Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Bentonville, AR

  • Published 2023/02/24

Bentonville is famous as the birthplace of Walmart after founder Sam Walton opened the store in the 1950s.

However, Bentonville has more than meets the eye.

This lovely city in Arkansas has a lot of exciting activities waiting for those who travel there.

This city doesn’t just host the world headquarters of Walmart, but it also features incredible parks, galleries, museums, and more.

Moreover, Bentonville boasts beautiful outdoor scenery featuring rugged and lush terrain, making it an excellent playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

In downtown Bentonville, you’ll look in awe at the 19th-century buildings that now serve as local businesses, serving locals and visitors.

This charming city in Arkansas offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, leisure, and lots of activities.

Here are the best things to do in Bentonville, AR:

Explore the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

The exterior of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

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Don’t forget to visit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.

This massive and incredible museum houses hundreds of American art masterpieces in its permanent collection.

A tall spider-like sculpture on the grounds of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

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This place is fascinating to visit, whether you’re an art lover or an average tourist.

Masterpieces from famous artists such as Asher Brown Durand, Gilbert Stuart, Wilson Peal, Norman Rockwell, and Thomas Hart Benton are housed in this art museum.

Interior of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

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In addition, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has rotating exhibits featuring upcoming artists from Arkansas and other parts of the country.

Overall, this art museum in Bentonville is an excellent place to start your travel adventure in this city.

Shapes sculpture on Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art's grounds

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Stretch Your Muscles at Orchards Park

Orchards Park is one of Bentonville’s community parks which offers a vast open space for outdoor recreation.

If you’re looking for a place to jog, hike or play sports in Bentonville, Orchards Park is an excellent place for these activities.

Like most community parks, Orchards Park is highly accessible to businesses in Bentonville since it is in the city’s downtown area.

In addition, Orchards Park is a fascinating place to visit since many local artists usually display their artworks there.

So, head to Orchards Park whenever you’re looking for a place in Bentonville to get active or relax.

Discover Walmart’s Fascinating History at the Walmart Museum

Exterior of the Walmart Museum

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Walmart, the retail giant that everybody loves, started in Bentonville back in the 1950s.

Sam Walton, the owner of this retail giant, opened the first Walmart store in Bentonville’s historic square.

Today, Walmart remains one of the world’s most successful retail brands, with more than 10,500 stores.

A vehicle parked in front of Walmart Museum

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To learn about Walmart’s remarkable history, step inside the Walmart Museum at North Main Street in Bentonville.

It houses all of the first store’s original furnishings and items dating back to the first days of Walmart.

One of the best features you shouldn’t miss at the Walmart Museum is the vintage-style cafe, the exhibits, and other relevant items.

Visiting the Walmart Museum makes you appreciate this retail giant’s humble beginnings and how it became prosperous through the years.

A plaque on the wall of Walmart Museum

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Book a Room at the Historic 21C Museum Hotel

If you’re planning to stay in Bentonville for a couple of nights, you should consider booking at the 21C Museum Hotel.

This unique hotel also serves as a contemporary art museum.

It has a remarkable 12,000 square feet of exhibit space, featuring astonishing sculptures, paintings, other artworks, and vintage items.

The museum of this hotel has no admission fee, so don’t miss spending an hour or two there.

Or perhaps, join one of its guided tours happening regularly.

Feel the Excitement at the Scott Family Amazeum

Vibrant exterior of Scott Family Amazeum

Rosemarie Mosteller /

For a wholesome and enjoyable experience with your loved ones, visit the Scott Family Amazeum.

Suppose you’re looking for an exciting experience during your tour to Bentonville.

This center is the best place to go.

The Scott Family Amazeum combines a playful and educational experience for everyone.

This attraction in Bentonville is known for its exciting interactive activities that take visitors to an educational experience.

The Scott Family Amazeum features various sections from science, arts, entertainment, and action.

Don’t miss out on its best features, such as the General Mills Lift, Hershey’s Laboratory, Nickelodeon Play Lab, etc.

There are also dozens of exciting activities scheduled throughout the year at the Scott Family Amazeum, so keep an eye on its calendar to catch a memorable show.

Visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Bachman-Wilson House

Clean cut grass surrounding Frank Lloyd Wright Bachman-Wilson House

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The Frank Lloyd Wright Bachman-Wilson House is a famous historical attraction in Bentonville.

This 1956 mid-century architectural marvel was initially constructed in New Jersey.

However, the city transferred it to Bentonville’s Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art due to a recurring flooding problem.

The house was slowly transferred to its new location in the late 1980s through Sharon and Lawrence Tarantino.

Exterior of Frank Lloyd Wright Bachman-Wilson House

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The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art then purchased this historic house in 2013, permanently standing on its premises.

Visiting this famous house in Bentonville offers everyone the chance to appreciate the unique artworks of Frank Lloyd Wright Bachman and his famous classic Usonian architecture.

The Usonian style, according to Bachman, refers to the United States of North America, which he named after his art style and architecture.

