22 Fun Things to Do in Fayetteville NC: Museums, Food, Parks, & Outdoor Adventures

Historical Market House architecture inside the Hay Street roundabout in downtown Fayetteville NC

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Looking for fun things to do in Fayetteville?

Known as the home of Fort Bragg — one of the largest military posts in the US — there are plenty of places to visit in Fayetteville if you’re interested in military history.

But that’s not all the city has to offer!

The Cape Fear River runs through Fayetteville offering outdoor enthusiasts fun opportunities to boat, fish, kayak, and more.

You’ll also find several colleges and universities in the area, which means there will definitely be good bars and nightlife to enjoy!

Check out all the best Fayetteville activities and attractions with our helpful guide from a local.

You might also like our guides to Charlotte, Raleigh, or Durham if you’re exploring more of NC.

Heading out for summer adventures?

Check out the best family-friendly beaches in North Carolina for the whole crew to enjoy.

Fun Things to Do in Fayetteville, North Carolina

Our guide starts in downtown Fayetteville and then heads outward from there.

For many of these recommendations, you can walk throughout the downtown area.

Once you reach the Museum of the Cape Fear in our list, the recommendations thereafter require a car.

Cape Fear Botanical Garden

Fayetteville has so much more to offer than just its military history! 

The expansive 80-acre Cape Fear Botanical Garden (536 N Eastern Blvd) was founded in 1989.

Walk through this beautiful location with blooming ornamental plants that highlight daylilies and Camellia flowers but also include shade gardens, a butterfly stroll, a river trail, a beautiful fountain, and other hidden gems that you won’t want to miss. 

Wandering the gardens is one of the most enjoyable activities in Fayetteville.

Veterans Park

Veterans Park (300 Bragg Blvd), located in downtown Fayetteville.

This was America’s First Sanctuary Community for the military and it’s the first state park dedicated to military veterans.

It is truly worth visiting the park to see the many architectural elements that represent the state, along with different symbolic features that are dedicated to representing the veterans from the 100 different counties in North Carolina.

Cool Spring Place

Built in 1788, Cool Spring Place (119 N. Cool Spring St) – also known as Cool Springs Tavern – is the oldest building in Fayetteville.

This beautiful historic home served as a tavern until 1795 and was one of the only buildings to survive the disastrous fire of 1831.

This is one of the best things to see in Fayetteville if you’re a history buff!

Market House

Found in the heart of downtown Fayetteville, the Market House on Gillespie Street was built in 1838 after the old state house and Town Hall burned down in the location in 1831. 

This structure served as a town hall and market until the early 20th century and it’s now one of the most popular places to visit in Fayetteville for photographers.

Historical Market House architecture inside the Hay Street roundabout in downtown Fayetteville NC

Cameo Art House Theatre

This is not your average movie theater. 

The Cameo Art House Theatre (225 Hay St) opened in 1914 and still holds the ambiance of an old-time movie theater. 

Not only does this location have movies, but this site also holds local comedy nights with Fayetteville-area comedians.

Whether you go to one of the movies, the local shows, or both. This experience is definitely one of a kind. 

You really must feel it to understand.

Antonella’s Italian Ristorante

Delectable, full-flavored Italian food is served at this downtown location of Antonella’s Italian Ristorante (300 Hay St). 

Enjoy many Italian dishes such as eggplant parmigiana, fried mozzarella, and frutti di mare.

Don’t skip out on the dessert either!

Fayetteville Area Transportation Museum

Perhaps you would like to learn more about Fayetteville? 

The Fayetteville Area Transporation Museum (325 Franklin St) is an excellent place to do just that!

The museum resides inside the restored Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad Depot which was built in 1890.

This location exhibits two floors of exhibits that will help you learn about Fayetteville from before it was called Fayetteville to the early 20th century.

Airborne and Special Operations Museum

Fayetteville has a rich military history stemming from the establishment of Camp Bragg — now known as Fort Bragg — in 1918.

The Airborne and Special Operations Museum (100 Bragg Blvd) was established in August of 2000 to preserve the heritage of the U.S. Army Airborne and Special Operations forces from the period of 1940 and well into the future. 

This museum has exhibits that celebrate over 80 years of Army Airborne history and is a monument to honor the nation’s soldiers.

This is one of the most popular Fayetteville attractions.

Outside the museum, be sure to visit Constant Vigilance.

This bronze statue is the first memorial for K9 soldiers that lost their lives in battle.

MacPherson House

If you’re looking for a place to stay during your trip to Fayetteville, the MacPherson House (701 Hay St) is one of the best! 

This lovely home offers luxurious rooms, exceptional home-cooked Southern-style breakfasts, and plenty of that classic Southern hospitality.

Built in 1920, this home features several original furnishings such as the 1926 clawfoot tub, original hardwood floors, and grand restored windows that create a truly relaxing and luxurious experience for those who stay there. 

Museum of Cape Fear

Not only does Fayetteville have a rich history, but so does the rest of southern North Carolina. 

The Museum of the Cape Fear (801 Arsenal Ave) is the premier historical complex in Fayetteville and showcases more than 400 years of history. 

