College Spaces with Friendly Faces

August 14, 2017

When I think of Fayetteville, I think of its friendly hometown charm and pride in its rich military history. However, as I’ve gotten older and been away at college, I have come to see this area in different ways, one of which is as a lively and thriving college town. Fayetteville is home to four college campuses and those campuses bring all kinds of people needing to find places to learn, study, and connect with others. So, this summer, with the eyes of a college student, I looked to find places around the area that would speak to a college or young adult crowd. In doing so, I came across some cool hangouts and events that remind me of the kinds of places I frequent when I’m away at school.

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For the Arts Lover…

Did you know Fayetteville has an international art gallery, featuring exhibits of nationally and internationally recognized artists? A recent exhibit featured 40 of Pablo Picasso’s ceramic works. The David McCune International Art Gallery at Methodist University is the perfect place for those who appreciate the fine arts (or if you just want to impress your friends with some art history knowledge!). Visit this fall for the Kindred Materials: Glass and Clay exhibit, featuring local glass and clay artists, or in the spring for Chagall: The Story of Exodus, an exhibit featuring works from renowned painter Marc Chagall.

Any indie film lovers out there? Did you know Fayetteville is hosting a film festival again this year? The Indigo Moon Film Festival is being hosted downtown for the second time. Spend the weekend this October immersed in stories from filmmakers all over the world. Who knew you could see such a diverse, distinct collection of films here in Fayetteville?

collegeFor the Coffee Connoisseur…

One of the most satisfying things I experienced at school was being able to find a quiet place to stretch out and study. When I visited Detour Coffee House in Hope Mills, I immediately thought of all the work I could get done after spending just a morning there. I ordered my favorite, a chai latte, and it was honestly one of the best I’ve had in a while (rivaling Starbucks?!). It was the perfect touch to a space ideal for studying, or even just catching up with a good book.

If you’re looking for a low-key way to unwind in the evenings, head to Java Expressions at The Coffee Scene for their open mic, poetry night and acoustic night on Sunday evening. Unwind while listening to live music or try your hand at spoken word!

For the Foodie…college

My favorite place to go on a lunch date with my mother is Sakura, a delicious little Japanese restaurant. The restaurant is small, but very cozy. Even though I normally come with my family, I thought how great of a place this would be to just catch up with friends. The sushi is amazing—freshly made and presented beautifully. I recommend the avocado ball, for its delicious taste and exquisite presentation. 

Did you know Fayetteville has its own little slice of foodie heaven? A great food event in the area is the Taste of Fayetteville. Local restaurants from all over town gather in Festival Park, sharing samples of their best dishes to the public. You can literally spend the afternoon taste-testing the different cuisines this city has to offer. Trust me, it’s an afternoon well spent!

For the Outdoor Adventurer…

You probably won’t see me hiking mountains, but now and then, it can be nice to take a break and enjoy an afternoon outside. A great place to spend the day outdoors here is the J. Bayard Clark Park & Nature Center. The complex includes a winding walking and running trail through the woods, a mountain bike trail, an open picnic area, and live animals housed in the Nature Center. It’s a great way to spend the day by yourself, or with friends. Bring your camera!

Have you ever tried tai chi? Have you ever tried tai chi in a botanical garden? Try something new in Fayetteville this fall with a Tai Chi for Health class, offered weekly at the Cape Fear Botanical Garden. Grab some friends and find your inner peace attending one of these classes. Then, spend some time walking through the gardens!

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The greater Fayetteville area has a lot going for it. It’s a complex, diverse, and multi-dimensional county, packed with so many different things to see and do. Though I’ve lived here for years, my time away at school has allowed me to experience this area in a different way every time I come home. I still frequent my old stomping grounds, but now I find joy in looking for new things to explore and experience—and Fayetteville hasn’t disappointed. For even more ideas, I recommend checking out the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (FACVB) Calendar of Events.

This blog was researched, photographed, and written by the FACVB’s Communications Intern, Paige Pryor.

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