A to Z: Things to Do & See This Fall

From active to relaxing, urban to natural, quirky to conventional, and everything in between, our A to Z list of Northwest Arkansas must-dos this fall spells F-U-N!

A – AUTUMN VIEWS FOR MILES!

Take in the dazzling fall foliage aboard the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad excursion train! It departs from Springdale and travels over trestles, through a quarter-mile tunnel, all the way to the top of the scenic Boston Mountains and back again. 

B – BRING OUT YOUR INNER BAVARIAN!

Pull out your steins and head to Rogers Main Street’s OktobeerFest on Oct. 7 for traditional Bavarian food, games, music and of course there will be beer! Yodel Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C – CHEFS IN THE GARDEN AT BGO

The finest chefs cook up harvest season favorites Sept. 12 at Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. Stroll through the themed gardens while checking out cooking demonstrations, sampling dishes and sipping premium beverages. 

D – DEMOLITION DERBY

Feel the frenzy of metal crushing on Sept. 30 at the 12th Annual Demolition Derby at Parsons Stadium in Springdale. Watch wild competitors deliberately and skillfully smash into each other’s cars to claim victory and big prize money!

 

E – EUREKA SPRINGS CORVETTE WEEKEND

Relax and have fun with hundreds of fellow Corvette fans at this annual event Oct. 5-8. No competition, no points to win or lose, just a lot of ogling and driving of America’s favorite sports car!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

F – FOODIE SCENE: HOTTER THAN EVER

Award-winning chefs, locally owned farm-to-table and High South cuisine – NWA’s hip eateries are routinely recognized as national dining destinations! Whether you’re grabbing a causal bite at a street-side food truck, or entertaining clients over three sit-down courses, our fine cities have what you’re hungry for!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

G – GET CRAFTY AT FALL FAIR WEEK

Northwest Arkansas has long held a rich arts and maker culture, and every October we are home to some of the premier arts and crafts fairs in the country! From Bella Vista south to Fayetteville and all parts in between, crafts fair weekend is not to be missed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H – HALLOWEEN MONSTER DASH

A new healthy way to trick-or-treat! The Halloween Monster Dash on Oct. 29 in Fayetteville lets you run or walk in a 5K and pick up treats along the way! Or if you prefer a more traditional Halloween, check out the Nightmares Haunted House in Bentonville – crazy scary!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I – INTRIGUE AT THE AUD IN EUREKA 

A Eureka Springs tradition, this annual Halloween show on Oct. 28 at the City Auditorium features Intrigue Theater illusionists who “pass” through walls, talk to spirits, and execute other feats challenging reality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J – JAZZ UP YOUR NITE W/ JASON MORAN!

Spend an evening with jazz innovator Jason Moran as Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art welcomes him to the Distinguished Speaker Series on Sept 21. Hear about 20th century painters Moran has been influenced by, while he punctuates his talk with short jazz performances. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

K – KNOCK BACK (OR SIP!) A LOCAL BREW 

The craft beer scene is thriving in Northwest Arkansas! With the number of local breweries there’s always a chance to try new brews, ales and ciders, visit bars and eateries and celebrate our growing craft beer culture. You’ll never be left with an empty glass!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L – LOVE THE DRAMA! 

Keep calm and love local theater! This fall, NWA performing arts organizations are launching their 2017-18 seasons! With new plays, premiers and productions that gamut from Sense and Sensibility to the Rocky Horror Picture Show, get your tickets today! TheatreSquared, Trike Theatre, Arts Center of the Ozarks, Arkansas Public TheatreFaulkner Performing Arts Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M – MOUNTAIN BIKING: TOP TRAILS IN NWA

Every season is mountain biking season in Northwest Arkansas! With 200+ miles of trails criss-crossing the region, the only jump park of its kind in this part of the country, and our welcoming cycling community, NWA is your mountain biking sweet spot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

N – NAVIGATE THE MAIZE

Get lost in Cave Springs at the Ozark Corn Maze! Besides the wrong turns and dead ends, there’s a petting zoo, a pumpkin patch to pick your own and a ‘corn cannon’ to test your skills!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O – OUTDOOR FUN & ADVENTURE

With the best of Mother Nature at our lakes, rivers, trails and state and national parks, plus the Slaughter Pen Jam Mountain Bike Festival on Oct. 8-10, get ready to immerse yourself in outdoor fun and adventure Northwest Arkansas-style!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P – PLAYING IN THE DIRT WEEKEND

This Nov. 10-12 event mixes it up to celebrate 30 years of mountain biking in NWA! First, a benefit concert at the George’s Majestic Lounge, followed by a day of mountain biking at Devil’s Den State Park, and then mingling at an evening cocktail gala. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q – QUILT FAIR AT SHILOH MUSEUM

Nothing quite compares with the beauty of a handcrafted quilt. Find antique and contemporary quilts for show and sale at this 40th annual fair held at Shiloh Museum of Ozark History on Sept. 9 in Springdale. 

 

 

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R – RAZORBACK SPORTS NATION!

In Northwest Arkansas, we call the Hogs year ‘round! Whether you’re a football or basketball fan, check out all that our beloved Razorbacks are offering in the 2017-18 season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S – SQUARE 2 SQUARE BIKE RIDE

This 30-mile fun ride on Sept. 16 goes from Bentonville to Fayetteville via the Northwest Arkansas Razorback Regional Greenway. This ride has grown leaps and bounds since it kicked off in 2015, and a crowd of close to 1,700 is expected!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T – TINKERFEST AT THE AMAZEUM

This Oct. 7 festival celebrates the curious and creative in all of us! Together, makers, artists, and tinkerers showcase their work while inviting attendees of all ages to join in the DIY fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U – UNDERGROUND ART DOWNTOWN

The Fayetteville Underground art gallery presents a new exhibit each month, and through November, the Underground’s openings are part of Fayetteville First Thursday celebrations on the downtown square. Everyone is welcome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 V – VINTAGE MARKET DAYS

Grab your girlfriends, your mother or your kids for the very best of vintage vendors from across the U.S! This upscale vintage-inspired, indoor/outdoor market on Oct. 13-15 features the works, and is a favorite with locals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

W – WE LOVE PUBLIC ART!

Northwest Arkansas has embraced public art and made it our own! In Fayetteville, it’s popping up everywhere as part of the Green Candy public art initiative. Look around – murals by international and local artists are activating outdoor public spaces all over downtown. Large-scale paintings are appearing in other cities too, from a gigantic blue octopus in Bentonville to a giant jack rabbit along the Razorback Regional Greenway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X – XNA NONSTOP FLIGHTS TO NWA

Fly your long-distance friends to NWA this fall for Bikes, Blues and BBQ, Arts and Crafts Fair week, or Razorbacks sports action! With the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA)’s nonstop flights from 14 U.S. cities, you can!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Y – YUCK IT UP OVER COCKTAILS

On Oct. 5, mix, mingle and sample cocktails infused with herbs grown onsite at the Peel Mansion gardens as mixologists compete to create the best beverage! An assortment of amazing bites will be available to accompany your fabulous chilled concoctions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Z – ZOMBIE CRAWL 

A creeping parade procession of funeral hearses and post-mortem street performers will lead the undead through downtown Eureka Springs on Oct. 28 for the 6th Annual Zombie Crawl. Need some practice before the parade? Check out the free “Thriller” dance workshop!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Ready to Rumble at Bikes, Blues and BBQ!

