Discovering Crystal Bridges: A World-Class Oasis of Art & Architecture in Arkansas

Discovering Crystal Bridges: A World-Class Oasis of Art & Architecture in Arkansas



National Trust Tours & International Seminar Design invites you to join a privileged group of members on a custom-designed cultural escape. With the unveiling of the spectacular Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in 2011, Arkansas suddenly hit the map for culture lovers around the United States. Its excellent art collection built by Walmart heiress Alice Walton and its dynamic architecture by Moshe Safdie immediately made it one of the most important museums opened in America in the last 50 years.


Pricing from
Trip Type
Closer to Home, Group Travel Tour
Departure Dates
Mar 30, 2025 - Apr 3, 2025


The DoubleTree Suites by Hilton is a four-star hotel in Bentonville offering spacious, comfortable suites that were beautifully renovated in 2017. The hotel’s free five-mile shuttle covers The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and makes it a cinch to dine in downtown Bentonville on your free evening. The hotel’s accommodating staff and stylish, contemporary rooms has earned the hotel a number 2 ranking on TripAdvisor.


  • John Meffert

    John Meffert

    John Meffert, consultant on Heritage Conservation Services, has a long tradition with the National Trust. He has served as the Director for our Southern Office and was the director of the Preservation Society of Charleston, the oldest nonprofit organization in the United States, responsible for preserving the historic resources of Charleston, S.C. John has delighted many study tour groups with his lectures and insights on preservation, and receives rave reviews as study leader.


Cancellation by participant must be made in writing to ISDI and is effective only upon acknowledged receipt by ISDI. There is a non-refundable registration and planning fee of $500 per person regardless of cancellation date.


  • day 1

    Welcome to Bentonville

    Arrive independently to the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) in the afternoon and take a group transfer to the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton in Bentonville. Check into the hotel and get settled into your room. Enjoy a 5:00pm lecture by study leader John Meffert. Then drive to one of Bentonville’s best restaurants for a lovely welcome dinner together.

  • day 2

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

    Today is dedicated to the art haven that is the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Drive to Crystal Bridges, the brainchild of Alice Walton, daughter of the founder of Walmart, and designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie. The impressive collection includes works by great American artists. Begin with a guided tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman Wilson House, which is emblematic of the Usonian style. Then an architectural tour of the museum itself, which incorporates the beauty of its surrounding natural elements. Break for lunch at Eleven, the on-site restaurant at Crystal Bridges. Next delve into collection highlights of the American Art galleries during a self-guided tour followed by free time to further explore the museum’s collections and to see Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror room. Return to the hotel in the mid afternoon or linger at the museum longer to continue exploring its vast collection and extensive sculpture trail and to experience James Turrell’s The Way of Color skyspace installation for a breathtaking sunset experience. Gather for a casual dinner in Bentonville’s best gastropub.

  • day 3

    Eureka Springs and Thorncrown Chapel

    Drive an hour to the nearby town of Eureka Springs, a Victorian-era spa resort town that still preserves dozens of fine buildings from the 1870s through the 1930s. A special walking tour will focus on the town’s most important architectural jewels. See Thorncrown Chapel, a beautiful, soaring chapel designed by E. Fay Jones before returning to Bentonville. Return to Bentonville and following a short break at the hotel, explore Crystal Bridges’ newest museum, The Momentary, an old cheese- factory turned contemporary art and cultural space downtown. Enjoy free time to see the contemporary exhibitions drinks and to have an independent drink at The Momentary’s Tower Bar.

  • day 4

    A Day in Fayetteville

    Drive approximately 45 minutes south of Bentonville to Fayetteville to the E. Fay and Gus Jones house, the former residence of renowned architect Fay Jones. Completed in May 1956, it was designed by Jones upon his return to Fayetteville after working in the office of Frank Lloyd Wright. Drive through the impressive campus of the University of Arkansas. After feasting on local barbecue, visit the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel, a beautiful chapel designed by E. Fay Jones and Maurice Jennings and commissioned by John Cooper to commemorate his late wife.  It makes for a fascinating comparison with Jones’ more monumental Thorncrown Chapel seen the day before. Enjoy cookies and lemonade in a lovely Bella Vista home before returning to the hotel. After a break at the hotel, be treated to a memorable farewell dinner at one of the city’s best restaurants.

  • day 6

    Depart on independent flights back home.

    Following breakfast, check out of your hotel.
    Then take a group transfer to the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA). (Group airport transfer for flights departing after 11am)

Everything you need to know about the tour

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Be prepared with the National Trust Travel Plan

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