Fayetteville NC was an out of the box experience!
I left last Monday for fun and frolic in Fayettville N.C. When I left for this hosted road trip things were pretty good. While it may be a bit before you head out to this wonderful city, read about all the wonderful things that are waiting for you when this health crisis is over!
Fayetteville is a city full of history and fun activities. Melody Foote, the Director of Communications at Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau found an amazing array of things to things to do. If you are looking for a trip that is not a cookie cutter experience, travel to Fayetteville. My friend Annie Jansen traveled with me on this trip. She and I learned as we tried almost every activity under the sun, in Fayetteville NC, here everything is out of the box!
I picked Annie up and we took a road trip to Fayetteville arriving just in time for our first stop at the wonderful military museum!
The U.S. Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum
It is hard to categorize this amazing museum that focuses on the history of the U.S. Army Airborne and Special Operations units from World War II to present. I was amazed by all the exhibits. My husband Keith and I years ago traveled to France and visited Normandy Beach and some of the V day sites. Many of these displays relate to that time and place.
There was so much to see and learn at this wonderful museum. Out front we were touched by the sculpture of the Airborne Trooper built in 1965, “Iron Mike”. I learned this is the #1 photo location in Fayetteville!
K9’s in action
Besides the Airborne museum, also on the grounds is the world’s first memorial to special operations K9s killed in action. The statue “Constant Vigilance” created by Lena Toritch. On the grounds are canine soldiers that gave their lives in action over the years. To say it is a touching is understated by a longshot.
Create a Candle
At the Hummingbird Candle Company, Tianna Dean led Annie and I through the process of creating a candle. Hummingbird Candle is part of the Cornerstone Design store. Located in downtown Fayetteville, Melody helped us located this great find after eating at the amazing Fayetteville Pie Company.
After Melody introduced us to Tianna, we were off and running selecting scents for our candles with Tianna’s oldest daughter documenting the entire event taking pictures the entire time!
Tianna did so much more though than helping us create a candle, she shared her story with us and made us a part of her story. Hearing how she and her family followed God’s wishes to start this new business with handmade furniture and heirloom pieces, and now Tianna’s special candles was awe inspiring. We left feeling like we made a new friend and created a masterpiece!
It was quite amazing too that we chose our candle smell purely by scent. I thought Annie and I would pick similar scents, but they were not even close. We had over 35 scents to choose between. It was a truly unique experience to make our own candle and a lot of fun to boot! What a fun girls day out, or romantic day for a couple trying to bond. You learn a lot about yourself and each other during this process!
Tea Tasting at Winterbloom Tea
It was an easy walk to Winterbloom Tea since it is located right next door to Cornerstone Design. We were told to ask for either Josh or Annie. It was Annie that greeted us and helped us select what type of tea to try by asking us, “What kind of mood are you in?”
My friend Annie and I were both in the mood for something to energize us. After driving the rest of the way to Fayetteville and charging through the museum and other activities we both decided we could use something with a bit of oomph and that translated to caffeine! Winterbloom Annie found me the perfect “Downtown Breakfast” blend.
We learned so many things talking to her. I learned why I never liked green tea before. She said that water for green tea should not be boiled, it should just be warmed. Annie also had many other questions answered as well. What a delightful way to recharge!
Tins of tea, lovely tea cups and a knowledgeable young woman ready to answer your questions, perfect!
Shopping in downtown Fayetteville!
The downtown is so lovely. The artwork, the statues, a fountain, historic markers and even the Market House that is a National Landmark. Built in 1823, on the site of the State House which was where the United States Constitution was ratified and the University of NC was charted, this site served as the center of government and trade.
Cape Fear Studios
Cape Fear Studios lovely studio we found was also a great place to find gifts! This cool place had an array of different types of artists some working when we visited. There were paintings, pottery, jewelry and more!
Christina Smith provided Annie and I a detailed overview of what Pressed NC is all about. This store is owned by a military spouse. Since Fort Bragg is located in Fayetteville many in town have military connections. In fact, Fort Bragg and Pope Field form the nation’s largest military installation.
We found wonderful items, many made by locals and others with North Carolina connections.
A Bit of Carolina
Thank you A Bit of Carolina for the $5.00 gift certificate that you provided us! Annie and I both used our gift certificates toward handmade jewelry that we purchased. A Bit of Carolina aims to provide products made in the Carolinas made by artists, artisans manufacturers from the area. They have literally anything from gift baskets and food to hats and T-shirts! I love my lovely necklace and Annie chose a cool pair of earrings!
Fayetteville Area Transportation & Local History Museum
While a museum may not seem like an out of the box experience, I always love museums because they provide a perspective of the city. I always find at the end of a trip that a museum offers insight into the places I visited along the way and that they fill in the missing puzzle pieces!
The building itself was cool. It was the former 1890 Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Train Depot. Near all the downtown shopping I was enamored with the steamboat history, and the history of the shipwreck the Modern Greece Blockade Runner!
Annie and I both though were quite enamored with the pottery! At this museum though I learned that Fayetteville is named after the Marquis de Lafayette. He is the French nobleman that helped out during the Revolutionary War. Fayetteville was the first city named after him. He visited the city in 1825 and they have a statue erected to him that they placed in 1983 in Cross Creek park, that is a site I missed during my visit.
Paraclete XP, a Fayetteville NC out of the box experience!
At Paraclete, the world’s largest skydiving tunnel, Indoor Skydiving is not for the faint of heart, but I am proud to say that I have a certificate saying that I did it! I can’t say I did it gracefully or well, but I did it! The amazing wind tunnel simulates the experience of a free fall during a parachute jump. Annie and I suited up and we had hands on assistance at all times.
The key is to arch the body with arms and legs bent slightly and the chin up. I thought I was doing this and I was sort of. It is an otherworldly feeling floating in the wind tunnel. Our instructor was amazingly patient. Annie got it pretty well and they even went flying up to the top of the tunnel. After we were done, he demonstrated moves we could not even imagine. We were enthralled how easy he made it look knowing how hard it really is!
Cape Fear Botanical Garden
We were virtually the only ones on the seventy-eight acre Cape Fear Botanical Garden that boasts more than 2,000 varieties of ornamental plants. On their website they have the neatest quote, “Nature is the poetry of the earth!” How lovely!
We were there in time to see the end of the Camellia’s in bloom. It was fun to see the Heritage Garden where we got to see farmstead buildings and imagine the gardens in bloom! I saw a cool Ferguson tractor too!
Cape Fear Regional Theater another Fayetteville NC out of the box experience!
We were so delighted to see “”Murder for Two” at the Cape Fear Regional Theater.
The website describes this amazing local theater as “CFRT features a three-story complex with a 300-seat main stage and contracts actors, writers, and designers from throughout the country. CFRT’s six-show main stage season and robust education and outreach programs serve over 49,000 audience members a year from all ages and varying socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds including nearly 15,000 students from around the region. CFRT is grateful for the community support from which it was born and still blooms.”
The production we were so lucky to see was based on two actors with one playing the investigator, and the other playing all 13 suspects. The musical comedy was madcap and fun. We actually sat on the stage and were delighted with the talent!
Fayetteville NC out of the Box
There you have it! During our two days in Fayetteville NC out of the box, we visited a military museum, made candles, tasted tea, shopped, sampled local art and culture through sculpture, galleries and museums. We flew in a wind tunnel, browsed through a botanical garden and laughed at madcap comedy along with seeing the beauty and history of the local town. This is without even a mention yet of the dining and lodging that is yet to come. As Annie Jansen said, “If you can’t find what you are looking for in Fayetteville, you just haven’t found it yet!”