Fayetteville is the sixth-largest city in North Carolina, situated in the middle of the beautiful Sandhills; this city offers plenty of historical attractions and beautiful natural scenery. Fayetteville has long been known for its military history and cultural diversity, and the city does a phenomenal job of preserving its past.
This history dates back thousands of years to the early settlements of the Native American Tribes. Travellers also enjoy the numerous high-end shopping venues, art galleries and top-class fine dining restaurants that give the city a real modern vibe.
Interactive Map of 25 Things to Do in Fayetteville (NC)
1. Airborne & Special Operations Museum
Showcasing the proud military history of the city, the Airborne & Special Operations Museum shows an incredible in-depth account of the American military. Visitors can enjoy excellent exhibits from World War II, such as scarce military equipment like Gliders. There are fascinating remnants from towns in Normandy that give visitors a unique insight and appreciation of the war.
The museum has comprehensive exhibits from historical conflicts such as the Korean war, the cold war and the Vietnam war. Alongside these exhibitions, the museum showcases unique modern history exhibits such as the American military battles with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
2. JFK Special Wartime Museum
Located next to Fort Bragg, one of the largest military installations in the world, the JFK Special Wartime Museum offers an insight into the town’s proud military history. The museum showcases the history of the American special forces, civil affairs and psychological operations regiments.
The museum shows newly commissioned special-forces soldiers the long history of the special forces unit. It is an integral part of military recruitment at Fort Bragg. Exhibits begin in World War 1 and go through to the present day, such as the Korean war exhibits, detachment 101 in world war two and modern exhibitions on the Iraq war.
3. 1897 Poe House
Home to the wealthy local businessman Mr E. A Poe, the 1897 Poe House is a beautiful house that’s been preserved and offers an incredible insight into the history of the city. Visitors will gain direct insight into life in the early twentieth century by touring the house.
There are numerous insights during the tour, such as the history of women, African American history, economic and social changes in the area and the change in children’s roles. There is a brilliant exhibit on the American civil war and how this affected the country.
4. Cape Fear Botanical Garden
A beautiful natural escape, the Cape Fear Botanical Garden is an 80 acre botanical garden with over 2000 different plant varieties. Founded in 1989, the garden remains a non-profit attraction with the sole aim of connecting people to nature. The garden contains a vast array of fascinating wildlife and nature trails that offer a wonderful escape from the busy city life.
The botanic garden is thriving with beautiful speciality gardens such as the shade garden, butterfly stroll and heritage garden, which all have their unique beauty. Visitors will also enjoy the gardening workshops, guided tours and volunteer opportunities on offer.
5. North Carolina Veterans Park
Situated in the heart of Fayetteville, North Carolina Veterans Park is the first sanctuary community for the military in America. The military chose the location due to the proud military history of Fayetteville, allowing citizens to pay respect to all branches of the military, including the army, navy and airforce.
You will enjoy the various pieces of architecture around the park, which symbolises the fact that North Carolina is known as the most military-friendly state in America. The park directly pays tribute to veterans from over 100 counties in North Carolina and is a brilliant place to deliver your praises to the military.
6. Zip Quest
According to the USA today, ZipQuest is one of the finest zipline parks in America. ZipQuest is a massive adventure park in Fayetteville that includes massive ziplines which provide remarkable views over the surrounding scenery. There are numerous zip lines in the park, and the biggest zipline is 800 feet long and flies over the treetops, offering incredible adrenaline rushes as you whizz over the lush canopy.
A phenomenal waterfall runs straight through the adventure park and offers watersport activities. Zip Quest provides superb facilities and children play areas that are fantastic for children, including refreshment facilities.
7. Arnette Park
Arnette park offers a vast 100-acre natural woodland that is home to numerous fantastic facilities. The park includes a vast array of outdoor amenities such as large basketball courts that are perfect basketball games with the family. The park boasts brilliant hiking trails into the lush green woodland.
Visitors will enjoy the picnic areas that are fantastic for a great family day out. The park is a prime location for bird watching with a host of unique birds in the woodland. It’s common to see fascinating wildlife such as foxes, squirrels, raccoons and opossums.
8. Cape Fear Historical Complex
Presenting a proud 400-year history, the Cape Fear Historical Complex showcases the glorious history of the city. The museum includes two floors of exhibitions that date back to the American Indians, right through to after the American civil war, giving incredible historical insight along the way.
