There is much to love about the Gem City.
Dayton was founded on April 1, 1796, by settlers from Cincinnati led by Samuel Thompson up the Miami River.
Two other parties led by George Newcom and William Hamer arrived four days later by land.
And so it began.
That year, Dayton Township — an area containing what is now in parts of current Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Clark, Champaign, Logan and Shelby counties — was formed, according to the National Park Service.
>> BEST OF DAYTON: What YOU love most about the Gem City
Every year, we add to our list of things to love about life in Dayton. We are up to 223.
This list serves as a good reminder any day of the year why this town is special.
Here are 223 things the Dayton area should be proud of, compiled by our staff at Dayton.com and our Facebook followers.
Here’s that list in no particular order (we could have gone on and on):
2) An abundance of talented local artists
3) David Hurwitz and the book mobile truck
4) We brought the nation flight.
5) The 1.5 trillion gallons of water known as the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer
6) 20 years of fun thanks to the Dayton Dragons
7 ) Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is one of the state’s largest employers.
8) We have some of the best festivals in the Midwest.
9) The cash register was invented here.
10) Collaboration among Dayton’s performing arts and visual arts groups.
11) Zoot Theatre Company puppets
12) Roller-skating Elvis
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13) Famed poet Paul L. Dunbar and his house
14) Brunch in the Oregon District
15) Great historic neighborhoods
16) Cheez-it brand crackers were born here
17) So many incredible independent restaurants
19) We are the land of funk thanks to acts like The Ohio Players, Zapp, Heatwave, Faze-O and more
21) Dayton History comes to life at Carillon Park
22) Dayton Flyers basketball
23) Erma Bombeck and the writing workshop named for her
24) Brainiac and the new documentary about the band putting Dayton in the spotlight
25) The number of patents by capita (so many patents)
27) Did we mention Orville and Wilbur Wright?
28) Dayton Wiener Dog Races are a thing
29) The Miami Conservancy District protects, preserves and promotes quality and quantity of our water.
30) We thrived after the Great Flood of 1913.
31) The Contemporary Dayton’s great Art Auction
32) You can get nearly anywhere in the Miami Valley within 20 minutes.
33) Truly good people live here
34) The Breeders
35) Wonderful, charming suburbs
36) The Root Beer Stande keeps going.
37) Five Rivers MetroParks offers more than 16,000 acres of beauty.
38) White Allen has been around since 1935.
39) The Dayton Art Institute is celebrating 100 years.
40) The Dayton International Peace Museum
>> Bucket List: Visit the Dayton International Peace Museum
41) Dorothy Lane Market
42) Esther Price Candies
43) The Pine Club’s bone-in ribeye
44) Link Dayton Bike Share
45) Dayton Contemporary Dance Company is fabulous.
46) Smales Pretzel Bakery
47) Dayton Sewing Collaborative
>>MORE: Big and small ways you can help Dayton Sewing Collaborative
48) SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park
49) Lower costs of living
50) Scene 75
51) Dayton solves problems and completes projects
52) The Dayton Peace Accords, the general framework for peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was reached at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
53) Beer is ALWAYS brewing
54) The Miamisburg Mound, one of two largest conical mounds in eastern North America.
55) Stivers School for the Arts
56) Dorothy Lane Market’s Killer Brownie
57) Dayton Celtic Festival
58) Murals, murals everywhere!
59) Guided by Voices
60) Hawthorne Heights
61) Did we mention all of the breweries?
62) Wu Tang is forever at Barrel House
63) Downtown Dayton is alive, well and booming
64) Dayton’s fantastic chefs
65) Schuster Performing Arts Center and the incredible Broadway shows that come to town.
66) Dayton is within an 8 hour or less drive of at least 10 “major cities.”
67) Belle of Dayton Vodka
68) Square-cut pizza
69) Ducks at RiverScape MetroPark
70) The historic Victoria Theatre
71) Dayton Pride Parade
72) Buckeyes from Winan’s
73) St. Patrick’s Day traditions at The Dublin Pub and Flanagan’s Pub
74) Ice skating at RiverScape
75) Fantastic food trucks
76) Dayton Children’s Hospital
77) The work of upDayton
78) Huffy bike company
79) Small businesses can make it.
80) The Dayton Air Show
81) The Little Exchange
82) Dayton Ballet
83) The Neon movie theater
>> RELATED: What you need to know about the Neon movie
84) 4 Paws service dogs
85) Marion’s Piazza
87) The Boonshoft Musuem of Discovery
89) The Human Race Theatre
90) Welcome Dayton and all of our diversity
91) The Dayton LGBT Center
92) A World A’Fair
93) Dayton Philharmonic
94) K12 Gallery and TEJAS
95) Neal Gittleman
96) Oktoberfest at the Dayton Art Institute
>> PHOTOS: Dayton Art Institute’s Oktoberfest 2018
97) The Deweese Ridgecrest neighborhood
98) Dayton Greek Festival at Annunciation Greek Orthodox
99) TedxDayton spreads ideas worth sharing
100) The Troy Strawberry Festival and its famous donuts
101) Italian Fall Festa at Bella Villa Hall
>> PHOTOS: Italian Fall Festa 2017
102) The Funk Music Hall of Fame & Exhibition Center. We hope it finds a new home soon!
103) Some of the best county fairs in Ohio!
