20 Dayton things you must do before you graduate

Commencement time is upon us again — and as you’re scrambling to make sure all of your credits are in order and fighting to get reservations for your entire extended family at Coco’s Bistro, it might dawn on you that there’s a lot of Dayton you didn’t get to see during your time in Dayton.

Here’s our list of things that you MUST do in the Dayton area before you leave for possibly greener pastures.

1. Hit up Dayton’s walking beer trail and try some of Dayton’s finest brews (if you are 21 and up, of course).

>> Take a walk along Dayton’s walking beer trail

2. Soak up the beer with a killer dog from Zombie Dogz, our favorite food truck turned storefront.

>> Why Zombie Dogz is making people lose their brains

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The Pine Club is in its 70th year of serving up steaks in Dayton. FILE

The Pine Club is in its 70th year of serving up steaks in Dayton. FILE

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The Pine Club is in its 70th year of serving up steaks in Dayton. FILE

3. Splurge on a steak of historic proportions at the Pine Club. And while you're there, actually try a stewed tomato. Bring cash.

>> 7 foods that scream Dayton

4. Find a random, possibly unnecessary, very likely bizarre souvenir at Mendelsons Liquidation Outlet. Plan to spend at least an hour wandering the building; you never know what sort of treasure you'll find.

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Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs offers more than 50 flavors of creamy, delicious homemade ice cream. Heaven! CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs offers more than 50 flavors of creamy, delicious homemade ice cream. Heaven! CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

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Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs offers more than 50 flavors of creamy, delicious homemade ice cream. Heaven! CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

5. Take the whole family to try Young's Jersey Dairy's ice cream in Yellow Springs for the best ice cream around, then work it off playing 18 holes at Udders and Putters next door.

>> 5 things to do in Yellow Springs

6. Take a selfie at the #DaytonInspires selfie wall on the side of Brim on Jackson Street in the Oregon District.

7. Get out to the MetroParks: Savor your last few days before true adulthood by visiting the Children's Discovery Garden at Wegerzyn Gardens, or take a walk and some beautiful pics with your best friends at Cox Arboretum. Stare pensively out at the Great Miami River while rocking back and forth on the bench swings at Riverscape, and visit the farm at Carriage Hill.

>> Best places to hike in Dayton

8. Survey the city from above at Woodland Cemetery. While you're there, visit the graves of the Wright Brothers, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Erma Bombeck.

>> The most famous graves at Woodland Cemetery 

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Voltzy’s Root Beer Stand in Moraine.

Voltzy’s Root Beer Stand in Moraine.

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Voltzy’s Root Beer Stand in Moraine.

9. Eat a burger at Voltzy's Rootbeer Stand in Moraine , cheap and oh so delicious. If you're lucky, the owner will involve you in "the show."

8. Sip on an Elsa's Bad Juan Margarita. Get it on the rocks. Savor it.

>> 5 places to find great margaritas in Dayton

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An assortment of Elsa’s legendary “Bad Juan” margaritas. File photo by TY GREENLEES/STAFF

An assortment of Elsa’s legendary “Bad Juan” margaritas. File photo by TY GREENLEES/STAFF

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An assortment of Elsa’s legendary “Bad Juan” margaritas. File photo by TY GREENLEES/STAFF

9. Step back in time and enjoy a beer at the Carillon Brewing Company. While you're at Carillon Historical Park, go see the the original 1905 Wright Flyer III and celebrate Dayton innovation.

10. Drop by View 162, the penthouse bar and restaurant of the Crowne Plaza downtown for an after-dark drink and enjoy the city's lights spreading out in every direction before you.

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Pretzels of all sizes - larger and larger - are available at Rahn's Artisan Breads at the 2nd Street Market. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Pretzels of all sizes - larger and larger - are available at Rahn's Artisan Breads at the 2nd Street Market. LISA POWELL / STAFF

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Pretzels of all sizes - larger and larger - are available at Rahn's Artisan Breads at the 2nd Street Market. LISA POWELL / STAFF

11. Brunch it up with artisan bread, sweet pops and more at the 2nd Street Market.

>> 3 things you should know about 2nd Street Market

12. Impress your family with your aviation and military knowledge at the United States Air Force Museum. Note the B-29 "Bockscar," which is credited with ending World War II by dropping the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki.

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With more than 340 miles of connected bike trails, the Dayton area is a haven for cyclists. CONTRIBUTED

With more than 340 miles of connected bike trails, the Dayton area is a haven for cyclists. CONTRIBUTED

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With more than 340 miles of connected bike trails, the Dayton area is a haven for cyclists. CONTRIBUTED

13. Take a long bike ride on the Dayton region’s amazing interconnected bikeways and trails.

>> The best bike trails in Dayton

14. Get a Gem City-themed tattoo.

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You know spring has arrived when Dragons baseball begins. Heater and Gem and the rest of the Dragons will play at home Sunday through Friday. (Source: Contributed)

You know spring has arrived when Dragons baseball begins. Heater and Gem and the rest of the Dragons will play at home Sunday through Friday. (Source: Contributed)

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You know spring has arrived when Dragons baseball begins. Heater and Gem and the rest of the Dragons will play at home Sunday through Friday. (Source: Contributed)

15. Get your picture taken with Heater and Gem at a Dayton Dragons game.

 >> How to make the most of a Dragons game

16. Stop by and visit a great exhibit or permanent collection at the Dayton Art Institute.

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The Proto BuildBar isn’t your average coffee shop. Or your average bar. Or your average 3-D printing shop. It’s … all three. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

Credit: Thomas Gnau

The Proto BuildBar isn’t your average coffee shop. Or your average bar. Or your average 3-D printing shop. It’s … all three. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

Credit: Thomas Gnau

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The Proto BuildBar isn’t your average coffee shop. Or your average bar. Or your average 3-D printing shop. It’s … all three. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

Credit: Thomas Gnau

Credit: Thomas Gnau

17. Create a lasting 3-D souvenir at Proto BuildBar, the world's first buildbar.

>> Drink, socialize and make stuff at this Dayton bar

18. Go to the drive-in with your college sweetheart.

 >> Your guide to Dayton drive-in movie theaters

19. Check out a local band you’ve never heard of, at a bar you’ve never been to. Pay one $5 cover at either Blind Bob’s Bar, Tumbleweed Connection, or the Trolley Stop on a weekend and gain access to all three of their shows that night.

20. Regain your strength after a night out in the Oregon District with pulled pork and mac n' cheese at 3 a.m. at Smokin' Bar-B-Que. 

What’s on your must-see list before you leave? Let us know in the comments!

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