The Complex has an incredibly powerful and in-depth exhibit on the African American communities fight for freedom and civil rights, and their long battle under slavery in North Carolina. There are also comprehensive exhibits of the textile industry, the naval stores industry, early exploration and there is a fabulous merchandise shop with historical souvenirs.
9. Segra Stadium
Segra Stadium is a new 40 million dollar baseball stadium in the heart of Fayetteville. The stadium holds over 5000 spectators during baseball matches and provides an incredible atmosphere when the local baseball team plays. The stadium is home to the Fayetteville woodpeckers, a minor league baseball team.
The stadium hosts special events all year round such as wine shows, craft shows, musical festivals and all other types of phenomenal entertainment. Segra Stadium has a kids zone where kids can play baseball and play with friends, and there are extensive corporate facilities that are used by families and parties. If you’re in Fayetteville, it’s worth checking out the special events at this stadium.
10. Arsenal Park
Arsenal Park is the perfect park for a history buff who wants to enjoy some beautiful fresh air, and this park dates back until the American civil war. The park has remnants of the Arsenal that was constructed just before the civil war, and visitors will get to see a place where the Confederate troops produced guns, ammunition and rifles during the civil war.
William T. Sherman destroyed the facility in 1865, but parts of the facility remain and are open for visitors to explore. That includes the foundations of the two towers. The National Register of Historic places placed the site on its list of historic American locations, and you can also sit around and enjoy some food in this peaceful yet beautiful park.
11. Cameo Art House Theatre
An old school theatre situated in Downtown Fayetteville, the Cameo Art House Theatre rated very highly and a great entertainment spot. The theatre is in an old building that is over 100 years old and feels like stepping back into historic Fayetteville, first built in 1908 the theatre has been a staple of the city ever since.
The theatre shows concerts and a variety of classic artistic films that are hard to see elsewhere. The owners deliberately restored the theatre to feel like the 1920s and play old school films to give visitors a classical experience.
12. Clark Nature Park
The city’s second largest park, Clark Nature Park, is a fantastic escape from the city. The park owners dedicate the park to preserving local nature, and therefore it is the only camping spot in the city. Visitors can enjoy the nature museum that exhibits the viewing of live animals. There are numerous beautiful spots to have a picnic, notably a waterfall that looks around the entire area and is an incredible viewpoint.
The park has some perfect exercise points with various, well-paved trails throughout the park that allow space for walkers and runners. Mountain bike riders will adore the great course that is newly built in the park
13. Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum
Placed inside a beautiful 1890 Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad Depot, the Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum offers visitors an insight into the early 20th century. The highly-rated museum shows visitors two floors of exhibits that tell the tale of Fayetteville. One of the highlights is an impressive model train room that has various old and detailed train models.
Visitors will be in awe of the range of exhibits that span from vintage cars, local fire department history, a history on the local farm history and even the early days of the city’s military history with exhibits on Fort Bragg.
14. 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Division
Dedicated to honouring the 82nd Airborne Division, this is a brilliant 75-year-old museum that showcases the remarkable efforts of these military heroes in World War 2. The exhibit is a 6000 square foot gallery that begins with world war one history, straight through the modern fight on global terrorism.
Visitors will love the seven-acre museum grounds that shows nearly all the aircraft that paratroopers have jumped from since World War 2. It’s possible to request a 25-minute showing of a film that shows the history of the 82nd Airborne Division in the theatre.
15. Gillis Hill Farm
An impressive nine generations of the Gillis Hill family have maintained this farm, and visitors will enjoy the numerous tours on offer which include a movie about growing up on a farm. A historical walking tour to showcase life before electricity and how they ran the farm.
The farm includes various farm animals with the opportunity to keep the children excited by feeding the animals, but not only that; there is a brilliant children’s play area. One of the best highlights of the farm is the impeccable ice cream on offer; the ice cream has an excellent reputation around the town and gets recommended by the locals.
16. Mash House
Mash House is home to some of the best local cuisine in the city. The brewery serves a vast number of local craft beers that have won massive awards and serves countless dishes of local cuisine with the sole purpose of supporting local farmers as much as possible.
Locals continually rate the Mash House as the best place to eat local meat, priding itself on its high-quality steak chops and beers that are handcrafted on-site using old-brewers techniques. Visitors will enjoy the focus on local cuisine and ale when dining here.
