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Hidden Gems to Visit in Dayton During the Summer

Downtown Dayton | Photo by Kayli Thompson | The Wright State Guardian

As the spring semester ends for Wright State students, here are some hidden gems in and around Gem City to explore during summer. 

Dining experiences

Indoor eateries and coffee shops provide refuge from the summer heat, here are just a few popular and unique spots. 

Coffee Hub

A local string of coffee shops, Coffee Hub is a great place to grab coffee with a friend or provide an alternative study spot for summer assignments. 

Founded in 2017, by Cynthia Stemple, the small business has quickly grown. Constituting 2 brick and mortar shops in Beavercreek and Xenia, a coffee trailer in Waynesville, and a spot in the Dayton Metro Library. 

Their menu provides traditional coffee beverages as well as unique creations, with the Beavercreek location having a completely gluten-free bakery selection. 

Rip-Rap Shake Shack/ Roadhouse

Those looking for an adventure with a sweet treat at the end can check out this roadside ice cream stand located on seven acres of Dayton countryside.  Most popular for their Instagram-worthy “monster shakes,”  Rip-Rap offers a variety of ice cream desserts.

In addition to ice cream, the family-owned business also owns Rip-Rap Roadhouse. Located on the same land, the restaurant serves typical midwest Americana food and periodically hosts live music and motorcycle drive-ins. 

Toxic Brew 

Those 21 and over interested in exploring downtown Dayton can visit Toxic Brew in the Oregon District. The brewery serves beer and other alcoholic beverages along with food items. The Oregon District, an iconic neighborhood of Dayton, is home to many restaurants, shops and experiences providing entertainment even for those not of age. 

Read more about the Brewery in the Wright State Guardian Article ‘Dayton’s Not Dead: Bring Back the Weekend’. 

Shopping for book lovers

One Dollar Book Swap 

One Dollar Book Swap is a nationally known and Tik Tok famous book warehouse located in downtown Dayton. 

The warehouse sells audiobooks, DVDs, CDs and other multimedia materials. Per the name, everything costs just one dollar. 

One Dollar Book Swap is a family-owned business that started out as a way to prevent books from being recycled or thrown away. This concept grew and the family moved the business into a warehouse. According to manager and partner Missy Nickels, the Covid-19 pandemic threatened the small establishment.  Due to recent social media attention, the bookshop not only survived the pandemic but thrived.  

“People from all across America come to the bookstore… it’s everyone’s favorite little secret. It’s been life-changing for us because like every other local small business we have almost gone out of business,” Nickels said.

In addition to selling books, One Dollar Book Swap contributes to the community by working with local teachers and Montgomery county social workers to provide books to students and children across the Dayton area. 

Parks and Rec 

In addition to city life, Dayton offers plenty of green spaces, parks, wilderness trails and nature reserves. Those looking for more outdoor adventures this summer can visit parks like Creekside Reserve and Pearl’s Fen. 

Located in Beavercreek, a suburb of Dayton, Creekside Reserve is a nature park owned by Greene County parks and trails. 

Accessible via Beavercreek community park, the reserve offers bike paths and hiking trails where visitors can view plants and wildlife native to the area. Many find this to be a great area to relax, exercise or have a picnic. 

Also part of the Greene County parks system is the newly preserved Pearl’s Fen park. Closed for quite some time due to restoration efforts, the wetlands park is once again open to the public. The main attraction being the walking trail and boardwalk, where visitors can view the diverse array of plants and trees.  

Both parks are free and open to the public.

Jamie Naylor

Editor In Chief