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Mountain Bike Capital of the World

Unlike the trails in some other mountain biking destinations, Bentonville’s trails are rideable year-round thanks to the city’s moderate climate. Rent a bike from a local shop or hop on your own and tackle the 225-plus kilometers of bike trails in a network that extends into the entire region. Coler Mountain Bike Preserve, about 2 kilometers west of downtown, is home to 27 kilometers of well-maintained trails in two areas – one for beginning and intermediate riders, and another for advanced and expert riders. The preserve also features a campground and cafe.

The Slaughter Pen trails cater to beginning and intermediate riders with a mix of single-track and paved surfaces, as well as a jump park that incorporates both natural and manmade obstacles in forested surroundings. These trails link to the Blowing Springs Loop Trail, which varies from fast and flowy to rocky and difficult, with more technical sections on alternate paths off the main trails. The nearby Bella Vista Back 40 Loop features 34 kilometers of single track through limestone rock gardens, lake views and pine tree groves.

 

Outdoor Adventure Hub

Beyond mountain biking, you’ll find plenty of other opportunities for outdoor adventure in Bentonville. Home to the Bentonville Municipal Airport, Thaden Field is where backcountry aviation blends with public park. Enjoy a sightseeing flight or take a flying lesson, or rent a canoe and explore Lake Bentonville. Afterward, dine on authentic comfort foods like meatloaf or chicken fried steak while you watch small planes taking off and landing at on-site, all-day cafe Louise.

Right in downtown, Compton Gardens is a conference center set on 4.5 hectares of native forest laced with walking trails and sculptures. Learn about local plants as you wander along the scenic paths, which connect to the Crystal Bridges network of trails and lead to the grounds of the famous museum.

 

World-class Bentonville Museums

With artwork representing the colonial era to the present, the world-class Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art houses a permanent collection with works by Norman Rockwell, John Singer Sargent, Georgia O’Keeffe and Andy Warhol, among others. The dramatic Moshe Safdie-designed museum shares its sprawling grounds with the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Bachman-Wilson House, as well as a network of forest trails, sculpture gardens and waterside pavilions. The museum’s satellite facility, the Momentary, focuses on visual and performing arts, culinary experiences, festivals and hosting artists-in-residence. Both museums offer free admission. In addition to these collections, Bentonville is home to more than 100 pieces of public art scattered across the city. Check out the online map and start exploring.

Another free museum, The Museum of Native American History invites visitors to take a 14,000-year journey through America’s past, from the early paleo period through the pre-Columbian period, weaving the past and present together to educate future generations about the diversity of cultures of the First People. The museum houses over 10,000 Native American artifacts.

The Walmart Museum celebrates the history of the retail giant and its founder, Sam Walton, in the chain’s original five-and-dime store on the town square. An interactive children’s museum, the Scott Family Amazeum features hands-on activities that incorporate science, technology, engineering and art.

Fun Fact

Outside the original Walton’s 5&10 in Bentonville, Arkansas
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The first Walmart (named Walton’s 5&10) opened in 1950 on Bentonville’s Main Street; today, it’s home to the Walmart Museum, which sells old-time toys and souvenirs and houses an ice cream counter.

View of Thaden Field, Bentonville’s airport and also a community gathering place, named for Louise McPhetridge Thaden
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Bentonville was the birthplace and hometown of aviation pioneer Louise McPhetridge Thaden. Among her flying records, in 1936, Thaden became the first female pilot to win the Bendix Trophy Race, a point-to-point transcontinental aeronautical race.

Turquoise Reeds and Ozark Fiori by Dale Chihuly at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas
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In 2019, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art acquired five pieces from its 2017 exhibition, Chihuly: In the Gallery + In the Forest. The artworks, created by Dale Chihuly, are installed throughout the museum and grounds, including "Turquoise Reeds and Ozark Fiori."

Exterior of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas
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