Dayton has many hidden gems, but so do the surrounding cities. Fairborn, for one, has its own unique charm. From their downtown Main Street to their local festivals, a day trip is worth your while.
Located in Greene County, Fairborn is a quaint city on the outskirts of Dayton. It’s home to Wright State University and Wright Patterson Air Force Base. It is known for its strong military affiliation and many unique local businesses.
So where should you go if you’re traveling through Fairborn?
To grab a bite to eat:
Tickets: This family owned and operated sports bar is located on Main Street. The family friendly restaurant has a fully stocked bar and is a great place for lunch or dinner. It's known for its Greek cuisine along with its traditional sports bar menu selection.
Flying Tiger: This Asian-American fusion place is a favorite of many who frequent the area, especially those who work at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Located off Broad Street, this restaurant's menu and ambiance are sure to satisfy.
Giovanni's: This family owned restaurant has been around since 1953! Also located on Main Street, Giovanni's Pizzeria e Ristorante Italiano is known for their quality Italian food and pizza.
Chantilly Cream: For dessert, stop by this cozy and intimate eatery. Their desserts are homemade and completely delectable! The shop holds seasonal events – like Hot Chocolate with Santa and community fundraisers. If you're not a dessert person, Chantilly Cream also serves lunches daily.
Other places to check out: Roush's (family-style cooking), Flying Pizza, Cadillac Jack's (sports bar) and The Wright Wing (sports bar).
If you love the outdoors:
Fairborn has 18 parks with many outdoor activities year-round.
Community Park: Fairborn's largest park is home to the Fourth of July fireworks show and the Annual Sweet Corn Festival that takes place the third week of August. But if you're taking a day trip, Community Park has many things to do. There's a disc golf course, soccer fields, softball diamonds, sand volleyball courts, basketball and tennis courts, trails, multiple shelters if you want to have a BBQ and four playgrounds. In the summer months, there's a Concert in the Park Series at the amphitheater.
Central Park: Located next to the Fairborn YMCA, Central Park has a Playground and a Sprayground. The Sprayground is a mini water park that was built within the last couple years and is perfect for the summer months. During the winter, this is a prime spot to go sledding.
Oaks Quarry Park: This Park is awesome – and when I say awesome, I mean that there are fossils of marine life in this Quarry that are over 425 million years old! There are trails for hiking and horseback riding, fishing ponds and many historic pieces of geology. This park is very unique to the Miami Valley and worth a visit.
According to Paul Newman, Executive Director of the Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce, “Fairborn has a tremendous sense of community and it’s bolstered by our traditional downtown setting.”
There are many unconventional local businesses that are worth visiting, and most of them are located downtown.
Foy's Halloween Stores: Foy's (208 W Main St) has the largest selection of costumes and masks in the state of Ohio (we're not kidding). There are five stores and one restaurant located on Main Street, but don't think you need to wait until Halloween to visit. They have a wonderful selection of party supplies, décor and other themed items for year-round events.
The Bookery: Bookery Fantasy (16 W Main St) is one of America's largest comic shops and pop culture megastores, and has four downtown Fairborn locations. They specialize in vintage comics, rare books and collectibles and many role-playing games. Movie buffs will find something to love, too, like vintage posters, lobby cards and other ephemera.
Flags by San Rok: Flags by San Rok (4 W Main St) popped up in 2001 and their intention was to serve the community with flags, including USA, international, state, novelty and military. Most of their products are military affiliated. They have hats, lapel pins, magnets, decals, flag poles, custom made dog tags, patches, t-shirts, jackets, coins, medals, ribbons and other accessories.
Absolute Music: This local shop (10 E Main St) that has been around for many years. If you're looking to buy an instrument or searching for music accessories, make sure it's on your list.
Faith Christian Bookstore: This non-traditional bookstore (4 E Main St) carries Christian books, gifts, cards, jewelry, music and t-shirts.
Antiquing: Be sure to check out Fairborn's selection of antique stores, Uniques & Antiques or Antiques Consignments and Such who are both located on Main Street, if you love the thrill of the hunt.
For quality entertainment:
Wright State University's Nutter Center: Fairborn is home to one of Miami Valley's largest concert and entertainment venues that brings in major acts from around the country. WSU's basketball teams also play here.
Skyborn Drive-In Theatre: The drive-in movie experience is a rare occasion these days, due to the decline in venues. But never fear! Skyborn is open during the summer months and it's a treat to see a movie from the dashboard of a car or the back of a pickup truck.
Live Music and Karaoke: One Eyed Jacks and WO Wrights hosts many local artists, and they often have karaoke nights. Invite friends out for a night of music!