Located in the northwest area of Arkansas, Rogers is one of the country’s most rapidly expanding metro areas.
It has the distinction of being the home of the very first Wal-Mart store, and the retail giant’s global headquarters is located in Bentonville, which isn’t too far away.
The area is surrounded by the majestic and historical Ozark Mountains, full of rugged wilderness and the fascinating histories of the Native American people and brave pioneers who explored and settled in the area centuries ago.
Rogers and the surrounding country are magnets to Civil War historians and nature lovers from all over the country.
1. Rogers Historical Museum
There’s no better place to check out on your first day in the area than the Rogers Historical Museum.
Boasting the county’s most complete record of local history, it has been educating visitors since 1974 and doing its part to showcase and preserve the interesting history of this portion of Arkansas.
The museum contains permanent exhibits full of artifacts, memorabilia, and knick-knacks from bygone eras. Throughout the year, it also hosts special exhibitions and other educational and instructional programs on a variety of topics that are big hits with residents of Rogers.
Check out their website for specifics.
2. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
For value-minded travelers who cling to every dime like it may be their last, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is not only free to visit, but it’s also chock-full of exhibits and artworks that spans many generations and many different types of media as well.
The philanthropic arm of Wal-Mart has primarily funded the museum, thereby making general admission tickets free. It’s one of the area’s most complete repositories of world-renowned art, and there’s an outdoor area as well that’s open from sunrise to sunset.
The museum is open every day except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
3. Daisy Airgun Museum
Generations of concerned and dramatic American mothers have been saying the same thing to their disinterested, BB gun-toting sons – “You’ll shoot your eye out.”
The name Daisy has been synonymous with airguns for ages, and Rogers, Arkansas is the place where all that history has been collected in one spot.
Even if you never owned one, you’ve probably heard of them, and you’ll appreciate the museum’s exhibits that show the product lines and marketing material of years past.
It’s a unique little trip down Memory Lane, and since it’s only a few bucks to look around, it’s worth a stop.
4. Visit a few Local Microbreweries
Even largely rural Arkansas isn’t too remote to have experienced a surge in microbreweries in recent years like the rest of the country.
They’re usually staffed by eccentric and enthusiastic people who are more than happy to show guests around or just chat about their passions. Many of them are locally known for their tasty food in addition to their brews.
A few of the local favorites in Rogers are the Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom, Foster’s Pint and Plate and Core Brewing Company.
There are others around as well, and due to their proximity to one another, many can be visited in a relatively short time.
5. Museum of Native American History
Arkansas has a rich Native American history, and many of the exhibits and artifacts contained in the Museum of Native American History in Bentonville date back more than 10,000 years – long before European settlers ever set foot in this part of what was then considered the New World.
The museum is sectioned into five distinct eras; each portion highlights the Native Americans, their lifestyles and the improvements they made in the area of hunting and gathering, agriculture, and the production of earthenware and weapons.
It’s a great place for field trips and small groups, and the facility is handicap accessible too.
6. Rogers Aquatics Center
Comprised of acres dedicated to all kinds of water-related recreation, the Rogers Aquatics Center is the area’s go-to fun spot for fun and sun.
The center includes multiple pools, basketball courts, volleyball nets, and a therapeutic, whirlpool-style vortex pool.
The favorite with kids is usually the 40-foot tall slide and enclosed flume. Men’s and women’s locker rooms are available, as are food and drinks in the concession stand.
The center is located on South 26th Street in Rogers. Day use tickets are available, as are monthly and yearly ones if you’ll be in the area a bit longer.
7. Shiloh Museum of Ozark History
The Shiloh Museum of Ozark is located in nearby Springdale. Its focus is on highlighting and preserving the history of the Ozarks region of Arkansas and the American southeast.
It’s full of interesting exhibits and artifacts dating back to the time before settlers began putting down their roots and building small towns that would eventually grow into some of the state’s largest.
In addition to the museum segment of the facility, there’s one of the state’s largest research libraries, containing historical documents, registers and one of the largest collections of historical photographs anywhere in the area.
