42 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN FORT BRAGG, NC
By Paul Mooney
IntroductionIf you’ve never been to Fort Bragg before, you might be wondering what you can do inside and outside the post. If you are going to be stationed here you’ll be excited to learn that it is one of the most populous military installations in the world and has endless things to do, see, and enjoy. If you’re not sure where to start, or maybe looking for something new to do this weekend, we’ve compiled 42 of the best things to do in and around Fort Bragg.
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COVID-19 NoticeDue to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, many businesses, venues, and parks may be temporarily closed or operating under restricted hours. Many, if not all, of the ones listed here, are likely subject to such restrictions for the time being though new re-openings and closings occur all the time. Therefore, a place we mention here may not currently be open or available for the time being. Check individual websites provided in each section or call to find out each place’s current hours and situation.
42 Things to Do in Fort BraggKnow what you are looking for? Click the number(s) to go right to where you want to go: (1-6) Museums (7-14) Parks, Fishing, & Hunting (15-17) Golf Courses (18-19) Bowling (20) Ice Skating (21) Fencing (22) Yoga (23) Rock Climbing (24) Target Practice (25 -28) Movie Theaters (29-42) Gyms
Fort Bragg Museums
1. 82nd Airborne Museum and War MemorialThere are few, if any, active units in the United States Army as storied as the “All-American” Division. And, given that Bragg has been the 82nd’s home since the end of WWII, it makes sense that this amazing museum dedicated to it is right here.
2. Airborne and Special Operations MuseumFew formations exemplify the expression “tip of the spear” as completely as the US Army’s airborne troops and special operators. This massive museum is chock full of amazing exhibits about those brave men and women who’ve earned jump wings and Green Berets.
3. 1897 Poe HouseThis restored and completely authentic nineteenth-century building serves as the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex. While the house is the centerpiece, there are additions and exhibits exploring the region’s history from the time Native Americans first settled it to the dawn of the 20th century.
4. Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History MuseumIts name may be a mouthful, but a day spent here is sure to be a fine and educational one. Located in a sprawling, red-brick railroad depot built in 1890, this museum is a must-visit for any fans of history.
5. Fascinate-U Children’s MuseumA great one for families with youngsters. Described as a “hands-on museum,” this place is all about letting kids learn about science firsthand. And they also run outreach programs all across Cumberland County.
6. Contentment FarmSince their first arrival in the area in the 18th century, the Gillis Family has worked the land of Cumberland County. Now, at Contentment Farm in Fayetteville, they’re still doing that. All while providing guided tours to teach people about the region’s history and how it’s farmed to this day. You can schedule your guided tour by calling 910-867-6600.
Parks, Fishing, & Hunting
7. Cape Fear River TrailIf you’re looking for some good exercise in picturesque scenery, this is the path for you. This beautiful trail stretches for over five miles through lush woods and along the lovely titular river. Suitable for a nice walk, a hard run, or a good bike ride.
8. Cape Fear Botanical GardenAs if the wild nature of North Carolina wasn’t pretty enough, Fayetteville also hosts an 80-acre botanical garden. Chock full of every variety of flora you can imagine and running educational programs for kids and adults, a visit here is a wonderful outing for all ages.
9. Veterans ParkIt makes sense that the country’s first-ever state park dedicated to veterans would be near its most populous military post. With monuments to veterans of all branches amid the lush, green grass it’s a fine place for a walk right in the heart of town.
10. Arnette ParkA great mix of both a natural park and a developed one, this 100-acre spread has everything from hikes through untouched wilderness to well-maintained fields for every sport from soccer to disc golf. You can marvel at pristine woods, have a picnic, and play baseball in the same place.
11. Campbellton LandingA historic site right on the river that began as a ferry landing centuries ago. Now it’s the perfect spot to fish from the bank or a boar, or just enjoy the waterway.
