Category Archives: Explore Blog

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… 

Blockbuster Exhibition: Chihuly at Crystal Bridges!

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville is debuting a blockbuster exhibition of breathtaking works by master glass sculptor Dale Chihuly!

Neodymium Reeds and Seal Pups, D. Chihuly

Chihuly’s creations showcasing the translucence and transparency of glass, ice, water and neon, are celebrated around the world. An innovator for more than 40 years, he works in many media including glass, paint, plastics, neon and ice, always pushing their boundaries to carry out his distinctive vision.

Chihuly: In the Gallery and In the Forest opens June 3 and will be on view in Crystal Bridges’ temporary exhibition gallery and North Forest through August 14. Once the gallery portion closes, Chihuly: In the Forest will remain on view in the museum’s North Forest from August 16 to Nov. 13. Museum members can partake of a special week-long member preview May 27 through June 2.

Chihuly: In the Gallery and In the Forest showcases over 300 objects comprised of 14 bodies of work in the gallery and 10 large-scale outdoor installations. The works are featured both in the gallery and along the museum’s newly enhanced North Forest Trail. The exhibition highlights Chihuly’s signature works and newest projects in a museum-wide experience of light, color, and masterful forms.

Boathouse 7 Neon (detail), D. Chihuly, 2016

Crystal Bridges has opened a new entrance and the enhanced North Forest to host the outdoor Chihuly exhibition. The new entrance, elevator tower and a pedestrian bridge on the north side of the museum are designed to increase access to the museum’s north lawn and trail system.

Chihuly is globally renowned for his ambitious site-specific installations in public spaces, as well as exhibitions presented in museums and gardens. His largest sculpture to date, Fiori di Como, is a colorful glass ceiling made of more than 2,000 pieces on display at the Bellagio Hotel lobby in Las Vegas.

Azure Icicle Chandelier (detail), D. Chihuly, 2016

 

Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Chihuly established the glass program at the Rhode Island School of Design and co-founded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington.

He pioneered irregular, asymmetrical forms by allowing the molten glass to bend, fold and move according to its own rhythm and gravity. Experimenting with size, weight and thinness to create new shapes, he expanded the scope and scale of art glass, with sculptural and architectural installations. His stunning creations are familiar to art lovers and glass enthusiasts alike. From the first small glass bubble he blew as an art student in 1965, Chihuly has marveled at the mysteries of glass.

“To this day I have not gotten over the excitement of molten glass,” the artist Chihuly said. “The process is so wonderfully simple, yet so mystifying. I’m still amazed to see the first breath of air enter the hot gather of glass at the end of a blowpipe.”

Marigold Persian Installation (detail), 2017

At Crystal Bridges, the extensive indoor and outdoor installations will feature new works by Chihuly, as well as iconic works spanning the breadth of his career.

Non-member admission for this ticketed exhibition is $20 for adults and includes both the indoor and outdoor venues. Once the gallery portion closes, the cost will be $10 for Chihuly: In the Forest. There is no cost for museum members and youth ages 18 and under.

For tickets and more click here. 

 

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NWA Summer Festivals

Summertime in Northwest Arkansas is packed with a full range of community events and festivals – from art, music and diversity, to classic cars, cycling and even man’s best friend! Make the most of your summer during this busiest of busy seasons!

Eureka Springs Mustang Show, June 1-4: Take the scenic route through Ozark byways for this inaugural event presented by the Midwest Blue Oval Club. The only such show of its kind in the region, the festival includes a Mustang Mardi Gras parade, a Country Cruise and more.

Eureka Springs Blues Weekend

Eureka Springs Blues Weekend, June 15-18: Award-winning musicians, including Blues Hall of Fame artists, will perform at venues all around historic Eureka Springs during the city’s annual Blues Weekend.

Bentonville Art and Culinary Festival, Month of June: During the month of June, this festival is carried out across downtown Bentonville through culinary events, demonstrations, talks and tastings, as well as interactive crafts and activities for the kiddos.

