14 Best Things To Do in Fayetteville NC | Attraction and Tour

The best things to do in Fayetteville you will love, Tucked away in the central region of North Carolina, Fayetteville entices with its colorful cultural mosaic, rich history, and abundance of things to do just waiting to be explored. Every visitor may find something to suit their interests in Fayetteville, from outdoor activities and family-friendly excursions to the elegance of a historic downtown. Let’s take a tour of the best activities in this energetic city.

The Best Things To Do in Fayetteville, NC Attractions and Tours

These 14 activities in Fayetteville, North Carolina, are worth including on your schedule.



The first thing on the list of best things to do in Fayetteville is a visit to the Airborne and Special Operations Museum. Fayetteville’s strong ties to the military are evident in its landmarks. Both the nation’s warriors and the residents of this area have a particular place in their hearts for this museum.

For the past 20 years, the Airborne and Special Operations Museum has been teaching the public and reassuring everyone of the need to cherish our liberties. This location features not just a museum showcasing the great history of our airborne and special operations warriors but also a nearby local academy.

They provide unique tours if you’re interested in finding out more about contemporary training. Do you wish to learn more historical details? In addition, this museum highlights significant occasions like D-Day, the Vietnam War, and the fascinating backstories of notable figures like the Bielski Brothers.

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Fort Bragg is home to the 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum. With 54,000 military soldiers stationed there, Fort Bragg is a historical monument and one of the biggest military outposts globally. The museum was founded in 1945 to conserve and educate the public about the division’s 1917 history.

There are four full-time staff members available to assist you, but the exhibit area is self-guided and covers 5600 square feet of lessons beginning with World War I. There is a daily 25-minute video that showcases the history of the Army Airborne Division in the Museum Theater, which can accommodate 64 people.

Still, that’s not all! The seven acres of genuine grounds are just waiting to be discovered. This features almost every plane that paratroopers have jumped from since World War II at the Airborne Airpark. It is also one of the best things to do in Fayetteville


In the heart of Fayetteville’s historic downtown stands North Carolina Veterans Park. It has a lengthy history and is regarded as the first haven for American military personnel. Additionally, it’s the first state park in North Carolina devoted to veterans of the armed forces.

It’s the best spot to visit to express your gratitude and teach your children about the liberties bestowed upon them by our nation’s warriors. The Coast Guard, Army, Navy, and Air Force are just a few of the branches that are honored at the park. The Veterans Park is one of the best things to do in Fayetteville


The two-story Museum of Cape Fear tells the tale of North Carolina’s involvement in the Civil War. The 1897 Poe House and Arsenal Park are located inside the complex, in addition to the museum itself. One of the nation’s most fascinating museum complexes is the Museum of Cape Fear.

These grounds offer a wealth of deep, rich history, which can be discovered through self-exploration or guided excursions covering everything from Native Americans to European immigrants to the American Civil War. Visiting the Museum is one of the best things to do in Fayetteville

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  • 1897 POE HOUSE

The 1897 Poe House is a component of the Cape Fear Museum’s expansion. The house was constructed in 1897, as the name implies, and Mr. E. A. Poe, a local businessman with a brick firm, was the owner. The house is designed to show how women, kids, and families lived during that time.

Here, guided tours are available at 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00 on Tuesday through Friday. Additionally, they provide tours on Saturdays every hour, beginning at 10:00 and ending at 4:00. On Sunday afternoons, they also give tours.


Since Arsenal Park is housed inside the 7-acre complex, it is also a part of the Museum of Cape Fear. It’s interesting to note that the arsenal was both built and destroyed by the US government. Originally intended to be one of five freshly built arsenals, it was put into service immediately following the War of 1812. It was destroyed by the Union in 1865, even though it was supposed to be used to make guns and other combat props.

It is situated in a now-restored green open space that is free for guests to explore. You can see the arsenal’s outline and ruins, and it’s worthwhile to take a stroll around to get a whole sense of the area where these arsenals were constructed.

