We Asked, You Answered: Fort Bragg Communities

 
Photo by  Helena Lopes  on  Unsplash

Last week on Instagram I launched our first ever military town polling (took me long enough, right?)! I polled the audience over a period of four days to get a general sense of how you like(d) Fort Bragg as a duty station, where you chose to live, where you like to eat, and what you do in your free time in the area. There was SO much participation that I couldn’t possibly fit it into one post, so I’m breaking it down by poll topic.

I rolled up your responses on Fort Bragg communities and compiled them here in this nifty blog post for you to reference whenever you fancy…cuz that’s just what friends do.

Optimist or Pessimist?

I kicked off the poll with a little self-assessment; are you an optimist or a pessimist? I asked this question mostly for fun, but also to get an idea of where people’s heads are at when they answered the follow-up questions. Those who have been to Fort Bragg mostly described themselves as optimists at heart (87%). I definitely appreciated the 13% of you who fessed up about being pessimists. Sometimes it’s healthy to expect the worst (you da real MVPs!).

Surprisingly, only 22% of the self-identified pessimists said that they were NOT happy with their communities. What does this tell us? Welllll…for one, it indicates that even most pessimists found some joy in the area. Small victories!

On Fayetteville…

68% of you said that you spent a good amount of time visiting Fayetteville. When asked what your favorite things were, you had the following responses, which we’ve condensed into groups:

  • You loved the Downtown area! Tons of mom and pop restaurants, cute local shops and businesses and coffee shops. The Haymount area also appears to be a big hit.

    • A few of you expanded on this and said that outside of Downtown Fayetteville, you’ll just find chain restaurants.

  • Lots of answers about loving the Fayetteville community, the “cool people” and specifically how patriotic they are. One of you had this to say “[it’s] a community wholly dedicated to, and created for, the Army.”

  • A few responses about the local parks, wildlife and trails; specifically at Lake Rim.

  • The food and music scene was also a popular response about your favorite things in Fayetteville. There are some great “hidden gem restaurants around the base!” To read our roll-up of the Fort Bragg food scene, click here!

  • Though not specific to Fayetteville, there were a few of you who really enjoyed how close you are to other great cities like Raleigh, Charleston, Asheville and the beach.

About 30% of you stated that you actually lived in Fayetteville, of which 77% were happy with that decision. Of those who were not happy with living in Fayetteville only one provided an answer: you cited that your neighborhood was nice and quiet, but you spent more time in other cities/communities so you wished you lived there and saved yourself the drive. Makes sense.

I ran this data by my friend Jenny from Go Fayetteville! and asked her for feedback on some negative rumors surrounding Fayetteville…

When people think so little of the area, part of the problem is they don’t leave the main drag (Skibo Rd.), and
they are not exploring our surrounding towns. All offer hidden gems!
If you don’t go beyond Fayetteville, you’re not getting a full picture of what the county offers. Cumberland County includes the city of Fayetteville, Fort Bragg military base, and 8 towns. I’ve talked to people who’ve said that they’ve lived here for 3 years and have never even been Downtown.
— Jenny @gofayetteville

Other communities near Fort Bragg…

Of the 93% of you who did not live on post, most of you decided to live in Southern Pines, Raeford and Spring Lake. Other communities with decent response rates were Pinehurst, Sanford, Cameron, Aberdeen and Lillington. The communities with the lowest response rates were Whispering Pines, Hope Mills, Linden and Sophia. Response rates have nothing to do with the quality of the community, but represent the relative proportion of those who chose to live in that community.

  • Of particular note, 99% of you stated that you were happy with these communities. Only one of you stated that you were not happy with your community, but did not provide an answer for where you lived (way to leave us hanging!).

We then asked you to vote on the best community near Fort Bragg regardless of where you decided to live. Here’s the breakdown (some voted twice for different spots, and that’s totally ok…we’re not doing fancy research here):

  • 36% of you stated that Southern Pines was the best community near Fort Bragg

  • 16% loved the Spring Lake area (specifically Anderson Creek Club, which is a popular area for military families)

  • 16% voted for Carolina Lakes/Sanford

  • Fayetteville proper received 9% of the vote (West, East & North Fayetteville)

  • Raeford (also popular for military), Cameron/Lexington Plantation and Pinehurst each received 6% of the vote

  • Sandhills, Pinehurst, Lillington (Trotter’s Ridge), Fuquay Varina, Linden (little town in Cumberland County), and Aberdeen each received 3% of the vote

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One thing you should know before you PCS to Fort Bragg…

And finally, we asked you to share your hard-earned wisdom with the rest of us peasants by giving us one tiny golden nugget of knowledge for the Fort Bragg area. These comments were pulled directly from the poll and do not come with additional context:

  • Avoid Skibo Rd. Walmart at all times.

  • It’s diverse and friendly.

  • If you want local culture, go to Southern Pines/Pinehurst; small and safe.

  • There is so much to do here!

  • A growing community of creatives.

  • Commute times; Gate Traffic is crazy! (This point was reiterated MULTIPLE times by so many of you).

    • Traffic is rough depending on where you’re coming from; plan gate traffic into your commute; gate traffic should be a serious consideration depending on your unit.

    • Find out where your unit is and which access gate they use to help you determine where to live.

  • You are 2 hours away from the most beautiful beaches and a few hours from the mountains!

  • There’s so much more to discover beyond Ft. Bragg & Fayetteville if you’re willing to explore.

  • Keep an open mind. Under the surface it’s got a lot of gems.

  • If you live in Carolina Lakes, you will be a bit far from everything.

  • It’s not Fayettenam.

    • The stereotype “Fayette-nam” is just a stereotype. Every post has its good and bad areas.

  • Be open minded about it here. It gets a bad reputation, but it’s truly a wonderful place.

    • It’s what you make of it! There are bad areas but there is so much good!!!

  • There ARE great places to live close to post.

  • It’s such a large area. I wasn’t expecting that.

  • Avoid Murchison and keep an open mind.

  • Great outdoor opportunities in arms reach: golf, hunting, fishing, hiking, boating, etc.

What are your thoughts on the communities near Fort Bragg? Share your knowledge in the comments!

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about the author

Riley is an active duty US Army Captain and the Founder of Right and Up. She’s currently stationed in Washington, DC, with previous assignments at Fort Huachuca, Fort Bliss, Fort Riley and Fort Benning. You can typically find her eating embarrassingly large amounts of food in local restaurants, or exploring her military town with her husband, Sean and her dog, Gus. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!