Highberry Music Festival – June 29-July 2: The 8th Annual Highberry Music Festival at The Farm Campground in Eureka Springs boasts rockin’ tunes and beautiful scenery amidst the 160-acre site that backs up to the Mark Twain National Forest. Beaver Lake, Table Rock Lake and the White River are all within 5 miles of the venue. This four-day music and camping festival features dozens of bands on multiple stages and performance spaces – including The Floozies, Dark Star Orchestra, Funky Meters, Dopapod, Perpetual Groove, The Marcus King Band, Pink Talking Fish and Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, just to name a few. 

19th Annual Eureka Springs Fat Tire Festival, July 14-16: Attracting riders, spectators and party-goers from several states, this three-day cycling festival is packed with downhill, short track and cross country racing…glued together with group rides, social gatherings, live music, craft beer and all-around good vibes! 

Fat Tire Festival

Summer Diversity Weekend in Eureka Springs, August 4-6: Four times a year, Eureka Springs dedicates a weekend to celebrating love and diversity. Spend an afternoon strolling the city’s downtown, the entirety of which is on the national historic register. There are dozens of art galleries, local pubs, scrumptious restaurants and eclectic shops, too.

Dog Days at the Farmers Market in Siloam Springs, August 5: You and your four-legged friend will be nothing short of spoiled at this celebration of pets and their people. Enjoy activities and pet-themed vendors in downtown Siloam Springs.

Dog Days of Summer

Tontitown Grape Festival, August 1-5: A Northwest Arkansas summer staple, this unique festival in its 119th year knows how to draw a crowd. The Italian community of Tontitown is full of tradition and its annual festival is famous for the made-from-scratch spaghetti and fried chicken dinners and grape stomping events.

Eurekan Multisport Festival, August 11-13: Do you have what it takes to complete the ultimate challenge? To earn the title of The Eurekan you must complete a triathlon, 100-mile bike ride and 10K run. If you’re a bit less ambitious, give the Half Eurekan a try with a triathlon, 58-mile bike ride and 5K run.

Fayetteville Roots Fest

Fayetteville Roots Festival, August 24-27: With four days of music, food and community, the Fayetteville Roots Festival keeps it funky. Check out the music that gives the Ozarks its soul while showing your support of locally sourced cuisine.

25th Annual Eureka Springs VW Festival, August 25-27: Enjoy a weekend dedicated to one of most recognizable car brands of our time! Not only will you find classic Volkswagen Bugs, vans and all models in between, but there is the giant swap meet, a tourcade and live entertainment, too.

Rogers Frisco Festival, August 25-26: This family friendly, end-of-summer festival has been delighting people from all over for more than two decades now. With live entertainment, cook-offs and contests, a car show and vendors, it’s another great reason to visit beautiful downtown Rogers.

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Walmart AMP Summer Concert Lineup

When summer turns up the heat, Northwest Arkansas turns up the music! Check out this lineup of major concerts coming this summer to the Walmart AMP – one of the best outdoor music venues around! Tickets and info at arkansasmusicpavilion.com.

Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige – Saturday, June 3

R&B singer, songwriter, actress and philanthropist, Mary J. Blige is a figure of empowerment and inspiration, and one of the most defining voices of the contemporary music era. With eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy Awards (plus a staggering 32 nominations), a 2012 Golden Globe nomination and five American Music Awards, Blige is a global superstar. Come enjoy “An Evening with Mary J!”

ZZ Top – Friday, June 9

Once known as That Little Ol’ Band From Texas, ZZ Top brings blues rock to the AMP! After four-and-a-half decades together, the band of three are still playing the classics that helped them rise to fame. You’ll be humming “Sharp Dressed Man” by the time the night is over!

ZZ Top

 

Elle King – Saturday, June 24

Elle King brings her eclectic style to the AMP as part of the Walmart NW Arkansas LPGA Championship. Emerging onto the music scene in recent years, Elle has wowed audiences with her versatile style.

July 4th Fireworks Spectacular with the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas

Celebrate America’s 241st birthday with a patriotic concert performed by the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA) followed by a fireworks spectacular courtesy of the City of Rogers! 

Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival – Thursday, July 6

Music legend Willie Nelson is bringing his traveling Outlaw Music Festival Tour to Northwest Arkansas! In addition to headliners like Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell and the legendary Nelson himself, the festival includes local cuisine, craft beer and work by local artisans to give music fans an all-around unforgettable concert experience.

Third Eye Blind – Wednesday, July 12

In recognition of their 20-year career, Third Eye Blind will, for the first time in their storied history, play their namesake debut album — considered one of the great rock records of all time — in its entirety as part of this concert. Headliners at popular music festivals including Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, Third Eye Blind welcomes special guest, Silversun Pickups.

Hank Williams Jr. – Saturday, July 15

Hank Williams Jr. will take the stage with special guests .38 Special and Whiskey Meyers. Don’t miss your chance to kick back and relax with an evening full of classic country music by the one and only “Bocephus.”

Steve Miller Band & Peter Frampton – Tuesday, July 18

Playing for more than 15 million people in the last 20 years, the Steve Miller Band will bring a catalog of its most popular hits to the AMP including “The Joker,” “Jet Airliner” and “Take the Money and Run.” With special guest Peter Frampton, it’s going to be a show to remember!

Rascal Flatts – Friday, July 21

Country music favorite Rascal Flatts puts its 10th album front and center with the Rhythm and Roots Tour. With special guest Lauren Alaina, the most awarded group in country music over the past decade will entertain the audience with its greatest hits and newer tunes, too.

Lady Antebellum

Wheels of Soul – Tuesday, July 25

The Tedeschi Trucks Band, a 12-piece band led by a husband and wife duo, bring along their longtime friends The Wood Brothers and Hot Tuna for the Wheels of Soul Tour. This tour continually evolves with new collaborations and offers a unique experience for fans. Get ready to sit back and relax with a band that brings the soul.

Lady Antebellum – Saturday, August 5

One of the biggest names in country music today, Lady Antebellum will light up the AMP stage for its You Look Good world tour. Complementing its contagious feel-good vibe, the trio will be accompanied by special guests Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young.

Straight No Chaser & Postmodern Jukebox – Sunday, August 6

Fans of retro pop sounds with a cheeky modern twist are in for the experience of a lifetime this summer as Postmodern Jukebox and Straight No Chaser join forces for a co-headlining tour of the United States, delivering mash up classic pop stylings and modern pop hits in their own unique fashions.

Matchbox Twenty & Counting Crows – Monday, August 7

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of Matchbox Twenty’s debut album at the AMP with co-headliners Counting Crows, a band known for creating a unique and innovative concert-going experience for fans. Don’t miss your chance to rock with these two rock sensations!

 

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NWA Top Summer Picks

Summer is (almost) here! People are active, cold beverages are flowing and special summer events and activities are heating up. Optimize your fun this summer with our list of some fun and unique NWA must-dos this season!

PUBLIC ART TOUR: Northwest Arkansas, Fayetteville in particular, has a vibrant public art scene…from eclectic outdoor sculptures to large art murals, painted utility boxes and storm drains, and more. Snap pictures of these public art favorites while you explore the city on foot or by bike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RIDE WITH US: Bentonville’s cycling culture is second to none! With local community rides for cyclists every Monday through Sunday, it’s always a good day to bike in Bentonville. Bonus: The greater NWA region’s 200+ miles of bike trails!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CELEBRATION OF THE SENSES: The Art of Wine Festival on June 8-10 at Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville is a chance to sample some of the world’s finest wines and an array of artfully crafted local cuisine! (Must be 21 or older to purchase tickets.)

