Last updated: 04:17 PM ET, Wed March 04 2015

Touring the Madness: Dayton, Ohio

Features & Advice | Tom Bastek | March 04, 2015

Touring the Madness: Dayton, Ohio

All photos courtesy of their respective venues unless otherwise stated.


It is totally that time of year again. The number of college basketball fans increases exponentially every March due to the national college basketball championships. This year, we are going to take you around the tournament and give you the best things to do in all of the cities that are holding tournament games.So if you are planning to stay a day or two more in the host city, or your team bows out early, you will have a few other things to do. Today we are going to take a look at Dayton, Ohio, host of the “first four” which encompasses the play-in games.

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Located on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force has one of the largest collections of aircraft and equipment in the world. Last year 1.3 million people came through the doors to see the more than 360 aircraft and missiles that are on display. 

The museum has planes dating all the way back to 1901 and actually has a full hangar dedicated to presidential aircraft, where many of the former U.S. Presidential planes are on display. If you feel like you need to narrow down what you want to see when you get there, go online and take their 360-degree tour to make your list. If anyone in your family is a UFO fan, there are a ton of rumors that say this base is where they have kept / have been keeping alien aircraft.

National Aviation Heritage Area

PHOTO: "Wright Cycle Shop" by Chris Light via Wikimedia

Created in 1992, the National Aviation Heritage Area encompasses five sites around the areas where the Wright Brothers and noted poet Paul Laurence Dunbar once lived and worked.  The Wright Cycle Company Complex includes the last location of the Wright Cycle Company, the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center and the Aviation Trail Visitor Center and Museum. 

The Huffman Prairie Flying Field and interpretive center are located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The Wright Brothers Aviation Center at Carillon Historical Park as well as the Paul Laurence Dunbar State Memorial are both located in Dayton. Hawthorn Hill, a former residence of Orville Wright, is located south of Dayton in Oakwood.

Warped Wing Brewing Company

While we are on the aircraft theme, check out the Warped Wing Brewing Company in the Oregon District downtown. They are brewers of threemain stay beers and a bunch of seasonal and limited releases. 

Their tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday mostly in the evenings. If you are looking for a cool place to grab a bite afterwards, hit Olive, an Urban Dive right around the corner.  They are a locally sourced, anything but dive-y, awesome restaurant that is BYOB, so take a growler to-go from Warped Wing.

Wheat Penny Oven and Bar

There are over 600 places to get a bite to in the city of Dayton. We could go on all day about them, but here is one we’ll just throw at you right now: Wheat Penny Oven and Bar. Think salads, sandwiches, pastas and California-style pizzas. If you are in the mood for a pasta dish, go with the green lasagna with cheese and tomato. This dish includes spinach pasta layered with house-made ricotta cheese scented with nutmeg and tomato sauce. Believe it or not, it is surprisingly light.

Brown Street

If you want to be near the campus and grab a bite, there is no better place than all along Brown Street.  With every chain known to man (Ohio is known as the birthplace/test market for a ton of restaurant chains) as well as some local joints, you have plenty of choices.  If you are looking for something you can’t really get at too many other places, go for Skyline Chili.

So hopefully you will win your play-in game and move right onto the bracket but make sure you take some time and get to see Dayton. It is a great college town worth a look.


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