Did you just get orders to PCS to Fort Bragg? Doing a bit of anticipatory research on where the Army might be moving your family next?
Today on our Duty Station Spotlight series we are lucky to have my friend Wendi from Strength4Spouses. She has been at Fort Bragg since August 2016. Wendi was one of the first military spouses to reach out and welcome me when I moved to the Fort Bragg area. It only seemed right to kick off this series by sharing her experience with the largest US Army Base by population.
THE CONTENTS | In a hurry? Click to jump to the section that interests you most.
What first ran through your head when you found out you were moving to Fort Bragg?
I was very apprehensive before moving here, even though I only moved from an hour away. There are terrible rumors and bad things always said about Fort Bragg and the surrounding area.
Now that you have been living there for 3 years do you still have the same impression of Fort Bragg?
The rumors were not true. Fort Bragg is a wonderful place to be stationed. Fayetteville is really growing and the downtown area offers so much shopping, restaurants, arts, and entertainment. The only thing I would recommend is to just be cautious of your surroundings and don’t go out in Fayetteville alone at night.
What did you do to prepare for moving to the duty station?
I joined several Facebook pages to learn more about the area.
Those pages include; Fort Bragg Wives Over 30, Ft. Bragg Military Spouses, InDependent, & HOH Military Spouse Professional Network-Ft. Bragg
Do you live on base, own a home or rent elsewhere?
My husband and I geobached for our first eight months of marriage, since I owned a home on the outskirts of Raleigh. He lived on post for almost a year and I lived on post with him for almost 4 months before we purchased a home. There are some great areas to live in Cumberland county-especially on the outskirts. Due to Fort Bragg being so large, definitely make sure you choose an area closest to where your spouse will be on post. That can make a huge difference in the commute to work.
FORT BRAGG SPOTLIGHT MAP
What is your favorite spot to grab a coffee at this duty station?
The Coffee Cup. They have a wonderful outdoor seating area that allows you to experience beautiful downtown Fayetteville.
Is brunch a big deal around the duty station’s town? If so, where is your favorite spot and what do you order off the menu?
Lake Gaston Brewery has a Sunday brunch that is exquisite!
Whats the best spot for having a lunch?
The Blue Moon Cafe downtown Fayetteville is the best! They offer an array of appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and specialty plates. Everything always tastes so fresh and the presentation of the food is beautiful.
What is your go to place to grab dessert?
The Sweet Palette is my absolute favorite. They have gourmet cupcakes, macaroons, and miniature cheesecakes. It’s hard to choose what my favorite thing to order here is because everything is so delicious!
DATE NIGHT EATS
When you managed to align schedules to go out for a date with your husband, where are you headed?
My husband and I LOVE Sammios. They have two locations; one in Fayetteville and one in Hope Mills and they serve the most scrumptious Italian food. The service is always amazing too!
Edit: Looks like they have opened a third location!
This article from PCS grades also has a great list of suggestions!
Where is the best spot to grab a drink?
If you like beer, The TapHouse at Huske has over 80 Beers on tap. They have various weekend entertainment and the atmosphere is very casual and relaxed.
TO DO AROUND TOWN
Where is your favorite place to work up a sweat?
Aqua cycling at Tolson Indoor Pool on Fort Bragg is my favorite. I fell in love with aqua cycling a year ago. It will not make you sore and gives your body recovery from other activities.
Are there any nearby outdoor recreation areas you like to visit?
Cape Fear River Trail is a gorgeous trail located on TreeTop Drive off Ramsey Street. It’s a scenic trail with bridges and hills. It’s also dog and stroller friendly.
If your family had to dream up the perfect outing together in your area, where are you headed?
We love going to Carter’s Blueberry Farm to pick blueberries each summer.
If you manage to sneak away for a few hours to spend time spoiling yourself where are you headed?
We love The Sanctuary at Cedar Creek. They offer massage services, manicures, pedicures, and more. Every service we have received there has been amazing!
Where is your go to place if the weather is calling for rain?
Defy Fayetteville Indoor Trampoline Park is a ton of fun for all ages.
Are there any local museums you like to visit around your duty station or in nearby towns?
The Airborne and Special Operations Museum is amazing!
FINAL WORDS ON FORT BRAGG
What would you say to a military family who just received orders and is doing the frantic google search to learn all the things!
Take advantage of all the resources and activities in the area.
Do not be afraid to get out and explore the surrounding areas of Fort Bragg. It’s a community rich with patriotism, agriculture, wonderful restaurants, and small businesses.
Fort Bragg’s MWR is a great resource to find low cost activities for you and your family. Register for and attend spouse events that make a stop at Fort Bragg. It’s a great way to meet new people and learn about resources in the area too.
Have you been stationed at Fort Bragg? We would love to hear about your favorites around town! Let us know your experience stationed here in the comments below!
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Wendi Iacobello has been an Army wife for three years and part of military life for five years. She has spent the last nine years as an adult educator, has a Master of Arts in Educational Media, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. Currently, she is a blogger, freelance writer, aqua spin Instructor and avid volunteer. In her free time, you can usually find her volunteering at USO’s story time, outdoors in the garden, running, cooking up a new recipe, or playing fetch with her adorable Beagle, Daizi. Wendi is extremely passionate about helping others find their inner strength by sharing her experiences, insight, resources, and inspirational stories on her blog Strength4Spouses. She can also be found on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.