Best Places to Visit in Dayton
If you are an aviation enthusiast, your first choice should be Dayton, Ohio. As the birthplace of aviation, you’ll find many attractions and events honoring flying pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright.
You’ll find aviation themes all over the city, from the Wright Brothers’ bike shop to the US Air Force National Museum, where you can see NASA’s space shuttles. While Dayton is proud of its aviation heritage, its appeal to tourists extends to those who appreciate the arts, archaeology, science, horticulture and the outdoors.
Built on history, culture and innovation, Dayton is home to the world-class Dayton School of the Arts, several music and theater performance venues, and Carillon Historical Park, and you’ll be amazed at the amount of innovation in the city. have. While Dayton’s many museums are worth a visit, so is exploring some of the historic districts on foot to learn about 19th and early 20th century architecture and the local flavor of these neighborhoods.
Hike at one of the Five Rivers City Parks, enjoy Ohio’s outdoor adventure, bike hundreds of miles of paved trails, or play in Dayton’s 16,000 acres of greenery. Enjoy a relaxing canoe tour along the Greater Miami River or spend an energetic evening on the baseball field for a Dayton Dragons baseball game. You can download the Visit Dayton app for quick access to things to do, hotels, restaurants and shopping during your visit.
Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Dayton and make your trip enjoyable.
10 Best Places to Visit in Dayton
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Dayton:
1. Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
No visit to Dayton would be complete without a visit to the Wright Brothers’ original bike shop and the impressive complex of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. In the Park, John W. Berry Sr. There is the Wright Brothers Aviation Center, the Huffman Prairie Flying Field and Interpretation Center, the Paul Laurence Dunbar House Historic Site, the Wright Cycle Company, and the Wright-Dunbar Interpretation Center.
A must-see in the complex is the 1905 Wright Flyer III, the first aircraft to be designated a National Historic Landmark. The park’s other main stop is the Wright Bike Company, where you can see the Wright Brothers’ bike shop and learn about Orville and Wilbur Wright’s early efforts in shipping and even printing.
Another stop is the Paul Lawrence Dunbar House, where you’ll learn about the literary contributions of one of the most prominent African-American writers. You’ll want to stop at the visitor center first for an overview, as the park is so vast and includes many activities, from bike aviation trails to ranger-led tours.
Address: 22 Williams Street, Dayton, Ohio
Official website: https://www.nps.gov/daav/index.htm
2. Carillon Historical Park
Carillon Historical Park is a fun way to learn about Dayton’s many innovations. The 65-acre Park Museum has more than 30 buildings and exhibits to explore. Learn about life in the early 1700s settlement, where you can stroll through the historic complex, participate in candle-dipping, quilting and rifle shooting, and attend period displays.
You can see America’s only working letterpress printing press of the 1930s at The Print Shop, and learn how the disastrous flood of 1913 shaped Dayton in the 1913 Great Flood exhibit. Take time during your visit to board one of the world’s oldest trains at the James F. Dicke Family Transportation Center.
You can also plan a ride on the innovative carousel built in Dayton, Ohio, which features 31 figures and a hand-painted mural of the Wright brothers’ flight experiments. End your visit with a stop for lunch at Culp’s Café in the park.
Address: 1000 Carillon Blvd, Dayton, Ohio.
Official website: https://www.daytonhistory.org
3. Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
The Boonshoff Discovery Museum is busy with some hands-on science experiments. The Center offers traveling and permanent exhibitions for all age groups throughout the year; these include a Children’s Plaza with interactive learning activities designed specifically for children under the age of four.
Stop at Discovery Zoo to see more than 100 animals and tide pools where you can lay in the ocean and touch the sea stars. Sphere Science is a must for museums. The experience unfolds in a 68-inch globe projection view, allowing you to explore the world’s sights up close.
Address: 2600 DeWeese Parkway, Dayton, Ohio
Official website: http://www.boonshoftmuseum.org/
4. Dayton Art Institute
The Dayton Art Institute is a world-class museum featuring artworks, sculptures, ever-changing exhibits and family projects. If you have time to plan ahead, try to plan your visit during a lecture or seminar for an engaging educational experience.
The museum has galleries and exhibits featuring European, Asian, maritime and American contemporary art, as well as an impressive pre-Columbian display. This historic 1930s building features Italian Renaissance architecture and is located on a hill overlooking downtown Dayton. You can visit the museum or explore on your own.
