Thing to Do: Events

From Vintage Cars to Iron Art: Top Things to Do and See in Dayton, Washington

From Vintage Cars to Iron Art: Top Things to Do and See in Dayton, Washington

Sitting in the Heart of the Columbia Basin Lies This Little Town with a Big Personality and Endless Things to Discover. Here are your top things to do and see in Dayton, Washington! 

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail or local to Washington and looking for a weekend getaway, the small town of Dayton, Washington has so much to discover and enjoy. Whether it be hiking, demolition derbies, rodeos, vintage car shows, or county fairs, this town has it all. This blog lists the top things to do and see in Dayton, Washington. Read on for local events, interesting spots, dining, and lodging!

Local Events & Festivals in Dayton, Washington

All Wheels Weekend
Held annually every Father’s Day weekend from June 17th to 19th, All Wheels Weekend isn’t your usual car show! Popular and well-attended, the event features a parade of vintage cars, drag racing, poker, and even a golf tournament! It also features a demolition derby. With live music, food vendors lining Main Street, and a children’s play-zone, everyone can join in the fun! 

Brix & Brew Benefit Auction
Taking place every March, Dayton’s Chamber of Commerce hosts its own benefit auction to fund local tourism projects. Visitors can bid on and taste various locally produced wines. Catering is provided by a sponsoring local vendor. Dine, make new friends, and bid on fine wines for a good cause!

Christmas Kickoff
Every Thanksgiving weekend from November 26th to 27th, Dayton welcomes the Christmas season with a real kickoff! The event features hayrides, a Christmas bazaar, a parade and tree lighting ceremony, and even an ‘Ugly Christmas Sweater’ 5K jog! Whether you want mead or hot cocoa to warm you up, local food & drink vendors have you covered. Want to pet a live reindeer and Santa’s beard in the same night? This is the Christmas event for you!

Columbia County Fair
Funnel cakes. Corn dogs. Waffle cones. Strawberry lemonade. Ah yes, you can already smell it, the Columbia County Fair! The Fair begins Fall from September 9th to the 11th. Popular to Southeast Washington, you can get a free single-day pass by donating 5 canned food items. Rodeos, eating contests, bouncy houses & rides, a craft market, and so much more can be found here.

Dayton Days
From May 27th to 28th, visitors can expect live music, beer tasting, and a wild time at the Dayton Days Parade and Rodeo! Art, food, and craft vendors cater to the public as marching bands and local dancers make their way down to the Fairgrounds. Dayton Days celebrates the city for everything it is!

Dayton’s Most Interesting Spots

Art & Museums
Dayton, Washington is unique as the home of the Palus Indian tribe, known for living in the Palouse Falls region. The Palus Artifacts and Veterans Museum allows visitors to learn about their culture and involvement in tribal conflicts and the Civil War. To learn about Dayton’s location in the Lewis and Clark expedition, visitors to the Patit Creek Campsite. Here, visitors can see dozens of iron statues that depict what life was like on the Trail. 

Historical Sites
Established in the 1860s, many of Dayton’s historical structures still stand. Dayton’s Historic Courthouse of 1886 and the Smith Hollow Schoolhouse of 1900 have both been restored to allow tours. Built in 1881, Dayton boasts the oldest surviving train station in Washington state; museum today, visitors can tour the Dayton Historic Depot.

Outdoors
Managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, visitors to Dayton have 7 hiking trails to choose from! The most famous routes include Palouse Falls, Oregon Butte Trail, and Middle Point to Bluewood. Maps and seasonal information for these trails and more are listed here. Touchet River and Tucannon Lakes offer a fantastic fishing experience in pristine waters. Bluewood mountain offers a skiing experience like no other with ski resorts dotting the region.

Shopping
Dayton offers many quaint, niche shops. For artisanal soaps, check out Biker B’s Bathworks. For something sweet, handmade candies from Mama Monacelli’s make the perfect souvenir gift! Local produce and meats can be found at the Blue Mountain Station and Dayton Mercantile. For local weavings and every trinket imaginable, make a stop in the city’s Main Street Marketplace!

Some of Washington’s Best Dining Experiences

Snacks
For a speedy food stop, stop by the town’s General Store for ice cream, dry foods, drinks, and more. Need something more filling but no time for a full meal? Blue Mountain Station’s soups, sandwiches, and sweets have you covered there!