 

BANG, POW, BOOM: NWA’s first Art Pop Comic Expo is coming to the Jones Center in Springdale on June 9-10. Pick up prints, original art and signed comics by top industry talent from Marvel, DC, IDW, Dark Horse and more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PADDLE-UP YOGA: Combine the natural beauty of Beaver Lake east of Rogers with stand-up paddle boarding and yoga, and you’ll get a fun, healing workout with a few laughs, too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOCALLY GROWN: Take advantage of Northwest Arkansas’ summer farmers market with seasonal harvests, arts and crafts, and community activities for the whole family! Check out markets in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville, Holiday Island, Siloam Springs, Eureka Springs, Bella Vista and Huntsville.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YEE-HAW! The 73rd Annual Rodeo of the Ozarks coming to Springdale on June 21-24 is one of the leading outdoor rodeos in the nation, bringing more than 500 of the best cowboys and rough stock for four nights of rodeo action!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ZIPPIN IN THE OZARKS: Ozark Mountain Ziplines in Eureka Springs will take you on a Costa Rican-style zipline canopy tour in the heart of the Ozarks. With ten cables and one awesome swinging bridge!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIP & LEARN: Try a flight from new wineries every first Thursday of the month at Brick Street Brews in Rogers! Sip & Learn includes hand-picked styles from a variety of boutique wineries, followed by guided tasting in a casual atmosphere. Also check out tastings at Keels Creek Winery in Eureka Springs, Sassafras Springs Vineyards and Winery in Springdale, and Tontitown Winery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIVE IN: When the warm, sunny days of summer come calling, Northwest Arkansas has plenty of splash zones to keep you cool! Check out The Fountains at Lawrence Plaza in Bentonville, the Rogers Aquatic Center, The Jones Center in Springdale and The Family Aquatic Center in Siloam Springs, just to name a few!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL FLAVORS: With everything from street food to fine dining, eclectic to mainstream and locally sourced to international, a mouthwatering array of choices and culinary experiences are ripe for the taking in Bentonville, Eureka Springs, Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale and Siloam Springs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BRAVO! Opera in the Ozarks‘ summer season kicks off June 23 thru July 21 at its mountainside (and air conditioned!) venue, Inspiration Point in Eureka Springs. Catch the country’s top opera up-and-comers in 22 performances of The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen and Susannah. Sunday shows at Arend Arts Center in Bentonville.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL: Experience the story behind the music when the record-breaking smash Broadway hit Motown The Musical comes to Walton Arts Center June 27 – July 2!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR: Celebrate the 4th of July with NWA Naturals Baseball at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale with the largest Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular in all of Northwest Arkansas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CRIT SERIES: The Natural State Criterium Series brings pro and amateur cyclists to downtown Bentonville, Rogers and Springdale on July 7-9. Free and fun for all ages, cyclists will wow spectators as they zoom along city streets during the competition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIREFLY FLING: The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks will transform into a magical world for the 2017 Firefly Fling on July 15 with live music and tales from storytellers, and after dark there will be glowing games, performances and fire dancing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BITE NW Arkansas Food Festival

Returning for its third year, the BITE NW Arkansas culinary fest in Bentonville just keeps getting bigger and better – and 2017 promises to be the best year yet!

BITE NW Arkansas is a premier two-night food festival that is part of the Walmart NWA LPGA Championship.

The festival celebrates the best cuisine, ingredients, restaurants, beverages and chefs that Northwest Arkansas has to offer. Two nights. One world-class event!

BITE Night One, Thursday, June 22: Mix, mingle and enjoy an abundance of sample-sized menu items prepared by restaurants and chefs from throughout the region. 6-9 p.m.

BITE Night Two, Friday, June 23: Sample signature burgers from the best Northwest Arkansas restaurants, and sip local libations while enjoying a fun and relaxed atmosphere at this festival style event. 6-9 p.m.

This year, BITE is relocating to the 8th Street Market in Bentonville as the new market’s inaugural signature event.

One of Bentonville’s newest culinary destinations, the 8th Street Market encompasses 10 acres along 8th Street in the Bentonville Market District near the Bentonville Square. Already home to Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food, the market will ultimately showcase culinary education, music and the arts, new restaurant and hospitality venues, and other specialized food and drink concepts.

 

Don’t miss your chance to taste, sip, sample and discover the best of our region and beyond at BITE NW Arkansas! For tickets and info visit bitenwa.com.

 

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Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

Now in its 11th year, the 2017 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G returns to NWA June 19 – 25 at Pinnacle Hills Country Club in Rogers.

