16 Best Things to Do in Montgomery County, OH

Montgomery County, OH
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Montgomery County is one of the biggest counties in Ohio in terms of population size, reaching almost half a million as of the 2020 census.

Because of its booming population, it has become one of the more underrated spots in Ohio in terms of tourism.

Its county seat, Dayton, has a lot of history and scenic places to offer due to the Miami River that flows through it.

Tons of parks are also found in the more rural townships and cities surrounding Montgomery County, many of which are labeled as “MetroParks.”

Today, let me share my adventure and my list of the things to do in Montgomery County, Ohio.

Experience the Miami River at RiverScape MetroPark

View of the RiverScape MetroPark
Alex Balanov / Shutterstock.com

One of the first things I wanted to do in Montgomery County is to see the Great Miami River, so going to Dayton first was a no-brainer.

One of my favorite parts of the city is RiverScape MetroPark; it acts as the main riverfront area of the city where loads of things happen.

The appeal of RiverScape MetroPark is the beautiful views of the river, but its bustling culture also changes throughout the seasons.

Hydraulic jumper at RiverScape MetroPark
(Koppas), CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

During winter, I heard that the place becomes clad in snow and is perfect for winter festivals—plenty of ice skating happens here.

I visited nearing summer already, so there were a lot of music and food festivals brewing up in RiverScape MetroPark.

Sculptures at RiverScape MetroPark
Art Anderson, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore Carillon Historical Park

View of the Carillon Historical Park
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While the Miami River is exciting, the biggest tourist destination in Dayton, and perhaps Montgomery County as a whole, is Carillon Historical Park.

Carillon Historical Park is dedicated to the Wright Brothers who moved to Dayton during the late 1800s, establishing a printing shop that you can still see now.

Since they’re the world symbol of the airplanes, the Wright Brothers National Museum is also located within Carillon Historical Park.

Tower at Carillon Historical Park decorated with lights during christmas
Susan Law Cain / Shutterstock.com

The park is home to a lot more mini attractions that can easily take a whole day for you to explore.

Personally, I enjoyed seeing a bell tower here along with doing a stopover to a restaurant called The Brewery—there’s also an interpretive center here as a cherry on top.

Go Camping at Possum Creek

Possum Creek is one of the many nature attractions in Montgomery County, located in Dayton.

Brimming with marshlands, Possum Creek has an abundance of fishing spots that’s perfect if you’re a dedicated angler.

It’s also a great spot for camping, as the area is teeming with prairies that really feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere.

However, that’s not the case—personally, I enjoyed how close Possum Creek is with the urban attractions in Dayton.

Even if you’re not planning on camping or fishing, Possum Creek is a great stopover to see the simpler side of Dayton.

Visit the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

View of the wright cycle company at Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
EWY Media / Shutterstock.com

To complete your historical trip to Dayton, you must visit Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park as well.

This is one of my favorite places in the county, as here you can learn a whole lot more about the history behind the Wright Brothers and their work.

Beyond that, the museum also shows you the unique side of Dayton that served as the location where the brothers advanced their work in plane engineering.

Interior view of the wright cycle company at Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
EWY Media / Shutterstock.com

Lots of passionate rangers can also be found here; conversing with them gave me so much information.

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park is a must-visit, especially if you’re after the heritage of the city in terms of American history.

Memorial at the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
EWY Media / Shutterstock.com

Attend a Live Concert at Fraze Pavilion

Entrance to the Fraze Pavilion
Coastermom, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fraze Pavilion is an attraction found in Kettering City, famous for its lively music concerts.

An outdoor amphitheater-style live music venue, Fraze Pavilion is as scenic as it can get—surrounded by nature with modern architecture, the vibes of the place are perfect for fun music.

Various events, both big and small, happen here—it’s also not limited to music as there are plenty of fairs and festivals that happen here.

Fountain at the Fraze Pavilion
Coastermom, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fraze Pavilion also has beautiful landscaping spearheaded by colorful fountains during the night.

I didn’t manage to attend an event here, but it was a great change of pace to see the other parts of Montgomery County.

Take a Hike at Taylorsville MetroPark

Located in the city of Vandalia, Taylorsville MetroPark is another amazing outdoor destination in Montgomery County.

The place is quite popular among hikers, which is why I particularly liked it as you can see several hikers here throughout the day.

The tracks here are moderately challenging, and you can also bring a mountain bike with you to cover more ground.

If you visit during the winter, I heard from locals that the place becomes a haven for sledding activities.

As for me, what I most enjoyed here are the dense forests where I saw a couple of birds, deer, and even a bit of ruins.

Trek the Trails of Hill and Dales MetroPark

Autumn view of the Hill and Dales MetroPark
arthurgphotography / Shutterstock.com

Kettering is also home to Hill and Dales MetroPark, home to sprawling nature trails that lead you to beautiful woods.

The trails here are gorgeous to say the least—I found it serene as not many people are found here, making this quite a hidden gem.

I saw plenty of wildlife like turtles and other critters during the few hours I spent here, so ready a camera if you’re into photography.

Patterson memorial at Hill and Dales MetroPark
Blervis, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hill and Dales MetroPark is also great for fishing, as there are plenty of large ponds here.

If you’re not into more strenuous activities, Hill and Dales MetroPark is also great for picnics and relaxation.

Nature hiking trail at Hill and Dales MetroPark
dcbprime (David Brewster), CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Do Recreational Activities at Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park is one of the best places to do all sorts of activities with the family, no matter the age of the family members you’re with.

Younger kids will love the playground here because it has a castle-like maze, and there are also a lot of athletic fields to try.

They have courts for volleyball, tennis, and basketball, along with baseball fields as well.

