Anybody else have the travel bug? Before Bryce, Quinn and I would literally jump online book a place ticket and head out the next day for an adventure. We traveled all the time. Obviously, having a baby makes things a little different. It hasn’t stopped us from traveling but it’s made us rethink and evaluate the places we’re visiting a little more than before.
Living in Dallas all of our lives, we’ve visited most of the big cities in Texas and surrounding states so we’ve starting exploring more. Each little town has it’s charm and we’re looking for that. We want to discover new areas, explore and live the locals. Our latest adventure took us to Bentonville, Arkansas. In full disclosure, I have been there before but it was years ago and it’s boomed so much in the past few years. So much had changed that it was like I had never visited.
Bentonville, Arksansas is in Northwest Arkansas and only about 5 hours from the Dallas metroplex. We spent the weekend there and had such a good time exploring the city like a local. H
Hotels in Bentonville, Arkansas
We stayed at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton. I love these hotels because of the large amount of space in each room. When traveling with a toddler, being cooped up in a small room is tough so the more room he has to run and explore, the better. Nothing beats being greeted with chocolate chip cookies upon arrival. This hotel is perfect for families or groups who want a great priced room during your stay.
If you’re looking for a different type of hotel, check out 21C Museum Hotel. This hotel is upscale and doubles as a museum. They have exhibits that travel between their different properties so check and see which is currently at the hotel before booking. When we visited we walked through the exhibit “The Future is Female.” There were so many great pieces and conversation starters.
Restaurants in Bentonville, Arkansas
Although we were only there for a weekend, we were able to eat at some delicious restaurants in Bentonville. I’m sharing some of the places we went and some of the places that were highly recommended to us. We didn’t get to hit them all but we will have to go back and visit again to give them all a try.
For breakfast, I highly recommend stopping by The Hive located inside the 21c Museum Hotel. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner is served here. I also heard their bar was a hot spot to grab a drink too. The whole restaurant is decked out in honey combs and bees.
For breakfast, I stayed semi healthy with an egg white omelette that ended up being one of the best I’ve ever had. The omelette was stuffed with mushrooms, spinach and goat cheese and served with a biscuit.
The pancakes looked pretty amazing too. It was a toss up between the two.
If you’re looking for a more laid back breakfast, I suggest Onyx Coffee Lab located in downtown Bentonville. This coffee shop is really popular and the perfect place to grab an iced coffee and muffin before starting the day. They have a lot of seating options and also serve beer. So no matter what you’re in the mood for, they have it.
For lunch, I highly recommend Louise, a modern all-day cafe located in the Fieldhouse at Thaden Field – Bentonville’s Public Airport. We sat next to a window that is right next to the runway so we were able to watch planes fly in and out. Talk about such a cool experience. When we dined at Louise, I was a bit bummed because they were only serving their brunch menu but after tasting my avocado toast my mind changed instantly.
It was absolutely delicious. I’m not going to lie. I’m obsessed with avocados but I never jumped on the avocado toast trend so I wasn’t over the moon about ordering this. Once it arrived and I took my first bite, it became one of my very favorite meals of the whole weekend. The avocado toast had grilled halloumi cheese, tomato, everything seasoning, avocado, scrambled eggs and a side salad. If you visit Bentonville, do not skip Louise!
At Louise there is also a playground, a dock to fish from and other outdoor activities for the family. It’s a fun experience and the kids will love being able to see all the airplanes.
For dinner, there are so many options in Bentonville. We really enjoyed Tusk and Trotter, an American Brasserie, located just a block off the square. When we arrived, we were starving and couldn’t wait to indulge in the menu. Our waiter was extremely knowledgeable and so helpful when we were deciding on our main courses and what drinks to order.
I ordered a drink called “Bees Knees” that was made with honey infused Smithwork’s vodka and lemonade. It was such a simple drink that packed so much flavor. Definitely a drink worth trying to make at home, I’m so glad I discovered it!
