Explore energetic and booming Bentonville, the very heart of Northwest Arkansas and the headquarters for the big box giant, Walmart. Bentonville has much to offer its visitors as well as members of the community. As examples, Bentonville’s museums include breathtaking Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and its spectacular grounds and scenic trails; top-rated restaurants with award-winning chefs who daily create some of the best food in the world; accommodations to suit every budget including the new 21c Bentonville Museum Hotel (#1 Rated Hot New Hotel in the U.S.). And yes, here in Bentonville in the scenic Ozark Mountains, you can shop exclusive specialty shops and trend setting boutiques the likes of which are usually only seen in large cities like NYC, Chicago and LA. While visiting, don’t miss:
* The Walmart Visitors Center Museum – housed in an original store front interactive setting. Experience the history of Walmart and its founding family including Sam, Helen and Bud Walton. It’s located right on Bentonville’s historical downtown square where you can visit the Saturday farmer’s market, dine at one of the award winning restaurants, relax amid a scenic atmosphere of yester year and catch one of the many special events offered on the Bentonville Downtown Square.
* Wal-Mart Headquarters – Any company that wants to sell products via Wal-Mart /Sam’s Wholesale must meet with officials in Bentonville at their home office.
* Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art – a world-class, awe-inspiring museum nestled in the stunning natural beauty of the hills, trails and streams of the Ozarks. All are welcome to experience the ongoing story of America as told through the works of her beloved artists. The museum is engaged in collecting and exhibiting outstanding art that spotlights our evolving American heritage. Due to the generosity of Walmart, General Admission is free.
* 21C Museum Hotel – Within a short walk to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and on the northeast corner of the Bentonville downtown square is the beautiful 21c Museum Hotel. Visitors and local citizens alike can enjoy rotating exhibits, participate in ongoing programs and experience culinary creations to tempt your taste buds.
* First Friday – held on the first Friday of the month from March through November. It’s an event the whole community and its visitors can enjoy. On First Friday’s the square turns into a huge block party including gallery openings, terrific food, live music and all sorts of activities for the kids.
* The Museum of Native American History – a family friendly handicap accessible experience which has an enormous collection of historic Native American artifacts including photographs, weapons, headdresses, clothing, pottery, and arrowheads.
* Peel Mansion and Historic Gardens – built in 1875 by Colonel Samuel West Peel for his new bride. He and his wife eventually raised nine children at the farmstead of 180 acres. The home has been painstakingly restored to its original early Victorian condition. Ask the docent about how food was stored. The tour of the home is very interesting and gives an accurate picture of what life would have been like back then.
If you would like a guide that covers ALL The Cities of Northwest Arkansas, be sure an check out the NWA Travel Guide (Includes Bentonville, Eureka Springs, Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale, Siloam Springs) available via Kindle and Paperback.