Campground Review: Bella Vista Village RV Park
If my last post convinced you to visit Bentonville, Arkansas, now you need to know where to stay. There aren’t any RV parks in Bentonville proper. Luckily, you’ll find the Bella Vista Village RV Park just 15 minutes north of town.
Originally developed as a vacation retreat after World War II, Bella Vista became a planned community in the 1960s when a developer bought up 16,000 acres in the area (a detailed history can be found here). Lakes, golf courses, parks, and other amenities were added to attract residents. To this day, all residents are members of the Property Owners Association, and many of the amenities are only open to members and their guests. This includes the Bella Vista RV Park….except that Good Sam members are also allowed to stay!
Bella Vista Village RV park is mostly a parking lot. There’s a mixture of full hookup sites and electric/water sites. Weirdly enough, they do not take reservations for the full hookup sites. If this is a make or break for you, you’ll want to call ahead to make sure they have spots. From what I’ve read, there are usually plenty of spots available.
While the spots don’t have any scenery between sites, you are surrounded by wooded ridges on both sides, making the park visually appealing. We visited in early March, so the trees hadn’t filled in yet. I imagine the park is especially beautiful in fall, once the leaves begin to change.
The sites are all concrete and level. They are all back-in, but they are long enough for huge motorhomes. Also, there is a decent amount of room between sites, with a concrete patio and picnic table at each. Fires are not allowed in this park.
While the RV spots are literally in a parking lot, it is a parking lot in the middle of a really cool park. Blowing Springs Park offers 7 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, plus a lovely picnic area with a creek and caves. While the trails are open to the public, the other parts of the park are for members only—or for guests of the RV park. This is a great spot to enjoy a picnic and to let the kids explore.
Upon checking in at the park, the desk manager gave us a map of all the trails in the Blowing Springs Park. This was very helpful! If you don’t get a paper map, you can find maps posted in the park.
My older son and I decided to hike the blue trail. This included a beautiful walk in the woods on the ridge above the RV park. We even got a bird’s eye view of Birdy from above. While we were hiking, we were passed by several mountain bikers. I admired their skills at traversing some of this difficult terrain. I would have been terrified to do this on wheels. In fact, I wiped out without them and managed to scrape up my elbows, hands, and knees!
As we neared the end of the trail, we spotted the lovely creek and picnic area from above.
My own pictures did not do the place justice since we didn’t have time to fully explore this end of the park and since it was a dreary day, but Jessie over at Adventures in the Ozarks has a beautiful blog post about the park. Check it out here!
Bella Vista RV Park also has a playground fitness area. This is not set up like a traditional playground and instead offers exercise equipment, complete with directions for how to use each item. Our older boys enjoyed this more than a regular playground; however, little kids might not.
Other than the trails and picnic area, Bella Vista Village RV Park does not offer any activities. However, this is reflected in the price. When we visited, we paid $30 including taxes for our full hookup site (with the Good Sam discount). I’m not sure whether or not the rates vary with the season, but we thought this was a reasonable price.
Bella Vista Village RV Park has a bathhouse and laundry room, and these were spotless during our visit. The shower house had the perfect arrangement…a shower with a real door! Plenty of hooks for towels and clothes! A changing bench! Seriously, until you’ve used dozens of campground showerhouses, you won’t truly appreciate how nice these things are.
The words “blazing fast WiFi” and “RV park” don’t often get said in the same sentence, unless you’re saying, “I wish I could find an RV park with blazing fast WiFi.” We are excited to report that Bella Vista RV Park did, indeed, have blazing fast WiFi. When I told the desk manager that my sons wanted me to get the access code, he made sure to place us in a spot as close to the transmitter as possible. Our boys were thrilled to discover the WiFi was awesome! (As I’ve mentioned, this is the MOST important amenity to them.) However, I can’t promise that it will work as well if you visit when the park is fuller or if you are situated farther from a transmitter.
Another amenity we appreciated was the proximity to grocery stores and restaurants. We were just minutes from the friendliest little store: Allen’s Food Market. It has a great selection of traditional, natural and organic goods, as well as locally made products. The fresh-baked bread from Neighbor’s Mill is divine. As I shopped, several employees said hello or offered assistance. The bagger even carried out my groceries. I loved this store!
The Local Area
Bella Vista is a great place for hiking and biking. In addition to the trails at Blowing Springs Park, Bella Vista has more trails. We decided to do the Tanyard Creek Nature Trail (see this post), and it was a great family hike. There’s also a lakeside trail and more.
We weren’t sure whether visitors could use any of the other amenities in town, like the lakes or golf courses. If those activities interest you, call the POA to find out more. In addition to the small lakes in Bella Vista, a much larger lake, Beaver Lake, is close by. If you’d rather stay near the lake, Corp of Engineer campgrounds can be found in several spots.
We selected Bella Vista Village RV Park due to its proximity to Bentonville, which we love for its charming atmosphere and Crystal Bridges Museum of Art (all of which were described in this Bentonville post). Bella Vista is an easy 15 minute drive from Bentonville.
This isn’t a campground to go to for the classic camping experience; however, it makes a great basecamp for exploring all that Bentonville offers. We appreciated the clean showers, the fast WiFi, and most importantly, the beautiful trails and picnic area. We will definitely stay here on future trips to Northwest Arkansas.
Just the Facts
Name & Website: Bella Vista Village RV Park
Location: In Bella Vista, just north of Bentonville, in Northwest Arkansas
Rate: $30 a night for FHU (MUST be a Good Sam Member to stay here!)
Sites: Back-in FHU; Back-in W&E
Amenities: Playground, picnic areas, creek, hiking/biking trails in Blowing Springs Park
Park Description: Sites are not scenic, but the grounds surrounding the park are beautiful.
Bottom line: Great basecamp for exploring the Bentonville area!
You can hear all about Bella Vista RV and our favorite Bentonville attractions on this episode of Campground of the Week. Just press the play button below:
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