Bentonville & Crystal Bridges are Getting it Right

It may be a seven hour drive to Bentonville from Memphis, and it's not a River town, but, WOW, they're doing a lot of things right there.

The authentic town square is alive day and night. The 1st Walton store has been preserved; there are offices and several restaurants to choose between; and a farmers' market on Saturdays.

A plaza has been added that works as a water playground by day, a cinema by night, and, in the winter, it becomes an ice skating rink.

A boutique hotel, 21c Museum Hotel, is getting rave reviews in publications from the "Huffington Post" to "Travel + Leisure." And it's not just a hotel with an excellent dining room and bar, it's also an art museum.

And then, of course, there's Crystal Bridges, which houses one of the world's best collections of American art and is drawing visitors from nearby towns and cities around the world. Designed by Moshe Safdie, the building is suspended from cables and set into nature.  No big signs here, but there is outdoors art, paths for walkers and bikers, and grounds planted with native species. No parking problems, either; most people walk the 1/3 mile path from the town plaza to the museum.