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Dayton, Ohio – “Birthplace of Aviation”

Dayton at nightAviation is the heart and soul of Dayton, just as Dayton is the heart of the National Aviation Heritage Area, as designated by Congress in 2004. With a diverse and vibrant population, a resurging downtown riverfront and international recognition, Dayton is a great place to call home. The Dayton area is home to the National Museum of the Air Force, featuring a world-class collection of aircraft and related items. Nearby Vandalia hosts the Vectren Dayton International Airshow, one of the largest annual airshows that draws acts and spectators from around the globe.

Bell Tower in Dayton Ohio


Dayton is rich in history. Be sure to read up on the Great Dayton Flood of 1913. There are reading monuments running from Riverscape to the Oregon District showing the history of the flood, as well as the history of Dayton. There are also street poles throughout the city marked with lines showing how high the water reached during the flood. And a must see while in Dayton is Carillon Historical Park.

Education and Research

University of DaytonHome to the Wright Cycle Shop, where Orville and Wilbur Wright developed the first successful powered airplane, and with Wright State University, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and historic Huffman Prairie and the Wright Brothers Memorial as close neighbors, Dayton is the center of the National Aviation Heritage Region. Aviation and its related fields dominate the landscape, with world-class research and development companies either based or with significant centers of operation here.

The University of Dayton and nearby Wright State University offer the full university experience, but education takes many forms in Dayton. Sinclair Community College’s main campus is located in downtown Dayton.

Some of the top ten largest companies in Dayton, Ohio are DPL Inc, Teradata Corp., Robbins & Myers Inc, Kettering Health Network, Premier Health Partners, and Caresource. Reynolds and Reynolds, Lexis Nexis and other major corporations also have strong presence in Dayton. Wright Patterson Air Force Base is the area’s largest employer.


A huge chunk of Dayton’s economy is attributed to its health care sector. In 2011, HealthGrades rated Dayton as one of the top 3 cities that display excellence in healthcare. The healthcare expertise of physicians in Dayton consistently gets high ranks for excellence in Forbes and U.S. News & World Report.

Shopping and Dining

The Dayton Mall, Mall at Fairfield Commons and The Greene anchor the Dayton region’s largest and most vibrant shopping, dining and entertainment centers. Just minutes south of downtown, the Austin Landing area is the latest up-and-coming hotspot.

Local Flavor

Without question, Dayton’s most iconic neighborhood is the Oregon District, with outstanding top-flight restaurants nestled next to funky neighborhood bars and shops, all set within a warm brick-building environment. The Neon Theater features internationally-renown independent films, classics and the occasional avant-garde art film.

The national rebirth of craft brewing and distilleries has found a foothold here. Toxic Brew and Warped Wing Brewing Company produce a steady variety of craft favorites. For those who favor a more potent spirit, Belle of Dayton, Buckeye Vodka, Staley Mill Farm and Distillery, and Flat Rock Spirits all make their home in or around Dayton.

To get a real blend of history and brewing, the Carillon Park Brewery has recently opened in Carillon Park. The brewery is faithfully recreating 19th century brewing technique using period-correct equipment and recipes.

Parks and Recreation

Dayton is linked to Southwest Ohio’s most extensive network of bike paths, for everything from a short family outing to overnight excursions.

Dayton is minutes from John Bryan State Park, Caesar Creek State Park, and is home to the extensive Five Rivers Metroparks system, in addition to well-maintained city parks.

Riverscape and Fifth Third Field anchor a revitalized downtown riverfront. Riverscape is a promenade-type park with ample public spaces, a pavilion for hosting music and other events, and the spectacular water cannons that can be seen for miles. There are beautiful summer gardens tended by Wegerzyn Gardens and an ice skating rink for winter fun.

Fifth Third Field is home to the Dayton Dragons minor league baseball team, and is considered one of the most successful franchises in professional sports, having recently eclipsed the record for consecutive sell-outs – now nearing 1000! The Dragons are the Cincinnati Reds Class A affiliate, and many of the Reds stars had memorable careers in the green and white Dragons uniforms.

The University of Dayton has played host to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament “First Four” games. The UD Flyers themselves compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference and have made it to “the dance.”

SunWatch Indian Village is a reconstructed Native American village, dated to the pre-Columbian Fort Ancient people of around the 13th century.

The Arts

The Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center [link:] showcases talents from the local community to international performing artists. Its world-class facilities make it one of the best centers for the arts in the country. They bring Broadway productions, top-tier musical acts and other stage spectaculars to downtown. Nearby, the Victoria Theater is a more intimate, yet elegant smaller venue for music and performance. The Loft is a small theater for experimental and other smaller-venue performances. Just outside of downtown, Wright State University’s Nutter Center hosts arena-style events from Trans-Siberian Orchestra to Blue Man Group to WWE Wrestling to Horse Shows.

Visit the Art Institute [link:] downtown to see some of the most awe-inspiring art collections in the world. This museum is one of the region’s premier fine arts museums and serves as one of the city’s most prominent historical landmarks. For art lovers, the Dayton Art Institute was rated one of the top 10 art museums for kids, and features both permanent and feature collections.


Dayton sits at the crossroads of the Eastern United States. I-675 links I-70 and I-75, providing easy access to Columbus to the East, Indianapolis to the West, Toledo to the North and Cincinnati to the South. State Route 35 bisects Dayton east and west for easy access to downtown.

Dayton International Airport is just minutes from downtown, and features a full schedule of flights from a large variety of carriers, and some of the most affordable price points in the region.