12. Arsenal ParkAnother facility run by the Cape Fear Historical Complex, this site of a former military arsenal is now an open park chock full of historical artifacts, ruins, and information. A great spot for people who love both history and the outdoors.
13. Fayetteville Rose GardenThere are only a few plants considered as universally beautiful as a rose bush. If you happen to agree with that sentiment, then you’re going to love the 1,000+ of them at the Fayetteville Rose Garden. From the blooms in April through the end of fall, this place is a sight to behold.
14. Mazarick ParkRight on Glennville Lake, this small but comprehensive park has sports facilities of all kinds. Fish off the dock, swing alongside your kids in the playground, get in a round of tennis, there is so much to do here, Mazarick park will have you coming back again and again.
Fort Bragg Golf Courses
15. Stryker Golf CourseWhether you live on post or out in town, you don’t have to go far to tee off. Just less than a mile out the All-American Gate yet still within Bragg itself sits a full course with a top-notch clubhouse and pro shop.
16. Ryder Golf CourseAs if one wasn’t enough, the post is home to a second 18-hole golf course. So if you need a little variety in your game, or just can’t get a tee time at Stryker, Ryder is about a mile away and just as challenging.
17. Pinehurst Golf CourseAnybody who knows even the slightest thing about golf has undoubtedly heard of Pinehurst. Home to nine separate courses and the site of more golf championships than anywhere else in America, this place has been one of the hubs of the sport since its founding in 1898.
Fort Bragg Bowling
18. Dragon LanesIf you’re looking for a great place to bowl any day of the year, look no further than Dragon Lanes right here on post. With 24 lanes, an attached arcade, and a bar and grill to cover all your food needs, this is a surefire spot for fun.
19. Airborne LanesDragon Lanes all booked up? No worries, because there’s another 24 lane alley here on post. And they have a bar and grill too, so you don’t need to go hungry when you’re throwing strikes.
20. Cleland Ice & Inline Skating RinksIf you love lacing up some skates and hitting the ice, there’s no need to wait for winter or take a trip to chillier climates. This year-round facility on post lets you enjoy ice skating year-round. They also offer inline skating for those who don’t enjoy the cold.
21. The All American Fencing AcademyThose looking to work up a real sweat while learning a cool, classic skill should definitely consider fencing. And this is a great place to learn the art of competitive swordplay, whether you’re a beginner or an expert. Classes are available for all ages.
22. Hayat Yoga ShalaIn need of some relaxation, a good workout, or both? Then Fayetteville’s premier yoga and holistic arts center should be right up your alley. They’ll even certify you as a yoga teacher if you want to make your skills work for you.
23. Triangle Rock ClubThere’s no need to head off to the mountains in order to get great climbing in. The Triangle Rock Club, which has locations all over North Carolina, has one right here in Fayetteville. With 60 different climbing routes, a bouldering wall, and more, there’s no shortage of climbing here.
24. Fort Bragg Clay Target CenterThere’s no need to wait for your next rifle quals to do some shooting. One of the largest shooting facilities in the whole state is just a few short miles north of the post and open to shooters of all ages and abilities, with rental shotguns available for those who don’t have their own.
25. Segra StadiumYou may be a ways from the nearest major league team, but that’s no reason to miss great baseball. The Woodpeckers of the Carolina League play right here in Fayetteville so you can get your fill of America’s pastime.
26. Cameo Arthouse TheaterThis historic cinema has been showing films to the folks of Fayetteville since before movies had sound. Today, this local cultural icon screens films from old classics to new indie darlings all the time. And with a fine lobby lounge, it’s a great place to grab a drink before or after a show.
27. AMC FayettevilleA trendy, indie theater is always a treat. But if you’re looking for a classic, big-screen blockbuster experience, then the local AMC has you covered. With 14 screens just a stone’s throw from post, you can see all the biggest flicks right here.
28. AMC Market FairAs if an arthouse and one AMC megaplex weren’t enough, there’s a second one of the latter here in town. Located in the Market Fair Mall, this 15 screen theater is a great place to see a movie. And maybe even get some shopping done while you’re there.
