Moving to Fort Liberty? What to know about Fayetteville shopping, restaurants, things to do (2024)

Taylor ShookFayetteville Observer

It’s nearly summer, the time of year when about 400,000 military families receive permanent change-of-station orders, pack up their homes and move to military installations all over the country — including Fort Liberty.

Many move to Army housing, while other newcomers settle in Fayetteville or surrounding communities like Southern Pines, Linden, Spring Lake, Hope Mills, Raeford or Cameron.

Whether you and your family are moving soon or already live in the area and want to know more about what it has to offer, here's an introduction to Fort Liberty and Fayetteville, including details about shopping, restaurants, housing, schools and things to do.

What should I know about Fort Liberty?

Fort Liberty is the most populated military installation and home to the airborne and special operation forces. The Army post serves more than 282,000 people, including more than 50,000 service members and 20,000 Department of Defense civilian employees and contractors.

Fort Liberty was first established in 1918 as Camp Bragg, an artillery training site named after Confederate General Braxton Bragg. In 1922, it was renamed Fort Bragg.Last spring, the name was changed as part of a Department of Defense effort to rename military assets with names that commemorate the Confederacy.

At 251 square miles, much of Fort Liberty’s land area comprises training grounds. But it also has its own mini-malls, grocery stores, gas stations and convenience stores, events, restaurants, recreation and parks.

What cities border Fort Liberty?

Fort Liberty borders the city of Fayetteville and the towns of Spring Lake in Cumberland County and Southern Pines in Moore County.

How big is Fayetteville?

Fort Liberty is northwest of Fayetteville, the seat of Cumberland County. With a population of about 208,000, according to the Census Bureau, Fayetteville is the sixth-largest city in North Carolina.

What is Fayetteville known for?

Fayetteville is probably best known for its proximity to Fort Liberty, but the city has a lot of its own to offer. It’s the hometown of rapper J. Cole; the city where buffet restaurant Golden Corral began; the birthplace of Putt-Putt golf; and where baseball player Babe Ruth hit his first home run as a professional player.

How did Fayetteville get its name?

Fayetteville is said to be the first city to bear Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette’s name and is the only such city that the Frenchman visited.It was established in 1783 when two settlements along the Cape Fear River, Campbellton and Cross Creek, merged.

What are Fayetteville’s nicknames?

Fayetteville is known as The ‘Ville, the All-American City, The 2-6 and America’s hometown.

The city has also been called Fayettenam, an unsavory nicknamethat dates to a rough-and-tumble downtown of years past characterized by strip clubs.

Does Fayetteville have a downtown?

Downtown Fayetteville has more than 100 restaurants, shops, museums, salons, theaters and parks, according to the Cool Springs Downtown District website. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The city recently approved a permanent Downtown Social District, where people 21 and up can purchase to-go wine, beer and co*cktails at participating bars and restaurants to sip as they stroll and shop downtown.
  • Segra Stadium on Hay Street downtown is thehome of the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, a Minor League Baseball team.
  • Downtown festivals attract tens of thousands of attendees, like the Dogwood Festival and the International Folk Festival, plus smaller festivals like Fourth Fridays, and the Juneteenth Jubilee.
  • The downtown farmers market is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday year-round on the grounds of the Fayetteville History Museum.

What other hot spots are there in Fayetteville?

Fayetteville’s historic Haymount neighborhood, adjacent to downtown Fayetteville, has shopping, restaurants and bars, including Haymount Truck Stop, a food truck park with an indoor bar, a small arcade and plenty of outdoor seating that opened late last year. A few months after that, trendy speakeasy-style bar Archives opened in the neighborhood.

Murchison Road is Fayetteville’s historically Black corridor. The area is home to many longtime residents, businesses and schools. It’s home to several grassroots nonprofits, especially those centered around youth intervention. The city has vowed to revitalize the area.

Ramsey Street is the city's northwest commercial corridor. The street runs parallel to the Cape Fear River and is dotted with big box stores, restaurants and hotels. The area's retail scene is set to change dramatically in the coming years with the addition of a $40-million shopping center, a new grocery store and a country store.

Raeford Road is another of Fayetteville's major roadways and from its crossing at Robeson Street to Skibo Road, lie longtime restaurants, shopping centers and bars.

What shopping does Fayetteville have?

The commercial epicenter of Fayetteville is Cross Creek Mall, which was built in 1973. The mall continues to bring new restaurants, shops and entertainment to the area. The latest additions include Rockin’ Rolls Sushi Express, U.S. Foods Chef’Store and Main Event.

Related: American malls are dying. How is Cross Creek in Fayetteville thriving?

Surrounding the mall are shopping centers like Westwood Shopping Center, Freedom Town Center, Cross Pointe Center, Glensford Commons, McPherson Square, Fayetteville Pavilion, Marketfair Mall and Sycamore Square. These are home to many of the city’s big-box retailers, clothing stores and restaurants.

The Bordeaux Shopping Center is one of the oldest in Fayetteville. It features a 100-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower that has stood there for decades. Similarly, the Tallywood Shopping Center has a carnivalesque tower made of crisscrossing steel rods.

