Fayetteville, Arkansas is one of our favorite cities to visit, especially if we can score a parking space near one of the greenway trails. Buildings, streets and public places are remarkably clean and full of art installations and friendly people. There are also great places to find rich, dark brews and both fishy and vegan delights. Plus, Fayetteville serves as a great base for day trips to nearby attractions. Click on the pictures for more info and links, and scroll to the bottom for a map with all the points of interest.
Walk the cycles across the mowed grass field at Southgate RV for access Coleman Avenue, a quiet neighborhood street, then turn left and ride on the sidewalk of Cato Springs Road and go about one-quarter mile to join the Cato Springs Branch Greenway. It joins the Town Branch, then Razorback and others. Although there are crossings to navigate, it’s a semi-easy ride to downtown and back, or in a round-about way to a Starbucks about three miles away.
At Dickson Street Bookshop, a maze of aisles awaits those in search of books, magazines, obscure texts, posters, sheet music and on-the-wall comics.
Every vertical space without bookshelves at Dickson’s is covered with something to read.
Lithuanian Artist Ernest Zacharevic creates a playful scene in one of several new murals in downtown Fayetteville. Read about the project here
Helpful signs along the Razorback Greenway direct riders to nearby venues.
More than one mural by artist Jason Jones decorates downtown Fayetteville, this one is right on the Razorback Greenway.
Thrift shop art reborn with the addition of sometimes whimsical creatures by Fayetteville artist and muralist Jason Jones.
In the Native American room at the Fayetteville Underground hang several artworks by Leah Cowden, including Smoke and Mirrors and Bleeding Our Colors.
Cheri Bohn is one of the artists in residence at the Fayetteville Underground. One can enter her workshop full of fantastical creatures and other works made of stained glass and gnarled wood.
Saddlebock Brewery in Springdale, Arkansas is one of many excellent craft beer joints in Northwestern Arkansas. We love the porter and IPA, but hold the pizza. Our veggie pie was soggy with canned jalapeños and mushrooms hidden in a thick layer of cheese.
Have you ever been offered a sip of moonshine from a plastic jug before? Then attend the car show at the Annual Frisco Festival in late August on Main Street Rogers, AR.
Cuban fusion black beans and rice at Rolando’s
in downtown Fayetteville is absolutely delicious! If you like spicy, ask for a little more of the drizzle! OMG! So good!
George’s Majestic Lounge and Cafe is fun, but way too loud for us. Earplugs would have made it more enjoyable.
The veggie burger at JJ’s is great, with the aoli on the side, but their craft beers are rather wimpy, even the IPA. They don’t bother with stouts or porters at all, ever, according to one bartender.
Victorian homes are even better when painted accordingly, in at least three colors.
Exploring the Eureka Springs commercial district prior to a car show has its own benefits. This big Bertha’s driver needs more parallel parking practice, or maybe a curb alarm.
Window shopping is all part of the Eureka Springs experience, and the shop behind this display is full of funky hats in many styles, as well as accessories, gadgets and lots of steam punk items.
Cars seem like intruders in the commercial district, especially when one wants to photograph the colorful storefronts.
Ozark Mountains, Population about 2,000.
The whole city, also known as the Stair-step Town is on the National Register of Historic places. Distinctive features include Victorian architecture and paint schemes along twisted and steeply sloped roads.
The commercial district isn’t very wheelchair friendly, but unique adventures in shopping makes the effort navigating cobbled and uneven terrain worthwhile. Bring a pocketful of quarters, nickels and dimes for the parking meters, or better yet, pay to park at the top of town and take the trolley.
For good eats in Eureka Springs, try The Cookery. We found it on Yelp, and are so glad we stopped by to try it. The counter features a deli display case full of fresh, and mostly local veggies. Our kind of place!
We know the Cookery is our kind of place when we walk up to the counter and see a deli case full of fresh and mostly local fruits and vegetables.
is the bomb, literally! Besides a menu to rock a veggie lovers soul, there are crochet bombs, an unusual doll collection and eye candy galore.
A veggie burrito topped with a little melted cheese and some flavorful salsa and crema. The simple salad features raw beets and a white peach balsamic that’s amazing!
Colorful crochet bombed chairs snuggle up to a retro table in the back bar area of the Cookery.
Crochet carnival queen holds court at the Cookery in a colorful room filled with doll collections, beaded collars, assorted heads and art prints.
Enter the Cookery foyer and discover this international doll collection.
Two Wizard of OZ dolls sit atop the glass-fronted display case.
Population more than 47,000
Home of Walmart, Tyson Foods and JB Hunt
The economy and lifestyle here are all about Walmart and all the benefits the Walton family brought to the region. Even broadcast network newscasters give weather and traffic reports based on the Walmart Home Office location. Walmart employees are helpful and take pride and ownership in their work, and the streets are clean and remarkably clear of graffiti. There are no panhandlers on every corner, though we did see a few hanging out by a downtown parking lot. Regionally, there is artwork in public places and fabulous greenways, all this and more is thanks, in a large part, to the Walton family via Walmart shoppers. So, don’t dis Walmart when in Northwest Arkansas. Bad Juju if you do.
One of the main Bentonville attractions is the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, founded by Sam and Helen Walton’s daughter, Alice. Admission to the permanent collection is always free. Plan to spend at least one day here, and eat at the café. There is always something new to see, and wonderful trails to ride and walk on. We enjoy return visits tremendously! Since it will probably be rush hour when one leaves Crystal Bridges, plan on stopping in downtown, have dinner out, and spend an hour walking through the Walmart Museum, making sure to stop in the old-fashioned soda fountain on the way out.
Chihuly art glass is one of the new installations for 2017. The Chihuly in the Forest exhibit, not pictured, requires $10 admission.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian Bachman-Wilson house
is open for tours at Crystal Bridges, and tickets are required, either free or purchased for guided tours. Plan ahead for this one, and if you have a gut, suck it in – the hallways and doorways are tight. Also, if you’re really tall, you might have to duck in spots.
Upon closer inspection of the largest painting Adonna Khare’s Elephants Triptych, one sees the story she tells about her young nephew with diabetes. The lion slurps a sweet popsicle, the boy’s favorite now forbidden food, and the gorilla pokes the glucose tester which sits atop the service dog who now alerts the boy’s family of potentially dangerous blood sugar spikes. Lucky visitors will hear docents tell this story.
The late Felix Gonzalez-Torres avoided assigning meaning to his artworks, but his candy spill at Crystal Bridges includes interpretation the spills represent a metaphor for the human body ravaged by illness. Gonzales-Torres died of AIDS the same year he finished this one. Viewers are invited to take a piece of candy, and by providing for endless replenishment, the artist symbolically grants the body everlasting life. Docents say most people who read the interpretation do not partake of the offering. Above the spill, Mark Tansy’s Landscape features the dismantled sculptures of historical figures. Interpretations vary, from leaders’ legacies preserved via art, q question about who can escape the dustbin of history, and an allusion about mass media break loose bits of information from history and combines them into something new. The one-color palette supposedly refers to sepia tones photographs, old films and television.
Mother of all spiders, Maman, is a central figure at Crystal Bridges, where three other artworks by acclaimed American artist Louise Bourgeois reside.