Bentonville is a beautiful town nestled in nature. Enjoy art all around the city, delicious food, and American history on display all around you when you escape to this city.
A Quick Guide to Bentonville, AR
Bentonville, Arkansas is probably most well-known as the place where Walmart got its start. However, there is so much more to this charming town, and it is constantly growing. It’s also great to know Sam Walton’s family continues to pour into this community with the likes of Crystal Bridges.
The hills of Northwest Arkansas are a natural haven and a beautiful home or getaway. I didn’t get to explore the city as much as I wanted to this time around, but I’ll be adding more to this as I visit NWA again.
Where to Stay
21c Museum Hotel
A museum and a hotel together all in one, 21c Museum Hotel – Bentonville is its own curated gem. You can explore an art collection on the main floor, and you’ll find art throughout the entire hotel. Each 21c Museum Hotel has its own collection of art on display. A place to rest (your room), 4′ penguins that move around all day long, and permanent art installations are all there.
The service provided by the 21c Museum Hotel staff parallels that of a Chic Fil A employee, except you get to experience it more often, so it is amplified. I almost never had to open the front doors of the hotel, and they were super helpful and knowledgable about the city and the immediate surrounding neighborhood.
PS – The hotel also has a restaurant, The Hive, which you can read about below.
PPS – While the hotel doesn’t have a pool, there is a splash pad right next door before you reach the trail that leads from the hotel to the museum.
Related: Stay nearby in Fayetteville, AR for vacation with these recommendations.
Where to Eat
If you don’t want to leave the 21c Museum Hotel (it’s so cozy, I wouldn’t blame you), you can dine at The Hive. You’re also welcome to dine there even if you aren’t a guest of the hotel.
Onyx Coffee Lab
On the Bentonville Square, you can get in the long line for a great cup of coffee or tea, and light bites at the Onyx Coffee Lab. I enjoy chai and quiche, and Greyson and I both enjoyed some macaroons there. I also got to taste some of their beautifully flavored coffee, and I was impressed (I’m not a coffee drinker)!
Eleven is the restaurant at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. While dining here, you get to enjoy the unique architecture of the museum. You also can experience local Arkansas cuisine. I tried the beans and cornbread to make sure it was authentic, and it was! I was so impressed. It reminded me of a meal that my grandparents would prepare, after someone would bring us pintos, and then we’d sit on the porch and shell them. Being apart of that process made the meal that much sweeter.
Where to Explore
Bentonville Farmers Market + Town Square
I’m a farmers market groupie haha! This was at the top of my list of things to do, and it did not disappoint. There were so many amazing vendors, and the square was so full of fresh produce and homemade items, that vendors overflowed to the side streets. There was music on almost every corner. Being at the Bentonville Farmers Market felt like home.
The Walmart Museum
We learned a lot more about the start of Walmart and where it all started when we visited the Walmart Museum. There was a lot of info packed in a few rooms, a cute little shop that looked like an original mom and pop store, and ice cream priced the way it would be back in the day when Walmart was founded! Greyson’s favorite part was a tiny shopping cart he got at the store.
Bike & Walking Trails
As with Crystal Bridges, the city of Bentonville is connected through a lot of trails (see the Bentonville trails and pathways map). They are beautiful, a lot of them are well shaded, and they are walker, jogger, and biker friendly. Kudos to them for making their city walkable in a time where walking/biking is nearly forgotten and made difficult, because travel caters to the automobile.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Crystal Bridges has brought millions of people to Bentonville to view the wonder that is the actual building, and the permanent collection of American art that is on display there. Read more about Crystal Bridges in my recent blog post all about their #SummeratCrystalBridges festivities.
I can’t wait to return to Bentonville so that I can learn, see, and do more. I’ll keep y’all update when I do.
Have you visited Arkansas or Bentonville before? Tell me your favorite Arkansas experience below!