What does the food scene look like in Fayetteville?

Fayetteville’s hundreds of restaurants serve dishes from all over the world, rivaling the culinary diversity of much larger cities. Among the most popular cuisines in Fayetteville are Caribbean, soul, Italian, Korean, Puerto Rican and Vietnamese.

Related: These are the best restaurants in Fayetteville, according to Yelp, Tripadvisor and Eater

Cliffdale Square on Skibo and Cliffdale roads has been described as “a little international food court.” The shopping center is home to Indian, German, Japanese and Ethiopian restaurants. Similarly, Midway Center on Bragg Boulevard in the Bonnie Doone neighborhood has some of the city’s favorite international restaurants.

Fayetteville’s “Restaurant Row” along North McPherson Church Road is home to some of Fayetteville’s longest-running restaurants, as well as new chain eateries. Nearby, Skibo Road is a hub of chain restaurants.

What is the arts and culture scene like in Fayetteville?

Fayetteville is home to a large and varied arts community, including theater, film and the visual arts. Cape Fear Regional Theatre was established in 1962 and now hosts six mainstage shows each season. Sweet Tea Shakespeare puts on performances inspired by the famous playwright. Gilbert Theater has produced community theater since 1994.

Cinephiles may enjoy Cameo Art House Theatre, which shows a diverse lineup of movies in a historic downtown space.

The Arts Council of Fayetteville hosts exhibits that are free to the public in addition to a calendar of community events.

What are some things for kids to do in Fayetteville?

With lots of young military families, there are plenty of kids' activities in the Fayetteville area. Here’s a non-exhaustive list:

What's the weather like in Fayetteville?

In Fayetteville, summers are hot and muggy with more rainfall than other parts of the country, and winters are short and mild, with temperatures rarely dipping below freezing and very little snowfall.

Here's a look at the average temperature by month in Fayetteville:


  • High: 51
  • Low: 29


  • High: 55
  • Low: 31


  • High: 64
  • Low: 39


  • High: 73
  • Low: 47


  • High: 80
  • Low: 64


  • High: 86
  • Low: 64


  • High: 89
  • Low: 69


  • High: 88
  • Low: 68


  • High: 83
  • Low: 61


  • High: 74
  • Low: 39


  • High: 65
  • Low: 39


  • High: 55
  • Low: 32

What can you do outdoors?

Fayetteville has several trails, parks and gardens for those looking to enjoy the great outdoors. Just north of town, you can find water sports on the river.

Cape Fear River Trailis a seven-mile paved stretch with views of the river, an 11-mile mountain bike trail and at the trailhead isJ. Bayard Clark Park, which has waterfalls, unpaved trails and picnic areas.

Lake Rim Parkhas tennis and sand volleyball courts, a one-mile trail, picnic areas and playgrounds. There are alsothree dog parksaround town.

Cape Fear Botanical Gardenfeatures ornamental plants and specialty gardens situated on an 80-acre property along the Cape Fear River. It hosts educational programs, guided tours and peaceful places to take in nature.

About a 45-minute drive north of Fayetteville isCape Fear River Adventures, which offers canoe and kayak rentals, paddle boarding and river tubing, with options for guided tours and lessons.

How much does rent cost in Fayetteville?

The average rent in Fayetteville is $1,036 per month, according to an April report from Apartment sizes average 712 square feet, the report said.

How much do houses cost in Fayetteville?

Fayetteville home values average $211,283, according to a Zillow report using data through the end of March. The same report said there are 788 homes on the market in Fayetteville.

What are the schools like in Fayetteville?

Cumberland County Schools district serves about 50,000 students across 89 schools, according to the website. About 13,000 of those students are military-connected.

There are also a handful of private schools like Fayetteville Academy, Village Christian Academy and Northwood Temple Academy.

Are there colleges in Fayetteville?

Fayetteville State University, a historically Black university, has operated in Fayetteville since 1867. Methodist University was founded in 1956. Fayetteville Technical Community College was founded in 1961.

Does Fayetteville have an airport?

Fayetteville Regional Airport has service to Charlotte, Atlanta and Dallas/Fort Worth airports.

What are the best day trips from Fayetteville?

Fayetteville’s city center is about a 2-hour drive to the nearest beach, Wrightsville Beach. It’s about the same amount of drive time to get to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

It’s a 90-minute drive to the Uwharrie Mountains and Uwharrie National Forest in Troy, North Carolina; a two-and-a-half-hour drive to Pilot Mountain; and about four-and-a-half-hour drive to the Blue Ridge Mountains and Asheville, an artsy mountain city known for its craft beer scene.

How far is Fayetteville from Raleigh?

Fayetteville’s city center is about a one-hour drive to downtown Raleigh and about an hour and 20 minutes to Raleigh-Durham International Airport in Morrisville.

How far is Fayetteville from Charlotte?

Fayetteville’s city center is about a three-hour drive to downtown Charlotte.

