Welcome to City Stories, a look at cities around the world from a local or a frequent traveler, in 24 hours. This month, Sarah Fortune, is giving us a great tour of her adopted hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas.
|One of the best things about Fayetteville, Arkansas is that it’s small enough to feel like a spunky little college town, but large enough to still be exciting, with endless options of things to do and places to explore. There’s no shortage of good food or things to do in Northwest Arkansas, but there are a few I places try to visit any time we host friends and their kiddos from out of town. Here are just a handful of my faves that I like to share.
Breakfast: Located in an old train station just off lively Dickson Street, Arsaga’s at The Depot is a great spot, right in the heart of town, to grab breakfast before exploring. The patio is situated right on the Razorback Greenway, a trail system for walkers and bicyclists woven all throughout the area.
Lunch: Ask anyone in Fayetteville and they will tell you that Hugo’s is a Fayetteville staple. Located in a basement, just off of the historic town square, it’s cozy and full of character. From awesome burgers, to crepes for the kids, this casual spot is affordable and some of the best food in town, making it an easy choice for parents.
Dinner: Another favorite option located just off the trail system is Woodstone Craft Pizza, which is as great for kids as it is grownups. Instead of a coloring page and crayons, kids are handed Etch-a-Sketches while grownups are handed one of the best drink menus in town, featuring unique craft cocktails and local beers. The pizza features locally sourced ingredients and unique combinations, but they offer simple options like pasta or pepperoni pizza for the kiddos.
Dessert: Located on Dickson Street, Burton’s Comfort Creamery is one of many food trucks lined up under strands of white lights in a food truck court called “Shipley’s Alley””. It’s only open seasonally, so if you’re visiting during the summer months, any kid is sure to appreciate “The Elton John,” which features a huge amount of ice cream drizzled in strawberry sauce and coated in Fruity Pebbles cereal.
After breakfast, take a stroll on the trail from Arsaga’s, stopping off at the Fayetteville Public Library. Voted “Library of the Year” when it opened just over 10 years ago, it’s a great spot for a little quiet time. From there, wander over to the downtown square which is a destination all in itself.
If you are lucky enough to be in town on a Saturday during the spring or summer, the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market on the Square cannot be missed. From popsicle stands, to local banjo players on the corner, and all the cute little shops and restaurants in between, the Farmers’ Market captures the true essence of what Fayetteville is all about. Be sure to swing by Terra Tots or The The Mustache for some kiddie shopping options and Bliss Cupcakes in the old post office building, which sits grandly in the center of the Square.
Wilson Park is another Fayetteville staple for many reasons, but the main being every kid’s favorite: The Castle. Looking like it landed right out of a fairytale, the giant art piece is perfect for letting your kids, and their imaginations, run wild. Also within the park there’s a public pool, playgrounds, and plenty of shaded space for a picnic.
Just up the road in Bentonville is one of the most impressive modern art museums in the country. At Crystal Bridges the grounds alone are worth the 30-minute drive north and the museum building is equally as impressive as the artwork inside. There’s a wonderful children’s section of the museum, but even my 4-year-old is fascinated walking around the modern exhibitions. If you end up staying longer than you expected (and you probably will because it’s that cool), there’s a delicious café and restaurant on site to cure any ‘hangry’ kid moments.
As you drive to and from Crystal Bridges, you pass The Amazeum which is a hands-on children’s museum that allows for a playful, learning experience. The only problem with stopping here is that it’s often difficult to get your kids to leave.
But happily, that can be said for our entire area in general, so stick around and settle in, even if it’s just for 24 hours.
Thanks so much Sarah and Iris! We can’t wait to come visit and take in Fayetteville, through your eyes.