Who would've thought that Bentonville Arkansas would be such a lovely destination. The early Spring weekend we spent there was one of the most interesting and yet relaxing in a long time. We stayed at the 21C Museum Hotel in downtown Bentonville, just a block from the square where Sam Walton had his first store. It's now a museum and has a fun soda fountain and a lot of Sam memorabilia, including his famous old red truck and his office just as he left it.
We were also very near the nature and art trails to Crystal Bridges, Alice Walton's American Art museum. It is a wonderful construction and has lots of iconic American art, including Norman Rockwell's "Rosie the Riveter" and Asher Durand's "Kindred Spirits". The walk from our hotel was a bit over one half mile, and the daffodils were in bloom, as well as a little forsythia. In another month, the walk would have been even more impressive. The walkway was paved and actually wheel chair accessible, although I thought the pitch of the walk was at times pretty steep. If you have a chair, it had better be electric, I think.
There was a variety of restaurants to choose from in Bentonville. We had dinner and two breakfasts in the hotel. The wait staff was very accommodating and I was able to have gf toast with my breakfast. Most of the entrees at dinner were either gluten free or could be made gluten free. I had a small but lovely salad with shaved asparagus and sliced strawberries over greens and a Spring pea soup as my appetizers and ordered Sea Bass for my main course. The Sea Bass came layered on some small sliced potatoes with a little onion and tiny bits of pork. Quite yummy. Meanwhile we were surrounded by intriguing modern art. The hotel was as much museum as hotel and it was a lot of fun wandering around looking at all the various works exhibited. In the lobby there was a very artistic pigeon coop -- complete with live pigeons.
Dinner the following night was at Tavola Trattoria, which was also walkable, on the same street as the hotel, and just on the other side of the square. I ordered tomato soup and a pear salad with chicken, and then ordered poached pear over chocolate ganache with vanilla ice cream for dessert. You can never have too many pears.
I really liked Bentonville. I'm already ready to go back.