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Why You Should Stay in Spring Lake

If you’re visiting Fort Bragg, there are lots of great places to stay – but we think Spring Lake is the best! Whether you’re a military contractor who will be staying with us for a while, or if you’re visiting family or friends on post, we have tons of reasons why you should call us your “home away from home.” Keep reading to learn more!

  1. Location

Location is everything! Fort Bragg is the largest Army base in the entire country, and that means lots of traffic. You could spend your day waiting in traffic, or you could stay in Spring Lake. We are located just outside of the gate, which means you can reach your destination in just minutes. In fact, our location makes us a popular lunchtime choice for soldiers who are stationed here, since they know they can get on and off post quickly.

2. Choices

We are a small town, but we have big choices. With seven hotels just outside of Fort Bragg, you have lots of great choices when it comes to where you stay, including 5 and 4.5 star hotels. Stay at a nationally recognized brand, or a locally owned spot, at a large hotel, or a smaller one. Spring Lake means you have the decision in your hands.

3. Things to Do

Looking for something to do during your down time? You don’t have to look far in Spring Lake. We are especially proud of being a paradise for nature lovers! Spring Lake is home to Carvers Creek State Park, the perfect place for an afternoon hike. Spring Lake Outpost is also located here, so grab a kayak, canoe, or tube and enjoy the river! Head over to the Fort Bragg Clay Target Center to practice your shot, or to the Anderson Creek Golf Course to practice your swing. We are also home to parks, a play center, a farmers market, and more!

4. Hospitality

Spring Lake has the ultimate small town feeling. You’ll love our friendly demeanor and true Southern hospitality.

5. Places to Eat

Our proximity to Fort Bragg means we are a melting pot of all different cultures and cuisines. This is one small town that has a worldly vibe when it comes to eating out. In Spring Lake you can find delicious Mexican, Thai, Chinese, and of course – Southern food!

So what are you waiting for? Come and stay with us! See why so many who work at Fort Bragg call us “home”, and why so many visitors choose to do the same. To learn more about our accommodations, click here.

Why You Should Stay in Spring Lake
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YOUR GO-TO GUIDE FOR THE BEST OF SPRING LAKE, PART II

Get on the Water

I’m bragging on everything Spring Lake has to offer on the blog this week! If you read Part I of my “go-to guide,” you learned about some local faves where you can play hard and chow down. As this community continues to grow, we’re seeing more of a variety of cuisine and outdoor recreation sites pop up in this part of Cumberland County. Whether you’re a golfer who loves authentic Thai, a kayaker who needs a caffeine fix, or a skeet shooter who appreciates smoky ‘cue, I have a few suggestions for how to find your brand of fun and good eats in Spring Lake, North Carolina.

A great time to visit this attraction would be during Spring Lake Outpost’s One Year Anniversary Celebration, on September 1st. SLO has invited the public to help them celebrate with river adventures and live music. Even better, Taco Boy and One Nine Drive food trucks will be serving up deliciousness, and Hugger Mugger Brewing will be pouring their signature brews. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, SLO regularly hosts nighttime treks down the river. Pre-register now for the last SLO Glow of the season, scheduled for September 15th.

Fuel Up on Java

First things first, and that’s coffee. Before you start your day here, you’ll want to fuel up. Cactus Creek Coffee at Spring Lake just recently opened in The Collective—a one-stop-shop business center that includes Spring Lake Outpost, Evolution Athletics (CrossFit gym), and Compass Rose Yoga (studio). Although I haven’t had a chance to visit their new coffee shop, I’ve perused their online menu. Here, you’ll find smoothies, refreshers, lattes, frappes, and more. I’ve already decided, when I visit, I’m going for the Stage Marker—almond, chocolate, and coconut yumminess!

Hit the Fairway

I’m not going to claim that I golf, because I don’t. However, what I do know about Anderson Creek Golf Club is it’s been described as “a hidden treasure in the Sandhills.” Jason Scott Deegan—a prolific contributor to industry publications—used those words to describe Anderson in his article on GolfAdvisor.com (where 81% of reviewers also recommended this destination).

