As travel season ramps up, families are faced with a difficult decision: to vacation, or not to vacation? COVID-19 has caused travelers to opt out of their annual beach vacations this year, and focus their time and money on weekend trips to closer destinations instead.

Fayetteville, about a three-hour drive from central Arkansas, has always been the perfect spot for families looking for an exciting and ever-evolving getaway destination. That hasn’t changed. Fayetteville’s abundance of public parks, dining options and outdoor activities are more attractive now than ever, because they naturally allow for easy social distancing. 

So, consider a trip to Fayetteville to satisfy your family’s summer travel bug. Here’s a run-down of what the weekend could look like for your family.

Before You Go: COVID-19 Travel Tips

While on the go, remember to follow the CDC’s guidelines for mitigating the spread of COVID-19. 

  • Pack plenty of hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and extra masks in your bag – and use all three

  • Avoid large groups and maintain a distance of six feet from those around you 

  • Dine on outdoor patios, when possible, or order meals to-go



Check into your hotel when you arrive. Fayetteville offers plenty of family-friendly hotels with fun pools for the kids. 

First item on the itinerary: explore the city via the Razorback Greenway, a 40-mile trail that connects shopping areas, public art, historic sites and playgrounds around Fayetteville with several easy-to-find entrances. You can walk the trail, or head to historic downtown, where you can grab one of the Lime or Spin e-scooters docked along Dickson Street or the square. 


Grab dinner at Sassy’s Red House, an award-winning barbeque restaurant near the heart of Fayetteville. There is plenty of patio seating available. To wrap up day one, hit Gator Golf, located just a few minutes from Sassy’s. This mini golf course features two 18-hole courses with waterfalls, tricky putting greens and plenty of gators to navigate. 



Head to breakfast on the patio at Southern Food Co., one of Fayetteville’s many fantastic breakfast joints. Next, take a quick drive to Lake Fayetteville. The beautiful 194-acre lake features a boat and kayak rental station where you can rent kayaks or a boat to explore the lake, or bikes for the trail surrounding it. 


For lunch, grab some Nashville-inspired hot chicken at Dot’s, a food truck at the Yacht Club on College. Take it to-go and set up a shaded picnic at Wilson Park. Let the kids check out the playground while you’re there. 

Next, head to the Arkansas Air & Military Museum and learn about the fascinating history of aviation in Arkansas. You’ll see real aviation memorabilia, artifacts and aircrafts from the early 1900s. 

When the kids are ready for a snack, Burton’s Creamery Food Truck in downtown Fayetteville is a must-try. 


For dinner, pick up burgers and fries at Hugo’s, a Fayetteville classic. Right down the street is the Downtown Square & Gardens, the perfect spot for a picnic dinner under shady trees. Then, head over to 112 Drive-In movie theater, one of the last of its kind in Arkansas, and watch some old flicks on a big-screen. Movies play at 8:45 and 11:20 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  



Check out of your hotel before you leave, or ask for a late check out so you can return one last time before you depart. 

Start your last day with a delicious breakfast at Stone Mill Bread, a local spot known for its fresh baked bread. (You might even leave with a loaf or two). 

For your last big adventure in Fayetteville, check out the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, a beautiful public garden with nine individual displays of plant and flower species native to Northwest Arkansas. Their butterfly house is sure to be a hit with the kids. 

Finally, say your goodbyes to Fayetteville, and head home! 

For more ideas for things to do on a trip to Fayetteville, visit and download the visitor’s guide.