104) The pop top
105) The burgers at Slyder’s Tavern and Tank’s
106) The National Museum of the United States Air Force
107) Rev. Cool brought punk to Dayton
108) The RiverScape River Run
109) Dot’s Supermarket has all the meat
110) Miles and miles to hike
111) Our inventions have changed the world
112) Food that rivals grub found in much larger cities
>> RELATED: The 12 best restaurants in Dayton
113) The Longest Table brings people together
>> PHOTOS: The Longest Table Dayton
114) Our code-breakers helped defeat the Nazis in World War II
115) The NCAA First Four tournament games
116) Sauerkraut Festival
117) Warped Wing Brewery is around the state
118) The Renaissance Festival
119) Famous celebrities with ties here including Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney and more
120) Woodland Cemetery’s famous gravesites and breathtaking view
121) Kayaking on the Great Miami Valley River
122) A new guilty pleasure: Giordano’s deep dish
123) Plenty of amazing boutiques and stores to help you shop local
124) Yellow Springs Street Fair twice a year!
125) Scrumptious pies from Partial to Pie
126) The downtown Dayton Metro Library is amazing
127) Yellow Cab Tavern is keeping local music alive
128) New entertainment venues including Brightside and PNC Arts Annex
129) Dayton Music Festival
130) “The Old Man and the Gun” was filmed here
131) Front Street is an experience like none other
132) Summer concerts at the Rose and Fraze with some of our favorite acts from yesterday and today.
133) FREE summer concerts at Levitt Pavilion downtown
134) Oregon Express
135) Rubi Girls
136) Press coffee shop
137) The National Packard Museum
138) The Dayton Art Institute’s hard-working associates board throws a great party
139) Wayne Avenue coffee trail
>> RELATED: What to know about the coffee trail
140) Young’s Jersey Dairy
141) The Gem City Cat Cafe’
142) Dayton Daily News has been covering local news for 120 years and WHIO has been doing the same for 70 years.
143) Stoddard Avenue Pumpkin Glow
144) Trolley Stop patio
146) Dayton Regional Walk of Fame
147) Dayton’s Engineer Club
148) Zombie Dogz famous dogs including the mac and cheese covered Calling in Dead.
149) The League of Women Voters
150) Wright State University’s ArtsGala raises money and showcases young talent.
>> PHOTOS: Did we spot you at the Wright State ArtsGala 2018?
151) King’s Island is just a short drive away
152) Dayton Woman’s Club
153) So many fish fries
154) John Henry Patterson statue at Hills and Dales Park
155) Carillon Tree of Light Illumination
156) Little Art in Yellow Springs
157) You might just see Dave Chappelle walk down the street
158) Dayton Junior League
159) Ashley’s Pastry Shop
160) Great shopping at The Greene, Austin Landing, Dayton Mall and the Mall of Fairfield Commons
161) Oscar winners from here include Allison Janney and Hannah Beachler!!
162) Bike trails
163) Wright State has the Tom Hanks Center of Motion Pictures
164) Wegerzyn MetroPark’s children’s garden is fabulous
165) Jazz Central
166) Dayton’s pedal pub wagon
167) Hauntfest on Fifth
>> PHOTOS: Hauntfest on Fifth 2018
168) Golf cart tours
169) Food trucks events at Yellow Cab, Courthouse Square
170) First Fridays in downtown Dayton
171) Ghostlight coffee and pies
173) Dublin Pub fries
174) The Dayton Rotary Club
175) North Dayton Garden Center
177) Artemis Domestic Violence Center and the YWCA Dayton
178) Equitas Health was founded here
179) Dayton Inspires cleanups
180) Mikesell’s Snack Food Company
181) Heart Mercantile’s snarky signs
182) Dayton’s Inventors Riverwalk
183) PechaKucha Dayton has the 20x20 thing down
184) Walking through Glen Helen on a sunny summer day
185) Fireworks along the Great Miami River downtown
186) The Best of Dayton contest
187) Antiquing in Waynesville
188) All the things in Yellow Springs
189) Local wineries and wine shops are budding
190) Mamma DiSalvo’s
191) New development at the Fire Blocks district
192) Arcade bars are talking us back
193) All of our fantastic international markets
194) Black Box Theatre
195) We have great golf courses and bowling alleys
196) Oakwood “kids” came up with Fusian
197) Elsa’s Bad Juans
198) Urban Krag
199) Femme Fatale Fitness keeps it sassy and classy
200) Wiley’s Comedy Joint keeps us laughing
201) Daytonian Nancy Cartwright is Bart Simpson
202) Edwin C. Moses brought home gold
203) The annual “Limp Bikzkit show” at the Wayne Avenue Sunoco
204) Boston Stoker keeps us awake.
205) The Arcade’s past and future
206) Dayton is there for Dayton
207) Phil Donahue made it big here
208) The Masonic Temple is gorgeous
209) All of the churches and synagogue
210) The Dayton Foundation
211) Fifth Street BrewPub is a co-op
212) Gem City Market is coming
213) East Dayton Arts District is happening
214) Tech Town
215) Dayton Collaboratory has big plans
216) The Mural Machine
217) Deeds Point Dog Park
218) The kids at Dayton STEM School
219) Every four years presidential candidates care about us, a lot
220) You can get in and out of the Dayton International Airport in a breeze
221) Cox Arboretum is awesome
222) Foy’s keeps us in costumes
223) Dayton is resilient
What would you add to this list? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.