Did you know that Bentonville is the 10th largest city in Arkansas? In 2009, Bentonville was ranked #13 on the Top 25 Most Uniquely American Cities and Towns by Newsmax magazine. The next time you are in the Northwest Arkansas area, be sure to make time to visit these 7 things to do in Bentonville, AR. Museums, hiking and biking trails and the home of Walmart are just a few of the great attractions.
The Walmart Museum, located on Main Street Bentonville, is a must-see on a trip to Bentonville. In 1950, Sam Walton opened his 5 & 10 store in the Bentonville town square. This is now the location of the Walmart Museum. Visitors will find a 5 & 10 store complete with original floor tiles and tin ceilings, an interactive exhibit gallery and The Spark Café Soda Fountain. You will feel as if you have stepped back into the 50’s with old toys, candy and books for sale, ice cream floats at the soda fountain and a collection of exhibits that show how Walmart came about. The museum is open 7 days a week and admission is free!
The Crystal Bridges Museum of Art makes a great spot for your next trip to Bentonville. The museum of American art is founded by Alice Walton and officially opened in 2011. Admission to the museum is free and is sponsored by Walmart. Permanent exhibits include Colonial and contemporary work. For a personal tour, audio can be downloaded to your device so you can tour the exhibits at your own pace. In addition to the amazing art, the grounds of Crystal Bridges Museum have more than 3.5 miles of trails. The trails include outdoor sculptures, an amphitheater, the Crystal Spring for which the museum is named and an overlook area. The museum is open 6 days a week and closed on Tuesdays. The trails are open from sunrise to sunset.
Another great attraction in Bentonville at Crystal Bridges is the beautiful light show put on by the Buckyball. The Buckyball is an outdoor structure composed of two geometric spheres that is covered in LED tubes. It is illuminated from 10:00am to 10:00pm every day. There are benches surrounding the ball making it a perfect place to stop and enjoy the ever changing light show.
Another wonderful and free attraction in Bentonville is the Museum of Native American History. The museum is located on SW O Street and is open from 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Saturday. Visitors will be able to see artifacts from five different time periods. Examples of items that will be seen at the museum include Head Pots, ceramics, Sloan Daltons points and Gunther points just to name a few. Audio wands are provided for guests to tour the museum in any order at their own pace.
Fine antiques and a lush garden filled with native plants can all be found at The Peel Mansion Museum and Heritage Gardens. Colonel Samuel West Peel built the mansion in Bentonville in 1875. At the time, the mansion was on 180 acres of working apple orchards. From March through mid-December, guests are invited to tour the property, Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Tours take place every hour and are $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for children 6-12 years old.
Compton Gardens in Bentonville is a public park with 6.5 acres of lush gardens and walking trails. Named after Dr. Neil Compton, Compton Gardens is open daily to the public free of charge. There is also a conference center on site available to rent for private events.
Slaughter Pen Hollow Trails is home to 20 miles of singletrack trails to support active riders in Bentonville. Beginners will enjoy the soft surface of the All American Trail. The Mountain Bike trail is a 16 mile trail with a free-ride area for tricks. Slaughter Pen Hollow trails are great for trail running and hiking in addition to cycling.
Just a short drive from Bentonville is the town of Eureka Springs. Check out a stay at Arsenic and Old Lace on your next trip. This charming five bedroom bed and breakfast is the perfect spot for a restful and relaxing night’s sleep.
Photo courtesy of aquiamigo