Best Things To Do in Fayetteville, NC Besides Going To Museums


5. Delight in Downtown (or Chill in Cool Springs)

A prime example of urban planning is the Fayetteville neighborhood, known as the Cool Springs Downtown District. Downtown Fayetteville has effectively transformed its image through numerous downtown revitalization initiatives that started in the early 1990s and are still carried out annually through Work Plans. As a result of the neighborhood’s acceptance of these initiatives, the district is now teeming with unique stores, exhibitions, activities, and much more. Visiting Downtown is one of the best things to do in Fayetteville

The ideal time to explore the district is on a Sunday afternoon, when it’s easy to walk and the meters are free. The Blue Moon Café waitlist was filled with names. We stopped by Turner Lane on a steamy summer day to enjoy their homemade slushy of North Carolina muscadine cider.

Explore Hays Street from top to bottom, then come back for coffee at Vagabond Café, where they make their syrups and take coffee very seriously. Additionally, they have a “cutting wall” that symbolizes the spirit of community in the Cool Springs District—a place where plant enthusiasts can begin trading.

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6. Stop and Smell the Roses at Cape Fear Botanical Garden

Only two miles from Fayetteville’s downtown lies the 80-acre Cape Fear Botanical Garden, which is situated between the Cape Fear River and Cross Creek. Highlights of the CFBG include the Daylily, Camellia, and Shade Gardens; the Heritage Garden, which has a homestead and 1886 agricultural facilities, the Butterfly Stroll, and the Children’s Garden. They also have gardens that change and hold special botanic activities.

During our visit, we were enthralled by the newly renovated Children’s Garden and the summer perennials that were blossoming. We did, of course, enjoy the shaded garden in the summertime heat. Additionally, we observed several wedding parties taking advantage of the naturally lit celebration area. The Cape Fear Botanical Gardens are a must-see for everyone who enjoys gardening.


One of the best things to do in Fayetteville is visit Lake Rim Park. Everything seems to be in place at Lake Rim Park. With family or friends, you may spend a day or possibly many days engaging in a variety of activities here. You can begin by walking their mile-long trek to Bones Creek, which crosses over wetlands.

You can also use the tennis courts, volleyball courts, and other sports facilities if you don’t feel like walking or taking a stroll. There are also several picnic tables, horseshoe pits, and kid-friendly playground equipment here.

8. Soar Through the Trees at Zipquest Waterfall & Treetop Adventure Park

According to USA Today, Zipquest Waterfall & Treetop Adventure Park is one of the greatest zipline parks in the country and bills itself as the top zipline facility in North Carolina. This acclaim is earned by a continuous trip through the treetops and across Carver’s Falls, not by one exceptionally long line or lightning-fast zip. Three suspension bridges and eight zip lines are present overall. Even at 800 feet, the longest is still sufficiently short to require a hand brake.

Zipquest has been a lot of fun for us and one of the best things to do in Fayetteville. After a thorough introduction and safety briefing, we quickly began zipping through the canopy. We’ve found ourselves spending more time on the line thanks to the ingenious course design than we did scaling ladders or meandering through the forest. The course was exceptionally well-designed, making the most of the views of Carver Falls while providing enough shade.

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9. Bike the Cape Fear River Trail and Cape Fear Mountain Bike Trail

The paved, 10-foot-wide Cape Fear River Trail travels through towering trees for seven miles, providing breathtaking vistas of the river. The trail features more than a thousand feet of boardwalk that winds through wetlands and marshes. There are also multiple bridges, one of which is a distinctive covered bridge over a train track. There are interpretative signs erected along the path due to the over 700 species of flora and trees, as well as the over 150 species of birds.

I rode the CFRT from the northern trail end to the Clark Park Nature Center and found it to be just as nice as riding the Yadkin Atlantic Trail in Greensboro or the Neuse River Trail in Raleigh mile for mile. It was a little short for destination biking, but I could have added more miles on the nearby Cape Fear Mountain Bike Trail if my Trek Top Fuel was in better shape. Regretfully, I had ruined my drivetrain right before this trip, so I was unable to exert the kind of force required for mountain biking. After a month and $1,500, I managed to have it fixed, but I’ll have to come back to Fayetteville to do more bicycling.

