Neighborhoods of Dayton, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio is a city with a rich history and diverse neighborhoods. Founded in 1796, Dayton has been shaped by its location at the confluence of four rivers – the Great Miami, Stillwater, Mad, and Wolf Rivers.

From its early days as an outpost for trade and westward expansion, to its rise as a manufacturing powerhouse, to its rebirth as center for innovation, Dayton’s neighborhoods reflect the various stages of the city’s development.

This local guide provides an in-depth look at some of Dayton’s most notable neighborhoods.

Downtown Dayton

Downtown Dayton is the heart of the city and its central business, arts and entertainment district. Some key features include:

  • Oregon District – This historic neighborhood contains art galleries, specialty shops, nightclubs, and restaurants. The district runs along E 5th Street and is known for its vibrant nightlife.
  • Dayton Arcade – This historic rotunda-style arcade was built in 1904 and recently renovated into a mixed-use complex with retail, office and residential spaces.
  • Levitt Pavilion – This outdoor concert venue hosts 50 free concerts every summer right in downtown.
  • Dayton Art Institute – Founded in 1919, this art museum has an extensive collection of American paintings, Asian art, and ancient artifacts.
  • Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center – Home to the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Dayton Opera, and Dayton Ballet.
  • Fifth Third Field – Home of the minor league Dayton Dragons baseball team.

Historic Districts

Dayton has several historic neighborhoods that give a glimpse into earlier eras of the city’s development.

Oregon Historic District

Located just west of downtown, Oregon Historic District contains over 300 homes built between 1850 and 1940 in styles ranging from Federal to Queen Anne. Key highlights include:

  • St. Anne’s Hill Historic District – Features brick rowhomes built in the late 19th century for workers of National Cash Register Company.
  • Hawthorne Hill – Site of the original home of the Wright brothers, where they lived from 1871 to 1914. The home was moved in 1937 but a historical marker remains.
  • MONCon Trail – A scenic biking and walking trail along the Great Miami River.

Wright Dunbar/West Third Street Historic District

This neighborhood across the Great Miami River from downtown was home to prominent African American leaders in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Highlights include:

  • Paul Laurence Dunbar House – Childhood home of the famous African American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar.
  • Wright Cycle Company Complex – Location where Wilbur and Orville Wright developed the first successful airplane in the Wright Cycle Shop.
  • West Third Street – The historic main street of this neighborhood, lined with restaurants, shops and nightlife.
  • DeSoto Bass Courts – Public housing development opened in 1940, the first federal housing project for African Americans in the Midwest.

Grafton Hill Historic District

Located northeast of downtown, Grafton Hill contains many historic homes built between 1850 and 1939. Key highlights include:

  • Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum – This scenic Victorian-era cemetery is the resting place for the Wright brothers and Paul Laurence Dunbar.

-Default Street Historic District – Features many historic middle-class houses built between 1895 and 1915.

Urban Neighborhoods

In addition to historic areas, Dayton also has several vibrant urban neighborhoods that reflect more recent development.

Webster Station

This neighborhood around the former Webster Street railroad depot is seeing new investment and development. Highlights include:

  • Dayton Arcade – The newly renovated Dayton Arcade has brought new restaurants, shops and housing to the area.
  • Dayton Bagel Company – Popular local bagel shop and deli.
  • Troll Pub – Housed in a former railroad freight house, this pub offers craft beers and live music.
  • Ahiska Turkish American Community Center – Cultural center for Turkish and Turkish American culture.

South Park

Located just south of downtown along the Great Miami River, this neighborhood is home to the University of Dayton campus. Highlights include:

  • University of Dayton Arena – Home of the University of Dayton Flyers basketball team. Also site of the “First Four” NCAA tournament play-in games.
  • Campus South – An area with many college bars, restaurants and shops catering to university students.
  • RiverScape MetroPark – An urban riverfront park with fountains, gardens and outdoor performance spaces.
  • Dayton Art Institute – The art museum has an additional gallery space located in South Park.
  • 2nd Street Market – Indoor/outdoor market with local food vendors and artisans.

Carillon

North of downtown along the Great Miami River, the Carillon neighborhood is a revitalized former industrial area now anchored by recreational amenities. Highlights include:

  • Carillon Historical Park – Museum highlighting Dayton’s history of innovation with over 3 million artifacts and historic buildings.
  • RiverScape MetroPark – Riverside park with bike trails, kayak launches and outdoor performance spaces.
  • Dayton Dragons Stadium – Home field for the popular minor league baseball team Dayton Dragons.
  • Carillon Brewing Co – Local brewpub located in a historic factory building.