Food, dining and culture reporter Taylor Shook can be reached at or on Facebook. Want weekly food news delivered to your inbox? Sign up for the Fayetteville Foodies newsletter.

Moving to Fort Liberty? What to know about Fayetteville shopping, restaurants, things to do (2024)


What are the best towns around Fort Liberty? ›

Although Fayetteville is the closest city to Fort Liberty, it may not be the most convenient to drive to work each day. Depending on their needs, Fort Liberty military families also consider living in Aberdeen, Raeford, Lillington, Sanford, Spring Lake, Hope Mills, Pinehurst, Southern Pines, and Vass.

What is Fayetteville best known for? ›

Fayetteville (/ˈfeɪətvɪl, ˈfɛdvɪl/) is a city in and the county seat of Cumberland County, North Carolina, United States. It is best known as the home of Fort Liberty, a major U.S. Army installation northwest of the city.

Is Fayetteville NC a good place to live? ›

Living in Fayetteville offers residents a dense suburban feel and most residents rent their homes. In Fayetteville there are a lot of parks. Many families and young professionals live in Fayetteville and residents tend to lean liberal. The public schools in Fayetteville are above average.

Where to live when stationed at Fort Bragg? ›

Fayetteville, NC

Fayetteville's population totals 203,000 people and is the largest municipality in Cumberland County. Located just 20 miles from Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base, Fayetteville is home to many active-duty military personnel and their families.

Which side of Fort Worth is safest? ›

Violent crimes in the Far North are 22% lower than the national average, and you have a 1 in 56 chance of becoming a victim of crime. Northside is safer than 70% of the cities in Texas.

What is the closest city to Fort Liberty? ›

Fort Liberty is located just west of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Known throughout its history for its cultural diversity and military presence, today the Fayetteville area stands testament to its proud past. Fayetteville is a "Community of History, Heroes, and a Hometown Feeling."

What famous people live in Fayetteville? ›

Over the years, Fayetteville has been home to many notable people, including Senator J. William Fulbright, President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and renowned architects Edward Durell Stone and Fay Jones.

What is Fayetteville crime rate? ›

With a crime rate of 45 per one thousand residents, Fayetteville has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes - from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One's chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 22.

What is the nicest part of Fayetteville NC? ›

Rockfish Township

Rockfish is considered one of the best places to live in Fayetteville and offers a suburban and rural feel. Rockfish Township is mainly a military town, so you can expect many neighbors and residents to be a part of the military due to the proximity of Fort Bragg.

Why are people moving to Fayetteville? ›

Small-Town Charm, a Vibrant Culture and Affordability Make Fayetteville a Fave. For Mayflower 2023 Finding Home campaign, we surveyed thousands of movers and past movers across the country to understand their reasons for relocating.

Is it cheaper to live in SC or NC? ›

While the cost of living is on average 4.9% lower in South Carolina than North Carolina, according to data from MyLifeElsewhere, look how much cost of living varies from city to city: Charlotte, NC: 1% lower than national average. Raleigh, NC: 4% lower than national average.

Does it snow a lot in Fayetteville? ›

From the record-breaking winter of 1927 to the noteworthy snowfall of 2000, discover how the city has experienced occasional winter wonderlands. Fayetteville, with its temperate climate, rarely experiences heavy snowfall. However, over the years, the city has witnessed some remarkable instances of winter weather.

What towns surround Fort Liberty NC? ›

What cities border Fort Liberty? Fort Liberty borders the city of Fayetteville and the towns of Spring Lake in Cumberland County and Southern Pines in Moore County.

What is the best town to live near Fort Bragg? ›

Best places to live near Fort Bragg and Fort Liberty
  • Fayetteville, NC, is a big city (population: 209,182) and the home ofFort Bragg now named Fort Liberty, one of the largest military installations in the world. ...
  • Lillington, NC, is a picturesque small town that's 24 miles northeast of Fort Bragg.
Apr 16, 2023

Who gets stationed at Ft. Bragg? ›

Fort Bragg is known as the "Home of the Airborne" since its major unit is the XVIII Airborne Corps and its sub-unit, the 82nd Airborne Division. Other major units include the 20th Engineer Brigade and the Special Operations Command.

What town is outside Fort Liberty? ›

The military reservation is located within Cumberland and Hoke counties, and borders the towns of Fayetteville, Spring Lake, and Southern Pines. Fort Liberty covers over 251 square miles (650 km2).

What area of Fort Worth is the best to live in? ›

Wedgwood is the perfect Fort Worth neighborhood for you and your family. As one of the best places to raise kids in Fort Worth, this neighborhood boasts a safe, quiet lifestyle while still offering plenty of shopping, dining, and other things to do.

Where is the safest place to live near Fort Bragg NC? ›

More than an easy commute to Fort Bragg

But it's not just the easy commute that makes Lillington one of the best places to live near Fort Bragg. Living in Lillington is ideal forpeoplewho enjoy the qualities of a small town: friendly, safe, and uncrowded. Lillington has a population of about 3,200 people.


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