A region once known for its natural wonders—the Ozark Mountains, Whittaker Point, Beaver Lake and Mount Nebo—is now recognized for being an arts and business hub. Northwest Arkansas’s great outdoors are now flanked by cultural destinations like Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville and the Walmart Amphitheater in Rogers. These arts hubs provide opportunities for enrichment year round.

The metropolitan area of Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale and Bentonville—the latter of which is the headquarters for Walmart—attracts thousands of people for jobs. Walmart, the world’s largest company, is a main job supplier, as are Springdale-based Tyson Foods and transportation company J.B. Hunt in Lowell.

North of the metro are Bella Vista and Eureka Springs. Bella Vista is a golf-lovers paradise and is popular with retirees. Eureka Springs is an artsy town whose entire downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. AmericanStyle has repeatedly named the town as one of the top 25 art destinations in the U.S.

Northwest Arkansas truly is a recreational dream. Mountain biking, kayaking, ziplining, paddleboarding, fishing, bouldering, bird watching—there are endless means to get outside and explore. The highest point in the state can be found at Mount Magazine State Park in Paris at 2,753 feet above sea level. Other prominent mountains in the area include Petit Jean near Morrilton and Mount Nebo near Dardanelle. The Ozark Highlands National Recreation Trail is a 258-mile hiking trail that winds from Lake Fort Smith State Park to the Buffalo River. Two new mountain biking trails recently opened in Bentonville, and a kayak park in Siloam Springs is a great new regional attraction.

Arkansas’s Wine Country is found in this region, and folks come to try the vino at its multiple wineries. All six offer a variety of wines, tastings and other specialty products.

On the southwestern edge of the region lies Fort Smith, whose history dates back to  its establishment as a military post in 1817. Its U.S. Marshals history is so important that a new national museum is planned for the city and will feature 20,000 square feet of interactive exhibit space.

Overlooking 34,000-acre Lake Dardanelle and the Arkansas River, Russellville is a key city along Scenic Highway 7. Arkansas Tech University calls this city home, as does Lake Dardanelle State Park, with Mount Nebo nearby. Morrilton’s Mather Lodge at Petit Jean Mountain State Park is a great place to take in a stunning sunset.

 

In Northwest Arkansas you can…

  • sleep next to lions and tigers at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, a big cat sanctuary in Eureka Springs.

  • play in the snow. The region gets an average of 10.4 inches of snow annually.

  • yell “woo pig sooie” at an Arkansas Razorback football game in Fayetteville.

  • kayak whitewater rapids at the new Siloam Springs Kayak Park.

  • fly nonstop to 14 metros, including Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago from the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport.

  • take an old time train ride on the Arkansas-Missouri railroad (board in Fort Smith).


Northwest Arkansas is known for…

  • art. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art was named among the “World’s Hottest Museums for 2014” by SmarterTravel.com.

  • happy retirees. Bella Vista was named the “Best Place to Retire” in the nation by Money last year.

  • giving raises. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers ranked 12th for “Best Metro for Five-Year Wage Growth” by The Milken Institute.

  • job opportunities. Fort Smith and Fayetteville were both recognized by Forbes on its 2014 list of “Best Places for Business & Careers.” National Geographic ranked the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers area 10th on its list of “Best Medium Cities for Job Growth” in 2014.

  • growth. WalletHub recognized Springdale for being the No. 6 fastest growing city among 516 U.S. cities that were evaluated in 2014.

  • active lifestyles. Bentonville got the No. 8 spot on Conde Nast Traveler’s 2014 list of “Best Walking Cities in the U.S.”

  • fall foliage. USA Today has Eureka Springs as No. 7 on its “10 Best Places to See Fall Colors” list, and Travel + Leisure named Eureka Springs one of 20 “America’s Best Mountain Towns.”

 

History was made in Northwest Arkansas when…

  • the Battle of Pea Ridge was fought here. In March 1862, more than 26,000 soldiers fought to decide the fate of Missouri and the West.  The Pea Ridge National Military Park commemorates this battle—one of the most pivotal of the Civil War—and is the most intact Civil War battlefield in the United States.

  • Sam Walton opened his 5&10 in Bentonville in 1950. What started in the small town square is now the Fortune 500 mega-chain we all know as Walmart. As of 2014, the company had stretched across 27 countries in more than 11,000 stores, serving more than 200 million customers a week.



Visit Northwest Arkansas to enrich your life with culture and history at the region’s finest arts venues, historical sites and attractions