For dinner I had the “Carnivore’s Dilemma,” a flatbread that was packed with meat. This flatbread had meatballs, sausage, pepperoni, roasted red peppers, onions, garlic, olive oil, arugula, gruyere, parmesan & mozzarella cheese served on a crispy artisanal crust. It was great and full of flavor. Don’t let the ‘flatbread’ title trick you, I couldn’t even finish half of it.
Things to do in Bentonville Arkansas
Now that we know where to stay and where to eat in Bentonville, let’s talk about some fun things to do during your visit.
The Walmart Museum was on the top of my list. Walmart’s headquarters are located in Bentonville and there is so much history to learn. I was surprised I loved the museum as much as I did. I went twice during my weekend visit! It’s completely free to go through and you go at your own pace. You could spend 15 minutes in there for a couple hours, it’s up to you.
Everything inside the museum is real with no replicas. My favorite part was watching how many stores popped up through the years and watching their revenue grow. It’s mind blowing and a great reminder that we all start small, we’ve just got to start!
At the end of the museum, you exit into the Spark Cafe Soda Fountain that is the perfect place to grab an ice cream. The Spark Café Soda Fountain is a tribute to Sam’s love of ice cream. We couldn’t pass by and not grab a banana split.
Another free option that you don’t want to miss it Crystal Bridges Museum. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art welcomes all to celebrate the power of art and architecture with the beauty of nature in Northwest Arkansas. Not only is this museum absolutely amazing and offers free entrance to everybody, the surroundings of nature are breathtaking.
Crystal Bridges Museum has a permanent collection that spans five centuries of American masterworks ranging from the colonial era to the current day. In addition to the galleries, the museum complex encompasses a Library, the Hands-on Experience Art Studio,, a glass-enclosed gathering hall for lectures, films, and other events, a Museum Store, a Restaurant, and areas for outdoor concerts and public events.
In addition, more than three miles of walking and biking trails through the museum’s 120-acre grounds, offer visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the beautiful Ozark landscape and enjoy sculptures, gardens, and interactive education areas. You could spend all day here exploring everything they have to offer.
One of our very favorite spots was the Amazeum, a non profit interactive children’s museum. We loved this space so much that we went two days in a row. Bryce was obsessed with Amazeum and I wished more cities offered this type of experience for little ones.
Inside the Amazeum were many different sections for kid’s to play, learn and explore. Whether they’re inside the Hershey Lab learning which type of chocolate is the fastest or climbing the large canopy climber that goes above most exhibits, their minds are constantly working and learning.
I love visiting these types of places and watching Bryce’s mind work and to see him problem solve. Not only could we have stayed there all day, if we let Bryce but the price to get in was only $9.50 for ages 2 and up. You can not beat that price for a day of play!
Music Scene in Bentonville
I was highly surprised to learn that Bentonville had such a large music community. It was neat to learn about all the resources they have in the city and how everybody works together to help each other out.
We stopped by Haxton Road Studios, a personal recording studio and took a look around. This studio had everything you would need to be successful in the music industry from content creation, production classes or if you need a studio to record your next song in.
One of the most unique places we visited was called the House of Songs. The House of Songs invites songwriters from around the world to share the universal language of music in collaborations designed to bridge cultures, build friendships and cultivate peace.
They currently have a house in Austin, TX and in Bentonville, AR. If you are a musician, I highly suggest looking more into what they’re doing and seeing how you all could work together.
Power of Music Festival
During my visit, I had the opportunity to attend the Power of Music Festival, an annual event where they provide lots of great live music and an abundance of knowledge to those who are in the industry, who want to be in the industry and even those have been in for years but want to learn more. While I am not in the music industry, I enjoyed listening to the sessions and learning from the great speakers they had.
I attended the Masterclass: “What it takes to MAKE IT in the Music Business” and was blown away by what was offered during the session including top speakers and music critiques where you could submit your music and have them critiqued by some of the best in the industry.
No matter where you are in your music career, I would suggest attending the Power of Music Festival and get a glimpse of how this community is pulling together to help everybody succeed in the industry by giving them all the tools that are needed.
Bentonville was the perfect weekend getaway from Dallas. It was an easy drive and had so many scenic views. We passed by a lot of national parks that would have been fun to stop at if we had more time.