While in recovery from our whirlwind Labor Day weekend we sat down to discuss our plans for our next outing. After a big to-do like what we put ourselves through last weekend we were very tempted to retreat into the woods for some quiet time. But as much as we brag about being world class campers, the clean up after the trip was daunting in my already exhausted state.
While going through our Pinterest boards, however, we noticed that Rogers was being neglected. There are numerous sources for re-pins for Fayetteville and Bentonville, we contributed original pined content to our Springdale and Siloam Springs boards but Rogers didn’t have much of either. So we set out to find the most Insta and Pin worthy places that we could find in the town of Rogers.
Where Reality Is Better Than Perception
I remember back in 2000 being in Jr. High and going to Rogers on the school bus for an away football game. It felt like we drove for hours through the pastoral country side. In reality it might have been 45 min but as a teen perception is reality.
A short 3 years later that same farmland had started it’s transformation into the Pinnacle Hills Promenade or one of the hundreds of other shiny, squeaky clean facades of the Rogers corporate take over. That’s what I’ve thought about Rogers for a long while, corporate. A place to be what you picture a grown up looking like when you were a teen…. In my mind, kind of lame. I was so wrong.
We found a unique and breathtaking park, local shops to fit anyone’s fancy, several breweries and one of the best meals I’ve (maybe ever) had.
Walk Around Lake Atlanta
We hadn’t ever been to Lake Atlanta but had heard about recent renovations that piqued our interest. After crossing a bridge over a crystal clear stream we were drawn to the playground. I’ve never seen such a cool place for kids. If the playground was cool the fact that it had a double level tree house built into the side of the hill made it amazing. I think our favorite part was how seamlessly the architecture blended in with it’s natural surroundings.
We were surprised to find stairs that led to a trail up on the hill behind the playground and impulsively took to wherever it may lead not thinking it could be miles and we didn’t bring any water. Compared to the hubbub of the park the trail was peaceful and quiet. It lead to the paved path that winds around the lake and meets with other trail systems one of which lead to a bird blind down a short boardwalk style raised path.
It felt like we had left the lake park and found ourselves in a botanical gardens type setting. The trees were perfectly spaced and we couldn’t help but imagine a small wedding there.
Local Brews To Rule Them All
After such a long walk we were pretty thirsty. We had heard that the amount of small breweries in the US are at an all time high since prohibition which means we are going to have a lot of stops to make if we’re going to try them all. We figured, why not start here in Rogers?
Driving back to the downtown from Lake Atlanta we happened to pass Ozark Beer Co. This place was perfect. We tried a pint of the coffee stout and a flight with the Berliner Weissen which was unique and refreshingly bitter, The 61 Eyes, The American Wheat and the Cream Stout. The friendly and knowledgeable tap room assistants offered notes on each choice which really helped us appreciate the nuances of the different pours. They were also kind enough to suggest another couple of taprooms to try.
With glowing reviews from OBC we headed to New Provence Beer Co. We enjoyed a couple of flights there as well. The taproom assistants were friendly but not as engaging and the beer was great but there was one that I couldn’t finish. Word to the wise, if the menu says “salty” consider yourself warned.
Books, Boba, Chair and Tub
With our whistles nice and wet, the downtown shops were calling our names. We checked out The Urban Tub and were walking by The Rusty Chair whos sign boasted “a cute dog inside”, which we couldn’t really refuse. The dog was cute and the random stuff in the store was really fun to look at. Trolley-Line Bookshop across the street was nice little used book store and two girls working whispered the entire time we were in there which had an eerie effect especially when looking through the Stephen King section.
Walking around downtown taking in the charm we were treated to a band playing on the Frisco Stage comprised of what looked like high school kids playing covers. They were surprisingly good and serenaded us until we wondered into the Anime Café which makes a mean Taro boba tea which is when we realized how hungry we were.
Let me start out by saying how very many great food options there are in downtown Rogers. But having had pizza recently which ruled out The Rail and being in the mood for something different we settled on Hapa’s.
Hapa’s is a tour de force of flavors that one wouldn’t necessarily put together naturally. We started out with egg rolls which were stuffed with smoked pork and came with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. Hawaiian food seems to be like southern food with the application of the 5 flavors of Asian cuisine.
I had smoked chicken over a bed of fried rice with coleslaw and macaroni salad. When you mix everything and top it all off with sriracha and soy sauce you have something amazing. The textures of the chicken, rice and cabbage is different and exciting but made better by the mixture of the flavor of the smoked meat, sweet teriyaki, spicy sriracha, bitter cabbage, sour line juice and salty soy sauce with the added surprise of the sesame seeds.
But Did We Get The Pins?
In search for the perfect Pins we ended up finding ourselves just walking around enjoying the day. Which is a fun reminder that life isn’t about the perfect post but that posts should be a representation of your most perfect moments.
What are your most memorable spots in Rogers?