Fun Destinations Near Jackson Center
What is there to do and see in Ohio near Alumapalooza and the Airstream factory? Lots, if you know where to look.
Set aside a day for sightseeing while your coach is being repaired in the Airstream Service Center, or check out these unique area attractions on your drive to and from Alumapalooza.
Bicycle Museum of America, New Bremen
18 miles from Alumapalooza
The fascinating, 3-story bike museum is filled with more historic and unusual bicycles than you’ll ever see in one place: tandems, unicycles, penny-farthings, kid’s bikes, amazing 2-wheeled military transports, famous Hollywood bicycles (including Pee Wee Herman’s modified Schwinn with the tiger head on the handlebars, the focus of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure), and ultra-rarities like an ice bike, with skis in front instead of a tire.
Armstrong Air and Space Museum, Wapakoneta
16 miles from Alumapalooza
Named in honor of Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon and Wapakoneta’s favorite native son, this space museum holds a collection of rare treasures that will delight and fascinate anyone, of almost any age.
Exhibits include Armstrong’s Gemini VIII spacesuit, a Gemini VII capsule, a moon rock, and many more exciting artifacts from NASA programs. You’ll also learn about Yuri Gagarin and other Soviet cosmonauts.
Be sure to watch what’s playing in the Astro Theater—stirring films are screened every half hour—and test yourself on one of the three space simulators. Safely settling the lunar lander on the surface of the moon is a challenge!
America’s Packard Museum, Dayton
56 miles from Alumapalooza
Considered an unknown gem, this antique car collection is in the world’s only restored Packard Dealership operating as a museum. See Packards, Packards, and more Packards…and Tyrone Powers’ Duesenburg, and the hearse that was featured in The Godfather.
National Museum of the United States Air Force, Outside Dayton
43 miles from Alumapalooza
“Better than the Smithsonian!” raved an Airstreaming visitor. Located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, it’s the largest and oldest military aviation museum in the world. Yep—you read that right! Admission is free, and try to plan your visit before you arrive, as there’s an overwhelming amount to see. Museum exhibit areas include galleries dedicated to WWII, the Korean War, the Southeast Asia War, and the Cold War; a presidential gallery, the “early years” gallery, a research and development exhibit, and an outdoor Air Park and a vast Memorial Park that honors the service and sacrifice of Air Force-associated units and personnel.
Wright Brothers Aviation Trail, Dayton area
50 miles from Alumapalooza
Take a self-guided tour of 13 aviation-related sights and various haunts of Wilbur and Orville Wright (including their bicycle shop and Huffman Prairie Flying Field where they tested their experimental aircraft). Also on the trail is a replica of the Wright “B” Flyer, a parachute museum, and more. Download the PDF with a map and site descriptions, and you’re on your own.
Other Ohio destinations within an hour’s drive of Alumapalooza
Paul Laurence Dunbar’s Home, Dayton
Born in 1872, he was the first African-American to gain national recognition as a poet.
Oregon District, Dayton
Historic homes, bars, restaurants, and eclectic shops. Great for strolling.
Dayton Art Institute, Dayton
The fine collection spans 5,000 years of art history. You can’t miss it—the red tile roof of the historic building is visible from I-75.
Carillon Park, Dayton
What’s a carillon, you ask? A musical instrument, made of bells, that’s usually housed in a tower. This 65-acre park has one that’s more than 150 feet high—as well as the original 1905 Wright Flyer III, a 1835 B&O steam locomotive, historic buildings, “pioneers” in period costume, and soon, a micro brew pub.
Cox Arboretum, Miamisburg
A pretty place with trees, hiking trails, flowers, ponds, observatory tower, turtles, frogs, ducks, seasonal butterfly house, gift shop, and a resident dog.
Woodland Cemetery, Dayton
Stroll the lovely grounds and pay your respects to the famous departed interred within: Orville and Wilbur Wright; Charles F. Kettering, inventor of freon and 185 other patented items; the King and Queen of the Gypsies (Levi and Matilda Stanley); John H. Patterson, founder of the NCR company; and Paul Laurence Dunbar, the famed African-American poet, novelist, and playwright of the late 19th and early 20th century.
Ask a guide for a tour, a ghost story, the names of the trees, and/or where to stand for the best view. Duck into the Chapel for a look at a large, stunning Tiffany window—one of the finest in the country.
If covered bridges are your thing, you’ll like tiny Germantown, where the one-of-a-kind bridge is a national landmark and open to foot traffic. Hungry? The Florentine Tavern Restaurant, originally a 1800‘s stagecoach stop and Inn where politicians speechified from the balcony, today serves steaks, chicken, fish and sandwiches.
Ohio Caverns, West Liberty
“America’s Most Colorful Caverns” are the largest and most beautiful of the cave systems in Ohio. Join one of several tours; mine for real gems and minerals.
Miami-Erie Canal, New Bremen
See the Lockkeeper’s House interpretive museum, or the replica canal boat. It’s nice just to be near the water.