Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day Trip to Dayton

Dayton doesn't get the attention deserves, as it is so close to two titan Ohio cities of Columbus and Cincinnati. In fact, Dayton is approximately right between Cincinnati (I-75 N to I-675 N) and Columbus (I-70 W to I-675 S). But it certainly has a lot to offer and is worth setting aside a day to explore! It is a titan city in its own right, being the 6th largest in Ohio and the county seat of Montgomery County. The Miami River runs through Dayton and it is home to a major airport and two large universities, University of Dayton and Wright State University. It also is famously home to the Wright Brothers, who were the first to successfully fly an aircraft and appear on the Ohio state quarter for making Ohio the "Birthplace of Aviation."

I have been to Dayton only once before, and have driven through en route to Chicago. When there, I had not done the proper research to see what there was to do and see. Since being there, however, I have learned a great deal about places such as The Wright Patterson Airforce Base (listed below) that Dayton is home to, and I am looking forward to going back! So I put my good Twitter (and Words With Friends) buddy Leah Moon up to the task of helping to plan my upcoming trip, which will hopefully inspire other OHventurers to take a Day Trip to Dayton!

Mine & Leah's Quick-List of The Top 9 Places To Check Out When Visiting Dayton is listed below!

1. Carillon Park (1000 Carillon Boulevard): This is a gorgeous park complete with its own restaurant and a giant field, good for a picnic or throwing the football around. They’re also undergoing a lot of construction to provide even more amenities for visitors. It is also recognized as a National Historic Landmark since the original 1905 Wright Flyer III, the world's first practical airplane, is situated in the park. There is also a scenic passenger rail available to the public at certain times.

2. Blind Bob's (430 E. 5th Street): According to Leah, this bar is a great mom & pop spot for people in search of a few drinks, good ol' fashioned bar food, some rockin' karaoke, and even "Battle of the Bands" events. It is aptly named, since the owner himself is blind, and named Bob.

3. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Museum (1100 Spaatz Street): Not much is cooler than getting the chance to go to the NATIONAL Air Force Museum. We are fortunate as Ohioans to have such a kickass museum resting in our very state! This is the sole reason that I want to go back to Dayton! The Air Force Base holds many events throughout the year, including awesome air shows. At any time of the year, one can explore the museum to see aircrafts from the Cold War, Korean War, World War II, etc. This is by far one of the musts not only for Dayton, but for Ohio!

4. The Wine Loft (21 Greene Boulevard, Beavercreek): The Wine Loft is actually a chain of wine bars throughout the country. The location in Dayton is the only one in Ohio, however. Leah says The Wine Loft provides an intimate setting perfect for couples, and any OHventurer looking for a place with a great selection of wines to taste. Leah also likes the fact that they are active on social media sites, like Twitter (@WineLoftDayton).

5. Pulse Dayton (613 E. 5th Street): This is a relatively new nightclub that opened up its doors in Dayton. It is located in The Oregon District. It is admittingly the type of place you would see on MTV's The Jersey Shore, so if you can stomach that for a night, then you're set. Pulse is great to visit just a couple times to go wild and dance your butt off, but is probably not a place I'd tell you to become a "regular" at!
Photo courtesy of Leah Moon.

6. Butter Cafe (1106 Brown Street): For breakfast or for lunch, Leah said she absolutely LOVES The Butter Cafe (pictured above)! The service is great and the inside is just adorable. Leah's love for this place started because they only use organic butter and cheeses; and their veggies are local. It is bound to give anyone a warm feeling while dining there.

7. Urban Krag Indoor Rock Climbing Center (3640 Colonol Glenn Highway): Urban Krag is THE perfect spot to go for an OHventurer who may be just getting started in rock climbing, or someone who has been doing it for a long while. It features 8000 square feet of textured and sculpted vertical terrain with heights ranging from 28 to 56 feet. It also was built in a funky old church, which gives it a really cool vibe. If you've been following the site lately, you know rock climbing is on the Buckeye Bucket List and this is a great place to go to get 'er done!

8. RiverScape Metropark (111 East Monument Avenue): Since I have started OHventures, the great folks at Five Rivers Metroparks have contacted me about all of the awesome events that have and will take place at the metroparks in and around the Dayton area. In July alone, the RiverScape Metropark will be holding a cultural festival, big band nights, and more! New in 2011 is the opportunity to rent kayaks!! And, the park also offers bike paths, riverside walking and running paths, gardens, a fountain of lights, and an ice skating rink. Leah also noted it's a good spot for hiking.

9. Victoria Theatre (138 E. Main Street): If you're looking for a great show in a beautiful atmosphere, Leah says to try the Victoria Theatre. You can find anything from musicals to symphonies to ballet productions at the theatre.

About the Contributor: Leah Moon is native of Dayton and has lived there most of her life. She has lived in NY and DC, but is now rediscovering Dayton's hidden gems. Leah works in the marketing department at a local credit union and is heavily involved in professional organizations in Dayton. She is the Chair-Elect for the New Professionals Section of PRSA and handles all their social media efforts. Outside of work, Leah loves movies, TV, (Cleveland) sports, coffee and organization. You can find her @starmoon on Twitter, tweeting about that and everything else.

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