Who doesn’t have a Walmart in or near their community? Whatever one thinks of this retailing juggernaut, there is no denying that Walmart is a true American success story. Here in Bentonville, Ark., near the corporation’s sprawling headquarters facilities, you’ll find the original little 5&10¢ store that Sam Walton opened on the town square in 1950.
Now housing the Walmart Visitor Center, the building holds an extensive gallery of interactive exhibits showcasing the company’s business philosophy and incredible growth. Guests can also visit a gift shop featuring typical ‘50s merchandise, the Spark Café, the stock Ford F-150 pickup truck that Sam used for hunting, and his personal office, left as it was on the day he died.
Also free, when you’re in the neighborhood: The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the world-class museum complex designed to “celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of landscape.” Opened during the fall of 2011, the museum was financed by, and filled with priceless American art objects collected by wealthy members of the Walton family.
Sam Walton’s office
Sam Walton’s Ford F-150 pickup truck
In the Neighborhood: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art