In just a few short months, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will open its doors to the public on November 11, 2011. This long anticipated American art museum is designed by world renowned architect Moshie Safdie. The glass, concrete and wood building design features a series of pavilions divided by two spring-fed ponds. The museum facility totals 217,000 square feet of usable space consisting of six art galleries, a museum store, a library, dining facility, classroom space, and a great hall for special events. The entire campus rests in 120 acres of lush forest, and the museum takes its name from a nearby natural spring and the bridge construction incorporated in the design. Visitors will experience not only the museum, but also the park-like setting of a series of urban trails peppered with interactive sculpture and gardens connecting the campus to beautiful downtown Bentonville.
Crystal Bridges will house a permanent collection of masterworks of American art ranging from the colonial period to contemporary work. A changing array of special exhibitions will feature art from museums and collections throughout the region, the nation and abroad.
Union Officer Returned to Finish his Breakfast
Like many places in the south, Bentonville and northwest Arkansas are rich in Civil War history. Peel Mansion and Heritage Gardens in the heart of Bentonville reveal an incredible display of civil war era life in this Italianate mansion. After visiting Peel, venture on to the site of the Eagle Hotel where several union officers’ breakfasts were interrupted as the confederates marched through Benton County. The story goes that years later one of the officers returned to the Eagle Hotel to finish his breakfast. And, finally, the Civil War tour is not complete without a visit to Pea Ridge National Military Park. Explore by car, bicycle or on foot, this scenic park preserves the site of the March 7-8, 1862 Civil War battle that led to the Union's total control of Missouri. The event is the only Civil War battle in which American Indians participated.
Get a Little Taste of France while Visiting Bentonville
Get a little taste of France in Bentonville when visiting one of the most popular spots at the Farmer’s Market, Crepes by Paulette. Paulette and her husband Fred, a native of France, hand make authentic French crepes to order every Saturday morning on the Bentonville square during Farmer’s Market season, April-October. Kids love the strawberry and chocolate crepes while the adults may enjoy the more savory ham and cheese or spinach and feta crepes. Whatever the preference, Paulette’s is a must on one’s culinary journey through the area.
Bentonville on a Bike! New Trail System and Local Businesses Welcome Everything on two Wheels
Whether motorized or not, Bentonville is a great destination for those who like to travel on two wheels. With over 35 miles of trail throughout town, Bentonville’s progressive urban trail system and bicycle shops have made bicycling not only more accessible, but also more fun. Soon the Downtown Activity Center opens just off of the downtown square, and visitors will be able to rent bikes and experience the lush canopy of Crystal Bridges trail, or ride the log ride or twisted sister at the Slaughter Pen Mountain Bike Park.
If one prefers their wheels to be powered by a motor instead of leg muscles, Bentonville is a great hub for riders who want to venture out into the foothills of the Ozarks to experience the breathtaking scenery of winding country roads and quaint country stores where one can stop and cool off with ice cream or homemade candies and soft drinks.