Dayton is a city located in south western Ohio, about 70 miles west of the state capital Columbus. It is most famous for being home to the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, inventors of the modern day aircraft. It is but natural that the city has several museums and memorial dedicated to their favorite sons. However, there is more to Dayton than just the Wright Brothers. Art museums, public gardens, hiking trails, and aviation museums make up the list of popular attractions of the city. Here is our pick of the top tourist attractions of Dayton.
- SunWatch Indian Village
The SunWatch Indian Village is an open-air museum and archaeological park located on the west bank of the River Miami, about 4 miles south west of downtown Dayton. The main attraction of the site is a reconstructed Fort Ancient Indian Village. After excavation started in 1971, experts believed that the place had been lived in by the Fort Ancient indigenous community over 2000 years ago. With the help of the archaeological findings, the village was reconstructed the way it may have looked. It was opened to the public in 1988, complete with an interpretive center, gardens, and a plaza, making it an ideal picnic spot for families and groups of visiting school children.
- Dayton Art Institute
The Dayton Art Institute is located in downtown Dayton on the north bank of the Miami River. It was established in 1930 and is rated as one of the top art museums in the US for kids. It is dedicated to fine arts and has a collection of over 20,000 artworks spanning 5000 years! It is housed in an impressive Italian-Renaissance-styled building on a hill top. The building and the setting, which allows you have a bird’s eye view of the Dayton skyline, is an attraction in itself. The institute has a number of famous paintings including Water Lilies by Claude Monet and American Indian Series by Andy Warhol.
- Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is a fun and educational place to visit for those with children. The complex is a children’s museum, zoo, and a science and technology center. While the parent organization, the Museum of Natural History, was established in 1893, the present form as the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery was set up in 1995. It is located 2.5 miles north of downtown Dayton, on the east bank of the Stillwater River. There are several interactive exhibits in the museum to catch the attention of not only the children but adults alike. The facility is one of the few places in Ohio which has a zoo, a planetarium, an aquarium, an astronomical observatory, and a science center rolled into one.
- America’s Packard Museum
America’s Packard Museum is located in downtown Dayton. It is, as the name suggests, an automotive museum dedicated to the now defunct Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit. The museum is housed in a former dealership building of the company which it acquired in 1917. This art deco building has been restored to its former days of glory and is an attraction in itself. The museum was set up in the early 1990s and has grown into a prominent attraction of the city. Other than displaying several automobiles from the Packard company, it also many artifacts and memorabilia associated with Packard.
- Miami Valley Trails
This is a must-try attraction for outdoor lovers. There is an added incentive for history lovers, too, as the trails pass through some major historical landmarks of the city. The total length of the trails put together is nearly 340 miles. While some parts of these trails can be covered on foot, there are others which are best suited for bicycles. The trails are very well marked and have necessary amenities like restrooms and parking.
- Carillon Historical Park
The Carillon Historical Park is located about 2.5 miles south of downtown Dayton, next to the University of Dayton. The park is an open-air museum with some historical houses that have been relocated there. Other exhibits of the park are associated with the technological and social history of the Dayton area. It is spread over 65 acres and also features a miniature railway. The most notable exhibit of the Carillon Historical Park is undoubtedly Wright Flyer III from 1905. Housed inside the John W Barry Sr Wrights Brothers Aviation Center, the Wright Flyer III is considered to be the first practical airplane in the world.
- National Museum of the United States Air Force
With over a million visitors every year, the National Museum of the United States Air Force is one of the most popular tourists attractions in the city of Dayton. It is located in the Wright-Patterson Air Force base, about 5 miles east of downtown Dayton. The museum is considered to be one of the largest of its type in the world, with a collection of over 360 aircraft and missiles. It is the official museum of the US Air Force and was established in 1923. One of the most popular sections of the museum is the Presidential gallery, which has several aircraft used by the presidents of the USA.
- Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
The Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park pays tribute to 3 of the most famous sons of Ohio – Orville Wright, Wilbur Wright, and Paul Laurence Dunbar. While the first two are brothers known for their pioneering contribution to aviation history, Dunbar was an African American writer who was known for his poems, novels, and lyrics. Prominent landmarks of the Park include the Hoover Block where the Wright Brothers had a printing shop, the Wright Cycle Company building, and Hawthorne Hill which has the mansion where the brothers intended to live together. It also includes the Huffman Prairie Flying Field where the brothers tested their flights. Other notable attractions are the Wright Brothers Aviation Center, Dunbar Memorial, and Wright Memorial.
Originally posted 2017-09-11 10:49:53.