An itinerary of discovery at the original gateway to the American West in Bentonville, Little Rock and other cultural cities in Arkansas
Duration: 5 Days
Available: Year round
This Itinerary is Ideal For: Adults over 21
Day 1 – Hot Springs
Start your day in one of the most iconic cities in Arkansas. Explore Hot Springs and historic Bathhouse Row to retrace the steps of 20th-century crime bosses like Al Capone. The Gangster Museum of America exhibits highlight Hot Springs’ connection to infamous outlaws from across the country.
Another fascinating exhibit is “The Boys of Spring,” featuring the beginnings of baseball’s spring training in Hot Springs. Legends such as Babe Ruth and Cy Young especially enjoyed the healing thermal spas. Bathhouse Row itself still offers the same relaxing experience. The Buckstaff Bathhouse carries on the traditional baths and is one of the eight bathhouses that comprise this designated National Historic Landmark District.
After visiting Bathhouse Row, a stop at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort will give guests the opportunity to enjoy horse racing, sports wagering, live music and a casino. Following the races, a dinner cruise on Lake Hamilton’s Belle of Hot Springs is a perfect ending to your day.
Day 2 – Little Rock
After breakfast, check out of your Hot Springs hotel and depart for Little Rock.
Arrive in Little Rock, Arkansas’ state capital. Here, you can walk in the steps of a president at the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum. View an exact replica of Bill Clinton’s Oval Office and Cabinet Room, as well as photographs, videos and documents. Explore the interactive timeline highlighting domestic and foreign policies and the Clintons’ lives in the White House.
Afterwards, view another important landmark at Little Rock Central High School Historic Site, one of the Top 10 Civil Rights Sites in the U.S. The only high school functioning within the boundaries of a National Historic Site, the school and museum are a testament to the nine black students who integrated into an all-white school as a test of the Civil Rights act in 1957.
Across the river in North Little Rock, you will find The Old Mill. This replica grist mill, set in a lushly landscaped park, appeared in the opening scene of the 1939 film Gone with the Wind and remains one of the area’s most-visited attractions. Check into any group-friendly hotel in the area. Finish the day with an Arkansas Travelers baseball game at Dickey Stephens Park or a dinner show at Murry’s Dinner Playhouse.
Day 3 – Altus and Mt. Magazine State Park
Enjoy breakfast and depart for Altus and Arkansas’ wine country.
Arkansas is the oldest and largest grape juice and wine-producing state in the southern United States. Drawn by the Benedictine of Subiaco Abbey, a colony of German-Swiss immigrants, settled in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains and began growing grapes in the 1870s. Experience true farm-to-table dining at Post Vineyards’ Trellis Room, where local flavor is grown right outside the kitchen. Then tour St. Mary’s Catholic Church, famous for its gold leaf murals, painted by a German artist Fridolin Fuchs during World War I. Evidently, Altus residents served as models. Visit one (or all!) of the six wineries operating in Altus including, Post Winery, Wiederkehr Wine Cellars, Mount Bethel Winery, Chateau Aux Arc, Dionysus Wine and Brew and Neumeier Winery for a tour and tasting.
After experiencing the vineyards of the Arkansas River Valley, stay overnight at the highest point in Arkansas, The Lodge at Mount Magazine. From its setting on the mountain’s south bluff, the lodge offers breathtaking views of the Petit Jean River Valley and Blue Mountain Lake in the distance.
Day 4 – Bentonville
Arrive in one of the most unique cities in Arkansas, Bentonville. While in town, be sure to check out Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, opened in 2011 by the Walton Family Foundation. Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection spans five centuries of American masterworks ranging from the Colonial era to today. 21c Museum and Hotel adds another artful element to the Bentonville scene. It comprises more than 12,000 square feet of gallery space that adjoins this 104-room boutique hotel and world-class restaurant The Hive. Downtown Bentonville is among one of only seven other cities to house such a unique place to stay and play.
Come play at the Scott Family Amazeum children’s museum and be wowed by the 50,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits and tinkering space. Take a walk down memory lane at the Walmart Museum inside the original 5&10 opened in downtown Bentonville in 1950. Have a soda or a milkshake at Spark Cafe located right next door. Take time to see and explore what life was like as far back as 14,000 years ago at the Museum of Native American History showcasing one of the most comprehensive artifact collections in the South.
Day 5 – Rogers and Fayetteville Cities in Arkansas
Breakfast at your hotel before departing for Rogers. Brick-paved streets lead to old-fashioned storefronts filled with unique furniture, antiques and gifts, cafes, jewelry and business offices in the historic downtown. The area encompasses about eight square blocks making Rogers one of the most eclectic cities in Arkansas. The Daisy Airgun Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of antique airguns, and the Rogers Historical Museum are also located here. Lunch is at any of Rogers’ downtown cafes.
Your busy day continues in Fayetteville. Visit Terra Studios, home of the Original Bluebird of Happiness with glass-blowing demonstrations at The Bluebird House Gallery. Fifty regional artists of American arts and crafts are represented at The Muse Gallery and Coffee House. Explore the unique Art Park with sculptures, murals, art installations, fountains, labyrinth, picnic areas and walking paths.
Keep your group entertained in the evening with performances at the Walton Arts Center and TheatreSquared. Every sort of production makes stops at these two live performance hallmarks.
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