17. Cape Fear Trail
In the heart of Fayetteville’s beautiful natural scenery, the Cape Fear Trail offers a fantastic 10-foot wide trail that is pristine for runners, hikers, cyclists and anyone looking to get some fresh air. The track lasts for 5.5 miles and offers an eclectic range of trees and plants. Visitors will enjoy the guided signs along the path explaining the types of trees and plants you’re seeing.
The Cape Fear Trail has a diverse range of wildlife, so it’s an excellent idea to bring your binoculars. It’s common to see unusual frogs, birds and even the occasional turtle on the trail. There are over 1000 feet of boardwalk on the path that offers outstanding views of the surrounded marshes.
18. Fascinate U-Children’s Museum
Perfect for families, the Fascinate U-Children’s Museum is a mini-city where children can play, be creative and express themselves. The museum offers highly useful information on jobs in the community and serves to educate the children.
There are fantastic events every weekend with science projects, arts and craft events and special fun events. Families will enjoy the numerous exhibits that show the history of the city, including exhibitions of the fire station, post office, army fort and many more.
19. Weymouth Woods – Sandhills Nature Reserve
Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Reserve is a beautiful spot that is a distinct look into the longleaf pine trees that used to cover millions of acres in the Southeastern U.S. The woods are home to scarce animals such as the pine barrens tree frog, bog spicebush, the fox squirrel and the red-cockaded woodpecker.
Visitors will enjoy the short and safe trails around the woods which offer tours that give comprehensive education on the ecology. Numerous exhibits in the woods provide the perfect insight into the longleaf forest.
20. Festival Park
Described by many as the ‘crown jewel of downtown’, Festival Park is a vibrant park that offers visitors year-round entertainment. The park is over 14 acres in size and gives visitors vast seating space that allows for up to 15,000 people to enjoy.
The park is continuously producing incredible live events throughout the year with fantastic local performers. During the summertime, the park is home to concerts on Friday nights, and many local musicians will play shows regularly and it’s a superb place to grab a beer, relax and enjoy some fantastic local talent.
21. Fayetteville Rose Garden
Fayetteville Rose Garden is on an island right in the middle of the city, and it offers the beautiful sight of over 1000 roses. The Fayetteville Technical Community College established the garden in the 1970s and has built the garden to have a fantastic range of facilities such as gazebos, floras and massive water fountains.
Visitors will enjoy the various guided tours on offer, especially with the expert horticulturists who will explain and show visitors on the 35 different species of roses that are available at the park. The park is perfect for visiting from April till November when the roses bloom, and the park is gorgeous.
22. Market House
If you’re looking to see a symbol of the city’s history, then a great place to visit in the Market House. In the middle of Fayetteville, this house is a historic building built-in 1832. There are only 40 national historic landmarks in North Carolina, and this happens to be one of them.
The house offers an insight into the slave trade in the city, with enslaved people sometimes sold here in the 19th century. The history of the building dates back to the civil war when skirmishes used to take place around the house. There is a museum on the top floor that exhibits the history of the building and the city.
23. Cape Fear Regional Theatre
A performing home to some of Fayetteville finest acting talent, the Cape Fear Regional Theatre is a 60-year-old theatre in the heart of Fayetteville that offers incredible live entertainment. Visitors have a selection of various plays on offer throughout the year that is performed by super talented contracted actors from all over America.
There is a long list of plays such as off-broadway classics, musical theatre productions, children’s classics and many more. The passionate staff even offer visitors guided tours of the 300 seater theatre with backstage tours on offer.
24. Campbellton Landing
Located on the gorgeous Cape Fear River, the Campbellton Landing has a long history that dates back till 1762. Initially, this was a ferry landing for what was known as the Campbellton Village. The Campbellton Landing is an entertainment venue where visitors can enjoy wonderful live music concerts, special events and community gatherings on a year round basis.
The venue has fantastic fishing potential and is a fishing enthusiasts dream, you can find a variety of fish such as catfish, striped bass and electric range of different aquatic life that make this a top-class fishing spot.
25. Fowler’s Southern Gourmet
Showcasing some of the area’s finest local cuisine, Fowler’s Southern Gourmet is a restaurant that offers a wide range of classic meats made to perfection. The owners directly purchase from local producers, and the owners have a purpose of working with local producers that have the desire for the same commitment to quality.
The menu has a vast array of great options from high-quality BBQ dishes, exquisite pork ribs and classic brisket burgers. The restaurant produces high-quality meat that is a compliment to the outstanding cuisine of this part of America.