Biking (or cycling) culture has become a booming business from Bella Vista to Fayetteville. In total, Northwest Arkansas has more than 400 miles of hard and soft-surface trails and paved paths across the region. And in Bentonville, there are many great local attractions located just off these trails that make a cycling weekend easily accessible and enjoyable for the whole family.
In a similar style as the New York Times “36 Hours” column, here is an itinerary of things to do in Bentonville for a weekend, all accessible by the bike trails.
Our local bike shops are the places to ask all your biking questions, especially if you’re new to the area or new to biking in general. Phat Tire Bike Shop and the Downtown Activity Center in Bentonville have several bikes available for hourly or daily rentals including full-suspension mountain bikes, road/hybrids, cruisers, and kid trailers. Some bike shops also offer guided day tours and trail maps, so make sure you stop in at the beginning of the weekend to fulfill all your biking needs.
21c Museum Hotel is a unique boutique hotel that features artworks from local and national artists. Rotating exhibitions complement permanent artwork favorites, such as Orange Tree and Making Change. The whimsy of the art galleries inside the hotel is only paralleled by the colorful food and cocktails served at The Hive. The hotel’s restaurant is the perfect place to start your weekend, either with Happy Hour or scrumptious starters.
Northwest Arkansas is proud of their craft breweries located in Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, and Springdale, including Bike Rack, Apple Blossom, Columbus House, Fossil Cove, West Mountain, Bentonville Brewing, Ozark Beer, New Province, Core, Saddlebock, and Black Apple Crossing. Try them at one of Bentonville’s local bars or restaurants, several of which can be found just off the bike trails.
The Bentonville Farmer’s Market runs from April to October and is the perfect place to get a taste of the city’s local fare with offerings from farmers, artisans, and shop owners.
The museum is accessible from downtown Bentonville by way of the Razorback Regional Greenway and several other trails. Park your bike at one of the many bike stands on the grounds and take a pit stop at Eleven for lunch before visiting the exhibitions. Then grab a coffee or tea at the Coffee Bar to refuel before spending some time wandering the galleries on foot or hopping back on the bike to view art on the trails.
Located alongside the Crystal Bridges Trail, beginning near Compton Gardens, try your hand at the All-American Mountain Bike Trail, featuring elements such as ladder bridges, small rollers, and berms. The trail has been described as “super fun,” “flowy,” and a “star-spangled intro to the Slaughter Pen trail system.” This trail might be a little advanced in some areas for beginners and children.
Kick off the evening with a beer at Bike Rack Brewing Co. Try a Golden Ale (Urban Trail), Amber Ale (Epic Trail), IPA (Slaughter Pen), and more any time of year, or enjoy one of Bike Rack’s seasonal brews. Local restaurant Yeyo’s delivers Mexican food on demand so you can keep your spot at Bike Rack and order another beer. Play some shuffleboard next door at the Holler while you’re there or grab some delicious chocolate at Markham & Fitz around the corner and catch a glimpse of the Momentary, Crystal Bridges’ satellite contemporary art space, across the parking lot – opening February 22, 2020!
Begin the perfect Sunday with a ride back to Crystal Bridges for a High South buffet brunch. Don’t miss the fried chicken, shrimp and grits, or smoked trout with local veggies, homemade pastries, locally sourced coffee, and a make-it-yourself Bloody Mary bar. Make reservations online here!
“The Greenway is the gateway,” as they say. After brunch, hop on the trail from Crystal Bridges and take a ride in any direction your heart desires: ~25 miles to Fayetteville, or 13.5 miles to Bella Vista. The Razorback Regional Greenway links together dozens of popular community destinations such as parks, local shops, downtown areas, and The University of Arkansas campus.
For more information about area’s trails and biking events, visit Bike Bentonville.