For Fall Break this year, me and a couple friends road-tripped to the Bentonville and Fayetteville area. We had a loaded weekend with not a second of boredom. Southwest Arkansas is my favorite area of Arkansas (thus far). Better yet, all three of these treats are just down the road from one another!
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Below is the dining area and coffee shop that has the lovely heart on a string sculpture in the center. It wasn't until my trip to Paris in 2009 that I learned to truly appreciate art museums. Many are inexpensive or free at that. Each piece is more than just a 'picture'. It's always interesting being with a group and getting to compare perceptions of each exhibit.
Above is a picture of a 3D exhibit from one of my previous visits in May of 2015. It's made up of layer after layer of thin, glass-like material to create this three dimensional image that moves with you as your gaze changes around the piece.
Though I come back to Crystal Bridges and hate to find that my favorite exhibits are gone, it's awesome seeing the work rotated out so often. Every few months when I pay another visit, I can expect a whole new exhibition (especially in the modern art section, which is my favorite). In February of 2015 they a special exhibition of Van Gough's work that cost only $10 for the public to see.
The Walmart Museum
The Walmart Museum after Crystal Bridges. My expectations were greatly exceeded after touring this little stop. One of my friends suggested we go to It was a surprisingly short 15 minute walk down a trail that leads from Crystal Bridges into the Bentonville town square.
The museum features a souvenir shop that will take you back a few decades to the good ole' days. After walking through the shop, you're taken into the museum that introduces you to the Walton family, the store start-up, and funny stories about successes and failures that makes you fall in love with the Walton's and the company they started.
You can even grab some ice cream at the old-fashioned shop at the exit of the museum. I grabbed a grape soda on my way out.
21C Museum Hotels
I don't know that I would call myself a museum junkie but based on the connivence of all the museums in the area it's hard not to be. 21C is about a 100 yard walk from the Walton Museum and is a must-see.
You can grab a cocktail or a bite at the critically acclaimed restaurant, The Hive, or stay the night at the boutique hotel, but it comes with a bigger price-tag than I usually prefer. The image above is of the check-in and lobby area that I accidentally overexposed. The image turned out to be suprisingly pretty.
These are a couple of the many art exhibits featured at the museum. All of their art has a certain flair to it and it's all modern unlike Crystal Bridges that focuses on a much broader spectrum of art.
Whether you're wanting a family day-trip or you want to fill your time over this Christmas break, Bentonville has the works for an eventful weekend on a budget. All of these museums are of no cost to spectators and definitely worth your time. I've been to each of them on multiple occasions and it doesn't get old.
Until next time,