Brunch & Bakery
Love cinnamon rolls but wish you could eat them on an antique sofa? Annie’s Attic and Cafe is the place for you with its eccentric but homey atmosphere. Locally Nourished is a great breakfast option for those seeking healthy, organic breakfast options. Offering all day lunch and breakfast options with baked bread, Moose Creek Cafe & Bakery is another great stop in historic Dayton.

Lunch & Dinner
If you need to feed and please the whole family, Snake River Grill offers great menu picks for both kids and adults right on the Snake River.
My Dad’s Place provides a warm Italian atmosphere in small-town Dayton, offering pizzas, calzones, salads, soups, and more!

Wineries & Pubs
Red Band Cellars offers a wide selection of its home-ripened, regional wines with tastings running from noon until 5:00 PM. It also offers a wide selection of cheeses, fruits, and hors d’oeuvres. Need something filling to go with a beer? Check out Chief Spring’s Fire and Irons Brew Pub for a pint and pizza or burgers!

Lodging: Feel Right at Home 

Hotels
Best Western Plus Dayton offers luxury accommodation with amenities like a swimming pool and a complimentary breakfast. Blue Mountain Motel is an affordable option conveniently located within walking distance of Downtown and Main Street. Weinhard Hotel is a fantastic lodging option for history buffs, with its Victorian design and classic decorating. Complete with period furniture, staying here is an experience itself!

Vacation Rentals & Cabins
Hiromi’s House is a cozy, fully furnished vacation rental home that sleeps 6 in Dayton’s historic district. For larger groups that value privacy, Stonewood can sleep +20 people in a beautiful wooden cabin, perfect for personal & company events.

Campgrounds & RV Parks
The Lewis and Clark Trail State Park offers beautiful views like no other, with 24 standard campsites and 5 RV campsites available. Note that you will need the Discover Pass to set up your campsite with some annual free days available to the public.
Looking to do campfire cooking near your RV or a cabin? Cabin rentals, picnic tables, and safely maintained fire pits can be found at Lyons Ferry Marina Koa

Dayton’s smallness and its passion for preserving its history are at the heart of its vibrant culture. This wholesome, creative community has opened its arms to the Nation by inviting you and I to gather in the fun of celebrating its unique personality. Whether you’re passing through on your travels or want to settle in for an extended holiday, Dayton showcases an array of interests to keep everyone wanting to come back for more. Whether you’re a fan of cars, hiking, rodeos, and more, this town delivers it. Don’t hesitate to add Dayton to your list of Destinations along the National Lewis and Clark Historic Trail!

A Perfect Day in Cincinnati: Top 10 Spots to Visit

The United States of America has some of the most diverse, engrossing, and spectacular cities within the world. Many of these cities are known throughout the world, being some of the reasons why numerous tourists visit America. New York City has extravagant sights, rich history, and diverse community. Boston contains a deep history, sports teams, and recognizable accent.  New Orleans presents enticing food, Mardi Gras parades, and classical music. All of these cities are revered for they’re respected cultures and communities, enthralling tourists with skyscrapers, national monuments, and iconic landmarks. A perfect day can be achieved in anyone of these cities.

However, we are going to highlight a different city. One that not only has fantastic sights, delicious foods, and awesome landscapes, but this particular city sits on one of the most famous rivers within America. This is known as Cincinnati, the Queen of the West. While not one of the more well known cities within America for tourists, Cincinnati holds many wonders that rival New York City, Washington DC, and Boston. Cincinnati contains several amazing locations and spots to visit. Today, we will explore these locations, reveal that Cincinnati is a unique experience for tourists of all kinds, and show the ten spots to visit in this amazing city. It’s a perfect day in Cincinnati! Let’s go!

Cincinnati Near the Ohio River
Reference Link: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-lighted-buildings-near-river-2570704/

Overview of Cincinnati

Founded in 1788, Cincinnati was the first major city built after the Revolution. It is considered by many as the “first America City,” since it was founded and built after America cut ties with the British Empire. The city has several nicknames. Such as Cincy, The ‘Nati, The Queen of the West, The Blue Chip city, and the City of Seven Hills. Since Cincinnati is located on the Ohio River, right across from Northern Kentucky, the nickname (The Queen City) was proclaimed by its citizens in 1820. Due to its location, Cincinnati is south of Route 70 and north of Route 64, making it a detour destination for any sight-seeing tourists. Lastly, Cincinnati is homed to several professional sports teams that bring it further notoriety. The teams being the Cincinnati Bengals, Reds, and Cyclones (Baseball, American Football, and Hockey).

