Aviation, Art & More

Dayton, Ohio, Combines world-class attractions with Midwestern charm

By Corinne Minard

Those looking for a trip full of history, art and outdoor recreation should make sure to add Dayton, Ohio, to their vacation destination list. The city combines big-city amenities with Midwestern charm and affordability, and is home to many world-class attractions.

The birthplace of Wright Brothers, Dayton is packed with attractions that honor and celebrate the region’s aviation history. At the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, you can visit the Wright Brothers Museum, the Wright Cycle Company and even Huffman Prairie, where the brothers tested many of their inventions. At Carillon Historical Park, you can tour a historical village, learn about inventions created in Dayton and even enjoy beer from the Carillon Brewing Company, the country’s first brewery in a museum. Also, make sure to save time to visit the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. In addition to being free, it the world’s largest and oldest military aviation museum and is home to historic planes like the Memphis Belle and Air Force One.

Dayton is also home to many arts organizations. The Dayton Ballet is the second-oldest ballet company in the United States and is known for its presentations of new works. For music, you can see performances by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Dayton Opera and nationally touring productions. Dayton also has an active theater scene, with groups like the Dayton Playhouse, Human Race Theatre and Brookville Theatre regularly performing.

Outdoor recreation lovers will also find no shortage of options. The Great Miami Riverway stretches 99 miles across multiple communities and is home to the nation’s largest paved trail network. The region has 340-plus miles of paved, multi-use trails. Plus, there are many opportunities for kayaking, cycling, fly-fishing and bird watching.

If you need assistance in finding where to start, try connecting with the Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau. It produces an annual Destination Dayton Visitors Guide in both print and digital editions. This free guide offers a wealth of travel planning information for visitors who will be spending time in Dayton.

In addition, the Dayton CVB also offers a free Visit Dayton app, which has all the information visitors need to discover Dayton.