Tucked between NC 24-87 and NC 210, in northern Spring Lake, the club sees its fair share of travelers from all over North Carolina and beyond. As Deegan emphasized in his review, this Davis Love III design with a Bermuda fairway gives golfers the perfect excuse to explore those treasures that lie beyond the Pinehurst area. Check out Deegan’s article and pictures or read other reviews on Golf Advisor to learn more about this course.

Go For Thai

Ten miles from Anderson Creek Golf Club, you’ll find one of the most popular Asian eateries in Spring Lake, Thai-Esan Restaurant. Owner Pennapa Hinnant is known for preparing authentic dishes that are specific to Esan, the northeastern region of Thailand. When coworkers and I visited this restaurant for lunch, we were impressed by the freshness of the food and the reasonable price (just $9.50 each). Buffet features vary, depending on which day you visit.

It’s difficult to beat the buffet, but if you visit for dinner, you may order from their extensive menu and full-service bar. You’ll find the classic noodle dishes, such as Pad Thai, but also a variety of stir-fry, grilled meats, and curries. My personal favorite was the Kang Dang (red curry), flavored with fresh basil and cooked in coconut milk and red curry paste. Outstanding!

Practice Shooting

I’ve now been to Fort Bragg Clay Target Center twice, once with coworkers and once with girlfriends. This sports gem is a perfect destination for group adventures, like team-building and a girls’ day out, as I shared on the blog before. Down the road from Carvers Creek State Park you’ll find the Clay Target Center, surrounded by scenic woods. For folks visiting from out of town, there’s no need to even travel with a gun. You can rent or purchase all necessary equipment onsite. You can even receive expert instruction from one of the staff members, many of whom are military veterans.

Unlike the standard gun range, your target is not stationary; these clay targets are moving at a fast rate across the sky. Even service members with years of military training find this sport to be challenging, but that doesn’t mean amateurs like me can’t have fun and occasionally score a hit. It’s quite the adrenaline rush when you finally make contact and see that orange clay shattering into a hundred pieces. I’d recommend the Clay Target Center to anyone who’s up for a bit of friendly competition.

Treat Yourself to BBQ

If you’re visiting the South, you need to treat yourself to good barbecue at least once while you’re here. In Spring Lake, that means going to Noble Meats, just a five-minute drive from Fort Bragg Clay Target Center. Any day it’s open, you’ll find this country joint packed with both locals and soldiers from nearby Fort Bragg. Their lengthy menu features smoked brisket, ribs, chicken, and more, plus all the traditional sides and homemade sauces. The first time I tried Noble, I was transported back to my home of birth, Texas. It didn’t hurt that they make Texas caviar, either (yes, that’s a thing). If you don’t have too far to travel, bring an ice chest and take a meat bundle home from their custom butcher shop. The quality of their meat and butchery skills make it so worth it!

Sleep Well

Before we wrap this up, let me list the accommodation options for your Spring Lake stay. There is a total of six hotels/motels here, and they’re all conveniently positioned off the main thoroughfares.

You may refer to the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (FACVB) comprehensive list of Accommodations for more options in the communities of Cumberland County. As I mentioned before, the Spring Lake Visitors Guide is a fantastic resource for those planning a trip to this area. I would highly recommend using it to find out more about Spring Lake’s history, things to do, and places to eat. Also, in addition to all the events I mentioned above, Spring Lake and other Cumberland County communities play host to hundreds of events year-round. Be sure to check out the FACVB’s Calendar of Events to keep track of all those fun happenings.

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YOUR GO-TO GUIDE FOR THE BEST OF SPRING LAKE, PART II
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YOUR GO-TO GUIDE FOR THE BEST OF SPRING LAKE, PART I

Meet Our Farmers

Spring Lakes’ agricultural roots run deep, and you’ll find multi-generation farms all over the area. An opportunity to meet some of our farmers and purchase locally grown goods happens once a month at the Sandhills Farmers & Heritage Market. The last market of the season will occur on September 8th, and at the same time, the Sandhills Family Heritage Association is also hosting their Annual Heritage Food Tasting (ticket purchase required). Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about Spring Lake’s farmers and try some traditional dishes.

