No matter what the winter weather may be, Bella Vista has plenty of indoor and outdoor choices for spending your time. With average temperatures in the 40-degree range, Arkansas winters are considered mild and pleasant for outdoor adventure. When temperatures do dip lower, it’s easy to find indoor locales to visit to cure your cabin fever.
- Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel – Designed by famed Arkansas architect E. Fay Jones, this awe-inspiring structure is built of steel, glass and wood that accentuates its natural environment. It’s an ideal place for a wedding or quiet meditation.
- Bella Vista Historical Museum – The museum features Bella Vista’s history from its inception as a summer resort destination area in the days of 1915-1952 through the present. Learn how a summer resort with only 370 private family cottages became a family recreation area, development of 40,000 acres with golf courses and lakes, and then a city with 30,000 residents.
- Veterans Wall of Honor – Set around a fountain in the center of the monument, granite tablets display 4,500-plus names of veterans. This historic timeline on bronze plaques chronicling significant military events from the Revolutionary War to present conflicts.
- Wishing Spring Gallery – Members of the Village Art Club exhibit original works here. View three floors of hand-created fine art and fine crafts made by 50-plus local and regional artists and crafters. As you’re browsing, watch for special displays or maybe an artist offering a free demonstration.
- Recreation Centers – Those renting a Bella Vista vacation home through Vacation Rentals, Inc. have full access to recreation centers offering workout facilities, and fitness classes. Additionally, the Branchwood center has an indoor swimming pool to enjoy year-round and an 18-hole disc golf course for warmer winter days.
- Trails – Mild Arkansas winters mean year-round enjoyment of Bella Vista’s trails system, popular with mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners, birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts of any kind. Exclusive to hikers, Tanyard Creek includes a paved portion and a well-maintained natural surface. Branchwood Nature Trail and the Loch Lomond Walking Trail are both paved surfaces. Whereas mountain bikers and hikers alike can enjoy the Back 40 and the Blowing Springs trail system.
By Jill Rohrbach