Of this history, only 20 counties in North Carolina are represented within this 7-acre historical complex. 

1897 Poe House

Life in early North Carolina was something to see and can be relived at the 1897 Poe House (206 Bradford Ave).

The house is named this because it was built in 1897 and was owned by the owner of the Poe Brick Company, E. A. Poe. 

Walk down beautiful dark wood corridors and tour the parlor, living room, butler’s pantry, nursery, and children’s rooms and see just how Mr. Poe, his wife Josephine, and his 8 children lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Fayetteville Rose Garden

If you love roses, the Fayetteville Rose Garden (2201 Hull Rd) is a sight to see. 

This garden features more than 1000 rose bushes blooming on the Fayetteville Technical Community College Campus. 

The best time to see this wonder is between April and the first frost of the year, so you better plan accordingly!

Cape Fear River Trail

If you would like a more demanding stroll through nature, perhaps you should try traversing the Cape Fear River Trail (511 Sherman Dr). 

This 14-mile round trip trail includes a 10ft wide paved path for you to walk, bike, or jog through wildlife, beautiful trees, and plants, with a breathtaking view of the river. 

Black Ops Paintball

Enjoy over 40 acres of playfields, the CQB indoor Area, and your choice of paintball or airsoft at Black Ops Paintball (2112 River Road) is an ever-growing paintball/airsoft field and camping site. 

For younger children 4 and up, the site offers Gel Blasting. 

Gel Blasting is an activity for young children who are not ready for the harshness of paintball or airsoft play; instead they’ll use small water-filled beads that are much like tiny water balloons.

It’s all the fun of airsoft and paintball but without the pain that comes with them!

Campbellton Landing

How about this for idyllic southern experiences: a scenic outdoor amphitheater where you could also go fishing.

Campbellton Landing (1122 Person St) is a lovely outdoor amphitheater that overlooks the Cape Fear River. 

Sit around and enjoy nature from this venue along with 24-hour fishing access, enjoy a music performance, or attend one of the many Civil War Reenactment events.

Arnette Park

Whether it’s disc golf, playgrounds, or trails, the 100-acre Arnette Park (2165 Wilmington Hwy) has a little something for everyone.

During December, this park hosts Christmas in the Park.

During this event, you can watch Christmas movies on the outdoor movie screen, visit with Santa, ride on the Christmas Express train, and enjoy a ½ mile hike listening to the sights and sounds of Christmas. 

Gallberry Corn Maze

If you visit Fayetteville in late September, it would be worth your time to visit the town of Hope Mills on the outskirts of Fayetteville where you’ll find the Gallberry Corn Maze (5991 Braxton Rd). 

Tour one of the many attractions such as corn hole games hayrides, corn shack, the hay mountain, and of course, 6 full acres of corn mazes. 

Can you find your way out of all of them?

After you find your way out, find your way to the food!

This location has lots of fun things to eat like fried Oreos, fried honeybuns, fried corn on the cob, hot dogs, nachos, funnel cakes, and a S’mores kit to enjoy at the campfire pits!

This is definitely one of the best things to do around Fayetteville if you have a car!

22 Klicks Bar and Grill

While you’re over in Hope Mills, grab a bite to eat at 22 Klicks Bar and Grill (3109 North Main St).

This restaurant has a wonderful menu with hand-cut chips with bbq or ranch sauce for dipping, beer-battered onion rings, and a fried burger to die for. 

A great ambiance, pool tables, and a great menu.

What more could you ask for?

Epic Fun Park

With over 14,000 square feet Epic Fun Park (1400 Walter Reed Rd) has the world’s largest indoor inflatable.

With so much space, this venue offers a long list of fun challenges such as a 200-foot obstacle course, a maze, a gladiator challenge, a wipeout course, warp walls, and a human slingshot just to name a few. 

With this being the world’s largest indoor inflatable, you will definitely have epic fun at Epic Fun Park.

Escapology Fayetteville

Maybe you want to get away from all the history for a while and just have a little fun? 

Escapology Fayetteville (2770 Freedom Parkway Drive Suite #4) is the #1 escape room in Fayetteville and includes 5 different ways to play from a Scooby-Doo theme to Mayday on Airforce One!

Gillis Hill Farm

Possibly one of the oldest-running farms in North Carolina having been run for 9 generations, Gillis Hill Farm (2701 Gillis Hill Rd.) has been lived on and worked by the same family for over 200 years. 

This farm, rich in history, includes an ice cream shop, yard games, nature, tours of the farm, and wagon rides. 

Grab some ice cream, sit on the porch, and relax while you enjoy this site!

82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum

Another must-see museum as it is important to the history of Fayetteville is the 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum (5108 Ardennes St).

The 82nd Airborne Division is an active airborne infantry division of the Army that has been based at Fort Bragg since it was constituted into the Army in 1917. 

This 6,000-foot museum memorializes everything the 82nd Division has done from WWI (when it was commissioned) until today. 

Final Words

We hope this guide has helped you to plan all the fun and interesting Fayetteville activities you want to enjoy during your visit.

Share your favorite spots in the comments below!

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