This is the Midwest Traveler’s Guide to Fayetteville, Arkansas. Specifically Downtown Fayetteville. Where I stayed, where I ate, what to eat and more importantly drink, and what not to miss on Saturday mornings!
First of all, I had never visited Fayetteville before. Located about 3 and a half hours outside Oklahoma City in the Northwest Corner of Arkansas, this little town was such a gem. I was visiting for the weekend for the Megaphone Conference, which is a conference for bloggers and influencers. This is the perfect spot to have it! We stayed right on the town square, and made the small walk to the conference center every morning. We stayed about three days, and these are the highlights of the trip.
ARKANSAS IS PRETTY, LIKE REALLY PRETTY
One thing I loved, but didn’t expect about my trip to Arkansas was how pretty it was! Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas are full of gorgeous, rolling green hills and twisty roads. Coming from a place like Oklahoma City, where everything is flat and in square grids, I loved this change of pace. Right outside our hotel was the Washington County Courthouse, with its tall steeple making the whole little town look most idyllic. I was so blow away by the greenery and flowers in the town square, that I took a million pictures of them. It’s such a beautiful little part of the Midwest.
We stayed at The Chancellor Hotel, which really, is the only option for staying near the town center, hotel wise. You may be able to find an AirBnB or Vacation Rental, but I thought the hotel was darn near perfect. We checked in without an issue, and had a really comfy and spacious room, that we kept on 52 degrees the entire time. The best part of the hotel room was the LIGHTING! There was a huge window where I did my makeup every morning and came out looking picture perfect. The Chancellor Hotel is also dog friendly, so every morning I saw all the guests of the hotel taking their pooches out for a morning walk. There was also a doggie-friendly room service menu as well. Consider me swooning. We also had access to a suite on the 16th floor as members of the conference, and went up there a few nights. The view = incredible.
WHERE TO EAT WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE
I did so much research on this. Like, maybe too much research. There’s nothing I hate more than being on vacation and not having a specific place to eat in mind. Honestly, there’s so much at risk. WHAT IF YOU HAVE A BAD MEAL? ON VACATION? There isn’t a whole ton of options in the town square (we did eat a less-than-great pizza place which I am not mentioning) So here are the two places that we ate at and loved. One of them is on Dickson Street, which is a strip of bars about a mile from the Fayetteville Town Center
Apparently, Hugos is a Fay institution and I can see why! It’s slightly unassuming, other than the fact that there’s a whole gaggle of college students and their parents waiting for a seat right outside the entrance. Located in a basement, the lighting was less than ideal for this blogger but I still managed to snap some photos. I had the Smoked Cheddar Cheeseburger, shared fries with Marisa, and chips on the side. I drank an Ozark IPA VERY QUICKLY and it was so tasty. The real star of the night was the Mint Chocolate Chip Crepes. They were fresh crepes, filled with Mint Cookie Ice Cream and topped with hot fudge. I love a minty ice cream after the meal, and this one knocked it out of the park.
Hammondtrees is a grilled cheese place just off Dickson Street. This place reminded me of The Mule, but with totally different types of grilled cheese. This was one of our late night eats after we hit up Maxine’s and the Hospitality Suite. I had researched this one and it had been on my list, and it did not disappoint. Marisa, Michelle and I split the sweet potato cheese fries, which were SO GOOD. I ended up with an apple and brie grilled cheese, and the other ladies tried some of the other varieties, including one with pulled pork. Yum. I took some pictures here but they are pretty terrible so I won’t list them.
WHERE TO DRINK WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE
This is the category where I fell in love. With a bar. Called Maxines. Maxine’s Tap Room is one of the oldest bars in Northwest Arkansas. It’s in an unassuming long brick building, and when you walk in, it’s totally dark. It’s actually a little jarring. Opened by Marjorie Maxine Miller in 1950, the bar has been around a long time and through many iterations, even though the ownership is still in Maxine’s family. There is one skylight, and it was installed after the bar caught fire in 2006 and was shut down for repairs. This is a classic cocktail bar. There’s a menu with all sorts of very fun and spirit-forward drinks. I tried the Bee’s Knees (gin, honey, lemon), The Bell of the Ball (a roasted red pepper martini), and a No Ducks Given (a large, crushed ice boozy snow cone, complete with a tiny rubber ducky). But the best part: THE POPCORN. They have a popcorn machine up front where you can order a large bowl of popcorn, complete with butter melted in a crockpot, and I ordered mine with parmesan cheese, and freshly cracked black pepper. If you go to Fayetteville – GO TO MAXINE’S! It’s all I’ve ever wanted in a bar.
We walked from the town square down to Dickson Street (I would say it took about 15 mins, tops and all through residential areas), which is like a mini version of Austin’s 6th street, complete with a food truck alley, a mechanical pig (instead of a bull) tarot card readers, and a Taco Bell Cantina (which is a Taco Bell with alcohol and I kind of freaked out about it). We didn’t hit up any of the bars there, but I would totally want to explore it more when I go back. The nightlife is really fun here, which is to be expected from a college town.
SATURDAY FARMERS MARKET
One of my favorite things about the Fayetteville Town Square was the Farmer’s Market! The street shuts down and all these vendors selling fruits, veggies, and fresh cut flowers pop up on Saturday morning. I got to explore a little bit, but I was on track to go to the conference, so I didn’t see as much as I wanted to. There were food and drink vendors set up, so it would be such a fun Saturday morning activity for your family. The best part about the farmers market was the DOGS! Apparently in Arkansas, dogs are allowed at farmers markets. I know in Oklahoma this violates some sort of health code, but I say let the dogs be. They were the best part!
So that’s it for my quick guide for what to do during the weekend in Downtown Fayetteville. Have you ever been? Leave your suggestions for when I attend Megaphone 2019.