The 18th annual Bikes Blues and BBQ motorcycle rally is right around the corner, when tens of thousands of riders, spectators and partygoers roll into town to experience one of the most action-packed weekends that Northwest Arkansas has to offer!

Bikes, Blues and BBQ is one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the nation! From Sept. 20-23, downtown Fayetteville and across the region is revving and rocking with poker runs, charity and VIP rides, live blues, contests, cook-offs and the Dickson Street Entertainment District — there’s all sorts of cool stuff to do!

Even if you don’t ride, don’t miss the spectacle of the festival: Harleys, crotch rockets, tricked-out custom jobs, metric bikes, cruisers, vintage stock and sport bikes — it’s a sight like no other!

Downtown Fayetteville’ Dickson Street Entertainment District is the heart of the festival with live bands, beer gardens, tons of vendors and some of the best people watching around!

Want to slip under the radar? Ease onto one of the winding roads out of town and throw open the throttle along a stretch of scenic highway. Bikes, Blues and BBQ takes place in the Northwest Arkansas Ozark Mountains, giving motorcyclists the chance to experience some of the finest rides in the state.

Bike’s Blues and BBQ draws some 400,000 people from all over the country. Hotels, campgrounds and private homes for rent all fill up fast. Be sure to book your lodging now.

HEART OF THE RALLY

This year, there are four primary venues for live music and events: the Dickson Street Beer Garden, the Baum Motorcycle Village, the Blues Alley Saloon at the Washington County Fairgrounds, and the Monster Experience Venue at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale. 

Love all kinds of music? In addition to legendary blues entertainment, the rally offers everything from Americana to Bluegrass, ’80s hairbands, country, funk and classic rock. 

MAIN EVENTS

Live Music: Don’t forget, all the live music at Bikes, Blues and BBQ is free! See full music lineup below.

Firefighters Poker Runs: Supporting Camp Sunshine for young burn victims.

Stokes Air Battle of the Bikes: See how your ride stacks up against the others!

Kansas City BBQ Society/Arkansas State BBQ Competition: Contestants put their best meat forward to win thousands in prize money.

Miss BBB Contest: Ladies compete for cash prizes totaling $2,000.

Classic Car Show: Because hundreds of thousands of motorcycles is not enough!

Parade of Power: Dickson Street is smokin’ with everything from standard stock bikes to street rods and outrageous customized jobs. Spectators fill up downtown parking lots along as along the route as thousands of riders rumble by.

 

RALLY MUSIC LINEUP

MAIN STAGE ON DICKSON STREET

Wednesday, Sept. 20:

5:30 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. – The Squarshers

7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Arkansauce

9:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. – Mountain Sprout

Thursday, Sept. 21:

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Gary Hutchison

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Funk Factory

7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Oreo Blue

9:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. – Earl and Them

Friday, Sept. 22:

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Leah & the Mojo Doctors

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Vintage Pistol

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – The Uncrowned Kings

8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – Hot Lix

10:30 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. – Jason D Williams

Saturday, Sept. 23

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Mister Lucky

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Divas On Fire

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Arkansauce

8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – The Mixtapes

10:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. – Dead Metal Society

BLUES ALLEY SALOON AT WASHINGTON COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS

Wednesday, Sept. 20:

7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. – Blew Reed and the Flatheads

Thursday, Sept. 21:

6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. – Brickfields

Friday, Sept. 22:

6:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. – Boston Mountain Playboys

Saturday, Sept. 24:

5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Brody Buster 

9:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. – Dr. NOLA and the Soul Shakers

For more info, visit bikesbluesandbbq.org.

 

NWA Fall Arts & Crafts Fairs Among Best in US!

 

Spanker Creek

Arts and crafts lovers rejoice as autumn brings the return of the Fall Arts and Crafts Fairs to Northwest Arkansas! 

Northwest Arkansas has long held a rich arts and maker culture, and every October it’s home to some of the premier arts and crafts fairs in the country.

With contemporary, country-styled, holiday-themed and Indie wares, too, these arts and crafts fairs are held region-wide, offering handmade, authentic items for every taste, style and budget. 

Bella Vista Arts & Crafts Festival

 

HOMEGROWN FESTIVAL – Oct. 7: Held in historic downtown Siloam Springs, this arts and crafts fair has a contemporary bent with one-of-a-kind and limited-run items such as illustrations, printmaking, clothing, music, jewelry and accessories, homemade, salvaged and repurposed goods and lots of hand-picked vintage. There’s also live music, food trucks and kayaking along Sager Creek. mainstreetsiloam.org 

 

PINE MOUNTAIN VILLAGE CRAFT FAIR, Eureka Springs – Oct. 13-14: Local and regional arts and crafts including stained glass, leather, baskets, woodworking, oil and acrylic painting, sculpture, and lots of other handmade arts and crafts are offered. Holiday theme gifts are also in abundance, as well as seasonal decorations. eurekaspringschamber.com

Homegrown Festival

 

SPANKER CREEK FARK ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL – Oct. 18-22: Located on a farm setting with a true Ozark atmosphere, Spanker Creek welcomes returning and new exhibitors for this fair now in its 11th year. Just north of Bentonville, Spanker Creek runs along the entire south side of the fairgrounds and flows into Sugar Creek on the west side. spankercreekfarm.com

WAR EAGLE MILL CRAFTS FAIRS – Oct. 19-22: The picturesque War Eagle Mill east of Rogers is the site of three longtime arts and crafts fairs that draw tens of thousands of crafters each year! wareaglemill.com

 

War Eagle Mill

WAR EAGLE MILL CRAFT & CULINARY FAIR: Celebrating its 44th year and featuring hand-painted decor, country furnishings, botanical art, ceramics, watercolors, homemade soaps and jewelry. Enjoy cooking demos and samples of delicious breads and muffins made onsite. While you eat and shop, listen to live music on the front porch of the mill. nwacraftsfairs.com

WAR EAGLE FAIR: A tradition dating back to 1954, War Eagle Fair’s mission is to keep true hand-crafted arts alive and well in the Ozarks. Sift through the wares of over 250 booths sure to be filled with unique, handmade products set up along the banks of the War Eagle River. wareaglefair.com

