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Unique Things to Do in Springdale, Arkansas – A Complete Travel Guide
When I tell people I live in Northwest Arkansas (NWA) most don’t know anything about the area and those that do are usually only familiar with Bentonville because of Walmart Headquarters or Fayetteville because of the University of Arkansas. But between these two small cities, there are a number of other towns that have a lot to offer in Northwest Arkansas too. Springdale is one of these.
When we first moved to NWA Logan got a job in Springdale so we decided to also rent a house close to his work. After a year of living in Springdale we decided we loved it so much we ended up buying a house here! There are so many things I love about Springdale but one of the best is how centrally located it is to both Bentonville and Fayetteville. I can get in the car and arrive at the city center of either in about 15-20 minutes!
Although Springdale is more industrial in some areas and there isn’t as much to see and do as Bentonville or Fayetteville, there is rich culture, terrific parks, and fabulous local restaurants with a variety of different cuisines. Here are just some of the things to do in Springdale, Arkansas that we love and we hope you’ll give Springdale a chance too.
Where is Springdale, Arkansas?
As I briefly mentioned above, Springdale is a town located between Bentonville and Fayetteville in Northwest Arkansas. It is most well-known for being the world headquarters for Tyson Foods.
How to Get to Springdale, Arkansas
How to Get to Springdale by Car
If you live close to Northwest Arkansas the best way to get to Springdale is by driving. There are a number of cities that are within easy driving distance from Springdale and other areas of Northwest Arkansas.
Tulsa to Bentonville: 2 hours
Oklahoma City to Bentonville: 3 hours
Kansas City to Bentonville: 3 hours 30 minutes
Little Rock to Bentonville: 3 hours
St. Louis to Bentonville: 5 hours 20 minutes
Dallas to Bentonville: 5 hours 30 minutes
How to Get to Springdale by Plane
You might be surprised to find out that Northwest Arkansas has a regional airport (XNA) that serves a number of non-stop flights from major cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, New York, Denver, Miami, and more. From XNA, you can rent a car and be in Springdale within 10-15 minutes.
Where to Stay in Springdale, Arkansas
If you want to be centrally located to many activities in Northwest Arkansas then Springdale is a great place to stay! There are a number of hotels in Springdale or near Springdale. One unique place to stay in Springdale is the Inn at the Mill which is a charming boutique hotel that was adapted from an early 1800’s grist mill.
Things to Do in Springdale, Arkansas
Watch A Naturals Game at Arvest Ballpark
Arvest Ballpark is home to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, a Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals baseball team. They have frequent promotions such as $1 brat night and a selection of locally brewed beers for those interested. On Friday night games there is also a free fireworks show for those attending! If you happen to be visiting Springdale during the summer and enjoy baseball I suggest grabbing some tickets to a Naturals game.
Location: 3000 Gene George Blvd, Springdale // MAP
Enjoy A Tasting at the Local Wineries
Wineries? In Arkansas? Yep, you read that right! Northwest Arkansas actually has two fabulous wineries both located in the Springdale area. We love visiting both wineries, especially in the spring, summer, or fall!
Tontitown Winery is located on the west side of Springdale and is also a winery that is rich in history. It has been in the Ranalli family since 1923. They grow all of their own grapes in vineyards near the winery and offer free tastings every day of the week. In the summer we love their outdoor live music series and they even have events for the local Tontitown Grape Festival! Be sure to visit their history room in order to learn more about the Tontitown Winery.
Location: 335 N Barrington Rd, Springdale // MAP
Hours: Sunday-Tuesday 11am-5pm, Wednesday & Thursday 11am-6pm, Friday & Saturday 11am-7pm
Cost: Free tastings
Sassafras Springs Vineyard
Opening in 2014, Sassafras Springs Vineyard is a newer winery, but their wines are as delicious as those aged for years! It is located on the east side of Springdale and has a terrific outdoor setting that spans over 15 acres within the mountains. The scenery is so pretty it’s even become a popular wedding venue in Northwest Arkansas. Not only do we enjoy the wine at Sassafras Springs, but we also rave their delicious menu items to enjoy outside while sipping your wine of choice. Be sure to check out their website for upcoming events or contact them to create your own private winery event, perfect for our current times!
