50 unique traditions, foods, places and people to love about the Dayton area

On March 24, 1803, the Ohio legislature authorized the creation of Montgomery County. It was named after Richard Montgomery, a hero of the American Revolution. 

This list just begins to scratch the surface of all the things to appreciate about living in the county.

Here are 50 reasons to love it: 

1. The between-innings antics of Heater and Gem at Dayton Dragons games. 

2. Biking, hiking, kayaking and breathing fresh air at any of the Five Rivers MetroParks

3. The prose of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar

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There is so much to love about Montgomery County: Riverfront Park in Miamisburg.
Photo: Lisa Powell

4. Taking a walking tour of sculptures at the Vandalia Art Park

5. Shimmering holiday lights at the Woodland Lights Festival in Washington Twp. 

6. Margaritas on the patio at El Meson in West Carrollton . 

7. The friendly vibe at the 2nd Street Market in downtown Dayton. 

8. Breweries, breweries, breweries. 

9. The butterfly house at Cox Arboretum in Miami Twp.

10. Caramel nut, devil’s food, glazed…ok, anything from Bill’s Donut Shop in Centerville

11. Reclining on the lawn listening to music at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering. 

12. A cheeseburger with pickle from the Miamisburg Hamburger Wagon. 

13. Stewed tomatoes at the Pine Club

» PHOTOS: Eleven things to love about Montgomery County

There is so much to love about Montgomery County: Monnin's Fruit Farm.
Photo: Jim Witmer

14. Sitting in the audience as the lights come up at Brookville Community Theatre. 

15. Sweet and nutty baklava at the Dayton Greek Festival. 

16. Putting a worm on a hook at Trotwood’s Sycamore State Park. 

17. Relishing in the serenity of Oakwood’s Smith Gardens. 

18. Jogging along with pilgrims at Miamisburg’s Turkey Trot. 

19. Tasting small batch vodka at Belle of Dayton Distillery

20. Cheering for the Dayton Dutch Lions. 

21. Chocolate covered potato chips from Esther Price

22. Listening to live music in the Shaw Gothic Cloister at the Dayton Art Institute. 

23. Charming historic downtown Germantown during Pretzel Festival. 

24. Gazing up at lights arranged to match the night sky over Dayton on the eve of the Wright brothers’ first flight at the Schuster Performing Arts Center. 

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There is so much to love about Montgomery County: Concerts at Fraze Pavillion
Photo: Lisa Powell

25. Popcorn and a soda at Miamisburg’s historic Plaza Theatre

26. Watching the sun come up at Carillon Historical Park’s Easter sunrise service. 

27. Paddling a kayak beneath fireworks on the Great Miami River on the Fourth of July. 

28. Touring presidential aircraft at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. 

29. The Ohio Players, Lakeside and Slave – the list of funky talent goes on. 

30. Like to bike? Montgomery County is the hub for over 300 miles of paved, multi-use recreational trails. 

31. Standing in the very same spot as the Wright brothers once stood. 

32. Twirling flags and pounding drums on display during the WGI World Championships

33. Making art at any age at K12 and TEJAS Gallery in Dayton. 

34. Watching birds or petting baby goats at Aullwood Audubon Center & Farm. 

35. Star gazing in the planetarium at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. 

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There is so much to love about Montgomery County: Dayton Dutch Lions
Photo: Ty Greenlees/Ty Greenlees

36. Ten flavors of “Killer Brownies” from Dorothy Lane Market. 

37. Boy Scouts carrying a giant American flag during Centerville’s Americana festival parade

38. Taking inspiration from any of the books nominated for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize

39. Grinding at the Rob Dyrdek/DC Shoes Skate Plaza in Kettering. 

40. Peach season at Monnin’s Fruit Farm. 

41. Listening to student disc jockeys playing an eclectic jazz mix on WDPS 89.5 FM. 

42. Tooling around Dayton on bright green Link commuter bikes

43. Watching the Thunderbirds at the Dayton Vectren Air Show. 

44. Watching a movie with the sky overhead at the Melody 49 drive-in theater.

There is so much to love about Montgomery County: Mikesell's potato chips
Photo: Ty Greenlees

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45. Boasting about the region during the First Four games of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. 

46. John Legend, The Temptations, Joan Jett and many more in concert at the Rose Music Center at The Heights this summer. 

47. The nostalgic atmosphere at Moraine’s Treasure Island Supper Club. 

48. The multi-talented kids in any Muse Machine production. 

49. A visit to the Dayton VA Grotto built by Civil War Veterans. 

50. Mikesell’s potato chips - satisfying cravings for 107 years.

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