A few of weekends ago I finally got the chance to visit my dear friend Jo Johnson in Fayetteville, Arkansas! I've talked about Jo a lot on here, but she is the friend who pushed me to start this blog years ago, and she is an incredible photographer as well (see our wedding photos here & here). We barely knew each other when she helped me start my blog, but in the years since then she has become one of my closest friends.
So fast-forward to our visit! I hadn't been to Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas since my college visit to University of Arkansas my senior year of high school, so it had been over seven years - yikes that ages me. I know that Arkansas is probably not one of the first travel destinations that comes to mind, but NWA is actually such a neat area full of gorgeous towns, beautiful scenery, small businesses and young entrepreneurs. We crammed in as many things as we could in the two days and two nights I was there, but I still have so much left to see when I visit again! I've included a photo diary of some things that we did and ate, as well as some recommendations from Jo!
When traveling, trying out local restaurants is one of my favorite things to do!
Rick's Bakery - A Fayetteville favorite and the funky little bakery of your dreams. You must get the fresh-squeezed orange juice!
Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe - I LOVE Greek and Mediterranean food from my time spent in Greece and Turkey years ago, so I absolutely loved the food here! I had the grilled lamb gyro, and we split some hummus with pita.
Onyx Coffee Lab - Seriously the chicest, coolest coffee shop! I took about a million photos for Instagram and Jo was rolling her eyes at me :) They have locations in Fayetteville and Bentonville (we went to the one in downtown Bentonville - highly recommend).
Tacos 4 Life - The food was delicious, and for every meal you purchase they donate a meal to a hungry child. A win win! We both had Ono Tacos, and split guacamole and cilantro rice.
Jo's Recommendations (at the top of my list for next time!)...
Hammontree's Grilled Cheese - As you may have guessed from the name, they serve all sorts of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches - yum!
Loafin Joe's - A local favorite for subs
Arsaga's - A popular family-owned coffee shop
Dickson Street food trucks
^^kind of fell in love with this Janessa Leone hat at Lola Boutique in Bentonville
Bentonville Square/Downtown Bentonville - Wal-mart was founded in Bentonville by the Walton family, so it's a very pretty (i.e. wealthy) town that's fun to stop in. The square is adorable and has so many cute shops and restaurants (including Onyx mentioned above), as well as the Walton museum. There are also lots of fun Instagram photo walls ;)
Wild Wilderness Safari - This is located in Gentry, which is a 30-40 minute drive from Fayetteville, and the animal lover in me wonders how ethical it really was, BUT... we did get to play with a beautiful baby tiger! We also got to feed giraffes, pet zebras, and get up-close with so many other beautiful animals.
Coral Top | Gray Dress | Stripe Pants (run big)
Shop at Maude - You all know that Maude Boutique is one of my favorite retailers (you can see my many posts with them here), so I was so excited to visit their main location in Fayetteville, as well as their second location in Rogers! Jo does photography/web/social media for them, so I got to model for their website and Instagram and meet a lot of the team (oh, and shop!).
Dickson Street - an adorable, funky street of restaurants, bars and shops next to the University of Arkansas campus. Jo recommends checking out the food trucks!
Top (blog post coming soon!) // Photo by Jo Johnson Photography
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art - these beautiful 120-acre grounds feature an incredible art museum, and gorgeous architecture, trails and gardens. There is also a Frank Lloyd Wright house on the property! We didn't get to visit this time, but I really really want to in the future.
Devil's Den - this state park is just 25 miles south of Fayetteville and is known for its beautiful hikes. Definitely on my list for next time!
Thank you Jo for inviting me down, for always being my photographer when we're together, and for contributing to this post!
Have you ever been to Northwest Arkansas? If so, what are some things I need to try and see next time I'm there??