The easiest way into Middletown is by taking exit#32 from I-75. This is state route 122, also known as Roosevelt Boulevard, and also know as Martin Luther King Dr. This is the main commercial area for the city. From Hamilton, Ohio state route 4 will lead you into the south end before reaching downtown, then changing into Verity Parkway. From the west, following Ohio 122 will lead you into downtown after crossing the Little Miami River.
Driving in Middletown is easy for locals, but can be a bit confusing for out-of-towners. The city only has one freeway ramp, exit #32, which is state route 122. State route 122 is known as Roosevelt Blvd, which is part of the Martin Luther King beltway. Major east-west roads are Oxford State in the south end, which connects Middletown with Trenton as state route 73, 14th street, part of the Martin Luther King beltway, Central Avenue, which is the main downtown corridor (and curiously changes to coles road at the Warren County line), Manchester Avenue (One of 3 Manchesters in Middletown), and Verity Parkway, part of state route 73. North-South routes are Cincinnati-Dayton Road (another with multiple names, Dixie Highway and Old 25), Breiel Boulevard, which is a very heavily traveled route, University Boulevard (part of Martin Luther King beltway), Verity Parkway, and Main Street. The street system, while it may seem odd, has its advantages. Most streets, even residential are far wider than necessary, and one can get anywhere in the city in fifteen minutes. Rush hour traffic usually means waiting an extra light cycle for the arrow. Red light cameras are EVERYWHERE, so........don't run red lights!
Miami University, Middletown Branch Campus Smith Park, located on Tytus Avenue, just off Verity. There is a fishing pond, walking trails, and many sporting areas. Towne Mall, located just off the interstate, is a great place to go for a walk when the weather is bad. More than half the mall spaces are for rent. There is a great view of the city from the hill on SR122 just west of town. Another great view is from the top of the empty parking garage downtown on Verity. Many advertisements from the 50's are still painted on buildings, such as vintage coca-cola ads. AK Steel, a major employer in the area, has two HUGE flames shooting into the night sky, one blue, and one yellow. Sunset Park, on Bellemonte just off central has a pool open to the public and is host to some local events during the summer.
Middletown is home to the MidFirst Ohio Challenge, a hot air balloon festival with lots of activities, food, and drink. The event is typically held in late July at Smith Park on Tytus Avenue. Miami University's junior college, at the corner of Breiel and University, has frequent stage performances, as well as walking trails and tennis courts. There is a bike trail in the south end, which runs parallel to state route 4. The Canal Museum, at Smith Park, displays photos and artifacts from Middletown's heyday as a booming stop on the Erie Canal.
The Towne Mall, near the freeway interchange, is dying, but there are a few stores left. If you are looking for a shopping day, leave town. There is however, a 24 hour Meijer, Kroger, and Wal-Mart. Downtown, there are a few specialty shops, such as a stained glass shop. Middletown has lots and lots of Dollar Generals.....maybe more than anywhere else I've seen. There is also a Petsmart, Staples, Lowe's, and Target on Towne Blvd, near the freeway.
If you are not from the area, try some Gold Star or Skyline Chili for some local flavor. Also, Stefano's is a family-owned institution on Central Avenue, serving Italian food and a wood-burning pizza oven. The Jug, also on Central, has been a Middletown tradition for years, serving hamburgers via a carhop. The Meadows, on Yankee Road in the south end, is also a long-time local establishment. Grecian Delight, on Cincinnati-Dayton road has fantastic gyros and traditional greek desserts. Chain-restaurants include Olive Garden, O'Charleys, Applebees, El Rancho Grande, Cracker Barrell, and Bob Evans.
Popular Bars include Carol's Speakeasy, at the intersection of Cincinnati-Dayton Road and Central Ave, and Otte's Pub, just down the street on Cincinnati-Dayton Road. There are MANY small, neighborhood bars, including the Lakeside on Tytus, which also serves pretty decent food, and is open 365 days a year.
The newest and nicest hotel in town is the Drury Inn, which happens to be pet-friendly as well. Phone-513.425.660 The Manchester Inn, located downtown has large banquet facilities as well as sleeping rooms. The Ramada, just off the freeway, has sleeping rooms and a bar.