For the Love of Fayetteville

Travel & Leisure was right about Fayetteville, but didn't get the reasons.

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People love lists, and we love to see our hometowns on lists. So when Travel + Leisure named my hometown, Fayetteville, Arkansas, number 7 on its list of America’s Quirkiest Towns, I saw it shared around a lot.

As much as I love it here, and I do, indeed, think it’s quirky (we prefer the word funky), I think they missed out on a lot of what makes Fayetteville unique.
Travel & Leisure was right about Fayetteville, but didn't get the reasons.

For instance, the main thing the piece — which is all of 122 words — talks about is the Hog Drop at New Year’s Eve. Funny, yes, but it probably wouldn’t even make the list of a local. It also mentions the Clinton House Museum, the Inn at Carnal Hall and Rick’s Iron Skillet. All great places, no doubt, but the fact that we have a sense of history and love diner fare hardly makes us quirky.

As it happens, I have an alternative list, from someone in the know about places that are really unique to Fayetteville, the sort of places a native would take their visiting family and friends or would tell a new-to-the-area neighbor about. May Peace Prevail on Earth by Hank Kaminsky

I was asked to share some of my favorite places on the fun Only in Arkansas blog, and my list includes about 20 of my favorite places to eat, shop, take in some art and the beauty of nature that’s so prevalent here. And not a mention of a Razorback or a Clinton.

Last summer I also took part in the Creating Really Awesome Free Trips series, sharing fun, free and low cost things to do and see in Fayetteville and a little beyond. The lists overlap a little, but they cover a lot of ground that a slideshow roundup just couldn’t get to.

What are some of your favorite places in Fayetteville? I’d love to add to my lists!

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  1. Although it originated in Springdale, I’m in LOVE with the Fayetteville location of AQ Chicken House (I even had to write about it on my blog.) When guests come to visit and there’s one place at the very top of your list every time, that’s when you know you have a winner! 🙂

  2. It’s so funny how outsiders can’t seem to make reference to Arkansas without mentioning Walmart, Razorbacks, or Clintons. Oh, I forgot one…once when I was in Iowa visiting someone, a friend of his asked where I was from. When I answered, she asked if I worked at the chicken plant. Apparently, Tyson comes to the mind, too. 🙂

  3. I have always gotten Clintons and Razorbacks (and, now, Walmart) when I travel out of state. Most people still don’t think of Tyson, but my husband works there! Oh, yeah, AQ is yummy! Haven’t been in a long time, but that’s pretty Arkansas food. 😉

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