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Northwest Arkansas is a very dynamic place. There’s plenty of jobs and just about everywhere you look there’s something new being built. There are plenty of things to do and see in the region. Some of the towns of the region have nice old town squares, and I would like to describe several of them.

Fayetteville Arkansas Town Square

Fayetteville Arkansas Town SquareFayetteville Arkansas Town SquareFayetteville Arkansas Town Square

The square in Fayetteville features some very nice old buildings housing quaint shops and restaurants, and a very nice new convention center available for business and social events. The convention center, called the Fayetteville Town Center, is located on the Southeast corner of the square near the intersection of East Mountain Street and South East Avenue.

The square is so beautifully landscaped, it’s almost like a garden setting. The convention center is nice even if your just visiting. There’s plenty of open spaces and glass with great views of the surrounding hills. There are views because Fayetteville is nestled in the Ozark Mountains. There are plenty of shops and restaurants. West Mountain Brewing Co., a microbrewery, is on the square, and there’s a pizza place next door. If your the beer and pizza sort of person, check it out.

If your looking for more excitement, there are plenty of bars and restaurants and coffee houses a few blocks off the square on West Dickson St.

Really the Town Square in Fayetteville is just a nice place to get out and roam for a while.

Bentonville Arkansas Town Square

Walton 5-10 in Bentonville ArkansasWalton 5-10 in Bentonville Arkansas

The square in Bentonville is fairly modest. The Bentonville town square features a Civil War statue and fountain. Benches and a garden like setting with trees and shade make for a good place to park yourself for a spell on a warm day. The center square is surrounded by quaint shops, and probably most interesting of all, the Wal-Mart Visitors Center. This is Sam Walton’s original variety store. The visitor center tells the story of Wal-Mart from it’s beginning as “Walton’s 5-10” up to the present.

Rogers Arkansas Historic Downtown

Rogers Ar. Historical District
Rogers Arkansas has a fine historic district along West Walnut Street between about First and Forth Streets.

From the Main Street Rogers Web site:

In 1988, a large portion of downtown was dedicated as the Walnut Street National Historic District. This area was expanded in 1993. In addition, 23 structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This commitment to our history ties us permanently to our past and plots a course for the future…

Many facade renovations have been completed as well as three fine examples of interior restoration: the J.E. Applegate Building, a 1905 apothecary which is now Poor Richard’s Gifts & Confectionery; the W.B. Felker Building, originally opened as Bank of Rogers in 1905, and now home to the Daisy Airgun Museum; and The Victory Theater, 1927, which after many years of neglect was purchased and renovated by the Rogers Little Theater and reopened as that organization’s home stage.

Like so many other small towns, the railroad played an instrumental role in the early development of Rogers. The tracks, still active, pass right by the historic district at West Walnut and First Street. There’s a little park along the tracks with walking paths, shelters, the Frisco Caboose, and a historic sign.

The sign is about Betty Blake, wife of Will Rogers, who was from Rogers Arkansas. The Will Rogers quote on the sign reads: “My wife came from Rogers, Arkansas, where they raise the prettiest girls and the best apples in the world.”

The day I was there musicians had gathered in the park. The instruments were mostly banjos and guitars, and the entertainment was free.

I hung out for a while listening to the music and the stories, then visited a coffee shop across the street from the park. Maybe it’s still there—or not. I bet you can find something you like in these few blocks along the tracks and in the Rogers Historic District.

Another great thing about being here in the Rogers Historic District is that your blocks away from Scenic Highway 12, A.K.A. East Locust Street. Highway 12 East heading out of Rogers is a really pretty ride, and the further you go, the better it gets. If your heading to Eureka Springs, Lost Valley, or the Buffalo National River, this is the road you want.

So do you see that this story is going places? This is just the beginning of a drive across the Northwest region of the state of Arkansas. Stay tuned.

Copyright © 2008 by Sam Fenstermacher
All rights reserved