Looking Down the Road: What to do in Arkansas for One Day around Bentonville

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Crystal Bridges Museum Arkansas
Crsytal Bridges Museum, Arkansas. Photo licsenced via Creative Commons licence, taken from Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/44282411@N04/6819097192/

Looking for ideas about what to do in Arkansas for one day in the Bentonville area?  Maybe not.  I know that I wasn’t particularly looking for this information.  No offense intended towards anyone that resides in Arkansas, but I had no idea that there were actually some pretty cool things to see there!

Start your day by driving to the Crystal Bridges Museum.   This museum has one of the best collections of American art  in the country, easily rivaling more well known museums.  The museum is located in Bentonville, AR and was built by the Walton Family, which also happens to be the family that owns Walmart.

Located in a beautiful natural setting that includes many hiking and biking trails, this would be a great place to spend the morning learning about American art followed by a little hiking and a picnic lunch on the beautiful grounds (they also have a restaurant onsite, if you forgot to pick up a lunch).

Thorncrown Chapel Arkansas
Thorncrown Chapel, Arkansas. Licencsed via creative commons liscence and taken from Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheilascarborough/3857250006/

After lunch, drive towards Eureka Springs, AR.  Your destination here is the Thorncrown Chapel .  This awe inspiring space is the vision of Jim Reed, a native of Arkansas.  He bought the land with the intention of building a home on it to retire in, but the universe had other plans for his little piece of land.

The view was so pretty that people kept stopping there to enjoy the scenery and views of the Ozark mountains.  Jim was inspired to build a glass chapel here, that that is what he did.  425 windows and 6,000 square feet of glass went into building the woodland chapel which has reveiced over 6 million visitors.

The Chapel is located one hour outside of Bentonville in Eureka Springs.

Wind down your day with a visit to the Keels Creek Winery at  3185 E. Van Buren in Eureka Springs.  Tastings are available of their wines made in small batches from local grapes.

For a wild and unique place to stay in Eureka Springs, book in at the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.  The refuge is home to a variety of large cats that have been rescued from people’s homes and other living situations that were not ideal for them.

Guests at the refuge get the opportunity to see these big cats up close and gain a greater understanding of the plight of the many large cats that are unsuccessfully kept in people’s homes as pets.

Rooms go for $150 per night, but there are budget friendly options available.  RV sites are only $25 per night and campsites are a steal at $10 per night.  Safari, anyone?

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