Many of our farmers have embraced North Carolina’s agritourism potential and opened their doors for the public to visit. One such farm is West Produce. With the autumn season upon us, this charming destination presents the perfect excuse to take the family outdoors. Farmers Tommy and Jean West offer Hayrides that also include an educational tour, plenty of photo ops, a place to have a picnic, a variety of autumn décor and farm goods for sale, and more. Plan for an afternoon of down-on-the-farm fun at this Spring Lake gem between September 21st and October 31st.

Take A Picnic

On your way north to West Produce, stop off at Crown Fried Chicken for a box of picnic-food perfection. For traveling families, it’d be hard to beat the prices here. For instance, a 10-piece, mixed-chicken family special is just $14.99. My recommendation for first-timers is to start with Crown’s signature fried chicken and traditional sides, such as potato salad. This is picnic food at its finest! Just don’t forget the banana pudding.

Explore A Park

Most people would never guess that the North Carolina State Parks Passport features a state park right here in Cumberland County. You simply can’t visit the Spring Lake area without spending some time at Carvers Creek State Park. This is one of the newest ones in the 100-year-old North Carolina park system, opening to the public just 13 years ago. Projected plans for Carvers show it will eventually be spread out over a total of 4,000 acres. Meanwhile, part of the land that makes up this nature haven now has a fascinating story to tell our visitors.

James Stillman Rockefeller, of Rockefeller family fame, once used his Long Valley Farm as a winter retreat. Now that family’s farm, buildings, gristmill, and even home are all part of the draw for tourists interested in exploring both nature and history here. Carvers Creek park rangers regularly host events that offer explorers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at these historical sites, or visitors can take a leisurely hike through the park’s trails on their own time. As you’re collecting stamps in your passport, don’t overlook this gem.

Right off NC 24-87, you’ll find a town park that is both a community hub and a recreation site. Mendoza Park is a perfect spot for travelers to stop for a picnic and let the kids run off their energy on a playground, but it’s also a fun site to visit for seasonal festivals and other family-friendly events. The Spring Lake Live Music Festival, planned for September 1st, is just one example of the types of festivals that the town hosts here. Food, music, and family fun!

Cool Off

After you’ve spent a day outdoors, a cool treat is in order. One of the local favorites is Arctic Sno Snoballs, which is a straight shot down North Bragg Boulevard from Mendoza Park. You can easily spot this treasure from the road by the brightly decorated patio. After a morning spent at Fort Bragg Clay Target Center, girlfriends and I made a pit-stop here and rested a while under the shade of their umbrellas. You’ll have a hard time picking between 80 flavors of snoballs, but my pro’s tip is to order yours stuffed—meaning with vanilla ice cream in the center. So tasty!

Play Hard

There are some days when it’s just too hot to spend outside in the South. Thank goodness for indoor recreation options like MegaPlay. As the reviewer below stated, it’s worth the drive. Parents also know kids starts to go stir crazy in the car, so places like this are a necessary detour for traveling families, as I shared on the blog last winter.You’ll find this indoor children’s playground right where NC 24-87 and NC-210 converge, in the Skyland Shopping Center. Inside, there is a multi-level play structure with a variety of activities for the kids to enjoy. Toddlers even have a designated area that features soft-play equipment. Parents will appreciate the fact there is a café area and free WiFi. Best of all, this is cheap fun—just $5.50 to $9.99 per child.

Grab A Pie

After letting the kiddies run off their energy at MegaPlay, drive just 1 mile north and treat the family to a big ole pie at Brooklyn Pizzeria. The well-worded review above really captures everything you need to know about this unassuming eatery in Spring Lake. Just to affirm this, the two New Yorkers I work with are the ones who first recommended this pizzeria to me, saying they’d never been able to find NY-style pizza this good in our area. By NY style, we’re talking a cracker-thin crust that snaps when you bite into it. You know a pie is fresh when they’re tossing your pizza dough right in front of you. After the cheese has melted to perfection in the oven, they bring out the steamy magic to your table, and everybody leaves happy.

