29 Things You Need To Know About Fayetteville Before You Move ThereWoo pig sooie!
1. Fayettevillians Know Not To Make Any Plans On Gameday
Since there are only a handful of home games a year, you better believe that when the Razorbacks are playing, life in town comes to a bit of a standstill. Anyone who isn’t at Razorback Stadium is likely at a bar or glued to a television set somewhere in town.
2. Throw Your Pre-Conceptions About The “South” Out The Window
If you prefer to classify anyone living South of the Mason-Dixon as a bible thumper, a heavy churchgoer, and an across-the-board Republican voter, you might want to ignore the existence of Fayetteville—two of the most prominent Democrats in America got their start there, after all. While there are certainly traditional Southern touches to the city, Fayetteville is a pretty funky, artsy town, and tends to lean much more liberally than the surrounding areas.
3. Everybody And Their Uncle Loves Hugo’s
This basement-located hangover-curing spot has been a local favorite for nearly forty years. Creative burgers, reubens, and sweet and savory crepes reign supreme on the menu.
4. Folks Here Are A Bit Slow
No, not in the sense that you need to explain everything to them three of four times—they’re plenty smart. Locals just take their sweet time doing just about everything. So just sit back, relax, and take in the mountain air.
5. The Locals And Students Have A Love/Hate Thing Going On
The massive university at the center of the city means that year-round Fayetteville residents experience everything that goes along with being a college town, both good and bad. This includes students working on projects, volunteering around town, and making the city a more interesting place, and alternately, partying quite heartily, which can lead to some tension with locals.
6. U Of A Is Football Rivals With Pretty Much Everybody
Razorbacks fans HATE the Texas Longhorns and the LSU Tigers. And Ole Miss. And, starting this year, Missouri, too. The intensity of college football in the South, combined with conference realignments, has led to a whole lot of bad gridiron blood.
7. But You Shouldn’t Sleep On The School’s Other Sports Squads
Sure, Arkansas plays in the SEC, meaning when it comes to money and overall fan love, football reigns supreme. But it’d be foolish to sleep on their hoops squad, which during the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, was a powerhouse. Or their baseball team, which has played in the College World Series three times in the last ten years. Or their track and field squad, so dominant that its earned Fayetteville the title “Track Capital of the World.”
8. The Bikes, Blues & BBQ Rally Lives Up To Its Name And Then Some
In the last weekend of September, hundreds of thousands of bikers from across the country turn out for four days of eating delicious Southern barbecue, listening to live music, wearing leathery things while revving loudly around town and raising money for charity.
9. When The City’s Packed, Hit Scull Creek Trail
Here’s a tip for game days, the Bikes, Blues & BBQ Rally, or any other day that makes it nearly-impossible to get around town: hop on your bike and hit the Scull Creek Trail. Opened in 2008, this four mile paved trail will take you through the heart of town without dealing with traffic.
10. Fayetteville’s Botanical Garden Is All About Grassroots
A Fayetteville spot for your inner botanophile, the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks takes a pretty city and makes it even prettier. Sitting on 100 meticulously manicured acres next to Lake Fayetteville, this grassroots horticultural and education center is home to an astounding variety of plant and wildlife and also is a major local spot for farmers’ markets, weddings and other outdoor events.
11. Fayetteville’s Roots Festival Is An OId-Fashioned All-American Good Time
What’s a cool arts town without a great music festival? Fayetteville Roots Festival, founded in 2010, brings the tunes, with homegrown Americana acts like the Wood Brothers, John Prine, and Lucinda Williams. The fest also celebrates local farmers, features film screenings and includes community-centric events like genealogy workshops and food demonstrations.
12. Wanna Tap Into Fayetteville’s Pulse? Head Down To Dickson Street
A favored hangout spot for of U of A kids the Dickson Street area is Fayetteville’s entertainment heartbeat. Dating back to 1835, the Dickson Street district was the original commercial hub of the city. These days, it maintains its reputation as a central part of the city, with its numerous bars, restaurants, shops, and throwback architecture.
13. Don’t Confuse This Fayetteville With Other, Lesser Fayettevilles
Fayetteville, Arkansas is the largest Fayetteville in America in terms of metro population, but originally the city was named after Fayetteville, Tennessee. Georgia and North Carolina also have significant Fayettevilles of their own. In all, there are twelve Fayetteville’s in America, which, we imagine, makes Googling your city a true pain in the butt.
14. The Clintons Are Kind Of A Big Deal
Fayetteville is slightly obsessed with the most powerful couple to come out of Arkansas, well, ever. As they began to build their political dynasty, Bill and Hillary Clinton lived in Fayetteville, where they bought their first house together and taught at the University of Arkansas’ School of Law. These days, you can visit their unassuming original digs, which have been converted into the Clinton House Museum.
15. TheatreSquared Is Hands Down The Best Theater Squad In Town
TheatreSquared is perhaps the town’s most beloved arts organization. Up and running since 2005, the forwarding-thinking company puts on 95 annual performances of five different productions every year, and regularly gets national notices for being one of the best up-and-coming professional theater groups in the country.
