Located in scenic Washington County, Fayetteville is Arkansas’ third largest city.
It’s home to the University of Arkansas, which is known for its beautiful campus and nationally competitive athletic programs. Like much of the state, the surrounding area is full of large tracts of undisturbed forest and scenic mountain ranges like the Boston and Ozarks.
With just over 70,000 residents, it’s more a small town than it is a city, but largely due to the university’s influence it’s full of museums, galleries, eateries and lots of other things that are usually reserved for larger metropolitan areas.
Below are 13 of the best things to do in Fayetteville.
1. Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium
Arkansas residents take their college football seriously, and since the Donald W. Reynolds Stadium is home to the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, it’s held in high esteem.
Even on non-game days, the stadium is a fun place to visit; you’ll marvel at its seating capacity of nearly 80,000.
The stadium has been around for decades and has undergone numerous upgrades and expansions over the years. Tours are available if you’d like to be shown around.
Consider spending some time on campus as well. It’s a great place to walk around, and there are often events going on at the library and student center.
2. The Fayetteville Farmer’s Market
For nearly 40 years, the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market has been highlighting the best local products like produce, prepared food, arts and crafts, and body products.
You’ll find things here that aren’t available elsewhere, and since nearly all of what’s on sale is locally made, you’ll be supporting local families.
Located in historic downtown Fayetteville Square on West Mountain Street, the market is in a part of town that’s known for its shops and eateries.
The market is comprised of more than 60 vendors; their products include art, jewelry, fruit, flowers, and some of the best coffee and fresh baked goods you’ll find anywhere in town.
3. Wilson Park
Conveniently located in the city’s center, Wilson Park was the first public park in Fayetteville and was completed in 1906.
Since then, it’s nearly 23 acres has been a haven for city residents and visitors alike.
The park’s amenities include tennis courts, a swimming pool, a football field, and basketball court, but if sports aren’t your thing, there are plenty of areas to relax with your family or enjoy a picnic.
There are covered seating areas, a playground for the little ones, and even a walking trail that leads to a castle sculpture created by a local artist.
4. Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks
Arkansas is often referred to as ‘The Natural State’ due to its vast tracts of nearly pristine mountains, valleys, and forests.
The Ozark Mountains are one of the state’s natural gems, and The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks has been the home of the state’s most impressive gardens since its creation in the early ‘90s.
While there are thousands of varieties of plants, trees, and wildflowers on display, there’s also a fantastic butterfly house that often steals the spotlight with first-time visitors.
Throughout the year, many instruction programs, workshops, and presentations are offered, so check online to see what’s on the calendar for when you’ll be in town.
5. The Arkansas Air & Military Museum
For military and aircraft buffs, a trip to The Arkansas Air & Military Museum on South School Avenue should be a no-brainer.
It’s chock-full of displays, exhibits, and paraphernalia related to the armed forces and military aviation.
Some of the exhibits are permanent, and others change periodically, so you never know what you’ll see until you show up.
The aircraft hangar is a perennial favorite and includes helicopters from the Vietnam Conflict era and a Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, which was a jet-powered fighter-bomber that was in service in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Check their website for hours of operation and prices before you go.
6. Self-Guided Beer Tour
No matter where you go, microbreweries and taprooms are sprouting up.
They’re popular places to hang out, watch a big game, or just relax with a cold one and conversation with some like-minded people.
Fayetteville experienced a beer renaissance in recent years, with Bike Rack Brewing, Fossil Cove and the Ozark Beer Company being a few of the favorites. That’s not a complete list mind you.
Many of the breweries mentioned above are conveniently located near one another, so doing a self-guided tour won’t be difficult, just make sure to call a cab or designate a driver before you go.
7. Baum Stadium
Considered by many to be one of the country’s best collegiate baseball stadiums, Baum Stadium is where the University of Arkansas Razorback’s baseball team plays their home games when they’re not on the road.
They’re big-time contenders in the tough Southeastern Conference, and with more than 10,000 seats, it’s a loud and exhilarating place to watch a game.
When not in use, it’s possible to take guided tours. If you choose to go this route, you’ll get an insider’s look into many areas of the stadium that are usually off-limits.
The stadium is located on South Razorback Road where it intersects with 15th Street.
8. The Clinton House Museum
Regardless of what you think of Bill Clinton and his scandal-tainted stint in the White House, the Clinton House Museum is a bit of Americana that’s a popular point of interest for amateur historians.
It was the first home shared by Slick Willy and Hillary and is where they were married as well.
Today, it’s no longer a residence, but a public museum dedicated to both husband and wife and their political accomplishments.
Not surprisingly, it’s located on Clinton Drive and features an array of exhibits, campaign paraphernalia, photographs and documents related to their meteoric rise in the political arena.
9. The Walton Arts Center
The fabulously wealthy Walton family are heirs to the enormous Wal-Mart fortune, and it’s no surprise that with so much expendable cash, they tend to dabble in philanthropy.
The Walton Arts Center was established in the early ‘90s to support and promote the performing arts in the local community.
Located on West Spring Street in Fayetteville, the center hosts a wide array of live performances, including music, dance, and theater.
There are educational, instructional and popular entertainment programs for children and adults alike, and since the performers are always changing, you never know what you’ll see.
TheatreSquared is a locally-managed, professional theater and production company that’s based in downtown Fayetteville.
They produce hundreds of shows per year and include local as well as national talent, consisting of already established entertainers and up-and-comers.
The center’s 170-seat auditorium promotes a personal feeling and intimacy that are often lacking in larger venues.
TheatreSquared is located inside the Nadine Baum Studios portion of the Walton Arts Center and is recognized as a place where rising stars come to shine.
It’s located on West Spring Street and hosts educational and instructional courses on various arts as well, so check out their website.
11. Fayetteville Downtown Square & Gardens
Fayetteville’s Downtown Square and Gardens are conveniently located near many of the city’s most popular hotels, so if you’ve got a few hours to spare and want to do a bit of self-guided exploration on foot, there’s no better place.
The downtown area is particularly popular during the holiday seasons when residents and vendors go all-out with the lights and decorations. No matter when you go, you’ll find quaint shops and eateries, comfortable bars and coffee shops, and lots of other fun things as well.
Caramel corn and deep-fried Oreo cookies are a few favorites, especially for those who aren’t worried about clogging an artery or two.
12. Lake Fayetteville
For sportsman, nature lovers and artists looking for some natural inspiration, Lake Fayetteville is a great place to spend a day.
It’s popular with hikers, bikers, swimmers, and fisherman, and is connected to the Arkansas Greenway – an easily-walkable path that leads through many of the city’s districts and neighborhoods.
If by some stroke of misfortune you arrive at the lake hungry, you’ll appreciate the bevy of food trucks that often congregate around the lake’s lanes to cater to hungry visitors.
Many of the areas around the lake are accessible to those who use wheelchairs, and babies in strollers as well.
13. Bud Walton Arena Hall of Champions Museum
Located on West Leroy Pond Drive in Fayetteville, the Bud Walton Arena Hall of Champions museum has been a favorite destination for Arkansas hoop lovers from all over the state and country.
The Razorbacks take winning seriously, and though tickets to the actual games can be hard to come by, entrance into the museum is pretty easy.
Inside, you’ll see jerseys, balls and tons of photos and other remembrances of Razorback teams in the past, and even the trophy from when they won the National Championship.
The museum is free to visit, but it’s not open on weekends, so it’s best to check online before making a special trip.