Fayetteville is a large city in Cumberland County, North Carolina. It is the county seat of Cumberland County and is best known as the home of Fort Bragg, a major U.S. Army installation northwest of the city.
If you find yourself visiting or live in the surrounding areas, here are 5 things you can do…for FREE
- Explore the history of the US Army airborne and special operations troops at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum, the only US Army museum not located on a military base. Opening the doors on August 16th, 2000, the 60th anniversary of the original United States Army’s Test Platoon’s first parachute jump, the museum offers free admission, the main exhibit gallery, temporary gallery, four-story tall theater, video theater and a motion simulator ride. It is located in Historic Downtown Fayetteville on the corner of Bragg Boulevard and Hay Street, adjacent to the city’s Freedom Memorial Park and the recently built North Carolina Veteran’s Park. The main gallery is designed as a self-guiding tour, in chronological order, through the history of the airborne and special operations soldiers, from 1940 to the present. The temporary gallery changes throughout the year and displays a myriad of exhibits pertaining to the United States Army, airborne and special operation units through their history and conflicts from World War II to the present. For a nominal fee, visitors can ride the 24 seat motion simulator. (We rode it! Super cool!)
- Take one of 18 Themed Driving Trails around Fayetteville. Choose from African-American Heritage, Antiquing, Fish & Game, Gaelic Beginnings and so much more. (Interesting fact about a stop on the American Independence trail-The guy who invented the Carbine Rifle was from Godwin and is buried in the cemetery at Old Bluff church.) These are great for your own family history or even homeschooling options.
- Discover the history of southeastern NC from Native American times to present day at the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex. The complex includes museum galleries, Arsenal Park (which houses the remains of the Fayetteville Arsenal, which General Sherman burned during the Civil War) and the 1897 Poe House, a restored 1897 late-Victorian residence.
- Be blown away by the sight of paratroopers billowing through the sky at Sicily Drop Zone (off Manchester Rd.) Call (910) 396-MEMO (6366) for a jump schedule recording.
- Clark Park is one of the trails from the Kids in Parks TRACK Trail Program which provides a network of kid-friendly trails. The trail is called the J. Bayard Clark Park TRACK Trail and children can earn free prizes by going on the trails and tracking them on the website. Kids in Parks began through a need to get families unplugged and get them outdoors. Together with partners, KIP promotes children’s health and the health of parks.
Want more ideas? Check out Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (FACVB).