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Bentonville would probably have continued as a sleepy Arkansas town had not Sam Walton established his ‘five and dime’ store here in 1950. That store lead to the establishment of a global empire better known as Walmart, the world’s largest retailer. Not only is Walmart’s HQ in Bentonville but the family’s riches led to the establishment in the town of one of the world’s most extraordinary art museums. Although this is the chief reason for visiting, the town also offers parks, gardens and leisurely hiking trails. Our choice of the best places to stay in Bentonville will put you within easy reach of the town’s attractions.
First you will want to head to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, established by the wealth of the Walton family. Spread over 120 wooded acres dotted with creeks and ponds, the galleries, which showcase American art, are spectacularly linked by bridges and glass-encased tunnels. A sculpture trail leads through woods back to downtown Bentonville.
Here you’ll find (not surprisingly) the Walmart museum, with plenty of interactive hands-on stuff to keep children happy, charting the story of the growth of Walmart. If you’re interested in Native American history, check out the museum of the same name, which holds one of the country’s best collections of Native American artefacts.
In the summer, Orchard Park holds outdoor concerts while Lawrence Plaza showcases outdoor movies. To stretch your legs, there are plenty of town trails as well as the delightful woodlands of Compton Gardens. For more active pursuits, head a few miles south-east to Beaver Lake, near Rogers, in the Ozarks where there are boating and fishing opportunities as well as hiking routes. Or go mountain-biking in Slaughter Pen Hollow. Be aware, summer is the town’s busiest season when the best places to stay in Bentonville can get booked up early.
For arty chic
- As much an art gallery as hotel, 21c Museum Hotel is the coolest place to stay in town. Contemporary art and sculptures dot the public areas, as well as a dedicated gallery space, while rooms are sleek, light and modern. The bar is popular with locals and visitors, alike.
For more choices, browse our list of the best places to stay in Bentonville. Alternatively you can expand your search to include all our Arkansas recommendations, or contact a friendly guru for advice.
Best Hotels in Bentonville
21c Museum Hotel 104 rooms from $289Bentonville (Arkansas)
Art-centric owners combined gallery with boutique to form a contemporary, popular hotel in Bentonville. Light, large rooms with modern bathrooms and all the mod-cons. The Hive serves fresh, local cuisine and the buzzing bar is a hot spot in town. Walmart roots are here - explore art and history.Sights nearby - Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.Great walks - Explore Mark Twain National Park.Lively - Hip and happening.Full of characterRecommended by - Tablet