Couple hiking at Carvers Creek

Whether you are visiting family or friends, spending a night before traveling on I-95, or spending a weekend (or a week!) exploring the greater Fayetteville region, you will find plenty to keep everyone entertained during these long summer days. Summertime tends to be more relaxed, and you can take the time to explore some of our community’s gems.

Here are five summertime favorites. Explore one or spend a few days exploring them all!

 

#1 Stroll Like a Rockefeller

Visit Carvers Creek State Park to stretch your legs and explore 10 miles of easy trails. At the Long Valley Farm access point in Spring Lake, two hikes lead to Long Valley farm, James Stillman Rockefeller’s winter estate. At the Sandhills Access on McCloskey Road in Fayetteville, hikers, bikers, and horseback riders can explore seven trails of varied length. Each of the trails offers a unique look at the ecology and wildlife in this rare Longleaf Pine ecosystem. During a hike, visitors will likely see the active red-cockaded woodpeckers (marked with a white band), and even a fox squirrel scampering into the woods. Red-cockaded woodpeckers are a federally protected endangered species and one of the largest populations resides in this region.

#2: Cool Down On the Water 

If water sports are your thing, rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard from Yakalacky Outfitters and spend the day on the water. Yakalacky Outfitters, located in Hope Mills, takes reservations to nearby parks/lakes Tuesday through Sunday starting at 9 a.m. We recommend spending your time on the water at Hope Mills Lake. Aside from the beautiful location, Hope Mills Lake offers community favorite Big T’s, which serves up SnoBalls, Snow Creams, and many other cool treats.

 

#3: Shop Farm Fresh Products and Hande-made Goods 

very Sunday morning from Easter to Thanksgiving, the Dirtbag Ales Farmer's Market attracts a large following that comes to sip beer, enjoy music, take a yoga class and shop the best local produce and products from area farmers and artisans. For lunch, choose from one of the local food trucks or the on-site restaurant Napkins. Also on Sunday mornings, Napkins creates its menu from items available at the Farmers Market. In addition to the brewery and restaurant, the Dirtbag Ales complex offers a large family-friendly playground and dog park.

 

#4: Explore Downtown Before Catching a  Baseball Game at the World-class Segra Stadium 

 Spend Saturday exploring downtown Fayetteville and then catch the Fayetteville Woodpeckers in action at Segra Stadium. Here are a few ideas to enjoy before heading to Segra for a 5 p.m. first pitch:

Once you arrive at Segra Stadium you’ll find a little park that packs all the fun of the major leagues into a smaller format. Brats and brews, popcorn and peanuts, an outfield bar, and a children’s play area and grassy hillside for family picnics welcome America’s pastime. And typically, before the 7th-inning stretch, railroad cars rumble down the adjacent tracks and toot their horn into the stadium. The best part of a Woodpeckers’ game? The seats are so close to the playing field that you can hear the players chattering in between pitches and the balls whizzing by.

 

Dinosaur World
#5 Travel to the Jurassic Age 

Dinosaur fanatics young and old have plenty to enjoy at Dinosaur World at Sweet Valley Ranch. Once inside, guests take a shuttle to the quarter-mile, woodsy and paved Dinosaur Trail. The trail has 25 animatronic dinosaurs, an abandoned research lab, and plenty of special event props. For the price of admission, visitors can also enjoy a fossil museum, a reptile house, a fossil dig, Dinosaur Playland, and walking the grounds to view the hundreds of animals on site.

On Saturday evenings at 8:30 p.m., guests can take part in an Interactive Rescue Mission, which tasks participants to locate missing staff involved with the creation of Dinosaur World. The Interactive Rescue Mission includes a nighttime Farm Tour and viewing of life-size lighted dinosaur displays.

 

BONUS: And... Ice Cream! 

Bonus suggestion: Take the kids to visit the Gillis Hill Farm in western Fayetteville, which has been farmed by the Gillis family since the 1700s. Start your visit at the farm's ice cream shop, where the ice cream and other desserts are all homemade and utterly delicious. If you purchase a cone during ice cream season, you can then take a self-guided farm tour for free. The kids will delight in seeing all the farm animals and exploring the old farm buildings and equipment on display. Otherwise, simply take your scoop of deliciousness to the front porch and just "sit a spell" in the rocking chairs. 

 

 

Don't Miss These Fantastic Summer Events!

Black BBQ Cookoff Aug 17

A1 Cook Offs presents The 3rd Annual Black BBQ Cookoff! 25% of the proceeds from this competition go to L3 Brand Community Alliance! BBQ pitmasters competition: The best of the best compete in several categories for the belt! The event is free and open to the public. For $20, you…

Dirtbag Ale's Farmers Market Jul 28
  • Recurring weekly on Sunday

The Dirtbag Ales Farmers Market is a gathering place where local farmers and producers can connect with their community and share their passions. Join us for live music, local vendors, food trucks, yoga, and Dirtbag Ales craft brews. We welcome everyone of all ages and…

Sweet Valley Ranch's Dinosaur World Jul 27

Enjoy Dinosaur World, where you are transported back to prehistoric times. Guests can explore over 25 dinosaurs as they roam our trail. NEW this year are Saturday evening shows! You will see the abandoned research bunker where all the dinosaurs were created. The Saturday tours…

City Market at the Museum Jul 27
  • Recurring weekly on Saturday

City Market at the Museum is a year-round, open-air market featuring local produce and artisans. Typical offerings include blended teas, handmade pottery, soaps, soy candles, glass beaded jewelry, handblown glass, tye dyes, crystals, watercolors, custom designs, cookies, muffins…

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