Things to Do on Game Day Weekends

Every fall, Razorback fans travel to Fayetteville to watch the Hogs play football. College game day is a staple of American culture, especially in the South and SEC, but the weekend fun is much more than a Saturday battle on the gridiron. Besides tailgating and cheering at Reynolds Razorback Stadium, here are some of the most popular traditions and things to do Friday through Sunday while in Fayetteville for a football game.

Eat the Best Local Foods

If you’re talking football, you’ve got to think about food. Along with anticipating the delicious snacks and barbecue at the game, many fans are eager to visit their favorite Fayetteville restaurants. Staples such as Herman’s Ribhouse, Hugo’s, Penguin Ed’s and the Catfish Hole are always popular and never disappoint, which is why so many people make sure to stop by on game day weekends.

But other restaurants, while they haven’t been around as long, have quickly become new traditions for Hog fans. Farmer’s Table Cafe and Little Bread Company are favorites for breakfast. Hammontree’s and Sassy’s Red House are great for lunch. Greenhouse Grill and Mockingbird Kitchen serve amazing dinner. No matter what you’re craving, there’s a restaurant in Fayetteville that’s serving it!

Drink Delicious Craft Beer

Like food, beer always seems to come up when football plans are being made. As a college town, Fayetteville has always had a plethora of great watering holes, but in recent years the Fayetteville Ale Trail has become a favorite activity for football weekends.

With 11 stops throughout Northwest Arkansas, an Ale Trail location is close by no matter where you’re staying. This self-guided tour gives visitors a glimpse into the unique craft brewery (and cidery!) culture of Northwest Arkansas. Participants can pick up a passport at any location and then collect stamps at each stop for a keepsake.

Since 2013, Ale Trail partners and their beers have garnered national media attention. In Fayetteville, breweries include West Mountain on the Historic Downtown Square, Columbus House and Fossil Cove in Midtown, and Apple Blossom in Uptown. All usually have a seasonal special brew, so don’t forget to ask what’s all’s on tap!

Enjoy the Arts

Yes, football fans appreciate the arts! Fayetteville historically has been known as a “funky” mountain town with a thriving arts scene. The beauty of the surrounding Ozark Mountains shapes local artists and their masterpieces. With galleries located throughout town, art lovers come to Fayetteville to see the best works of local painters, sculptors and craftsmen — and sometimes bring a great piece of art back home!

Live arts are a must-experience in Fayetteville, too. Over the past 25 years, the Walton Arts Center has enriched the cultural life of Northwest Arkansas by bringing in artists and entertainers from all over the world for unforgettable performances. Nearby is TheatreSquared, Northwest Arkansas’ only year-round professional theatre, that features locally produced shows. Together, they’ve made the Downtown & Dickson Street Entertainment District the performing arts capital of the region.

Right down the road, the world-renowned Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is home to five centuries of American art. Additionally, Fayetteville is home to an assortment of public art, from murals to sculptures. No matter what inspires you, it can be found in Fayetteville.

Celebrate on Dickson Street

When the game is over, this is where Razorback fans go to celebrate. Dickson Street serves as the epicenter for fun throughout Northwest Arkansas — and it’s right next to campus!

Home to many of Fayetteville’s most popular bars and restaurants, Dickson Street is literally lined with a variety of options. A few of the best places for drinks are 21st Amendment, Kingfish, Sideways, Cannibal & Craft, Buster Belly’s and Brewski’s. Dining spots range from formal and elegant atmospheres to street eats at the food trucks of Shulertown. A few favorites are Los Bobos Taqueria, Farrell’s Lounge gastropub, Doe’s and Bordino’s. For a full listing of dining and nightlife options, check out the Fayetteville Visitor’s Guide.

Dickson Street also offers live music almost every night of the week. Legendary names of the music industry have passed through Fayetteville and played on Dickson. Here, you’ll find George’s Majestic Lounge, the oldest and longest-running club and live music venue in Arkansas. Other venues include Smoke & Barrel and Maxine’s Tap Room.

Visit Campus

Along with going to Reynolds Razorback Stadium, all alumni should visit the University of Arkansas campus from time to time for a stroll down memory lane, and to see the amazing growth that’s taken place.

Of course, as new buildings pop up, Old Main always will be the cornerstone of the campus. Completed in 1875, Old Main is the most recognizable symbol of the university (and the most Instagrammed landmark in Arkansas, if you’re looking for a great selfie). The lawn, or arboretum, is home to one of every native tree in Arkansas, with a few exceptions.

Behind Old Main is a statue of U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, namesake of the Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences. The dedication ceremony included special guest President Bill Clinton, whose first home with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (now the Clinton House Museum) is located just off the other side of campus.

Another must-do on game weekends is finding names on Senior Walk. Each year, all graduates have their name carved into the sidewalk that circles, and cuts through campus. The walk begins directly in front of Old Main with the first graduating class of 1876. This season, make sure to find the names of your friends and family!

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