Address: 456 North Belmont Park, Dayton, Ohio
Official website: http://www.daytonartinstitute.org/
5. National Museum of the US Air Force
The National Museum of the United States Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is a national treasure and is billed as the largest and oldest military aviation museum in the world. This is one of the top things to do in Dayton and is well worth planning for a full day during your visit to the city.
This free museum features changing exhibits throughout the year, as well as permanent exhibits documenting the various stages of travel from the beginnings of aviation to space. There are galleries showing the role of aviation in World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, and the war effort in Southeast Asia.
One of the most impressive exhibits, is Roosevelt, Kennedy, Truman, Nixon, Ford, H.W. Gallery of Presidents, where you can get inside some of the planes used by presidents of the United States, including Bush and Clinton. Watch a show at the Air Force Museum Theatre, and if you’re not susceptible to motion sickness, you can enjoy a 360-degree virtual reality flight simulator.
You will spend most of your time at the museum, so plan to have lunch at Valkyrie Café, which offers snacks and meals.
Address: 1100 Spaatz Avenue, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio
Official website: http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/
6. Dayton Dragons Baseball Game
Plan an exciting night of minor league baseball with the Dayton Dragons. The team is affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds and hosts games and special entertainment nights on the ballpark that lights up the Day Air Ballpark. Join the fans in the stands on summer nights cheering on your hometown team and feel the locals.
The Dragons broke the record for back-to-back sales for a professional sports team in 2011, and the momentum continues. From home theater events to off-court yoga, every game has a different promotion.
If your game, make sure you’re hungry as the deals at the park don’t have your typical chicken tenderloin and hot dogs. You’ll find gluten-free and vegetarian options alongside a range of traditional ballpark fare, as well as hearty chicken sandwiches.
Address: 220 N. Patterson Blvd., Dayton, Ohio
Official website: https://www.milb.com/dayton
7. RiverScape MetroPark
Dayton’s beautiful RiverScape MetroPark is a community hangout where you can get some fresh air on the trails, bike rides, and kayaks. It is also one of the best places in the city to host festivals. RiverScape MetroPark is a green space that runs along the Greater Miami River from downtown Dayton.
Locals enjoy hugging a blanket on the grass for a picnic lunch and watching the sunset over the water from one of the sidewalk swing benches. You can rent bikes, jump on some of the hundreds of kilometers of interconnected asphalt bike trails, and find water canoes for a little slice of the outdoors.
You can skate on the outdoor ice rink in the winter, exercise in the park in the spring, and enjoy the dancing fountain of the Five Rivers Lighting Fountain in the summer.
Address: 111 Memorial Avenue, Dayton, Ohio
8. Schuster Center
The Schuster Center in Dayton’s performing arts and cultural center. The center supports local performing arts groups and brings in local and international performances, including Broadway shows. The Schuster Center consists of two theatres: the Mead Theater and the Martial Theatre, as well as an apartment complex and a restaurant.
The Center is where you can watch regular performances by the Dayton Opera, Dayton Philharmonic and Dayton Ballet. The Schuster Center experience is not limited to performances. The architecture and decor are an attraction in themselves. The Mead Theater’s dome, fiber optic lights, and celestial objects were designed to depict the night sky over Dayton during the Wright Brothers’ first flight in 1903.
Address: Second and Main Streets, Dayton, Ohio
9. SunWatch Indian Village Archaeological Park
SunWatch Indian Village Archaeological Park presents what it was like to live in Dayton more than 800 years ago, long before the area was known for its contributions to aviation. The structure of the village has been rebuilt at its original site and you can read more about it in the comment centre.
Archeology is an essential part of the visitor experience. Archaeologists began excavating the site in the 1970s, uncovering key details about the castle culture that occupied the area more than 2,000 years ago. The park has regular events as well as educational programs.
Address: 2301 W. River Road, Dayton, Ohio
Official website: http://www.sunwatch.org
10. Victoria Theatre
The restored 1866 Victorian Theater is an elegant homage to Dayton’s cultural history. Originally the Turner Opera House, the theater has hosted important artists in American history, including Harry Houdini and Mark Twain.
After suffering a devastating fire in the late 1800s and a flood in 1913, the theater eventually experienced a flourishing rebirth with the changing entertainment needs of its audiences over the decades. Today, the Victoria Theater is the crown jewel of local arts organizations and a hub for unparalleled entertainment options from film to ballet.
Address: 138 North Street, Dayton, Ohio
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Dayton. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Dayton, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.