Discover Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Art fans staying at our Beaver Lake cabins will be pleased to know that Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is only a scenic 40 minute drive away, in Bentonville, AR. The museum’s stunning, 50,000 square foot gallery space contains a considerable collection of important American artworks, spanning from Colonial times to the present.

The museum opened in 2011 as the brain-child of Alice Walton, heir to the Walmart fortune. The facility includes galleries, meeting and classroom spaces, a library, sculpture garden, and a glass-enclosed gathering hall that can hold up to 300 people.

Visiting Crystal Bridges

The first amazing work of art you’ll see upon arrival at Crystal Bridges is the museum itself.  The elegant glass-and-wood construction, designed by architect Moshe Safdie and engineer Buro Happo,  consists of eight linked pavilions, nestled in the forest and wrapping around and over two large, spring-fed pools. The effect is at once striking and calming; the perfect merging of nature and design. Some spend almost as much time admiring the museum and grounds as they do the art it contains!

Not that the work inside is anything to sniff at.

Crystal Bridges’ collection includes major works by such important American artists as John Singer Sargent, George Catlin, George Bellows, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Janet Sobel, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, and so many others. As I say at the top, the museum’s permanent collection contains works from 500 years of American art.

The facility also includes classroom spaces, a library, sculpture garden, and a glass-enclosed gathering hall for up to 300 people. You’ll also discover a store, restaurant, coffee bar, outdoor event spaces, and nature trails. A number of the trails on the grounds lead to downtown Bentonville.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Crystal Bridges is located at 600 Museum Way, in Bentonville AR, just 40 minutes from Sugar Ridge Resort. Visit crystalbridges.org for hours and more information. You can also find the museum on Facebook.

It would be very easy to make a fun day-trip out of your visit! Other, popular area attractions include the 21c Museum, the Peel Museum & Botanical Garden, The Walmart Museum, shops, restaurants, and many other points of interest.

What things do you like to see or do? Let us know and we’ll help point you in the right direction. Sugar Ridge Resort loves sharing the area with our guests!

Visit Blue Spring Heritage Center

Blue Spring Heritage Center

Visit Blue Spring Heritage Center and discover one of the area’s last uncapped springs, along with fascinating history, unique geology, and unrivaled natural beauty.

Blue Spring is a natural spring that fills a deep, round pool with 38 million gallons of fresh, clear water every day. The water from the pool first spills over into a trout-filled lagoon, then tumbles over a small dam down to the White River.

People have been visiting the spring for thousands of years. In fact, a 1971 archeological dig at the spring uncovered artifacts dating back to 8000 BCE. Visiting Native Americans very clearly used the nearby, overhanging bluff as a shelter, earning it a much-deserved spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today, you’ll still find much of what drew those original visitors to Blue Spring, along with landscaped gardens, a Visitor Center, and more.

Best of all, Blue Spring Heritage Center is located at 1537 Co Rd 210, an easy and scenic 15 minutes from the door of our Beaver Lake cabins.

Visiting Blue Spring Heritage Center

Cliffs at Blue Spring Heritage Center

Blue Spring Heritage Center offers 33 acres to soak up but we suggest starting off at the Visitor Center. Here you can view a short film on the spring’s history, along with historic artifacts and photos.

After that, it’s time to hit the trails. The center is home to a mile of well maintained and popular walking trails. Interpretive signs throughout provide insight as  you walk through the gardens and to different points of interest.

Blue Spring Heritage Center

Highlights include the historic Bluff Shelter and Blue Spring’s trout-filled lagoon. A gazebo overlooking the lagoon is a popular place to stop and take in the view. You can also feed the trout, if you wish. Fun!

You’ll also find three special and lovely gardens at Blue Spring Heritage Center. The Medicine Wheel Garden contains plants that are important to Native American spiritual practices. The Three Sisters Garden demonstrates native ingenuity via a traditional interdependent community of plants. The Woodland Gardens features plantings among the native timber.

Other attractions at the center include a monument to President Bill Clinton and the ruins of a historic Blue Spring Mill. The mill, located some 300 feet downstream from the spring, was built in the early 1840’s to grind corn. A newer mill replaced it in 1903, only to be taken back down in 1943. Today, only the turbine remains.

Spend an hour or two walking the trails and taking in the beauty at Blue Spring, then it’s only 15 minutes to the comforts of your accommodations at Sugar Ridge Resort. Fantastic!

Blue Spring Heritage Center is open daily, 9am to 6pm, from March 15th through November 29. Learn more at bluespringheritage.com. You can also find the Center on Facebook.

Discover Beautiful Thorncrown Chapel

Thorncrown Chapel

If unique and beautiful architecture in a truly sublime setting sounds like something you’d enjoy, we recommend a visit to Thorncrown Chapel. The stunningly crafted architectural marvel is nestled in the woods, just 15 minutes from Sugar Ridge Resort.

