When people make plans to come to Fayetteville for a game, particularly if it's a fan of a visiting team or someone who rarely gets to attend a game in the Ozarks, it's pretty common for someone to ask me what to do and where to go during their time in town.
So I wanted to put this together to give people a simple, handy guide to enjoy a couple of days in our lovely little college town. Fair warning, Fayetteville is not in some sort of valley in the Ozarks. It's built into the hills. As a result, there is basically no flat land anywhere in town. You'll want to wear appropriate shoes.
- Most all of the tailgating is along Razorback Road between Baum Stadium (the baseball stadium) and the football stadium. Once you cross 6th St and get onto campus it's pretty much all donor parking. If you contact the university, there may be some spots in special sections you can rent on a game-by-game basis.
- There's not really any tailgating through the rest of campus. But you can park around Arkansas Avenue and Dickson Street and walk through campus to the stadium.
- There's plenty of off-campus (mostly for a fee) parking available.
- UA will run shuttles from the baseball stadium to the football stadium throughout game day.
Where To Go, What To Eat, What To Do
- The first thing most people will tell you to do in Fayetteville is go to Dickson Street. That's our "strip" and it stretches from the UA campus to College Avenue. It's filled with a variety of restaurants (family friendly, sports bars, upscale dining, and little eclectic places that are pretty unique), bars, clubs, and even a little shopping. It's definitely the area where most people will be hanging out at night, and both before and after games.
- Another popular area in Fayetteville is the town square. A few blocks from Dickson Street, you'll find more restaurants and some pretty unique local shopping.
- If familiar national chains are more your thing, head north to the area around the Fayetteville mall. There you'll find all the same comforts of everywhere else.
- There's not just a ton of hotel rooms in Fayetteville, so if you do stay in Rogers/Bentonville (which is close enough to be in the area but far away enough that they don't gouge on nightly rates as badly as Fayetteville hotels) you might want to check out the Pinnacle Hills Promenade area, the Bentonville town square, or (if you're into this sort of thing) the new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The permanent collection is free and it's spectacular.
- BBQ - If you get in town on Friday afternoon or early evening, go grab a sandwich from Damon's out in Farmington. They're only open until 7 pm on Fridays during the summer and fall, and they're out of the way, so a lot of locals aren't turned on to them, but they've been operating like this for a few years, and they do some really good meat. You also might want to check out Sassy's Red House on College Avenue. It's more of a traditional bbq restaurant. If the weather's nice, they have a great deck.
- Burgers - Hugo's on the town square is the most famous burger spot in town. Burger Patti on Wedington is new and making a lot of fans pretty quickly. Both Hog Haus (Dickson St) and Grub's (both locations off Dickson St and Uptown) are solid sports bars that offer lots of things in addition to burgers (Hog Haus is a full brewery) but they both make great burgers. Feltner's on College Avenue is also really good for a quick stop.
- Steak - Doe's on Dickson St is probably the most famous, it's an extension of the franchise that started in Greenville, MS and Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign helped make famous at the one in Little Rock (and the Little Rock location is superior to the Fayetteville location, sorry, just is.) Herman's (College Ave) is another popular spot. You can also get great steaks at many of the upscale places around town. Speaking of which,
- Upscale - Bordino's and Theo's, which sit close to each other on Dickson St, offer about as close to upscale as you can get in Fayetteville (their valet parking is the easiest way to park on Dickson St). There are also some fancy places in Bentonville and Rogers if you're up that way.
- Seafood - The Catfish Hole (on Wedington) is a pretty well-known place for family-style catfish dinners and unlimited hushpuppies. Some locals also swear by their steaks. They also have a "Razorback Room" which is one of the routine stops for recruits taking their official visits. Powerhouse (off Dickson) has been around for a long time, and you might find Arkansas' likely next coach Jon Gruden there. Mermaids (College Ave) is a more upscale seafood place, and Cafe Rue Orleans (College Ave) is as close to true cajun food as we have here (they also have a great brunch).
- Pizza - US Pizza (Dickson St) is very popular, and Tim's (town square), Mojo's (Wedington), and Damgoode Pies (town square) hit the mark here.
- Sandwiches - Green Submarine (Wedington) is fantastic. Hammontree's Grilled Cheese (off Dickson) is a lot of fun.
- Mexican - way too many to name.
- Chicken - AQ Chicken House (College Ave) is famous although many claim it's past its prime. Mama Dean's is very popular on the south side of town if you can catch it when it's open.
- And as we mentioned, Fayetteville is in the heart of the Ozarks, so if you want to go camping, hiking, or just take a drive through the hills, you can basically just pick a state highway and head east.
That should mostly cover it. I'm sure I left some places out, so feel free to add your favorites in the comments.
If you have any questions, feel free to post it in the comments or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or find me on twitter @doc_harper.