8 Things that Make Life at Fort Bragg Phenomenal
Happy to have this guest post by Wendi on Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. Please visit my Duty station guest post page for posts on other locations or more information about how you can write a guest post about where you have been stationed.
Fort Bragg is not at all what I expected. I am a North Carolina native and have heard many things about the Fayetteville area on the news, some of which, not so great. I moved to Fort Bragg with an open but cautious mind, due to the mixed things people say about it here.
I was pleasantly surprised about several things relating to Fort Bragg and the surrounding area. With the latest upgrades to the infrastructure and the connection of highway 295 & All American Highway, it’s easier to navigate around the area. Below are some of my favorite things about being stationed at Fort Bragg.
1-Support & Resources across Post
Due to Fort Bragg being one of the Army’s largest installations, there are a ton of resources and support groups located in this area. Most nonprofit organizations that support military families always put Fort Bragg, North Carolina as a location to one of their events. There are 14 gyms to choose from on post, Heart on a Mission Wellness Team that welcomes bringing your children and family to workouts around post, 2 commissaries, and Army Community Services (ACS) offers many classes and training programs to military families on all types of topics such as; marriage, career, parenting and more. Lastly, the U.S. Army Morale, Welfare, & Recreation (MWR) arrange some amazing family fun, entertainment, and activities throughout the year.
Even if you don’t have a green thumb, but like fresh crops, they’re easy to find in the rural areas surrounding Fort Bragg. In the summer, you can pick strawberries or blueberries in several locations. If picking is not your forte, there are many vendors around the area that sell their crops too.
3-Beaches, Mountains, & City Escapes
Fort Bragg is located less than two hours from the Atlantic Ocean if you desire some coastal therapy. It is almost a four hour drive to the mountains or western part of NC for visiting the Biltmore House, the Blue Ridge Parkway, or Grandfather Mountain. If you drive a few more hours west, you can gamble at the Cherokee Casino. Lastly, Raleigh is only fifty minutes to an hour away. If you need the hustle and bustle of city life, check out Lafayette Village or North Hills.
There are some amazing restaurants around Fort Bragg. Downtown Fayetteville has an array of restaurants to please anyone’s taste buds. My favorites are Blue Moon Café, Sherefe’, Huske Hardware, TapHouse at Huske, and Rude Awakening Café for dessert and coffee. If Italian is your favorite Sammio’s in Hope Mills is the best around the area.
Fayetteville has a huge market for health and wellness. There are many gyms off post, yoga centers, running groups, spas, massage therapy, and a newly opened Wellness Center that includes flotation therapy to ease the mind, body, and spirit.
6-The Great Outdoors
Whether you walk around downtown Fayetteville and check out the unique shops and restaurants, or jog across the bridge on the Cape Fear Trail, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. Raven Rock is popular for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, and provides a beautiful backdrop for camping, or picnics. If stopping and smelling the flowers is more your cup of tea, you may want to check out the Cape Fear Botanical Gardens. Aloha Safari Zoo is sure to please your entire family with hundreds of animals to visit. Lastly, for the adrenaline seekers, try zip lining at ZipQuest Waterfall and Treetop Adventure.
7-Indoor Recreation and Activities
During the colder months, you may want to try some indoor recreational activities around Fayetteville. Defy Fayetteville, Paraclete XP Indoor Skydiving, and Triangle Rock Club, are some of the most popular recreational activities located indoors. You can also check out the schedule of events for the Crowne Complex, which hosts concerts, shopping events, and many other family fun entertainment acts. If you like history, you will surely love the Airborne and Special Operations Museum.
Fort Bragg and the surrounding areas are extremely patriotic. No one is afraid to fly the American flag around here. I have watched this entire community come together and line the streets for soldiers killed in action, who are returning home. Although it is a very sad and somber sight, the patriotism and support during times of tragedy lifts the spirits of all military families. Each year, in March, the All American Marathon takes over the town and is one of the most patriotic races of all time. In May, All American Week showcases the talents of the entire 82nd Airborne Division. Veterans from near and far travel back to show their support and reminisce about their time in service.
Fort Bragg has something for everyone. Every duty station is what you make of it. If you get out and explore your surroundings, try to meet new people, and test out the activities in your area, you can find something that you enjoy and make new memories in the process. My best advice to anyone coming to Fort Bragg soon is to give it a chance and form your own opinion about it here. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Wendi has spent the last nine years as an adult educator. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and will graduate this May with her Master of Arts in Instructional Technology. She is an Army wife, blogger, workshop presenter, and advisor to military spouses seeking career and education assistance. Wendi is extremely passionate about helping others by sharing her experiences, insight, resources, and inspirational stories on her blog Strength4Spouses.