Location: 6461 E Guy Terry Rd, Springdale // MAP
Hours: Sunday 11am-7pm, Tuesday & Wednesday 11am-8pm, Thursday-Saturday 11am-9:30pm, Closed Mondays
Cost: $10 for a wine flight tasting or you can buy a glass or bottle to enjoy
Visit the Jones Center
Located in Downtown Springdale, The Jones Center is a large recreational center that also offers educational courses and community events. Some of the recreational activities they offer are a year-round ice arena, junior-Olympic size pool, a smaller activity pool, a world-class bike park (more on that in a moment), a fitness center, an indoor track, and more!
Currently, plans are underway to begin creating an expansive outdoor recreation area with a food truck court, community garden, picnic area, flower garden, and other unique features to tie the community together. The Jones Center is definitely a place to add to your list of things to do in Springdale, Arkansas.
Location: 922 E Emma Ave, Springdale // MAP
Hours: Monday-Saturday 5:30am-8pm, Closed Sundays
Cost: Usage fees start at $5
Test Out the Pump Tracks at Runway Bike Park
Right next to the Jones Center is Runway Bike Park where you can hop on one of three biking areas that cover 2.75 miles of fun. There is a skills course, bicycle playground, and a pump track which is actually the largest asphalt track in North America! If you want, you can also head over to the Razorback Greenway trail to visit other things to do in Springdale and head towards Downtown Springdale too.
Location: 922 E Emma Ave, Springdale // MAP
Hours: 24 hours
See A Performance at the Art Center of the Ozarks
If you’ve visited Northwest Arkansas, chances are you’ll notice that this area is full of quality performances and funding for the creative arts. The Art Center of the Ozarks is one of the local theatres in this area that focuses on community theatre performances and some traveling shows. It’s a great place to support local theatre and artists while enjoying an inexpensive experience.
Location: 214 S Main St, Springdale // MAP
Hours: Temporarily Closed
Visit the Art Exchange Gallery
Another unique thing to do in Springdale in regards to the arts is visiting the Art Exchange Gallery. This gallery showcases numerous original art pieces from local and regional artists – many of which are for sale! In addition, they also have prints from renowned artists all over the globe available for purchase and viewing. Occasionally, Art Exchange Gallery hosts private events and workshops so be sure to check out their website to see what upcoming events they will be hosting!
Location: 126 W Emma Ave, Springdale // MAP
Hours: Temporarily Closed
Explore Downtown Springdale
We love visiting Downtown Springdale, especially on a summer evening to grab a drink and enjoy the outdoor dining district. Throughout the year Downtown Springdale hosts a number of events including their infamous Street Dinner where you can enjoy a meal with others in the community under the evening sky.
A few of our places to visit in Downtown Springdale are:
- Black Apple Hard Cider is Arkansas’ first cidery and produces incredibly flavored hard ciders without artificial flavors or preservatives. Their outdoor patio is especially wonderful in the summer to enjoy some cider or a cider slush while playing a game outdoors with friends.
- Bike Rack Brewing Co. is another local brewery to check out if you aren’t a big fan of hard ciders or you want to have a regular beer. This location also has a nice outdoor area and inside has some games that are free to play too!
- Big Fish Vinyl Records is definitely a place to check out if you’re into vintage vinyl records, cassettes, VHS tapes, and other media.
- Dela Deville’s Vintage is one of my favorite local stores to shop at. They have a variety of vintage and vintage-inspired pieces at affordable prices. If you’re looking to add some signature pieces to your wardrobe, this is a fabulous spot to do so.
- Cellar Door Antiques is another great place to shop if you enjoy curating antique pieces for your home.
- MPRINT Boutique is a store that I have yet to visit in person but I’ve been bookmarking a number of items online! It’s another affordable, chic place to shop in Northwest Arkansas.
