Looking for adventure? Check. Architecture? Check. Arts? Double check. Welcome to Fayetteville, Arkansas—God’s country if ever there was one. Here you’ll find a perfect balance of culture and contentment, a place where tradition is offset with just enough spunky newness, natural beauty with downtown bustle, and deeply rooted history with the avant-garde. No matter what you’re into, give the city twenty-four hours and it’ll give you the time of your life.
- For the Thirsty Traveler
Fayetteville’s craft-beer scene is quickly on the rise (photo courtesy of ExperienceFayetteville.com) No one likes to sightsee thirsty. Fortunately for you, O parched companion, Fayetteville offers a myriad number of ways to wet your whistle, from nose-wrinkling pale ales to syrupy-sweet muscadine wine. Sip your suds and stamp your passport on the Fayetteville Ale Trail, a conglomeration of ten feisty microbrews that wind their way through the Ozarks. Grown up grape juice more your style? We’ve got you covered: Arkansas produces more wine than any other Southern state, and some of the best boutique wineries can be found up here in the Northwest corner.
- For the History Buff Fayetteville is filled with fodder for history buffs, including the state’s flagship university, the University of Arkansas (photo by Rebel At)Graveyards give you goosebumps? Primary Source Documents make your pulse quicken? Then a trip over to Fayetteville should make you downright giddy. Whereas any city would be proud to have a site or two on the National Historic Register, Fayetteville boasts over forty, from Civil War cemeteries to cattle barns, and everything in between (the University of Arkansas boasts eleven alone!). Add to that a handful of first-rate museums to suit any taste—the Arkansas Air and Military Museum, the Wal-Mart Museum, and the Crystal Bridges Art Museum are among them—and you’ve got enough to keep your resident annalist happily mired in history ad infinitum.
- For the Foodie Fayetteville’s food scene has something to satisfy every appetite (photo courtesy of ExperienceFayetteville.com)Every foodie worth their foie gras knows that a meal is more than what gets plopped on your plate; it’s about the experience—and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better experience than the one you’ll find on Dickson Street, the nucleus and self-proclaimed heartbeat of the city. Here you’ll find eclectic iterations of farm-to-table fare served up hot in thoughtfully restored interiors or beneath the balmy Southern sky. The area boasts live music almost every night of the week, craft cocktails, top-notch entertainment, and impromptu dances of joy long into the evening.
- For the Guy that Hates the Word “Foodie” Fayetteville’s barbecue connoisseurs take a cue from their nearby neighbors, serving it Memphis-styleHere’s to the guy that knows that polenta is just grits, sweetbreads are just organs, and sauce—pâté, purée, or consommé—is just a sauce. And speaking of sauce, let’s talk barbecue. Fayetteville sees your appetite for real food, sir, and raises it to the power of fourteen; that’s the number of porcine palaces you’ll find in the city paying homage to the fineness of swine in the best way they can: by slow smoking it, slathering it in spicy-sweet sauce, and serving it up hot. Avoid the tinkerings of fusspot gastronomes and sit down to a real meal and discover first-hand why Fayetteville is named one of the top ten cities for barbecue.
- For the Tree-Hugger
Nature enthusiasts can take advantage of the natural beauty of the Ozarks without traveling too far from town (photo courtesy of ExperienceFayetteville.com)Fact: You’d be hard pressed to find prettier country than that offered in the Ozarks. Here you’ll find glassy-deep pools, white rushes of roaring water, dense thickets of deciduous forest, and shades of green that defy definition. Best of all, you can experience the best that the wilderness has to offer without the inconvenience of enduring the wild in any of the 3,000 acres of parks, gardens, and greenspaces offered in Fayetteville. Nature enthusiasts can bike, fish, swim, or gaze meaningfully into the middle-distance amid the world-renowned splendor of Ozarks.