The city of Centerton is named for its central location in the heart of Benton County so visitors to the area will find that it makes a great base to use for exploring places of interests and local attractions in the area. It is also close to the home of Wal-Mart’s HQ and the Wal-Mart Visitor Centre on Bentonville’s North Main Street sees flocks of tourists visiting it every year to find out more about the origins of one of the country’s most successful retail businesses.
The Centre is open from Monday to Thursday from 8am until 9pm, Friday and Saturdays from 8am until 10pm and on Sundays from noon until 5pm so if you are interested in seeing how it all began, you will find this your very informative. The Centre is situated on the site where Sam Walton opened his 5&10 on Bentonville’s town square back in 1950, with little inclination of how this small dime store in Arkansas would eventually become one of the global leaders in the retail industry. The company has been saving millions of people money on retail purchases for over sixty years now but the Wal-Mart Visitor Centre offers the opportunity to take a unique trip back in time to see how it all began. This family friendly tour is divided into three sections that include a prestigious gallery exhibition with information, photos and artifacts relating to its development over the past six decades as well as interactive displays and giant scrapbooks that give an understanding of Sam Walton’s life and leadership as well as his business prowess. The second section is a restored 5&10 shop front with all the original fixtures and fittings, where visitors can enjoy the Wal-Mart experience of a bygone era from the shop’s tin ceiling to the goods on display including candy, books and toys from days gone by. Mr Walton’s dependable old Ford F-150 that he always drove, is also parked outside for visitors to enjoy while the Spark Café in the third section offers the chance to enjoy freshly baked goods and locally roasted coffee, and all from Wal-Mart of course!
The Crystal Bridge Museum of Art is also situated in Bentonville, within easy access of Centerton, and offers free entrance to the public since it was opened towards the end of 2011. This was founded by Sam Walton’s daughter Alice and its unique glass and wood series of pavilions huddled around two ponds was designed by Moshe Safdie. Along with the interior exhibitions there are also outdoor areas surrounded by widespread nature trails that are regularly used to hold concerts and public events. Other museums of interest in the area include the Benton County Historical Society where visitors can peruse the extensive collection of historical artifacts, photographs, and manuscripts that it has been collecting and preserving since the early 1950’s. Those with an interest in Native American history in the region may also find a trip to The Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, in Springdale of interest as it offers an extensive regional history of the Arkansas Ozarks through with many displays and exhibitions including photographs, manuscripts and artifacts.