It’s also great for picnics, as Golden Gate Park is a scenic spot that’s full of greenery.

You can find Golden Gate Park in the city of Brookville, which is a close neighbor of Dayton that made a trip there very convenient for me.

Appreciate Archaeology at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

Exterior view of the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
Texas141, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in Dayton is perhaps my favorite attraction in this list, simply because I’m a big fan of science and archaeology.

I saw a lot of fossils here, highlighted by huge dinosaur skeleton pieces that makes this a great place for kids.

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery doesn’t stop at archaeology, however—they have a planetarium and a children’s museum as well.

Plenty of the exhibits here are interactive and fun, so it’s not a boring place where you simply look and read.

Found in Dayton, don’t miss out on this amazing science center that’s sure to lock you in for a good 3-4 hours.

Visit the Dayton Art Institute

Column at the Dayton Art Institute
Cucumber Key Photography / Shutterstock.com

Another can’t-miss in my opinion during a trip to Montgomery County is the Dayton Art Institute.

This art museum is quite underrated—while it’s not as big as other art museums in other states, Dayton Art Institute has a lot to offer if you’re really into art.

It’s home to a lot of artists who fly under the radar, but it also has a couple of works from famous painters such as Monet and Van Gogh.

Night exterior view of the Dayton Art Institute
Rdikeman at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The architecture is also beautiful, making this a great place for photo opportunities and design appreciation.

There’s a lot of rotating exhibits here as well, so I highly recommend Dayton Art Institute as a main destination in your trip to the county.

Have a Blast at Marian Lanes

Located in Huber Heights, Marian Lanes is a great place to take friends and family members if you want a chill but fun time playing bowling.

The place is highly rated by locals, and my experience there is consistent with the positive feedback they give.

It’s also very family-friendly and inviting to parents with children, making this a famous place for parties among the locals.

My favorite part here is a restaurant called The Grill House, they serve underrated food that enhances your experience even more!

If you’re itching to go bowling like me during your trip, Marian Lanes is a convenient stopover.

Try Your Luck at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway

Exterior view of the Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway
ehrlif / Shutterstock.com

Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway is found in Dayton and serves as the primary casino attraction in Montgomery County.

This is a well-rounded casino and has all that you can ask for—I personally compared it to the ones I often visit in California, and this place stacks up pretty well.

Gaming at the Dayton Raceway
LukeandKarla.Travel / Shutterstock.com

What I like most about Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway are its cool horse race betting events—while I didn’t participate, it makes the place livelier and more interesting.

The slot machines are also great—it’s where I spent the most time trying out my luck.

To cap it all off, they have a great steak restaurant here and a nice outdoor area to relax after an intense time in the casino.

Attend a Concert at Rose Music Center at the Heights

Another amazing live music destination in Montgomery County is Rose Music Center at the Heights.

This massive music venue got its name from the city it’s found in: Huber Heights.

The place has all that you can ask for in a concert venue—it has a large number of seats, a huge amphitheater, and state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment.

Rose Music Center at the Heights is also along the Dwight Eisenhower Highway, making it a convenient trip.

I also found this place convenient because there’s a hotel and several restaurants near it, making a trip here all the more worth it.

Marvel at the Vintage Cars at America’s Packard Museum

Exterior view of the America’s Packard Museum during a snowy night
Csnoke at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

An underrated destination in Dayton is America’s Packard Museum.

The place isn’t that big, but it’s full of Packard cars that are beautifully preserved—I absolutely loved touring the place and seeing such iconic models up close.

To make things better, America’s Packard Museum is actually located in an original Packard dealership.

Exhibits at America’s Packard Museum
Don O'Brien, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The place is spacious with great lighting, and the prices here are some of the most affordable I’ve seen for a museum this good.

The staff and ownership are also extremely passionate and friendly, so be sure to engage with them to learn all about the rich history of this museum and their collection.

Vintage car displayed at America’s Packard Museum
Don O'Brien, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn Pre-Colonial History at Sunwatch Indian Village

One of the most interesting things I’ve visited in Montgomery County is the Sunwatch Indian Village that’s also found in Dayton.

It’s a place that’s originally a site of the Sunwatch Indians, an indigenous tribe that goes all the way back to the 13th Century.

Seeing these archaeological lands up close was quite the experience, especially since it has reconstructed buildings as well to mimic the Sunwatch Indian Village aesthetic.

Sunwatch Indian Village doubles as a research site as well, so talking to the staff here is a great way to learn more about this unique side of Ohio.

Besides its lands, there’s also an indoor museum here, making this trip worth it—expect to finish your tour around 2-3 hours.

See the Waterfalls at Englewood MetroPark

Waterfall at the Englewood MetroPark
Kenneth Keifer / Shutterstock.com

Englewood MetroPark is one of the biggest outdoor attractions in Montgomery County.

Situated in its namesake city, Englewood MetroPark offers activities like disc golf, kayaking, and hiking in almost 2,000 acres of forests and wetlands.

However, what I prioritized doing here is seeing the waterfalls, simply because I love how serene these bodies of water are.

Since I visited near summertime, the lush greenery was abundant—it’s one of my highlights in my photo collection in the county.

If you want to spend a whole day immersed in nature, Englewood MetroPark is a can’t-miss in my opinion.

Final Thoughts

Montgomery County is brimming with tons of interesting things to do, much of it being found in its county seat, Dayton.

Dayton features a lot of attractions like the Miami River and attractions connected to aviation history, but it also has other gems like the Sunwatch Indian Village and America’s Packard Museum.

If you venture further away from Dayton, the other cities and townships in the county have a lot of serene parks that blend in with various entertainment venues as well.

One of the more underrated counties that I thoroughly enjoyed, try these things to do in Montgomery County, Ohio!

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