13 Best Things to Do in Fayetteville (Arkansas)

Written by Ariel Foster
Updated on
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During my visit to Fayetteville, Arkansas, I had the pleasure of exploring the city that beautifully combines small-town charm with the vibrancy of a thriving university. As the state’s third largest city, Fayetteville boasts a captivating atmosphere and a range of attractions that cater to various interests.

Nestled in scenic Washington County, Fayetteville is home to the renowned University of Arkansas. The campus itself is a sight to behold, with its picturesque surroundings and nationally recognized athletic programs. The city’s natural beauty extends beyond the campus, with vast stretches of untouched forests and stunning mountain ranges such as the Boston and Ozarks, which offer breathtaking vistas to nature enthusiasts.

Despite its modest population of just over 70,000 residents, Fayetteville manages to offer an array of amenities and experiences typically found in larger metropolitan areas. The university’s influence has fostered a vibrant cultural scene, resulting in numerous museums, galleries, and eateries that showcase the city’s creative spirit.

For those seeking to immerse themselves in the best of Fayetteville, here are thirteen standout attractions and activities that should not be missed.

1. Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium

Donald W. Reynolds Razorback StadiumSource: Ken Wolter / shutterstock
Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium

The Donald W. Reynolds Stadium, home to the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, stood as a revered symbol of this enthusiasm.

Even on days without games, the stadium exuded an aura of excitement and joy. Its impressive seating capacity, accommodating nearly 80,000 fans, left me in awe. With its rich history spanning decades, the stadium has seen numerous upgrades and expansions over the years, solidifying its status as a treasured landmark. For those interested in delving deeper into its story, informative tours were available, offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse of this iconic venue.

Exploring the University of Arkansas campus proved to be a delightful experience as well. Taking leisurely strolls along its pathways allowed me to absorb the vibrant atmosphere. The campus was always abuzz with various events and activities, particularly at the library and student center, where I had the opportunity to engage with the university’s dynamic community.

2. The Fayetteville Farmer’s Market

Fayetteville Farmer’s MarketSource: Stephen Cochran / Flickr
Fayetteville Farmer’s Market

One of the highlights of the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market was the unique array of offerings that couldn’t be found elsewhere. It was a joy to discover the diverse selection of goods, knowing that by purchasing them, I was directly supporting local families and businesses. The market’s commitment to showcasing locally made products added a meaningful dimension to my shopping experience.

Situated in the heart of historic downtown Fayetteville Square, on West Mountain Street, the market was conveniently located in an area renowned for its charming shops and enticing eateries. As I navigated the vibrant stalls, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the lively ambiance that permeated the surroundings.

With over 60 vendors participating in the market, the range of products available was truly impressive. From stunning art and jewelry to an abundance of fresh fruit, vibrant flowers, and tantalizing aromas of coffee and freshly baked goods, the market truly catered to every taste and preference.

I had the pleasure of immersing myself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market, a beloved local tradition that has been thriving for nearly 40 years. This bustling market showcased the finest local products, ranging from fresh produce and delectable prepared food to captivating arts and crafts, as well as body products.

Exploring the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market was an enriching experience, as I discovered the remarkable talents and craftsmanship of the local community. It was a celebration of local culture, creativity, and the spirit of entrepreneurship that left a lasting impression on me.

3. Wilson Park

Wilson Park, FayettevilleSource: US Department of State / Flickr
Wilson Park

As I strolled through the Wilson Park, I was delighted to discover a wide range of amenities available to cater to various interests. Sports enthusiasts could enjoy the well-maintained tennis courts, a refreshing swimming pool, a sprawling football field, and a basketball court for friendly competitions. For those seeking a more leisurely experience, there were ample spots throughout the park to relax with family and friends, or indulge in a delightful picnic amidst the serene surroundings. Situated conveniently in the heart of the city, this expansive park spanned nearly 23 acres and served as a cherished sanctuary for both locals and visitors.

Wilson Park thoughtfully provided covered seating areas, ensuring comfort even on sunnier days. The park also featured a vibrant playground that captured the imaginations of the little ones, offering a delightful space for them to explore and play.

One of the highlights of my visit was the scenic walking trail that led me to a captivating castle sculpture, a masterpiece created by a talented local artist. This unique artwork added an element of charm and whimsy to the park, inviting visitors to pause and appreciate the creative spirit that thrived within the community.

