We moved to Fayetteville last year because we fell in love with a job offer. I am still in love with the job.
I work pretty hard to stay in “like” with Fayetteville.
It’s a tougher city than I am used to. My dad summed it up pretty well. He said, “It’s not really like the South, is it?” For my dad, “the South” means manners and country good nature.
And he’s right. Fayetteville only seems like “the South” here and there. It is a hodgepodge city that a lot of the population considers a temporary residence. When you are just passing through, you don’t invest too much in a place.
It also has record breaking poverty and crime levels. The homeless population is through the charts, and, according to my research, there aren’t enough resources in the city to help.
A lot of people in Fayetteville need help.
A lot of people in Fayetteville are “just passing through” and have no intention of bettering the place.
I am lucky to work for a community-minded university that has opportunities for outreach, and even service learning elements in our classes. I believe every little bit helps.
Okay. Long intro. What I wanted to make clear: I am not giving up on Fayetteville. With that said,
The best part about living in Fayetteville is the day trip distance.
My kids are old enough to handle day trips! Hooray! Those of you who suffered through the whole, feeding, napping, diaper-refreshing, mandatory cuddle time cycles of babies know what a big milestone that is!
We can drive for two hours without much complaint, and Fayetteville has amazing destinations around the 2-hour mark.
We have become regular visitors to Wilmington, NC. We love Kure Beach and have started to explore the many parks. We bought a family membership to the aquarium for less than $100.
Our aquarium membership also gets us into the NC Zoo (again less than 2 hours from Fayetteville) for FREE! There is a long list of participating zoos and aquariums that are either free or deeply discounted with the aquarium membership. The super-snazzy (translate: expensive) aquarium in Atlanta is 50% off with our membership. That wouldn’t be a day trip, but it’s still a valuable discount.
We are also only one hour away from Raleigh. I am slowly learning the ins and outs of Raleigh. I went to Chapel Hill for my undergrad years, but never really got acquainted with the neighboring city. What we have found so far are free museums and a few wonderful parks.
The Art Museum, History Museum, and the Museum of Natural Sciences are free. You might just have to pay for parking, if it is a busy day.
Pullen Park is one of the main reasons my family goes to Raleigh. The park is right beside NC State, and features an impressively long miniature train ride, a beautiful old-time carousel, and paddle boat rides on their lovely little pond. Tickets to ride these things are not very expensive (only $1 for a train or carousel ride). Bring a picnic or eat at their super trendy (translate: local, organic, expensive) café. There are tons of playground features, including a sand and water play area. The walking trail around the lake is beautiful and borders NC State.
We also enjoy visiting Chapel Hill (again less than 2 hours’ distance). It’s my alma mater, and I like visiting memorable places and walking the beautiful campus with my family. Soon, I expect we will be ready to start attending some sporting events.
Fayetteville will grow on me. So far, I can at least credit it for having a wonderful location for exploring. Pick a direction and something awesome will be less than 2 hours that-a-way.