Self-guided tours and guided tours at the Frank Lloyd Wright Bachman-Wilson House are open for everyone who wants to discover this remarkable architectural artwork.

Plant bed beside Frank Lloyd Wright Bachman-Wilson House

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Grab a Refreshing Drink at the Bentonville Brewing Company

Bentonville Brewing Company is one of the favorite watering holes in the city.

It is famous for unique craft beer flavors, breaking traditional craft beer taste.

With that in mind, you should head to this brewery and taste its one-of-a-kind line of craft beers to refresh yourself after an entire day of exploring Bentonville.

One of the best reasons to spend an afternoon or evening at the Bentonville Brewing Company is its wide array of flavors and styles, highlighting its unique brand.

Besides tasting its unique craft beer flavors, don’t miss its guided tour, which takes you throughout the brewery.

Explore the Vast and Scenic Hobbs State Park

Sinking stream at Hobbs State Park

Doug Wertman from Rogers, AR, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hobbs State Park spans more than 12,000 acres, making it the most extensive state park in Arkansas.

Hobbs State Park is a charming place to explore, whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or a plain tourist.

It features more than 30 miles of multi-purpose trails, perfect for hiking, horseback riding, biking, and other outdoor activities.

In addition, it also features the famous Pigeon Roost Trail, an 8.5-mile trail known for its five primitive campsites, perfect for those who wish to spend the night in Hobbs State Park.

This massive state park has all the amenities of an excellent outdoor attraction.

It has picnic areas, a visitor’s center, classroom space, interactive exhibits, and a retail boutique; Hobbs State Park has it all.

Stroll through the Charming Bentonville Downtown Square

Buildings along Bentonville Downtown Square

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Bentonville Downtown Square is where most of the city’s businesses and attractions are.

This famous location is in the middle of the downtown area, near Main and Central Streets.

True to its name, Bentonville City Square teems with businesses, parks, trails, restaurants, museums, and retail.

Building clock of Bentonville Downtown Square

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Don’t miss this district when you’re in Bentonville.

Suppose you’re hungry and looking for a quick lunch, or perhaps you’re looking for a fine dining restaurant, Bentonville City Square has it all.

In addition, it also has most of the retail stores you’ll want to check out if you’re planning to shop for unique souvenirs.

Strolling through this famous location in Bentonville is an unforgettable experience, and it’s also the best place to visit to immerse yourself with the locals.

A sidewalk at Bentonville Downtown Square

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Check Out the Museum of Native American History

Exterior of the Museum of Native American History

Ethan.jarrett, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Arkansas was once one of the principal settlements of Native Americans in the northwest region.

One of the fascinating things to do in Bentonville is head to the Museum of Native American History.

This historical attraction in Bentonville aims to educate everyone about the remarkable local history of the city and its roots and ties with Native Americans.

Visiting this museum gives you a deeper insight into the Native Americans’ lives, particularly their daily routine, from hunting, gathering, cooking, and even their ways of migration.

Even if you’re not fascinated with history, you’ll surely enjoy and learn something new when you drop by the Museum of Native American History.

Don’t forget to browse through its exhibits which feature compelling artifacts of the Native Americans back in the day.

Appreciate the Tranquility of the Compton Gardens

Snow-covered sign of Compton Gardens

David Rickey /

The Compton Gardens is one of the most beautiful places in Bentonville that you shouldn’t miss visiting.

This beautiful outdoor attraction serves as Bentonville’s urban oasis.

It harbors vast greenery to explore with a peaceful atmosphere that relaxes your mind and body.

Most of Bentonville’s locals spend their time at Compton Gardens to shake off stress, meditate, or perhaps relax after a tiring day at work.

Meanwhile, families love to spend their weekend there to have a picnic and stroll through its beautiful gardens like the Ozark Horticulture and the Dr. Neil Compton Exhibit Room.

Likewise, Compton Gardens is in Bentonville’s downtown area, making it highly accessible and adjacent to the city’s businesses.

You can enjoy many exciting outdoor activities at this famous urban oasis in Bentonville.

Travel Back in Time at the Peel Mansion Museum & Heritage Gardens

Side view exterior of Peel Mansion Museum & Heritage Gardens

JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Peel Mansion Museum & Heritage Gardens is a charming historical attraction in Bentonville known for its elegant beauty.

This historical attraction consists of a restored 1800s house, a museum, and an elegant garden.

Historically, Peel Mansion was constructed by a retired colonel back in the day on the outskirts of Bentonville.

As the city grew, the mansion became part of Bentonville, witnessing its growth and progress over the years.

Today, the Peel Mansion Museum is a charming place featuring a magnificent garden teeming with exotic and local plant varieties.

Meanwhile, the tour inside the mansion lets you appreciate its elegant 18th-century architecture, antiquities, and garments, mostly from its original owners.

Learn to Play Guitar at the Meteor Guitar Gallery

Meteor Guitar Gallery is a historical attraction in Bentonville, featuring one-of-a-kind musical instruments.

