The small town of Hope Mills in North Carolina’s Cumberland County is far from a humdrum destination.
In truth, this small town just south of Fayetteville hosts several family-friendly public parks and recreational facilities.
Early settlers of Hope Mills arrived during the early 1700s, establishing communities along Little Rockfish Creek.
By the 18th century, the cotton industry and trade boom pushed Hope Mills to its height.
It once housed the largest cotton mill in North Carolina.
Cotton mills increased along with workers and their families who settled at Little Rockfish Village.
Eventually, the growing community incorporated a town named Hope Mills in 1891.
These mills no longer operate but have become a symbol of the town’s history and developments.
You can find this town’s reasonably small population welcoming travelers to Hope Mills’ local attractions.
Here are the best things to do in Hope Mills, NC:
Bring Your Family to Arnette Park
Arnette Park offers excellent facilities and scenic woodlands perfect for a family day out.
Find it in Fayetteville, North Carolina, 13 minutes from Hope Mills.
This 100-acre park is most impressive during December, lighted and decorated to welcome guests for the holidays with its “Christmas in the Park” theme.
You can use the picnic pavilions for family gatherings or lunch outs.
The park is also famous for its sports facilities like ball fields, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, and disc golf courses.
Enjoy a nature stroll at the trails or use the perimeter road for a bike ride.
Raise Your Game at Cypress Lakes Golf Course
Cypress Lakes is among North Carolina’s best courses, which gives golfers of all levels hours of excellent tee time.
The 18-hole course spans over 7,000 yards, covered in lush Bermuda fairways and bent grass greens.
The course boasts of its championship-level design to test the caliber of any golf enthusiast.
This 72-par course will give you the challenge you need to improve your swing.
Cypress Lakes also offers U.S. Kids Golf Academy.
Enroll your young golfers in four, eight, or 12-class sessions under a certified Golf Coach.
Bounce around at Surge Trampoline Park
Jump around the central court at Surge Trampoline Park and enjoy a game of Dodgeball with your opponents.
You can also try the park’s Jousting and Arcade games.
Get an adrenaline rush, play the High Dive, Wipeout, and Ninja Course, scale the climbing features, or swing on the Trapeze.
Little kids can also join the fun at the Soft Play.
You can book tickets online but remember to get there early before your scheduled time.
Take a Deep Breath at the Golfview Greenway Walking Trail
The Golfview Greenway Walking Trail is a 1.6-mile walking trail that lies on the 90-acre of land.
The site was a former golf course named Rockfish Golf Course.
During World War II, the golf course shut down and became abandoned for several years.
It re-opened in 1963 and was deeded to Hope Mills for other recreational purposes.
The park offers an excellent place for a relaxing walk or running laps.
It’s also an excellent spot to walk your dog.
You’ll find available plastic bags and trash cans around the park just in case you need to clean up after your pet.
You can enjoy this nature spot with a beautiful pond, tranquil landscape, and paths with hills and turns.
Bring Your Family to Hope Mills Municipal Park
Hope Mills Municipal Park is among the town’s most valuable resources that serve as a public space for outdoor recreation.
The Parks and Recreation Department manages this 28-acre park, and you can find fun things to do with your family here.
Relax, have lunch or an afternoon picnic at the shelters, and set up a charcoal grill for your burgers.
Play basketball and tennis on the courts at the park, or get active and use the fitness equipment on the walking trail.
Let your kids run around the play areas or practice your tricks at the skate park.
If you prefer more relaxed activities, you can take a stroll at the Veteran’s Memorial or take your pets for a walk at the dog park.
Go Fishing at Hope Mills Lake
Hope Mills lake is known as The Pond and is sometimes referred to as Hope Mills Lake No.1.
Created in 1839, the lake was once a mill pond, the first cotton mill in the area when it still went by Little Rockfish Village.
Today, the lake is open to the public, offering visitors some great outdoor activities.
Enjoy the calming lake waters for a boat ride.
However, you must first secure your boat permit from the Town of Hope Mills Parks & Recreation Department.
You must also observe the no-wake lake regulation.
Try and catch largemouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish.
The lake has a fantastic view where you can stroll or hang out at the shore.
You can also go for a swim or wade in its calm waters or go for a kayak ride.
Ride a Horse at Circle M Farms
Circle M Farms is a family-owned and operated farm in Hope Mills. b
The Menscer family owns the farms.
For over 15 years, they have established a reputation for showcasing and breeding Quarter horses.
