Celebrate the holidays – and the making of North Carolina as the country’s 12th state – in Fayetteville.
Between now and Dec. 14, The Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex ( www.ncdcr.gov/ncmcf/Home.aspx) is displaying the United States’ original signature page as it was ratified by North Carolina delegates on Nov. 21, 1789. The exhibit, “The 1789 North Carolina Ratification Convention in Fayetteville,” commemorates the 225th anniversary of North Carolina’s commitment to the United States. The exhibit also includes biographical sketches of delegates present on that day. The display marks the first time that this document, normally housed by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, has been put on display.
A second exhibit, “From State House to Statehood,” is on display at the Fayetteville Area Transportation & Local History Museum ( www.fcpr.us/transportation_museum.aspx) through the end of the year.
Fayetteville is home to Fort Bragg, the large Army installation that includes U.S. Army Airborne Forces, Special Forces, U. S. Army Forces Command and U. S. Army Reserve Command. Military culture is pervasive throughout the area.
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The city’s must-see is the Airborne & Special Operations Museum ( www.asomf.org), in historical downtown Fayetteville, where permanent and visiting exhibits tell the story of these highly trained units from 1940 to the present. The original “Iron Mike” statue, dedicated to the airborne trooper who is always watching, waiting and alert, stands at the entrance to the museum across from the N.C. Veterans Park where art, gardens and dog tags convey a powerful tribute to North Carolina soldiers.
While you’re here, you can personally get kind of airborne: One of the top zip lines in the country is ZipQuest ( www.zipquest.com), which sits on 55 acres that includes Carvers Falls, one of the largest waterfalls in the eastern Carolinas. The 2 1/2-hour canopy tour offers eight zip lines, three canopy bridges, 16 platforms and three spiral staircases.
Fayetteville’s two playhouses, Cape Fear Regional Theatre ( www.cfrt.org) and Gilbert Theater ( www.gilberttheater.com) have busy lineups for winter and spring. Plan ahead to take advantage of a new or classic production.
The Fayetteville area is a melting pot of international cuisine. Two local favorites are Sherefe, serving Greek, Hungarian and Mediterranean cuisine ( www.sherefe.net), and Scrub Oaks Restaurant ( www.scruboaks.com), where casual elegance meets fine dining. At www.visitfayettevillenc.com, download the PDF of Fayetteville’s International Cuisine Trail.
Among Fayetteville’s very comfortable lodging properties is the brand new Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott.
For area information: www.visitfayettevillenc.com.