Situated along W Central Ave, Meteor Guitar Gallery features vintage musical equipment housed in a century-old movie theater turned into a museum.

In addition, guided tours are available for those fascinated with its history and exhibits.

At the same time, you can buy one of its vintage musical equipment if you want a unique souvenir from your visit to Bentonville.

The entire museum features more than a thousand musical instruments and amplifiers.

Local artists also display their unique artworks, while regular musical shows and events usually happen at this museum.

Embrace Nature at Osage Park

A great blue heron at Osage Park

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Lastly, check out Osage Park along SW 16th St before returning home.

This community park is famous throughout Bentonville for its outdoor recreational adventure options.

A wild hibiscus flower at Osage Park

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Besides the usual park amenities, Osage Park is famous for its 12-acre wetland teeming with local wildlife, making it an excellent natural attraction to visit while you’re in Bentonville.

The park, which covers 55 acres, also features numerous sports facilities such as an archery range, a pickleball court, and a children’s playground.

Overall, Osage Park is a charming outdoor attraction in Bentonville, worthy of bringing your family for afternoon relaxation or a morning stroll.

A rabbit at Osage Park

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Explore the Slaughter Pen Hollow Trail

If you’re looking for an easy hike while exploring Bentonville, check out Slaughter Pen Hollow Trail.

It is a multi-purpose trail designed not only for hikers but also for bikers and horseback riders.

Locals in Bentonville love to return to this trail because of its features, making it an excellent place for off-road mountain biking at the Blowing Springs Mountain Bike trail system.

The trail features skinnies, log drops, and even a wallride, making it an exciting place to show off your mountain bike skills.

Slaughter Pen Hollow Trail spans 20 miles which takes you to various natural attractions in Bentonville.

It’s also where the yearly Slaughter Pen Jam, a famous bike event, happens.

View the Art Exhibitions at The Momentary

For a blend of entertainment and art, The Momentary always goes up and beyond in serving the community.

Opened in 2020, this contemporary arts center has a multitude of attractions for everyone to enjoy and view.

Its indoor amenities include art exhibitions, planned performances, and hand-crafted cocktails.

When you take the fun outside, there are outdoor art installations amidst the stunning green landscapes.

The center is also a satellite for the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

And best of all, it offers free admission!

The Momentary is on Southeast East Street.

Challenge Yourself with Bike Stunts at Coler Mountain Bike Preserve

A small waterfall at Coler Mountain Bike Preserve

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If you’re a biker or a nature enthusiast–or both, you might like Coler Mountain Bike Preserve.

This preserve features over 17 miles of biking trails, both paved and unpaved for mountain bikers and the like.

Its trails offer a diverse set of flows and flyovers for the most daring.

If you prefer to work your muscles and take in the scenery all around, there are walking trails, too.

The site also has a campground and a fascinating set of exercise stairs.

Get your bike gear ready for a ride of epic proportions at Coler Mountain Bike Preserve on Northwest Grove Lane.

Get Your Next Art Decor at Art on the Square

A different type of art quest awaits you at Art on the Square.

This downtown art gallery sheds a light on over a dozen Arkansas artists and creative thinkers.

It takes pride in its variety and diversity—in terms of art disciplines and mediums.

This is why you might find the gallery packed with art collectors and enthusiasts from all over the world.

Its events and art talks also allow visitors to take a closer look into the art process of every piece.

So, if you’re looking to fuel your creative spirit, this is the place to be.

You can find Art on the Square on East Central Avenue.

Trudge on the Crystal Bridges Nature and Art Trails

Crystal Bridges Nature and Art Trails offer a perfect blend of innovative art in the middle of charming landscapes.

Accompanying Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, these trails are attractions in and of themselves.

These trails run about 5 miles in total.

If you would like to go on an urban escapade, the Art Trail may be your best choice.

This trail features brilliant waterways and stunning sculptures on display.

North Forest Trail and Orchard Trail are both flower sanctuaries in their own right.

And there’s more for you to explore and admire.

You might even get to see Arkansas quartz crystals while on your route!

Crystal Bridges Nature and Art Trails are on Museum Way.

Practice Your Target Skills at The Quiver Archery Range

Cultivate the archer in you as you drop by The Quiver Archery Range.

This 70-meter outdoor archery center contains 20 lanes for visitors to practice in.

Certified archery instructors are onsite, ready to lend you a helping hand with your target and aim.

If you’ve got a team building event planned or a personal occasion coming up, this archery range may be the ideal event venue for your group, too!

To get to The Quiver Archery Range, just drive by Southwest F Street.

Final Thoughts

Bentonville may have gained its popularity because of Walmart, but this Arkansas city has a lot to offer to visitors.

Its vibrant suburban appeal draws not just new settlers but also travelers from around the country.

Having a quick weekend getaway with your travel buddies or family in Bentonville is genuinely worthwhile, especially if you visit the places and do the activities listed above.

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