Best cities for dating
Love or hate the big-box store, history is still fascinating.Weekend highlights: When you ask people what they know about Bentonville, most offer a quizzical shrug and say, "Um... " And yes, this city in NW Arkansas the home of Walmart.But assuming that's all Bentonville has to offer is like assuming the only thing to see in Seattle is the original Starbucks.Beyond the aforementioned Walmart Museum, the city also houses one of the top art museums in the Southeast, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (complete with originals from Normal Rockwell to Andy Warhol), the Museum of Native American History, and the Amazeum, which, among other things, features a Hershey's Lab!Oh yeah, there's also a location of the trendy hotel/mod-art gallery 21c in town; resident flock of green penguins included.The food scene is starting to take off, as well, with James Beard Award semi-finalist Matt Mc Clure's The Hive at the 21c, Tusk & Trotter, and Pressroom. But its reputation extends well beyond being one of the world's top spots for manufacturing orthopedic equipment.
A get-yourself-acquainted stroll should include the iconic/quirky Faces gift shop, Ben & Bill's Chocolate Emporium, Broadside Books, Thornes (there's a mall hidden behind those doors!
Rent a bike and hit 150-acre Look Park, stroll through Smith College's Botanic Garden and Museum of Art, and ride the 11-mile Norwottuck Rail Trail over to nearby Amherst (UMass).
Absolutely stop for a beer on the roof deck at the Northampton Brewery and/or play a game of And speaking of bars and food and nightlife, there are too many options for one weekend so just jot these recommendations down: breakfast at Sylvester's, burgers at Local, pizza at Joe's, seafood at Eastside, coffee at The Roost, and cannoli at La Fiorentina.
Much as we did a few months back when we narrowed down over 300 big US cities to the 25 best for spending a weekend, we turned our extensive team of local experts loose on the of towns with populations UNDER 90k to figure it out. Same criteria: take into account all the components of a fun three-day getaway -- from restaurants, bars, and breweries, to parks, museums, and outdoor activities -- and then rank the best 25.
Population: 40,167 Must-eat/drink: Fried chicken and waffles at Tusk & Trotter Don't leave without: Hitting the Walmart Museum, housed in Sam Walton's original 5&10.