12 Best Things to Do in Bentonville, AR

Whether you are a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or something in between, Bentonville is the perfect place for your next big adventure.

Bentonville is the hidden gem that keeps on giving. Tucked away in the corner of Northwest Arkansas and just a day trip away from iconic locations like the Lake of the Ozarks, you’ll fall in love with this special destination. Before you go, find somewhere you won’t mind hunkering down for the week, like a Weekender Management upscale milk barn or a chic townhome with a pool, and get to exploring!

1. Explore Downtown Bentonville

Photo Credit: shuttersv

One of the best things to do when visiting a new place is explore the downtown area; Bentonville is no exception! With plenty of charming shops, tasty restaurants, beautiful street art, and more, you can spend an entire day in this cozy section of Bentonville alone.

Don’t forget to check out Bentonville Town Square to experience the heart of the city and participate in some prime people-watching!

2. Check Out the Walmart Museum

Photo Credit: RozenskiP

Referred to as a “Labor of Love” by Walmart founder Sam Walton, the Walmart Museum is not your average attraction. This story of struggle and perseverance led to one of the most successful businesses in the country. Walk through the life of the Walton family and build a personal connection to his iconic franchise. Then, when you are finished, swing by the Spark Cafe for a surprisingly delicious meal.

One of the best parts? The museum is free of charge!

3. Eat at The Preacher’s Son

Located within a historic church that has been beautifully renovated, a visit to the Preacher’s Son is an experience before you even taste the award-winning food.

Whether you are celebrating a big event or simply treating yourself to a nice meal, you can’t go wrong in the hands of Executive Chef Neal Gray. The seasonal menu is thoughtfully curated, and every item will make your mouth water. Just make sure to save room for dessert!

4. Go Mountain Biking

Photo Credit: Tara Kenny

There is no shortage of bike trails in Bentonville. Are you looking for a relaxed ride? Or maybe a heart-pounding adventure? Well, this one-of-a-kind city has got you covered!

Slaughter Pen Trails

Hop on your mountain bike and get ready to experience one of America’s best bike trail systems! With branch-off trails ranging from beginner to extreme, there is something for everyone to enjoy with Slaughter Pen Trails.

Coler Mountain Bike Preserve

A piece of wilderness just two miles outside of Downtown Bentonville, the Coler Mountain Bike Preserve is the place for bikers who prefer to be immersed in nature. This is a true mountain biking experience with rocky terrain and various jumps. Many of these are multi-use trails, so keep your eyes out for pedestrians!

Blowing Springs Park

Ranging from paved greenway to rugged terrain, Blowing Springs Park is a great choice for all experience levels. Ride past waterfalls, over bridges, and explore the picturesque arboretum.

5. Walk the Gardens

With so many things to do, it’s easy to find yourself rushing from one thing to another. Remember to take time to just slow down and enjoy the moment. Exploring one of the many gardens is a great way to do so!

Compton Gardens and Arboretum

Named to honor Arkansas preservationist Neil Compton, the Compton Gardens is a six-acre oasis. Walk amongst a native botanical garden and enjoy local art as you go. Stop by the Neil Compton Exhibit Room to learn about his fight to save the Buffalo River. Hop on your bike and go for a ride. The opportunities are endless – plus, it’s free!

The Peel Museum and Botanical Gardens

Take a self-guided tour of the museum and get a peek at what it was like to live in Bentonville during the late 1800s. Then, take a scenic stroll to one of the seven gardens.

6. Check Out All the Art Galleries

Photo Credit: EQRoy

When it comes to art, Bentonville is a gold mine. With so many art galleries to choose from, you can easily dedicate your entire trip to appreciating local and world-class art. Dip your foot in or dive off the deep end; the choice is yours!

Established back in 1966, Wishing Springs is all about local art. This Bella Vista gallery is founded by the Artisan Alliance and has many of outstanding pieces that are available for purchase. Take home a special souvenir and support the local art scholarship program in the process!

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is the furthest thing from your typical contemporary art museum. Sporting a fine permanent collection, various rotating exhibitions, the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman-Wilson House from New Jersey, and countless hiking trails, a day isn’t enough to admire all this unique place has to offer!

The Momentary

Everything about this place screams creative energy. Once a cheese factory, this artistic hub has been transformed into all things art. From live performances to culinary experiences to local artists showing off their work and more, the Momentary is all about expressing yourself. Stop in for free to get a taste of what Bentonville is all about!

7. Go for a Scenic Hike

Photo Credit: Granger Meador via Flickr CC 2.0

Aside from the picturesque trails previously mentioned at places like Compton Gardens, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the Coler Mountain Bike Preserve, the list of hiking trails in Bentonville continues. Surrounded by natural beauty, you can’t go wrong with any of the many hiking trails around this nature-focused city.