SHARP’S SHOW OF WAR EAGLE: This fair takes place on the fields adjacent to the War Eagle Mill, with more than 250 booths, Find stained glass, leather, baskets, woodwork, paintings, sculpture and more. Holiday themed gifts and seasonal décor are prominent. nwacraftsfairs.com

Ozark Regional Arts & Crafts Show

 

BELLA VISTA ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL ­– Oct. 19-21: Now in its 48th year, this premier festival attracts more than 30,000 visitors from around the world. Offering high quality arts and crafts that are always handmade, the juried event has grown to nearly 300 artisans since it began in 1969. bellavistafestival.org

OZARK REGIONAL ARTS & CRAFTS SHOW: TWO LOCATIONS

Fayetteville, Oct. 19-21 and Springdale, Oct. 20-21: Recognized as one of the top 100 craft fairs in the U.S., this fair is the largest indoor craft fair in the state! Featuring 650+ booths in two locations: the Washington County Fairgrounds in Fayetteville and the NWA Convention Center in Springdale. nwacraftsfairs.com

 

 

Frisco Station Mall

FRISCO STATION MALL CRAFTS FAIR – Oct. 19-22: Indoors at the Rogers mall, this fair sells baskets, woodworking, potpourris, candles, jewelry, clothing, wreaths, oils plus holiday gift items and seasonal décor. nwacraftsfairs.com

 

 

 

HEART OF ROGERS CRAFT FAIR – Oct. 20-21: The 3rd Annual HeART of Rogers Craft Fair held in historic downtown specializes in upscale, handcrafted items not typically found anywhere else. Held in the ballroom of what was once the Historic Lane Hotel, the fair includes the all-new Kids Rock paining venue, and a second venue now open at First United Methodist Church. godowntownrogers.com

Go Hogs! Razorbacks Kick off 2017-18 Seasons

Fall is right around the corner, and that means it’s time for everyone’s favorite: Arkansas Razorback sports!  

Don’t miss your chance to experience college sports action at its best when the Hogs kick off their 2017-18 football and basketball seasons.

Every fall, sports fans flock to the University of Arkansas to watch matchups in some of the finest collegiate athletic venues in the nation. In fact, the Donald W. Reynolds Razorback football stadium is undergoing a major $160 million renovation that will debut in fall 2018.

In the meantime, Hogs fans can indulge in brand-new concession options now when they attend games at all Razorback athletic venues. Fans can choose from new menu and food concepts reflecting local flavors at Razorback Stadium, Bud Walton Arena and Baum Stadium.

So put on your best Razorback red and head over to the U of A for the upcoming seasons’ football and basketball matchups. Tailgating, Hog calling, fan giveaways, special entertainment and much, much more – the Razorbacks have what you need!

While you’re in town, stop by the Dickson Street Entertainment District for craft brews, eclectic dining and live music! Here for the weekend? Take a short drive to the world-class Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, or visit any of our distinctive cities, destinations or attractions. Visit NorthwestArkansas.org for options. 

ARKANSAS RAZORBACK FOOTBALL, Sept. 9 thru Nov. 24, 2017

The Hogs play their season opener in Little Rock on Sept. 2, followed by the first home game of 2017 on Sept. 9 against Texas Christian University in Fayetteville. Arkansas’ 2017 home schedule includes five more games including SEC showdowns with Auburn on Oct. 21, Mississippi State on Nov. 18, and Missouri on Nov. 25. Arkansas also hosts two other non-conference matchups: New Mexico State on Sept. 30 and Coastal Carolina Nov. 4, which is Homecoming. 

What can Razorback Nation expect from the football Hogs this year? Head Coach Bret Bielema returns for his fifth season leading Arkansas. Senior receiver Jared Cornelius will be a major passing target for senior quarterback Austin Allen, who last season lead the SEC in passing yardage.

Football single game tickets, including club and premium seating, are available for all six home games at Razorback Stadium. Visit arkansasrazorbacks.com for tickets, schedules and more.

RAZORBACK BASKETBALL

The men’s and women’s basketball teams have what it takes to bring fans to Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, make it come alive with team spirit! Known as the Basketball Palace of Mid-America, the state-of-the-art Bud Walton has a deluxe museum that pays tribute to the best moments in Hogs sports history.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL, Nov. 2 thru Dec. 28

The women’s basketball team welcomes new head coach and Arkansas alum Mike Neighbors this season, which opens Nov. 10 at home with the Hogs hosting Sam Houston State. In addition to the team’s usual conference matchups, the lady Hogs will host a total of seven non-conference teams in Fayetteville, and face seven others on the road. Visit arkansasrazorbacks.com for more.

 

MEN’S BASKETBALL, Nov. 10 thru Jan. 27

Fans can expect another great season of Coach Mike Anderson’s “Fastest 40 Minutes” in basketball, and have high hopes with returning seniors Daryl Macon, Jaylen Barford and Anton Beard leading on the court.

The men’s basketball team starts its season Nov. 10 against Samford at Bud Walton Arena. Seventeen of this season’s games will be played home in Fayetteville. 

Last year, the men’s basketball Hogs went 25-9 in the regular season and claimed a spot in the Sweet 16. Falling inches short of a victory over North Carolina in the second-round game of the tournament, it was the closest the Razorback team had been to the trophy since its last Sweet 16 appearance in 1996.

For tickets, schedules and info visit arkansasrazorbacks.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Music Destination: Northwest Arkansas

From multi-day music festivals to live performances in the state’s largest outdoor amphitheater, plus a strong local live scene, classical symphony performances and more, NWA has you covered in the tunes department!

FALL MUSIC FESTIVALS

Set in the serene beauty of the Ozark Mountains, fall music festivals in NWA are a truly unique concert experience!

Terra Studios Music & Art Fest

Cool Water Music Fest, Sept: 8-9: A new music fest makes its debut in Gravette this fall. Cool Water Music Fest brings 15+ talented bands from the Red Dirt genre to the region for a unique festival experience with primitive camping near the fresh springs of Spavinaw Creek, one of the freshest springs of water in all of Northwest Arkansas. Take a cool dip while waiting on your favorite band to play and then relax in the serene country setting while southern sounds flow from two stages!

Terra Studios Fall Music and Art FestivalSept. 10: Home of the famous Bluebird of Happiness®, Terra Studios hosts its Fall Music and Art Festival with upwards of 80 musicians, artists demonstrating flame and glass work, flow-artists and fire-spinners! The festival’s beloved “song circles” are formed by musicians who play all genres of music throughout Terra Studio’s six-acre Art Park.

Jazz Eureka, Sept. 14-16: Eureka Springs celebrates its 32nd annual jazz festival in lively downtown with a stellar lineup of outstanding acts, free jazz in Basin Springs Park and performances by headliner Victoria Swift, Block Street Hot Club, Fourscore, Charged Particles featuring Paul McCandless, and the Richard Bruton Quartet.

