The birthplace of aviation, Dayton is a dynamic and interesting city located in Southwest Ohio. Nicknamed the "Gem City," this Midwestern town is known for its clean streets, well-kept parks and many aerospace museums.

WHAT TO DO

If you love airplanes, than Dayton is a good destination for you. Although the first plane didn't take flight in Dayton, the city was the hometown of the Wright Brothers and it is where they perfected their design for the first aircraft that had success in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Make sure you stop by the Dayton Aviation Heritage Park.

You can also stop by the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, which is home to more than 300 aircraft, including a B-52 stealth bomber. Plus, admission is free, so it's definitely a worthwhile stop.

The Wright Cycle Company Complex is located in the building where the first brothers of aviation had their bicycle repair shop. Check out the historic homes in the neighboring park and learn about early Dayton in this free visitor center.

GETTING THERE

The James M. Cox Dayton International Airport (DAY) is actually the nation's number one 90-minute air market, meaning the city can be reached in 90 minutes or less by 55% of the population. This makes flights into Dayton both quick and easy. Plus, the airport has free wi-fi, which is a great added bonus for travelers.

If you are driving to the airport, you can save both time and money by booking airport parking at Dayton International Airport in advance.

WHERE TO STAY

Dayton is chock-full of budget hotels and affordable places to stay and also has some nice mid-range hotels and a few luxury places to stay. This means finding a hotel in Dayton that suits your needs is painless. There is nearby camping for the outdoors types who also may want to save a few books. While visitors won’t really find many hostels in Dayton, there are some hostel-like accommodations in nearby Ohio cities.