We recently celebrated National Travel & Tourism Week - an annual event held the first week of May to celebrate the U.S. travel community and travel’s essential role in stimulating economic growth, cultivating vibrant communities, creating quality job opportunities, inspiring new businesses and elevating the quality of life for Americans every day.

National Travel & Tourism Week also kicks off the start of summer travel season, making it the perfect time to plan for a summer "Daycation" or be a "tourist in your own backyard" and discover (or rediscover) all Dayton has to offer! To help you out, we've curated a Dayton Bucket List - all the must-see and must-do things you won’t want to miss! 


The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force 

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

1100 Spaatz St Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, OH 45433-7102 | Free

Visit the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world - celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023! Explore over 19 acres of enclosed exhibit space featuring 340+ aerospace vehicles arranged chronologically and by military conflict.  See the famous Memphis Belle, get on board in the NASA Space Shuttle exhibit, walk the aisles of four of nine presidential airplanes, or test your skills in a flight simulator. You can also watch a movie on the 6-story digital screen, or buy the perfect souvenir in the gift shop.

See The Original 1905 Wright Flyer III at the Wright Brothers National Museum

1905 Wright Flyer III

1000 Carillon Blvd, Dayton, OH 45409 | $ (admission included in Carillon Historical Park admission)

The John W. Berry Sr. Wright Brothers National Museum, located at Carillon Historical Park, has more Wright artifacts on display than any other place in the world, including the 1905 Wright Flyer III. It is the only airplane designated a National Historic Landmark as the first practical flying machine, and it is what the Wright brothers considered their most important aircraft.

Honor Aviation's Heroes at The National Aviation Hall of Fame

National Aviation Hall of Fame

1100 Spaatz St, Dayton, OH 45433 | Free

While you're at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, be sure to all visit the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Learn more about world-famous pilots and space travelers while delving into more than a century of flight history.

Carillon Historical Park

A view of the Carillon Park Railroad, showing a steam locomotive pulling a passenger car with park visitors.

1000 Carillon Blvd, Dayton, OH 45409 | $

The brainchild of Colonel Edward Andrew Deeds  and Edith Walton Deeds, Carillon Historical Park will take you back in time to explore how Dayton's inventors - including the Wright Brothers - transformed transportation, technology, and industry. Carillon Park includes a 65-acre open-air history museum, the Wright Brothers National Museum, indoor displays, Ohio's largest carillon with 57 bells, and the newly opened Carillon Park Railroad (pictured).

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

dayton aviation national historical park

16 S Williams St, Dayton, OH 45402 | FREE

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park that commemorates the lives and achievements of Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright, and Paul Laurence Dunbar. Visit the Wright Cycle Shop, a replica of the original bike shop started by the Wright Brothers, as well as the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center and the Paul Laurence Dunbar House Historic Site. 

Take a Walk Through Woodland Cemetery 

Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio. Picture of gateway, chapel, and office buildings

118 Woodland Ave, Dayton, OH 45409 | Free

One of the nation's five oldest "garden cemeteries," Woodland is the resting place of the Wright Brothers, Paul Laurence Dunbar, inventor Charles F. Kettering, author/humorist Erma Bombeck, and media mogul James Cox, among others. The arboretum boasts more than 3,000 trees and 165 species of plants, and architectural beauty to enjoy.

See U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds at the CenterPoint Energy Dayton Air Show

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds

3600 Terminal Dr, Dayton, OH 45377 | $

The CenterPoint Energy Dayton Air Show, presented by Kroger, is held each summer at Dayton International Airport. The 2023 show features the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, U. S. Army Golden Knights, Red Bull Helicopter, B-25 Rosie's Reply, Aftershock Jet Truck, and other exciting exhibitions! Be there on July 22-23.

Outdoor Activities

Visit all 18 Five Rivers MetroParks

Five Rivers MetroParks

Five Rivers MetroParks, a system of 18 MetroParks spread out throughout the greater Dayton area, makes up 16,000 acres of forests, grasslands, farmlands and wetlands. Explore nature or get a workout in on one of the 28 trails perfect for hiking, walking, cycling, paddling, running, mountain biking and even horseback riding!

