Written by Hayley Kate Webb
Harding University is located within driving distance of two Southeastern Conference (SEC) universities: the University of Arkansas and the University of Mississippi. Both Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Oxford, Mississippi, are located within 200 miles of Searcy, Arkansas. This semester, several Harding students have taken advantage of the close proximity of these universities, traveling with friends and family for a weekend road trip.
For those traveling north through the Ozark mountains, Harding graduate and Fayetteville native Tyler Roth said that Fayetteville has everything you need in a road trip destination, from great local food to beautiful golf courses and exciting sporting events.
“The city has so much to offer,” Roth said. “Some weekends can be more relaxed by spending time on the lake or river, while other weekends can be more fun with outings to Top Golf, sporting events and great museums.”
As Roth mentioned, a popular weekend event in Fayetteville is watching the Arkansas Razorbacks play football in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Home game weekends are full of tailgating and hog calls. Harding freshman Nic Fraraccio recently attended an Arkansas home game.
“Going to the Razorback’s football game was one of the best experiences,” Fraraccio said. “The Razorbacks have a devoted fan base that ultimately creates a surreal fan experience.”
Fayetteville offers a variety of diverse cuisine for those looking to embark on a culinary journey. To start your day, stop by the Farmer’s Table Cafe, Arsaga’s Mill District or Prelude Breakfast Bar for a hearty breakfast. If you are looking for a lighter option, visit Swoon Juice Bar or Mamaka Bowls for a nutritious smoothie or juice. For lunch, Wright’s Barbecue, Herman’s and Hugo’s offer the city’s best ribs, burgers, sandwiches and barbecue. After spending the afternoon calling the hogs, head down to Dickson Street for dinner at JJ’s Grill or Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese. To satisfy a sweet tooth at the end of the night, Burton’s Creamery and Rick’s Bakery offer a variety of unique ice cream flavors and bakery items.
For those traveling to Mississippi, Harding graduate and current University of Mississippi graduate student Peyton Padgett said that nothing beats a weekend in Oxford. Padgett said that those visiting the University of Mississippi have to take advantage of the entire weekend, soaking up the beautiful weather on the square and enjoying the downtown food and shops. Padgett included her recommendations for the perfect weekend itinerary full of food and football.
“Start by spending your Friday night eating Mexican food at South Depot,” Padgett said. “Bright and early on Saturday morning make your way to the grove to enjoy tailgating on a different level. After the game, rush back to Funky’s on the square to get the best buffalo chicken pizza and catch up on all the other games in the SEC.”
Padgett added that the best way to conclude your weekend is by enjoying a Sunday breakfast at Big Bad Breakfast before getting back on the road. At Big Bad Breakfast, try ordering their signature skillet dish which is complete with eggs, a variety of veggies, herbs and goat cheese.
Whether someone is calling the hogs, yelling Hotty Toddy or just a Bison fan looking for a fun adventure, a quick weekend road trip from Searcy to Fayetteville or Oxford is sure to provide them with a weekend full of social and culinary experiences.