Dayton is a city with something for everyone. It has plenty of attractions and things to do, which are perfect for families, couples, friends, or solo travelers.

Here are five top-rated attractions & activities that visitors cannot afford to miss when visiting Dayton:

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

One of Dayton’s best attractions is the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, which has over 360 aircraft and missiles on display for everyone to enjoy. The

The museum is located on the Wright Patterson Air Force Base and offers free admission, making it accessible to all.

The aircrafts are organized by their respective service branches: U.S. Army Aviation, Space, and Missile Command; U.S. Navy and Marine Corps; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); Atomic Energy Commission; and commercial aviation.

One of the museum’s most prized possession is the U.S. Air Force One, which was used by presidents Eisenhower to Kennedy for travel overseas.

Located just five minutes away from downtown Dayton and situated on over 17 acres of land, this attraction offers a lot in terms of culture and history – all within close proximity to other top attractions like the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery.

2. Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

Visitors who are interested in learning more about the history of aviation will enjoy a visit to the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.

This park is located on the grounds of Wright Patterson Air Force Base. It features three separate sites that each offers a unique experience for guests, including:

The Wright Brothers Museum, which features over 25 restored aircraft that were used by Wilbur and Orville Wright

Huffman Prairie Flying Field where the Wrights tested their gliders and airplanes from 1904 to 1905. This is also where they made several of their famous flights

Paul Laurence Dunbar State Memorial, which is the birthplace of Dayton’s most famous poet.

In addition to these three sites, visitors can also take part in various guided tours and interactive activities. The park offers cultural programming as well as educational workshops for students on weekdays from May until September.

The park offers tours to both the Wright Brothers Museum and Huffman Prairie Flying Field. Tours usually last for about one hour each. Visitors can either book a tour online at their website or purchase tickets upon arrival on site.

This historical park also has its own gift shop where guests can purchase souvenirs related to the Wright Brothers and Orville.

The park is located just a 20-minute drive from downtown Dayton, making it easy for visitors to visit after exploring other popular attractions like Riverscape Metropark or Carillon Historical Park.

Carillon Historical Park

3. Carillon Historical Park

Carillon Historical Park is another top attraction in Dayton that features not only attractions but also structures dating back to the early 1900s.

The park is home to the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. It also features a variety of sites that highlight Dayton’s rich history, including:

Carillon Park Welcome Center and Museum – this building once housed the world-famous Wright Company printing division where they printed government contracts for aircraft during World War II

Carillon Park’s Architectural Tour – visitors can take a guided tour of the park and see magnificent examples of architecture, including Tudor Revival and Federal styles

Carillon Historical Village – this 60-acre site features over 30 historic buildings that date back to pre-Civil War times. These structures include original log cabins, barns, a blacksmith shop, and more.

Visitors can also take part in a variety of educational activities for children as well as adults at the park’s many education centers. These include courses on nature walks, art appreciation workshops, and even cooking classes.

Carillon Historical Park is one of Dayton’s most popular destinations, attracting thousands of visitors on an annual basis.

4. Dayton Art Institute

Located in downtown Dayton, just a few minutes away from Carillon Historical Park and Riverscape Metropark is the Dayton Art Institute.

This museum features over 20,000 pieces dating 5,000 years that include European, American, Asian art. The museum also has an extensive collection of photographs that include works by the world’s most famous photographers.

The museum is housed in a historic building that was built back in 1891. It has been designated as both a National Historic Landmark and a Local landmark.

Visitors who are interested in expanding their knowledge of art can take part in several educational workshops such as lectures, gallery talks, or even hands-on classes for children and adults.

The Dayton Art Institute is located just a ten-minute drive from downtown Dayton, making it easy for visitors to visit after exploring other nearby attractions like Riverscape Metropark or Carillon Historical Park.

5. Victoria Theatre

Located in the heart of Dayton’s entertainment district is the Victoria Theatre Association, one of the top venues for live music and theater productions.

This historic theater features a variety of entertainment options for visitors. These include:

Live Theater and Concerts – the Victoria Theatre Association hosts an impressive list of performances from all over the world, including Broadway plays, dance productions, and concerts by various musicians.

Film Series – this top venue houses first-run movies as well as classics that have been restored to their original formats.

Family Fun – the theater has a variety of family-friendly events on its calendar, including special movie screenings for children as well as performances by comedy troupes and magicians. The Victoria Theatre Association also hosts an annual film festival where they invite guests from all over Ohio to come to see independent films.

The Victoria Theater Association is an excellent destination for anyone looking to take in a show with friends, family members, or even alone.


Dayton, Ohio is an underrated city that has a lot to offer. If you’re looking for family-friendly attractions and things to do on your next visit or vacation, then check out these five top-rated locales!  We hope this list inspires you to plan your trip today!

If you’re thinking about moving to Dayton, Ohio, there are some things you’ll want to know. Check out our blog to learn five things that you should know before moving here.

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