Grab Your Bike and Hit the Trails

Biking in the Miami Valley
Explore the nation's largest network of paved trails! Greater Dayton and Ohio’s Miami Valley region provides over 340 miles of paved, multi-use recreational trails. Stretching across county lines, these trails connect schools, parks, historic landmarks and area attractions. Travel through meadows, scenic countryside, forested areas and city centers while on the path.

Sunwatch Indian Village & Archaeological Park


2301 W River Rd, Dayton, OH 45417 | $

Ever wondered what life was like in the 13th century? Sunwatch Indian Village & Archaeological Park is dedicated to the preservation of this amazing archaeological site and window into Native American culture.

Aullwood Audubon

Baby Ancona Ducklings at Aullwood Audobon

1000 Aullwood Rd, Dayton, OH 45414 | $

 Aullwood Audubon teaches, leads and inspires people to preserve, protect and enjoy nature, farming and the environment. Aullwood offers both children and adults the opportunity to experience and appreciate the world through experience-based education. Discover their woods, streams, ponds, prairies, meadows, nature center and working sustainable farm!

Dayton Dragons

dayton dragons

220 N Patterson Blvd, Dayton, OH 45402 | $

Did someone say baseball?! Enjoy a Dayton Dragons game at Day Air Ballpark in downtown Dayton! The Dayton Dragons are the High-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and hold the record for the longest sellout streak in North American professional sports!

Arts & Culture

Experience the WOW factor with Dayton Performing Arts

Dayton Ballet's production of Peter Pan

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is a one-of-a-kind nonprofit performing arts association composed of three performing arts groups: the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Ballet! Enjoy traditional, diverse, and innovative experiences in ballet, opera, and orchestral music!

Bask In The Arts at The Dayton Art Institute

Dayton Art Institute

456 Belmonte Park N, Dayton, OH 45405

Founded in 1919, The Dayton Art Institute is one of the region’s premier fine arts museums. In addition to exhibiting outstanding special exhibitions and impressive collections of art from throughout the world, the museum is renowned for education programming that includes an array of offerings for diverse audiences.

Other Dayton Activities 

The Dayton Ale Trail is back!

2023 Dayton Ale Trail

The Dayton region can satisfy your thirst for locally brewed craft beer as you take a journey on the Dayton Ale Trail. New passports have been printed for the 2023 season, so get your friends together, collect stamps at each stop, and exchange your passports for a prize at the Yellow Cab Tavern.

Cruise Through History at America’s Packard Museum

America's Packard Museum

420 S Ludlow St, Dayton, OH 45402 | $

A car lover's dream! It's the largest collection of Packard automobiles and memorabilia anywhere in the world, with cars from 1903 to 1956! The museum is open six days a week during the spring and summer, and five days a week during the winter and fall.

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery otters, Eno and Sikwa

2600 Deweese Pkwy, Dayton, OH 45414 | $

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is the place to go for interactive science learning experiences for children and adults! It's a natural history museum, science center, children's museum, planetarium, observatory and zoo!

Can't Leave Dayton Without Esther Price

esther price

1709 Wayne Ave. Dayton, Ohio 45410 (plus other suburban locations)

Pick up a sweet treat at Dayton's own Esther Price Candies, which offers assorted chocolates, cordials, chocolate-covered potato chips and pretzels and more mouthwatering homemade delights.

Wilbear Wright Passport


Receive a Wilbear Wright Aviator Teddy Bear!

You could earn your very own Wilbear Wright Teddy Bear by visiting sites on the Dayton Aviation Trail!  

Tour a minimum of 8 of the 17 amazing aviation sites listed in this brochure. Receive a stamp at the one required site, Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center, plus a minimum of 7 of the remaining sites to qualify for the FREE "Wilbear Wright" aviator teddy bear. 

The Visit Dayton App is your on-the-go, go-to resource for everything on this bucket list, and so many more things to see and do in Dayton! You can also request a print copy of our Destination Dayton Visitors Guide, or access a digital version on our website, to help with your Daycation plans.

Be sure to post your Daycation photos on social media and tag them with #DiscoverDayton - we might feature them on our website, Facebook and Instagram. We look forward to seeing you in Dayton this summer!