Nestled in the heart of the southern United States, Arkansas offers a unique blend of urban and rural living, with stunning natural beauty and a warm, welcoming community. The state is known for its scenic landscapes, diverse wildlife, and abundant outdoor recreational opportunities, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. However, the best places to live in Arkansas also boast a strong economy, affordable cost of living, excellent schools, and a rich cultural heritage.
It’s due to these factors that one of Arkansas’ cities is one of the best cities to live in throughout the entire country of the United States thanks, in part, to its location in the heart of the beautiful Ozark Mountains. Outside of the mountains, Arkansas is home to one of the biggest box stores in the world – Walmart – which seems to be stocked with pretty much everything, including a rare insect that dates back to prehistoric times! Called the giant lacewing, researchers say the bug was discovered at a Walmart in Arkansas. It’s the first recorded sighting in eastern North America in over 50 years and the first giant lacewing discovered in the state.
There’s much more to Arkansas than a big bug. Here, you can also visit Hot Springs National Park, known for its hot springs and bathhouses. Visitors come from all over to enjoy the natural warm waters and learn about the area’s history. Arkansas is also one of the top producers of rice in the United States. The state’s flat terrain and abundant water supply make it an ideal location for growing rice. It also is the only state in the United States where diamonds have been found. Visitors can search for diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Another fantastic feature is the Southern hospitality you can find in The Natural State. Locals are known to be friendly, which is just another reason to make the move. StudyFinds set out to do the research for you, visiting 10 expert websites to put together this list of the best places to live in Alabama. If you’ve got your own suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!
The List: Best Places to Live in Arkansas, According to Travel Experts
Fayetteville is a college town with a lively and diverse community. It is located in the beautiful Ozark Mountains, and residents enjoy access to outdoor recreation, such as hiking, biking, and kayaking. Fayetteville is also known for its excellent public schools, affordable cost of living, and thriving arts and cultural scene.
“Living in Fayetteville offers residents a dense suburban feel and most residents rent their homes. In Fayetteville there are a lot of coffee shops and parks. Many young professionals live in Fayetteville and residents tend to lean conservative. The public schools in Fayetteville are highly rated,” comments Niche.
US News talks about the people who live there, “People from all over the world call Fayetteville home. Newcomers often comment on the friendliness of Fayetteville residents. People wave and smile at each other in the street, and community events are well-attended. With dozens of volunteer organizations and nonprofits, there’s an abundance of ways to get involved in the community.”
“Fayetteville is a good place to live for a modest size city with a college-town vibe. Furthermore, it offers family-friendly features like good schools, low crime rates, and fun things to do. Finally, all of these amenities are placed in a scenic setting close to the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas,” says Dividends Diversify.
2. Little Rock
As the capital of Arkansas, Little Rock is a bustling city that offers residents a great mix of urban and suburban living. It has a thriving economy with job opportunities in government, healthcare, and education. Little Rock also has a beautiful riverfront and a variety of parks and green spaces.
Zumper talks about the neighborhoods in the city, “Each neighborhood in Little Rock has its own draw to potential residents. Hillcrest is a historic neighborhood located in the heart of Little Rock that is known for its beautiful homes, tree-lined streets, and vibrant nightlife. Downtown Little Rock is the city’s central business district and is home to several government buildings, cultural institutions, and business offices. Chenal Valley is a master-planned community located in the western part of Little Rock that is known for its rolling hills, scenic views, and well-manicured homes. West Little Rock is a suburban neighborhood located in the western part of the city that is known for its spacious homes, tree-lined streets, and high-end shopping and dining options. To choose which neighborhood is best for you, you’ll want to evaluate what is most important to you in your surrounding. Choose a location that is convenient to your frequent destinations and within your ideal price range.”
“Little Rock is located in Pulaski County and is one of the nicest places to live in Arkansas. Living in Little Rock offers residents a dense suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In Little Rock there are a lot of restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. Residents consider Little Rock a nice place to live especially if you enjoy living close to the vast American wilderness. The state offers so much natural beauty and the cost of living is low,” says All Around Moving.
Eat your heart out, says City Year, “With a bustling restaurant scene that includes traditional southern cuisine and a thing for brunch, you’ll fall in love with your new city. Selected as one of Forbes’ ‘Five Secret Foodie Cities,’ you can eat your way across Little Rock. The Food Truck Festival in September sees around 60 food trucks flock to Main Street for locals to indulge in offerings ranging from BBQ to Mexican to street pies. Is brunch more your style? You have to visit some of Little Rock’s hotspots, including Leo’s Greek Castle, Cathead Diner and Delicious Temptations. Almost every weekend in Little Rock features a food event or festival. With so many options, your taste buds will always be happy.”
