Discover Fuquay-Varina and Top Spots to Cool Off

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A couple enjoys the shade at Mineral Spring Park. Photo courtesy of the Town of Fuquay-Varina.



Welcome to Fuquay-Varina, a small town with two hearts—that is, dual downtowns—due to its history as two separate communities. Fuquay-Varina has been a unified town for over 60 years, and it is now one of the fastest-growing communities in North Carolina.

If you’re new to the area, you’ll find a warm welcome! Here are some of the first things newcomers can do in this area to learn what Fuquay-Varina has to offer.


Explore the Town’s History

The town of Fuquay began when Davey Crocket Fuquay and Stephen Fuquay discovered mineral springs on the site in 1858. Visitors and residents reported that the mineral springs had healing powers, and the town of Fuquay Springs grew around them as people arrived to “take the water.” 

The town of Varina began with a love story. During the Civil War, a young woman wrote to a soldier from this area named Ballentine using the pen name Varina. 

The two later married and moved back to the solider’s home, where he became the area’s first postmaster. The town of Varina grew around this first post office (founded in 1880) and a nearby general store. In 1963, the two communities merged and became Fuquay-Varina. 

People can still visit the mineral springs in a park located near the Centennial Museum, which houses pictures and artifacts from the town’s history. 

The park features peaceful walking trails and picnic tables. Fuquay-Varina values its history and origins, so it’s worth your time to visit the park and museum to get a sense of that history. 

A family having fun at one of Fuquay-Varina's many parks. Photo courtesy of the Town of Fuquay-Varina.

Explore Local Parks

The mineral spring park is just one of many local outdoor attractions. Just outside of town, the pristine Hilltop Needmore Town Park & Preserve features 2.8 miles of biking, walking and jogging trails. Conveniently located near Highway 401, this park and 19 other Fuquay-Varina parks offer residents and visitors opportunities to get out into nature. For other nice trails, visit the Carroll Howard Johnson Environmental Education Park, which offers families creeks and woods to explore and focuses on teaching visitors about the local flora and fauna.

Families with children might also enjoy the impressive playground at Fleming Loop Park or, in hot summer months, the South Park Splash Pad, which is free for Fuquay-Varina residents and $2 for visitors. 


Enjoy Today’s Liquid Refreshment

People may not flock to the mineral springs anymore, but you can still enjoy liquid refreshment in Fuquay-Varina. An excellent way to get to know your new neighbors is to visit one of the popular local breweries. 

Aviator Brewing Company, located in the heart of Fuquay-Varina, started in an airplane hangar. One of the most-visited craft beer locations in the area, the brewery incorporates the aircraft theme in two locations across from one another: The Tap House, which has a limited food menu, and The Smokehouse, which offers many dining options. Both locations serve Aviator craft beers. The operation is expanding, and the owner hopes to turn it into “the Disney World of Beers,” with an amphitheater for live music, increased outdoor seating, Aviator merchandise and more. Tours of the nearby brewery are available.

Aviator isn’t the only brewery in town. On a hot day, Fuquay-Varina residents and visitors will find many craft beer choices. Vicious Fishes BreweryThe Mason Jar TavernFainting Goat Brewing Company and Oaklyn Springs Brewery offer their own varieties of beers, and locals often drop in for a pint in the evenings or on weekends. 

Outdoor markets and events happen in Fuquay-Varina. Photo courtesy of the Town of Fuquay-Varina.

Sample Local Cuisine

Baked treats are also a popular draw in Fuquay-Varina. Stick Boy Bread Co., a popular local bakery, alternates its menu of fresh bread and baked goods every day. They also serve coffee, so patrons often enjoy a cup while indulging in desserts, sticky buns, cookies or other pastries. Others drop in to pick up loaves of bread. 

If pie is more appealing, The Peach Cobbler Factory, located about five miles up Highway 401, is a delightful place for dessert. Locals often stop by this spot, which is new to the area, to enjoy a piece of pie and a cup of coffee.

Visitors can also enjoy local fruits and vegetables from the Fuquay-Varina Growers Market, which was established almost 25 years ago and has continued to expand ever since. Located in the Chamber of Commerce parking lot, the market opens on Wednesdays and Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. from April through September.


Enjoy a Niche Hobby

Fuquay-Varina offers some unique entertainment for hobbyists or those who wish to explore new ways to have fun. At the Inner Beast Hatchet House, patrons can throw axes at targets or play on one of the digital simulators for games like tic-tac-toe or cornhole, watching scoring on the wall. 

Happy’s Country Club, a golf simulator facility, replicates Raleigh’s Lonnie Poole Golf Course designed by Arnold Palmer. Playing in the dark setting gives the feeling of being on the actual course.

In Varina, RC Hobby sells and races remote-control model cars and other vehicles. Their racetrack and rugged trucks terrain inside the store provide opportunities for hours of fun. Remote control enthusiasts can enjoy watching or taking part. 

With all these options, Fuquay-Varina offers many opportunities for you to get to know your new neighbors. As Dustin Williams, president of the Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce, puts it, “No matter how big the town gets, it will still be a place where people feel welcome.” 

A giant bucket drenches visitors at the Town of Fuquay-Varina Splash Pad. Photo by the Town of Fuquay-Varina.

Where to Go to Cool Off in Fuquay-Varina

By Heather Hankinson


Summer and Splash Pads and Spraygrounds, Oh My!

Town of Fuquay-Varina Splash Pad: Open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, Fuquay’s South Park Splash Pad offers water play galore. From spray guns to bucket dumps, this is literally the coolest spot in town on a hot day. Open daily from 10 a.m. 

to 7 p.m., the Splash Pad is free for residents with a valid residency card (available at the Fuquay-Varina Community Center). 


Jack Smith Sprayground: Located in Jack Smith Park, this sprayground boasts seven exciting water features. It’s open from mid-May through mid-September, operates daily from 9 a.m.–8 p.m. and is free to the public. 


Ice Cream, Sweets and Other Cool Treats

Pints Ice Cream & Beer: From beer flights and boozy shakes to traditional ice cream, Pints has something for everyone. An ice cream experience like none other, Pints is located in the heart of downtown Fuquay-Varina.

512 Broad Street, Fuquay-Varina


Fat Cat Homemade Ice Cream: With a passion for homemade ice cream in unique flavors with both dairy and non-dairy options, this local favorite utilizes fresh, local ingredients to deliver pints of delicious flavor. Owned and operated by longtime locals, Fat Cat has quickly become a town favorite. 

400 Broad Street, Fuquay-Varina


The Scoop! @ Willow Oak Farms: With farm animals, a barnyard-themed indoor play area for the kiddos and fresh homemade ice cream with a wide variety of flavors, who could ask for more? Locally owned and operated, this family favorite is a must-visit this summer.  

1510 Lafayette Road, Fuquay-Varina


Indoor Play for the Young at Heart

Piney Town Playhouse: This indoor playground checks all the boxes for entertaining the kiddos this summer. With open play, special events, birthday parties and summer camps, your little ones will stay entertained all summer long in a climate-controlled environment.

1520 Broad Street, Fuquay-Varina  


South Wake Sports Academy: Need a place for preteens and teens to exert some energy in a climate-controlled space? This multi-use athletic center includes pickleball and basketball courts in addition to space for volleyball, dodgeball and futsal. Fully enclosed batting cages and pitching machines make this the perfect indoor option for your athletic teen this summer.  

6109 NC Highway 55, Fuquay-Varina

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