Visitors to the Beaver Lake Eureka Springs area will find no end of attractions and activities to keep them occupied. Outdoor adventure like boating, fishing, and hiking, along with some of the region’s best art, food, fun, shopping, sightseeing, and more.

The area is home to lots of unique sights and attractions, as well. Natural caverns, springs, and rock formations, along with the fascinating works of man. Things like historic downtown Eureka Springs, Christ of the Ozarks, and Quigley’s Castle. In this latter category, nothing is quite as affecting or beautiful as Thorncrown Chapel.

Thorncrown Chapel

Thorncrown Chapel is located at 12968 Highway 62 West, just outside Eureka Springs, AR, a 15 minute drive from our Beaver Lake cabins.

Thorncrown Chapel interior design

The chapel, built in 1980 by E. Fay Jones, stands on a narrow, wooded shelf on a north slope of the Ozarks. Landowner Jim Reed contracted Jones, who apprenticed with Frank Lloyd Wright, to create a structure that would attract passer-by to worship.

The chapel is simple, yet enchantingly majestic and considered one of the finest religious spaces of modern times. Many think the structure is open to the air when they first see it. That’s because the chapel walls are glass. 425 separate sheets, in fact, comprising over six thousand square feet of glass!

The rest of the chapel, with little exception, was constructed using materials taken from the local wilderness. The intricate and mostly wooden structure rises forty-eight feet up into the forest canopy. The foundation uses more than 100 tons of native stone, topped with colored flagstone, allowing it to blend seamlessly into its surroundings. Inside, angular beams support the peaked roof with perfect, interlocking symmetry.

It truly is a sight to be seen. No matter your personal beliefs, its beauty is universal.

Thorncrown Chapel is open March through November, 9am to 5pm, with occasional closings for special events. Sunday services are 9am and 11am, April through October. November through the third week in December, 11am only. Services last approximately one hour. Everyone is welcome.

Learn more by visiting the chapel online at thorncrown.com. You can also find the chapel on Facebook.

Explore War Eagle Cavern

War Eagle Cavern on Beaver Lake

Cavers and others after a little underground adventure will enjoy a visit to War Eagle Cavern on Beaver Lake. This unique cave is not only Arkansas’ only lakeside cavern, it’s also one of Northwest Arkansas’ largest caves, and one of the oldest show caves in the state. Best of all, it’s less than an hour from Sugar Ridge Resort!

There are no end to the activities you can enjoy during your stay at our Beaver Lake cabins. Fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, picnicking, and Eureka Springs is only 20 minutes away.

Those looking for something a little out of the ordinary, however should consider checking out War Eagle Cavern. This unusual lakeside cave is home to three stories of caverns and a wide array of strange formations. Domes, rimstone dams, huge rooms, an underground lake, waterfalls, and more. Even more unusual, a fresh water spring flows out of the cave’s mouth alongside the entry path.

Guided Tours and More

War Eagle Cavern currently offers 3 different tours.

War Eagle Cavern on Beaver Lake

Traditional Cavern Tours are lead and narrated by expert guides will lead you through the first half-mile of the cavern. You’ll see a variety of natural formations, learn about the cavern’s history, and maybe even see some of the resident bats and salamanders.

Lantern Tours are after-hours guided tours lit only by hand held oil lamps. You’ll also hear stories and history not told on any of the other tours. Spooky fun!

Wild Cavern Tours are just what they sound like: guided tours that take you beyond the well-maintained and well-lit walkways of the main tours.
You’ll twist, crawl and climb through 2 miles of the cave that few ever see to incredible formations, including a 100ft deep subterranean canyon. For the adventurous who don’t mind getting muddy!

After you’ve finished your tour, don’t hurry off. There’s more to see and do.

A variety of scenic hiking trails lead from the cavern, through the forest, to lovely natural waterfalls and expansive views of Beaver Lake. You can also wander down and feed the fish in the lake from the boat dock.

War Eagle Cavern on Beaver Lake

Those looking for further entertainment can enjoy gemstone panning, the Lost in the Woods maze, or exploring the mysteries of the Moonshiners’ Mystery Shack. There is also an on-site gift shop.

War Eagle Cavern

War Eagle Cavern is located at 21494 Cavern Drive in Rogers, AR.

The cave is open daily, March 5th through Thanksgiving Weekend, 9:30am to 5pm. The last cavern tour leaves at 4pm.

Learn more at the cavern website. You can also find the cavern on Facebook.

Spend a few hours at War Eagle Cavern, perhaps with an added stop for lunch at the nearby War Eagle Mill Bean Palace, yum! After that, it’s a just a short, scenic drive back to your cabin at Sugar Ridge Resort. Lovely!