If you love outdoor activities and vast wilderness spaces, Arkansas is definitely a great state to live in! The sheer multitude of picturesque hikes and adventurous trails of the Ozarks should put any outdoor enthusiast’s heart on fire.
But Arkansas has other tempting qualities such as a low cost of living, safe communities, good transportation systems, high-quality health care services, and more.
So if you’re interested in moving to the state, but feel like you don’t know which town or area to choose, here are the top 5 best areas of Arkansas to live in:
Did you know Walmart was thought of, designed, and launched from Bentonville? If you’re passionate about history (or Walmart), there is even a Walmart Museum that walks you through the history of the brand.
But Bentonville has so much more to offer than the Walmart Museum! The city is not too big (around 40,000 people live here), has a low crime rate and a reliable public education system. Plus, most residents own their homes.
The median home value is lower than the national average, which is why it is tempting to buy a beautiful, suburban house and enjoy the abundance of parks in the area. You’ll also be in good company since many residents are young professionals.
Plus, there are a few interesting support programs for first-time home buyers in Arkansas, to help boost the rate of young families and professionals moving in the area.
If you care about academic life, Fayetteville is a great option. The city sits on the outskirts of the Boston Mountains and is home to the University of Arkansas, which makes it extremely appealing for students who want a more relaxed, nature-oriented learning environment.
Plus, the city makes it easy to rent since there are plenty of options and the rent is affordable. Fayetteville is also a historic town, with over 60 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
While the area is considered to be low-income, the residents are highly educated and the population is diverse. So, if you like deep conversations over a coffee while enjoying the view of the mountains in the distance, Fayetteville may be just right!
3. Little Rock
If you enjoy the bustling life of an urban area, why not give Little Rock a chance? The capital city of Arkansas has a population of 197,000+ and sits on the mighty Arkansas River near the eroded remnants of the Ouachita Mountains (great for low-difficulty hikes).
Little Rock is also a port and a major shipping hub and provides its residents with access to all sorts of activities on water and inland. Plus, the city offers a wide range of opportunities for both jobs and houses.
For a city this size, the cost of a 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom family home is around $80,000+ which is extremely affordable compared to similar cities in more hyped-up states. Overall, Little Rock is a nice urban area fitted for both students and young professionals.
4. Cammack Village
If you’re not happy with life in the city but you don’t like living too far from one, Cammack Village may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Cammack Village is a suburb of Little Rock and only has about 1,000 inhabitants. The atmosphere of a tight-knit community is relaxing and makes you feel safe, which is in direct contrast with the city that’s only a few miles away.
However, you will have to pay the price of living in a quiet village near a big city. The median house price is around $191,000+ and the rent is a bit steeper than in areas like Bentonville or Fayetteville, but it’s by no means unreachable.
5. Bella Vista
As the name suggests, this area is astonishing! Beautiful valleys, amazing lakes (and seven of them!), and easy access to nature attracted more people to the area which created a population and a building boom.
However, even if the Arkansas Community College campus is nearby, most people living here are retired or close to the age of retirement. Now, even though most residents own their homes, there is still room for newcomers or people who want to rent a place and try it out (rent is quite affordable).
Bella Vista also has some of the best public schools in the state, so even young families with children can enjoy the relaxed, calming atmosphere of a more mature neighborhood. Still, keep in mind that you may need a tree removal service and a subscription to a reliable landscaping company – wild vegetation is thriving in the area!
Arkansas has many other similar cities and communities that make people at home in the middle of nature. Plus, most areas are welcoming towards first-time owners who worry about their budget but don’t feel like compromising on quality.