Should Fayetteville, NC be a stopover for your travels along I95?

Visitors walk by displays of what an actual 101st Airborne Division soldier would have worn on D-Day at the Pratt Museum in Fort Campbell, KY., on Tuesday, June 4, 2019.Hpt D Day History 75th Anniversary 13
Visitors walk by displays of what an actual 101st Airborne Division soldier would have worn on D-Day at the Pratt Museum in Fort Campbell, KY., on Tuesday, June 4, 2019.Hpt D Day History 75th Anniversary 13 /

If you are traveling along I95 from the North to the South, Fayetteville, NC is a quick stop off the highway.

Long distance traveling down I95 can be cumbersome and sometimes boring. If you need to stop for the night, should Fayetteville, NC be a stop?

If you are like me, I like to get to where I am going quickly. I don’t do a whole lot of stopping along the way unless I really need to take a break and maybe get some sleep. Most traverls tend to take the quick exit to a hotel/motel and call it a night but if you have a little bit of time to spare or are making arrangements to stop along your trip, Fayetteville might be a decent option.

There are about five exits for Fayetteville off the I95 corridor and each will bring you to the heart of the small city with big aspirations. What is there to do here though? Should this be a stop along the way or maybe a weekend getaway to someplace new? Here is what the city has to offer.

Food, because we all need to eat!

If there is one thing you won’t be dissappointed with, it’s the food. You have a lot of options here and even if you are simply stopping for the night, everything is only 15 to 20 minutes tops with traffic.

Buffet style family food is easy to find. Grandsons Southern Buffet is a country style restaraunt that is very popular with the locals and you can do bulk price take-out. From fried chicken to collard greens, you can’t go wrong even for the pickiest of eaters.

Skip the traditional mini-mall type chinese food and look for the vietnamese and Thai offerings instead. Just outside of Fort Bragg, located just west of the city, plenty of options are there for you. A simple Google search will get you to a slew of choices. While Prik Thai may be convenient and receives a high local rating, the food isn’t very good and there are far better options including Thai Lanna off Bragg Boulevard and not too far off the highway.

BBQ – You are in NC there are plenty of options from the national chain, Mission BBQ to local spots. Fuller’s BBQ is a buffet style joint and is very good and it too isn’t that far from the I95 exits. You can find more here.

Things to do when you have a day to spend along the way!

If you have the time and want to stick around for a day before hitting the road again, there is a few things that should spark your interest. Fayetteville is a military town no matter how you look at it and one really nice museum should be a top destination for you. The Airborne and Special Operations Museum.

The Airborne Museum is really nice and well layed out. It is located in the historic downtown area about ten to 20 minutes off the highway and does not have a charge, yes, it is free. The museum takes you on a trip from the start of the Airborne units and shows how they have evolved over the years.

Fayetteville Woodpeckers are a new minor league baseball franchise that established itself in the area in 2019. A farm team of the Houston Astros, the Woodpeckers boast a really nice family friendly stadium located in the same historic district that the museum is located in. After a game take a walk through the old downtown that has been remodeled over the last five years or take a stroll through Patriot Park.

Fort Bragg is now closed to the public in most cases but you can drive over the bypass and catch a glimpse of all the military helicopters on the tarmac and if you catch it on the right days, the C-130’s could be doing landing training at the local airport, flying right over your head!

Shopping isn’t really a draw in Fayetteville.

If you are looking to pick up some local merch for gifts, you can skip the mall and the rest of the shopping districts. The Kohls store has some local merchandise but there really isn’t much around the town itself. Fayetteville has your typical, JC Penny stores, Best Buy, Walmart, and Target as well as others but nothing special that stands out.

Emergency care

If you need to stop for a medical issue there is a big hospital in Fayetteville but honestly, if you can make it another 30 miles provided it is not a life threatening situation, you would be better off. Cape Fear Medical Center is not rated highly by the locals and is not a hospital I would take my kids to unless I had no other choice. Lumberton offers a far better option south of Fayetteville.

Taking the kids to the park is always fun!

There are a lot of parks in and around the Fayetteville area including Arnette Park located about 5 minutes off the highway at exit 46A. Arnette Park has a nice play area for the kids and a lot of woods to hike around. It sits on the Cape Fear River and there are walking trails that will take you to the river’s edge. This is probably the nicest and most convenient park closest to the highway.