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Published: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
— The Midwest, particularly the region around Southwest Ohio, has some major advantages over other regions this time of year.
It’s hard to completely loathe winter when you’re curled up under a mound of blankets, feet away from a crackling fireplace, sipping a cup of hot chocolate that just reached its ideal temperature. That kind of warm and cozy feeling is only earned after enduring months of a Midwestern winter.
So free up a few days on your calendar, because there are plenty of perfect getaways within a few hours of Dayton that are guaranteed to warm your spirits.
1. MAUMEE BAY RESORT
Located in the heart of Maumee Bay State Park, Maumee Bay Resort might be one of the best ways to experience Ohio’s lake life during the frozen months. 80 acres of preserved wetlands, right on the shores of Lake Erie, transform into frosty hiking fields during winter. Cross-country ski equipment is available to rent for a day of exploring on the three-mile Mouse Trail where winter birds can be seen by the dozens.
The cozy resort is within minutes of the beach, where you’ll be able admire the frozen tundra of the Great Lakes, then head back to defrost by the fire.
Want to go?
WHAT: Maumee Bay Resort
WHERE: Maumee Bay State Park, 1750 State Park Rd., #2, Oregon, Ohio
2. MURPHIN RIDGE INN
This getaway is truly a getaway. Situated on 142 acres of some of Amish Country’s most breathtaking vistas, the Murphin Ridge Inn was recognized as one of the U.S.’s Top 10 Bed and Breakfasts in 2016.
The lodge, furnished with “museum quality shaker reproductions” according to Ohio Magazine, isn’t a cheap stay. However, special off-season prices that last through the end of March make winter a perfect time to visit. Rave reviews from almost every guest on their website make it easy to see why this destination is a getaway lover’s dream come true.
Want to go?
WHAT: Murphin Ridge Inn
WHERE: 750 Murphin Ridge Road, West Union, Ohio
3. SHAWNEE LODGE
At Shawnee Lodge, any stressors that have been weighing you down are bound to get lost somewhere in Shawnee State Forest’s 63,000 acres of rolling hills— also known as “Ohio’s Little Smokies.” You can choose between staying at the resort lodge, where you’ll be able to soak in a steaming hot tub after an afternoon of picturesque winter hiking, or snuggle in with your loved ones at one of the 25 cottages available— fireplaces most definitely included.
Want to go?
WHAT: Shawnee Lodge
WHERE: 4404B State Route 125. West Portsmouth, Ohio
4. FRENCH LICK RESORT
If you are really trying to put your feet up and make lavish memories you’ll want to revisit over and over again, then the French Lick Resort needs to be on your agenda. The nationally recognized resort complex, which boasts two AAA Four Diamond hotels, two spas and a Vegas-style casino, is only three hours and some change from Dayton.
Not only is the resort ultra luxurious, its history will make your relaxing weekend getaway all the more alluring. Although destroyed in an 1897 fire, the complex was originally known as the French Lick’s Springs Hotel. Guests would come from near and far to benefit from the advertised healing properties of the town’s sulrfur springs— three of which were on the hotel’s properties.
If you still need more convincing, dogs are very, very welcome to partake in all the resort has to offer.
Want to go?
WHAT: French Lick Resort
WHERE: 8670 W. State 56, French Lick, Indiana
5. CLIFFVIEW RESORT
Dubbed as “Winter in the Kentucky Mountains,” Cliffview Resort is about as cozy as winter gets. The eastern Kentucky hilltop resort is just three hours away from the Gem City and situated right next to Red River Gorge and Daniel Boone National Forest. If gorgeous views are what you’re after while you get away from it all, look no further.
Want to go?
WHAT: Cliffview Resort
WHERE: 455 Cliff View Rd., Kentucky
Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
— Things are warming up, which means it’s time to look for fun places to cool off and take a dip this summer.
Here are 4 great places to go swimming in and near Dayton that you should totally consider the next time you need a day by the water. We’ll be updating this list throughout the summer, so keep checking back for more pool ideas.
Did we miss your favorite summer swimming spot? Please let us know and we’ll add it to the list! firstname.lastname@example.org
🌞Kroger Aquatic Center At The Heights
8625 Brandt Pike, Huber Heights
This water park in Huber Heights has it all. The family can enjoy the sun with water slides, a leisure pool, a “spray-ground,” and a lazy river.
Hours and info: www.hhoh.org
🌞Adventure Reef Water Park
2900 Glengarry Dr., Kettering
The 3-acre outdoor water facility has some of the highest and fastest slides in Montgomery County, according to its website. With deck seating, a large water playground and a splash pad, this could be your summer destination.
