Apr 20, 2024 - Culture

A newcomer's guide to Northwest Arkansas' cities

photo of downtown Bentonville

Downtown Bentonville is home to community events like First Friday. Photo: Alex Golden/Axios

Northwest Arkansas is growing fast.

The big picture: It's a special place, with the state's flagship university in Fayetteville, one of the world's largest employers in Bentonville, and tons of outdoor and family-friendly activities.

Here's Axios' guide to getting to know our area, from our own NWA residents.

Go deeper into Bentonville

Claim to fame: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is a must-do activity. Assembled by Walmart heir Alice Walton in 2011, the permanent collection is free to view, and the museum regularly has temporary exhibitions and events.

You must know: Walmart — you know, the world's largest corporation by revenue — is based in Bentonville and is one of the region's largest employers.

  • The company's influence extends beyond just jobs, though. Numerous Walton family ventures focus on the region, including the Walton Family Foundation that helps pay for community projects, a new medical school and health nonprofit, as well as a holding company that owns local restaurants and real estate.

A few tips for things to do and eat in Bentonville:

Spend a day downtown

Get to know your city government

Explore public schools

Fayetteville: A college town with more than a college

Claim to fame: The University of Arkansas is a big part of Fayetteville's identity. And even those who don't work or attend school at the state's flagship university will likely want to take advantage of Razorback sports and speakers coming to town.

You must know: You can party until 2am on Dickson Street and Block Avenue downtown.

Here's how to get to know Fayetteville:

Spend a day downtown

Get to know your city government

Explore public schools

Rogers has music, shopping and coffee for days

Claim to fame: The Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion is the region's largest concert venue and where most of our big-name musicians perform. Grab a spot on the lawn.

You must know: Rogers is great for shopping sprees, as it is home to the Pinnacle Hills Promenade mall and most of the area's familiar clothing stores.

Our tips for Rogers:

Spend a day downtown

Get to know your city government

Explore public schools

Springdale is up and coming

Claim to fame: You can ice skate year-round at The Jones Center.

You must know: Tyson Foods and George's Inc. are based in Springdale. The town is home to their headquarters and several poultry plants.

Get to know Springdale:

Spend a day downtown

Get to know your city government

Explore public schools

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