Fayetteville, Arkansas is renowned for its vibrant arts and music scene. Here you’ll find an abundance of museums, theaters, galleries and eateries to suit any taste or budget – no matter where you live!
For some of the top performers in town, TheatreSquared in downtown Fayetteville is your destination. It presents hundreds of shows annually featuring local and national talent onstage.
1. Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks
If you’re a nature enthusiast, gardener or parent searching for an educational destination in Northwest Arkansas, the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks is an ideal spot to spend some time. Wander through its 12 themed gardens and admire its vibrant butterfly house for some outdoor fun!
On 40 acres leased by the city, this botanical garden provides visitors with an immersive experience that connects them to nature and their local community through hands-on activities, educational programs, classes and events. From plant sales and yoga sessions to summer concerts – there’s sure to be a program that suits your interests.
On the grounds, you’ll find twelve themed gardens featuring native Missourian plants and animals. Highlights include Founders’, Japanese, vegetable/herb, children’s education cottage, butterfly, four seasons shade sensory Ozark native rose and perennial gardens as well as rock/water features.
From June through August, visitors are welcome to enjoy strolling through the gardens. If you’re searching for something more exciting, head over to Firefly Fling family festival on July 16. Enjoy garden magic, fairies, stilt walkers from Arkansas Circus Arts and a laser light show!
Support the gardens through their annual fundraiser Chefs in the Garden. Tickets include food from restaurants nearby plus beer or wine – it’s an idyllic setting to listen to Bill Dollar & Loose Change play live music while taking home a delicious dinner you can take with you!
The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks offers an enchanting venue for weddings or events. Their 12 themed gardens, Arkansas’ only butterfly house and landscaped grounds will help you create an unforgettable backdrop for your big day.
2. Lake Fayetteville
Fayetteville is an inviting city that blends urban life and nature. It boasts an exciting fine and performing arts scene, historic sites, as well as the vibrant nightlife in Dickson Street Entertainment District that will have you wanting to come back for more!
For those who enjoy an active lifestyle, there are plenty of places to hike or run around the city. Additionally, several parks provide family-friendly amenities like playgrounds and sports courts.
The city also features some beautiful lakes, so take time to enjoy some leisurely time by the water. Lake Ann in particular is a small but less-crowded option that offers stunning waterfalls.
Mazarick Park is another option, providing plenty of amenities. It boasts a playground, sports courts and covered picnic area for those who want to unwind outdoors.
Watch ducks and other birds in this picturesque setting. Additionally, it’s an ideal spot for biking as there are several trails surrounding the lake.
If you’re interested in the local botany, make a stop at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. It’s a popular destination among both residents and visitors due to its beautiful gardens and stunning views of the surrounding area.
Crystal Bridges Museum: Celebrate America’s spirit through art and nature at this museum! Their calendar of events offers plenty of captivating shows, making sure something catches your attention.
If you’re a music buff, head over to Walton Arts Center or any of the numerous live music venues in town. These places feature performances of all genres – from comedy acts to orchestras and even karaoke!
3. Terra Studios
Terra Studios is one of Northwest Arkansas’ top tourist attractions. Boasting six acres of art park, an inspiring gallery and live artist demonstrations, Terra Studios is a must-visit for art enthusiasts!
The studio offers group tours, motor coach tours and private classes. Additionally, they sell souvenirs made by the glass artists at the studio such as coffee mugs, teapots, rings, vases, birdhouses, masks and dishes.
From 11:30am to 4:30 pm daily, you can watch artisans create the iconic Bluebirds of Happiness. Additionally, demonstrations in various mediums such as painting, pottery, claywork and crochet will be offered. Entry to both artist colony and galleries is free but donations are appreciated if desired.
At this whimsical art gallery, visitors are sure to be delighted by the array of sculptures found throughout its grounds. A popular Saturday destination for locals, this artist colony includes a wizard’s cave, outdoor art walk-thru garden with labyrinth and bas relief mural garden.
In addition to the Bluebird of Happiness, this art gallery is also renowned for its fantasy creatures and trolls. Visitors can take a leisurely walk through the art park or enjoy a picnic lunch within its grounds.
For those wanting to support the local economy, the company also sells handmade terra cotta sculptures crafted by artisans around the world. These stunning works feature animals, plants, flowers and other forms of nature crafted with exquisite detail.
Terra Studios is a popular attraction, so they will likely need to adjust their business practices in order to stay in demand. In January 2020, they announced that production on their iconic “Bluebird of Happiness” would cease. Until that time, however, they still have plenty of unused stock of these birds on hand.
TheatreSquared is a modern theatre venue and wedding venue that strives to make your special day one to remember. Their team will assist with all the details so that your event is one you won’t soon forget.
Marvel Architects of New York City and Charcoalblue designed this 50,000 square foot cultural landmark, which features two intimate theatres, rehearsal space, a three-level commons/cafe, outdoor gathering spaces, offices, production workshops, artists’ apartments and more in an ultramodern design. Built to LEED Gold standards with locally sourced materials wherever possible, the space meets all environmental requirements.
For example, the walls in the Spring Theatre were constructed using form boards made of Arkansas pine. This created a rippled, distinctive appearance that adds an artistic flair to the space.
Another distinctive aspect is The Commons, a three-level cafe and bar open every day even when there are no shows. Here you can enjoy local beers on 16 taps as well as wine and pre-made drinks.
It’s an ideal spot for relaxing and taking in the scenery, as well as enjoying a wide selection of small-batch craft beer – including some IPA’s. Plus, its roof-top terrace provides breathtaking views of sunsets.
TheatreSquared not only produces theatre but also hosts a range of events and exhibits. Their season features dance, music and theatre shows as well as Broadway productions, jazz series performances and educational programs for adults and children alike.
TheatreSquared invites you to get lost in its thrilling atmosphere – whether you’re here on business, with family or just for a romantic weekend away, there is plenty to see and do here! It’s an ideal spot for people to get out and about while taking in all that the city has to offer.
5. Ale Trail
In Northwest Arkansas, beer culture has seen a remarkable growth over the last decade due to numerous new breweries opening their doors in and around Fayetteville. Along with that came various beer festivals like Foam Fest in Fayetteville and other community events.
Craft beer enthusiasts won’t want to miss out on all of Fayetteville’s other attractions and activities that make it one of America’s best places to live! These include the Razorback Greenway, a trail that provides cyclists and walkers with a secure route for outdoor fun.
Another exciting activity is taking a tour of local breweries along the Fayetteville Ale Trail, created in 2013 by Experience Fayetteville. The trail connects 10 Northwest Arkansas breweries and features a passport where drinkers can collect stamps at each stop along the way.
There are 20 stops along the trail, so it’s recommended that you spend a day or two sampling some of Fayetteville’s top craft beers. The trail is free and available year-round from the Fayetteville Visitors Center at 21 S. Block Ave.
In addition to beer, this region is becoming increasingly known for its wineries. Although Arkansas’ traditional wine region lies far south in the Arkansas River Valley, additional vineyards have recently opened their doors in northwest Arkansas.
On the trail to craft beer heaven are West Mountain Brewing Company (located at the west end of Fayetteville’s historic downtown square); Vino’s Brew Pub – Arkansas’ oldest brewpub; and Apple Blossom Brewing Company. This brewery is known for its delicious craft brews and unique varieties not typically associated with IPAs.