Tour of Downtown Bentonville

Tour of Downtown Bentonville -

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Tour of Downtown Bentonville Get a look into the local art scene, shop downtown, learn about the history of Walmart, and enjoy some of the best food in NWA. If you park at Crystal Bridges and walk, the entire tour is an easy 2.5 mile walking round trip [map of the walking route]. 1. Drive just under an hour [directions] to start your tour at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art [free, open till 9pm]. Crystal Bridges explores the unfolding history of America by collecting and exhibiting outstanding works of art that illuminate our artistic heritage and enrich our understanding and appreciation of our nation and ourselves. The Museum’s distinctive architecture immerses visitors in the landscape, while three additional miles of nature trails encourage exploration and reflection. Continue to the Art Trail. 2. After exploring the museum, if you are up for it, walk 0.9 miles from Crystal Bridges towards downtown Bentonville along the Art Trail. It is a beautiful paved path through the woods. You will pass by the Lawrence Plaza Splash Park if you need a run through the jets to cool off. Or you can drive and park in downtown Bentonville. Continue to the Crepes Paulette. 3. After your walk, you may be in need of a snack. Stop by Crepes Paulette, a crepe truck on the corner by the splash park. The line can be long, but it is worth the wait. The La Tortue (the turtle) dessert crepe is delicious. Continue to 21c Museum. 4. The 21c Museum [free, open all day] is North America’s first museum devoted solely to art of the 21st century. It is a small museum, so it won’t take you long to take in the exhibits reflecting the global nature of art today. Continue to the Square. 5. From here, continue south on NE A Street for 2 blocks to the Square in Downtown Bentonville. Take in the shopping or just enjoy walking around the plaza. Continue to the Walmart Museum. 6. On the west side of the square is the Walmart Museum [free, open till 9pm]. You will start in the old 5&10 store, Sam Walton’s second store, where you can purchase salt water taffy, antique replica toys, and other gifts. Continue into the Walmart museum, where you can learn about Walmart’s history, explore Sam Walton’s office and truck. Continue to the Spark Café Soda Fountain. 7. At the end of the Walmart Museum is the Spark Café Soda Fountain where you can enjoy custom-made ice cream [only $0.99 for a scoop], sundaes, and floats. 8. If you need an extra boost of energy or a place to sit and relax for a while, walk to the NW side of the square [half a block west on 2nd Street] to Onyx for coffee [try the Onyx Delight]. Or if you are ready for something more substantial, stop at the Pressroom next door to Onyx for a hip atmosphere and seasonal American bistro fare. Or go across 2nd street to Flying Fish for fried catfish & hushpuppies or fish tacos. Table Mesa [on the square] is great for gourmet Mexican. You can also walk [one block south on A Street] to Tavola for family style Italian [we recommend the tavola crostini and lasagna] or Tusk & Trotter for a great burger. Finally, for a little more of a walk [2 blocks south on S. Main], stop at Oven & Tap for firewood pizza. The recommendation list could go on, but you can look up the other restaurants yourself in the downtown area [there are plenty]! 9. End your tour by walking back to Crystal Bridges [map]—the trail is lit and beautiful in the evening. *Also nearby is the Scott Family Amazeum [10am-5pm, $9.50], a great interactive museum for the whole family.