As a follow up to yesterday’s post about our favorite things to do in Joplin, MO, I figured I ought to do one on Northwest Arkansas too. Rogers, Arkansas was our home for the last couple of years, and will likely be where we decide to settle down eventually when we are done travel nursing. We love Northwest Arkansas so much because it still has a laid back small town feel, with a growing array of things to do. So, here goes…
- Pizza: Gusano’s ~ This Chicago Style Pizzeria is freakin’ incredible! We really miss it, and will definitely be meeting up with friends here when we go back home to visit. They bake seasoning into the crust, and their sauce is deliciously chunky. Our favorites are the Chicago Style Carnivore Craze, or our specialty thin crust pizza of 1/2 Hawaiian 1/2 Pepperoni, Black Olives, and Jalapenos cooked well done. Mouth-watering goodness!
- American/Bar: JJ’s Grill’n’Chill ~ This is the kind of place you can go for lunch and end up staying all day until it’s dinner time (I know because we have done it before). They boast a great kicked back atmosphere with live music every night. Their food rocks! And they have great happy hour specials and fun happy minutes throughout the day. With very reasonable prices…this place is one of our favorite spots to hang out with a group of friends.
- BBQ: Whole Hog Cafe ~ This is award winning BBQ at it’s best! Everything here is good…the brisket and pulled pork are my favorites though. And their potato salad is to die for! For a fun side note – President George W. Bush ate here when he was in town a few years ago!
- Japanese Hibachi & Sushi: Shogun’s ~ This place it a lot of fun and their food is fantastic! Some hibachi places tend to overcook their food and, while the show is entertaining, the food isn’t that great. Not this place though! The chef’s add a great element to the evening, but the food itself is also amazing!
- Dessert: Rick’s Bakery ~ Seriously…Best. Cakes. Ever. White or Death by Chocolate are my two favorites, and both so heavenly! I have never met anybody that doesn’t like Rick’s cakes.
- Wine: The Wine Cellar ~ I love their concept! They offer several different wines along the wall for you to choose a 2 oz sample, 5 oz taste, or 10 oz glass. The wine tasting is self service. You simply put money on one of their cards and then start sampling wines by inserting your card and paying for your choice. This place makes for a perfect girls night out!
Non-Food Must Do’s:
- Hiking and Camping: Devil’s Den State Park ~ We stayed here for our 3 year wedding anniversary last year, and just had a blast! The camp site is very well maintained, and there are several great hiking trails to check out. We even went spelunking through one of the caves…until I chickened out because it was too dark!
- Rally: Bikes, Blues, & BBQ ~ If you are in or around NWA in late September, you have to check out this biker rally! And no, it’s not just for bikers. We just love to go and watch all of the bikes, drink some beer, eat some good food, listen to some good music, and hang out with friends. It is definitely a blast and something you will never forget! You can hear the rumbling from all the bikes throughout the entire surrounding area all weekend!
- Event: LPGA Tournament ~ This is a relatively new event for the area, the first year being in 2007. The company I used to work for was one of the presenting sponsors, so we were given free tickets and VIP tickets which was awesome! We attended nearly every day for both the 2008 and 2009 events, and had a blast! Sky even got the opportunity to participate in the pro-am tournament last year a little bit.
- Sports: Razorbacks Football ~ OK – I’m not even a sports fan and I enjoy watching the Razorbacks play! Their fans are just so much fun and good spirited. It always amazes me how much the people in NWA truly love their Hogs and get into the games! We never got the chance to tailgate before a game…but hopefully we will get to someday!
- Bar Hopping: Dickson Street in Fayetteville ~ This is your typical college town party street. Lots of fun bars and restaurants with lots of crazy party-goers. We don’t go very often, but it’s always a good time when we want to live it up a little!
- Eclectic Weekend Getaway: Eureka Springs, AR ~ One of mine and Skyler’s most romantic memories is the weekend we spent in Eureka Springs. It is a very eccentric little town with fun little shops to meander through in their historical downtown. They also have a gorgeous glass chapel in the middle of the woods, the Thorncrown Chapel, where a lot of weddings are held.
So that’s our ‘favorites list’ for Northwest Arkansas. Now, please keep in mind that there are so many things to do in both Joplin and NWA that aren’t on these lists I have posted the last two days. This is just a compilation of our favorites. Quite frankly, we didn’t venture out much in NWA. If it wasn’t within a couple of exits from our apartment…we didn’t go! I know there are so many more things to see and do, especially in the Fayetteville area, that we just never made it to. And like I mentioned in my post a few days ago about living like a tourist, we got in kind of a rut and shamefully didn’t explore very much around home.
Let me know what you like to do in and around your hometown. Who knows…maybe it will be one of our next stops along our travel nursing adventure!!!