Dining Day Trips

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Crepes Paulette food truck offers up both sweet and savory hand-held crepes, and space to eat them out in the fresh air.

Great Dining with a Side of Art

Bentonville, Arkansas, is just two hours south of Springfield and offers up tasty dining and artsy outings for everybody in the family. We put together one perfect day in Bentonville, so all you have to do is pack your bags and go. By Katie Pollock Estes

10 a.m. Kennedy Coffee
If you leave 417-land in the morning, you’ll arrive in Bentonville just in time to grab a tasty cup of joe and a sweet mid-morning treat at Kennedy Coffee. Open for 12 years, the classic coffee shop roasts its own beans. But not just for Arkansans: It also sells these beans to wholesale buyers across the globe who got a taste while visiting for Walmart business and just couldn’t get enough. While you’re there, pair a creamy latte with a gluten-free blueberry scone. Delish.


11 a.m. 21C Museum Hotel
After your morning pick-me-up, head to the 21C Museum Hotel. It’s where you’ll rest your head at the end of the day. But for now, just drop off your bags and explore. Its beautiful modern design is accented everywhere with one-of-a-kind art that graces the lobby walls and fills gallery spaces. Exhibitions change every six months, so each visit could mean new art to explore. Be sure to check out the “Fat Bat” sculpture (of an overweight Batman) that hovers over the hotel gym. Peek out the window to see a Tree of 40 Fruits in bloom, or find a fun resting place for one of the famed green penguins guests can move around the hotel


Noon Crepes Paulette
Across the street from the 21C Museum Hotel is a sweet little food truck that backs up to a cozy patio full of bistro tables. It’s Crepes Paulette, and it’s hopping in the middle of the day. Brave the long line, though. The sweet and savory folded crepes are worth the wait. Find a breezy table, and indulge in a classic ham and cheese crepe before finishing your meal with one filled with sweet strawberries. 


Bentonville’s Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is a great place to enjoy between several tasty spots. It features works from the 1700s all the way up to present day.

1 p.m. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Walking trails peppered with sculptures weave through the grounds at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the museum’s architecture alone is a sight to behold. But it’s the collection of American art housed inside this museum that is most impressive. From a portrait of George Washington from the 1780s to a towering pop art still life by Roy Lichtenstein from the 1970s, the collection hits all the high points from the past 200 years. There are also changing exhibits, educational programs for both kids and adults and delicious food at Eleven Restaurant.


4 p.m. Scott Family Amazeum
Just down the road from Crystal Bridges is the kid-centric Scott Family Amazeum, a perfect stop if you have little ones with you. Kids can explore science, technology and engineering in the 3M Tinkering Hub. They can do science experiments with candy in the Hershey’s Lab, paint the walls in the Art Studio, burn off some energy in the Canopy Climber, relax and daydream in the Cloud Theatre, explore the deep dark Cave and so much more. It’s a great place to tire them out! 


Oven & Tap specializes in locally sourced ingredients and finishes most of its menu items in a 1,000-degree wood-fired brick oven.

6 p.m. Oven & Tap
Stop for supper at Oven & Tap, a modern-rustic restaurant with a wood-burning stove where co-owners Mollie Mullis and Luke Wetzel and their staff whip up incredible wood-fired creations using local ingredients. The menu changes regularly depending on what’s in-season and available. Even the homemade lasagna is finished in the oven, creating irresistible crispy edges. Our favorite taste: The creamy burrata served over tender shaved summer squash and topped with bright mint, toasty sunflower seeds and nutty pecorino cheese.

8 p.m. The Hive
After dinner, head back to the 21C Museum Hotel. At The Hive, you can grab an after-dinner cocktail and some snacks at the lovely bar. Indulge in the Dusk Till Dawn, featuring Casamigos Repasado tequila and a strawberry-chervil shrub, and try an order of the oh-so-sticky sweet and spicy fries topped with local honey and cayenne and marash pepper. Yum!

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