10. Kayak the Rockfish Creek Paddling Trail

The Rockfish Creek Paddling Trail is also one of the best things to do in Fayetteville, a little-known yet incredibly beautiful trail. Yakalacky Outfitters rented us kayaks, which made the logistics a breeze. Finding a parking spot at Hope Mill Lake proved to be the most difficult task. We then used the beach’s easy put-in after they met us with our boats at the parking lot.

We paddled beneath the railroad bridge and across a half-mile of flat water. After witnessing children jump off the bridge in a scenario straight out of Stand By Me, we noticed that the lake was getting smaller and smaller. That’s when the fun started. We paddled along the paddling track between the old cypress trees and swamp flowers, following the markers and flagging.

The oldest tree on the East Coast is a 2,624-year-old cypress located 70 miles away on the Black River; nevertheless, you can see its cousins here with just a simple paddle. We explored the backwaters for approximately an hour before returning to the beach and giving Yakalaky our kayaks to pick up. We pondered whether the throng of people splashing about the beach realized how near the amazing Rockfish Creek natural area was.


If you are a history buff, spending time on any of the 750 miles of Cultural Heritage Trails will be worthwhile. Fayetteville is referred to as “America’s Hometown,” and these paths allow you to discover everything there is to know about the country. To get a firsthand understanding of what it’s like to be African American in Fayetteville, pick the African American Heritage Trail and travel from site to site.

This route has over 20 destinations, ranging from churches to the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. The All-American Trail, the Civil War Trail, and the Antiques Trail are other options for exploration. Visit to These trails are all highly recommended as one of the best things to do in Fayetteville because it provide something fresh and unique.

12. Local History Museum and Fayetteville Area Transportation

The Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum is one of the best things to do in Fayetteville. We have examined issues on a large scale thus far, but what about everything local? This museum is housed in the rebuilt 1890 Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad Depot and focuses on the history of the lovely and historic downtown Fayetteville.

Two floors of displays loaded with artifacts can be found here. The early 20th century is covered in the history of the Fayetteville region, starting with prehistory. Don’t forget to check out the rebuilt station agent’s office and the steamboat interactive!

Additionally, the museum annex is adjacent to the museum. For younger children who aren’t big history buffs, this might be a little more entertaining. Vintage automobiles, a 1920s-style gas station, and the Fayetteville Silsby Steam Pump Engine may all be found here.

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A visit to the Cape Fear River Trail is among the best things to do in Fayetteville. One of the most breathtaking routes for bike rides, runs, or walks in Fayetteville is the Cape Fear River Trail. There are pathways along this 10-foot-wide walkway that cross wetlands with boardwalks and covered bridges. Given its length of 5.5 miles, you could easily spend several hours strolling along the river and enjoying the breathtaking views.

There are markers throughout the trail that describe the types of wildlife and habitat you might see. Along the trail, there are over 700 different kinds of trees and plants, and the surrounding area is home to over 150 different bird species. Additionally, keep an eye out for any potential reptiles and turtles! This is an excellent location for some exercise and enjoying the scenery.

14. Get Your Fill in the ‘Ville

The cuisine scene in Fayetteville was a pleasant blend of up-and-coming restaurants in the recently restored downtown area and long-standing local favorites.

The undiscovered Rockfish Creek Paddle Route and the Cape Fear Biking Trail—possibly the best biking route in North Carolina, mile for mile—are just two of the unexpected gems of Fayetteville, North Carolina. But visiting the remarkable culinary scene is one of the best things to do in Fayetteville.