Why it’s a Perfect Day in Cincinnati and Ten Spots to Visit

It’s a perfect day in Cincinnati! There are numerous locations, spots, and places that make Cincinnati an awesome area for exploration. Whether you are a lover of sports, food, history, nature, clothing, music, or animals, Cincinnati can meet all your needs. The Nation Park Service promotes Cincinnati for not only its geographical placement upon the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (LCNHT), but for the various communities, businesses, and people who are set up on the trail. Whether you are planning a journey that takes you through the LCNHT or if you are simply planning a trip to Cincinnati, this list of ten spots for a perfect day can help you determine potential visiting locations. Without further ado, here are ten spots that make a perfect day while in Cincinnati.

Reference Link: https://www.pexels.com/photo/glowing-city-embankment-with-amusement-park-in-nighttime-3474830/

1: Seasongood Pavilion at Eden Park

Cincinnati is home to several city parks with many breathtaking sights. Eden Park is perhaps the most popular city park within Cincinnati. With numerous walkways, monuments, overlooks, buildings and lakes. One such site is the Seasongood Pavilion, a public setting that is in the south region of Eden Park. Nestled near the Elsinore Arch and Cincinnati Art Museum. The Seasongood Pavilion is used for music, social events, and photo galleries, as it is not only an amazing building, but it is extremely easy to access. If you are looking for an amazing place to take a photo, listen to some music, or participate in a social event, Seasongood Pavilion at Eden Park is the spot for you.

2: Pendleton Art Center

For any art lovers who wish to either tour a gallery or perhaps those interested in taking a class, the Pendleton Art Center is the spot for you. The Pendleton Art Center has a variety of activities, ranging from viewing various artists and their works, to taking classes at the center or participating in one of their numerous public events. The Art Center’s store contains a diverse array of art on display, which can be purchased or viewed virtually to better understand the events, along with what genre of art is being shown. The Pendle Art Center is a good place to visit for any passing tourist for either a quick browse or for those interested in the field of art. It brings out the variety to a perfect day in Cincinnati.

3: Taft Theatre

The Taft Theatre is one of numerous historic buildings within Cincinnati. An interesting fact about the theatre, it’s named after Charles Phelps Taft, the older brother of President William Howard Taft. Built in 1928 by the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, the theatre holds up to 2,500 people. It is not only a historical site, with a rugged 1920s appeal, but the preservation of the interior is like taking a step through time. The Taft Theatre is also home to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. This location is a must stop while in Cincinnati, as it is used for Broadway shows, concerts, comedies and other various special events that are open to the public. If you love the theater, the lights, and music, make your way down to the Taft Theatre.

4: William Howard Taft National Historic Site

The William Howard Taft National Historic Site is the restored, childhood house of President William Howard Taft. Several social events occurred here throughout history. One such event had James A. Garfield as a guest (before he became President). The historic site is divided into two sections, with the first building being the original house fully restored. The house has two levels, with the second floor holding exhibits of President Taft’s accomplishments. The second building operates as the National Historic Site’s Visitor Center, officially known as the Taft Education Center. This location is perfect for any lovers of history and tourists who wish to see a fully restored historic house.

5: The Eagle

Good food is the main-event for a perfect day. The sights, social events, and activities are the appetizers. Food can make an average day into a great day, or a good day into a perfect day. The Eagle is a house-brined restaurant, with various locations in major cities across the midwest. There is nothing more satisfying then after a long walk across a park or car trip through the city, then a nice, hot greasy meal. The Eagle serves sandwiches, salads, soups, sides, snacks, and unique cocktails that are worth a visit. Moreover, the Eagle has a very humbling and welcoming appeal to it. For anyone who is a beer lover, food lover, or is a hungry visitor to Cincinnati, the Eagle is a must see restaurant. You cannot have a perfect day in Cincinnati without food.

