Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Growing Downtown Bentonville
I just got back from a fun filled weekend in Northwest Arkansas, and I realized I hadn't shared a trip we took up there in August. I was incredibly impressed by the new life that's been injected into downtown Bentonville, due in part to the addition of Crystal Bridges.
Josh and I enjoyed walking around the square, which seems to have a nice mix of cleaned up existing buildings and new and exciting projects. We especially liked the exterior of The Hive, where we had brunch.
I wrote a review on Eat Arkansas about The Hive, but here are some more pictures.
Architecturally, it was a very beautiful space. Things were clean, modern, and bright. The acoustics were nice, helping to keep our conversations audible to our large party in the wide open space. Some restaurants in Little Rock need to take a cue from their designer.
The food was good, but a bit overpriced. Still, the company was great, and it ended up being a wonderful trip.
When I lived in Fayetteville for college, I didn't spend much time in Bentonville. Going back to visit, though, it seems like all the towns along the interstate corridor are much better connected. Possibly, I'm just more mobile, but it does make for a pleasant landscape of places to go. Even if you're not from Arkansas, this area of the state is really building itself up to be a first class destination for travel and vacationing. With a booming downtown, new art museum, and a vibrant food culture, I'd say it's definitely a nice place to check out.
I feel like Arkansas is one of the great secret destinations of this country. Sure, we have rednecks and bigotry and small mindedness, but I'd warrant to bet that all states do. People may not think much of our little state, but it's bursting with beautiful landscapes, creative, smart people, and incredible food. Maybe some day our little secret will get out, but until then, I'm going to enjoy my lovely state before it gets overrun and overpriced.