While Dayton, Ohio is not as big as its neighboring cities, it is just as full of culture and rich history. Tourists will often just visit Dayton for the Air Force museum and to learn more about the Wright Brothers [Dayton is the birthplace of aviation], but Dayton has so much more to offer. We have a wide variety of places to visit, with something new and exciting around every corner. I’m going to share with you my three favorite ways to spend the day in Dayton!

2ndStreet Market

On the weekends I often myself drawn to the 2nd Street Market. Located downtown, it’s a market with a variety of vendors.In a remodeled factory in the heart of the city, the market is both pleasing to the eye and a piece of Dayton history. From produce to handmade jewelry, the market has it all. My personal favorite booth, Rahn’s Bread’s, is a must. They have fresh baked breads, pastries and muffins that’ll blow you away. I HIGHLY recommend the blackberry Danish and ciabatta loaf. Aside from fresh groceries, I also enjoy eating at many of the food vendors within the market for breakfast and lunch. The market has many lunch options, from Mediterranean cuisine to Mexican street food. After your grocery shopping and lunch splurge, it’s nice to wander through the rest of the market and visit the booths owned by local artists and entrepreneurs. It’s always a good day to shop local!

Oregon District

Only a few blocks away from the 2nd Street Market is the historical Oregon District in Downtown Dayton. The Oregon district is home to several bars, restaurants and boutiques. However, my favorite shop has always been Omega Music. Having been a loyal customer for years, I cannot recommend a better place to pick up all your vinyl needs, although I may be a little biased. Aside from vinyl records, they have a large selection of CD’s, cassettes and turntables. Although it’s received a name change, Omega Music has been around for decades, always blessing the Dayton area with the best music finds. Another shop that’s always worth checking out is Heart Mercantile. They sell all kinds of knick-knacks, funny mugs, Dayton t-shirts and the best greeting cards you’ll ever find. Whenever I am in search for a birthday present, Heart Mercantile is my first stop!

Yellow Springs

Often referred to as a hippie oasis, Yellow Springs is a must-do when visiting Dayton. Located about 25 minutes outside of downtown, it’s a short drive to enter an entire new world. The town is filled with boutiques, coffee shops, and even a comic book store. It has something for everyone to enjoy. The town is one of love, acceptance, community and is the perfect get-away from everyday stress. Home to many mom-and-pop shops, environmentally friendly goods and the strongest hippie aesthetic, you can’t go wrong with Yellow Springs. Just outside of town is some of the best day hiking in southwest Ohio. I recommend taking the time to visit the Clifton Gorge and John Bryan State Park. Once you’ve finished your shopping, hiking and coffee stops be sure to stop by Young’s Jersey Dairy for the best locally made ice cream and cheese curds [made right on the farm]!

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