Ask anyone who’s spent at least the span of four seasons in Fayetteville, Arkansas and you’ll inevitably hear that autumn in the Ozarks is essentially unbeatable. We thought we’d take a moment to ask some locals what they love to do when the days get shorter and sweater weather arrives—and how they celebrate fall in ways that can only be found in their fair city up in the hills.

This list of 10 great ways to enjoy autumn is by no means complete for a place as dynamic and vibrant as Fayetteville, but it’s sure to offer some inspiration:

1. Take a stroll on the lawn in front of Old Main at the University of Arkansas to see the leaves at their peak color, then cap it all off at the Inn at Carnall Hall with one of Lambeth Lounge’s craft cocktails on the veranda.

2. Check out some exquisite original work by one of Arkansas’s most celebrated and collected artists, George Dombek, at one of his open studio dates—Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 6 p.m. through the month of October.

3. Head to Kessler Mountain to take in the trails at whatever pace suits you, and marvel at the gorgeous changing of the season in the midst of 387 acres of pristine Ozark forest found right on the edge of a bustling town.

4. Ask for the sweet potato pancakes at Farmer’s Table. Rather than worry if there’s a bit of a wait for brunch, relax and revel in the crisp air and wrap your hands around a warm mug while you anticipate the goodness to come. If it’s pretty out and your well behaved four-legged friend is along for the ride, ask for a choice patio seat that accommodates everyone.

5. Wander 32 acres of serene grounds at the Mount Sequoyah Center and revel in the many photo ops to be found up on Fayetteville’s highest point. The center was built in 1922, so you’ll feel like you’re blissfully stepping back in time. Consider taking part in the center’s Sequoyah Smartathon trivia night with appetizers, dinner, adult beverages, silent auction and gameplay on November 12—or a Brewmaster Dinner on November 16, featuring a four-course dinner conceived by Chef Justus Moll using and pairing beers from New Province Brewing Company.

6. Find out which restauranteurs feature seasonal menus based on locally-sourced produce and partake in some full-on fall bounty comfort food. Hint: try the autumn-inspired offerings at Mockingbird Kitchen, Leverett Lounge and Eclectic Kitchen.

7. Bring the kiddos to Trick or Treat on the Square on Halloween from 4 to 6 p.m. and enjoy watching an invasion of costumed cuteness take over in a quest for candy—willingly provided by Historic Downtown Square business owners and city employees.

8. Stop by the super-cool, whimsical castle at Wilson Park to enjoy the unique structural art and frame up some family photos featuring a colorful backdrop of some of Fayetteville’s most glorious maples along Prospect Street.

9. Warm your hands, heart and belly with a mug of something hot and seasonally spicy at one of Fayetteville’s fine independent coffee houses. We know you can’t go wrong at Onyx Coffee Lab, any of Arsaga’s Coffee Roasters’ five locations, Bolder Coffee, Doomsday Coffee & Roasterie or Basecamp Coffee Co. Take a gander at what fresh baked treats might be quietly waiting to accompany your steaming beverage.

10. Bring out your best tailgating game during a Razorback Football home weekend—whether you’re doing the cooking or you’re just there to help consume it, there’s nothing better than enjoying fall weather and amazing food on campus, surrounded by tens of thousands of Hog fans—win or lose. Find details about where to set up your tailgate here. Woo Pig Sooieee!!

Visitor’s Guide

Check out our Fayetteville Visitor’s Guide full of insider tips and guides to hotels, dining, entertainment, the arts, and more

Take a Look