Hillberry, Courtesy Jamie Seed

Hillberry The Harvest Moon Festival, Oct. 15-16: All of the action of this multi-day music festival in the mountains takes place far away from the city lights. Come out to The Farm Campground in Eureka Springs for primitive camping and an earthy music experience with acts including Handmade Moments, Arkansauce, Greensky Bluegrass and Yonder Mountain String Band.

WALMART AMP IN ROGERS

The Walmart Arkansas Music Pavillion — known by locals as the AMP — still has concert dates left in its rockin’ 2017 season of headlining shows!

Brad Paisley, Sept. 1: The preeminent male country artist to emerge in the 2000’s, Paisley blends the past with the present, paying constant tribute to his forefathers but pushing the music forward. His brings special guests Dustin Lynch, Chase Bryand and Lindsay Ell.

Zac Brown Band, Sept. 14: Following a record-breaking year for the multi-platinum group, Zac Brown Band brings its Welcome Home Tour to Northwest Arkansas. Rolling Stone said the band’s live shows reach far behind the boundaries of country music “roping in everything from Metallica covers to EDM-inspired light displays.”

Sublime with Rome, Sept. 19: This Long Beach, Calif., band delivers an irresistible blend of ska, reggae, punk, surf rock and hip hop. Hits including “What I Got,” “Santeria” and “Wrong Way,” remain radio staples across music channells today.

Walmart AMP

KISS, Sept. 28: More than 40 years of record-breaking global tours have brought KISS to their fans and now is your chance to experience the legacy right here in NWA. As America’s #1 Gold Record award winners, KISS is clearly one of rock’s most influential bands of all time.

SPECIAL AMP PERFORMANCE: 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in Concert Featuring the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA), Oct. 7: Don’t miss this first installment of the Harry Potter™ Film Concert Series at the AMP! As momentous scenes from the film “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” are projected on the big screen, audiences will be enchanted by the memorable score performed by symphony musicians and written by celebrated composer John Williams. It’s sure to be a magical evening!

AMPFEST, Oct. 14: Now in its second year, this beer, music and tech festival features unlimited free samples of more than 60 local, regional and craft beers, cutting edge games and technology demonstrations, and great live music!

LIVE LOCAL MUSIC

Dickson Street Entertainment District, Fayetteville: When in Fayetteville, do as the locals do: go to Dickson Street! The heartbeat of downtown is home to some of the best live music venues in the region, plus unique shops and boutiques, art galleries and diverse restaurants. From dancing to shooting pool, shopping and people watching, there’s something for everyone on Dickson Street. 

George’s

George’s Majestic Lounge, Fayetteville: The oldest and longest-running club/live music venue in the state of Arkansas has hosted some of the hottest names in the city’s robust live local music scene to its stages. Located steps from the University of Arkansas campus, George’s dates back to the 1930s and was the first bar in the state to integrate in the ’50s. Come for happy hour on the patio or late night when the dance floor inside is packed.

Meteor Guitar Gallery, Bentonville: A restored movie theater that dates back to the 1920’s has been given a new life as an live music/entertainment venue that doubles as a guitar store and art gallery that displays the work of local artists alongside iconic pieces of music history. Hosting a variety of live entertainment, The Meteor radiates a vintage vibe that will take you back to the good ole’ days!

Chelsea’s Corner Café, Eureka Springs: For 25 years and counting, Chelsea’s has been the place where the misfits fit! With live music five nights a week, this is where you can dance your cares away late-night. If in town in the afternoon drop by for happy hour and chat with the locals, while enjoying amazing view from the double deck patio. 

SYMPHONIES AND ORCHESTRAS

Our region is known for its diversity and that doesn’t stop with the music. Two regional, professional orchestras of the highest caliber call Northwest Arkansas home.

Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA)The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA) presents its 2017-18 Season with a bold and exciting lineup of six mainstage concerts performed by Northwest Arkansas’ very own professional orchestra, with special guest soloists, talented choral and opera singers, and even the sounds of a big-band jazz collective. Under the direction of Maestro Paul Haas, the season features the return of the distinguished Masterworks series as well as the holiday family favorite, The Snowman. For season tickets and show information, visit sonamusic.org.

SoNA

Arkansas Phiharmonic Orchestra (APO)Under the direction of Maestro Steven Byess, APO is an integral part of the community by employing local, professional musicians to bring concerts not only to the community, but into area classrooms. Through its partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, APO supports local music programs through Carnegie Hall’s Link Up, the APYO, and by offering free tickets to music students in our area. For season tickets and show information, visit arphil.org.

 

 

“In Full Swing” Exhibition Joins Chihuly at Crystal Bridges This Fall

An exciting new exhibition opens at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art this month, highlighting the colorful, jazz-infused works of Stuart Davis, a preeminent figure in American modern art.

Stuart Davis: In Full Swing debuts on Sept. 16 in conjunction with this summer’s blockbuster exhibition: Chihuly: In the Forest. The outdoor exhibition features the works of master glass artist Chihuly on display in the wooded natural forest of the museum through Nov. 13

COME SEE BOTH EXHIBITIONS!

STUART DAVIS: IN FULL SWING, Sept. 16 – Jan. 1, 2018

In Full Swing is a major retrospective of 80+ paintings described as “a universe of jazzy patterns and blazing colors” by The New York Times. This exhibition focuses on specific phases of Davis’ work, in which he applied the forms of Cubism to still-lifes and landscapes, and invented a new abstract language that merged the aesthetics of advertising and jazz with language.

Over his career, Davis forged a union of international Modernism and uniquely American imagery that continues to influence art being made today. In his work, he captured an element of cool that proves he’s truly an American original.

 

CHIHULY: IN THE FOREST: THROUGH NOV. 13

Dale Chihuly has been an innovator for more than 40 years, working in many media including glass, paint, and neon, and always pushing their boundaries to carry out his distinctive vision.

Crystal Bridges debuted Chihuly’s dual exhibition — In the Gallery and In the Forest — this summer, drawing prestigious visitors and praise from around the world.

In the Forest is on display on the museum’s new North Forest Trail, which accommodates wheelchairs, strollers and scooters. When illuminated at dusk, dozens of works in a glorious fusion of size, shape and color, turn the trail into something magical!

Now, until Nov. 13, visitors can see both exhibitions for only $12.

A visit to the world-renowned Crystal Bridges reveals more than the stunning collection of masterworks inside. Designed by architect Moshe Safdie, the architecture is a work of art in and of itself. Nestled in a natural wooded ravine, the museum’s bridge structures span two spring-fed ponds that are surrounded by pavilions that house the art galleries and studios.

Museum restaurant Eleven serves award-winning High South Cuisine, and the gift store has all the unique items to help commemorate your trip!

For tickets and more information, visit crystalbridges.org.

