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The 20 Best Things to Do in Fayetteville, NC


Fayetteville, North Carolina, is home to various attractions, cultures, and hospitality. The city is perfect for anyone exploring the southern region bearing America's rich history from the late 1700s. The stunning Cape Fear River is an important landmark, showcasing the city as a military and trading hub over the years. This guide showcases popular places to visit in Fayetteville and the activities to engage in so you know what to expect before your arrival. Tag along.

Italian Chophouse and Bar

20. Dine and wine at Luigi's Italian Chophouse and Bar

Are you craving Italian foods in Fayetteville and have no idea where to turn? If so, look no further than Luigi's Italian Chophouse and Bar. According to Busy Tourist, the restaurant was founded by a Greek World War II veteran and immigrant, Peter Parrous. Due to unknown circumstances, he shut it down ten years later but never gave up the idea of opening other restaurants.

He would later recoin this restaurant, and it became an instant hangout dine and wine place for Fayetteville locals. His success as a restauranter may have rubbed shoulders wrongly with haters. Unfortunately, he was gunned down with his wife in 1993. However, that wasn't the end of his dreams coming true even after his demise. His children run the restaurant to date, and you won't be disappointed in their services.

Sandhills Family Heritage Center

19. Revisit African American history at Sandhills Family Heritage Center

Sandhills Family Heritage Center was first launched in 1951, paying tribute to African American history in North Carolina. You have the chance to learn about the early Afro-American settlers who made the place what it is today. For starters, the civil rights advocates used it in the 1960s to educate tourists and locals about Afro-American history. Best of all, Spring Lake is nearby, where you can also explore water adventures. Get ready to learn everything you can about people of color while there.

Cape Fear Botanical Garden

18. Explore garden displays at Cape Fear Botanical Garden

Sometimes, it takes a nature-loving spirit to appreciate the wonders of nature. That's the experience you'll likely get while exploring Cape Fear Botanical Garden at Fayetteville. The botanical garden is near the Cape Fear Rivers and Cross Creek River. It boasts themed gardens and educational exhibits of plants native to North Carolina. Part of your experience includes learning how old the plants are and exploring farming tools. Also, tour guides will take you through live demonstrations of how plants are grown, weeded, and harvested. Isn't that an awesome way to appreciate North Carolina's scenic beauty?

Veterans Park

17. Pay tribute to the living and fallen heroes at Veterans Park

Appreciating people who fought for the integrity of South Carolina never gets old. That makes visiting Veterans Park honorable. According to Vacation Idea, Veterans Park was designed to honor alive and dead heroes from the Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy, and the Marines. Dubbed the "First Sanctuary Community for the Military," it is 3,500 square feet and has 33,500 service member "dog tags. Also, the park is a stone's throw away from the Airborne and Special Operations Museum, so you have every reason to go there.

Fascinate-U Children's Museum

16. Take your kids for an adventure at the Fascinate-U Children's Museum

Are you looking for a place to take your kids to explore the world and motivate them to do fun role-play? Fascinate-U Children's Museum should be the place to include in your vacation bucket list. The museum mimics a classroom where your kids can learn about static displays and child-friendly exhibits. So, whether your child wants to be a soldier, doctor, journalist, or actress when they grow up, the museum has every attire and tool to shape their destiny. Take your child there, and they'll thank you for it.

Crown Center

15. Explore high-profile events and entertainment at the Crown Center

Crown Center is home to various entertainment for up to 11,000 guests. While there, get ready to immerse yourself in live concerts, plays, and several high-profile entertainments. The place attracts thousands of adrenaline junkies each year looking to watch Fayetteville's Southern Hockey League team and Cape Fear heroes.

14. Go shopping at the Cross Creek Mall

Whether you're a Gucci, Louis Vuitton, or Chanel diehard, Cross Creek Mall is your one-stop place for improving your wardrobe collection. Located at the center of the All-American Freeway and Morganton Road, the mall also houses many other world-class stores such as Belk, Macy's, and JCPenney. You can also explore the Build-A-Bear Workshop, H&M, White House Black Market, and many others. And if you get hungry, Starbucks, Panda Express, Sarku Japan, and Great Steak are nearby.

Cape Fear River Boat Rides

13. Explore the gorgeous city via a boat ride at Cape Fear River Boat Rides

If you're visiting Fayetteville for the first time, the first thing you might want to do is to go on a boat cruise at Cape Fear River Boat. According to The Crazy Tourist, it is owned by Freddie Mims, a Fayetteville licensed coast guard. As soon as you arrive, Freddie and his friendly staff will fill you in on how long the boat ride will last. He'll also show you the places you need to know and clarify the history of those locations. Depending on your tour package, the boat ride might take two to eight hours. The starting point is at the Riverside Marine at Campbelltown.

Arsenal Park's trails

12. Go hiking on Arsenal Park's trails

Before Arsenal Park was launched as a hiking trail, the government had destroyed it in the 19th century. In 1858, which was three years before the Civil War, they used the facility to produce ammunition, rifles, and gun carriages under the leadership of General William T. Sherman. Guests can explore the park, which has extant ruins with signage. Also, feel free to take your kids strolling around the park around sunset.