6: Old St. Mary’s Church

For anyone looking for a beautiful site to visit in Cincinnati, you’ll find no better spot than Old St. Mary’s Church. Built in 1840 by German immigrants, Old St. Mary’s Church is the oldest standing church in Cincinnati. Its Greek Revival Style is solemn and revering as it looms over the citizens of Cincinnati. Fun fact about the church, since 2017, it is the current home of the Cincinnati Oratory, which is a society of priests and brothers of The Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. With a rich history and amazing view from within, Old St. Mary’s Church is like looking at a pillar worn by time, yet still preserved as if unaffected by it. Considered a landmark within Cincinnati, Old St. Mary’s sits within the historic neighborhood, Over-The-Rhine. Even if you are not religious, the church is a spectacular work of construction. It is a solemn stop for a perfect day in Cincinnati.

Old St. Mary's Church
Reference Link: https://unsplash.com/photos/_W8p_1OBkAw

7: Washington Park

While not the biggest city park within Cincinnati, Washington Park is one of the better known city parks with the iconic Cincinnati Music Hall standing in front of the park. It is a large, open park with numerous trees. There are several American Civil War cannons near the park, along with the busts of Civil Wars heroes Frederick Hecker and Colonel Robert Latimor McCook, who commanded the German 9th Ohio Infantry. The park is used for social events and is a general place to relax. Perfect days are for moments of relaxation. Washington Park provides a stress free zone with a wondrous atmosphere.

A Perfect day in Cincinnati in Washington Park
Reference Link: https://unsplash.com/photos/4JRj_6bfrvU

8: Boba Cha

A perfect day requires variety and what better way than visiting Boba Cha, a bubble tea store. For those who do not know, bubble tea is a tea-based beverage that originated in Taiwan. Bubble tea is a drink that is mixed with tea and milk or fruit with chewy tapioca pearls. Boba Cha also sells smoothies and slushies. It is the perfect place to get a nice, cool drink for a perfect day.

9: Castle of Air

Parks and gardens are famous within Cincinnati. Right on the edge of the Ohio River, in the Berry International Friendship Park, lies the Castle of Air. A pavilion placed in a public garden fashioned from four walls with an arched façade of polished steel and a system of mirrors. The architect, Peter Haimerl, named the pavilion the Castle of Air based on the European hunting lodge and summer place of the 18th century, similar to Pagodenburg and Amalienburg from the castle park of Nymphenburg. It is a perfect place for a picture or photo with friends and family.

10: Mirror Lake at Eden Park

Making our way back to Eden Park to cap off a perfect day, one should visit the illustrious Mirror Lake, which is one of the main attractions of the park. The biggest lake in a city park within Cincinnati deserves a visit to conclude the day. Or, you may wish to visit this place first and take a walk around the lake, as it is vast. There are plenty of perfect spots for a photo here and there.

And those are 10 spots that you should visit on a perfect day in Cincinnati. When the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail leads you to Cincinnati, give these places a visit and send pictures of your visit. Don’t forget to follow us while you’re in Cincinnati!

If you wish to learn more about the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, visit our website!

To learn more about the five regions of the trail, visit here!

Please visit here for information on getting involved with the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

Exploring Southern Illinois: Top 10 Things to do in Saline County

Looking for a unique way to explore Southern Illinois? Curious to visit a place where you can take a rodeo lesson, catch a drag race, and wander through twelve acres of peonies all in one day? You might be surprised to learn that nestled in Southern Illinois along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is a little area called Saline County. With six towns and a population of around 23,000, this midwestern county has a little something for everyone. Exploring Southern Illinois has never been easier! 

Maybe you’re more into sports. Stop by the Shawnee Hills Country Club and play a round of golf. Are you a history buff? Check out the O’Gara Mine Tipple to marvel at this abandoned structure. Get hangry (hungry and angry) when there’s no good food around? Grab a warm homemade bread pudding topped with whipped cream from The Bar-B-Q Barn. Exploring Southern Illinois is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in midwestern culture. No matter what you’re into, Southern Illinois has a bit of everything!

When writing this blog, it was all too easy to find 10 amazing ways to spend your day in Southern Illinois. Saline County is a hidden gem in the midst of this state. Here are 10 ways to spend your day while exploring Southern Illinois.

1- Darnell Performance Horses

It’s time to channel your inner cowboy by visiting Darnell Performance Horses This top-of-the-line ranch boasts an impressive resume, having trained champions in numerous rodeo events. Stop by to take a barrel racing or calf roping lesson. Not in the competitive mood? No problem! This ranch also provides western pleasure riding lessons for beginners. 