(Photo captions: from top of page, Davis, Landscape with Garage Lights, 1931–32, oil on canvas; Davis, American Painting, 1932/1942–54, oil on canvas; Chihuly, Red Reeds, 2014)

 

 

 

 

Autumn Outdoor Fun and Adventure

The sky’s the limit when it comes to outdoor fun and adventure in NWA! Between mountain bike festivals, eagle watching on Beaver Lake, scenic motorcycle trails and byways, world-class bike trails, and our many lakes, rivers and parks – the opportunities are endless!

BIKE FESTIVALS:

Back 40 Fall for All Trail Festival, Sept. 2: Choose your passion along Bella Vista’s Back 40 trails: hiking, running, bike riding, or all three! Group rides led by Ozark Off-Road Cyclists and GPP Cycling start at 9 a.m. and include a skills course offered by the Friends of Arkansas Singletrack. Afterward, hang out at the festival area for music, food, face painting and more!

29th Annual NW Arkansas Mountain Bike Championships, Sept. 16: Bring your best off-road cycling skills to this annual mountain biking event at Devil’s Den State Park where rowdy XC riders are all in for a day of racing on courses designed for various skill levels. All races include laps on Racers Hill, while the Ride the Dam skilled course has tricky jumps over natural and manmade objects. Stick around for the awards ceremony and cookout with prizes, swag and food!

Coler Enduro Hosted by Oz Trails, Sept. 17: Presented by Bike Bentonville, this race combines the endurance of cross country and the technical features of a downhill race. Coler Trails are about a mile west of Bentonville on land designated as a mountain bike preserve. Technical sections include the Rock Solid line where you’ll blast through rock gardens and tight rock berms, while the Cease and Desist — the big boy jump line — will take you all the way down the mountain.

Slaughter Pen

Slaughter Pen Jam Mountain Bike Festival, Oct. 6-8: This annual festival is this largest XC race in Arkansas! The fun kicks off Friday evening on the Bentonville Square with a kids ride and a Monster Stunt Show, and moves over to Compton Gardens for a pre-race party, with more fun, music and food. It’s about bikes on Saturday morning as the festival opens at the bike park, followed by an archery biathalon. On Sunday, it’s the Arkansas Mountain Bike Championship Series Race.

MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS:

Coler Preserve Trails in Bentonville: Coler Trails are about a mile west of downtown Bentonville on land designated as a mountain bike preserve. Features include flowy jump lines and challenging technical rocky sections that culminate near the top of a mountain. More at oztrailsnwa.com.

Slaughter Pen Bike Park in Bentonville: Slaughter Pen is the ideal urban off-road bike park. You get clean flow, major downhills and plenty of berms while cruising near Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and other local hot spots. Visit oztrailsnwa.com.

Coler Trails

Lincoln Lake: Seven miles of hand-cut singletrack around Lake Lincoln and rocky tech will hone your skills with plenty of scenic overlooks and rock formations. Visit oztrailsnwa.com.

Mount Kessler Greenways in Fayetteville: These trails wind around rock formations and hillsides with expansive views of the Fayetteville city skyline. Visit mtkesslergreenways.com or oztrailsnwa.com.

Back 40 Trails in Bella Vista: Trails wind through wooded areas, past bluffs, caves and waterfalls, and down to the shore of Bella Vista’s Lake Ann. More at oztrailsnwa.com.

Blowing Springs Park in Bella Vista: The six-mile loop features bluff faces and streams trickling down rocks. Connects to Slaughter Pen trail in Bentonville. More at oztrailsnwa.com.

The Railyard Bike Park in Rogers: One of the only parks of its kind in this part of the country, The Railyard is fully equipped with world-class dirt jumps, wooden ramps and a ride-thru railroad car. Visit rogersar.com or oztrailsnwa.com.

Trails at Lake Atalanta in Rogers: Ten miles of easy, intermediate and expert bike trails include fast singletrack with swooping bridges and gravity cavities. Visit rogersar.gov or oztrailsnwa.com.

Lake Leatherwood Trails in Eureka Springs: Make your way through miles of rock gardens and up the climb to Minor’s Rock, then descend through downhill switchbacks. More at eurekaspringstrails.com or oztrailsnwa.com.

Thunder Chicken Trail in Springdale: Features singletrack, flow, jumps, rollers, berms and drops, with a convenient location off Interstate 49. Visit nwatrails.org.

Thunder Chicken

Sager Creek Mountain Bike Trail in Siloam Springs: This new, five-mile trail runs along Sager Creek, opening into two different trail systems on the north and west sides of the John Brown University campus. Visit jbu.edu.

Lake Fayetteville Trails: A local favorite for beginners, Lake Fayetteville features seven miles of mostly flat trails around the lake in urban Fayetteville. Visit oztrailsnwa.com.

Hobbs State Park Trails: Nestled in a thick patch of pine trees this system provides some of the smoothest riding in the state and is your best bet if the weather is wet. Make sure to stop at the Beaver Lake overlook. Visit oztrailsnwa.com

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MOTORCYCLE TRAILS AND SCENIC BYWAYS:

NWA is home to some of the best trails and byways in this part of the country – perfect to take in the dazzling fall colors from the back of a motorcycle or the passenger seat of your car!

Top Motorcycle Trails: Eureka Springs is a hub for great the state’s top motorcycle rides, as is Rogers, and Fayetteville as host to the annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ motorcycle rally on Sept. 20-23. Our bike-friendly region has numerous routes worthy of a ride, including Ark. 21, the Pig Trail (Ark. Hwy. 23), Beaver Town Bridge (Ark. Hwy. 187), and more. Visit arkansas.com.

Pig Trail

Scenic Byways: Nearby routes include the Pig Trail (Ark. Hwy. 23), Ozark Highlands Scenic Byway (Ark. Hwy. 21), Scenic 7 Byway, Scenic 71 Loop, and I-49 Scenic Byway. Others are Scenic Hwy. 12, U.S. 62, and Ark. Hwys. 123, 59, 43, and 74. Visit arkansas.com.

LAKES AND RIVERS:

Beaver Lake: NWA’s largest lake has key access points in or near Rogers, Eureka Springs and Springdale. There are 28,000 acres of clear water surrounded by beautiful forests, bluffs and meadows. Campgrounds, resorts, marinas, restaurants and outfitters are available.

Lake Wedington: Regularly stocked with fish, the 102-acre lake has a swim beach, air-conditioned cabins, playgrounds, volleyball courts, trails, a boat ramp and horseshoes.

Bella Vista Lakes: Bella Vista offers seven stunning lakes for fishing and water sports. Use of the lakes and facilities is available to all Bella Vista Village property owners and their guests.

White River: The White is home to a string of pools and shoals with overhanging trees, tight turns, and gravel bottoms among bluffs and forests. Below Beaver Dam, it’s a prime cold-water trout fishery with guides and outfitters available.

