Heading to northwest Arkansas anytime soon? If not, you may want to book a trip there ASAP! Bentonville, Arkansas is not only the home of Walmart, but it’s a bustling little city full of plenty to do. Whether you want to eat and drink your way through town or you want to soak in the culture, there are all kinds of activities.
For the ultimate Bentonville, Arkansas, experience, below is your list of must-dos. Just try not to fill up too much at one place—you’ve got a lot of ground to cover!
What to do for the full Bentonville experience
1. Brunch at Oven & Tap
Because everybody loves brunch! Featuring a wood-fired oven and 16-beer tap wall—hence the name—this spot is located just off the downtown Bentonville square. Expect to eat dishes inspired by southern fare with hints of Italian flair.
2. Tour 8th St. Market
You can always get a taste of what a city or town is like when you peruse the local market. In Bentonville’s case, the 8th Street Market’s various vendors are begging for you to take a little tour.
3. Tour Brightwater
While you’re at the market, pop into Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food. Here, individuals, students, and professionals can receive world-class training in culinary nutrition, artisanal food, beverage management, or food entrepreneurship.
4. Chocolates at MarkHam & Fitz
Another market merchant, MarkHam & Fiz is the place to satisfy your sweet tooth. Grab chocolate in the form of a dessert of a drink at this sweetery.
5. Sip Frozen Whiskey and Coke at the Holler
Take a load off and enjoy some downtime at the Holler in the 8th St. Market. This local hangout spot serves a fabulous frozen whiskey you need to try!
6. Do the Walmart Museum
You can’t go to Walmart’s hometown without visiting the museum. Amiright!?. It’s free and self-guided, so tour at your leisure.
7. Dinner at Tusk & Trotter
Located a block off “The Square” in Downtown Bentonville, Tusk & Trotter features local produce when possible with a seasonal menu. Owner and Executive Chef, Rob Nelson has been recognized repeatedly as one of the region’s best—find out why with a meal at his restaurant.
8. Art Tour at the 21c Museum Hotel
The 21c Museum Hotel doubles as both a hotel and a museum, so don’t forget to soak in the arts when you visit Bentonville. Contemporary art is integrated into 12,000 square feet of exhibition space in this stylish hotel.
9. Drinks at The Hive inside 21c Museum Hotel
Cocktails and contemporary art? Yes, please! The drink list at The Hive rotates seasonally, offering a bevy of Bourbon and rye selections (paying homage to 21c Museum Hotels’ Kentucky roots).
10. Breakfast at The Hive inside 21c Museum Hotel
Just drinks isn’t enough at The Hive. Elevate your mornings with refined Arkansas fare prepared with local flavors in mind.
11. Tea at Onyx Coffee Lab
Though you can get a tap beer from a local brewery at Onyx, I suggest trying their tea! This cool spot in downtown Bentonville is a great place to sip tea and people-watch.
12. Tour the Museum of Native American History
How are you going to visit this piece of land without honoring those who inhabited it before downtown popped up? Learn more about state and U.S. history at the Museum of Native American History, where you can see an incredible collection of artifacts.
13. Brunch at Table Mesa
In the heart of the historic district, Table Mesa has a robust standard menu along with a brunch menu, covering the gamut of “modern Latin cuisine.” Expect to eat things like a kale & poblano salad and choose meats from the Latin butcher table for your south-of-the-border omelette.
14. Tour Crystal Bridges
Designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie, Crystal Bridges is a series of pavilions around spring-fed ponds. Here, where sculpture and walking trails link the Museum’s 120-acre park to downtown Bentonville, you’ll find a restaurant on a glass-enclosed bridge overlooking the ponds, a Museum Store, and a library full of more than 50,000 art reference books.
15. Visit the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright Bachman-Wilson House
House inspo, anyone? While you’re at Crystal Bridges, design lovers must check out the iconic Bachman-Wilson House built by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
16. Visit Amazeum
If you’ve got kids in tow, Amazeum needs to be on your Bentonville bucket list! This hands-on, interactive museum is fun for both kids and kids at heart.
17. Dinner at Preacher’s Son
Take me to church! In the structurally-restored Christian Church of Bentonville, Gothic architecture is at the forefront of Preacher’s Son, making it a stunning space in which to eat. As for the name? In 2015, Chef Matt Cooper, son of a Methodist preacher, became the executive chef of the restaurant.
18. Breakfast at Thaden Field
Bring your palate to new heights by dining on an airfield! Born in Bentonville in 1905, Louise Thaden was setting records in the air by 1928. She was the first woman to win a National Air Race and the first to take a Bendix Trophy. Thaden Field’s modern all-day cafe, LOUISE, is named in her honor, serving diner-style breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Pro tip: Sit facing the runway to watch planes take off as you dine!
There’s so much more to explore in Bentonville, Arkansas… But hey, you’ll never know unless you go! 😉
*This article is sponsored by Visit Bentonville. All travel accommodations were hosted, however all opinions are my own.