This official LPGA tournament brings more than 140 of the world’s top female golfers to Northwest Arkansas for three days of stiff competition on June 23-25.

The premier week-long event also includes the 5K@ the LPGA on June 24, followed by Elle King in concert that evening at the nearby Walmart AMP.

2016 Championship Winner Lydia Ko

There is also the two-night BITE NW Arkansas food festival on June 22-23, featuring the best in local cuisine, libations and regional chef talent. (More here.)

Other crowd favorites during championship week include the Pantene Beautiful Lengths community hair donation ceremony, the Walmart Kids Center, and the upbeat party atmosphere at the 17th hole for the Gatorade Loudest Hole on Tour event.

BITE NW Arkansas

There is also the Play with the Pros pro-am game with an opportunity to play 18 holes with an LPGA tour professional during championship week.

The Walmart NW Arkansas Championship has something fun for everyone, so get your tickets now at nwachampionship.com.

 

 

 

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Naturally Fun: NWA State Parks, Lakes and Rivers

Northwest Arkansas’ state and national park properties, and area lakes and rivers, are the perfect summer getaway! Whether you’re hiking, biking, camping, fishing, floating, waterskiing or whatever your pleasure, these naturally fun destinations provide all sorts of ways to explore and savor the great outdoors.

Devil’s Den State Park

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

 

Hobbs State Park and Conservation Area,  Benton, Madison and Carroll Counties: This massive park with more than 12,000 acres has 35 miles of hiking trails that include ADA routes, a 17,500-square-foot visitor center with interactive exhibits and a wildlife viewing area.

 

 

Withrow Springs State Park, Madison County: Hiking trails offer views of and access to War Eagle Creek, where fishing for catfish, bream and bass is popular. Canoeing is another prized pastime, and shuttle service for canoe rentals is also available.

Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park

Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park: The site of the last major Civil War battle in Northwest Arkansas (Dec. 7, 1862), this park features a museum, visitor center, the one-mile Battlefield Trail and a five-mile driving tour. Battle reenactments take place biennially in December of even numbered years.

 

Pea Ridge National Military Park, Benton County: Protecting the site of the Battle of Pea Ridge (March 7-8, 1862), this park has one of the best-preserved Civil War battlefields in the country. Spanning 4,300 acres, it includes a visitor center and museum, a driving tour, approximately 2.5 miles of the Trail of Tears and more.

 

Beaver Lake

Beaver Lake

Beaver Lake, Benton, Carroll and Washington Counties: A glistening treasure for boaters, water sports enthusiasts, anglers, hikers, campers and birdwatchers, Beaver Lake is NWA’s largest lake with 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, Washington County: Surrounded by lavish hardwood forest and the 424-acre Lake Wedington Recreation Area, this 102-acre lake is regularly stocked with fish. Amenities include a swim beach, air-conditioned cabins, playgrounds, volleyball courts, trails, a boat ramp and horseshoes.

Bella Vista Lakes, Benton County: 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.

Loch Lomond in Bella Vista

White River, Carroll, Madison and Washington Counties: The White River is home to a string of pools and shoals with overhanging trees, tight turns, and gravel bottoms among bluffs, forests and peaceful pastures. Below Beaver Dam, near Eureka Springs, the White is a prime cold-water trout fishery with numerous guides and outfitters to serve tourists.

Kings River, Carroll and Madison Counties: A top pick for canoeists and kayakers, the Kings River provides about 50 miles of easy floating water. Rare flora and fauna are found on its rocky banks and bluffs, and deep pools provide first-rate fishing for smallmouth bass, channel catfish, rock bass and other fish.

 

Seth+James+2

Siloam Springs Kayak Park

Illinois River, Benton and Washington Counties: This spring-fed, scenic-designated river starts in the northwest corner of Arkansas near the town of Hogeye and streams into northeast Oklahoma. Near Siloam Springs, the Siloam Springs Kayak Park has made the Illinois 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, Carroll County: Nestled amidst glorious trees and brilliant rock formations, the Holiday Island campground overlooks the impressive Table Rock Lake straddling the Arkansas/Missouri border. It hosts 31 campsites with full water, sewer and electric hookups offering both 30 and 50 amp services, restrooms, showers, a pavilion and horseshoe pits.

