Happy to have this guest post by Kia on Fort 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.
I see it every time I get on one of the FB groups about Fort Bragg. A military spouse posts:
“Hey, everyone! We’re getting stationed at Fort Bragg and will be there in a few months. What’s it like there? What suggestions do you have on where to live?”
And then they come in droves. “Fort Bragg is THE WORST”. “Just stay out of Fayetteville!”. “I’m so glad we got away,” and on and on. Let me be clear on this…. Fort Bragg is not Mayberry, but it’s actually a great place to live.
My family has been stationed here twice, from 2006 to 2011, and we’ve been back since 2014. I will admit that I’m itching to leave, but it’s not at all for the reasons you might think. I love traveling and I would love to have an overseas tour, or go west. We’re from Tennessee and we’ve only been stationed at Bragg and Eglin. I’m ready to explore somewhere other than the Southeast United States. But if we have to be here, then I will enjoy it while we can.
So what does Fort Bragg have going for it? PLENTY!
* A great downtown atmosphere
* Plenty of parks
* Two PX’s and Two Commissaries
* Expansive food and cuisine options (downtown alone you’ll find American, Mediterranean, Italian and West African within a one block radius)
* The Crown Coliseum (many family friendly shows, like Disney on Ice and Entertainers, Music Artists and comedians come RIGHT to Fayetteville)
* Man shopping choices
* Love the beach? You can be there in 1.5 to 2 hours!
* Love the mountains? You can be there in a few hours!
* Raleigh, Charlotte, Charleston are a hop, skip and jump away
* Plenty of Historical elements to explore
* Farms! That means local produce, farm fresh eggs and honey! Most are open to the public for visitors and have great activities for different holidays. We also have a local Farmer’s Market twice a week.
* Fairs, festivals… I feel like there is ALWAYS something going on that I can take my children
* Jobs: The business community is very welcoming to hiring military spouses, there is a wide array of jobs AND an amazing group of military spouse entrepreneurs here that support each other.
* Diversity; there are so many cultures here! That in itself means that your children will have lots of learning opportunities
Of course, with an area as large as this, crime happens. I’m not at all going to downplay it, because I can’t. A lot of people choose to live just outside of Fayetteville in feeder towns like Hope Mills, Raeford and Spring Lake. But there are great neighborhoods IN Fayetteville, just as well. I love driving around Historical Haymount in Fayetteville just to look at the houses.
My 3 Musketeers enjoying General Lee Park in the Haymount area of Fayetteville, NC.
In my opinion, one of the greatest things about Fort Bragg? CHOICES. Whether you are searching for public school, private school, churches, salons, grocery stores, neighborhoods or what to do with your family this weekend- you will have a CHOICE. That in itself is something that I’ve heard several other bases lack, and one that I appreciate.
Just like this area has a lot of options, the choices you make will determine your experience here. It’s easy to stay at home, or on post and feel like there’s nothing to do. When you approach Fort Bragg as a fun place to explore and connect with your community, embrace the location of being right between the beach and the mountains; I bet you’ll find yourself falling in love. This town is vibrant, soulful and proud to be called The All American City.
Have you been stationed at Fort Bragg? I’d love to hear about your favorite local things to do and what you’ve enjoyed about your time here.