Hours and info: playkettering.org
🌞Gardner Memorial Swimming Pool
105 Patterson Rd., Oakwood
The Gardner Memorial Swimming Pool was gifted to the residents of Oakwood to “provide relaxation from Memorial Day to Labor Day.” Although it is a smaller community pool, Gardner still sells lunch and drinks— perfect for a couple of hours poolside to help break up your day. You do, however, need to be an Oakwood resident and purchase a pool membership to go.
Hours and info: Facebook
🌞Black Oak Swim Club
1570 Ambridge Rd., Centerville
There are year-round activities at this member-owned pool facility in Centerville. But in the summertime, it’s all about splashing and sliding into the pool.
Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
— The weather is finally hot enough for us to enjoy a frozen treat.
If you’re anything like me, the family-owned dairy joints with decades of loyal patrons are always my go-to. There’s just something about those quaint shops with tried-and-true flavors and concoctions that have garnered decades of fans. Here’s a guide to treating yourself with the area’s most loved, best kept secrets in frozen treats.
WHERE: 100 W. Market St., Troy
WHY WE LOVE IT: Since 2015, Ducky’s has been a summertime beacon in Troy, serving up 16 flavors of Hershey’s ice cream, soft serve and snowballs (flavored shaved ice), which combine shaved ice with soft-serve ice cream. Looking for something super sweet? Try the stuffed snowball challenge (and send us photos). Oh, they also have Jim’s Donuts filled with ice cream. Yes, they sure do!
HOURS: Mon.-Thurs. 3 to 9 p.m., Fri. 3 to 10 p.m., Sat. 2 to 10 p.m., Sun. 1 to 9 p.m.
INFO: Call 937-703-5463 | Facebook
WHERE: 431 N. Main St., New Carlisle
WHY WE LOVE IT: Tucked back on North Main Street in quaint New Carlisle, this spot has been serving ice cream, soft serve and concession-style food since 1970. From classics like banana split to zany new flavors (we’re looking at you, unicorn flavor!), there’s something for everyone. Their butcher shop hot dogs are a must try, too.
HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sat. 12 to 9 p.m., Sun. 1 to 9 p.m.
INFO: Call 937-845-9979 | Facebook
WHERE: 55 Bellbrook Plaza, Bellbrook
WHY WE LOVE IT: For over 40 years, this local favorite in the heart of Bellbrook has treated sweet teeth with their tasty frozen yogurt, shakes, malts and ice cream. They announce new yogurt flavors on Facebook regularly, so keep an eye out for something you want to try.
HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun. 1 to 9 p.m.
INFO: Call 937-848-8234 | Facebook
WHERE: 4014 E. Patterson Blvd., Beavercreek
WHY WE LOVE IT: A quick peek at the Facebook reviews will show you most patrons have been visiting this ice cream shop since they were a kid -- so you know it must be good. Their soft serve is an absolute must-try, with unique flavors like blueberry and classics like chocolate.
HOURS: Mon.-Sun. 12 to 9 p.m.
INFO: Call 937-848-8234 | Facebook
WHERE: 3709 St. Paris Pike, Springfield
WHY WE LOVE IT: This family-run spot has the best of both worlds: ice cream and sandwiches. From their Facebook page, you can see their cyclones, funnel cake fries and foot-long coneys are MUST tries.
HOURS: Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
INFO: Call 937-390-2663 | Facebook
WHERE: 619 E. High St., Springfield
WHY WE LOVE IT: Serving up frozen treats and made to order food, this spot beckons for summer nights. A few Facebook reviewers noted their banana splits are out of this world — and for the price, the menu delivers big time.
HOURS: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
INFO: Call 937-561-4475 | Facebook
WHERE: 224 N. Dixie Drive, Vandalia
WHY WE LOVE IT: Another staple in the summer, this spot has been around for ages. As one Facebook reviewer put it: “Soft pretzels and ice cream at the same place. What more do you need?’ Trust us, try the peanut butter shake.
HOURS: Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
INFO: 937-898-3100 | Facebook
WHERE: 704 N. Detroit St., Xenia
WHY WE LOVE IT: Conveniently located near the bike trail in Xenia, this stop has a ton of flavors and options to satisfy your taste for ice cream. There are plenty of gluten-free options including the Dole whip (which has glowing reviews online). Give their twisted soft serve cones a try, and you’ll soon see what the hype is about.
HOURS: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun. 12 to 9 p.m.