Kings River

Kings River: A top pick for canoeists and kayakers with about 50 miles of easy floating water. Deep pools provide first-rate fishing for smallmouth bass, channel catfish, rock bass and other fish.

Illinois River: This spring-fed, scenic-designated river starts in the northwest corner of Arkansas and streams into northeast Oklahoma. Near Siloam Springs, the Siloam Springs Kayak Park is a popular Class II play spot for kayakers year-round. Canoe and kayak outfitters, campsites, hiking and horseback riding trails and cabin rentals are available.

Holiday Island Marina & Campground: The campground overlooks the impressive Table Rock Lake straddling the Arkansas/Missouri border, and hosts 31 campsites with full water, sewer and electric hookups.

STATE AND NATIONAL PARKS:

Devil’s Den State Park: With 2,500 unspoiled acres adjoining the Ozark National Forest, Devil’s Den is a favorite for camping, hiking and horseback riding.

Devil’s Den

Hobbs State Park and Conservation AreaA massive park with more than 12,000 acres and 35 miles of hiking trails. Includes ADA accommodating routes.

Withrow Springs State Park: Hiking trails offer views of and access to War Eagle Creek, and canoeing includes a shuttle service for canoe rentals.

Prairie Grove Battlefield State ParkThe site of the last major Civil War battle in Northwest Arkansas on Dec. 7, 1862. Features a museum, visitor center, the one-mile Battlefield Trail and a five-mile driving tour.

Pea Ridge National Military Park: The site of the Battle of Pea Ridge on March 7-8, 1862. Spanning 4,300 acres, includes a visitor center and museum, a driving tour, and approximately 2.5 miles of the Trail of Tears.

EAGLE WATCH TOURS ON BEAVER LAKE:

It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s a bald eagle! In October, Belle of the Ozarks Beaver Lake Cruises offers expert guided tours for visitors to spot migrating osprey, great blue herons, king fishers, deer, red-tailed hawks and of course, the impressive bald eagle. Bring the family on this adventure to take in all the beautiful flora, fauna and wildlife the Northwest Arkansas Ozarks has to offer! 

Broadway and Beyond! Walton Arts Center Kicks Off 2017-18 Season

Get ready for more than 50+ dazzling productions as Walton Arts Center — Arkansas’ premier performing arts center — kicks off its 2017-18 Season!

WAC brings entertainers and artists from around the world to Northwest Arkansas, with Broadway musicals, renowned dance companies, international artists, up-and-coming jazz musicians and more.

The first show of the 2017-18 season is TajMo: The Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ Band – a historic collaboration between country blues artist Taj Mahal, and post-modern blues artist, Keb’ Mo’ on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

Beautiful

Highlights of the season include Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Martial Artists and Acrobats of Tianjin of the People’s Republic of China, country superstar LeAnn RimesDisenchanted and David Sedaris.

With shows from Sept. 19 through June 23, 2018 and featuring eight distinct series (Broadway, comedy, jazz, blues, kids and families, and more) – you won’t want to miss these amazing performances! Tickets and subscription packages are available by calling the WAC box office at (479) 443-5600 or by visiting waltonartscenter.org.

THE 2017-18 SEASON BY SERIES

P&G BROADWAY SERIES

The King and I

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I opens the series on Oct. 3-8 with the timeless story of an unconventional yet passionate relationship between the King of Siam and British schoolteacher Anna Leonowens. With amazing costumes and a score that features such beloved classics as “Getting to Know You,” “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” “Hello Young Lovers,” “Shall We Dance” and “Something Wonderful,” the King and I is too beautiful to miss!

On Nov. 7-12, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas brings plenty of dancing and laughter, just in time for the holidays.

The magic continues Dec. 19-23 with Finding Neverland, a heartwarming theatrical portrayal of the story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan.

If you prefer more spice than sugar, then Cabaret just for you! On Jan. 19-21, 2018, this award-winning production invites you into the Kit Kat Klub where a raucous ensemble takes the stage nightly.

An American in Paris comes to WAC on Feb. 6-11 with unforgettable songs by George and Ira Gershwin. The musical takes us to Paris for a romantic story about an American soldier and a mysterious French girl.

RENT

Then on March 2-4, two decades after its initial and unprecedented debut, RENT returns to NWA with its 20th Anniversary Tour.

The celebration of love and music continues April 24-29 with Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. Carol Klein was a Brooklyn girl who fought her way into the record business as a teenager and by her 20s was writing hits for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll. But it wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she managed to find her true voice.

 

The Broadway Series ends May 15-20 with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s timeless production of The Sound of Music, with its Tony®, Grammy® and Academy Award® winning Best Score, including “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Edelweiss” and the title song.

10×10 ARTS SERIES:

Ballet Arkansas Emergence – Oct. 13

Cas Public Symphonie Dramatique –  Oct. 26

Voces8

Voces8Dec. 3

Béla Fleck and Brooklyn Rider Jan. 17, 2018

The Triplets of Belleville Cine-Concert – Feb. 1, 2018

Pasadena Roof Orchestra – Feb. 24, 2018

 

 

 

Pasadena Roof Orchestra

Aquila Theatre Company’s Sense and Sensibility – March 8, 2018

Dublin Guitar Quartet – March 9, 2018

Ravé Mehta’s FLOW – May 24, 2018

Artosphere Festival Orchestra 10×10 Concert  June 19, 2018

 

STARRLIGHT JAZZ CLUB SERIES:

The Huntertones – Oct. 14

Huntertones

Bria Skonberg – Nov. 10

The Latin Jazz All Stars featuring Steve Turre & Nestor Torres – Dec. 8

Donny McCaslin – Feb.10, 2018

Alicia Olatuja – March 2, 2018

Conrad Herwig – April 28, 2018

The Northwest Arkansas Jazz All-Starts Youth Ensemble – April 30, 2018

KIMBERLY-CLARK FAMILY FUN SERIES:   

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo Oct. 27

 

Secret Agent 23

 

Trike Theater presents Charlotte’s Web – Nov. 17, 19, 25-26 & Dec. 1-2

Martial Artists and Acrobats of Tianjin, People’s Republic of China  Dec. 7-8

Danú A Christmas Gathering: Féile Na Nollag – Dec. 10

Walton Arts Center and SoNA Present The Snowman: A Family Concert – Dec. 17

Slingsby Theater Company’s The Young King – May 5, 2018

Ailie Cohen Puppet Maker’s The Secret Life of Suitcases – May 11, 2018

 

COCA-COLA NIGHT OUT SERIES:

At This Performance – Jan. 29, 2018

Classic Albums Live: Rumours – Feb. 2, 2018

Mummenschanz

Mummenschanz you & me – Feb. 27, 2018

PostSecret: The Show – March 9-10, 2018

VoicePlay – April 6, 2018

            