Location: 106 W Emma Ave, Springdale // MAP
Learn History at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History
The Shiloh Museum of Ozark History is a regional history museum that focuses on Northwest Arkansas and the Ozarks. Originally, the city of Springdale was named Shiloh until the 1870s when the town applied for a post office. Inside the museum, you’ll find the stories of the people who lived in Shiloh including over 500,000 restored photographs depicting life throughout the years. Also on-site, you’ll find six historic buildings to explore.
Location: 118 W Johnson Ave, Springdale // MAP
Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-5pm
Take A Ride on the Arkansas Missouri Railroad
The Arkansas Missouri Railroad was established in 1986 and operates a 150-mile route from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Monett, Missouri. However, head operations begin in Springdale! While the railroad does allow for freight train usage, they also offer a distinctive passenger train experience where you can get “A Window Seat to History.”
The antique passenger train travels through the mountains and valleys of Northwest Arkansas bringing you to a past era. On the path, you’ll enjoy the scenery of the Boston Mountains, the historic Arkansas River Basin, and many bridges.
Considering the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad is one of the few commercial lines left in the United States, this experience is really special.
Location: 306 E Emma Ave, Springdale // MAP
Cost: Tickets start at $65/adult
See A Rodeo or Monster Truck Rally at Parsons Stadium
I’m not sure there’s anything more Southern activity-wise other than seeing a rodeo or monster truck rally. But then again, I didn’t grow up in the south so you might beg to differ. Regardless, Parsons Stadium is well known for the Rodeo of the Ozarks, the Ozark Demolition Derby, and monster truck rallies, and people come from all around to attend. I’ll be honest, I haven’t attended any of these yet but I can’t help but think about the How I Met Your Mother episodes with Robots vs. Wrestlers and now I’m intrigued.
Take a Brewery Tour at Core Brewing Co.
Core Brewing Co. is one of our favorite breweries and it happens to be located in Springdale. They have an excellent variety and a number of fun limited releases to choose from. Recently they even added a hand-crafted spiked seltzer to their ensemble called Scarlet Letter which currently comes in three signature flavors and is great for those who don’t enjoy a beer or want something a little lighter and different. While Core is a great place to hang out and enjoy a pint, they also have a rockin’ brewery tour that is currently by appointment only.
Location: 2470 Lowell Rd, Springdale // MAP
Hours: Sunday 2pm-7pm, Tuesday & Wednesday 4pm-9pm, Thursday & Friday 4pm-10pm, Saturday 2pm-9pm, Closed Mondays
READ MORE: The Best Breweries in Northwest Arkansas
Go Skating at Roller City
I love revisiting my 90’s childhood whenever I can and Roller City gives me that nostalgia every time I go. Just cue Angel by Shaggy, give me the jumbo dice to roll, and I’m set. Roller City is the perfect indoor activity and has a variety of themed skate nights that are fun for all ages. They also host NWA Speed Skating competitions and lessons. If it’s been a little while since you’ve gone to the skating rink, then definitely give Roller City a try!
Location: 1007 Century St, Springdale // MAP
Hours: Friday 7pm-11pm, Saturday & Sunday 1pm-4pm, 7pm-9pm, Closed Monday-Thursday
Explore the Ozark Highlands Nature Center
The Ozark Highlands Nature Center is a 32,000 square foot facility on over 61 acres where you can experience and learn more about the beauty of the Ozarks in Northwest Arkansas. In the Walker Family Foundation Exhibit Hall you can discover enriching exhibit halls teaching viewers about flora and fauna in Northwest Arkansas and in the Marksmanship Center you can practice archery skills. Be sure to explore one of the trails and pavilions on-site to immerse yourself in the Ozarks even more!
Location: 3400 N 40th St, Springdale // MAP
Hours: Sunday 1pm-5pm, Tuesday-Saturday 8:30am-4:30pm, Closed Mondays
Take A Helicopter Ride from Fly ARH
We have yet to take a helicopter ride from Fly ARH, but we have taken a backcountry aviation tour before from Summit Aviation in Bentonville which I now consider to be one of the highlights of my life, so I can imagine that a helicopter tour above Northwest Arkansas would also be thrilling! Fly ARH operates a few different helicopter tours including locations like Fayetteville, Eureka Springs, Bentonville, and fall foliage and holiday light tours.
