Though Dayton is best known as the Birthplace of Aviation thanks to the Wright brothers, the city has developed a unique blend of innovation, history, culture, arts and nature reserves that make it an exciting destination.
Those who fancy flight will have plenty to do in this city. The Wright brothers made a mark in the history books with powered flight and left more than a mark on Dayton. The Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park has four sites that take the visitor in the footsteps of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Walk through the brothers’ printing office and bicycle shop, see the third airplane they built, visit the Wright mansion and explore the Huffman Prairie Flying Field. Beyond the historical roots of aviation in Dayton, the city has continued to be aerospace-friendly. The world’s largest aviation and aerospace museum is just minutes away at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This museum has more than 360 airplanes and missiles from World War II, the Cold War and more, as well as the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
The Gem City ranks 33rd in the nation out of 373 metropolitan areas in arts and culture. Catch a show from the many performing arts groups such as the Dayton Ballet, the second-oldest dance company in the nation, the nationally recognized Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. The Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center is the beautiful $130 million venue where you can find these talents performing, as well as traveling national and international acts. Beyond the performing arts, Dayton is home to The Dayton Art Institute, one of the nation’s best mid-sized museums, plus many art galleries and art festivities such as First Friday art hops.
For some relaxation after a day of sightseeing, shopping and hitting some of the city’s best restaurants, the Dayton Region has more green space than any other metropolitan area its size. The Five Rivers MetroParks offer areas such as gardens, farmland, hiking trails, outdoor concert venues and ice rinks.