A native of Cincinnati, I didn’t really dip my toes into everything Dayton has to offer until my freshman year of college at the University of Dayton. While some of my classes exposed me to popular sites in the city, such as the Schuster Center, I took it upon myself to explore lesser-known pockets of downtown. After four years of living and working in Dayton, I am still finding interesting new places, but I am proud to say I definitely know more than I did when I was a freshman.
As a girl who perpetually has nothing to wear (yet a closet full of clothes), I’m always on the prowl for new additions to my wardrobe. In the past few years I have gained a huge appreciation for vintage clothing, although I am still learning how to filter through what’s gold and what’s just … old. The best place I’ve found to score some great finds? Feathers Vintage Clothing. Located in the Oregon Arts District, it’s the perfect place to browse before grabbing a stuffed burger at Blind Bob’s. Disclaimer: One glance at its front window, filled with the kinds of clothes you dream about stumbling across in such a store, and you will have no choice but to stop and see what’s inside.
Lights, Camera, Action
The best movie experiences are ones in which the whole audience connects over the film. While these occasions are rare, they make going to the movies special. At The Neon, one gets that sense of community during every film. Plus, the selection is awesome – way better than any other theater in the area. It offers everything from Oscar-nominated blockbusters to the lesser-known movies all the cool kids rave about. If you’re wary about seeing a movie that hasn’t been over-advertised, check out The Neon’s website. It provides great summaries, as well as a schedule for upcoming films.
Music to my ears
My inaugural trip to Omega Music was on a first date. After a delicious dinner at Thai 9, we went on a romantic walk down the brick-paved stretch of Fifth St. in the Oregon Arts District. While the night was awkward (Sorry I was more excited about buying that live concert CD than I was about being on that date with you), I still love going back and browsing the music selection. The staff also is really friendly, which I haven’t always encountered in music stores. I still think of that long-lost first date every time I walk into Omega, but at least there’s great music to make me forget it.
As a lover of food (but by no means a connoisseur), my favorite places to eat are ones that have a unique, but not intimidating, menu. Enter Lucky’s Taproom. A descriptive beer menu for someone who knows nothing about beer (i.e., me) and a staff willing to make recommendations? Sign me up. The first time I went to Lucky’s I ordered the fish and got to choose the beer it was battered in. Awesome. Apparently quality is always Lucky’s standard, as the food is excellent every time I go.
Hit the pavement
A longtime runner before college, I saw my move to Dayton as a chance to get to know a new city – on foot. Confession: In high school I ran almost 10 miles daily with my cross-country team, but when left to my own devices, I am way too tempted to sit on the couch and watch reruns on E! instead of getting up and exercising. Having new, uncharted territory encouraged me to start running here, but it was the awesome routes that kept me going. I love cities, yet I love being in parks; lucky for me, downtown is a blend of both. Check out the Five Rivers MetroParks website for more information on all of the trails available.
This is by no means a complete list of things to do in downtown Dayton. Be sure to check out the Downtown Dayton Partnership’s website for more information and other suggestions of great places in the city to visit.