These are the Cincinnati-Dayton area suburbs. They have a true a mixture of rural, residential, industrial, and main street vibes. There’s Oxford’s red brick “private ivy” campus, concerts on Hamilton’s RiversEdge, Apple and Jazz Festivals in downtown Lebanon, with Friday night football games across the board. They offer a good mix of small town, farm town, and growing city feels. Their Main Streets are walkable, but their districts are expansive. If you’re a growing family or looking to live in-between Cincinnati and Dayton, you might especially be drawn here.
Living in Cincinnati's Nearby North
You just got accepted into Miami University’s grad school program. You’ve loved exploring the nooks and crannies of your new college town, but it’s your day off and you want to explore what else is around you.
So, you drive through farmland. Lots of it. You drive past a drive-in movie theatre and are surprised that those still exist. (They do, and you’ll soon find yourself going a lot.) As you enter Hamilton, you notice there’s something going on by the river. There’s music, pop-up tents selling arts and crafts, and food trucks. You grab a bite to eat and decide to walk around a bit.
You walk by puppies in a window. Then you walk by them again. You go inside, “just to inquire,” and before you know it, you have a new four-legged friend.
You and your pup continue the road trip. You arrive in downtown Lebanon and have a strange feeling like you’ve been here before. You haven’t. But you have seen it in movies because of its truly old-fashioned, quintessential downtown. You can’t take too many steps without strangers stopping to greet you and your pup. After popping in and out of shops, you walk back to your car with frozen custard in hand and an original Pendleton blanket you just scored from an antique store.
You decide to drive back to Oxford via Middletown. More farmland, and this time, you pass an adorable alpaca farm. All of a sudden, you’ve entered an oasis of chain stores and restaurants and spot a weird place with fake giraffes and gorillas called “Trader’s World.” You take a mental note of that.
You enjoy your drive back to Oxford. You even stop at a yard sale in Trenton and pick up a new-used dog crate.
You finally see the hill, the one that welcomes you back to campus. You and June Bug (that’s what you named her) are home.