36 Hours in Fayetteville, Arkansas – October 2020

Last fall, we had the opportunity to attend a wedding in Fayetteville, Arkansas. We had never been to Arkansas and had no idea what to expect, but we were so impressed by the beauty of the region! Besides the wedding, we spent a lot of time outside. We did a few hikes, had two picnics, explored the downtown, went to a local brewery, and had drinks at one of the college bars. As the title of this post indicates, we only had 36 hours in Fayetteville, but I would love to return for a longer visit and maybe explore the Ozarks nearby.

We stayed at the TownePlace Suites in nearby Springdale, which was a great home base. The hotel was clean and the staff was friendly and gave us great recommendations for things to do while we were in the area. It is pet-friendly, has great kitchenettes, and has a nice pool, but it was closed because of COVID while we were there.

We arrived early on Thursday before the wedding (on Friday). After dropping our things off at the hotel, we picked up lunch from Wright’s BBQ and headed to Lake Fayetteville. We found a picnic table in the North Shore area of the park near the disc golf course and playground, but it would also be nice to eat at the marina. From there, we drove to Veterans Memorial Park, where we hiked the trail around Lake Fayetteville. The whole loop is 5.5 miles, but we hiked out and back from the park.

After our hike, we walked around downtown in the Historic Square and Gardens and browsed some of the shops before stopping at the Fossil Cove Brewery for pre-dinner drinks. Next, we headed to the Dickson Street area near the University of Arkansas for dinner at Bordino’s, an iconic local restaurant that has classic Italian cuisine and great wine in a modern elegant setting.

After dinner, we decided to explore the local university bar scene, starting with drinks at the rooftop bar at 21st Amendment Bar. It was a beautiful night and the perfect place to enjoy the cool, fall weather. After, we were tempted by the live music at The Piano Bar and had so much fun singing and listening to the dueling pianos.

After sleeping in a bit, we woke up and drove to Devil’s Den State Park to hike the Yellow Rock Trail to the overlook for gorgeous views of the Lee Creek Valley and Arkansas scenery. We were just a week or two early for the leaves changing, so I can only imagine how it would look when all of the trees are in their vibrant fall colors. The trail is only 3 miles with a 300 foot elevation change. Just remember which parking lot you’re in – at one point, the trail splits to go to two different parking lots.

We were hungry after our hike, so we drove to Hammontree’s, a local establishment near the university, for fantastic grilled cheese sandwiches. We brought our lunch to nearby Wilson Park, where we ate in the scenic gardens.

At this point, it was time to get ready for the wedding at the beautiful Sassafrass Springs Winery, where we enjoyed another perfect fall evening in Arkansas. Thanks to Heather and Clark for including us in your wedding festivities!

We flew out early the next morning, but look forward to bringing our family back one day to explore the parks and hiking opportunities in the area. If you’re looking for a great vacation this fall, we highly recommend the Northwest Arkansas area!



TownePlace Suites, 5437 S 48th St, Springdale, AR 72762


Wright’s BBQ, 2212 Main Dr, Fayetteville, AR 72704

Bordino’s, 310 W Dickson St, Fayetteville, AR 72701

Fossil Cove Brewery, 1946 N Birch Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72703

21st Amendment Bar, 406 W Dickson St, Fayetteville, AR 72701

The Piano Bar, 230 W Dickson St, Fayetteville, AR 72701

Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese, 326 N West Ave #8, Fayetteville, AR 72701

Sassafrass Springs Winery, 6461 E Guy Terry Rd, Springdale, AR 72764


Lake Fayetteville, 1153 Lake Fayetteville Rd, Fayetteville, AR 72764

Devil’s Den State Park, Winslow, AR 72959

Wilson Park, 675 N Park Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72701

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