fun things to do in fayetteville arkansas

Fun Things to do in Fayetteville, Arkansas from the Locals

There are so many fun things to do in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It is one of those towns that just grabs you. It’s rich in history and bustling with activity. Fayetteville is a favorite city for so many Arkansans because it is the home of the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Razorbacks not to mention, great restaurants, beautiful hiking, and irresistible flea markets.

Fayetteville is the third-largest city in Arkansas and county seat of Washington County. The city is on the outskirts of the Boston Mountains, deep within the Ozarks. Known as Washington until 1829, the city was named after Fayetteville, Tennessee, from which many of the settlers had come. Fayetteville is home to the University of Arkansas, the state’s flagship university. When classes are in session, thousands of students on campus dramatically change the city’s demographics. Thousands of Arkansas Razorbacks alumni and fans travel to Fayetteville to attend football, basketball, and baseball games. Fayetteville was named the third best place to live in the United States in the 2016 U.S. News Best Places To Live Rankings, and one of the best places to retire in the South.


If you’re looking for fun things to do in Fayetteville, the best place to stay in Fayetteville, the best girls’ weekend ideas, or the best place to find live music in Fayetteville, you’re in the right place!

Fun Things to do in Fayetteville, Arkansas

To learn all the fun things to do in Fayetteville and learn all the best spots, I interviewed my friend Matt. He and his wife Kirstin are Fayetteville transplants.

They are that young, cute couple who look adorable hopping from coffee bar to lounge to farmer’s market to hiking trail. You know the type. So, naturally, they are the perfect people to get insider information from!

fun things to do in Northwest Arkansas
See what I mean?

What is your favorite thing to do in Fayetteville?

Grab some coffee, head to The Farmers’ Market then go for a hike around Devils Den (or any of the Ozarks!)

Devil’s Den State Park: “An Arkansas icon, this special place nestled in Lee Creek Valley was selected as a state park site in the 1930s. The Civilian Conservation Corps used native materials to build the park’s rustic-style wood and stone structures that mirror the surrounding natural beauty. It now stands as one of the most intact CCC sites in the U.S., with a legacy you can see in its trails and buildings like its original cabins. Some of the park’s unique characteristics are rock formations and caverns. An impressive rock dam spans Lee Creek forming Lake Devil, an 8-acre lake for fishing and boating with canoes and pedal boats for rent. The park’s hiking, backpacking, mountain bike, and horseback riding trails lead to the surrounding Ozark National Forest.” –source

devil's den state park arkansas
Devil’s Den State Park. Photo by Josh Clemence on Unsplash

Devil’s Den is home to some of the BEST Hiking in Arkansas!

What is the best restaurant in Fayetteville?

One of our go to spots is Wrights BBQ. Or if we’re looking for brunch, we like to head to Nomads. 

Wrights BBQ: “We take people back to the method of open flame, 100% wood fire, on a pit. its simple, but hard.  We believe the only way to achieve the flavor and tenderness of real barbecue is through the method of old.  You can have a life changing barbecue experience.  Our goal is to create and build an atmosphere that pulls people in, a true destination barbecue location in NWA. The primary reason for our success is that we’ve embraced the barbecue culture by using methods that require dedication, hard work, and love for smoked meat.  We source pecan wood from downed central Arkansas trees.  From the start each week, to when we end, our fires never stop burning.  An overnight process that delivers fresh food when you need it.” –Wright’s BBQ

Wright’s BBQ has also been named one of the BEST BBQ Restaurants in Arkansas.

fun things to do in fayetteville arkansas
Photo by SmallWorld on Unsplash

Nomads: “A Craft Kitchen, with Artistic cocktails & Craft Beer featuring local art, live music & comedy all the time. After years of supporting local music and a love for travel and fresh cuisine and cocktails, Nomads was created to share the experience of Arts & Culinary. We offer a large vegetarian, vegan menu options and Arkansas free range beef with local ingredients and resources. We pride ourselves on providing you with an experience that doesn’t exist anywhere else. Our uncomplicated cocktail menu & 19 beers on tap make it easy to relax on the patio or enjoy a live concert. We support local artists, comedians & musicians with our rotating platform to showcase their talent.” –source

Where is your favorite place to get coffee?

