10.4.2018 – 10.5.2018 || Bentonville | Fayetteville| Arkansas
The one thing I highly recommend while in Bentonville is to forgo any hotel loyalty that you might have and stay at 21C Museum Hotel. It was hard for me to ignore the handful of Hilton properties in the area but 21c is the only hotel within walking distance of the the Bentonville downtown square, and it is a museum! Below are pictures of the Orange Tree and Making Change exhibits, both located directly outside of the hotel.
After checking into the hotel, we dined at The Hive restaurant on the ground level next to the lobby. We noticed green plastic penguins at various points throughout the hotel property, including several at The Hive. After sharing cotton candy with one to close out the meal we learned a little bit more about their significance. According to the 21c website, these 4-foot statues are limited edition sculptures to raise awareness of environmental issues and the use and misuse of natural resources by creating artworks with materials derived from petroleum products. You can purchase one for a mere $5,000! Yikes.
After dinner we walked into the main square to take a look around. Before there was Walmart, there was Walton’s five and dime store. The one in the Bentonville square was the second Walton store and is also home to the Walmart museum and a soda fountain ice cream shoppe. We planned to check it out the following day.
Bentonville is charming at night!
The next morning I went back to the square and grabbed coffee at Onyx Coffee Lab. It was a popular place and felt like everyone in town was there at the same time. With an iced coffee from the tap in hand we were off to Walmart’s HQ for a meeting.
After the meeting, we had six hours until our flight was scheduled to depart so we headed to the Crystal Bridges museum with plans to eat at their restaurant. It was rather crowded and very warm outside (high 80s) so we took a quick look around and decided to head back to the main square where we dined at Table Mesa (table table, anyone?!).
After lunch we headed to Walton’s five and dime and the Walmart museum. It is a great place to learn about the Walton family, check out a replica of Sam Walton’s office, repeatedly attempt an interactive experience until you nail it…
…and take a selfie with Sam Walton.
After all that fun we still had some time to kill before heading to the airport so we headed to Fayetteville, home of the University of Arkansas. The following day the University of Arkansas football team was scheduled to play Alabama so the town and surrounding area was starting to fill up with fans the closer it got to game day.
It was realllllly hot outside so we drove through campus but made sure to get out at the football stadium for a quick look around. Although Alabama smoked Arkansas the following day, it was pretty cool to watch part of the game after seeing an empty stadium the day before.
That’s a wrap for how I spent 24 hours in Arkansas and how I made the most of my 37th state visit. Now I’m off to figure out plans for visiting state number 38…
Where I stayed:
What I saw:
- Walton’s 5 & 10 – The Walmart Museum
- Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
- University of Arkansas
Where I ate:
- The Hive (at 21c Museum Hotel)
- Table Mesa
- Onyx Coffee Lab
Question: Have you been to Northwest Arkansas? What should I do next time?