Earlier this month I was invited out to Bentonville, Arkansas to visit Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (the newest American art museum). To be totally honest, I didn’t know what to expect! I haven’t been to Arkansas in at LEAST 20 years and had only heard of Bentonville because its where Walmart was founded. After spending all of three days in the small town, I can say that I’ve been to plenty of museums in my day, but Crystal Bridges was by far the only one I’ve visited of its kind.
Crystal Bridges’ mission is ‘to welcome ALL in a setting that unites art and nature’ and it did just that! Y’all know I love a good hike so I was STOKED to find out that they had trails – like 4 miles of them to be exact-ish. Oh, and not just regular old trails with trees (although there were a ton of those lol), but trails WITH ART! I was lucky enough to visit while the Color Field was in town – they’ll be there through September 30th. Color Field was basically an outdoor sculpture exhibition that was unlike anything I’ve seen before.
I was super excited to see how environmentally friendly Crystal Bridges is! Yes, it’s surrounded by trees and literally sits on a creek and three ponds, but they take their efforts so much farther! They compost, they use battery-powered maintenance, and they’re currently showcasing Nature’s Nation – a new exhibition that examines American artists’ impact on shaping environmental understanding. Like what? It was am awesome exhibit to walk through (one of my personal favorites) and really left me feeling like I can, and should, do more to preserve our beautiful planet! Nature’s Nation will be on display through September 9th. Honestly, you don’t want to miss it.
As if having art outside on the trails wasn’t enough, Crystal Bridges just started their Forest Concert Series. Every Saturday at 7pm, now through July 27th, people can go out and listen to live music in, well, the middle of the forest! Tickets are only $12 bucks and free for kids under 18! They have a food truck, alcohol (of course), and live music! I highly recommend getting their on time, if not early, because the place gets packed. There’s even a golf cart that will take you out there if you
are too lazy to walk like I was need assistance.
Like I said, Crystal Bridges is in Bentonville – a super quaint town in Northern Arkansas. I loved that everything I needed to get to was in walking distance. We stayed at the 21c Museum Hotel in the middle of town, surrounded by restaurants, parks, and on the weekends a farmer’s market! Even better, it was only about a 10-15 minute trail walk to Crystal Bridges. I thoroughly enjoyed not having to catch an Uber to get from point A to point B.
If you’re looking to escape the big city (Bentonville is about five and a half hours from Dallas) and get a change of scenery, I definitely think you should head north to Crystal Bridges. From all of the exhibits, to the relaxing walks through the trails, its the perfect getaway for a girls trip, or a weekend with your boo (not that I have one of those currently ?.)
Have you ever been to Crystal Bridges? Let me know what your favorite part was (or will be) in the comments below!