Fayette Area Transportation Museum

11. Take a trip back in time at the Fayette Area Transportation Museum

Fayetteville, NC, has a rich history, boasting various artifacts and other memorabilia to take you down memory lane. It was established in 1890 and is housed by Yadkin Valley Railroad Depot and Cape Fear. The staff will walk you through the history of the transport sector in the area. In case you're wondering, there are vintage cars, plank roads, and a Silby Steam Pump Engine dating back to the 1880s. According to Oceans Beyond Piracy, the history museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. It only takes 13 minutes from the Fayette Regional Airport to get to the place.

J. Bayard Clark Park & Nature Center

10. Savor the scenic beauty and explore trails at the J. Bayard Clark Park & Nature Center

A breath of fresh air, scenic beauty, and a picnic-focused place are all you need to feel fulfilled for one in your life. You can expect these privileges at the J. Bayard Clark Park & Nature Center. There's a museum for viewing animals and a wide range of exhibits. Unlike other places on this list, the center is open daily from 8 am to 7 pm. It only takes you a 16-minute drive from the Fayetteville Regional Airport. Bring your bike along to explore the scenic beauty.

Lake Rim Park

9. Explore your athletic side at Lake Rim Park

Exercising through sports is a therapeutic way of keeping your body fit, making Lake Rim Park your go-to place for vacation. The park welcomes individuals of all ages and pets, provided they are on a leash. There is a horseshoe pit, volleyball courts, athletic fields, and tennis court, allowing you to burn off your energy. The park is located near Lake Rim, surrounded by lush green vegetation. If you plan to be there during winter, ensure you arrive between 7 am and 5 pm. During summer, guests are allowed in the park from 7 am till 9 pm. Moreover, it only takes 26 minutes to reach the park from Fayetteville Regional Airport.

1897 Poe House

8. Learn about the Afro-American history and the role of women and children of the 20th century at 1897 Poe House

One of the best places to learn about Fayetteville's history dating back to the early 20th century, is the 1897 Poe House. According to NC Tripping, this is a museum for showing guests how the era influenced the current city's status and lifestyle. For $2, you get to tour the house to learn about the Afro-American history and the role of women and children during the era. Feel free to bring your kids along for a dollar. Don't forget; the museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm every Tuesday to Saturday.

7. Sample pre-picked grapes, scuppernongs, and muscadines at Auman Vineyards

Auman Vineyards was established in 1968 for growing muscadines and muscadines. In 2000, farmers found the vineyard conducive to organically-grown grapes. Believe it or not, the farmers and vineyard officials allow you to buy grapes but strictly advise you to bring your meal because there isn't a restaurant nearby. You have a picnic table where you can sample the fruits. Come with your family between Monday and Saturday from 7:20 am to 6:45 pm.

Market House

6. Learn about America's rich history at Market House

Of all historic landmarks in Fayetteville, the Market house tops the list. According to Southern Trippers, Fayetteville residents hold it in high regard since it reminds them of enslaved Black people sold during the era. Often, people come here to pay their respect to the black community tortured during the 19th century. Did you know that it was also where North Carolina's delegates sanctioned the US constitution? For these and more information, visit the site.

Mazarick Park

5. Let your kids burn off their energy at the Mazarick Park

A recreational park is all your kids need to put their energy to good use, making Mazarick Park an awesome place to be in. The 80-acre park is home to Glenville Lake. Also, it has a tennis court, a Disc Golf course, a huge playground, and a baseball field looking to be explored. The only downside to this place is you can't just walk in and expect to have instant fun. Instead, you need to call in advance to reserve a place every Monday to Sunday from 8 am to 9 pm.

Arts Council of Fayetteville

4. Explore artwork from talented artists at the Arts Council of Fayetteville

Art lovers are encouraged to visit the Arts Council of Fayetteville to see artwork from local and national talented artists. The center hosts seasonal art festivals and events to showcase art creativity. Before going there, the first thing to do is check out their calendar for upcoming festivals and events so you can meet them in person. If you want to experiment with your artwork skills, there is a class for you to enroll in. Be there between Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.

Winterbloom Tea

3. Sample nutritional tea at Winterbloom Tea

Winterbloom Tea at Hay Street is a one-stop area where Fayetteville locals like to frequent for a healthy tea. Joshua Choi established the tea store after realizing that most teabags lack nutritional value. During his quest for healthy tea, he realized that people were tired of standard teabags and were looking for something outside the box. He also serves snacks with a cup of cold or hot tea with various flavors. Be there from 12 pm to 9 pm every Wednesday to Saturday, and you won't regret spending your money there.

Gaston Brewing Company

2. Enjoy a military-crafted glass of beer at the Gaston Brewing Company

Are you tired of ordinary beer and want something hand-crafted? Look no further than Gaston Brewing Company. The beer house is owned and run by the military, who specialize in crafting meals and beers. When you're done exploring the beautiful Fayetteville city, it's a surefire place to go.

ziplining at ZipQuest

1. Beat acrophobia by ziplining at ZipQuest

Are you acrophobic? One of the best ways to beat your phobia is by braving it. Going ziplining at ZipQuest is a surefire way to raise your adrenaline and beat your fears. Anyone who's tried it can acknowledge that it was a mind-blowing experience. But if ziplining isn't your cup of tea, there's Carver's Waterfall to see. The forests and other breathtaking views are also why most guests love this place. Tag a friend and be there from 9 am to 5 pm on Monday and Saturday.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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