Dayton named on ‘America’s best towns ever’ list

As corporate headquarters fled Dayton and manufacturing jobs evaporated during the fallout of the Great Recession, the Gem City was down on its luck.

The city has since regained its footing. Outside Magazine has acknowledged Dayton’s rebound, naming it one of America’s most fit, fun and adventure-ready towns.

Dayton is among 25 of the magazine’s 2017 “America’s best towns ever.” A council of adventure advisers cited Dayton for its “rebirth of the American Dream.”

Credit: Photo by Amelia Robinson

Credit: Photo by Amelia Robinson

“Cultural Vibrancy has returned in places like the artsy Oregon District and the 2nd Street Market. But what people find outside town is the real draw — hundreds of miles of hiking trails, 60 miles of mountain-biking track (ten of them within city limits), and 400 miles of waterways in the Miami River valley,” according to the magazine in a Tuesday news release.

Credit: Chris Stewart

Credit: Chris Stewart

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While Dayton’s new RiverScape River Run, a kayak play area on the Great Miami River, just opened, another city, Grand Rapids, Mich., was selected the best river town by the magazine.

Seattle was named the best big city for adventure. Sante Fe, New Mexico was picked for its “combination of mountains and margaritas.”

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Credit: Jim Witmer

Credit: Jim Witmer

The panel also took into account a city’s dining scene and how welcoming it is to people of all backgrounds, including kids.

Readers of the magazine had selected the best adventure towns for the previous five years, said Associate Editor Jonah Ogles. This year’s list was assembled by a council of advisers. Each expert suggested 20 of their favorite towns and ones that received at least two nominations became finalists.

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