The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted more than just people’s day to day lives — it’s even impacting where people want to live. Instead of the hustle and bustle of America’s largest cities, many are turning to up-and-coming cities and historic areas that have a little more room to stretch your legs and where your hard-earned money goes father and gets you much more than you could ever hope for otherwise.
And the growing list of desirable destinations includes the iconic Fayetteville area in North Carolina. Located in Cumberland County, it’s also the home of Fort Bragg, a large U.S. Army base just northwest of the city. Fayetteville’s no small town either — over 200,000 people call the city home, and it’s the sixth largest city in the state of North Carolina. If you zoom out to the Fayetteville metro area, its half a million residents make it the largest metropolitan area in the state’s southeast, as well as the fifth largest area in the state.
Situated in the Sandhills and near the Cape Fear River, it’s one of the best areas to live in North Carolina, with various suburbs, neighborhoods and other areas all providing great spaces to settle down whether you’re purchasing that first or next home for you and your family. Pick from the areas of Fort Bragg, Hope Mills, Spring Lake, Raeford, Pope Field, Rockfish, Stedman and Eastover and witness the rich history and vibrancy of the area.
But for many, all these great places to call home can be a problem. All the great choices can actually make it more difficult to decide on a place to live, and whether you’ve started your search yet or not, here are the best areas to live in Fayetteville, NC. Beyond the shifting preferences of homebuyers and builders, many of these areas have been on the ascendance for years, and you’re sure to find the right one for you with the right approach.
Located just minutes from Fort Bragg Army Base, Arran Hills is conveniently surrounded by shopping centers, restaurants and everything else you’d expect from one of the best places to live in Fayetteville, NC. Most homes here are ranch style homes and not only look great, but they’re also surprisingly affordable. If you’re looking for more temporary housing, the area’s many apartment complexes are accommodating, and you can always start in one area and look to buy in another once you’re settled.
Because of its proximity to the base, there’s usually a strong military presence in the region, and there’s also plenty to do with nearby shops and amenities, as well as nearby Arran Lake that provides year-round fishing access and other experiences if you want to get out and on the water.
Arran Lakes West
One of the smaller neighborhoods on our list, Arran Lakes West boasts about a thousand residents and ages skew slightly older. Known as a safe area with affordable homes, Arran Lakes West is one of the best neighborhoods in Fayetteville, NC. Close to Arran Hills and Winter Park, Arran Lakes West has various shops and things to do, with the beautiful Anderson Creek Club — a luxury gated community — as the area’s crowning jewel. With all the amenities of a modern resort, the Anderson Creek Club features new homes over several communities in the area, as well as the championship golf course for residents and visitors.
For more short term housing needs, there’s also Ultris Patriot Park, a sprawling apartment complex that houses many of the area’s military being just minutes from Fort Bragg Army Airfield.
As one of the region’s areas that caters more to younger professionals and families, Hope Mills is one of the best suburbs of Fayetteville, NC. Not only does it consistently make best-of lists, but it’s also one of the most diverse suburbs in North Carolina according to Niche Ranks. Complete with above average schools and known for scholastic achievement, the Hope Mills community has some of the region’s best schools, such as John R. Griffin Middle School, Cross creek Early College High School and Massey Hill Classical High School.
In addition to great schooling opportunities and many local businesses, Hope Mills has plenty to see and do, with various trails, parks and other amenities, as well as plenty of restaurants and shops to help fill your weekends and free time. Arnette Park has soccer fields, tennis courts and baseball diamonds, and gatherings and picnics are a common sight on weekends. Furthermore, the nearby Millstone Shopping Center also features plenty of shops and things to do.
Another one of the best areas to live in Fayetteville, NC is Spring Lake, a diverse community of 12,000. With a dense urban feel, it’s mainly the domain of young professionals and families, and the affordable housing also helps keep the area young and vibrant. Located next to Fort Bragg Army Base, Spring Lake has a mix of inhabitants with great public schools, restaurants and nightlife. It may not have the numbers of a dense urban area, but the residents and amenities make it feel like a much bigger town.
For those that are looking to get out on the water, the Spring Lake Outpost provides kayaking, canoeing and paddling down the Lower Little River, and there are plenty of rental opportunities if you don’t own your own watercraft. Those who want to get some target practice in can check out Fort Bragg Clay Target Practice, which provides some fun and safe shooting competition at one of the largest clay target centers in the state.
To the west of Fort Bragg Army Base sits Westover, an affordable housing area for veterans and active duty alike. Family friendly and with an easy commute to the base, Westover is one of the best areas to live in Fayetteville, NC, and it’s also one of the safer neighborhoods in the area. If you’re looking for a quiet and suburban feel, Westover is the place for you. With many single-family homes in the area as well as various apartment complexes, Westover is a great place to settle down and raise kids, especially with top-rated schools such as Westover Middle School and Westover High School.
There’s also the nearby Westover Park Fayetteville, which is a large recreation area that features a swimming pool, playground, gymnasium and plenty of green space. Numerous activities and classes are also available for all ages, or you can always head into town for a great meal and a night out.
One of the larger towns on our list, Rockfish Township has a population of 60,000 people and is considered one of the best areas to live in Fayetteville, NC. But it doesn’t lose its rural and suburban feel. Many families live in the area, and the local high schools are great to help your children maximize their potential. Residents typically describe the area as calm and serene with a penchant for southern hospitality, and most report feeling very safe in the area.
For those that want to get out and about, Like Rim Park is great for that after-work walk or to get a bit of nature, and there are also plenty of courts, picnic tables and fields to enjoy. Those that love classic cars and transportation should check out the Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum, which features vintage cars and other information about the history of transportation in the area.
As one of the best suburbs in Fayetteville, NC, Eastover used to be known as Flea Hill, but was renamed to Eastover in 2007. A somewhat rural area, Eastover is surrounded by green pastures and plenty of farmland, though there’s still plenty to do in Eastover. With a population around 15,000, it’s hardly the biggest community in the area, but you can find plenty to see and do if you know where to look.
Close to the Cape Fear River, there’s the Clark Park Nature Center, which features fish, turtles and snakes, as well as various trails so that you can get out into nature without hours of traveling. There’s also the North Carolina Veterans Park, including sculptures and an interactive story garden.
With a suburban and rural mix, Gray’s Creek is one of the best neighborhoods in Fayetteville, NC with many single-family homes and an affordable median price that should fit many budgets. A diverse neighborhood with excellent schooling, there’s Gray’s Creek High School, 71st Classical Middle School and Cumberland International Early College, all working to serve the educational needs of the community. With many small businesses, the area is also rife with activity, such as state fairs, concerts and family-friendly endeavors throughout much of the year.
Those that are looking to get out into nature can check out Cape Fear River Adventures, which provides tubing, kayaking and paddling down the Cape Fear River.
An idyllic place for young families and professionals, Anderson Creek is one of the best areas to live in Fayetteville, NC, and has a strong sense of community while being just 20 minutes from nearby Fort Bragg. With a good mix of veterans and others, this diverse community has a slower pace of life, which can be great if you’re looking for something different than the standard fare.
The large and sprawling Mazarick Park is an 80-acre community staple that features fishing, sports and picnics, yet history buffs will enjoy the Museum of the Cape Fear, a branch of the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.
If you’re looking to build in Fayetteville, NC or even in nearby cities like Goldsboro, contact the affordable experts at Value Build Homes today!