 

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Off-Road Cycling: 200+ Miles of Trails

Touting everything from back-country trails with old-school technical riding, to a cutting edge, slope-style jump park and scenic views you can’t find anywhere else, it’s easy to see why the regions 200+ miles of bike trails makes NWA one of the top off-road bicycling destinations in the U.S.! 

Slaughter Pen Bike Park

Slaughter Pen Bike Park in Bentonville: Looking to ride off-road but stay in the city? 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. More at oztrailsnwa.com.

 

Coler Trail in Bentonville: The new Coler Trail is about a mile west of downtown Bentonville on land designated as a mountain bike preserve. This trail features multiple flowy jump lines and challenging technical rocky sections that culminate near the top of a mountain. More at oztrailsnwa.com.

 

Park Springs Park in Bentonville: One of the city’s oldest rec areas, Park Springs is adding a new phase of mountain bike trails. Adjacent to a sweet jump line behind the Lincoln Junior High, there’s a pavilion, built-in BBQ grills and the newly redesigned Burns Arboretum Nature Trail. Visit oztrailsnwa.com.

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

 

Mount Kessler Greenways

Mount Kessler Greenways in Fayetteville: Take your bike along trails that wind around rock formations and hillsides and enjoy expansive views of the Fayetteville city skyline. Visit mtkesslergreenways.com or oztrailsnwa.com.

 

Back 40 Trails in Bella Vista: Newly opened last year, the Back 40 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: Vast bluff faces and streams trickling down the rocks are just a few of the highlights that riders will encounter on the six-mile Blowing Springs Loop. Blowing Springs also connects to Slaughter Pen trail in Bentonville. More at oztrailsnwa.com.

 

Railyard Bike Park

The Railyard Bike Park in Rogers: With great accessibility to downtown Rogers and 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. More at rogersar.com or oztrailsnwa.com.

 

Trails at Lake Atalanta in Rogers: Ten miles of easy, intermediate and expert bike trails at the beautiful Lake Atalanta include fast singletrack trail with a view, 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 feel the thrill of descending through the downhill switchbacks. More at eurekaspringstrails.com or oztrailsnwa.com.

 

Thunder Chicken Trail in Springdale: In search of a trail with singletrack, flow, jumps, rollers, berms and drops and then some? With a convenient location off Interstate 49, Thunder Chicken has all the bells and whistles. Visit nwatrails.org.

 

Sager Creek Bike Trail

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. Covering terrain at various elevations around the JBU main campus, it’s designed as a gateway trail to be enjoyed by riders at all skill levels. Visit jbu.edu.

 

Lake Fayetteville Trails: A local favorite for beginning mountain bikers, 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. Great for single speed aficionados. Make sure to stop at the Beaver Lake overlook. More at oztrailsnwa.com

 

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Major Arts Festivals Underway in May!

In Northwest Arkansas, we’re an arty bunch, and May is our month to show it off! Two major arts festivals that span the region and the May calendar are happening now, and you don’t want to miss them!

The Eureka Springs May Festival of the Arts and Artosphere: Arkansas’ Arts and Nature Festival both produce a feast of arts talent, variety and experiences. Underway now, they bring artists and communities together in a variety of settings – from art galleries and historic downtowns to a botanical garden, a renowned art museum and bike trails that crisscross the region.

This year, these festivals are bigger and better than ever! They’re a great way for you and your family to experience arts and culture in NWA today.

May Festival of the Arts

MAY FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS IN EUREKA SPRINGS

Through May 31

The 30th Annual May Festival of the Arts is packed with arts and entertainment, including gallery walks, art bazaars, musical performances, culinary experiences, demonstrations, interactive exhibits and more. Featured events include an ArtRageous Parade downtown on May 6 and the White Street Studio Walk on May 19 – where artists invite the public into their home studios.