Wilson Park was a true gem in Fayetteville, providing a welcoming and inclusive space for people of all ages to come together and enjoy the beauty of nature. It was a testament to the city’s commitment to preserving green spaces and fostering a sense of community.

4. Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks

Botanical Gardens of the OzarksSource: LA Thomas / shutterstock
Botanical Gardens Of The Ozarks

One of the true treasures of this remarkable region is the Ozark Mountains, which boast breathtaking mountainscapes, lush valleys, and untouched forests. It was in this captivating setting that I discovered The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, a haven of botanical wonders that has graced the state since its establishment in the early ’90s.

Stepping into the garden, I was greeted by an incredible array of plant species, trees, and vibrant wildflowers that adorned the landscape. The diversity and beauty of the botanical displays were simply mesmerizing, offering a delightful sensory experience for all who visited.

However, one particular attraction stole the spotlight and captured the hearts of first-time visitors like myself—the enchanting butterfly house. This marvelous structure provided a sanctuary for these delicate creatures, allowing them to flutter and dance amidst a carefully curated garden designed to cater to their needs. It was a truly magical sight to witness the colorful butterflies gracefully flitting about, adding a touch of ethereal beauty to the already stunning surroundings.

What made my visit even more rewarding was the range of educational programs, workshops, and presentations offered throughout the year. These engaging activities provided valuable insights into the world of botany, horticulture, and the importance of preserving our natural environment. I highly recommend checking the garden’s online calendar to see what captivating events are scheduled during your visit to ensure you don’t miss out on any enriching experiences.

5. The Arkansas Air & Military Museum

The Arkansas Air & Military MuseumSource: Michael Barera / Wikimedia
The Arkansas Air & Military Museum

Upon entering The Arkansas Air & Military Museum, located on South School Avenue, I was immediately captivated by the abundance of captivating displays, exhibits, and memorabilia that showcased the storied legacy of the military and its impact on aviation. The collection was truly impressive, encompassing a wide range of artifacts and information that allowed visitors like myself to delve into the intricate details of this fascinating realm.

One aspect that made the museum particularly exciting was the ever-changing nature of its exhibits. While some displays were permanent fixtures, others were periodically rotated, ensuring that each visit offered a unique and unpredictable experience. The element of surprise heightened my anticipation as I eagerly explored the museum, never knowing what remarkable pieces of history awaited me.

Among the highlights of the museum was the aircraft hangar, a perennial favorite among visitors. Inside, I encountered a remarkable assortment of helicopters from the Vietnam Conflict era, each bearing the weight of stories and memories. The pièce de résistance was undoubtedly the awe-inspiring Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, a jet-powered fighter-bomber that played a pivotal role in the ’60s and ’70s. Its presence was a powerful reminder of the technological advancements and the brave individuals who soared through the skies to protect and serve.

For those planning a visit to The Arkansas Air & Military Museum, I recommend checking their website beforehand for the most up-to-date information on hours of operation and admission prices. This will ensure that you make the most of your experience and can plan your visit accordingly.

6. Self-Guided Beer Tour

Fossil Cove Brewing Co.Source: Fossil Cove Brewing Co. / Facebook
Fossil Cove Brewing Co.

Fayetteville underwent a remarkable beer renaissance in recent years, and among the local favorites were Bike Rack Brewing, Fossil Cove, and the Ozark Beer Company. However, it’s important to note that this is not an exhaustive list. The city was teeming with a vibrant beer scene, offering a diverse range of flavors and styles to satisfy any beer enthusiast’s palate.

One of the most exciting aspects of Fayetteville’s beer culture was the close proximity of many of these breweries to one another. This made embarking on a self-guided tour of the local beer scene a breeze. It was possible to hop from one brewery to the next, exploring their unique offerings and soaking in the distinct ambiance of each establishment. However, it’s crucial to prioritize safety when indulging in the local brews. Planning ahead by arranging a designated driver or calling a cab ensured that everyone could fully enjoy the experience while also being responsible.

The energy and enthusiasm surrounding Fayetteville’s microbreweries and taprooms created an inviting atmosphere where beer aficionados and casual drinkers alike could come together. The passion and craftsmanship poured into each pint were evident, and the sense of camaraderie among patrons added an extra layer of enjoyment to the experience.

