If you can’t make it to the beach or some exotic locale for Spring Break, what can you do that’s in Arkansas and fun? Luckily for you, AY Publisher Heather Baker stopped by The Vine to give you the scoop on one of the best Spring Break activities.
“With spring break literally right around the corner, she’s got some of the must see museums that are only a short ride away,” The Vine host Laura Monteverdi says.
With 163 museums around the state, there is a great educational activity close to you, no matter where in the state you live. From the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center in Piggott to the Gangster Museum in Hot Springs, there’s going to be an Arkansas museum that will appeal to your interests.
One of the major Arkansas museums is the Walmart Museum, located in Bentonville. This museum tells the story of Sam Walton’s rise from relative obscurity to fame as the owner of a retail empire. “Walmart Museum is such a staple for Arkansas. This started as one of the first Five & Dimes. In 1990, it transformed into their visitor’s center,” Baker says.
There are tons of educational exhibits at the museum in addition to a fantastic gift shop. “You can see Sam Walton’s Ford truck in there. They have a soda shop and tons of cool trinkets,” Baker says.
Monteverdi agrees, saying, ““I love the little area around the square and there’s tons to do.”
Baker recommends two vehicle-related museums: the Arkansas Railroad Museum and the Museum of Automobiles.
The Arkansas Railroad Museum, located in Pine Bluff, has a collection of trains and equipment related to the train industry inside. “It has locomotives, it has trains in its exhibits. It is so fun,” Baker says.
While the Railroad Museum is a great trip with the kids, Baker insists that anyone can enjoy it. “I think everybody would enjoy it. They have tons of stuff set up and it’s just a close ride away,” she says.
The Museum of Automobiles is located on Petit Jean Mountain and was founded by Winthrop Rockefeller in 1964. It features a collection of the former governor’s Cadillacs along with the only known existing Climber, an automobile produced in Little Rock in the 1920s.
The final museum Baker recommends is the Esse Purse Museum, located in Little Rock. Founded by Anita Davis, this museum is dedicated to the 20thcentury American woman and the role that purses have played. “It’s the 20thcentury woman, and it’s telling the story through purses and the contents of the purses,” Baker says.
Not only are you getting a great educational experience, you can indulge in a little retail therapy. “They have purses for sale, I hear,” Baker says.