Fort Bragg GymsOne of the upsides of military life is that maintaining physical fitness isn’t just a good idea, it’s a job requirement. When staying healthy and fit is part of the job, your mind, and body benefit. And Fort Bragg, like all other military installations, has more than enough options for places to work up a good sweat. There are, in fact, 14 different fitness centers operated by the Fort Bragg MWR. And all are open to anyone with appropriate ID, which is to say anyone with a CAC card (active, reserve, family members, DoD civilians, etc.) You will need to show the appropriate ID to enter any of the gyms, so have it handy. As you will see from the list below, there’s no shortage of places to get in a workout right here on post. If you’re wondering what gym is closest to your new house or office, the MWR has this handy map of all Fort Bragg fitness centers for a reference.
Note:All gyms are currently affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Some are currently closed, others operating with shortened hours and strict distancing policies. Check the MWR site for updates and specific guidelines for each gym.
29. Blackjack Physical Fitness CenterGoldberg St. Bldg. M-4226 1 (312) 239-7922 Cardio and free weights available for all workouts.
30. Callahan Physical Fitness CenterReilly St. Bldg. 2-T-1705 1 (312) 236-3037 One of the bigger gyms on post with cardio and weight equipment, plus a running track and juice bar. Under normal circumstances, this gym is open 24/7 year round, although it’s only staffed between 0500 and 2200.
31. Dahl Physical Fitness CenterLogistics St. Bldg. M-4161 1 (312) 236-6226 In addition to standard gym equipment, this facility also has courts for basketball and racquetball, aerobics rooms, and a sauna.
32. Frederick Performance Enhancement CenterGruber Rd. Bldg. H-4630 1 (312) 239-7949 From Olympic lifting to plyometrics, you can do great strength training of all kinds here.
33. Funk Physical Fitness CenterGruber Rd. Bldg. C-2015 1 (312 )239-8772 Another location that also has racquetball, basketball, and a sauna.
34. Hercules Physical Fitness CenterArmistead St. Bldg. 763 1 (312) 424-2892 This large facility has everything we’ve already mentioned the other ones having, plus more. Like group fitness classes and massage therapy.
35. Hosking Physical Fitness CenterArdennes Rd. Bldg. D-3856 1 (312) 239-6489 Another gym with basketball, racquetball, and a sauna.
36. Iron Mike Physical Fitness CenterKedenburg St. Bldg. H-5718 1 (312) 239-5679 Another relatively smaller gym with plenty of cardio and weight equipment.
37. Patriot Point Physical Fitness CenterAir Defense Lp. Bldg. X-3714 1 (312) 498-2766 More cardio gear and free weights.
38. Ritz-Epps Physical Fitness CenterChampion Main Rd. Bldg. C-7215 1 (312) 239-1031 One of the bigger gyms with all the amenities, including a juice bar.
39. Ryder Physical Fitness CenterNormandy Dr. Bldg. 1-4930 1 (312) 236-7857 Weights and cardio.
40. Towle Courts Physical Fitness CenterBastogne Dr. Bldg. C-5032 1 (312) 239-6493 The second location on post for group fitness classes in addition to regular gym facilities.
41. Tucker Performance Enhancement CenterTullidge Way Bldg. C-5838 1 (312) 239-3573 The same amenities and options as the Frederick Center, plus a swimming pool for aquatic activities.
42. Warfighter Physical Fitness CenterKiowa Warrior St. Bldg. P-2661 1 (312) 236-9660 Weights and cardio.
ConclusionWhether this is your first time stationed at Bragg or your tenth, there are plenty of great experiences to enjoy all over the greater Fayetteville area. Living here means access to not only some of the finest institutions and installations in the United States Army, but an environment that combines the convenience of city life with the breathing space of the country. Between work and fun, you may be surprised just how fast your time serving at the Home of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces goes.
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