, watch ice hockey or skate, but be prepared for chilly conditions. Summer brings genuinely warm conditions and crowds to the aviation-themed attractions. Try April or late September/October for a compromise, offering warm weather and cheaper accommodation.
As with many American cities, while Dayton offers a fine urban bus system, it is really set up to cater for drivers. Rent a car and give yourself the opportunity to visit more remote beauty spots in the Miami Valley or cities like Columbus and Cleveland. Renting a bike is also a great idea, with so many countryside trails available to explore.