‘The Natural State’ of Arkansas sits south on the map of the USA. Celebrated for its mountainous landscapes, forestry and wilderness, it’s every nature lover’s dream destination. Home to over 3 million, (as of 2018) this wild beauty is ranked the 33rd most populated state in the USA. Little Rock in the central region of Arkansas, serves as its Capital and accommodates most of its population due to efficient transport systems, diverse culture and business opportunities. Arkansas tops the list in terms of cost of living and is believed to be one of the top 5 most affordable places to live in the USA. With a climate that is known to be mild, Arkansas summers aren’t too hot and neither do the winters get too chilly- just perfect to fulfil your bucket list of outdoor activities. If you’re the artsy sort or if you’d like to connect with Arkansas history, there’s plenty to get hyped up about. The State houses a range of Museums such as the Museum of native American history, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and many more. Well, as for the Nature enthusiasts, the Ozarks might do wonders, but here’s a few more you dare not miss out on, like the Garvan Woodland Gardens, Thorncrown Chapel and Hot springs National Park and the list goes on.
Convinced already? We’ve only given you a glimpse of what Arkansas has to offer. If you’re already packing those bags to shift to ‘The Natural State’, here’s 10 of the best cities you could call home in Arkansas.
- We’ve based our list on the following factors:
- Facilities and amenities
- Standard of living- including costs of living, house rents, pollution, family life, quality of Education
- Commute time
- Unemployment and crime rate
- Bentonville- Apart from being recognized as the birthplace of the Walmart chain, Bentonville is home to 40,000 people and is a great pick in terms of cost of living coupled with quality public education and low crime rates. The city consists of over 28 miles of bike trails and organizes cycling events throughout the year and is titled the ‘Mountain Biking Capital of the World’. Bentonville is everything you can ask for and earns it’s points for amenities, safety, scenic views, recreational activities and employment opportunities.
- Fayetteville- situated in the Northwest region of Arkansas on the outskirts of the Boston mountains, this city accommodates 85,166 (2019) people and is the third largest city in Arkansas. It is considered one of the most affordable cities to live in the State with an average monthly rent of $712. The city ranked 4th among the best places to live in the United States for 2021-22. Fayetteville also houses the University of Arkansas and the Clinton house Museum (the first house of Bill and Hillary Clinton).
- Rogers- home to 66,344 people, (2019) Rogers is nestled in the Northwest Arkansas Region as is a part of Benton County. This rapidly developing metro area has plenty to offer to all sorts of enthusiasts, such as: historical landmarks and museums, two shopping malls, sport parks and is also known for the largest cavern system in Arkansas. Housing in Rogers is diverse in it’s type- there’s the East side, where houses are older but are reasonably priced and are moderate in size and for those seeking a more modern lifestyle, Pinnacle Hills, that sits in the West, offers newer and upscale housing options.
- Little Rock- The Capital city of Little Rock, seated at the south Bank of the Arkansas river is the most popular and populated city in Arkansas. The city was given its name after a French explorer discovered a rock formation along the river and called it ‘La Petite Roche’ that translates to ‘Little Rock’. The cost of living is fairly reasonable as it is below national average and the cost of essentials is lower than what the average American would have to spend. Little Rock is a hub for entertainment and recreation activities ranging from bars and nightclubs that offer live music, to family-oriented entertainment options such as: the Little Rock Zoo, Arkansas Skatium and much more.
- Bella Vista- translated as ‘The beautiful sight’ has gone through serious transformation over the years. From being initiated as a summer resort in 1917, it succeeded as a location for the retirement community in 1965 and went on to officially become an incorporated city in 2007. Listed among the top 10 safest places to live in Arkansas, Bella Vista has a considerably low crime rate. The city is also ranked among the ‘Top 10 Healthy places to retire’ in America. Considering amenities, the city has a variety of Churches, a renowned public library and located close to reputed Institutions for higher education. Housing in Bella Vista is quite reasonable and the city is listed in CNNMoney.com as one of the 25 places for affordable homes.
- Siloam Springs- with a population of 16,715 (2019), this city was once rated as ‘One of the Best Small Towns in America’. It is believed that the many springs in the city possessed healing powers that attracted the attention of many in the early 1880’s. If you are looking for affordable housing options in Arkansas, you should definitely consider Siloam Springs, where the average rent per month is just $690. In terms of Education, Siloam Springs consists of public schools that cover Pre-K – Grade 12 and is home to John Brown University as an option for higher Education. The city is rich in its arts and culture and celebrates its facets during events and festivals held all year round.
- Centerton- This city might be worth considering if you’re looking for family-centered amenities and is located west of the buzzing city of Bentonville. The area has seen a rapid growth in population from just 491 in 1990 to 16,244 in 2019. There are 14 top ranked public schools and various options for dining such as the popular Jim’s Razorback Pizza. The city promotes small town values and aims to preserve culture and history which serves as the many reasons you could consider calling it your next home.
- Lowell- Previously known as Bloomington in the 1800’s, the city is currently home to more than 10,000. In recent times Lowell has experienced a boom in the business industry with big name companies such as FedEx making their marks there along with the leading Trucking company- J.B. Hunt which was established in 1961. In addition to numerous employment opportunities, residents in this city enjoy low cost of living and a solid Education system, while it’s variety of housing options and diverse community make it an attractive option for newcomers.
- Maumelle- located Northwest of the capital city of Little Rock, Maumelle accommodates 17,163 people (2010) and is part of Pulaski County. Education options in Maumelle are plenty, ranging from Academics Plus Charter School (K-12), Maumelle High School and many others that provide quality education. To keep you entertained, Maumelle has two lakes for recreational activities, bicycle trails, ample space for picnics and fishing facilities. The city is fairly accessible and it is quite easy to commute to surrounding cities.
- Conway- nestled in central Arkansas, Conway accommodates 66,127 (2019) and is the 8th largest city in the state. The city serves as a Mega center comprising amenities such as shopping malls, educational institutions, work opportunities and quality healthcare services and therefore attracts residents from nearby cities that are part of Faulkner County. Conway houses three of the state’s most reputed post-secondary educational institutions giving it its nickname ‘The City of Colleges’. To add to the list of positives, median rent is just $731 monthly, making it quite an affordable place to start a home.
Whether you’re a Bachelor seeking a job opportunity, a family of four or a senior citizen looking for retirement options, our list of the ‘top cities in Arkansas to call home’ provides you with information on the bright sides of these cities. These cities are unique in their own sense, while some of them may consist of excellent Education options, others might win your heart in terms of scenic views and recreational activities. The choice is yours! Where in Arkansas is your next home?