Family Friendly Fayetteville Vacation
On our way to Myrtle Beach this year we were given the opportunity to do something a little different- take a pit stop in Fayetteville, NC. This town about 2 1/2 hrs from Myrtle Beach is the perfect place to stop for some history and adventure.
First I have to say our accommodations were perfect. The Fayetteville Fairfield Inn and Suites is a beautiful new site (Oct 2014) that is just the right distance from all the activities Fayetteville has to offer. And let me tell you about the included breakfast, best we have ever had at a hotel! Filled us up for the day.
Not far from the hotel is the Cape Fear River Trail. On the first night we checked it out- very nice for a family stroll. Then hubs ran it the next two mornings. Just a word of warning, he says it’s no joke! And with military units running PT along the way; proves it’s definitely a great training trail.
Our first family activity captured our adventurous side- ZipQuest Waterfall and Treetop Adventure. In the spring we zipped in Columbus. But really that was just a warm up for this awesome experience in Fayetteville. This tour was definitely more advanced, more and longer zips and the bridges and staircases- awesome! With one zip being 800 feet long- it was more exciting too! Our guides were awesome and pointed out interesting facts about the trees along the way.
I can’t even describe how fun/beautiful/exciting it was to walk the bridge and then zip right across the Carver’s Falls. There is no wonder why USA Today named this tour as one of the 10 best zip lines in the country!
After this adventure it was time to tap into some history. Fayetteville is home to Fort Bragg (one of the largest Army installations in the country) so there are several military “attractions” in town. A visit is to the Airborne & Special Operations Museum is a must. This (free to public) museum tracks the history of US paratroopers and airmen in vivid visual displays filled with actual war artifacts.
We generally are not “museum people”, but it was good for us to slow down and really take in the history and frankly reality. For an extra fee you can also experience the Pritzker Simulator. We tried the new “Experience the Legend”. As a movie played in front, you are transported to the helicopters and trucks of war. All I could say when we got out was, “wow, that make is so REAL”. It really gives you a perspective and more respect for the men and women who serve our country.
It started to pour down rain (which the locals were grateful for) when we finished in the museum, so we did not get to walk through the outdoor memorial gardens. But from the view from of our dry van, I could tell they would be very moving as well.
There are plenty of other ways to spend the day in Fayetteville. Here are a few other Family Friendly options for adventure or history:
- The Climbing Place
- Fascinate- U Children’s Museum
- 1897 Poe House (not the author)
- Cape Fear Botanical Gardens
If you decide to take a trip to Fayetteville, may I suggest you ditch the chain restaurants and try a few local faves. If you are looking for a casual dining experience- try ScrubOaks Restaurant. Hubs had the Reuben (he really appreciated it NOT being on Rye bread) and cleared his plate. For the kids, the portions were generous. I have a pet-peeve about some restaurants that offer “mac and cheese” on the kids menu, but then it’s just from the box and bland. Not as ScrubOaks, the mac and cheese was homemade and delish!
If you are looking for a little more indulgent meal after a day of sightseeing, try Chris’s Open Hearth Steak House. From the moment we entered, the customer service was top notch (including owner Greg Kalevas coming out to say hello and take a pic). Our meal started with their famous cheese and crackers (yum- yes they sell the cheese “to go”, wish I could have taken some home). Once again the kids’s portions were very generous. And I just wish you could taste this steak through the screen… AMAZING! Literally one of the best steak dinners I have EVER had! (and I am a steak and potatoes gal, so I’ve had a “few” over the years). A trip to Chris’s Steakhouse is definitely worth the splurge!
Overall we had a wonderful stay in Fayetteville, NC. We would definitely recommend making this great city a pitstop on your next family vacation route.
Thanks so much the to Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau for Hosting our family on this fun “pit-stop”. Thanks also to ZipQuest, Airborne Museum, ScrubOak and Chris’s for our experiences with you as well. All opinions are my own.