If you find yourself in Fayetteville, I highly recommend embarking on your own beer exploration, immersing yourself in the city’s vibrant beer culture. Whether you’re sipping on a refreshing brew at Bike Rack Brewing, savoring the flavors at Fossil Cove, or enjoying the creations of the Ozark Beer Company, you’re sure to encounter a delightful array of flavors and discover new favorites along the way.

7. Baum Stadium

Baum StadiumSource: Brandonrush / Wikimedia
Baum Stadium

During my visit to Fayetteville, I had the pleasure of experiencing Baum Stadium, which is widely regarded as one of the finest collegiate baseball stadiums in the country. This remarkable venue serves as the home field for the University of Arkansas Razorback’s baseball team, showcasing their talent and passion when they aren’t competing on the road.

As a formidable force in the highly competitive Southeastern Conference, the Razorbacks consistently proved themselves to be top contenders. The stadium’s impressive capacity of over 10,000 seats created an electric atmosphere, making it an exhilarating and boisterous setting to witness a game firsthand.

Even when games were not in progress, Baum Stadium still offered opportunities for exploration. Guided tours were available, allowing fans like myself to gain exclusive access to areas of the stadium typically off-limits to the public. This behind-the-scenes experience provided an insider’s perspective and a deeper understanding of the stadium’s inner workings and history.

Situated at the intersection of South Razorback Road and 15th Street, Baum Stadium’s location was easily accessible. Its prominent position within the city made it a recognizable landmark and a focal point for baseball enthusiasts and Razorback fans alike.

8. The Clinton House Museum

Clinton House MuseumSource: Brandonrush / Wikimedia
Clinton House Museum

The Clinton House Museum holds significant historical significance as it was the very first home that Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton shared together. It was within these walls that they embarked on their journey as a married couple. While walking through the rooms, I couldn’t help but imagine the early days of their relationship and the dreams and aspirations they held.

Today, the Clinton House is no longer a private residence but has been transformed into a captivating public museum. It stands as a testament to the political accomplishments of both Bill and Hillary Clinton. As I explored the museum, I discovered a fascinating collection of exhibits showcasing their lives, campaigns, and political achievements. The displays included an array of campaign paraphernalia, photographs, and documents that chronicled their remarkable rise in the political arena.

It was not surprising to find the Clinton House Museum situated on Clinton Drive, a fitting location that echoed the legacy of the individuals it honored. The proximity of the museum to their former residence added an extra layer of significance to the experience, as I could imagine the couple’s footsteps as they embarked on their political journey.

9. The Walton Arts Center

Walton Arts CenterSource: Ken Wolter / shutterstock
Walton Arts Center

The establishment of the Walton Arts Center in the early 1990s was a testament to the family’s commitment to supporting and promoting the performing arts within the local community. Situated on West Spring Street in Fayetteville, the center served as a hub for a diverse range of live performances, including music, dance, and theater.

Stepping into the Walton Arts Center, I was immediately struck by its grandeur and elegance. The venue offered an impressive array of educational, instructional, and popular entertainment programs catered to individuals of all ages. Whether you were a child or an adult, there was always something captivating and enriching to experience within the walls of this cultural haven.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Walton Arts Center was the ever-changing lineup of performers. With each visit, there was an air of anticipation and excitement as I eagerly awaited the curtain to rise, not knowing what marvelous artistic display would unfold before my eyes. This element of surprise and unpredictability added an extra layer of enchantment to each performance, ensuring that no two visits to the center were ever the same.

The Walton Arts Center stood as a testament to the Walton family’s enduring commitment to fostering the arts and enriching the community. Their philanthropic endeavors allowed Fayetteville to thrive as a cultural destination, attracting both local residents and visitors from afar to indulge in the beauty and magic of live performances.

10. TheatreSquared

TheatreSquaredSource: theatre2.org

TheatreSquared’s dedication to the performing arts was evident in the multitude of shows they produced each year. Whether it was showcasing local talents or featuring nationally acclaimed performers, the theater was a platform for both established entertainers and up-and-coming artists to showcase their skills and captivate audiences.

As I stepped into the theater’s intimate 170-seat auditorium, I immediately felt a sense of closeness and connection that is often absent in larger venues. This unique setting created an immersive experience, allowing the audience to truly engage with the performances and feel a personal connection to the actors on stage.

