A Local’s Guide to Northwest Arkansas

A guide to Northwest Arkansas with the best dining, lodging, and activity options in the Fayetteville, Bentonville, Rogers, and Springdale region.


Northwest Arkansas is a place like no other. It’s a place as funky as it is vibrant. It has big-city amenities but with a small-town twist. It’s a region made up of world-class art, nationally renowned restaurants and breweries, boutique hotels and year-round outdoor activities.  Located in the Foothills of the Ozark Mountains, Northwest Arkansas is one of the most beautiful places you will visit. Here’s our guide on what to do when visiting the Northwest Region of the Natural State.

Where to Eat

The food culture in NWA is influenced by regional produce and livestock offerings.  The culinary scene is diverse, authentic, and almost endless.  “High-south cuisine” might not yet be nationally known, but in a few years, it will be highly sought after. Below are Resplendent’s favorite restaurants to visit.

  1. Tula

Located in the heart of downtown Fayetteville, Tula is a local Mexican restaurant specializing in authentic dishes, tequila, and mezcal. Perfect for special occasions, date nights, or exploring traditional Mexican cuisine, Tula offers a cultured and unique dining experience in Northwest Arkansas.

  1. Conifer

Downtown Bentonville’s newest restaurant, Conifer, focuses on building relationships with local farmers and sustainable changing menus.  It is also a gluten-free dedicated restaurant led by chef and owner Matthew Cooper.

  1. Feed & Folly

Overlooking the Boston Mountains, this Fayetteville rooftop restaurant has the best views in Fayetteville. Feed & Folly is a modern public house and rooftop bar, influenced by a respect for southern traditions of house-cured and smoked meats.

Where to Drink

Northwest Arkansas has it all – from dive bars that have been around since the 50’s to bougie lounges, you won’t go thirsty when you visit this region. Check out our favorite spots below:

  1. Vault

Located right off the Fayetteville Square, Vault is a straightforward bar concept that specializes in the best bourbon selection in the state of Arkansas, as well as delicious cocktails. Located in a former bank vault, the space is at once modern and minimal, and unpretentious.

  1. Fossil Cove Brewing Company

A craft brewery located in the heart of Fayetteville, Fossil Cove focuses on American and Belgian-style ales. Fossil cove offers comfortable Indoor and covered patio seating. Along with craft beer, wine, cider, coffee, espresso, beer to go and more are also available daily.

  1. Pinpoint

Fayetteville’s only pinball bar, established in 2017, featuring craft cocktails, local craft beer, vintage pinball & skeeball! Located in a historic basement in the heart of downtown Fayetteville, right off the Fayetteville Square.

  1. Undercroft

What’s a recommended bar list without a speakeasy? Located in Downtown Bentonville, you access this speakeasy through a side archway simply marked “bar” or the basement door marked “coatroom”. Inside you will discover a seductive, hidden cocktail bar beneath a historic church. Here you will find beautifully crafted cocktails in an intimate setting.

Where to Stay?

Looking for a unique place to stay? Northwest Arkansas has most of your trusted hotel brands, but also offers hotels that stand out from the crowd. A hotel that has a best in class restaurant and an art collection? We have that. A boutique hotel that is located on the University of Arkansas campus? Yep. How about a hotel that has camo carpet? Oh, yes. Here’s where we recommend you stash your bag while you visit:

  1. Inn at Carnall Hall

A boutique hotel overlooking the Lawn of Old Main on the campus of the University of Arkansas. Guests enjoy lazy afternoons sipping sweet tea on our wraparound porches, celebrate Razorback victories in the Lambeth Lounge, and relish award-winning cuisine at Ella’s Table. Warm, refined, and intimate, the Inn at Carnall Hall is Fayetteville’s favorite place for savored moments and cherished memories. 

  1. 21C Museum Hotel

Opportunities to discover art are around every corner at the Museum Hotel 21c Bentonville. The 104-room boutique hotel has more than 12,000 feet of exhibition space seamlessly integrated into all areas of the property. Upon arrival, guests are greeted by two dramatic pieces – “Orange Tree,” a large-scale sculpture, and “Making Change,” a Fleetwood Cadillac limousine covered in thousands of coins.The hotel is also home to The Hive, a restaurant proudly showcasing the unique culinary identity of Arkansas, with local ingredients and a refined country cuisine.

3. Dickson Street Inn

Located in the center of Fayetteville’s entertainment district, this bed and breakfast is easily one of the most accessible hotels in Fayetteville since it is within easy walking distance of the city’s finest attractions and important destinations. These include the University of Arkansas; the Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville’s premiere destination for the performing arts and entertainment; the enchanting downtown Fayetteville square, home to historical buildings and modern offices as well as unique shopping experiences; and all the best restaurants and most popular nightlife venues in town.

Other Activities

You now know where to stay and what to eat, but what do you do with the other hours in a day? Below are a few of our favorite attractions.

  1. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Located in Bentonville, Crystal Bridges houses a permanent collection of American art masterworks from the colonial era to modern day, and touring collections from national art institutions. The acclaimed collection includes such masterpieces as Charles Wilson Peale’s and Gilbert Stuart’s portraits of George Washington; Asher Brown Durand’s Kindred Spirits; and Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter. Admission is free!

  1. TheatreSquared

TheatreSquared’s signature offering of bold new plays in an intimate setting has driven its rapid growth to become the state’s largest theatre, offering more than 300 performances annually in two intimate spaces. Its architecturally significant home is open all day, with soft seating, gathering areas, coffee, craft food and cocktails. The playwright-led company is one of mid-America’s leading laboratories for new work, having launched more than 60 new plays.

  1. Buffalo National River

Established in 1972, The Buffalo National River flows freely for 135 miles and is one of the few remaining undammed rivers in the lower 48 states. Once you arrive, prepare to journey from running rapids to quiet pools while surrounded by massive bluffs as you cruise through the Ozark Mountains down to the White River. In this area, there are beautiful hiking trails, mountain biking opportunities, and world-class kayaking.

Andrea R.

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