Bentonville, Arkansas, a hidden gem in the heart of America, is brimming with unique attractions and activities. In 2024, this vibrant city will offer a blend of art, culture, and outdoor adventures.
Here are the top 10 fun things to do in this city, each promising an unforgettable experience.
1. Explore Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
With over 4,587 reviews, Crystal Bridges Museum is a must-visit. This architectural marvel houses a stunning collection of American art. Wander through its galleries, and don’t miss the outdoor sculptures and walking trails.
The museum’s architecture, designed by Moshe Safdie, blends seamlessly with the surrounding landscape, enhancing your experience. Inside, you’ll find works ranging from the Colonial era to contemporary pieces.
The museum also offers a variety of educational programs and workshops, making it a hub for art lovers and learners alike.
2. Relax at Peel Museum & Botanical Garden
This serene spot, with 168 reviews, is perfect for nature lovers. The Peel Museum offers a glimpse into local history, while the botanical garden provides a peaceful escape with its beautiful plant displays. The gardens are meticulously maintained, featuring native plants and seasonal blooms that captivate visitors.
Inside the museum, you’ll find fascinating exhibits detailing the region’s heritage. It’s an ideal place for a leisurely afternoon, whether you’re strolling through the gardens or exploring the historical collections.
3. Stroll Around Bentonville Town Square
Experience the heart of Bentonville at the Town Square. This charming area is great for shopping, dining, and soaking in the local atmosphere. It’s a lovely experience, as mentioned in many reviews. The square often hosts community events, including farmers’ markets and live music, adding to its vibrant ambiance.
The local shops offer unique souvenirs and artisanal products, perfect for those looking to take a piece of Bentonville home. Dining options range from cozy cafes to upscale restaurants, catering to all tastes.
4. Admire Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman-Wilson House
Architecture enthusiasts will love this. The Bachman-Wilson House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is a stunning example of his Usonian style. It’s a unique attraction not to be missed. This house exemplifies Wright’s philosophy of creating harmonious designs that unite architecture and nature.
Guided tours provide insight into Wright’s innovative design techniques. The house, originally located in New Jersey, was meticulously relocated to Bentonville, ensuring its preservation for future generations.
5. Adventure at Coler Mountain Bike Preserve
For outdoor enthusiasts, Coler Mountain Bike Preserve offers excellent biking and hiking trails. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there’s a trail for you in this natural haven. The preserve spans over 300 acres, offering trails with varying levels of difficulty and scenic beauty.
It’s also a venue for mountain biking events and races, attracting cyclists from all over. Besides biking, the preserve has picnic areas and spots for peaceful contemplation amidst nature.
6. Enjoy Family Fun at Scott Family Amazeum
This interactive museum is suitable for all ages. With hands-on exhibits and creative play areas, the Scott Family Amazeum promises a day full of learning and fun. The exhibits focus on science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM), making learning exciting and interactive.
The museum features a mini-town, water play areas, and climbing structures, ensuring endless entertainment for kids. Regular workshops and special events keep the experience fresh and engaging for repeat visitors.
7. Discover the Walmart Museum
Dive into the legacy of Sam Walton at the Walmart Museum. This tribute to Walmart’s founder offers insights into the retail giant’s history and impact. The museum includes Walton’s original five-and-dime store, preserving the humble beginnings of the world’s largest retailer.
Interactive exhibits and vintage memorabilia provide a comprehensive look at Walmart’s evolution. The museum also features a quaint old-fashioned ice cream parlor, offering a sweet treat after your tour.
8. See the Buckyball at Night
The Buckyball, a spectacular lighted art installation, is a sight to behold, especially at night. Its unique design and lighting make it a popular photo spot. Created by artist Leo Villareal, the Buckyball consists of two nested geodesic spheres illuminated with thousands of LED lights.
The lights are programmed to display mesmerizing patterns, creating a captivating visual experience. This installation is a favorite among both locals and tourists, symbolizing Bentonville’s commitment to public art.
9. Bike or Hike Slaughter Pen Hollow
The Slaughter Pen Hollow Multi-Use Trail System is renowned for its biking and hiking trails. It’s a great way to experience Bentonville’s natural beauty. The trail system connects to downtown Bentonville, making it easily accessible. It’s known for its well-maintained paths, suitable for riders and hikers of all skill levels.
The trails wind through picturesque forests and meadows, offering stunning views and a chance to spot local wildlife.
10. Splash at Lawrence Plaza Ice Rink and Splash Park
This family-friendly spot transforms from a splash park in summer to an ice rink in winter. It’s a perfect place to cool off or enjoy some ice skating. In the summer, kids can enjoy various water features and play areas, while parents relax in the shaded seating areas.
During the winter months, the ice rink becomes a magical place for skating under the twinkling lights. The plaza also hosts seasonal events and activities, making it a year-round destination for family fun.
What are the best times of year to visit Bentonville for outdoor activities?
The best times to visit this city for outdoor activities are during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to November). During these months, the weather is mild and ideal for hiking, biking, and exploring the natural beauty of the area. Summers can be quite warm, and winters, although mild, may have occasional cold snaps.
Are there any guided tours available at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art?
Yes, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art offers a variety of guided tours. These tours include general museum tours, focused art collection tours, and architecture tours. They provide deeper insights into the exhibits and the museum’s architecture. It’s recommended to check the museum’s website for the latest schedule and tour availability.
Can visitors rent bicycles at Coler Mountain Bike Preserve?
Yes, visitors can rent bicycles at Coler Mountain Bike Preserve. There are rental shops nearby that offer a range of bikes suitable for different skill levels and terrains. They also provide helmets and other safety gear. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during peak seasons.
Does the Scott Family Amazeum offer any special programs for children?
The Scott Family Amazeum offers a variety of special programs for children, including educational workshops, summer camps, and after-school programs. These programs are designed to engage children in hands-on learning experiences in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.
Are there any dining options available near Bentonville Town Square?
Yes, there are numerous dining options near Bentonville Town Square, ranging from casual cafes and bistros to fine dining restaurants. The area is known for its diverse culinary scene, offering everything from traditional American cuisine to international flavors. Many restaurants also feature locally sourced ingredients.
Is there an admission fee for the Peel Museum & Botanical Garden?
The Peel Museum & Botanical Garden typically has an admission fee, but it offers free admission on certain days and events throughout the year. It’s best to check their official website or contact them directly for the most current admission information and any special offers.
Bentonville, AR, is a city full of surprises, offering a variety of activities for every type of traveler. From art and history to outdoor adventures, Bentonville in 2024 is a destination that promises fun, learning, and unforgettable memories.
So pack your bags and get ready to explore the wonders of this city!