Campfire Coffee Bar, Red Kite, Onyx…there’s so many great coffee joints in Fayetteville!

best coffee shop in Fayetteville Arkansas - campfire coffee bar
My friend Matt actually owns Campfire Coffee Bar in Fayetteville. Don’t miss it!

All three of these coffee shops made it to our list of the BEST Coffee Shops in Arkansas.

Best hiking trail in Fayetteville?

There are tons of great and popular trails. My favorite thing is to find my own trails. There are tons of little hidden gems that aren’t quite as popular. But you’ve got to be willing to get lost!

Don’t miss all the EPIC Hiking Trails in Arkansas!

Best place to stay in Fayetteville?

Before we moved here we spent a weekend at The Graduate. It’s close to Dickson and the Square. It’s a unique hotel experience. They have a full bar and lounge space so we’d start the mornings there with gourmet coffee and end with drinks and dessert. 

“Right in the heart of downtown, Graduate Fayetteville is the perfect spot for your next Northwest Arkansas getaway. The hotel is just a few blocks off Dickson Street and a short stroll from the University of Arkansas campus. Feel happily at home in our colorful, rustic spaces, decked out with nods to the Ozarks, Old Main and notable Razorbacks.” –source

You will also love: Unique Places to Stay in Arkansas

Can you share a cool, secret place that only the locals know about?

I don’t know how secret it is but Maxine’s Tap Room is a cool little late night spot. It’s easy to miss from the street but as you enter the small, almost hidden front door you’ll immediately realize you have come to the right place. Food, drinks, and darts. Need I say more?

unique places to visit in Fayetteville arkansas
Image by bridgesward from Pixabay

Maxine’s Tap Room: “We pour quality cocktails and make memories in this little brick building in the heart of Downtown Fayetteville. We caretake the bar in honor of Maxine Miller, who built this place to serve drinks, create memories, and host friends. As an homage to a woman who was a mother to many in our community, the bar was remodeled in 2013. Many of the original fixtures remain, as do many old photographs of Maxine through her life. We tip our hats to an era when cocktails were stout, well balanced, and crafted with fresh ingredients. We are honored to partner with Maxine’s family as caretakers of a place named after a woman who affected and was adored by many. The longer we’re here, the more stories we hear from the many different eras of Maxine’s Tap Room. We strive to continue the stories and memories made in this very spot with live music, drinks, and friends.” –source

Don’t miss: [UNIQUE] Restaurants in Arkansas that you will fall in love with

Does Fayetteville offer any live theater or music?

There are several live theater experiences. We got to see live music at George’s Majestic Lounge- which was great!

“George’s Majestic Lounge is the oldest and longest-running live music venue in Arkansas. Although live shows on a regular basis began in the early 70′s, many loyal locals recall social events, dances, and music out in the old garden as far back as the 1930′s.” –source

Do you have a favorite farmers’ market in Fayetteville?

Fayetteville has its main Saturday farmers markets on the square. Always a treat!

“Welcome to the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market, where our commitment to fresh, locally grown produce and goods has helped Northwest Arkansas grow into a healthier and greener community.

farmer's market in Fayetteville Arkansas - Farmer's market
Don’t miss the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market! Image by Couleur from Pixabay

Since 1973, the market has offered the finest in locally produced vegetables, fruits, flowers, plants, meats, baked goods, honey, eggs, jams, juried crafts, and fine art from the four-county area. All producers with our market grow and make their products and live within 60 miles of Fayetteville, AR. This is why we are hyper local and ALL Arkansas Grown and Arkansas Made. 100% Local and Loved! We are Open Year Round and have frequent updates on social media.” –source

Best Christmas light display in Fayetteville?

Stewart Family Christmas Lights

Stewart Family Lights is a walk-through light display in Fayetteville, Arkansas. They were on the Great Christmas Light Fight. 

This Christmas Light display was also named one of the BEST Christmas Light Displays in Arkansas!

What is the best thrift store in Fayetteville?