INFO: Call 937-372-1100 | Facebook
WHERE: 7813 Bethany Rd., Liberty Township
WHY WE LOVE IT: These guys don’t skimp on variety or flavor. Reviewers noted their caramel sundae and weekly flavors never fail. We’ve been told they also make animals out of their ice cream, which has us super intrigued. Keep in mind, it’s cash only.
HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 3:30 to 9 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 12 to 9:30 p.m.
INFO: Call 513-777-7813 | Facebook
Published: Saturday, April 18, 2015 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Thursday, May 17, 2018 @ 1:04 PM
It’s the perfect time of year to plan a picnic — whether it’s with your love, your friends or your family.
Our goal is to make picnic planning simple for you so you can relax and enjoy.
We’ve scoured the area to discover the most scenic, friendly, and fun places to set out your blanket and enjoy delicious food in the great outdoors.
WHERE TO GO FOR YOUR PICNIC
Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton
In 1950, Carillon Historical Park’s museum complex opened with the purpose of showcasing the region’s industrial innovations, transportation achievements, and Dayton’s contributions to world progress. Since construction first began on Deeds Carillon in 1940, the dreams of Edith and Edward Deeds have evolved into a beautiful 65-acre campus—designed by the Olmsted Brothers (the famed landscape architects responsible for Central Park)—containing dozens of museum buildings, countless artifacts, and picturesque green space perfect for a relaxing picnic.
John Bryan State Park, 3790 Ohio 370, Yellow Springs
John Bryan is the most scenic state park in western Ohio. The 752-acre park contains a remarkable limestone gorge cut by the Little Miami River which is designated as a state and national scenic river. A portion of the gorge itself is designated as a national natural landmark. With both reservable covered picnic areas, a day lodge, and picnic tables available at all campsites, there are plenty of places with remarkable views to enjoy a bite with your buds and besties.
Lincoln Park Civic Commons, 675 Lincoln Park Blvd, Kettering
Nestled around the Fraze Pavillion, this master-planned outdoor space in Kettering offers the perfect picnic atmosphere with all the modern convenience of a professional venue. Check the schedule for the Fraze to see what events coordinate with your picnic plans -- or just bring a blanket and grab your meal from Ernie’s concession stand.
Carriage Hill MetroPark, 7800 Shull Rd, Huber Heights
Head to the Cedar Lake Shelter for a lake view, fishing (no license required) and nature trails. With a historic farm just a short walk down the road, there are plenty of great spots to scope out.
Eastwood MetroPark, 1385 Harshman Rd, Dayton
The River View Shelter overlooking the Mad River Run area at Eastwood is the place to be with great views overlooking the Mad River and new kayak and river play area. This is a spot close to a playground and other park amenities. The Thompson Shelter in the North Park of Englewood MetroPark also provides an excellent picnic experience. There is a wonderful view from the shelter and the area includes fishing and water access as well as opportunities for wildlife observation. A picnic at Patty Shelter is close enough to let the kids play in the nature play area, and then head out on a short hike ½ mile hike along the purple trail to check out Patty Falls.
Germantown MetroPark, 7101 Conservancy Rd, Germantown
Head south of the Germantown Dam on the opposite side of the Creek from the main Dam Parking area. While you are setting up the picnic, let the kids hunt for fossils and splash in the water below the dam as long as water levels are low. Stone imprints from the Ordovician time period such as prehistoric snails, trilobites, and squid-like creatures with hard shells can all be found by the inquisitive and careful explorer.
Hills & Dales MetroPark, 2655 S Patterson Blvd, Kettering
The Paw Paw Shelter has an elegant Adirondack design, fireplace, electricity and ADA flush toilets. An alcohol permit can be purchased. This is a good spot for larger groups (it seats up to 100).
Possum Creek MetroPark, 4790 Frytown Rd, Dayton
Follow the purple trail through the enchanted Argonne Forest where remnants of a once-vibrant entertainment center is now currently intermingled with moss, vines and old trees. Stop at the ballroom dance floor, spread out a blanket and enjoy a picnic lunch. There’s also a Hickory Shelter with an Argonne Lake view, fishing (no license required), hiking trails and a smaller-more intimate shelter.