Nestled in the Ozarks Mountains, Eureka Springs is a colorful arts hamlet with more art galleries per capita than any other city in the country! The May festival lets you tap into the creative vibe running through the historic village, driven by more than 350 working artists in all mediums.

 

 

Here are some of the festival’s highlights:

ArtRageous Parade

ARTRAGEOUS PARADE, Downtown, May 6

Quirky, energetic and sometimes surprising, the ArtRageous Parade is the traditional kick-off of the May Festival of the Arts. Join the stream of colorful floats, art cars, walkers, dancers, musicians, jugglers, drummers and dancers.

DANCE OF DECEIT, The Auditorium, May 7

Produced by local playwright Tom Gorsuch, featuring local actors and on-stage musicians and entirely “Eureka made,” this play is set in three rooms of a seedy motel, where a fun-loving retired couple eavesdrops on two younger couples. With wit and wisdom, they bear witness as lust and infidelity tango with ambition and greed in a dangerous dance of deceit.

Bridge of Love

BRIDGE OF LOVE: MOTHER’S DAY LIVING ART INSTALLATION, Main Street Air Bridge, May 8-14

If you love a mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin or friend, bring fresh flowers to fasten to the Bridge of Love!

NUITS ROSE WINE FEST, May 12-14

The Nuits Rosé Eureka Springs Wine Fest is celebrated at participating restaurants and lounges offering Rosé tastings, flights and pairings to serve with special menu items.

GRAND GALLERY STROLL, Downtown, May 13

Eureka Springs has more than 30 art galleries that line the streets of the historic downtown, which is why the Grand Gallery Stroll is a must-do festival event. Several galleries will host special exhibits for the stroll. Fun is mandatory; purchasing is not!

Art in the Park

ART IN THE PARK, Basin Spring Park, May 13

Come enjoy a day of artistry in every form at lovely Basin Spring Park in downtown Eureka Springs. Artists offering textiles, jewelry, painting, sculpting and fine wood designs will be available all day to discuss their process and medium.

WHITE STREET WALK, May 19

The 27th Annual White Street Studio Walk is held along historic White Street, which is the working address of several local artists who will welcome the public into their homes and studios to view their latest works.

White Street Walk

BOOKS IN BLOOM LITERARY FESTIVAL, 1886 Crescent Hotel, May 21

The 12th Annual Books in Bloom Literary Festival is a celebration for writers and readers alike. Visiting authors include Craig Johnson, Laurie R. King, S.C. Gwynne, Nathalia Holt, and “Pete the Cat” creators, James and Kimberly Dean.

PLEIN AIR FESTIVAL, May 21-25

Plein Air artists and collectors won’t want to miss this multi-day exhibition with pre- and post-festival workshops by Spencer Meagher and Marty Coulter, and an opening reception at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts.

For more information and tickets, visit eurekaspringsfestivalofthearts.com.

 

8TH ANNUAL ARTOSPHERE: ARKANSAS’ ARTS + NATURE FESTIVAL

Through May 20

The 2017 Artosphere Festival presented by Walton Arts Center brings together artists from around the world with dozens of free and low-cost events across the region. Artosphere’s signature event is Trail Mix Weekend, May 13-14, where musicians and artists perform along local trails and the Razorback Regional Greenway, while the musical cornerstone of the festival is the esteemed Artosphere Festival Orchestra.

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS:

Artosphere’s Trail Mix

TRAIL MIX: RAZORBACK REGIONAL GREENWAY, May 13 | Free

Join us for a festive day of fresh air and free entertainment with artists and musicians along the Razorback Regional Greenway, beginning in Fayetteville and ending in Bentonville. Entertainment includes The Bike Zoo Giant Butterflies, Squonk Opera, Claire Lynch and The Séamus Egan Project, and local entertainers Rozenbridge, The Crumbs, Melody Pond and The Sons of Otis Malone. Saturday’s Trail Mix also coincides with the annual Square 2 Square Bike Ride along the greenway. (Fee and registration required for Square 2 Square. Register at visitbentonville.com/bike.)

