You can always tell when you’re leaving the city. Trees become abundant, which paint your retinas with various shades of vibrant greens. And you can spot large birds circling the tops awaiting their next meals. The sky is ombre blue with huge cumulus clouds fixated as they pleased. No more city air! *inhales deeply* Truck stops run the two-street highways. And there’s nothing between me and Bentonville but, give or take, 360 miles (that’s about a five ‘n’ half hour drive for those curious).
When I travel, I prefer to use Airbnb for quality and comfortable lodging. To me- the key for using Airbnb is having a business account and booking the “entire home”, but options for any stay are not limited to my preferences. I recommend the platform for lodging and the various features they offer like the “restaurants” and “experiences” tabs. My stay was in a beautiful guest suite attached to a Craftsman home, which had it’s own entrance and dedicated parking spot. About 5 minutes away from Crystal Bridges Museum. One new method I see a lot of hosts (folks renting their unique place out) using is keypad entry. I really like it! Leaves less interaction between you and the host, if you don’t want it. The layout on the inside was very elegant- a leather sectional couch, nice soft rugs, wood décor and accents plus marble for final touches. Space was fully equipped with a kitchenette, full bathroom, closet, living room area and king size bed. If you want to see what the placed looked like, check out this link: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/24447213 .
After becoming familiar with my temporary quarters, food was the next stop. Yelp and my boss both revved me up for The Pedaler’s Pub. Started in 2013, The Pub offers cool outdoor patios, live music and delicious wood fired craft pizzas! They have 2 patio areas upon entering the establishment that face the streets. One has patio tables and the other offers more of the lounge feel, small couches/benches to sit. The outside patio, my seating choice, was the biggest patio. You can see into the private dining area through an all glass wall. During the night, signage lights are on and create the perfect patio mood. The Moonshine Lemonade, moonshine with a flavored lemonade- blackberry, blueberry, strawberry or cherry and Beach Cruiser- Cruzan mango, Malibu, raspberry, cranberry and sour- were great! Not your typical strong tasting drinks, but be careful because it will sneak you. The Tandem (1/2 fries, that I got loaded, and ½ of Fiery wings – BBQ or Garlic Parmesan, as additional flavor options) was even a little spicy for me! I wouldn’t recommend that but definitely the pizza. 2 local women shared 2 slices of their pizza. One chicken and another vegetarian. Both were good as hell, but something about the vegetarian pizza really made my taste buds excited! Having already placed my order for The Fixie (mushrooms and pepperoni) I was a little bothered but that all went away once the house made tomato base hit my soul… mushrooms and pepperoni were slight crispy on the edges from the fire! In one bite, I knew this was a new pizza favorite. Fire asf 😊 I also checked out The Buttered Biscuit, which I wasn’t really a fan of, and Trickdilly, who had awesome fusion tacos! (P.S.- if you ride your bike you get an additional 10% off).
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, founded by the Walton Family, originally as a nonprofit organization in 2005, grew in to a permanent collection of American art pieces. From the Colonial era to modern day. Named after a near by natural spring and bridge that was designed with the building, by Moshe Safide, opened 11-11-2011. Galleries, meeting and classroom spaces, glass-enclosed gathering hall, restaurant, store, library + sculpture and walking trails that join downtown Bentonville to the museum. Interestingly enough… as I was writing this piece, I learned that the museum sits on 120 acres. At that point my mind started trying to grasp just how much money the maker of Walmart has accrued for his families name. Bentonville belongs to Sam Walton, of course- that’s where Walmart started. I planned my entire trip around the museum and boy did I make a good decision. Several exhibitions had me mesmerized and fascinated with the artistry and craftsmanship each artist displayed. It was like art never seen before. Only pictures can do them justice!