16. Arkadia Retrocade Is Throwback Fun At Its Best
This all-you-can-game for $5 throwback spot is crazy popular among kids celebrating birthdays and adults who still dream of kill-screening Donkey Kong Billy Mitchell-style.
17. Grub's Bar & Grille Is The Quintessential College Bar
One of the most beloved college bars in the country, Grub’s Bar & Grille is pretty much the perfect Friday and Saturday hangout spot, so long as you don’t mind pretty big crowds after Hogs games. There are tunes. There’s a patio. There are stellar burgers, assorted snackums, and a solid beer selection. And there are, of course, plenty of TVs for sports watching.
18. Walmart Is A Big Deal Around These Parts
Walmart is based in Bentonville, about a half hour away, and the Walton family has made massive contributions to the Fayetteville. Several important local cultural centers were largely funded by and named for the family—more on that later. Although, Fayetteville locals still tend to prefer the label “college town” to “Walmart town.”
19. The City Is Prettier Than An Especially Pretty Picture
Once you’ve lived there for a while, it’s easy to lose sight of, but the Fayetteville area is all kinds of pretty. Well-manicured, clean, located in the beautiful Ozarks, and stunning come fall, Parade Magazine recently named it the most beautiful city in America with a population between 50,000 and 100,000.
20. Business Is A-Boomin’
Fayetteville has been widely viewed as one of the best spots in America to ride out the recession due to the stability of the U of A, Walmart, and overall low unemployment numbers. And due to a recent explosion of high tech jobs and businesses in the area, Forbes recently ranked Fayetteville as the eighth best city in the country “Business and Careers.”
21. Fayetteville Underground Art Gallery Keeps The Area Cultured
Certainly one of the coolest things the Fayetteville art scene has going for it, Fayetteville Underground is an all-purpose non-profit art organization and arts outpost for Fayetteville and the greater Northwest Arkansas area. The organization has its brick-and-mortar at Fayetteville Square (above ground, as it turns out), which features five galleries and seven studios.
22. Bud Walton Arena Is For Basketball And Massive Business Meetings
Named for the lesser known of Walmart’s two co-founders, the 19,000 seat Bud Walton Arena serves as the home to the U of A’s men’s and women’s hoops squad, and if one of the largest on-campus arenas in the country. The arena also notably houses the massive annual Walmart shareholders meeting, which in the past has included performances from huge names like Elton John, Justin Timberlake, and Alicia Keys.
23. Walton Performing Arts Center Is For Every Performance Imaginable
Another major Walton contribution to the Fayetteville landscape, the Walton Arts Center is the biggest performing arts center in town, featuring a main auditorium, a black box theater, several studio and reception spaces, and a small outdoor amphitheater. The space is home to the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, and features everything from Broadway touring productions to national music acts like the Avett Brothers and Willie Nelson.
24. Fayetteville Downtown Square & Gardens Is A Major Entertainment Outpost
Inside the Downtown Square and Gardens you’ll find a beautifully maintained outdoor park and meeting place that houses a massive, locally beloved farmers’ market. Around the garden, the square is an entertainment hub, featuring restored buildings that now accommodate restaurants and shops.
25. ...And Come December, It’s All Sorts Of Lit Up And Pretty
If you need proof that the good people of Fayetteville take the holiday season seriously, you’ll want to check out Downtown Square come Christmastime. The area hosts the annual Lighting of the Ozarks, a month-long holiday celebration featuring carriage rides, music, hot cocoa and anything and everything else associated with the yuletide spirit. It also features half a million (!) lights brightening up the Square.
26. Lake Fayetteville Is Darn Pretty And Pretty Darn Close
Sitting beside the aforementioned Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Lake Fayetteville, and its accompanying park and trail, is the easiest way for Fayetteville folks to access outdoorsy activities near city limits. Spread over nearly 650 acres of land, the lake and park make camping, fishing, kayaking, and hiking easily accessible to anyone in the area.
27. Don’t Just Stand There And Look At The Ozarks: Climb Them!
Besides helping to make the area look stunning, there’s another major perk to living in the Ozarks if working on your upper-body strength and becoming best buds with nature is your thing: the jagged terrain makes for incredible climbing and hiking.
28. With 112, Drive-In Movie Theaters Are Alive And Well
If you think the drive-in movie theater is dead, don’t tell anyone in Fayetteville. The 112 Drive-In plays back-to-back major Hollywood movies over the weekends on the way, way, cheap, making it a weekend favorite for families as well as broke college kids trying to have fun and save a buck. Plus, snacks
29. It Ain’t Just College Kids: Retirees Love Fayetteville Too
With all this talk of Fayetteville being a college town, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that another huge demographic makes Fayetteville their home. In huge and constantly increasing numbers, Fayetteville is a place where people are coming to enjoy warm weather, hit the links and, in general, do whatever they missed out on while working full time and raising a family. What do you love about living in Fayetteville? Tell us in the comments below!