The library is open to guests during regular visiting hours.
8. John Q. Hammons Center
The northwest part of Arkansas has been undergoing a development boom in recent years, and one of the area’s most significant projects was the John Q. Hammons Center.
Set among the Ozark Mountain foothills, along with a few other area venues it required nearly $300 million in development funds, making it the most expansive and contemporary facility of its kind in the region.
The center boasts hundreds of thousands of square feet of space, available for the largest convention all the way down to relatively small gatherings and trade shows. It’s quite an impressive facility and worth a look if you’re in the area.
9. Clinton House Museum
Located a short drive away in Fayetteville, the Clinton House Museum was the first home that Bill and Hillary Clinton shared after they were married.
The home was originally built in the ‘30s and has been restored and turned into a full-time museum to highlight the lives of these two Arkansas natives who rocketed from obscurity onto the national and world stages.
The home was where their wedding was held as well; it’s full of interesting tidbits of history and was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places about nine years ago.
10. The Railyard Bike Park
The Railyard Bike Park is one of the most popular places for youngsters to congregate in Rogers; it’s filled with tons of trails that are suitable for nearly anyone regardless of age or ability.
One of the park’s highlights is the dirt course for experienced bikers that includes lots of dips, bumps, and gravity-defying jumps.
Even if you’re not much of a biker, it’s a fun place to hang out and watch others strut their stuff.
The park is usually open from sunrise to sunset but may close if the weather is bad, so check online before heading out.
11. Hobbs State Park Conservation Area
Consisting of more than 10,000 acres, Hobbs State Park Conservation Area is one of the most expansive and beautiful areas in which to experience the great outdoors in the region.
Hunting, fishing, camping, and kayaking are big draws, and the conservation area is full of exhibits, trails and paved areas.
It’s a good idea to check out the visitor’s center first, as it’ll give you an overview of the park’s geography and how to get to the places you’ll want to check out.
There are numerous trails and, regardless of the age and physical ability of you and your companions, you’ll likely find one that’s just right.
12. War Eagle Cavern on Beaver Lake
Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains are home to lots of interesting caves; War Eagle Cavern on Beaver Lake is the area’s most popular private cave.
With a mouth opening towards Beaver Lake, the cave is staffed with guides that are well-versed in the geology, as well as some fascinating local history.
After you’ve seen the cave, consider sticking around and enjoying all the lake has to offer. There are a few waterfalls in the area, and hiking, bird-watching, and fishing are favorite activities too.
The cave is open every day, and there’s even an old prospector’s camp where you can pan for real gems.
Located on Museum Way in Bentonville, Amazeum is a fun and interactive facility that has been designed to teach children lots of exciting things about the natural world, while keeping them active and engaged.
It’s the perfect place to escape the elements if you happen to be around on a sweltering, rainy or wintery day, and adults will enjoy it too.
The interactive areas include a grocery store, magnets, balls, wheels, and levers that fascinate young minds and tire young bodies. There are even a few indoor water-based activities that are especially popular on hot and humid days.
14. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman-Wilson House
If you’ve never seen one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s buildings up close, don’t pass up the opportunity to do just that when in Rogers.
Bachman-Wilson house is one of the famous architect’s masterpieces. Like nearly all of his designs, it combines the natural and manmade worlds into one, so they complement one another.
Large floor-to-ceiling windows characterize Wright’s designs. Though tastes have changed over the years, many of his innovations are still frequently used by contemporary architects.
The house is located on Museum Way on the grounds of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.
15. 21c Museum
The 21c Museum is really a hotel and museum in one. For lovers of art, it’s one of the places that shouldn’t be passed up when visiting Rogers.
The hotel is quirky and unique, and there’s a restaurant on site that serves delicious and reasonably priced fare.
The art featured throughout the hotel is mostly contemporary and includes works with a number of media. The perennial favorites are the movable penguins that can be shifted around the hotel by guests and staff.
There’s even an ice-skating rink across the street; previous guests have mentioned that the hotel staff are accommodating and outgoing.