Greater Dayton

A Daytonian’s Guide to Living in the Gem City

Photo by Jeffrey M. Smith Photo by Jeffrey M. Smith (Art of Frozen Time)

Welcome, new neighbor! You can now count yourself among the roughly 800,000 residents who call their corner of the Dayton metro area “home.” You might be coming to the region in pursuit of a career in education, health care, military, manufacturing or logistics—these industries comprise the region’s largest employers.

Perhaps you’ve heard about Dayton’s low cost of living? Not only are the region’s median home sales price of $159,000 about $112,000 lower than the national average (according to the Dayton Area Board of Realtors), Dayton is rated No. 3 on’s list of the “25 Most Affordable Places to Rent in the U.S.”

Certainly you’ve been filled in on the community’s rich educational opportunities. From top-ranking public and parochial primary and secondary schools, job-focused STEM and magnet schools, career technology centers, and post-secondary institutions of higher education, Dayton-area residents have a plethora of lifelong learning opportunities at their fingertips.

If you’re looking to strike up a conversation with a new neighbor or coworker, ask about Dayton’s dense network of arts and culture. The community prides itself on offering world-class visual and performing arts organizations, including the second-oldest ballet company in the country. The Dayton Ballet, along with its sister Dayton Performing Arts Alliance organizations the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Dayton Opera, performs at the historic Victoria Theatre, the new PNC Arts Annex and the crown jewel of Dayton Live’s concert halls, the Schuster Performing Arts Center, where the locals also gather to take in a Broadway show and other offerings from the Dayton Live schedule. Dayton even boasts its own equity theater company, The Human Race.

Looking for something fun for the family? If you ask a Daytonian, you’ll likely get a recommendation to stroll the halls of the National Museum of the United States Air Force, located near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Dayton is also pretty proud of its local history. You can brush up on your knowledge of the Wright Brothers at the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park or get to know all the people and places that put Dayton on the map at the Carillon Historical Park. (Bonus: You can even refresh yourself with a beer from Carillon Brewing Co., the country’s only working 1880s historical brewery!)

Outdoor recreation is another big hit with locals. You can join them on the largest, paved, connected bike trail in the country at more than 340 miles, or grab a paddle and kayak along more than 230 miles of water trails that weave through the region, including the new River Run, featuring paddlesport play areas with whitewater-style, in-river features.

Flip through the rest of this relocation guide for more tips on getting acquainted with your new home here in Dayton, Ohio! n

– Val Hunt Beerbower