Check out the average bucket list, and Ohio is rarely near
Added to the union in 1803, Ohio takes its name from the Seneca word meaning "good river" or "great river" – a reference to the Ohio River that today forms the state's southern border. Along its
Ohio has a lot to offer, but we're partial to Airstream's neck of this particular woods: the west-central parts of this diverse state. Every year, thousands of Airstreamers make the pilgrimage to Airstream HQ – affectionately known as The Mothership. Whether you're coming here for service, for a factory tour to see hundreds of craftspeople building Airstreams by hand, or yes – simply passing through – let this guide be your inside scoop on some of the more off-the-radar points of interest in the Buckeye State.
Just a 10-minute drive from Airstream HQ – and just seconds off of Interstate 75 – is The Inn Between Tavern. Home to some of the best friend chicken you'll ever eat, The Inn Between is a local favorite and dinner destination for folks who come from far and wide. Featuring a huge variety of local Ohio beers on tap, the Inn Between is comfort food par excellence. When it's warm, be sure to grab a seat out on the patio (where there is often live music on the weekends).
The Airstream Factory Tour draws thousands of tourists to Jackson Center, Ohio every year. It's an inside look at the history and manufacturing of an American icon. It's just one of the fascinating historical points of interest in west-central Ohio, the list of which includes the Bicycle Museum of America. Located just 20 minutes from Jackson Center in New Bremen, Ohio, the Bicycle Museum of America houses one of the largest, private collections of bicycles in the country. It started with the acquisition of 100 bikes from the Schwinn collection previously located at the Navy Pier in Chicago, the collection has grown to over 1,000 bicycles – 300 of which are on display at any given time.
For more sleek, shiny, aerodynamic metal, check out the National Museum of the US Air Force. The massive complex contains more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles, alongside thousands of other artifacts from military aviation history, making it the world's largest military aviation museum. While this museum tells the story of flight from the age of the Wright brothers to space exploration, it also contains other exhibits such as balloons and airships, air mail, endurance flights, and other fascinating odds and ends pertaining to air and space. The Presidential Gallery, filled with planes used by Commanders in Chief like Roosevelt, Kennedy, Nixon, Bush, Clinton, and more; you can even walk through some of them. Also make sure to check out the display of "Blunder Trophies" from the 1920s and 1930s; these were presented to pilots who ran out of gas, taxied into parked planes, or made other ridiculous mistakes at McCook Field. There's also an Air Park and a Memorial Park outside. And, best of all, admission to this massive museum is free.
Ohio has a rich Native American history that's worth delving into. The SunWatch Indian Village and Archaeological Site is a recreated Fort Ancient Native American village as well as a National Historic Site and Landmark. The recreation is based on years of in-depth study of the remains of the former settlement, and visitors can see both, as the new, recreated structures were placed in their original locations. There's also an indoor museum, which houses artifacts from the archaeological digs, as well as educational displays on the Fort Ancient people who lived here from roughly 1000-1750. The name "SunWatch" comes from the complex of posts in the plaza that experts believe is related to astronomical measurements. The Fort Ancient society was based on agriculture, and experts believe that rituals were based around a solar calendar.
The best folk art is often found in the most unexpected places, and such is the case for Wapakoneta's Temple of Tolerance. It's the brainchild of Jim Bowsher, and it's located spread across his spacious yard. Neighborhood children and curious visitors alike come to admire the Temple and let their minds wander. Built between 1981 and 1999 (though it's always changing and growing), the rock labyrinth is meant to be a place for reflection and introspection. Though it feels like a rock garden, it's not entirely made of stone; found objects such as urns, wind chimes, wrought iron, and even part of a counter that famed outlaw John Dillinger hopped over during a robbery are tucked away among the rocks. If Bowsher is around during a visit, he's more than happy to chat; he's had an interesting life, and his passion for the project is palpable.
Straddling the Great Miami River, the Carillon Historical Park is one of Dayton's true gems. The 65-acre park, which opened in 1950, was designed by the Olmstead brothers (of Central Park fame). The park is a sort of open-air museum with various sites, buildings, and displays for visitors to see. Carillon contains the Wright Brothers National Museum, which houses the original Wright Flyer III, an early settler area that shows what life in Dayton was like back in the mid-18th century, the Heritage Center of Dayton Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship, a print shop with a 1930s-era letterpress, a transportation center containing one of the oldest trains in the world, and more. If the weather is nice, plan for a visit to the History on the Hill Interpretive Center to hike the gorgeous Moraine Trails. After a long afternoon of exploring and learning, relax with a beer at the Carillon Brewing Co., where costumed interpreters brew beer from recipes that date back to the 1850s with methods that are as historically accurate as possible, and serve grub that pays homage to Dayton's German, Irish and English heritage.
When you think of rock climbing, you probably think of craggy peaks in Colorado or Utah. But in the heart of Dayton's Oregon District is one of the most incredible climbing experiences you will ever have. Located inside a renovated church, Urban Krag is 10,000 square feet of textured climbing surfaces that soar up to 56 feet above the floor. Whether you're a
The famously quirky town of Yellow Springs gets its name from the sulfur-coated spring in Glen Helen Nature Preserve. The 1000-acre park contains 20 miles of trail, which takes hikers past waterfalls cascading down limestone cliffs, stands of stately 400-year-old trees, fields of wildflowers, and more. The Preserve also boasts some incredible birdwatching. Before you set off on a hike, stop by the Trailside Museum, which provides valuable information on the geology, ecology, and wildlife that call the park home. It's also the home base for guided hikes and other programs. The park encourages visitors to check the calendar of events ahead of time to see what is offered.
If you're looking for something to do indoors – or simply in search of a movie a little off the mainstream – the Neon Movies is your spot. A Dayton institution, the Neon Movies offers the latest documentaries, indie films, and local events. They also have great snacks, local coffee, and a selection of local beer and wine for sale at the concession stand.
It might be a bit of a drive from Jackson Center, but Hocking Hills State Park is the crème de la crème of state parks in Ohio. The 2,356-acre park is spread across seven different "hiking area" units, and the Hocking Hills Scenic Byway is the best way to see them all. The twisting cliffs, gorges, waterfalls, and caves make for some pretty stunning scenery. Old Man's Cave is the most popular spot, as it contains the supremely photogenic Upper Falls, which are crossed by a footbridge. It looks like something straight out of a storybook. There's also Cedar Falls, the Devil's Bathtub, and the Rock House— an incredible cave. In addition to hiking, the park is ideal for camping, rock climbing, paddling, swimming, horseback riding, fishing, and more.
One of the first – and certainly one of the best – craft breweries in Dayton, Warped Wing consistently pays homage to their Dayton roots. With a variety of beers to satisfy any palate, Warped Wing is housed in one of Dayton's many old factory spaces. It's a great place to grab a beer, have a bite to eat, and plan your day in downtown Dayton. And if you want other ideas about where to imbibe, check out our guide to what's On Tap in Ohio.
A relative newcomer to Ohio's Miami Valley,
Some of the finest
Another newcomer to the local food and drink scene, Purebred Coffee has gained a foothold as one of the best places in the Dayton-area to grab a cup of coffee. From drip to
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As Airstream travels the country in search of unique Round Trip destinations, we keep our eye out for dedicated craftspeople who are passionate about manufacturing quality products. Like like the hundreds of production associates who hand-make Airstream travel trailers and touring coaches in our Jackson Center, Ohio manufacturing facility, they are committed to their craft – and to living their dreams. These are their stories.