Sometimes (actually a lot of times) I think the rest of the country underestimates how cool Arkansas can be. Sure we have a decent population of country boys and girls and our fair share of “hill people” but we are not as backwards as the rest of the world thinks. In fact, Arkansas boasts a few things that have literally changed the world. Some Arkansas originals include Tyson Chicken, Walmart, Ranger Boats, TCBY, Axiom, Candy Bouquet, Dillard’s, J.B. Hunt, Murphy Oil and USA Drug. Have you heard of any of these? I’ll bet you have!
In addition to some cool businesses there are some really neat attractions in Arkansas. Here is a list of a few of my favorites, in no particular order.
- Heifer Village (Heifer International)
- Ozark Folk Center
- Hot Springs National Park and Oaklawn Racetrack
- Blanchard Springs Caverns
- Buffalo National River
- Mt. Magazine
Recently I was able to add a new location to my list of favorites, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The museum was founded in 2005 by Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, and was kept relatively secret until it’s opening on 11/11/11. Although not without criticism, Crystal Bridges is being hailed as one of the World’s top Fine Art Museums. And rightly so! According to Crystal Bridges their permanent collection
“spans five centuries of American masterworks ranging from the Colonial era to the current day. Included within the collection are iconic images such as Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits, Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell, and Andy Warhol’s Dolly Parton, each reflecting a distinct moment in American artistic evolution. In addition to historical works, the Museum’s collection also showcases major works by modern and contemporary American artists, including Roy Lichtenstein, James Turrell, and Georgia O’Keeffe, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the full scope of American art.”
The collection continues to grow as the museum obtains new pieces for it’s permanent collection and obtains a variety of temporary loan exhibits.
Richie and I have already had the privilege to visit Crystal Bridges twice. There simply aren’t words to describe how amazing the place is. I will let the pictures do the talking.