Sleep Well

Before we wrap this up, let me list the accommodation options for your Spring Lake stay. There is a total of six hotels/motels here, and they’re all conveniently positioned off the main thoroughfares.

You may refer to the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (FACVB) comprehensive list of Accommodations for more options in the communities of Cumberland County. As I mentioned before, the Spring Lake Visitors Guide is a fantastic resource for those planning a trip to this area. I would highly recommend using it to find out more about Spring Lake’s history, things to do, and places to eat. Also, in addition to all the events I mentioned above, Spring Lake and other Cumberland County communities play host to hundreds of events year-round. Be sure to check out the FACVB’s Calendar of Events to keep track of all those fun happenings.

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YOUR GO-TO GUIDE FOR THE BEST OF SPRING LAKE, PART I
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CELEBRATE SPRING IN THE TOWN OF SPRING LAKE

Carvers Creek State Park

Explore a Cumberland County outdoor gem and one of North Carolina’s newer state parks. Located just north of town, this park encompasses over 4,000 acres, 1,420 of which makes up the Long Valley Farm estate that once belonged to James Stillman Rockefeller. We recommend hitting one of the hiking trails to start exploring the farm. If you sign up in advance, you may join a Rockefeller House Tour and learn about the famous family’s winter estate. Other regularly scheduled activities educate visitors on the long-leaf pine ecosystem and the many species of wildlife that make their home there. Keep your eye out for a bald eagle, as visitors have reported some rare sightings over the last few months.

Spring Fling

Take the family out to Edward Mendoza Municipal Park for Spring Lake’s biggest event, occurring on April 8th this year. The 16th Annual Spring Fling is a celebration of springtime, baseball, and small-town pride. The free, wholesome entertainment kicks off each year with the opening-day baseball ceremony and parade of teams. Then the fun continues with live music on stage, baseball games, carnival rides and bounce houses, vendors, and concessions. Check out the event’s “Neighborhood Art Attack,” a free mini arts festival organized by the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County.

Noble Meats & Eatery

Head over to this locally owned barbecue joint for some good eats and an even better butcher shop. To newcomers, we would recommend first trying the beef brisket plate and dousing it with their smoky-sweet sauce. You will quickly discover, though, that this 30-year-old town staple has more than barbecue plates to sell. Noble Meats is a one-stop shop where hunters bring their trophies for professional processing and locals purchase meat bundles for grilling. Ask about the butcher’s specials, which include a range of meats, like smoked Andouille sausages and home-cured Italian pancetta.

Are you planning a visit to the Town of Spring Lake? More helpful information, including places to stay and eat in Fort Bragg’s gateway community, may be found on the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (FACVB). Discover things to do year-round in Spring Lake and throughout Cumberland County on the FACVB’s Calendar of Events.

Sleep Well

Before we wrap this up, let me list the accommodation options for your Spring Lake stay. There is a total of six hotels/motels here, and they’re all conveniently positioned off the main thoroughfares.

Country Inn & Suites
Courtyard Fayetteville Fort Bragg/Spring Lake
Gateway Inn & Suites
Hampton Inn Spring Lake – Fayetteville
Sleep Inn and Suites – Near Ft. Bragg
Super 8 – Spring Lake/Fort Bragg
You may refer to the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (FACVB) comprehensive list of Accommodations for more options in the communities of Cumberland County. As I mentioned before, the Spring Lake Visitors Guide is a fantastic resource for those planning a trip to this area. I would highly recommend using it to find out more about Spring Lake’s history, things to do, and places to eat. Also, in addition to all the events I mentioned above, Spring Lake and other Cumberland County communities play host to hundreds of events year-round. Be sure to check out the FACVB’s Calendar of Events to keep track of all those fun happenings.

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CELEBRATE SPRING IN THE TOWN OF SPRING LAKE
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