Just over a year ago now, I said ‘I do!‘ to my best friend. We decided last year that we wanted to celebrate each anniversary by going somewhere new. This is how we decided to spend a weekend celebrating our anniversary in Northwest Arkansas. We started out planning a camping trip, but high humidity and the desire to have a more relaxed trip changed those plans. Luckily for us, it turned out to be the most perfect anniversary trip we could’ve imagined.
Watching a Romantic Sunset at Sam’s Throne
Being nature-lovers, we had planned on spending our entire anniversary weekend outdoors. So, we started off driving to Sam’s Throne. It’s a gorgeous, simply hike that looks out over farmland to one side and a gorgeous mountain overlook at the end of the trail.
The view of this lone, round peak is one of my favorite views in Arkansas. It just reminds me a lot of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
We decided, after being eaten up by mosquitoes, to just go ahead and drive into Fayetteville to check into our hotel a night early. It was great to get a good night’s sleep before a day full of adventure.
Fayetteville’s Weekend Farmers Market
I’m a sucker for markets. I love watching families and couples picking out fresh produce, listening to the buskers, and the samples… I do love the samples. Plus, Matt is still a beginner-chef, so it’s always fun to watch him look at produce and feel inspired. It’s awesome! My favorite thing was the flower stands, street art and the amazing band that played the Cantina Song from Star Wars.
Shiloh Museum of Ozark History
This museum in located in Springdale, Arkansas. It focuses on the history of Northwest Arkansas. There are multiple exhibits all focusing on the way the Ozarks has changed. They have a prehistoric Native American section with arrowheads, carvings, fossils and more. Then it tells the story of the settlers who came to this area. It eventually moves on to “hillbillies” and the stories of how this caricature came to be. Then how times and lives changed through the Civil War, WW1, WW2, The Civil Rights Movement, all the way to now. The museum is free to visit and well worth going!
Don’t miss the outdoor section of the museum – there are buildings that show the evolution of architecture in the south. Pretty interesting! There’s an old barn, a one-room schoolhouse, a log cabin and different styles of houses that you can walk through. The log cabin was my favorite because it was furnished. It’s really interesting and brought me back to my Little House on the Prairie love.
Artist Point // Artist Point Trail in Mountainburg, Arkansas
Matt had heard of this gorgeous overlook called Artist Point. It wasn’t too far away from Fayetteville and we were craving a little nature so we decided to give it a go. When I googled it, I also found that there was actually a trail there as well! So it, of course, became the next thing on the itinerary!
The overlook was stunning. The hills are covered in the invasive plant species kudzu. I know it’s invasive, but it’s also quite pretty. It is rampant all through the American Southeast. The overlook stretches out over miles over the rolling mountains. After you take in the overlook, pop into the gift shop. It has a big back deck that you can look out from (and catch the hummingbirds that fight over their feeders). They have a small, super-kitchsy museum (no admission) and you sign in there to do the trail. I was very surprised because the owner actually tried to talk us out of the trail. It was steep and it was humid, but not so bad that it wasn’t doable and very enjoyable.
The Trail to Artist Point Falls
Don’t forget: insect repellent, plenty of water and good walking shoes!
This trail is just a mile out and back. I’ve seen it rated everything from moderate to difficult. I would say it’s easy going down (with a little strain on your knees) but moderate on the way out. The climb up is steep, but because it’s short, it’s very doable. If you dehydrate easily, aren’t in very good shape, are pregnant, etc. I could see it being more on the difficult side.
The trail begins beside the shop/museum and starts off with a decline down the kudzu covered hill. You go from a view of the mountains into the woods. It’s quite beautiful!
Heading into the woods!
The highlight of this hike is Artist Point Falls. It cascades down over multiple layers, more than you can see in this photo. The sound of the water flowing was so peaceful. It’s steady enough that it can be heard from yards away, but it wasn’t deafening. Plus, we were the only ones here, so it felt incredibly secluded.
