Crystal Bridges and Downtown Bentonville

If you’re in NW Arkansas, definitely add Crystal Bridges to your list of things to do!

As we drove down the long winding and wooded road, we noticed a spotted fawn grazing under a large tree.  So, as you can imagine after driving through this little forest, I was very surprised to find this gorgeous (and FREE) art museum waiting for us at the end of the road!

The Denver Post described it well:


The museum, which opened in November in Bentonville, Arkansas, boasts an impressive collection of American art, breathtaking architecture and an idyllic natural setting.  I started to sense that surprises were in store as we entered the museum’s 120-acre, heavily forested grounds, and drove down into a shady ravine.  The first sight at Crystal Bridges is of a large, striking stainless-steel tree sculpture, in front of a graceful but modest one-story entrance structure. The museum remains hidden below. Once you descend a few levels and step through a small plaza into the lobby, you begin to get a sense of the serene beauty of the place.  Above, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art encircles, crosses and juts out into ponds that are filled by a natural stream that passes through the ravine.  Bowed wood ceilings and rough granite floors meet large glass walls that overlook large pools of water bedded with stones and, my kids noticed, stocked with goldfish. The museum encircles, crosses and juts out into the ponds, which are filled by a natural stream that passes through the ravine. An eye-catching sculpture that looks something like a cartoon brain made of letters dominates the lobby, and seems to say “Relax and enjoy yourself.”


At the end of the museum was a really creative and interactive art room for the children!

Since Ruthie’s still permanently attached to my hip, I wasn’t able to get many pictures of the place.  Although I DO plan on going back (ALL… BY… MYSELF) soon for a photography event, a strong coffee and a headphone tour.  cb
But, THESE images (courtesy of Crystal Bridges) actually start to do this place a little justice…



After leaving Crystal Bridges, we stumbled upon one of my new, favorite places- Downtown Bentonville!

Fun stores…
Delicious and unique restaurants…
The (also FREE) Wal-Mart Museum...
A pretty fountain in the center of the square… that I could NOT seem to keep Ruthie’s lil’ head and face out of

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And Ross and Rayna’s FAVORITE Walton’s 5 & 10 store!
Where else can you buy all sorts of candy for only a nickel?!?!


…Or ride on a cool truck for a dime?!?!DSC_1043n

But, our FAVORITE part of Downtown Bentonville, HANDS-DOWN, is the 50’s style ice-cream parlor!

The atmosphere is SO fun!  (Bright… colorful… Andy Griffith shows playing on the t.v. and fun memorabilia on the walls!)
AWESOME coffee!
And SUPER YUMMY (and VERY reasonably priced) ice-cream!


If Ruthie could articulate well, she’d probably say something like:
“Hey, guys?   If these ice-creams are REALLY less than a buck a piece, how about ordering one for yourself next time instead of trying to bum a bite off me!”icecream
If you already love these places like me, I’d love to hear about any other gems that you’ve discovered!
If you haven’t yet been and are in NW Arkansas, head downtown for some pretty tasty ice-cream and coffee!

Thanks for catching-up with us! 
Check back soon!  

On of our next adventure MAY or MAY NOT ALSO include another trip to the ice-cream store and “First Friday“!

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