16 In Life

Day Trip to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Hi everyone!

This past weekend was another full one, including a day trip to our favorite part of the state, and a photo session for some good friends of ours. I squeezed in a short run Sunday morning, but that’s about it. We’ll chat more about my realigned marathon goals later this week! I doubt they will come as a surprise to anyone though.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Saturday early morning we headed up to northwest Arkansas, which is about 3 hours north of us, to visit Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Crystal Bridges was founded by Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart’s Sam Walton, and is home to beautiful architecture, several miles of trails, famous and rare artwork, a restaurant and coffee shop, and it all sits on 120 acres of woods, streams, and the natural springs where the museum derives its’ name. It will also soon be home to one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes. Basically, it’s a gorgeous property, and we’ve been dying to go see it! The best part about the museum? It’s FREE! Since it’s sponsored by Wal-Mart, general admission is free to everyone year-round.

Neither Adam or I are exactly artsy fartsy people. Come on now, you already knew that. The first C I ever made in college was Art Appreciation and I truly thought I was doomed for the rest of my college career. Thankfully, I bounced back. But needless to say, my ability to appreciate art and understand it, has been pretty non-existent the majority of my life. However, I think we both genuinely enjoyed looking at all of the artwork and were just amazed at how easily we were “lost” in some of the paintings! The amount of detail and the stories that are told in those pieces is just unbelievable, not to mention how old some of the paintings are! I mean, we’re talking the 1700’s even! Several times we actually stood and debated what was going on in the painting, and found ourselves asking each other, “did you notice this?” and “what do you think is happening here?”. I guess maybe now we should have some sort of art in our house?

Ok so, we got up to NWA a bit sooner than we anticipated, so we spent about an hour or so wandering around the greatness that is Cabela’s. Once it was lunch time, we took a friend’s recommendation and ate at a cute mexican/tex-mex restaurant on the Bentonville square. It was delicious, and we will definitely be going back next time we’re up there! Look how huge the nachos were…

table mesa bentonville ar

After lunch, we headed to the museum. We thought the museum would take a while to get to, but much to our surprise, it’s literally right. there. Just tucked away down in a ravine, surrounded by gorgeous fall trees. It was amazing driving up to it. The architecture was breathtaking, and everything just “fit” into the natural hillside and landscape. It’s almost as if it was always there. The museum is a serious of buildings, surrounding two bodies of water, with streams flowing on both sides. Throughout the woods are multiple trails, and if it weren’t so cold we would have walked them! Next time, for sure! Several of them connect with the city wide trail system that was already in place, so you can easily log a few miles around the museum, then head back out into town. Something that I keep telling Adam I think is just awesome, is that you could literally run or ride your bike through every city up there, all on the same trail! GAH I’m just obsessed with how walkable and runner friendly it is up there!

Anyways, photography is allowed inside and outside, and even inside the exhibits. I took a few photos inside, but won’t spoil anything in case you go visit!

We of course picked the coldest day of the year so far to visit, so several of these images were taken inside, thus the reflections in the photos. Sorry, just act like those glares aren’t there! Here are a handful of photos from the day, and hopefully it surprises you how beautiful AR is! I think we just missed peak color for the trees, but we were pretty close.



crystal bridges bentonville



That big floating thing in the water? Modern Art. Don’t ask me.





State of the Art is the current featured exhibit. It focuses on current artists, and more modern day art.






The middle staircase is going to lead up to where the Frank Lloyd Wright house is being relocated. It’s currently being disassembled in New Jersey and will arrive sometime in the spring.




crystal bridges museum

crystal bridges museum of american art in the fall

Gorgeous? Yes.




The parking garage and outer building had vines growing all along the walls, making it almost feel camouflage with the rest of the land. It’s crazy!

I think on a warmer fall day, or a warm spring day when all the flowers are blooming, you could spend a full day walking around the property and just admiring how pretty everything is! We probably only saw half of what this place has to offer! And to think it’s literally just on the edge of town. What an awesome FREE place to be able to retreat to!

onyx coffee springdale

We spent about 3-4 hours at the museum before heading home, and made a quick stop at a local coffee shop near Fayetteville for a cup o’joe. The Razorback/LSU game was Saturday night, so we wanted to make sure we were well out of town by kickoff. I think we left NWA about 5:30, and were home by almost 8. It was a super easy drive there and back, so thankfully the day didn’t seem too too long.