Location: 802 Airport Ave, Springdale // MAP
Hours: Must book directly
Cost: Starts at $65/person
Places to Eat in Springdale
Anytime someone visits Northwest Arkansas I tell them to not sleep on Springdale’s food scene. In Fayetteville and Bentonville you’ll find a number of terrific restaurants as well, most of the time with quaint ambiance or eclectic decor, but in Springdale, you’ll find a TON of variety in cuisine and delicious food too. Here are some of our favorite places to eat in Springdale, AR.
READ MORE: The Best Restaurants in Northwest Arkansas
Susan’s Restaurant is a long-time mom-and-pop restaurant with homestyle cooking that is very popular for breakfast. Every time I’ve been here there’s always a wait, but it seems to go by quickly. It might be because the cinnamon rolls are distracting me. Everything on the menu is good and affordable, you can get a basic breakfast for only $4! But regardless, I always recommend asking for your hashbrowns extra crispy and get a cinnamon roll, even if it’s to-go.
Hours: Sunday-Saturday 6am-2pm
Location: 1440 W Sunset Ave, Springdale // MAP
Once you walk into MJ Pizzeria is a more upscale pizza place in Springdale that initially, you might hesitate about. The location is attached to a gas station and while I know you might be thinking the words “upscale” and “gas station” don’t go together, you’ll be surprised when you walk in the door. The ambiance is very cozy making it the perfect place for a date night or casual business dinner. The menu is smaller, but they do everything VERY well. We have enjoyed many of their wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta but our favorites are the traditional Margherita and the potato gnocchi.
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday & Saturday 11am-10pm
Location: 838 N 48th St Suite A, Springdale // MAP
Fratelli’s Italian Grill
Our favorite place to get Italian food in Northwest Arkansas is Fratelli’s Italian Grill. The interior is a cozy space that will make you feel instantly at home and the owners and staff are all incredibly welcoming. Every menu item is cooked from scratch, even the bread is made fresh each morning. My favorite dish from Fratelli’s is the Chicken Tuscany which has grilled chicken breast, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, artichoke hearts, and comes in a pink sauce with spaghetti.
Hours: 11am-9pm daily, closed Mondays
Location: 1008 W Sunset Ave, Springdale // MAP
Unfortunately, Szechuan House is currently closed due to damage they recently sustained in a fire. I have hope that they will rebuild and reopen and if they do I’ll let you know here!
Of all the Chinese restaurants we’ve visited in Northwest Arkansas, Szechuan House is noted to be the closest to authentic Chinese food – don’t believe us? Read the reviews for yourself! However, if you aren’t wanting to try something new they have a number of dishes that you’ll recognize. We’re really wanting to try a hot pot here when we can dine in person but I am still drooling over the Szechaun shrimp I had so that’s a definite thumbs up from me.
Hours: 11am-9pm daily, Closed Mondays
Location: 2255 W Sunset Ave, Springdale // MAP
Mama Tang Restaurant
If you’re a fan of Chinese food then you have to try Mama Tang Restaurant. Mama Tang has a large variety of familiar Chinese dishes that are perfect for sharing because all of the portions are HUGE and the prices are very reasonable. So far we’ve liked the Mongolian Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken, and General Tso’s Chicken.
Hours: 11am-9pm daily, closed Mondays
Location: 3482 Elm Springs Rd, Springdale // MAP
The owners of Azul Tequila brought their inspiration from their hometown of Jalisco, Mexico and you can see much of that heritage within the restaurant decor and dishes. We especially love their street tacos (the Cabo-style shrimp tacos are my personal favorite) but they have a very expansive menu to choose from so you’re sure to find anything you like! If you enjoy margaritas definitely don’t skip their house margarita and order a cup of queso while you’re at it too.
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday & Saturday 11am-10pm
Location: 960 N 45th St, Springdale // MAP (There is also a location in Bentonville)
Springdale is definitely an underrated area of Northwest Arkansas and we hope we’ve encouraged you to visit at least a few of the places we’ve mentioned here. Follow along as we continue to add more to our list of things to do in Springdale, Arkansas, and be sure to check out our other Northwest Arkansas posts too!