Fort Bragg, North Carolina is famous for many things; it is home of the Airborne and US Army Special Operations Command, and the 440th Airlift Wing. Because of this, many people proudly refer to Fort Bragg as the center of the universe. Among all of this wonderful ‘hooah spirit’ and the high operational tempo, you’ll find a community outside the gates who loves military families, and the service members assigned to Fort Bragg. The counties and cities around Fort Bragg are very military friendly and have lots of great activities and events. Here are a few ideas your family might enjoy if you visit or are assigned to Fort Bragg.
Fayetteville has a variety of shopping opportunities including popular big box stores, local farmer’s markets, and unique shops in the historic downtown area. If you are visiting Hay Street, consider having lunch or dinner at Sherefe Mediterranean Café or Pierro’s Italian Bistro. Sherefe has delicious hummus and falafel, and Pierro’s has a delicious variety of Italian food and desserts! Fayetteville is also home to the Airborne and Special Operations Museum, which is a great place to take visitors. If you enjoy the outdoors, be sure to take a walk at Carver’s Creek State Park, North Carolina’s newest state park. It has walking trails, a dock for fishing overlooking a cypress forest, and picnic table. Carver’s Creek also houses one of the summer homes that used to belong to the Rockefeller family. If you have a pet, your pup will enjoy the shady walking trails too!
Visit the Zoo! The Aloha Zoo is a local privately owned zoo where animals are cared for when they have been abandoned, abused, or they can no longer be cared for by their owners. The zoo is very kid-friendly, but large enough for the whole family to enjoy. If you enjoy farm fresh produce, be sure to check out Gross Farms in Sanford. The family owned farm has fresh produce from April to October, and hosts a fun corn maze and pumpkin patch each October.
If golf is your hobby of choice, these communities are locations you must visit due to their variety of public courses, including Pinehurst–home of the US Open. The villages of Pinehurst and Southern Pines have charming history, architecture, shopping, and dining opportunities. Be sure to visit the Carolina Hotel in Pinehurst at Christmastime, during the Sandhills Children’s Center Festival of Trees. The festival happens during a weekend in November, and is a great opportunity to see the Carolina Hotel beautifully decorated for the holidays. It’s also the perfect chance to see these uniquely decorated, donated trees be auctioned to the public in support the Sandhills Children’s Center. It is a fun, festive event!
While in the Fort Bragg area, don’t forget the Fort Bragg area is only about three hours from the mountains of Asheville, NC, two hours from the NC Coast (the beach!), two hours from Charlotte, NC and an hour and a half to Raleigh, NC. Fort Bragg can feel and sound like, a sandy pine tree covered training area, but in reality, it’s filled with excitement right in its center, and it isn’t far from lots of great cities!
Have you been stationed at Fort Bragg? What gems would you share?