TheatreSquared, located within the Nadine Baum Studios section of the Walton Arts Center, was a place where rising stars found their moment to shine. It served as a nurturing environment for emerging talents, providing them with a platform to showcase their abilities and gain recognition within the industry.

In addition to its remarkable performances, TheatreSquared also played a vital role in the community by hosting educational and instructional courses on various aspects of the arts. Their commitment to fostering creativity and artistic development was evident in the diverse range of programs they offered.

11. Fayetteville Downtown Square & Gardens

Fayetteville Downtown Square & GardensSource: shuttersv / shutterstock
Fayetteville Downtown Square & Gardens

Embracing a spirit of adventure, I embarked on a self-guided exploration of this vibrant area of Downtown Square and Gardens, immersing myself in its unique atmosphere on foot. Whether you have a few hours to spare or a leisurely afternoon ahead, the Downtown Square and Gardens offer an abundance of experiences that are sure to captivate and delight.

The downtown area truly comes alive during the holiday seasons when the residents and vendors spare no effort in adorning the streets with dazzling lights and festive decorations. It was a joy to stroll through this enchanting wonderland, soaking in the festive spirit that permeated every corner. However, regardless of the time of year, the downtown area never fails to offer an array of quaint shops, inviting eateries, cozy bars, and charming coffee shops. Each step revealed new and exciting treasures waiting to be discovered.

As I meandered through the streets, I couldn’t resist indulging in some local culinary delights. Caramel corn and deep-fried Oreo cookies were among the tempting treats that beckoned to my taste buds. For those who weren’t concerned about counting calories, these indulgent delights offered a blissful moment of guilty pleasure, providing a flavorful respite from the everyday.

12. Lake Fayetteville

Lake FayettevilleSource: Amarvelous / shutterstock
Lake Fayetteville

The Lake Fayetteville proved to be a popular destination for various outdoor activities. Hikers, bikers, swimmers, and fishermen alike could be seen enjoying the natural beauty that surrounded them. I joined the ranks of these outdoor enthusiasts, immersing myself in the serene ambiance that Lake Fayetteville offered.

One of the highlights of the lake was its connection to the Arkansas Greenway—a well-maintained and easily accessible path that wound through the city’s diverse districts and neighborhoods. It provided a scenic route for walking and offered opportunities to appreciate the surrounding natural landscapes.

As luck would have it, my exploration of Lake Fayetteville left me feeling quite hungry. To my delight, I discovered a gathering of food trucks near the lake’s lanes, ready to cater to the appetites of visitors like me. It was a treat to indulge in delicious fare while taking in the tranquil surroundings.

I was impressed by the accessibility of Lake Fayetteville. Many areas surrounding the lake were thoughtfully designed to accommodate individuals using wheelchairs as well as parents pushing strollers. This inclusivity allowed everyone to fully enjoy the natural wonders that Lake Fayetteville had to offer.

13. Bud Walton Arena Hall of Champions Museum

Bud Walton Arena Hall Of Champions MuseumSource: Doug Greenwald / Facebook
Bud Walton Arena Hall Of Champions Museum

As a state with a deep passion for basketball, it was no surprise that the Razorbacks held a special place in the hearts of many. While getting tickets to their games could be a challenge, gaining entrance into the museum was a relatively simple task.

Stepping inside, I was greeted by a treasure trove of basketball memorabilia. Jerseys, balls, and an abundance of photographs adorned the walls, serving as nostalgic reminders of the Razorback teams from years gone by. The museum even showcased the coveted trophy that was earned during their victorious National Championship campaign.

The best part? Admission to the museum was completely free, allowing visitors to delve into the rich history of Arkansas basketball without any financial barriers. However, it’s important to note that the museum is closed on weekends, so it’s advisable to check their schedule online before planning a special trip.

For basketball enthusiasts and fans of the Razorbacks, the Bud Walton Arena Hall of Champions museum offered a captivating experience filled with cherished memories and a deep appreciation for the team’s legacy.

13 Best Things to Do in Fayetteville (Arkansas):

  • Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium
  • The Fayetteville Farmer’s Market
  • Wilson Park
  • Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks
  • The Arkansas Air & Military Museum
  • Self-Guided Beer Tour
  • Baum Stadium
  • The Clinton House Museum
  • The Walton Arts Center
  • TheatreSquared
  • Fayetteville Downtown Square & Gardens
  • Lake Fayetteville
  • Bud Walton Arena Hall of Champions Museum