Monday, May 23, 2016

Summertime in Fayetteville

Who saw the shout-out to my fabulous hometown on SNL Saturday night?? Woo! They closed out their season with the entire cast singing "Summertime in Fayetteville." If you missed it, don't forget to check it out.

The number one comment I hear when telling people I'm from Arkansas is, "You're from Arkansas?! But you're such a city girl!"

And they're right. I'm a city girl, and Fayetteville is a far cry from a big city. It's certainly no New York; not even a Chicago or Nashville or Dallas, but it's one of the most urban, edgy, and unique small cities in the world. It has also been recently named the number one most affordable place to live in the U.S., and even the producers and writers of Saturday Night Live noticed.

So it's official: Fayetteville, Arkansas is not your typical Arkansas town. We wear our shoes, we have all our teeth, and we appreciate the art, culture, and environment in our area. And there's a lot of art, culture, and environment in our area. So if you're looking for a smaller vacation this year, perhaps an artistic or bohemian weekend getaway, check out what Fayetteville and its neighboring cities have to offer.
Fayetteville is what I like to call one of the "boroughs" of Northwest Arkansas. When one refers to "New York City," they are encompassing all of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island. Likewise, when one refers to "Northwest Arkansas," they are typically referring to Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale, and Fayetteville, and the locals generally call all of Northwest Arkansas the name of their hometown. For example, even though there's a fancy art museum in Bentonville and a gorgeous outdoor music venue in Rogers, I would invite my friends home to "Fayetteville" to go to both. So let's dive into what Fayetteville (...or Northwest Arkansas) has in store for you!

Fayetteville for the Nature Enthusiast 

I decided to start with this one because it's not exactly right up my alley. Far from it, actually. I'm a city girl through and through, remember? Even still, some of my favorite summer memories have been setting out on Beaver Lake to go boating, swimming, tubing, and water skiing. Fishing is also very popular for the outdoorsy folks, and campground/cabin stays are available year round. Multiple trails are available for walkers, runners, and bikers alike while hunters have plenty of opportunities in the area, and hikers love to pack up and set out on trails and adventures up in Devil's Den State Park. If you're looking for a slightly milder outdoor activity (as I would be...), the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks is absolutely stunning, and offers multiple classes, workshops, and lectures in horticulture, conservation, and more. My personal favorite outdoor spot is the top of Mt. Sequoyah, where you have an (almost) complete view of the city. For more information, visit Explore Northwest Arkansas: Outdoors.

Fayetteville for the Sports Fan

Fayetteville is home of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals baseball team, and multiple sports teams associated with University of Arkansas. Arkansas does not have a professional football team, so the enthusiasm for the Arkansas Razorbacks is nothing short of insanity. It isn't unusual to spot a hog on the side of a building (like the movie theatre) and multiple businesses have decorated ceramic pigs out front to show their Arkansas pride. You probably think I'm kidding. I'm not. But don't worry! Just wear your red, grab your pig nose, and make sure you learn how to call the hogs before you arrive!

Fayetteville for the History Buff 

This is another category that is certainly not my cup of tea, but certainly not neglected in the area. From the Historic Downtown Square to the Clinton House Museum, there is truly something for everyone. Other museums include the Arkansas Air and Military Museum, the Razorback Museum, the Walmart Museum (yes, Bentonville is the home of Walmart!), and the Museum of Native American History. Visit Explore Northwest Arkansas: General Attractions for the complete list, and don't forget to visit the iconic shops and businesses along Dickson Street!

Fayetteville for the Artist 

Technically located in Bentonville, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is one of the newest yet well-renowned art museums in the world. The museum displays paintings, sculptures, architecture, and nature while its permanent collection features five centuries of American masterworks ranging from the colonial era to present day. The museum also features multiple seasonal exhibits; my favorite thus far being the Andy Warhol exhibit of pop-art. Admission is sponsored by Walmart and is completely free to the public! If that isn't enough to satisfy your art craving, Terra Studios is a more interactive option.

Fayetteville for the Musician

The Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion is a state of the art outdoor music pavilion featuring all sorts of big name bands and musicians of all genres. Where else can you get MercyMe, Meghan Trainor, Styx, Kenny Chesney, Rachel Platten, and Journey all in one summer? No where, and that's only half the line-up for 2016. Still, that stuff is too mainstream for a lot of Fayetteville musicians, so if you're more of a hipster like us, try George's Majestic Lounge instead.

Fayetteville for the Thespian

Now, this is a category I am fully knowledgable in. This Broadway enthusiast is always looking for the next show in the area. The Walton Arts Center (WAC) is a fantastic facility to see all your favorite Broadway shows on tour! Recently remodeled, the WAC hosts everything from Les Miserables to festival orchestras. This upcoming season includes tons of my favorites, including Book of Mormon, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, and Dirty Dancing! And once again, that's not all! Theatre Squared, a community theatre featuring multiple local and touring actors, is certainly not short of talent. My favorite show produced there so far has been Peter and the Starcatcher, which premiered while I was home for Christmas break last year, but I haven't seen a single thing I didn't enjoy.

Fayetteville for the Fashionista 

Ah, fashion. Talk about something right up my alley. The Northwest Arkansas Mall is open at 9 a.m. for all shoppers seeking an indoor, climate controlled, shopping experience, however the Pinnacle Hills Promenade offers far more options. Complete with full restaurants, food trucks, and many more shops to choose from, it is one of my favorite shopping venues in Northwest Arkansas. But whatever you do, don't miss the local boutiques located on the Square. Riffraff is my fav (and worth every penny), but the most popular boutique store is quite possibly Southern Trend, located on Sycamore Street. I am an avid wearer of their "Polka Dot Pig" collection!

Did I miss something you can't live without? Northwest Arkansas has a little bit of everything, so shoot me an email with any questions you may have. Can't wait to see you around!

1 comment:

  1. Although this place is probably not cheap, but they are centrally located, have fabulous staff and delicious food, and most importantly, the best views of the city. I would definitely recommend these San Francisco venues for any kind of fancy event – all my friends talked about throwing parties here only.