  • Brunch at Blue Moon Café  – Worth the wait is this adorable downtown Fayetteville farm-to-table experience. We adored the sweet and salty combination of the prosciutto ham in the Caprese Benedict and the luscious Berries ‘n Brie Crostinis. The slow-cooked pork and avocado crème were too good to resist, even if we didn’t need breakfast tacos.
  • Vagabond Café – A haven for coffee aficionados, featuring straight-up coffee and house-made syrups for the sweet tooth. For connoisseurs or anyone searching for a great cup of coffee, this is a must-visit coffee establishment.
  • Luigi’s Italian Chophouse and Bar – A local Italian eatery that has been preparing family dishes for many years. We begged the owner for the recipe because we were infatuated with their chicken marsala. He claimed that using high-quality ingredients and tried-and-true recipes was where it all began.
  • Chris’s Steak & Seafood House – An additional long-lasting local favorite. Their slices were of excellent quality, and we appreciated how carefully they seasoned and prepared them.

Coolest Places to Stay in Fayetteville, NC

Coolest Places to Stay in Fayetteville, NC

  • Fun Home for the Whole Family. This incredible house has a large pool, game tables, a cinema room, and much more, making it ideal for a family or group vacation. The house is located 9 miles from Fort Bragg Military Base and features 5 bedrooms.
  • Hotel Pick for Families. If you’re not considering VRBO or housing choices, the Residence Inn by Marriott Fayetteville Cross Creek is a wonderful option if you have kids with you. The children’s museum and the city center are five miles away. Free breakfast is served daily in all suites, which also feature kitchenettes.
  • House Pick Near Ft. Bragg. Comfortable Cottage If you’re traveling to Ft. Bragg for a graduation or another occasion, the feel is fantastic. The three-bedroom house is located within five minutes of the base.

Insider Tips and Recommendations for Exploring Fayetteville, NC

Embarking on an adventure of the best things to do in Fayetteville, NC, promises a wealth of experiences, and insider tips can elevate your journey, ensuring a seamless and enriched exploration of this vibrant city.

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Here’s a guide to help you make the most of your time in Fayetteville:

1. Timing Matters: Fayetteville hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year. Plan your visit to coincide with these celebrations to experience the city’s lively spirit. From cultural festivals to community gatherings, these events offer a unique insight into Fayetteville’s vibrant community.

2. Hidden Gems Await: While iconic landmarks and popular attractions are a must-visit, don’t shy away from exploring Fayetteville’s hidden gems. Venture into lesser-known neighborhoods, discover local art installations and seek out charming cafes tucked away from the bustling crowds for an authentic experience.

3. Engage with Locals: The heart of Fayetteville lies in its community. Engage with locals, strike up conversations, and ask for recommendations. Whether it’s the best place to catch a sunset or a hidden trail for a peaceful hike, locals often hold the key to undiscovered treasures.

4. Diverse Culinary Scene: Fayetteville’s culinary scene is a delightful surprise. Beyond well-known eateries, explore diverse dining options, from food trucks offering unique bites to family-owned establishments serving authentic local dishes. Don’t hesitate to ask locals for their favorite spots.

5. Blend History with Modernity: Historic downtown Fayetteville seamlessly blends history with modernity. As you explore the cobblestone streets, take note of the juxtaposition of historic landmarks and contemporary boutiques. Embrace the dynamic fusion that defines the city’s character.

6. Plan Outdoor Adventures Strategically: If outdoor adventures are on your agenda, plan your visits to parks and trails strategically. Consider factors like weather and time of day for the best experience. Fayetteville’s outdoor spaces offer a tranquil retreat, so take advantage of nature’s beauty.

7. Stay Informed about Military Events: Fayetteville’s strong ties to the military often result in unique events and ceremonies. Stay informed about military-related events at Fort Bragg or the Airborne & Special Operations Museum. These occasions offer a profound glimpse into Fayetteville’s heritage.


Fayetteville, NC, invites you to immerse yourself in its tapestry of experiences. Whether you’re drawn to history, outdoor adventures, or the lively cultural scene, Fayetteville offers a diverse array of the best things to do in Fayetteville, NC You’ll Love. Discover the warmth of its community, explore hidden gems, and create memories that will linger long after you’ve bid this charming city farewell.

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