They have also earned much success and accolades in world shows and championships.
Your kids will love the farm’s horseback riding lessons.
Learn the basics about horses, safety tips, caring for horses, and more.
Circle M Farms also provides horse boarding and overnighting; they sell alfalfa hay and composted manure.
See the Latest Blockbuster at Millstone 14
Catch the latest movies on-screen with your family at Millstone 14.
Just a few minutes from Hope Mills, the cinema features a wide array of movie entertainment for everyone.
Stone Theaters operate the theater.
It offers a screening venue that gives a pleasing and comfortable viewing experience for people with special needs.
The tickets are reasonably priced, so you’ll get good affordable perks for your family to chill and enjoy.
You can also catch private screenings, the Discount Tuesday promo, or watch featured movies at Flashback Cinema.
Enjoy Beers and Games at Stop_Button Bar
Cold beer and classic arcade games that’s what you and your friends can enjoy at Stop_Button.
Two Army veterans, Zack Crane & Christ Humann, founded this local bar in 2017.
Grab your drinks from their extensive beverage menu, a mix of nerd-themed cocktails and specialty beers you can find at North Carolina breweries.
Avoid the hangover with non-alcoholic drinks on the menu.
You’ll have endless arcade fun with their Best Free-to-Play Arcade.
You don’t need tokens or quarters here.
Enjoy hours of arcade gameplay from fighters to shooters, racing, rhythm games, and more.
You can also play a variety of classic pinball selections, from the classic Smarty to the modern Dead Pool.
Taste Local Brew at Dirtbag Ales Brewery & Taproom
The Dirtbag Ales Brewery & Taproom is a local Hope Mills brewery started by friends who enjoy great beers.
The brewery also highlights a family and pet-friendly establishment that welcomes everyone.
Fill your glass with their refreshing spin of the citrus-infused mix of Blood Orange Kolsch.
You can also pick the Cold-Brew Mocha Porter, a High Octane Cold Brew Coffee creation giving a rich flavor.
Likewise, try their fresh take on the American Indian Pale Ale.
Besides enjoying your drinks, you can enjoy great food like burgers and fries and good company at Napkins.
Grab Meals and Drinks at 22 Klicks Bar and Grill
One of the local hangout spots in Hope Mills is 22 Klicks Bar and Grill.
They offer heaping servings of fantastic food like burgers, sandwiches, and salads.
You can also order their food and drinks special like Wings Day.
Catch the big games live on TV, play billiards with friends, or hang out and meet some locals.
You can also catch live weekly music performances by local artists.
Enjoy Water Attractions at Fantasy Lake Water Park
Have loads of splash time at Fantasy Lake Water Park’s fun water attractions.
Kids 7 and up will enjoy the Tarzan Swings and Trapeze, swing through a jungle quest or test their skills at the Challenge Peg Board Climber.
Slide your way straight down or take some zooming twists and turns through the Master Blaster Slides.
Enjoy the classic Banana Slides that would take you spiraling down on a foam mat, or try the monkey bars on waters at Ringa Linda.
There are also seesaws, paddle boards, and small-sized pools for younger kids to enjoy.
If you want to relax in the pool, you can try the giant floats on Lazy Lake or cool off at Fantasy Island.
Go Fishing at Perma Stone Lake
The Perma Stone Lake is a good fishing spot to throw those lines for a catch.
The 14-acre lake is near Fantasy Lake Water Park and close to the Outer Banks area.
Try to catch the abundant white crappie, bluegill, and largemouth bass.
However, you should know local fishing regulations and rules before casting a line.
Likewise, confirm with the Fish and Wildlife Department if the stream is open to the public.
Besides, go fishing to your heart’s content.
Join the Ole Mill Days Festivity
Get into the merry celebrations of the Ole Mill Days held annually at Hope Mills Municipal Park.
This colorful event highlights the mill town’s history during the 1830s when Rockfish Manufacturing Company established the mills for which the town was named.
Since the incorporation of the town in 1891, the local community has celebrated the mills and the men and women who have been a part of Hope Mills’ local culture.
The two-day festival is attended by hundreds of people every year and continues to expand.
Experience the pride and spirit of the Hope Mills community with exciting happenings like live concerts, storytelling, and costume contests.
Look for great items and crafts from local vendors and have your kids enjoy the kiddie rides and a petting zoo.
You’re sure to enjoy some homemade fudge and a wide range of food specialties served by food trucks, plus you can grab some drinks at the wine and beer gardens, too.
