Thursday, September 18, 2014

Exploring Bentonville

After visiting the Museum of Native American History, I still had a little time before check-in at my hotel, so I found a parking spot in the square of downtown Bentonville and did some wandering around. There are quite a few shops and restaurants within a block or two of this central park, which made it easy to explore on foot without getting lost. 

I was impressed by how many cute, unique little boutiques like this were around! Tons of fun, unique merchandise, and the prices weren't bad, either. 

I think this dressing room was mocking me. (Seriously considered buying this dress - it was on sale! But there was some major side-bra action happening, so I passed.)

Cute dressing room + outfit of the day. Yes, those jeans are way too big on me. 

Display in a different store. 

So, yeah... the Walmart museum is a thing that exists. (Walmart originated in Bentonville.) I only did a quick walk through out of curiosity, but it's fairly large. 

There was something incredibly charming about the way this group of men was gathered around Sam Walton's truck, chatting. 

That mid-afternoon slump was starting to hit, so I stopped in Press Room for an espresso. No idea why I didn't go for something more interesting. I mean, dude, I just looked at this menu photo again and saw that they have a Nutella latte. I might drive back to Arkansas just for that!

If you walk a few blocks outside of this little downtown district, there are some lovely old houses along the streets. 

My original plan was to check in at Simmons Suites, relax for an hour or so, grab some dinner, and then head over to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art  for about an hour before it closed at 6. 

However... I instead ended up running out to grab some fast food and curling up in my room to watch some MSNBC while watching this storm roll in. Plans change. After I had my fill of lounging around and the weather was a little better, I drove a few miles down to Rogers, AR to hit the shopping center there for some recreational browsing and necessary Target-ing. 

The next morning (in much better weather), I packed everything up and set off for the museum. I really wanted to take a selfie with the "Welcome to Crystal Bridges!" sign in the parking garage (and conveniently cut out the "bridges" part) but there were way too many people around. Instead, I photographed the awesome directional signs that point you towards the entrance.

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This is what you see driving up to the museum.

I didn't get any good photos inside, but it's a pretty huge place! Admission (and the audio tour) are free - yay! I'd really wanted to spend some time exploring the network of trails on the grounds, many of which are sprinkled with sculptures, but it was SO FREAKING HOT. Seriously, I think it was 96 or so? So I had to skip most of the exploring in favor of just doing about 1/4 of a mile on a paved trail that went conveniently in the direction of my car.

Behold my total inability to get both myself and nice scenery in the same photo.

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Best. Plant name. Ever.

I definitely need to go back in fall or spring when the weather is better for outdoorsy things! There are a TON of hiking trails and horseback riding places in the area, both of which are among my favorite things. Just need to figure out where to fit another trip into my schedule!

Coming up, I'll be sharing stories of the fun I had in Eureka Springs!


Paris Anderson said...

Sounds like a fun trip! Love that both museums had free admission. I'm pinning.

Storybook Apothecary said...

how cool! interesting that Walmart has it's own museum haha. who would have thought. that coffee shop sounds lovely!!

Khloé Gadson said...

Would totally love to visit.
I'm intrigued by the Walmart Museum.

Visiting from the SITS SHAREFEST!! 300 more to go... :)
Have a great Saturday.
Also, I have a very important link for you to share: PAY IT FORWARD: help someone in need.

Keep in Touch(ed),