Discovering Dayton & Five Favorite Places

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View of downtown Dayton.

Now that we’ve lived in Dayton for two whole months, I’ve been able to explore some of the city’s famous landmarks and better understand the place they call “Gem City”. The history of this area is so fascinating, especially as its pivotal role as the birthplace of aviation.

My parents came from California a couple of weeks ago to visit us and our new home. It was the perfect excuse to check out museums and eat a LOT of good food. The timing was perfect for me as I recently accepted a great marketing job that I’m thrilled about! I start at the end of October, so my parents’ visit came at that perfect sweet spot of knowing I have a job lined up with the stress of interviews behind me.

So with that, here is a list of my five favorite places I’ve explored so far:

1.Β National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

This is the coolest aviation museum I’ve ever been to, period. This is the official museum of the U.S. Air Force and it contains over 360 planes. From the Wright Flyer to planes flown in every U.S. war, the evolution of fighter airplanes is fascinating. We maybe made it through 1/4 of the museum on our first visit, we’ll definitely be back for more. Best part is the museum is always free!

2. Carillon Historical Park

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A replica of the Wright Cycle Co. shop that was originally located in downtown Dayton.

This historical park and museum is dedicated to the history of industry and technology in Dayton from 1796 to present. This park contains the original Wright Flyer, as well as a replica of the Wright Cycle Co. shop that lead to the invention of Wright Brothers’ revolutionary warped wing. I loved learning about all the inventions created in Dayton, from the cash register to the soda can to modern printing presses.

3. Dayton Art Institute

First off, the building for the Dayton Art Institute is impressive. It was modeled after a villa in Italy and sits on top of a hill overlooking downtown Dayton. The museum’s art collection spans over 5,000 year and is elegantly laid out. I’ve been twice so far, my favorite area is the early American fine art collection. They have a special exhibit for Alphonse Mucha I can’t wait to go back and see!

4. Second Street Market

This year-round indoor market is four blocks from our apartment. It’s a mix of produce vendors, crafts people, and breakfast/lunch spots. On Saturdays, they have musicians playing live music. I love how the produce stands are often run by the farmers themselves, they are so knowledgable and passionate about their products. I’ve bought some of the best fresh milk and farm-raised chickens there!

5. Dayton Library – Downtown Branch


This newly-renovated library branch opened just a couple weeks before we moved to Dayton. And boy, did we luck out! It’s a huge three-story building filled to the brim with books and lots of comfy seating areas. Best part is it’s two blocks from our apartment, so it’s super easy to pop in (even just to read the latest magazines, ha!).


So that’s my list of favorite places in Dayton so far. I know there’s so many other places I have yet to explore. I’d love to hear your recommendations!



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