Whether or not you’re a fan of the show Parks and Recreation, you’ve probably heard Donna and Tom’s lighthearted advice to “Treat Yo Self”. While many of us have...
By Jason Frye
Fayetteville’s the kind of town you can explore any way you like. Looking for some history and adventure? We’ve got that. A romantic weekend away? We can help. Culinary surprises? Come hungry. But what if you want to slow it down, take a minute to appreciate this place like the locals, settle in and simply be in Fayetteville? Well, we’ve got that covered too.
Get Out and Look Around
When you arrive in Fayetteville make the Visitors Bureau your first stop. Here you’ll find a gift shop stocked with mementos and t-shirts, but also area maps and folks who are experts on the area. They can set you off on the adventure of your choosing, but for now, head out for a walk. Several trails that explore Downtown and the histories and cultural stores hidden here. A 10-minute walk along Person, Hay and Greene Streets will show you glimpses of the town’s past, and a number of historic homes and buildings reflect different eras in our town’s growth, giving you a broad view of life in Fayetteville.
Steps away from the Visitors Bureau stops on the Historical Markers Trail reveal Fayetteville’s original names (yes, names, as we were once two towns); the actions of British General Cornwallis and Crown loyalists who live here during the Revolutionary War; and tales of General Lafayette, the namesake of our town and hero of the Revolutionary War. As the Historical Markers bring the stories of the past into the present, the homes on the Historic Architectural Trail help those stories, events and people stay relevant in the present by showing where they lived and what this town looked like a century (or more) ago. At the Market House – where North Carolina ratified the newly-written U.S. Constitution in 1789 – the historic train depot that houses the Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum, and at private homes built from the early 1800s through the early 1900s, you’ll see the best of Fayetteville’s architectural vernacular on display.
Appease Your Appetite
All this walking will work up a hunger and our restaurant scene dishes up plenty to satisfy. You can keep your meals on the Southern side of the table with barbecue from pulled pork to smoked brisket, sandwiches and more from Fowler’s Southern Gourmet; go for upscale Soul Food at Heart and Soul Soul Food and Lounge; or even tuck into a plate of fresh fried fish, shrimp or clams from Riverside Seafood.
Dress it up a little in the evening for steak and chops at Chris’ Steak and Seafood House, a fresh spin on familiar favorites at Scrub Oaks Contemporary American Pub, or stop by Pierro’s Italian Bistro for some rustic Italian classics.
Food in Fayetteville can transport you far from the rolling hills of North Carolina. Pharaoh’s Village takes you to the Mediterranean and Middle East, Das Bavarian Haus dishes up plates piled with German goodies, and Sawadee Thai & Chinese Restaurant serves the flavors of the Far East. And that just scratches the surface; our International Cuisine Trail will take you on a tasty trip while you’re in town and introduce you to some unexpected cuisine.
One last note on food: you can earn some culinary cred with the kids and grandkids by heading to Dirtbag Ales Brewery & Taproom and their restaurant, Napkins, for a pint and an unforgettable smashburger.
Stop and Shop
As you make your way through downtown, keep an eye open for a pair of antiquing hotspots: The Cotton Exchange and the Livery and The Shops at 123 Hay Street. Their selections vary as antique and vintage dealers keep their booths and shops brimming with finds, curiosities, art, jewelry and other tempting objects.
At Turner Lane you’ll find contemporary gifts and goods, making it a great place to find a hostess, housewarming or just-because gift. A Bit of Carolina carries gifts and goodies as well as snacks, sauces, foodstuffs and gift baskets; everything here is from North Carolina and there’s a fair amount of Fayetteville goodies on hand.
LeClair’s General Store, a short drive from downtown along Hay Street, carries a curated array of vintage and antique goods, art, wine, craft beer (including local and regional breweries) and more. And if something catches your eye but you pass on it, LeClair’s Etsy shop has you covered.
We have plenty of options when it comes to places to call home for a few days. From well-known hotels to their hip, next-gen brands to a handful of lovely B&Bs, you’ll find the ideal place to rest your head. Most of the major hotels offer 20% off two-night stays, and with all the options available, you’ll find a place where the two of you can relax, where your canine companion will be welcome or a suite where you can spread out and enjoy your getaway.
20% Off Your Hotel
Book your hotel now and get 20% off! Discount dependent upon availability, maximum two-night stay, not valid for business/corporate travel, contractors or group travel. Fees, terms, conditions, and participation may vary. Not eligible for residents within a 50-mile radius.>Participating Hotels
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