A unique and dynamic destination, Bentonville is the cultural heart of Northwest Arkansas and also the hub for some of the region’s most memorable activities – especially ones on two wheels.
That’s because Bentonville reigns as the Mountain Biking Capital of the World and boasts an unrivaled network of trails weaving through the forests, streams and rocky bluffs of the Ozark Mountains. Riders can bring their own bikes or rent rides (and helmets) from several downtown shops. Within one block of downtown’s City Square, riders will find themselves on the perfect piece of single-track, whether they’re an experienced rock-hopper or someone looking for a relaxing ride. A five-minute ride from downtown, the Coler Mountain Bike Preserve gets the adrenaline pumping with jumps, drops, and man-made obstacles in the world’s only mountain bike preserve.
Slow things down with a visit to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, among Bentonville’s most iconic cultural institutions. The museum is a work of art itself, a strikingly beautiful architectural gem tucked in a natural ravine and surrounded by spring-fed pools and miles of trails through stands of native forests and botanical gardens. Inside, the collection covers 200 years of American art and includes masterpieces by legendary artists Thomas Hart Benton, Normal Rockwell, Andy Warhol, and Georgia O’Keefe. Outside, visitors can experience works by world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly and sculptor Robert Indiana’s immediately recognizable LOVE sculpture.
Bentonville’s cultural cred extends to its love of live music. The city is home to one of three locations (the other two are Austin and New York City) for the House of Songs, a nonprofit that brings together musicians from all over the world to share their talents and inspirations. Numerous venues from the Crystal Bridges Museum and the state-of-the-art Haxton Road Studios to the Walton family’s original five-and-dime and the Historic Downtown Meteor Guitar Gallery host live music during the week. Music lovers will also find plenty to love at the annual two-day Fresh Grass Festival celebrating bluegrass and progress roots music each May as well as at the newly formed FORMAT Festival which celebrates, each September, the unification of live music with visual and performing arts.
Bentonville feeds visitors’ bodies as well as their souls with a cavalcade of culinary choices featuring seasonal favorites envisioned by Bentonville’s most amazing chefs. In downtown alone, you’ll find dozens of places to take your taste buds on their own expedition – from classic American cuisine to Asian, Italian, Latin American and beyond. And, because this is the South, visitors will find plenty of barbecue to choose from. Anyone looking for food on the go need look no farther than one of Bentonville’s nearly three dozen food trucks that pop up at concerts, festivals and street corners at lunch time. Craft beer lovers will find plenty to enjoy as well in Bentonville’s brewery scene, which is replete with ales, lagers, stouts to wet the whistle after both a bike ride and a day pondering great art. After hours, several popular bars keep Bentonville buzzing with live music and livelier nightlife.
Packed with possibilities, Bentonville gives visitors the very best that Northwest Arkansas has to offer!
For more information on visiting Bentonville, head to www.visitbentonville.com.