The longer you live in Fayetteville, the more you realize that coeds’ favorite shops and activities are much different than the haunts of year-round locals. Fayetteville boasts plenty of hidden gems that many college students never find during their four years at the U of A. Luckily for you, we’ve put together a list of our favorites that boast beautiful wears, delicious food, and a whole lot of fun.
But shhhhh! These will be our little secrets.
- Fayetteville Farmer’s Market: Located in downtown Fayetteville’s historic square, the Farmer’s Market has been a 37-year-long tradition around these parts. Boasting homegrown and homemade goodies, it’s the best spot to pick up staples for the apartment or dorm. Come early for the produce and fresh flowers, but stick around to pet the pooches and listen to some very talented buskers.Though Saturday is the prime time to listen to music, you can grab veggies on Tuesdays and Thursdays, too. The market runs from early spring until mid-fall, so there’s plenty of time to visit.On The Web: Fayetteville Farmer’s Market
Getting There: Fayetteville Square (on the corner of Center and Block
- Lake Fayetteville: Most college students only venture uptown for the shopping. That’s a shame—Lake Fayetteville is located just across the street from the Northwest Arkansas mall! Besides the obvious boating and fishing (both of which require permits), there is a seven mile jogging trail that goes around the lake and a mountain biking trail that takes you through some pretty challenging terrain. The playground, softball complex, and green spaces perfect for disc golf will leave you wondering why you didn’t visit sooner.On The Web: City of Fayetteville
Getting There: 1208 E Lake Fayetteville Rd.
- Razorback Football Games: So sure, the game itself isn’t exactly a secret. It’s awfully hard to hide 50,000 of your closest friends when they come rolling into town. However, there are some expert ways to navigate the game that only a veteran could tell you. For example, the pregame show starts 30 minutes before kickoff; if you don’t mind sitting in the upper deck, you can mosey in later without missing a beat. Once you enter the stadium you can’t leave for any reason, so make sure you bring plenty of cash for moderately overpriced concessions (trust us, you don’t want any part of the ATM line). Also, if you’re hungry before the game, check out the tailgating at the Gardens. Though there’s no free food, most of the nice folks out there would be perfectly willing to feed a hungry college student. Better yet—throw your own tailgate party!On The Web: Arkansas Razorback Athletics, The Gardens
Getting There: Game is at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium; tailgating is at the corner of Razorback Road and Leroy Pond.
- Gymbacks Meet: Winters in Fayetteville can be awfully chilly, but the U of A gymnastics team always brings the heat. Consistently ranked Top 25, the upstart gymnastics program has gone to the NCAA Finals the past two years in a row. Admission to meets usually costs less than $5, and you’ll definitely have a good time. Not only will you see the Hogs flying high, the SEC boasts a large number of Olympic caliber athletes. That pretty much guarantees stiff competition, though it also promises you’ll see an excellent show every time you go.On The Web: Arkansas Gymbacks
Getting There: Barnhill Arena (main entrance faces Stadium Drive)
- Gulley Park: Trying to have a get-together at Wilson Park is like trying to balance on a beach ball while juggling kittens—basically impossible. Though Wilson is beautiful, during the semester it’s always packed to the gills with college students. That’s why locals travel out to Gulley Park instead. It has running trails and playground equipment just like Wilson, but there is much more green space for the impromptu football match. There are a few picnic pavilions that are first come, first served; however, you’ll do better to bring a picnic blanket and a cooler. Parking can sometimes be difficult, too. Though there are two small parking lots, you can always (politely!) park in one of the adjacent neighborhoods and walk down to Gulley.On The Web: Gulley Park
Getting There: 1850 E Township St.