A First Timer’s Guide to Downtown Bentonville

Situated in the breathtaking Ozark mountains, Bentonville, AR, is the South’s best-kept secret. This vibrant city blends history, culture, and unbridled creativity.

Here, world-class art and trailblazing entrepreneurs come together against a backdrop of natural beauty. Downtown Bentonville, the city’s heart, pulsates with the charm of a small town and the sophistication of a bustling city. Enjoy world-class eateries ranging from modern Latin to Italian, or take things slow with a cappuccino and a view over at Onyx Coffee.

Weekender Management is proud to infuse our local expertise and hospitality prowess into our Northwest Arkansas (NWA) vacation rentals. We’ll guide you through this hidden gem and reveal the unique experiences and local flavors that make Downtown Bentonville an unforgettable destination.

About Bentonville

Photo Credit: shuttersv

Downtown Bentonville is more than just a charming city center; it’s a canvas rich with historical hues within Benton County. Beginning as a humble trading post, it grew into a thriving epicenter, famously giving birth to the retail giant Walmart.

As you stroll through Main Street, tales of yesteryear whispered by every brick merge harmoniously with the fresh brushstrokes of modernity. Here, the past is celebrated, not overshadowed, creating a unique tapestry. Downtown Bentonville is a living, breathing chronicle of transformation and resilience.

Getting Around Bentonville

Navigating the city of Bentonville is a breeze for visitors. The city’s design favors pedestrians, with most attractions, restaurants, and shops conveniently clustered within walking distance. Stroll through the bustling streets, and you’ll find that each step reveals more of Bentonville’s charm and vibrancy.

Adding to the ease of your visit, Weekender Management’s array of vacation rentals are strategically located. These charming accommodations are just moments away from the downtown buzz, making them perfect bases from which to explore. Weekender Management provides a gateway to Downtown Bentonville’s best, all within easy reach.

Rideshares

Photo Credit: Tero Vesalainen

Should you wish to explore beyond the downtown core, rideshare services like Uber are also available, offering easy access to the wider Bentonville area and its surrounding natural beauty.

Airport

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For those flying into Northwest Arkansas, the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) is conveniently close, ensuring that your transition from the plane to the heart of Bentonville is smooth and swift.

What to Do in Bentonville

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Photo Credit: EQRoy

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Arts is a crown jewel in Downtown Bentonville, epitomizing the fusion of art and nature. Founded by philanthropist Alice Walton and designed by Safdie Architects, the museum opened in 2011 as a public non-profit organization​​​​​​. Nestled in a picturesque setting, Crystal Bridges captivates with its pavilions around two ponds, encompassing 217,000 square feet of galleries, a sculpture garden, and more​​.

The museum’s mission to celebrate the American spirit through art is evident in its diverse exhibitions, such as “State of the Art 2020,” which showcases a cross-section of contemporary artists​​. Crystal Bridges also fosters scholarship in American art and art history, enriching visitors’ understanding of art’s impact​​. Engaging activities like “Winter Break Wonders” make it an all-ages destination, offering art-making projects and interactive experiences​​.

The Walmart Museum

Photo Credit: EQRoy

Feel like catching up with the Walton family? The Walmart Museum in Downtown Bentonville offers a unique and interactive experience, reflecting the town’s significant history and corporate heritage.

Currently undergoing renovations until Spring 2024, the museum has introduced the Walmart Museum Heritage Lab. This innovative space features interactive touchscreens, holographic technology showcasing Sam Walton, and engaging exhibits like an interactive globe and a LEGO model of the original 5&10 store.

The Lab encourages visitor participation to shape the future museum experience. Additionally, the Spark Café, now mobile, serves sweet treats on Bentonville Square, while a replica of Sam Walton’s F-150 truck is displayed at the Northwest Arkansas National Airport XNA​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.

Bentonville Farmers Market

Photo Credit: Arina P Habich

Bentonville Farmers Market, a highlight of Downtown Bentonville, is a vibrant showcase of the local community’s spirit and creativity. Open every Saturday from April to October, this bustling market on Main Street offers a rich array of fresh, locally sourced produce, artisan foods, and handcrafted goods. It’s not just a place to shop but a cultural experience, complete with live music, special events, and high-quality vendors, making it a rapidly growing attraction in the area.

Sponsored by Downtown Bentonville Incorporated (DBI), the market is an embodiment of the city’s mission to create a festive and inclusive downtown environment. Here, you can indulge in various culinary delights at food trucks, discover unique arts and crafts, and immerse yourself in the local community’s warmth and hospitality​​​​​​​​.

Where to Eat in Bentonville

Bentonville has no shortage of great restaurants, from charming breakfast spots to relaxed diners and fine dining delights.

Table Mesa Bistro

Photo Credit: Natalia Hanin

Table Mesa Bistro is a culinary oasis offering an array of Mexican, Southwestern, Spanish, and international flavors. Ranked highly among Bentonville’s restaurants, this dining spot caters to a variety of dietary preferences, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Known for its eclectic men, ranging from savory tacos to exquisite moles, Table Mesa Bistro offers lunch, dinner, brunch, and drinks in a setting that blends casual elegance with vibrant flair. It’s a top pick for both special occasions and everyday dining, making it a standout choice in Bentonville’s diverse food scene.

The Hive at 21c Museum Hotel

Photo Credit: smspsy

Located in the heart of Downtown Bentonville within the award-winning 21c Museum Hotel, The Hive is a culinary masterpiece. Executive Chef Micah has dedicated himself to showcasing the unique culinary identity of Arkansas, with a focus on local purveyors and creative preparations.

This commitment to local sourcing is evident in their partnerships with numerous regional farms and businesses, including Bansley’s Berkshire Ridge Farm for Berkshire Hog Chops, Across The Creek Farm for exceptional poultry, and Villines Farm for fresh produce, among others​​​​.

The restaurant’s menu is a celebration of Arkansas’s culinary heritage, blending traditional Southern cooking with modern techniques, and is known for its vegetarian and vegan options. Perfect for special occasions, romantic dinners, large group gatherings, or even business meetings, The Hive offers a sophisticated yet approachable dining experience.

Pressroom

Photo Credit: Alexandralaw1977

The Pressroom in Downtown Bentonville is a culinary hotspot that blends contemporary charm with the warm, welcoming spirit of the South. This urban, modern eatery is more than just a place to eat; it’s where the community converges, a space buzzing with energy from locals and visitors alike.

Its innovative breakfast and brunch menu features standout dishes like the biscuit benedict and avocado sandwiches alongside classic favorites reimagined with a fresh twist.

The expansive patio enhances the lively atmosphere, offering an ideal setting for a relaxed yet sophisticated meal. With its high ratings and reputation for exceptional service and inventive cuisine, Pressroom stands as a beacon of modern dining in Bentonville, inviting you to indulge in a breakfast or brunch experience that’s as delightful as it is distinct.

Stay and Explore Bentonville

Dive into the heart of Downtown Bentonville and uncover a world where culture, cuisine, and charm blend seamlessly. With Weekender Management as your guide, you’ll discover all this vibrant city has to offer.

So, why wait? Your Bentonville adventure promises to be nothing short of extraordinary. And the best part? Your unforgettable journey into the soul of this charming city begins here.

Ready to visit Bentonville? Book your stay with Weekender Management now!

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