TRAIL MIX: WALKER PARK, FAYETTEVILLE, May 14 | Free

On Sunday, Trail Mix artists will be featured along the trails of Walker Park in Fayetteville starting at 5 p.m. Then, beginning at 7, get ready for the outdoor spectacle of Squonk Opera’s Cycle Sonic. These giant, animated human-powered stages that sprout bulb-horns, banners and whirligigs, will joyfully circle the audience, propelled by their own original chamber rock music.

 

Artosphere Festival Orchestra

ARTOSPHERE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA

Three Main Performances

Performing under the baton of acclaimed Music Director Corrado Rovaris, AFO is comprised of more than 90 musicians from prestigious ensembles, orchestras and music programs from around the world.

LIVE FROM CRYSTAL BRIDGES: MOZART IN THE MUSEUM, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Great Hall, May 12

From the Great Hall of the world-class Crystal Bridges museum in Bentonville, AFO performs an exceptional all-Mozart program showcasing the musical talents the orchestra’s principal clarinet, bassoon, horn and oboe players as featured soloists. This performance is sold out but will be broadcast live on KUAF 91.3 FM Public Radio.

MENDELSSOHN IN SCOTLAND, Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, May 17 | Tickets: $10

This opening AFO performance at Walton Arts Center will showcase Felix Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture and Symphony No. 3 “Scottish, and Johannes Brahms’ Variations on a theme by Haydn.

ARTOSPHERE FESTIVAL FINALE, Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall, May 20 | Tickets: $10

This AFO finale concert will present Luciano Berio’s Quattro versioni originali della “Ritirata notturna di Madrid,Antonin Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7, and Avner Dorman’s Frozen in Time featuring guest solo percussionist Mika Godbole.

 

Chapel Music Series

CHAPEL MUSIC SERIES, May 9, 11, 13 & 16 | Tickets: $10-$25

Listen to exquisite music played in local churches and architectural marvels like St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the E. Fay Jones-designed Mildred B. Cooper Chapel, and the Chapel Ruins at Sassafras Springs Vineyard. This year’s Chapel Music Series features the acclaimed Dover Quartet, bluegrass artist Claire Lynch and The Séamus Egan Project. See Artosphere App or artospherefestival.org for times and details.

 

 

OTHER EVENTS AT WALTON ARTS CENTER:

The Painted Garden

COMPAGNIA TPO’s THE PAINTED GARDEN, May 6 | Tickets: $10

Dancers, performers and the audience itself interact with four virtual landscapes each inspired by the colors of the Kurdish landscape.

MOMIX OPUS CACTUS, May 7 | Tickets: $15-$45

Inspired by the flora and fauna of the American Southwest, dancer-illusionists conjure up a world of surrealistic images in this multi-media experience that brings the magic of the Sonoran Desert to life.

The Way Back Home

 

THE WAY BACK HOME, May 14 | Tickets: $10

When a boy discovers a single-propeller airplane in his closet, he does what any young adventurer would do: he flies into outer space and executes a daring landing on the moon!

THE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES, May 19 & 20 | Tickets: $10

This theatrical adaptation of Jean Giono’s environmental classic tells the inspiring story of a shepherd who plants a forest, acorn by acorn.

MORE FREE EVENTS:

Inuksuit

INUKSUIT, Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, May 19

Inspired by the Stonehenge-like structures in the Arctic that the Inuit people used as markers to navigate their space, this expansive community performance is written for 9 to 99 musicians – featuring Grammy Award®-winning ensemble Third Coast Percussion.

AFO: OFF THE GRID, Downtown/Dickson Entertainment District, Fayetteville, May 18

Settle in or move around your favorite local pubs and other gathering places around Fayetteville’s downtown/Dickson entertainment district as Artosphere Festival Orchestra ensembles perform casual “pop-up concerts” for your listening pleasure. Download the Artosphere App for a list of locations.

For details on all Artosphere events, including a complete festival lineup, download the Artosphere App from Google Play or the Apple App Store, visit artospherefestival.org or call the Walton Arts Center box office at (479) 443-5600.