Tuesday, July 3, 2012

SxSE: Fayetteville, Arkansas

The first stop in our virtual South by Southeast road trip through the SEC is Fayetteville, Arkansas, the home of Arkansas Razorbacks Baseball.

♦ Fayetteville is the closest SEC town to Columbia, 311 miles away (223 air miles).  Logically, this means that Arkansas is NOT in the SEC East Division with Mizzou.

♦ There is an active Northwest Arkansas Chapter of the Mizzou Alumni Association

Fun facts about Fayetteville, Arkansas
Bill Clinton, a favorite son
of the state of Arkansas
♦ There are 4 Chik-fil-a locations in Fayetteville.

The Pig Trail is a portion of U.S. Highway 23 in Arkansas that is a scenic route leading more or less directly to Fayetteville and the home of the Razorbacks.  I found many references to the route being a favorite of motorcycle riders, including Arkansas Pig Trail (motorcycleroads.com)
"Deep wooded terrain, many 15mph hairpins with short straights between them with dropoffs on one side cliffs on the other. The road runs between valleys beside streams to mountain hard curves. This has been called the Arkansas Dragon, and at the one general store midway of the run, you can buy pins and patches of this. The ride can be extended northward another 18 miles to the town of Huntsville where there are complete services, food, gas, lodging. "
The Northwest Arkansas Bucket List:  Counting down the must-dos to be a NWArkie (The Free Weekly) (Part 2 is HERE)
39. Have a Facebook chat with Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan. He is on at nearly any time, any day. He constantly posts snippets of wisdom, inspiring quotes from famous people and information about events in the area.

24. Go to First Thursday on the town square in Fayetteville.  “I was born here in Fayetteville and moved away for a couple of years, but I have lived here for 19 or 20 years, so for most of my life,” said Sarah Schultz of Fayetteville. “It’s a really cool thing. There are all sorts of art they have going on. When I went, they had a bunch of great food.”

15. Get a ticket in Johnson The little town wedged between the Mall Avenue area in Fayetteville and Interstate 540 is known for being a speed trap. Johnson has few businesses to generate sales tax revenue, so it seems the small city must rely on other sources of income. Go 25 mph, don’t swerve or even bobble a bit, buckle up and stay off that cell phone.

3. Attend Bikes, Blues & BBQ in Fayetteville. Whether you love it or hate it, this motorcycle festival definitely attracts crowds and, some say, revs up the economy along with the Harleys.

1. Attend a University of Arkansas Razorbacks football game — or basketball game or baseball game or track event or gymnastics meet, or … well, you get the idea. To check this one off, you have to wear a red Hog hat and yell “Woo Pig Sooie!”

The SEC Guide to Arkansas' Home Turf (espn.com) serves up an assortment of the best places to wine and dine in Fayetteville:
Fayetteville is an amazing place. I used to live in Arkansas and my family goes back there every year to see the Hogs play a couple games. Before the game, there's one tailgating spot that beats all others. THE BARN!! It's just a couple of blocks from the stadium and it's full of food, games and hog wild fans!! A lot of space for tailgating (it's mainly for large groups) and inside the actually barn, there are about 10 flat screen TVs showing all the major games going on at that time. Man is it blast. And a free ride to the stadium and back to the barn before during and after the game! Best tailgating spot in town!!
January Blues - Fayetteville, Arkansas (flickr.com)
My first impression of Fayetteville was mixed, it's beautiful and I can't get over how cool the neighboorhoods look, but that said I'm not sure I could live in any of these multiple for sale houses. I mean I came on a Sunday, so I'm sure it was just the wrong day of the week, but I couldn't figure out anything to do here! I walked around for HOURS taking photos, but even all the food places I'd bookmarked before I came were CLOSED!

I do hope to see this city again once in my life, hopefully not on a Sunday, but if all goes right it will once again be a one night stop on my list.

♦ HolyTurf.com's SEC Bucket List:  Fayetteville
#60 Catfish Hole: The Catfish Hole in Fayetteville, AR is a local spot where people flock. The meal starts off right with out of this world hush puppies brought to your table. At Holy Turf, we appreciate restaurants that bring us food before our meals gets to us. The waitresses also bring you coleslaw with those hushpuppies.

#66 Rick's Bakery: On gameday, crowds can be long. While there are plenty of donuts and sausage rolls to go around, my wife highly recommends calling in an order earlier in the week for Razorback petit fours. I enjoy the cinnamon rolls. At Rick’s there is something sweet for everyone. The menu is full of donuts, eclairs, turnovers, bear claws (2 at a time, right Tommy Boy), and the list goes on and on. There are also all kinds off cookies and other dessert-type items.
Baseball fans in Arkansas rooting for an injury to Albert?
Albert Pujols has reportedly agreed to a 10-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels. That’s bad news for local St. Louis Cardinals fans, who were hoping Pujols would finish out his career there.

That got us wondering: Could Pujols’ new home still wind up as a plus for local baseball fans?

Don't forget the Arkansas Travelers are the Double A affiliate of the Angels. That means there's always a possibility the league could send players going through rehab assignments to Dickey-Stephens Park.

Pujols to Los Angeles just might mean Pujols to North Little Rock at some point over the next decade.

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