AMERICAN MUSIC SERIES:

TajMo: The Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ Band with special guest Black Pacific – Sept. 19

Jake Shimabukuro – Oct. 18

LeAnn Rimes: Today is Christmas Tour 2017 – Dec. 12

Charlie Daniels Band – May 10, 2018

            

MATTEL KIDS SERIES:

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical – Dec. 1-2

Rudolph

Theatre Company Cahoots NI presents Shh! We Have a Plan – Feb. 25, 2018

Claire Parsons’ And Then… – March 29, 2018

Trike Theatre presents Lily’s Purple Plastic PurseApril 13-14 & 20-21, 2018

            

LOL @ WAC COMEDY SERIES:

David Sedaris Oct. 24

 

Disenchanted

The Rocky Horror Picture Show – Oct. 30-31Robert Earl Keen’s “Merry Christmas from the Fam-O-Lee” Show – Dec. 13, 2017 

My Funny Valentine – Feb. 8-9, 2018

Disenchanted – March 14-15, 2018

 

WEST STREET LIVE:

Hot Club of Cowtown – Sept. 28

Hot Club of Cowtown

Joe Ely Acoustic – Oct. 19

Susan Werner Trio – Nov. 9

An Evening with Spencer Bohren – Jan. 18. 2018

John McEuen & Friends: Will the Circle Be Broken – Feb. 3, 2018

Raul Midón – March 1, 2018

SOLD OUT: An Evening with Peter Yarrow (Of Peter, Paul & Mary) – March 31, 2018

           

Fayetteville Roots Fest: Recipe of Music and Culinary Keeps Festival Goers Coming Back

Fayetteville and the NWA region are gearing up for the 8th Annual Fayetteville Roots Festival, a five-day urban music and food festival on August 23-27, 2017 in Northwest Arkansas!

Inspired by the sounds of folk and Americana music, the Fayetteville Roots Festival features some of the best music acts in the nation, while spotlighting the rich culture of the region and serving up the perfect combination of food, music and community.

What began in 2009 as a humble mountain town festival in a one-venue restaurant, the Roots Festival has surged in popularity, gaining momentum each year by adding new venues and experiences, and picking up national music acts in new genres along the way.

Held in one of the most hip and vibrant cities in the region, the five-day Fayetteville Roots Fest draws festival goers from more than 25 states and countries. The festival features a musical style that is diverse and rooted in many uniquely American musical styles such as Folk, Blues, Bluegrass, Jazz, Country, and more.

Chef Cook Off

This year’s festival’s extensive culinary program also features nationally known chefs and restaurateurs hosting special culinary events and tastings utilizing only locally grown produce, locally raised meats and locally produced products from the Ozarks.

The Roots Festival also highlights local art and artists, as well as film screenings, live radio broadcasts, workshops, a kids/family concert and other entertainment on stages in both Fayetteville and Bentonville.

Reflecting the region’s love of diversity in music, people and food, Roots Fest wants the community to be engaged, so nearly half of the events and experiences are part of a free community programming initiative.

Festival goers can spend the entire weekend at music workshops, screenings, cooking demonstrations and a Chef Cook Off at the Fayetteville Farmers Market – all without spending a dime!

Some festival events require pre-registration. Make plans to arrive at events early. See the festival’s full schedule of events for more details.

MAIN MUSIC STAGE 

The Roots Festival’s Main Music Stage is at the Fayetteville Town Center on the historic downtown square. A carefully curated music lineup, including headlining acts as well as undiscovered regional and local talent, will take the Main Stage for dozens of performances during the five-day festival.

This year’s main stage lineup features The Wood Brothers, Iron & Wine, John Paul White, Rodney Crowell, Nick Offerman, John Fullbright, River Whyless, Elephant Revival, The Stray Birds, Smokey & the Mirror, Dead Man Winter, Dana Louise & the Glorious Birds, Joe Purdy, Mandolin Orange and more. 

LATE NIGHT STAGES

No need to worry if you don’t have tickets for a Main Stage act. The Roots Festival also features happy hour and late night music at multiple venues in the downtown entertainment district.

Hop from bar to bar on and off Dickson Street where Late Night Stages host live music at low cost or no cover.

The iconic George’s Majestic Lounge will have live music from local favorites as well as festival headliners performing second sets while they are in town. Also catch no-cover late night shows at local hot spots Kingfish, Maxine’s Tap Room and Stage 18.

DIG IN CULINARY: The Roots Fest pays special tribute to regional farmers by working with almost entirely locally sourced food. Award-winning guest chefs will prepare festival cuisine from seasonal, locally sourced produce, meat and artisanal products.

TV host and garden designer P. Allen Smith and foodie/home chef Joe Kwon of the Avett Brothers band are among the dozens of culinary guests who will be cooking up deliciousness and sharing their talents at special culinary events. 

Special culinary events include:

Feed Communities Luncheon, August 24 – An afternoon of food, drink and conversation about the local food movement with host P. Allen Smith at Fayetteville’s Pratt Place Inn.

Master Classes, August 25 – The Brightwater Institute of Culinary in Bentonville hosts live music, craft brew, cider and food tastings, and the opportunity to learn with some of the country’s best chefs.

Taste & Talk Series, August 26 – Join chefs, farmers, brewers and makers for an elevated conversion around food, sourcing and styles. Followed by a “taste the lesson” sesh.

Chef Cook Off, August 26 – A Saturday morning at the Farmers Market with eight chefs, five judges, one dish and 45 minutes. Using only locally sourced farmers market ingredients. Come cheer on your favorites!

Roots Pop Up Bistro and more!

For more information about the Fayetteville Roots Festival, visit therootsfest.org.

Photos courtesy Fayetteville Roots Festival

NWA Foodie Scene Hotter Than Ever

Attracting die-hard foodies can be tricky, but it’s no conundrum for the cities of Northwest Arkansas. The culinary scene here is booming – with no signs of slowing down anytime soon!

The Hive at 21c

Northwest Arkansas offers a new age of award-winning chefs, unbeatable hospitality and everything from locally-owned, farm-to-table eateries, to fine dining, regional High South cuisine, authentic international fare and more. Our hip eateries are routinely recognized as national dining destinations, and our food truck scene is an ever-evolving feast for the senses. Whether you’re grabbing a casual bite with friends or entertaining guest or clients, our fine cities have what you’re hungry for!

BENTONVILLE: When visiting this “New American Town” home to Walmart and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the downtown area and its new breed of locally owned restaurants are not to be missed! Top chefs from across the country have made their way to downtown Bentonville, pleasing the palates of many and racking up culinary awards left and right.

