We wrap up our countdown of the top ten insider tips from the Call Center for first-time visitors with our final top four tips, which will offer suggestions for other things to do in the Bentonville area when you’re here to visit Crystal Bridges. I hope that you have enjoyed all these tips and will enjoy all Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has to offer, as well as some of the other museums and attractions in Northwest Arkansas. You can look at tips five through seven here, and tips eight through ten here.
FOUR – Check out the art galleries at 21c Museum Hotel. Built shortly after the opening of Crystal Bridges Museum, 21C is a boutique hotel and art gallery that caters to many of our guests who travel from all over the country to visit the museum. After 21C opened, the travel website “Trip Advisor” named the Bentonville hotel as the #1 new hot hotel in the nation for 2013. With 104 special rooms and an accompanying contemporary art museum, 21C is certainly unique. TIP: Check out the many packages put together by the 21C staff to make your stay even more unique.
THREE – Explore the nationally renowned dining scene on the Bentonville square. The quaint Bentonville square, located just south of Crystal Bridges, has become the epicenter of fine dining experiences for Bentonville and the Northwest Arkansas region. In 2013, the Washington Post put out their annual list of what is “in” and what is “out” nationally. Among the twenty things “in” was the dining scene in Bentonville, Arkansas. Bentonville has become a foody destination ever since! On November 7, 2013 executive chefs from our own restaurant Eleven, 21cs The Hive restaurant, and Tusk and Trotter collaborated to create an epic meal at the James Beard foundation in New York. Their “Best of Bentonville” dinner sold out as soon as James Beard foundation members heard of this very special dinner experience. TIP: Consider walking around the Bentonville square to view all the dining options available.
TWO – Visit other museums and arts attractions in the area. Besides Crystal Bridges Museum, there are several other museums worthy of your interest during your stay in Bentonville to visit Crystal Bridges Museum. On the square at the site of the original Walton Five and Dime is the Walmart Museum detailing the development of the world’s largest retailer. Down the road is the Museum of Native American History where you can “walk through America’s past” and finally, coming soon right next to Crystal Bridges is the Amazeum, a museum that will “engage the imagination of children and families.” TIP: Sample the ice cream offerings at the Walmart Museum’s Spark Café Soda Fountain. There are also many museums and arts venues in nearby communities, including the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, The Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale, Rogers Little Theatre in Rogers, as well as numerous galleries.
ONE – Consider the value of becoming a Member of Crystal Bridges Museum. Here it is, number one. TIP: Our number one and final tip is, at first, seemingly very self-serving – become a Member of our Crystal Bridges family. From my perspective, membership at Crystal Bridges is different than at many other museums. Because our Museum features free admission to our permanent collection sponsored by Walmart, there are other reasons why so many of our guests have decided to become Museum Members. Of course, at each level of membership, our Members enjoy free admission to our special exhibitions along with free admission for guests depending on their level of membership. Members also enjoy discounts on all Museum performances, events, and classes, as well as a discount at the Museum Store. However, many of our guests have become Members because they believe in the mission of the Museum to “celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature.”
I hope you have enjoyed these posts of my Top Ten insider tips for first time visitors. They have come curtesy of so many of our members and guests. I welcome your questions, suggestions and feedback at the Call Center (479-657-2335).