Have a Treat at Big T’s
Big T’s is a nice spot to chill when you’re already visiting Hope Mills Lake, located along North main Street.
Known for their snow cones and soft serve, they’re a popular food joint during the summer, where having them while you enjoy the lake accentuates the overall experience.
Their snow cones come in various flavors, giving you a lot of incentive to try a couple at once.
Besides dessert, Big T’s also has hotdog sandwiches which is a great afternoon snack for the kids.
They’re right outside a decent green space with benches and picnic grounds, so this is one of the best locations to go if you want to just appreciate Hope Mill Lakes from its shores.
Try the Flavorsome Meals of Barbara Ann’s Southern Fried Chicken
Do you have a strong love for fried chicken? If so, Barbara Ann’s Southern Fried Chicken is a must-try during your visit.
Home-grown by Hope Mills, this chicken joint started as a food truck and has since risen to fame, becoming a full-blown restaurant.
They’re famous for their authentic Southern fried chicken along with classic side dishes that complement it.
Some of these scrumptious sides include mac and cheese, potato salad, collard greens, and the classic cornbread.
They also have some quirky options here, such as their Gizzards Plate.
Find them along South Main Street.
Have a Blast at Putt Putt Fun Center
Putt Putt Fun Center is a fantastic place to take the family, as they have an abundance of entertainment facilities for everyone.
They’re primarily known for their miniature golf course—a quirky way to enjoy the game as they have a lot of creative layouts.
However, Putt Putt Fun Center also has a go kart track, an arcade, and even bumper cars and boats—it’s truly a fantastic all-rounder that you can’t miss with the kids.
While you should try all of them if you can, go kart racing and mini golf are definitely the highlights of this amusement center.
Find Putt Putt Fun Center along Footbridge Lane, just a stone’s throw away from Millstone 14.
Watch a Baseball Game at Brower Park
If you love baseball, you’d be hard-pressed to miss out visiting Brower Park.
It’s one of the town’s go-to baseball fields, so you can always catch a game here being played by the locals, whether casual or competitive.
Brower Park has nice seating and the lights are bright at night as well, so you’ll be comfy watching a match here.
It’s also conveniently located along Rockfish Road—not too far from the Main Street of Hope Mills.
A fun way to meet locals as well, give it a visit if you have spare time
Spend Some Quiet Time at Hope Mills Public Library
Hope Mills Public Library is a great escape if you want a respite during your trip.
It’s a gorgeous building that has a brick-laden facade, making it a cool photo souvenir to appreciate its aesthetic.
Inside, you’ll be greeted by friendly staff and librarians, and you’ll appreciate how clean and organized their space is.
Visiting Hope Mills Public Library is also easy, as it’s directly linked to the municipal park that’s a must-visit during your trip.
While it can get lively at times due to this proximity with the park, this is still an excellent place to work or have some peaceful alone time.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Visit the Lovely Cape Fear Botanical Garden
Cape Fear Botanical Garden is a new nature spot to go for some relaxing meditation or stroll.
Find it in Fayetteville, North Carolina, 16 minutes from Hope Mills.
Founded in 1989, this well-visited 80-acre destination sits between Cape Fear River and Cross Creek.
The garden hosts educational and public programs for all ages.
Children will surely grow their love for nature through hands-on activities, meeting live animals, and exploring the gardens.
There are guided tours for adults, therapeutic horticulture workshops, and birding day trips.
You’ll also learn to create a container garden or take a peek at the old 19thfarmhouse.
Likewise, you can join events in the garden like scavenger hunts, sunset picnics, and Tai Chi sessions.
Shop ‘Til You Drop at Cross Creek Mall
Creek Mall is one of the best shopping centers in the Fayetteville area. It’s 15 minutes away from Hope Mills.
Enjoy a wide range of brands for a complete shopping experience.
Get great deals from shops like JCPenney, Privei, Aèropostale, Reeds, and more.
Grab some tasty meals and food selections from restaurants like Rookies Express, Longhorn Steakhouse, and Wings Co.
Bring home souvenir items and gifts from specialty shops, and you might even catch a sale.
Take some break with your family, shop, and dine at Cross Creek Mall.
The small town of Hope Mills is an ideal family travel vacation spot where you can enjoy and relax.
There are family attractions in town and nearby areas for fun and recreation.
If you want to bond with friends or family, go to Hope Mills.
Whether you visit for the weekend or stay longer, check out the best things you can do in Hope Mills.
Start planning your Hope Mills trip today!