Eleven at Crystal Bridges

Don’t miss The Hive at 21c Museum Hotel, where Executive Chef Matthew McClure has been a James Beard Foundation “Best Chef in the South” semifinalist for four years in a row. The Hive serves refined country cooking that pays homage to the High South using local and regional ingredients like black walnuts, freshly milled corn meal, hickory smoked hams, peaches, melons and sweet onions. 

Along with The Hive, Eleven at Crystal BridgesTusk and Trotter, PressroomOven and Tap, Crepes PauletteTable Mesa Bistro, Tavola Trattoria and Mod are a few of the exquisite restaurants fueling the success downtown, where the new Brightwater culinary school is also training some of the nation’s up-and-coming top chefs. And, don’t forget an ice cream sundae at the Spark Cafe inside The Walmart Museum! Learn more at visitbentonville.com

The Preacher’s Son

New on the scene: The Preacher’s Son, where Executive Chef Matthew Cooper’s rustic style keeps true to both his Southern roots and his Pacific Northwest influences. 

ROGERS: With the finest in business amenities and world-class shopping, Rogers is “where possible lives.” And, with dining choices galore along the I-49 corridor and in the town’s historic downtown, it’s also “where delicious lives.” The Pinnacle Promenade, Village on the Creeks and Pinnacle Hills areas flanking I-540 offer dozens of dining choices, including favorites like P.F. Chang’s and Fish City Grill, as well as fine dining at Ruth’s Chris Steak HouseCrabby’s Seafood, Bonefish Grill, and more. And new to the scene, Italian eatery Mirabella’s Table

Head downtown for a collection of more locally owned offerings, including slathered ribs at food truck Pop’s Hog Wild BBQ, pizza at The Rail, great burgers at Parkside Public, a craft beer or wine flight at Brick Street Brews, dessert at Kirby’s Kupcakes and more. Also worth mentioning, Saiwok Vietnamese Street Food and the unique creations at The Social Taco, both located on W. Walnut St. Whether you’re prepared to polish off a three-course meal, or just looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, Rogers has the variety to supply your fix. Learn more at visitrogersarkansas.com.

Levi’s Gastrolounge

A downtown favorite: Levi’s Gastrolounge, serving unique American pub fare with a side of live music. 

FAYETTEVILLE: With its vibrant nightlife, live music and performing arts scene, Fayetteville offers all kinds of restaurants, and is much-loved for its numerous locally sourced, farm-to-table options, as well as a variety of lovely fine dining options. Head downtown or to Dickson Street for favorites including Bordinos, Theo’s, Hugo’s, Arsaga’s at the Depot, Emelia’s KitchenRolando’s, Vetro 1925, Greenhouse Grille and The Farmer’s Table, among others. Midtown favorites include Cajun fare at Cafe Rue Orleans, new American cuisine at Mockingbird Kitchen, casual Italian at Pesto Cafe and Bocca, and Herman’s Ribhouse.

Arsaga’s at the Depot

But perhaps no other food genre has Fayetteville living up to its reputation as “funky college town” more than the gourmet food-truck phenomenon. Food truck fanatics flock to Fayetteville!

The Green Goat

Individual food trucks and food truck “courts” — like the Yacht Club on North College Avenue and the Dickson Street Food Court — are peppered throughout the downtown area, serving delicious plates from all corners of the world. With options like The Green Goat for Cuban aficionados, Nomad’s Natural Plate for Mediterranean, Blazin’ Asian Munchies, CatHead Biscuits, gourmet finds at Big Sexy Food and towering sandwiches at Natural State, plus many more, the food truck phenomenon doesn’t seem to be dwindling anytime soon! Learn more at experiencefayetteville.com.

Fan favorite: Chunky Dunk, the “milk and cookies” truck located on North Street behind Fayetteville’s Funky Yardsale, is a must. 

SPRINGDALE: Whether you’re visiting Springdale, or a local looking for some of the best authentic Mexican food the city has to offer, we have two words: Taco Tour. Springdale has organized a self-guided tour through some of the tastiest taquerias in town.

Springdale Taco Tour

The concept is simple. Eat your way through the tour, and upload your photos to social media with the hashtag #SpringdaleTacoTour for a chance to win prizes too! With stops at spots like Taqueria Mexico for authentic tacos, burritos and flan, or Charly’s Taqueria where the pork and pineapple and guacamole are recommended, and Taqueria El Cunado serving a praiseworthy huevos Mexicanos and waffle combo, you’ll be hooked! Learn more at teamspringdale.com/tacotour.

Work week favorite: Taquería Don Güero, for its delicious tacos, especially carne asada!

28 Springs

SILOAM SPRINGS: With everything from fine wine and specialty cuisine to good ole’ home-style cooking, Siloam Springs has the cure to your craving!

A quaint town with history in every nook and cranny, come here to satisfy your appetite with Italian brick oven pizza and gelato, signature Ozark Plateau fine cuisine and fresh locally baked pastries.

Pure Joy

Destinations like The Café on Broadway and Pour Johns Coffee & Vinyl bring the color of street life to the city, along with fresh lunches and outdoor dining, while a relaxing ambiance can be found at classics like the Inn at the Springs featuring weekly chef specials in a classically restored venue. Looking for some homemade ice cream? Head downtown to Pure Joy! Whatever you’re hungry for, Siloam Springs has got it! Learn more at mainstreetsiloam.com.

Local Favorite: 28 Springs Restaurant, for fabulous seasonal gourmet fare and unique cocktails. 

Le Stick Nouveau

EUREKA SPRINGS: Whether you’re on a break from shopping in historic downtown or hanging with friends at one of the city’s fine pubs and bars, you’ll find some of Arkansas’ best restaurants in Eureka Springs.

It’s no surprise this artsy hamlet known for its open-mindedness has a diverse culinary scene, too. Dive into the melting pot with authentic Italian at Ermilio’s or Devito’s of Eureka Springs, creative fare at Local Flavor Cafe, aged steak and fresh oysters at Rogue’s Manor or Gaskins Cabin Steakhouse, wood fired goodness at Grotto Grill & Wine Cave, gourmet burgers and beer at Sparky’s Roadhouse Café, or casual fine dining with Mediterranean flair at the Cottage Inn.  

Find local and organic at its best at Farm to Table Fresh, or experience the tradition of Sunday Brunch at the Crystal Dining Room inside the 1886 Crescent Hotel (also home to award-winning Skybar Gourmet Pizza). Delight in the grand American fare of the Grand Taverne Restaurant inside the Grand Central Hotel, or enjoy casual eats and drinks at the 1905 Basin Park Hotel. Whether you’re with that special someone or surrounded by lively locals, you’re guaranteed to find delicious food paired with a great time in Eureka Springs! Learn more at eurekasprings.org.

Cutting edge gourmet: Le Stick Nouveau, an immersive fine dining experience in the heart of downtown.

CRAFT BREWS: If you’re hankering for an ice-cold craft beer or cider, head here for the lowdown on all things foamy…