Sunday morning before church, I went to the gym for what I really and honestly intended to be an 8 mile run. And then I was going to run 8 more miles Sunday night. Ha. That didn’t happen, but 4 miles did. And that’s ok! Life got in the way, and socializing and building relationships with people we love outweighs running in my book every time!

marathon training 4 miles

Sunday afternoon I had an anniversary photo shoot, and then we went to small group. And now here I am telling you lovely people all about my weekend, with a fire going and a hot cup of coffee. I’m going to try to get myself to the gym again in the morning, and knock out a few more miles. Wish me luck, it’s going to be COLD!

How was your weekend? Have you heard of Crystal Bridges? How do you feel about art? 

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  • Reply
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt
    November 17, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Looks like a great way to spend the day! I love doing little local trips!
    I really enjoy art is short doses.
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…Orlando Like a LocalMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      December 3, 2014 at 9:35 am

      I do too, short day trips are such a good change of pace. Haha and I’m the same way with art, I got my fix in for at least another year or so haha

  • Reply
    Nikki @ will run for pizza
    November 17, 2014 at 9:16 am

    WOW! Gorgeous! I’ve never been to AR and honestly, never really thought much about wanting to visit, but with all the gorgeous pictures you post, I should add it to my future vacation/traveling list! I’m not an artsy person either, but it would still be cool to visit the art museums.
    Nikki @ will run for pizza recently posted…Hot Chocolate Race ReviewMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      December 3, 2014 at 9:35 am

      You should visit! AR gets a bad rap. Before I came to college here I never in a million years wanted to come to AR! Central and Northern AR are where it’s at, but the drive from LR to Memphis and anything really south of Hot Springs, is pretty boring and not super pretty.

  • Reply
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors
    November 17, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    What a fun weekend! I was seriously like what is that in the water.. lol! I can’t believe they are moving the Frank Loyd Wright house – that is so interesting. These pics were so fun to look at thanks for sharing!
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted…Vegan Garlic Rosemary PotatoesMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      December 3, 2014 at 9:34 am

      Haha me too!! I’m not so big on modern art and don’t have much appreciation for weird things like that, but, I guess it was cool?

  • Reply
    Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie
    November 17, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous pictures! I think the outside scenery may rival the art!
    Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie recently posted…Beach Wedding WeekendMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      December 3, 2014 at 9:33 am

      I agree!! Completely!

  • Reply
    November 17, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    YAY! I am so glad you made it to CB!!!! I knew you would love it!!! I run there every weekend and it just never gets old! Table Mesa is my favorite restaurant. You definitely did your visit right! Life does happen and miles are miles! I have to remind myself to give myself some slack when life gets in the way! 4 miles is better than NO miles!
    Brooke@SweetnSweaty recently posted…How Cold is Too Cold….My Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      December 3, 2014 at 9:33 am

      That is so awesome!!! I would LOOOOOVVVVVEEEEE to run there one day, I bet it so so pretty!

  • Reply
    Kaylin @ Enticing Healthy Eating
    November 17, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Yay! Happy to hear you guys had a good time in NWA! Crystal Bridges is extraordinary, isn’t it? You perfectly captured the beauty of the building itself and the outside nature trails. Trust me, it’s AMAZING in the Spring. I’ve even caught some deer RIGHT in the center of the park area of the Crystal Bridges nature trails just chillin’ because they know they’re protected. Ha! And Table Mesa is so yummy. Wade and I visited Friday at Crystal Bridges and I’ll have a short recap of that and the rest of our weekend on my blog tomorrow.
    Kaylin @ Enticing Healthy Eating recently posted…Holiday Spinach Salad with Cranberry VinaigretteMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      December 3, 2014 at 9:32 am

      Im definitely planning on coming back in the spring!!! I love spring flowers, and I’ve heard it’s beautiful!

  • Reply
    Joanna @Makingmine
    November 18, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Oh my goodness, how beautiful! You got some GREAT shots! I hope a few of those end up on a wall or Christmas card or something 🙂
    Joanna @Makingmine recently posted…merry musicMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      December 3, 2014 at 9:32 am

      Haha thanks Joanna! It was so pretty, I think we juuuuust missed the height of the pretty colors though, but still breathtaking!

  • Reply
    Tara @ Running 'N' Reading
    November 18, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed Crystal Bridges; it’s just beautiful! Are you surviving the cold this week? I’m pretty sure I NEVER warmed up this morning at the track…good grief! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures and your amazing experience over the weekend; stay warm!
    Tara @ Running ‘N’ Reading recently posted…Marathon Training Week 14My Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      December 3, 2014 at 9:32 am

      It was GORGEOUS!!! I would love to go back when it’s warmer!

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