48 Hours in Dayton
By TourismOhio

48 Hours in Dayton

Find Your Wings in the Birthplace of Aviation

Inventions from Dayton, including the airplane, the self-starting automobile ignition, and the pop-top can, have literally changed the world. In fact, at the turn of the 20th century, Dayton had more patents per capita than any other city in the nation.

Visit Dayton and, in just 48 hours, you will catch the city’s innovative spirit.

Day 1

Start your visit at Carillon Historical Park, a 65-acre park and museum that contains over 30 historic buildings and interactive exhibits telling Dayton’s history of innovation and technology.

On this campus, visitors can explore the Wright Brothers National Museum and see the original Wright Flyer III, the only airplane designated a National Historic Landmark. Grab a bite to eat at Culp’s Café on the park grounds. The restaurant pays homage to Culp’s Cafeteria — a renowned early-1900s Dayton lunchroom that specialized in home-cooked food.

 In the afternoon, continue your exploration of the park including dozens of ornate NCR cash registers and interactive shows in the Kettering Education Center.

For dinner, dine at Carillon Brewing Company. This is the nation’s only production brewery in a museum and the only U.S. brewery replicating the historic brewing process.


After dinner, take a stroll along the Dayton Inventors River Walk at RiverScape MetroPark. The park celebrates Dayton’s history of invention, against a backdrop of sweeping views of downtown Dayton and the Great Miami River.

Day 2

The excitement continues during day two of your 48 hours in Dayton with tours of some Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park (DAHNHP) sites.

Start your morning at the DAHNHP Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center & Wright Cycle Shop (16 South Williams Street, Dayton). Learn about the Wright brothers early years as printers and bicycle builders and their genius and tenacity that led to their invention of the world’s first powered, manned, flying machine. Learn about their childhood friend, Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first internationally recognized African-American poet and writer.

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force (free admission) is the world’s largest and oldest military aviation museum. It offers 19 acres of enclosed exhibits featuring more than 350 aerospace vehicles ranging from the Wright Brothers to war planes, rockets, the latest stealth and drone technology and a Space Shuttle trainer built out for visitors to board. Enjoy lunch in the museum’s cafeteria. Don’t forget to check out the freeze-dried astronaut ice-cream!

In the afternoon, continue to explore the museum and the co-located free National Aviation Hall of Fame which recognizes aviation pioneers.

Round out your day at the free DAHNHP Huffman Prairie Flying Field and Interpretive Center (2380 Memorial Road, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base). Learn about the Wright brothers’ activities following their successful 1903 flight, as they “really learned to fly” and opened the world’s first flight school and airplane factory. Try your hand at a Wright Flyer simulator.


Visit daytoncvb.com for more exciting attractions!


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