Bentonville is located in the northwest corner of Arkansas and is home to the headquarters of Walmart. It has a growing economy, excellent schools, and a vibrant downtown with great restaurants, shops, and cultural attractions. Bentonville is also located near the beautiful Ozark Mountains and has access to a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities.
“Bentonville is one of the safest cities in Arkansas, with crime rates way lower than the national average. The city has a violent crime rate of 1.4 per 1,000 people and a property crime rate of 17.54 per 1,000 people,” says Home & Money.
Scissor NWA lists out some reasons here, “It has a rich history. Bentonville has over 30 listings on the National Register of Historic Places. There are over 20 miles of trails in Bentonville,” and they continue to say, “The area includes an endless array of restaurants and food trucks. Award-winning chef’s offer fine dining experiences, authentic international cuisine that showcases the area’s expanding multiculturalism. An let’s not forget the traditional local southern food favorite with food sources from local farms and markets.”
“The city also has a quaint downtown lined with bars, restaurants, breweries, and coffee shops, and hosts many events throughout the year, including the annual Bentonville Film Festival. Visitors can check out the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art for free; the sprawling outpost was founded by Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, and sits on the 120-acre Ozark forest that offers nature trails with stunning scenery,” comments Money.com.
4. Hot Springs
Hot Springs is a resort town located in the Ouachita Mountains. It is known for its natural hot springs, beautiful lakes, and national park. Hot Springs has a rich history and a variety of cultural attractions, including museums, art galleries, and music venues. It is also a great place for outdoor recreation, with opportunities for hiking, biking, and boating.
Spa City Lifestlye talks about some of the things you can enjoy, “Hot Springs is full of history, and you can find adventure high and low. Many of the historical sites and museums are located predominantly in the downtown area. In this area you will find the Gangster Museum of America, Josephine Tussaud Wax Museum, and the History of Hot Springs Gambling Museum (just to name a few). In addition, most of the historical sites offer free access (and even free mineral water)! Also in the heart of Hot Springs, you’ll find a casino and horse racing track!”
Here are some interesting facts about the town as mentioned by Best Places, “The area boasts 47 natural hot springs as well as the boyhood home of Bill Clinton. Surrounding the unusual Hot Springs National Park are several resorts, some tacky tourist sprawl, and a few historic sites. Downtown is clean with a substantial historic district containing the historic Bathhouse Row preserved and repurposed by the National Park Service.”
Ablison continues this sentiment by saying, “Another benefit of living in Hot Springs is the close proximity to the great outdoors. With its lush forests, many lakes, rivers and streams, Hot Springs offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Whether you enjoy hiking, mountain biking, fishing, kayaking or just strolling along the banks of the Ouachita River, you’ll be in your element in Hot Springs.”
Rogers is another growing city in northwest Arkansas. It has a strong economy, excellent schools, and a variety of cultural attractions, including the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Rogers is also located near the Ozark Mountains and has access to a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, biking, and fishing.
Niche, again, says, “Rogers is a town in Arkansas with a population of 68,340. Rogers is in Benton County and is one of the best places to live in Arkansas. Living in Rogers offers residents a sparse suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In Rogers there are a lot of parks. Many families and young professionals live in Rogers and residents tend to lean conservative. The public schools in Rogers are highly rated.”
“Located in Northwest Arkansas in a fast-growing metro area, Rogers maintains the feel of small-town America: You can find trendy shops and restaurants alongside natural scenery,” Money.com says and then continues, “Rogers is also nestled within the Ozarks and near the Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area on Beaver Lake, with ample opportunity for hiking, fishing, water sports, camping, and more; off-road cyclists can refine their skills at the Railyard park.”
“Rogers, Arkansas is a thriving city located in the heart of Northwest Arkansas. This vibrant community offers its residents an abundance of activities and features to enjoy. From exciting entertainment venues such as Pinnacle Hills Promenade to great shopping opportunities at The Walmart Amphitheater, there’s something for all tastes in Rogers. Residents here also get to experience the natural beauty of nearby Lake Atalanta or visit historic sites like the Daisy Airgun Museum,” says Best Places.
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