Dayton may be the wonderful city that’s at the heart of the Miami Valley, but the region is filled with many other communities that are also great places to live, work and play. We’ve identified five that are worth getting to know, but there are many more for you to explore.
- Corinne Minard
Just south of downtown Dayton is the city of Kettering. Named after the inventor of the automobile self-starter, Daytonian Charles F. Kettering, the city is considered to be Dayton’s largest suburb. Its population of more than 50,000 enjoys a suburban feel away from the hustle and bustle of Dayton. Residents are also able to enjoy nature in its 21 parks, live musical performances at outdoor music venue Fraze Pavilion, classes at the Rose Arts Centre and a variety of community events, such as Art on the Commons and The Taste.
Middletown residents never lack something to do. The city offers plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities—it’s located along the Great Miami River, connected to nearby communities with bikes paths and considered to be the pickleball capital of Ohio. Those who love history can find plenty of historic buildings, including the Sorg Mansion, built in 1887, and The Windamere Event Venue & Art Gallery, built in 1929. The city also hosts plenty of events, including First Friday events downtown, Light Up Middletown and The Ohio Challenge.
The city’s biggest employers include AK Steel, Atrium Medical Center and Cohen, but its location midway between Dayton and Cincinnati also makes it a great spot for those who don’t mind a short commute.
The city of Oakwood, situated between the cities of Dayton and Kettering, offers small-town charm near big city amenities. The city is only 2.2 square miles with a population of just under 10,000, but it’s full of lots of charm. At one point home to important inventors like Orville Wright and John H. Patterson, the community is still known for its historic architecture—Oakwood’s Schantz Park is an entire neighborhood that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, Oakwood maintains its community feel by remaining highly walkable and hosting many community events, such as Lighting Up Oakwood and the Oakwood Farmers’ Market.
North of Dayton in Miami County is the charming Tipp City. The city of less than 10,000 was founded in 1840 as Tippecanoe City, after the nickname of presidential candidate William Henry Harrison.
Today, the city prides itself on its Historic District, a walkable area fill with shops, restaurants and historic buildings, as well as its parks, bike trails and river access. The Downtown Tipp City Partnership and other organizations also work to bring events to the city’s downtown to bring the community together. Such events include First Fridays, an Easter egg hunt and the Tippapalooza Music Festival.
The village of Yellow Springs may be small—its population is just over 3,500—but it draws people from throughout the state thanks to its parks, events and unique shopping. The village is home to more than 50 locally owned shops—such as the Yellow Springs Toy Company—15 restaurants and eateries, and a thriving arts community. Nearby, residents can also enjoy John Bryan State Park and the Little Miami River.
One of the village’s most beloved attractions is Young’s Jersey Dairy. A working dairy farm that also has a mini golf course and ice cream shop, it hosts multiple events throughout the year, including the Young’s Bike Tour and Fall Farm Pumpkin Festival. One can also find many events throughout the rest of Yellow Springs during the year, including PorchFest, a free music festival that features performances on residents’ front porches, and the Yellow Springs Farmers Market.