Matt took these stunning photos of the waterfall. I feel truly lucky everyday to share adventures with him.
The last highlight of the hike was this gorgeous hike was Lover’s Leap. So, of course, I had to pose here with my amazing husband.
Food Adventures Around Fayetteville
When I did my Ozarks Brewery Guide last year Fossil Cove was one of the places I knew I wanted to go back to. So what better time to go than our anniversary? I enjoyed the IPA #3 and Matt had the Birch Ave. Blonde.
After getting our brews, we went around the corner with our beers to the Container Kitchen, located right behind Fossil Cove and had a delicious lunch! I had their black bean tacos and Matt had wings and fries!
Before and after our dinner, we wandered around Dickson Street checking out shops, street art and more while waiting for the food trucks to open.
Matt had chicken fried rice and I had wood fired pizza. Both were absolutely delicious! After dinner we had to get some ice-cream from Burton’s Comfort Creamery! It was a soft serve cone dipped in different toppings! Mine had strawberry syrup + fruity pebbles, Matt’s was chocolate ice-cream with fudge and andes mints. It was so yummy!
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
This beautiful art museum is located in Bentonville, Arkansas and owned by the Walton family (of Walmart) and they offer a free admission. They do have special rotating exhibits that have an admission fee. When we were there the Chihuly exhibit was the rotating exhibit. We skipped it, but we were able to see loads of beautiful art!
One of the very last exhibits was one that you got to be a part of. It was a giant pile of apple hard candies. You simply opened a candy and threw the wrapper back down. Matt really enjoyed taking part in making art.
The other thing I love about Crystal Bridges is their nature trails. We got rained out of walking too far along them, plus the Chihuly exhibit had taken over most of them, but we enjoyed the time outside regardless.
Our anniversary in Northwest Arkansas ended up being the perfect location to celebrate our first year of wedded bliss. It was the perfect mix of adventure + relaxation and nature + city fun.
Like My Anniversary Look? You Can Find the Dresses + Top at Aventura Clothing.
Aventura Clothing reached out to me to try out some of their clothing. I was excited to work with them after researching their brand. Aventura Clothing is committed to making clothing with a low environmental impact and uses organically farmed cotton. They’re constantly moving toward creating a smaller footprint – now 75% of their styles use lower impact or sustainable materials. Then, in addition to that, they donate clothing to the empowerment boutique Uncommon Threads which helps victims of domestic violence start again. I felt so good about the values of this company, that I was excited to try out their brand.
Which Garments Did I Wear?
I wore the Pearson Dress in Black, the Calista Tank in Aqua Haze and the Easton Dress in Gravel. Both of the dresses are part of their sustainability line. Their clothing is made for adventures. Because this trip was a mix of being in the out and about in cities and going on hikes, I wanted clothes that would be stylish as well as functional. Being our anniversary, though, I wanted to have a more feminine style.
What Did I Think?
I’m glad I wore these garments from Aventura Clothing because they struck the perfect compromise between fashion and function. The Pearson Dress was incredibly comfortable and super soft. The beautiful geometric pattern was what drew me to this dress. I enjoyed wearing it and it was ideal for the wide variety of activities we did that day. The Calista top was the perfect shade of aqua (my favorite) the light and airy fabric was perfect for hiking, and fit true to size. My one complaint about it would be that the website says the top is embroidered, and it isn’t. It has an embroidered-looking design. So, while I love the top it wasn’t 100% what I was expecting. The Easton Dress has a classier look to it, which felt perfect for an art museum date. It too was comfortable and also gets huge bonus points for having wide enough straps that I didn’t have to wear a strapless bra. Both dresses ran a bit large; I used their size chart which put me on the lowest measurements of medium, but in both I probably should’ve gotten the small.
I would highly recommend the articles of clothing that I wore on our anniversary trip and look forward to sporting my Aventura Clothing garments on many adventures to come.
* Although I was given these garments to review by Aventura Clothing, the opinions expressed on this blog are my own.