Suburban Neighborhoods

While Dayton’s suburban neighborhoods lack some of the historic character of downtown and inner-city neighborhoods, they offer attractive residential areas and amenities.

Oakwood

Located south of downtown, Oakwood is known for its large homes and affluent residents. Highlights include:

  • Orchardly Park – An 11-acre park with athletic fields, walking trails and a fishing pond.
  • Dellwood Country Club – An exclusive country club founded in 1901.
  • Oakwood Historical Society – Museum highlighting Oakwood’s history housed in a 1909 farmhouse.
  • Oakwood Village – A small shopping district with boutiques, salons and restaurants.

Kettering

Located south of downtown, Kettering is a large suburban residential area with over 50,000 residents. Highlights include:

  • Fraze Pavilion – Outdoor amphitheater hosting concerts and performances during summer months.
  • Indian Riffle Park – A 248-acre park with hiking trails, athletic fields and a dog park.
  • The Greene Town Center – Open-air lifestyle center with restaurants, shops and a movie theater.
  • Woodland Cemetery – Historic cemetery dating back to the 1840s, with famous graves including Orville Wright.

Centerville

Located south of Dayton in Montgomery County, Centerville is a desirable suburb with highly-ranked schools. Highlights include:

  • Yankee Trace Golf Course – An 18-hole public golf course surrounded by a nature preserve.
  • Bill Yeck Park – A large community park with athletic fields, walking trails and a fishing pond.
  • The Shops at Centerville Place – Open-air shopping center with restaurants, services and shops.
  • Centerville Historical Society – Group dedicated to preserving Centerville history, located in an 1814 log cabin.
  • Claridge Trails – Large planned residential community built around a golf course.

Outlying Towns

While not technically part of Dayton itself, several outlying towns have close ties to the city through history and economic development.

Wilberforce

Located northeast of Dayton, Wilberforce is the site of Wilberforce University, a historically black university founded in 1856. Highlights include:

  • National Afro-American Museum – Highlights African American art, history and culture.
  • Payne Theological Seminary – Oldest free-standing African American seminary in the U.S.
  • Allen Memorial Temple – Important stop on the Underground Railroad, now a museum.

Miamisburg

Located south of Dayton, Miamisburg is known for its historic downtown and large industries such as Areva and Starfire Systems. Highlights include:

  • Daniel Gebhart Tavern Museum – 18th century log tavern that served as a stagecoach stop and inn.
  • Downtown Miamisburg – Well-preserved historic downtown with restaurants and antique shops.
  • Pipe Creek – Popular fishing and boating spot on the Great Miami River.
  • Cargo Airport – General aviation reliever airport for freight traffic.

Xenia

Located east of Dayton in Greene County, Xenia was devastated by an F5 tornado in 1974 but rebuilt strongly. Highlights include:

  • Greene County Fairgrounds & Expo Center – Site of one of Ohio’s longest running county fairs, held annually since 1868.
  • Shawnee Park – Large community park with hiking trails, athletic fields, fishing pond and frisbee golf course.
  • Blue Jacket Outdoor Drama – Outdoor theatrical production about Shawnee Indian leader Blue Jacket performed each summer.
  • Buck Creek State Park – Over 2,000 acre state park with hiking, fishing, boating and camping.

Conclusion

From festivals that celebrate local history and culture to dining and entertainment hubs where the community gathers, Dayton’s diverse neighborhoods each add their own flair to the city.

Residents and visitors alike will enjoy exploring the unique blend of old and new that makes each district distinctive.

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Directions

  • Start out going east on E 3rd St toward S Patterson Blvd in downtown Dayton. Turn right to merge onto S Patterson Blvd. Take I-75 N ramp on the left to Cincinnati. Merge onto I-75 N and drive for about 5 miles. Take exit 50A for Siebenthaler Ave toward N Fairfield Rd. Turn left onto Siebenthaler Ave. The destination will be on the right.
  • Begin at Riverscape MetroPark in downtown Dayton and head north on S Patterson Blvd. Take the I-75 N ramp on the left toward Cincinnati. Merge onto I-75 N and drive approximately 5 miles. Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 50A for Siebenthaler Ave. Turn left onto Siebenthaler Ave. Continue on Siebenthaler Ave for half a mile and the destination will be on your right.
  • Start at the Dayton Art Institute in downtown Dayton. Head east on E Monument Ave toward S Patterson Blvd. Turn right onto S Patterson Blvd. Take the I-75 N ramp on the left to Cincinnati. Merge onto I-75 N and drive for 5 miles. Take exit 50A for Siebenthaler Ave toward N Fairfield Rd. Turn left onto Siebenthaler Ave. 117 E Siebenthaler Ave will be on the right just past Danner Ave.