Experience midwestern culture and treat yourself to a rodeo.

2- Shawnee Hills Antique Mall

In search of hidden treasures? Look no further than the Shawnee Hills Antique Mall Uncover vintage dolls, tea sets, or unique sculptures. Want even more options? This small business hosts flea markets throughout the year! Vendors’ items can range anywhere from baked goods to jewelry and everything in between. Not only is there a great selection of goods, but many booths offer reduced prices. The mall itself provides refreshments and gives guests the opportunity to win door prizes! 

3- Harrisburg Food Tour

Are you the ultimate foodie? Southern Illinois has you covered! Start off your day at The Bar-B-Q Barn for the ultimate mid-western experience. Located in a barn, this restaurant has a little something for everyone, from eggs with smoked sausage to a delectable platter of apple pancakes, this restaurant has it all! For all you sweets lovers, check out Angi’s Eats and Sweets Stop in for a bite of pumpkin or raspberry cheesecake. The shop even sells gluten-free no-bake cookies! After a long day of exploring Southern Illinois, unwind at Morello’s Restaurant & Catering. This restaurant boasts a variety of alcoholic drinks as well as one of the most diverse menus around! Morello’s Restaurant & Catering is perfect for picky eaters. Try lasagna or a steak. Not satisfied? How about taco salad or barbeque nachos? There is certainly food for everyone while exploring Southern Illinois.

4- Shawnee Hills Country Club

Put your golf skills to the test at the Shawnee Hills Country Club. Not much of a player? Gaze at a sprawling grass course. If you’re exploring Southern Illinois in the fall, marvel at the green, amber, orange, and red leaves. This beautiful country club is open for spring, summer, and fall.  

5- Peony Hill Farm

For nature lovers, there is no better place to visit than Peony Hill Farm. Visitors are encouraged to stroll around the twelve acres of peony-covered land. Take pictures or buy cut peonies during the blooming season. To say this experience is relaxing is an understatement. The perfect way to explore Southern Illinois, this farm is great for all ages.

Take in the beauty of twelve acres worth of peonies.

6- O’Gara Mine Tipple

History buffs will be delighted to marvel at the O’Gara Mine Tipple. Located roughly five minutes from Harrisburg, this abandoned mine tipple serves as a reminder of what once was. This building was said to have halted operation after the Ohio River flooded in 1937. An architectural wonder, visitors can gaze in awe at this impressive sight. 

7- Saline County Fair

Planning your trip to explore Southern Illinois right now? Consider stopping by during the last week oJuly and you’ll be just in time for the Saline County Fair. This event is the perfect way to get a taste of Southern Illinois culture! Guests get the chance to watch a motocross race or a tractor and pull. Maybe even stay for the demolition derby. These ticketed events are reasonably priced, with each event costing $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Not sure what either of those are? Visit now and learn for yourself!

8- Shawnee National Forest

Explore Southern Illinois by hiking through the Shawnee National Forest.

Discover the natural beauty of Illinois at the Shawnee National Forest. Between hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, and fishing, there is truly something for everyone in this beautiful forest. Try a hike in the Garden of Gods area featuring unbelievably unique natural rock sculptures. Since the Shawnee National Forest is a large, sprawling piece of land, hunters from around the country flock to this hidden gem. Ditch the commercial hotels for locally owned, cozy cabin lodges, and visit now!

9- Sloan Harrisburg Raceway

Spend an exciting evening at Sloan Harrisburg Raceway Come out to watch a bracket race for only $10 for adults and free admission for kids under 12! But sometimes watching is boring. That’s why you can participate in a Test and Tune event. These events allow drivers to test their vehicle on a racetrack just for fun! What can be better than driving down a racetrack on a beautiful day?

Watch a motocross race at the Saline County Fair in Southern Illinois.

10- Saline County Area Museum 

Experience the culture of Southern Illinois even more at the Saline County Area Museum. The first building was created in 1964. This was just the beginning, and now an impressive eleven buildings tell the story of Saline County’s people. The best part? Admission is completely free. Stop by on select days from 1-4 pm to learn more about this fascinating area.

Places to Explore!

Those are just some of the amazing events and activities you can attend while exploring Southern Illinois. For more ways to enjoy Illinois, visit our website. Learn more about the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail here. Want more trip inspiration? Check out our other blogs.