7 (Or So) Things Freshman Should Know

7 (Or So) Things Freshman Should Know
Dickson Street is the entertainment district of town. Plenty of bars, live music and food to be had.

Staff Photo Nick Brothers
Dickson Street is the entertainment district of town. Plenty of bars, live music and food to be had.

Hello to all the incoming freshmen! Welcome to one of the best towns in the United States! It probably sounds like I’m overselling it a bit, and maybe I am, but I love this town. I’m here to tell you some of the awesome things you can find in the city when you aren’t in class or doing your homework.

1. Dickson Street

While the locals may think me cruel for listing the street with all the bars on it for the incoming freshman at number one, trust me when I say you don’t have to be 21 to enjoy all that Dickson has to offer. From the great food at places like Jose’s, Emelia’s, and Doe’s, to the live music of George’s Majestic Lounge; there’s plenty on Dickson for all ages. Soon after school starts, we have one of the world’s largest motorcycle rallies come through town in the form of Bikes, Blues, and BBQ, which usually finds it’s central location up and down Dickson Street. The highlight for me, though, has to be the Bookshop. Stacks and stacks of used books, with that wonderful smell of old paper lingering throughout. It’s easy to get lost in there, but it’s worth the afternoon spent exploring.

2. The Square

Located right off of Dickson, Fayetteville’s historic downtown square offers a lot of beauty and a lot of cool, local shops and eateries to check out as well. Hugo’s has been here for forever, and many a Fayettevillain

Staff Photo Nick Brothers The Fayetteville Square offers up some of the best staples of Fayetteville. On Saturday mornings there's a farmer's market,

Staff Photo Nick Brothers
The Fayetteville Square offers up some of the best staples of Fayetteville. On Saturday mornings there’s a farmer’s market,

grew up eating there on weekends with their families. We also have one of the best Farmer’s Markets in the nation, which happens on the Square every Saturday morning. Then, of course, the Lights Of The Ozarks celebration during the holiday season, where the Square is decked out in lights, covering every tree and surface available and setting the night aglow. It’s definitely worth checking out.

3. Your Own Backyard

Take a couple of hours during one of your free afternoons and walk around campus. The University has been here since the late 1800’s, and buildings like Old Main stand as a hallmark of that time. Walk the sidewalks and see all the names, going back to the late 1800s/early 1900s. Try and find the spot where your name is going to end up. Take it all in, because it’s a beautiful campus. Also, climb the trees. I’m dead serious too. There are some awesome climbing trees at the UofA.

4. Nature Trails Galore

In Fayetteville, you are never more than a stone’s throw away from a nice walking or hiking trail. If you feel like driving for a minute, take a day trip out to Devil’s Den and see all the beauty the Ozarks have to offer. Or walk/ride the bike path that encircles the entire city. Fayetteville’s got some wonderful scenery, and what they say about stopping to smell the flowers applies to looking at trees as well.

5. Also Parks!

How many city parks offer a full-fledged castle to hang out on, complete with thrones and Darth Vader gargoyles? I’d wager that would be a pretty short list, but Fayetteville’s definitely on it. Wilson Park has one of our town’s coolest features in the form of the castle, but aside from that (and the walking trails I mentioned) there are tennis courts and basketball courts, across town at Gulley Park there is a massive jogging trail and a huge field, as well as a volleyball court. Walker Park in South Fayetteville has an outdoor raquet ball court, a skate park, and baseball diamonds. So go out and spend a day at the park with some friends, de-stress from all the crazy of the first week with a nice game of basketball or raquet ball.

Fayetteville Public Library6. Lord, our Library

Boasting four stories and one of the nation’s top catalogues, the Fayetteville Public Library is maybe my favorite part of the city. There’s nothing you can’t find there, and if you happen to come up with something, chances are they are getting it really soon. Live music and art performances, live readings by reputable authors, miles of reading material, and it’s all there for free. It’s absolutely one of the marks of pride for Fayetteville, and getting a library card should be at the top of your To-Do List.

7. Terra Studios And So Much More

Terra Studios, home to the Bluebirds of Happiness, is located about 15 minutes outside of Fayetteville and is a small land of pure magic. Local artists sell their wares in a small gnome and fairy and troll dominated world. Walking around Terra is like stepping into a Jim Henson fairy tale, and it doesn’t let up until you get back in your car to leave. Terra is only one of the magical spots near us, as only 30 minutes (45 if you take the pretty route) away is Eureka Springs, a stepping stone city of wonderful people and beautiful art, where the architecture feels frozen in time. A couple of hours south of there is Steel Creek, off the Buffalo River, with it’s beautiful camping grounds and bluffs and waterfalls.

There’s so much for you to do in the city of Fayetteville. Here’s to hoping all of you find your own bits and pieces of the city to love. Oh, and I’ll be joining you on campus for my own (late-started but much needed) Freshman year, so keep your eyes open and say hello!

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