The Potter’s House Thrift Store

“Proceeds from Potter’s House Thrift go to fund the programs of Potter’s House.  Potter’s House is a community that lives life together.  We believe firmly that our hope is in Jesus.  He is our hope for salvation, reconciliation to our God, and reconciliation to our world here. We believe that Jesus has laid out a path of life for us that leads to peace with others, impact on our community, and peace with our God. Potter’s House is committed to working towards a positive and fulfilling future for the families in our ministry. ” –source

thrift store in fayetteville arkansas -the potter's house thrift store
Image by Carla Burke from Pixabay

Best camping around Fayetteville?

Devils Den is a popular area around here. If you’re looking to rough it I’d say drive toward trees, get out, and camp. You can’t go wrong up here!

camping in fayetteville arkansas - devil's den state park
Devil’s Den State Park. Image by astroguy52 from Pixabay

Also don’t miss: [UNBELIEVABLE] FREE Camping in Arkansas

Best Girls Weekend ideas in Fayetteville?

Lots of cute boutiques on College or around Dickson. Brunch at The Farmers Table. Afternoon Smoothies at Mamaka Bowl. Coffee stop- obviously. That’s my best attempt at doing a girls weekend. It’s the first time I’ve had to plan one. ??‍♂️

best things to do in fayetteville arkansas

*Just a note here to say thanks Matt for doing your best to plan an awesome girls weekend! I know it’s not your forte but I’m sure you made your wife proud. 🙂 What fun girls weekend ideas!

Does Fayetteville have any popular festivals you like to go to?

Fayetteville Roots Festival (urban music/ food)

I’m in agreement with Matt on this one! Of all the fun things to do in Fayetteville, Arkansas, a good music/food festival tops the charts!

FAYETTEVILLE ROOTS FESTIVAL is a multi-day, intimate, urban music and food festival that takes place in Northwest Arkansas. The festival features multiple music stages and culinary events. The festival features nationally known musicians/bands paired with undiscovered regional and local talent. “Roots” is intentionally used to describe both the music and food of the festival. The festival is dedicated to showcasing what makes this region of the Ozarks so unique. The festival features a musical style that is diverse and rooted in many uniquely American musical styles such as Folk, Blues, Bluegrass, Jazz, Country, and more. The festival also supports local farmers, chefs, and restaurants, focusing on locally grown produce, locally raised meats and locally produced products from the Ozarks. Mix in film screenings, live radio broadcasts, workshops, a kids/family concert, live art, and patrons from over 30 states and countries and you’ll find out why folks have fallen in love with The Roots Festival.” –source

Favorite “Mom and Pop” place in Fayetteville?

Rolling Pin Cafe (we go here for a good southern breakfast )

The Rolling Pin Café: “homemade, from scratch recipes, from our family to yours.” –source

fun things to do in fayetteville arkansas - the rolling pin cafe
Y’all need some biscuits and gravy. Image by Vickie McCarty from Pixabay

Where is the best place to watch a live sports game in Fayetteville?

Arkansas Razorbacks of course! 

This is definitely a fun thing to do in Fayetteville that you shouldn’t miss! There’s nothing like calling those Hogs with thousands of other people! I’ve had that experience many times and it’s unforgettable.

Be sure to check this off your Epic Arkansas Bucket List!

fun things to do in fayetteville arkansas - Arkansas Razorbacks football
Image by Keith Johnston from Pixabay

Fun Things to do in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Fayetteville has something for everyone! I learned so many things through this interview that I didn’t know and I’m a native Arkansan!

A special thanks to my friend Matt for filling us in on all the best things to do in Fayetteville. Now, I’m ready to head over there for a vacation!

P.S. Matt is the owner of Campfire Coffee Bar! Follow him here.

Campfire Coffee Bar owner
Matt is a central Arkansas native and semi recent transplant to NWA. He is the owner of Campfire Coffee Bar in Fayetteville. Matt is an avid reader and writer, codependent dog dad, and loves exploring the Ozarks with his bride, Kirsten. You can find him (and Campfire Coffee Bar) on all Social Media outlets! 

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