Last weekend saw the premier of the highly-anticipated third season of HBO’s critically-acclaimed series True Detective, which was filmed in and around Fayetteville and Washington County in Northwest Arkansas. The series was created by Nic Pizzolatto, who earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and makes his directorial debut this season.

Starring Academy Award-winner Mahershala Ali as Detective Wayne Hays, Stephen Dorff as his partner, Roland West, and Carmen Ejogo as schoolteacher Amelia Reardon, True Detective Season 3 follows the disappearance of two children, Will and Julie Purcell, over the course of three separate time periods.

Like with rural Louisiana for the series’ breakthrough first season, the landscape of Northwest Arkansas, as well as scene locations throughout Fayetteville, will play a large part in the season’s cinematography and storytelling.

Devil’s Den State Park is featured prominently in the season’s first episode. Both residents and visitors to Fayetteville have enjoyed this area even before construction for the park began in 1933. Its hiking, backpacking and mountain biking trails take outdoor enthusiasts to the wild backcountry area of the Ozark National Forest.

Several shots were along the Yellow Rock Trail, a moderately difficult trail that rises 300 feet and gives one of the best views in the park. Along the rest of the 3-mile trail users enjoy cedar glades, caves, interesting rock formations and the first structure built in the park by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

In the second episode, scene locations include two of Fayetteville's legendary restaurants, Herman’s Ribhouse and Hugo’s, both of which are culinary staples for residents and visitors alike.

Herman’s opened in 1964 with nine menu choices: Rack O’Ribs, Plate O’Ribs, BBQ Chicken, a large T-bone steak and five sandwiches. A large aquarium adorns the room and can be seen in the background as Ali and Ejogo’s characters talk at the bar. While the menu has expanded over the years, the care and attention to ingredients and their famed sauces has remained. (Something tells us we know what the show’s music producer, T. Bone Burnett, would order.)

Hugo’s has been in business since 1977. Located on Block Ave., right off the Historic Downtown Square, its menu offers some of the best burgers in Arkansas, as well as an eclectic array of appetizers, entrees and desserts. Make sure you try their homemade french fries, beer cheese soup (during the cold months) and grasshopper crepes.

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