During our travels, we like to figure out what each city has for an overarching theme. Bentonville, Arkansas has focused on creating an urban area filled with interactive opportunities. No matter your activity level, there is plenty to occupy your time during a visit. We were pleased to discover food and fun designed to appeal to a wide spectrum of tourists, as well as the locals. In this article, we will highlight some of the experiences we encountered during our visit. You can find more details in the individual articles we have already posted in our Bentonville category.
We want to thank Visit Bentonville and the local businesses for hosting our visit. Rest assured all opinions are our own.
Even though we travel without any younger members in our party, we still like to see what a city has in store for families. Bentonville is a city filled with all age groups, so they have seen the growth of businesses that are geared toward the young and young at heart. Our first stop in town landed us at the Scott Family Amazeum. This place may be designed to be appealing to the youngest group, but we had a blast exploring all of the interactive opportunities. If you are traveling with children, this is a great destination to allow them to burn off some excess energy.
Let’s Get Physical
Perhaps your family is into mountain biking. If that’s the case, then Bentonville will be a perfect match. They are the self-proclaimed “Mountain Biking Capital of America” and we believe the title is appropriate. Not only did we discover a myriad of trails and pathways through the city, but they also have created an entire park filled with biking challenges. The Coler Mountain Bike Preserve is designed to get participants off-road and into nature. While we chose not to do any biking, we didn’t feel left out. They have a pleasant paved path that leads through the park. A shady stroll was the perfect way to burn off some of the calories from our many delectable meals.
Speaking of fantastic feasts, we found lots of culinary options during our stay in Bentonville. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner choices ranged from casual to fine dining. At each one, we discovered friendly staff that helped guide us through the menus and offered some amazing suggestions. It’s safe to say that the restaurant scene in Bentonville is vibrant and eclectic. Whether you are looking to explore an art-filled space or just relaxing after a morning of mountain biking, there is something to fit the bill.
Once in a while, we happen upon a dining experience that is something completely new for us. During our research, we were in regular contact with the staff at Visit Bentonville. We find the local tourism bureaus are an excellent resource for trip planning. After all, they are living the local experiences every day. Our contact suggested a meal at an airport, which definitely captured our attention. Let’s face it, most airport meals are done out of necessity, instead of being a destination. When we visited Thaden Field, we were treated to a delicious breakfast served up in an exciting atmosphere. After all, how often do you get a chance to dine and watch small aircraft coming and going?
It is likely that you are aware that Bentonville is the home to Walmart. The Walton family has invested heavily into the city and helped bring in a ton of amenities. In the heart of the downtown, guests can make a visit to the original Walton’s Five & Dime. It was here that Sam Walton began down the path of creating the mega-business that we all recognize today. It wouldn’t be a real visit to Bentonville if it didn’t include a tour of this FREE attraction.
While Walmart has grown to be an example of a successful business plan, the Walton family has reinvested back into the city in a variety of ways. One that we really appreciate is the inclusion of art. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is another FREE attraction that offers visitors a chance for interactive opportunities. After touring the interior galleries, we headed outdoors to explore their many artwalks. We also discovered that they have a newer art installation, called The Momentary, which highlights traveling exhibits.
Facing the Past
For us, visiting new destinations requires learning some of the city’s history. Bentonville has some unique chances to do just that. One of our stops was at the Museum of Native American History. Here we had a chance to learn about the earliest residents of the area. This FREE attraction welcomes guests to learn about a wide range of Native Tribes who occupied or traveled through northwest Arkansas. If you plan a visit to this interesting site, be sure to set aside plenty of time to truly explore their exhibits.
Interactive Opportunities Abound
It’s always difficult to really capture the various experiences in one overview article. Bentonville is a city filled with interactive opportunities and we only scratched the surface during our visit. We know that a return trip will have to happen for us to gain more perspective about the variety found there. Our hope is that we offered up plenty of reasons for you to plan your own Bentonville vacation. No matter the age range of your group, we know you’ll find plenty to keep everyone occupied and satisfied. So with all that we did, tell us what we missed. We need to begin making a list for our next visit.