Taylorsville MetroPark, 2000 US-40, Vandalia
There is a small remote picnic area about 1.25 miles north of the parking lot located at 2005 U.S. Rte. 40. The picnic spot is located at the remnants of the village of Tadmore, which was once the busiest crossroads in Montgomery County. The village was situated at the intersection of The Miami-Erie Canal, the National Road, the Dayton Michigan Railroad and the Great Miami River. Hike or bike the 1.25 miles on the Great Miami Recreational Trail, which is relatively flat and mostly shaded. If you are looking for a slightly more adventurous walk, you can walk along the tow path trail that parallels the bikeway. There’s also the CCC Shelter, featuring a rustic, secluded atmosphere, stone fireplace located near hiking trails.
Twin Creek MetroPark, 9688 Eby Rd, Germantown
The High View Shelter offers panoramic and scenic views of the Twin Valley, access to nature trails and fishing (no license required) at Dogwood Pond. It’s an intimate, location for a romantic picnic (seats 15 max.) with great views. Up for a little family adventure? Pack a picnic lunch, park at the High View parking lot and enjoy a hike along the 2.9-mile yellow loop, stopping at Dogwood Pond for lunch along the way.
Wegerzyn Garden MetroPark, 1301 E Siebenthaler Ave, Dayton
Published: Monday, December 01, 2014 @ 1:10 PM
Updated: Thursday, May 17, 2018 @ 1:51 PM
— The world’s largest military aviation museum and one of the best museum’s on aviation in the nation is right in our own backyard.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base — one of Ohio’s most visited attractions — has more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles on display and draws more than a million visitors each year.
It is the new home for the restored Memphis Belle, made famous in two Hollywood films.
There is everything from the Wright 1909 Flyer to the “Lady Bird Special,” which took Lady Bird and President Lyndon B. Johnson between Bergstrom Air Force Base near Austin, Texas and the family ranch near that state’s Johnson City. There are many mechanical marvels, including every fighter and bomber aircraft in the Air Force inventory today: F-22, F-16, F-15 and the B-52, B-1 and B-2 bombers.
Needless to say, it is really hard to see everything on the 17 acres filled with documents, aircraft, engines, uniforms and other artifacts. You’ll find history lessons full of triumph and tragedy with every step. Though it's possible to take a virtual tour, we recommend taking an actual visit.
The word “best” is subjective, but with the help of Cox Ohio Military and Veteran Affairs reporter Barrie Barber, we’ve compiled a list of 7 can’t miss planes in the fascinating collection— including a brand new addition: the legendary Memphis Belle.
Why is rates: Seventy-five years to the day the B-17 Memphis Belle finished its final mission over Europe, the iconic World War II bomber that starred in two Hollywood films made its public debut at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The Memphis Belle gained fame as the first U.S. heavy bomber to fly 25 perilous missions over Europe and return to the United States in World War II.
Why it rates: It is an odd speed demon. This 534,700 pound plane is considered one of the world’s most exotic, drawing interest from around the globe. It can fly three times the speed of sound. Only two of the XB-70 planes were ever made. The second crashed following a mid-air collision in 1965. The first one was used for research from Sept. 21, 1964 until it was flown to the museum Feb. 4, 1969, where it's on display today.
Why it rates: It trained our spacemen. Planes in the X-15 flight played a big role in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo projects. The rocket achieved Mach 6.7 and as Barry said, was the aircraft moonwalker Neil Armstrong cut his teeth on.
Why it rates: It's shaped like a flying saucer, which, come on — what's cooler than that? The craft was developed as a “supersonic, vertical takeoff and landing fighter-bomber,” but there is no chance the Avrocar will blast anyone to another galaxy. It never got more than three feet from the Earth and its top speed was 35 mph. Blame Canada for this one.
✈️BOEING VC-137C SAM 26000
Why it rates: They don’t call it Air Force One for nothing. Built in 1962, the plane known as “SAM 26000” served eight presidents over three decades — Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton. The plane flew Kennedy to Berlin in 1963. Months later, it flew the assassinated president’s body from Dallas to Washington. Johnson was sworn in as president during that tragic flight.
Why it rates: This baby got the job done and did it fast. The needle-shaped SR-71A spy plane is as fast as they come. Although it is now retired, the aircraft known as “Blackbird” remained the world’s fastest and highest-flying operational aircraft. The SR-71 set two world records for its class in 1976 —the speed record of 2,193.167 mph and altitude record of 85,068.997 feet.
Why it rates: It dropped the bomb. Called Bockscar, the museum’s B-29, famously dropped the “Fat Man” atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan on Aug. 9, 1945. An estimated 50,000 people died, according to the BBC. About 40,000 people died instantly. As many as 135,000 people died as the result of the atomic attack against Hiroshima three days earlier.
Do you have a favorite plane? Tell us about it in the comments.