Situated in the Miami Valley region of Ohio just an hour north of Cincinnati, Dayton is a mid-sized Midwestern city with a history of innovation surrounded by a diverse metropolitan area of almost a million residents. Home to LexisNexis and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the region is known for its strengths in information technology, aerospace research and development, advanced materials engineering and health and human services.
Modern architecture and historical landmarks mingle in the central city, while surrounding communities offer comfortable and affordable suburban and rural lifestyles. Miami Valley leaders recently launched a Creative Region Initiative to foster a "more authentic, sustainable and prosperous region rich with talent, tolerance, technology and territorial assets" so as to attract and retain the creative workforce key to the future of any region hoping to thrive in a global economy.
Dayton, Ohio, is the happiest American city to work in, according to a Jan. 9, 2013, article in Forbes magazine. Dayton also was in the No. 1 spot on Forbes’ list of America’s Most Affordable Cities. Dayton was ranked #2 as Livability's 2015 Best Affordable Places to Live. And American Style magazine ranked the city second on the list of the Top 25 Mid-size Cities for Art.
Some of the region's assets are noted below:
Dayton offers a rich blend of dance, vocal, theatrical and instrumental arts. The new Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center is a world-class facility offering the best in local, national and international performing artists. Dayton Opera and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra call the Schuster Center home, and it showcases the latest Broadway shows. Local performing arts treasures, like the Dayton Ballet, also make use of the facilities. The city’s cultural flavor also includes the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and the Human Race Theatre Company. The beautiful, historical Victoria Theatre is stage for many of these performers, and five other major-event venues also host shows and concerts.
Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball was named one of the Top Ten Hottest Tickets in Sports by Sports Illustrated magazine. With two NCAA Division I schools in town, the Ohio State University Buckeyes in Columbus and the Reds and the Bengals in Cincinnati, the region provides ample opportunities for sports fans.
Heritage & History
Known as the birthplace of aviation, Dayton is home to the National Museum of the United States Air Force - the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world and Ohio's number one tourist attraction - and one of the country's premier air shows. Held in July each year, the Vectren Dayton Air Show showcases military jet demonstrations, world-class aerobatic champions and entertainment for the whole family. Other points of historical interest include the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce and Carillon Historical Park.
More than 35,000 acres of parks, nature preserves and a popular river corridor along the Great Miami River offer outstanding outdoor activities. Greater Dayton has more green space than any other metropolitan area its size. Dayton's newest park, RiverScape, features the Five Rivers Fountain of Lights, the largest river-based fountain in the world. Its design represents the five waterways that converge in the Dayton area, and it is positioned at the confluence of the Great Miami and Mad Rivers. The fountain shoots streams of water 200 feet in the air and 400 feet over the river, raining down at the center of the Great Miami. At night, lasers positioned above the water jets create a spectacular light show.
Shopping, Dining & Getting Away
The Miami Valley's largest shopping mall, the Mall at Fairfield Commons, is located near campus. The Greene — a 72-acre town center featuring pedestrian-friendly streets, open-air gathering spaces, parks, retail stores, entertainment venues, apartments and restaurants — opened in 2006. Unique restaurants and shops are part of Dayton's Oregon District, and several small college towns and charming villages surrounding the city boast gourmet restaurants, antique shops, bed and breakfasts and small town neighborliness.
Festivals & Fairs
Southwest Ohio boasts an almost endless succession of cultural and ethnic festivals, rib cook-offs and county fairs during the summer months, along with musical offerings ranging from jazz, blues and R&B, to Latin, Celtic and polka. The twice-a-year Yellow Springs Street Fair, with its music festival, ethnic food and beer garden, is a prime spot for people-watching, according to Ohio Magazine. Just down the road from Dayton, the annual Ohio Renaissance Festival in Harveysburg features 12 entertainment stages, more than 100 arts and crafts shops, period food and drink, games of skill and human-powered rides. Learn more about Ohio Festivals.
Getaway Hot Spots
Dayton's prime position near Interstate 70 and Interstate 75 makes it easy to visit the major cities of Cincinnati and Columbus. Water parks, amusement parks, train rides, zoos, outlet malls, major sporting events and other entertainment activities are within a one-hour drive of Dayton.