A friend of mine recently moved to Arkansas, so I decided to visit her. I realise Bentonville is probably not on the top of most people’s travel destinations, but I believe that with good company you can have fun anywhere. And… it’s the home of Walmart!!
I grabbed another friend and we road tripped from Texas to Arkansas. On the way, we stopped at Buc-ees… I love Buc-ees! It’s basically a gas station tourist attraction with food and goods, ranging from their own brand chocolate through to T-shirts, portable chairs and coolers. Their brisket sandwich is worth going back for. It’s a growing chain across Texas and a few other states.
We also drove through Oklahoma with beautiful lake and forest views.
We checked into our hotel, and first stop was dinner at Table at the Station, a cute independent restaurant with great service. I really enjoyed my ribs, they were delicious.
After dinner, we went to the main square in Bentonville with the original Walmart store, which is now a museum. Unfortunately there wasn’t online availability for tickets that weekend, otherwise they could have been booked here. To compensate, we made an effort to visit some of the regular Walmart stores that were dotted around the city.
In the evening, my friend had booked us tickets for a Prince tribute concert being held at the Meteor Guitar Gallery. This is a guitar shop by day and a concert hall by night, in a renovated old theatre. It has a lot of character and a great vibe. The live music was great, and many of the crowd came in their purple and/or glitter outfits in their own personal tribute to Prince. It was a great night out to welcome back some ‘post-covid normalcy’ (I know we’re not quite back to normal yet, but getting there!)
The following day, we visited Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. They had a number of exhibitions and I really enjoyed wandering around and absorbing the art.
In the evening, we headed to another great restaurant called Local Lime. This is fusion Mexican – I don’t know what it’s fused with but it was a great combination. The queso flameado with chorizo was full of flavour, as was the green chile stew and tortilla soup.
After dinner, we headed back towards Crystal Bridges Museum to check out the Buckyball. We’d seen this unlit from the parking lot by day, but it was mesmerising at night, lit up with pretty colours and patterns. The three of us sat at the wooden loungers and enjoyed the evening show. Other small groups also came and went, some with blankets. It was a lovely evening and a great way to unwind for the end of the weekend.
So, I had a great time in Bentonville. There was a lot to see and do, and I liked that everything was so nearby. A lot of places were only an 8-minute drive away! My friend who now lives there also grew up there, so she was able to point out how the city has changed and how the Walton family (owners of Walmart) have invested in developing the area. I’d be happy to go back – I still want to check out the Walmart museum!