Hobbs State Park

Known as the largest state park in Arkansas, it is no surprise that Hobbs State Park has an impressive 54-mile trail system. Stretching out over 12,000 acres, there are plenty of highlights like Beaver Lake, the historic home of Peter Van Winkle, the Ozark Plateau, and more.

Razorback Greenway

With a paved trail spanning more than 40 miles, the Razorback Greenway is a trail for everyone. Bikers, runners, hikers, dog walkers, and people seeking ADA accessibility can all enjoy this greenway. The trail may not be challenging, but it’s a great way to experience Bentonville.

8. Get Hands On at the Scott Family Amazeum

Photo Credit: Rosemarie Mosteller

At first glance, the Scott Family Amazeum may look like your typical children’s museum, but there is something here for all ages to enjoy. The exhibits offer a hands-on way to learn about natural sciences, and various play-hubs will keep the kids busy while you experience this science museum for yourself.

Not traveling with the kids? Check out the museum’s Adult Nights event and discover your inner child!

9. Skate or Splash Around Lawrence Plaza

Photo Credit: rocesbeat via Flickr CC 2.0

The Lawrence Plaza Ice Rink and Splash Park offer year-round fun! Visit during the winter months to skate around the 7,000-square-foot arena. It only costs $7 per skate session, and this includes the cost of ski rentals. The plaza even offers ice skating lessons!

Or stop by to cool off during your summer visit when the ice-skating rink is transformed into a splash park for all ages.

10. Brewery Hop

With nearly a dozen breweries within and around Bentonville, this fun-loving city has become a mecca for craft beer. Hop from one local brewery to another as you sample a variety of seasonal drafts and enjoy class pub bites.

Bentonville Brewing Company

  • Address: 901 SW 14th St, Bentonville, AR
  • Website: Bentonville Brewing
  • Favorite Item: Trailhead Lager (5% ABV)

With a focus on small-batch brewing and using locally sourced ingredients, Bentonville Brewing Company offers a diverse range of beers to cater to different tastes. The brewery takes pride in its commitment to quality and innovation with skilled brewers who experiment with different styles and flavors. Whether you’re a fan of IPAs, stouts, or lagers, you’ll find a beer that suits your preferences at Bentonville Brewing Company.

Bike Rack Brewing

  • Address: 410 SW A St, Bentonville, AR
  • Website: Bike Rack Brewing Co
  • Favorite Item: Slaughter Pen IPA (6.3% ABV)

The brewery has two locations in Bentonville. The original location is on SE 8th Street, while the second location is at 8th Street Market. Both locations provide a welcoming atmosphere for beer enthusiasts to enjoy their handcrafted brews. In addition to its taprooms, Bike Rack Brewing also distributes its beer to various bars and restaurants in the area!

Hawk Moth Brewing

Hawk Moth Brewing is a small-batch brewery with a mission to craft old-world beer styles with a modern twist. The focus on barrel aging and blending – a must try for brew enthusiasts!

11. Shop the Markets

With so many memory-making opportunities, you are bound to want a souvenir to bring home that will remind you of all the fun you had in Bentonville. There is a market for that! Bentonville markets have everything ranging from unique crafts to local cuisine and anything in between!

Bentonville Farmers Market

Between the months of April and October, Bentonville Square is the place to be on a Saturday morning. With more than 50 local farmers, the market offers a wide range of goods, including produce, meats, flowers, handmade crafts, and artisan goods. The market also hosts special events, so check their calendar!

8th Street Market

This local food hub supports small-town farmers, and a variety of food trucks let you dabble in a variety of fresh cuisine! Plus, with a daily operation and extended hours, there is never a bad time to check out the 8th Street Market.

12. Go Bird Watching at Osage Park

Photo Credit: ChrisDavidson Photography
  • Address: 700 SW 16th St, Bentonville, AR
  • Website: Osage Park

Like most places in Bentonville, Osage Park offers a multi-use experience. Let your furry friends run free in the 2-acre dog park, try your hand at archery at the Quiver Archery Range, or look for wildlife along the Wetland Boardwalk.

While all of these options will make for an exciting afternoon, Osage Park is known for its bird watching. Walk amongst the 12-acre wetland with a bird guide in hand and keep your eyes peeled for the Van Dams (the newly named beaver family!).

Stay and Play in Bentonville

With so many things to do and a great hub for day trips to places like the quirky city of Eureka Springs and the charming town of Little Rock, Bentonville is the perfect destination for your next adventure! Just don’t be surprised when you find yourself returning here year after year. Between the countless activities and the breathtaking places to rest your head, Bentonville will surely become your next best tradition!

Book your Weekender vacation home today!