6 times the Dayton area was nationally recognized in 2018 for being awesome

The Lewisburg Cave. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL BURGE)

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The Lewisburg Cave. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL BURGE)

At Dayton.com, we like to think every day is a day to celebrate our city. In 2018, the Dayton area received a several shout-outs at a national level — letting the entire U.S. in on our celebration.

We were proud and excited with every recognition. However, none of these came with much surprise, as Dayton is a hub of things to do and interesting people to meet. Here are six times the Gem City was nationally recognized for being awesome:

1.💎The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill

Explore>>Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill places 2nd in USA Today 10BEST competition

The USA Today 10BEST contest results were recently announced and Clifton Mill placed second in the "best public lights in the U.S." category. It was topped only by the Festival of Lights in Riverside, Calif. It's the second big honor this month for the local light display. Just a few weeks ago, Clifton Mill won the grand prize of $50,000 on an episode of ABC TV's "The Great Christmas Light Fight."

For more than 30 years, Clifton Mill has been a glowing example of what the holiday season is about in Southwest Ohio. 2018 was huge for one of the Dayton area’s beloved holiday traditions.

Explore>>Daytonian of the Week: Anthony Satariano, the man behind the Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill
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The historic Clifton Mill, built in 1802 and still working, opened its Legendary Lights for the 2018 holiday season on Friday, Nov. 23. CONTRIBUTED BY TOM GILLIAM

The historic Clifton Mill, built in 1802 and still working, opened its Legendary Lights for the 2018 holiday season on Friday, Nov. 23. CONTRIBUTED BY TOM GILLIAM

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The historic Clifton Mill, built in 1802 and still working, opened its Legendary Lights for the 2018 holiday season on Friday, Nov. 23. CONTRIBUTED BY TOM GILLIAM

2.💎The Lewisburg Haunted Cave 

Explore>>Dayton-area’s own haunted cave named ‘Best Haunted Attraction’ by USA Today

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The Lewisburg Cave. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL BURGE)

The Lewisburg Cave. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL BURGE)

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The Lewisburg Cave. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL BURGE)

During a spookier, less holly and jolly season this year, USA Today recognized another Dayton-area attraction for its thrill factor. On USA Today's 10 Best Readers' Choice list for Best Haunted Attractions, two of Ohio's spookiest spots made the list. The Lewisburg Haunted Cave in Lewisburg came in at No. 1. The Dead Acres Haunted Hoochie in Pataskala was the other Ohio winner, coming in at No. 3.

“Located 80 feet below ground in a real limestone cave, the world’s longest walk-through haunt is made even more creepy thanks to some 30,000 live bats,” according to the USA Today article.

What’s more eerie than a real cave with fluttering bats overhead?

3.💎Wright Brothers National Museum

Explore>>Dayton now home to Wright Brothers National Museum
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The Wright Brothers National Museum was unveiled today.

Credit: Sarah Franks

The Wright Brothers National Museum was unveiled today.

Credit: Sarah Franks

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The Wright Brothers National Museum was unveiled today.

Credit: Sarah Franks

Credit: Sarah Franks

In a grand reveal this summer, Dayton History announced on Aug. 31 at its home at Carillon Historical Park that its John W. Berry Sr. Wright Brothers Aviation Center will now become the Wright Brothers National Museum — with an official national designation.

“The Air Force Museum is the National United States Air Force Museum. This is now the National Museum for the Wright Brothers,” Turner said. “I think that kinship will help people as they come to our community to know they need to visit all these sites to see the incredible legacy of flight and aviation right here in Dayton, Ohio.”

4.💎Air Force Museum

Explore>>2 Ohio museums, including Air Force Museum, near the top of best U.S. museums list
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Docent Don Meyer gives a tour near the B-17F Memphis Belle at the Air Force Museum. Submitted.

Docent Don Meyer gives a tour near the B-17F Memphis Belle at the Air Force Museum. Submitted.

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Docent Don Meyer gives a tour near the B-17F Memphis Belle at the Air Force Museum. Submitted.

In July, Business Insider Magazine named the "The 25 best museums in America" in order, and coming in at number 11 was our very own National Museum of the USAF. Business Insider said among the things that make the Air Force Museum special are the more than 360 aircraft and missiles on display at the "Dayton attraction," including the Boeing B-29 Superfortress that dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki and the Boeing plane that served as Air Force One in the '60s and '70s.

5.💎Mikesell’s Snack Food Company

Explore>>Dayton icon Mikesell’s scores shout-out from national foodie magazine
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Mikesell’s Potato Chips scored a shout-out from Bon Appetit magazine in its current issue. MARK FISHER/STAFF

Mikesell’s Potato Chips scored a shout-out from Bon Appetit magazine in its current issue. MARK FISHER/STAFF

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Mikesell’s Potato Chips scored a shout-out from Bon Appetit magazine in its current issue. MARK FISHER/STAFF

Early in the year, a 108-year-old Dayton tradition, Mikesell's potato chips, received a tasty shout-out from a national foodie magazine for its legendary potato chips. "Nothing improves a sandwich like a bag of potato chips," proclaims Bon Appetit magazine on page 62 of its March 2018 issue, before adding, "It's even better when those potato chips are culty regional brands."

The magazine then includes Mikesell’s among seven brands identified as “some of our favorites.” It was the only Ohio chip-maker to make the list.

6. 💎Partial to Pie

Explore>>Dayton bakery open less than 5 months named ‘Best Pie Shop in Ohio’
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Blueberry pie from Partial to Pie. CONTRIBUTED

Blueberry pie from Partial to Pie. CONTRIBUTED

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Blueberry pie from Partial to Pie. CONTRIBUTED

A family-owned Dayton bakery that opened its doors less than five months ago, on July 31, was named as the "Best Pie Shop in Ohio." USA Today and its editorial-content partner 24/7 Wall Street bestowed that honor in a Saturday, Dec. 15 post on USAToday.com to Partial to Pie, the pie bakery at 200 Shroyer Road in Dayton.

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