living EDITION 18 • 2018
HIDDEN GEM CITIES Charming towns, urban hubs and rural hideaways— where to stake your claim!
Developments & growth across Arkansas—Pg. 18 Why we’re hailed as a foodie state—Pg. 59
EPIC VIEWS The best trails to hike, bike and motor for awe-inspiring sights
Li Pinnkae Moun cle t Pg. 65ain
t a h w is s i h T ” o G g n i t t e “L . e k i l looks
“let GO” Free Your Soul Greers Ferry Lake & the Little Red RIver Helping people let go since 1966. Go to for our free area guide. ~ 1 ~ 2 visitgreersferrylake.org LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
© Photo Credit: Debbi Brawley. All rights reserved. Paid for with a combination of state and Greers Ferry Lake/Little Red River Association funds.
LIVE where you PLAY If you’re looking for a place filled with arts, culture, dining and entertainment – where you can golf, boat, hike and play all day – look no further than Hot Springs Village, recognized among Ideal Living’s Best Boating Communities, Best Lake Communities and Best Collection of Golf Courses in 2016.
NEW HOME SITES AVAILABLE AND NEW HOMES COMING SOON! 9 GOLF COURSES | 12 LAKES | 3 BEACHES POOLS | CLUB SPORTS | 30 MILES OF TRAILS
Contact Village Homes & Land
©2017 Hot Springs Village. Sales by Village Homes & Land. Some restrictions apply, including amenity usage fees and assessments, see community representative for details. All information believed to be accurate but is not warranted and is subject to errors, omissions, changes or withdrawals without notice. This material shall not constitute an offer or solicitation in any state where prior registration is required. Hot Springs Village has 8 Troon-affiliated golf courses and one private course.
PLAY WORK LIVE LEARN cabotcc.org 4
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
Tri-pennanT family Tri-pennan of arkansas lake resorTs
Celebrating Over 60 Years of Serving Families on Arkansas Lakes Three Lake Resorts — Celebrating Over Six Decades of Arkansas Memories
on Lake Ouachita • 870-867-2191 mountainharborresort.com
on DeGray Lake • 870-246-4310 iron-mountain.com
on LAke GReeSOn • 870-398-5000 selfcreek.com www.RelocateToArkansas.com 5
Gov. Hutchinson riding the Delta Heritage Trail State Park in Helena-West Helena
GUIDE TO ARKANSAS Asa Hutchinson, the 46th governor of Arkansas, is a lifelong Arkansan with a passion for making life in The Natural State better. The Living in Arkansas team caught up with Gov. Hutchinson to learn more about the bigger and better things in store for his beloved Arkansas. Q: What new developments are you most excited about? “Our reputation is spreading as a state that is friendly to industry, offers a hard-working pool of employees and is rich in natural resources. Our reputation as a central location with excellent access to shipping is spreading around the world. The most recent news regarding economic development was our announcement that Shandong Ruyi Technology Group is going to reconfigure the Sanyo manufacturing plant in Forrest City. The company will invest $410 million in the project and will create up to 800 new jobs. Ruyi, who is the largest textile manufacturer [in China], will buy 200,000 tons of Arkansas cotton every year.”
How do tourism and quality of life play a part in the economic development of Arkansas? “Economic development and quality of life go hand in hand. In almost any study of why a company or entrepreneur will consider moving or expanding his company to a new location, quality of life is right near the top.
Learn more about Arkansas growth and development on page 18!
If a business is considering a new locale, its executives consider what the day-to-day life would be like for their employees, and that helps Arkansas stand out. Our unique quality of life includes our natural beauty, diversity of things to do and see, and, above all, our people. It may sound cliché, but Arkansas really does have the friendliest, most welcoming people around.”
Q: When it comes to the economic health of Arkansas, what are you most proud of? “Our unemployment rate is down to 3.5 percent — the lowest in Arkansas history — and we continue to create and attract
new industries and jobs. Our cost of living remains among the lowest in the nation, especially when it comes to housing.”
Q: How does Arkansas stack up against regional peers? “I’m the governor, and I would say, of course, that we are without peer. We work hard, and we are innovative and creative. With our requirement to teach computer programing in all high schools, we are building a workforce that will lead the way in technology. You don’t have to be in Austin or Silicon Valley to build a company.”
THE GOVERNOR’S FAVORITE THINGS Local Event: Tontitown Grape Festival, Springdale
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
Local Meal: Barbecue and apple fried pies from Lindsey’s Hospitality House in North Little Rock
Outdoor Activity: Backpacking and hiking
Staycation Spot: Eureka Springs
First Thing a Newcomer Should Do: Float the Buffalo National River
Welcome home, welcome to Clarksville!
Photo by Lisa McCarley
estled at the foot of the Ozark Mountains and in the heart of the River Valley, Clarksville is located on Interstate 40 halfway between Little Rock and Fayetteville. The natural beauty of Arkansas is truly exemplified in our mountains, rivers, lakes, and landscape. There is something for everyone here, and we invite you to find out for yourself. Welcome home, welcome to Clarksville!
clarksvillear.gov | 479.754.2340 CLARKSVILLE - JOHNSON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 8
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
FE AT URES Kayaking on DeGray Lake Cheese dip at Heights Taco & Tamale Co. in Little Rock
Motorcycling on Beaver Bridge— the “Little Golden Gate Bridge” of Arkanasas
ARKANSAS CHEAT SHEET Get to know The Natural State with these handy fast facts
ARKANSAS’S FASCINATING PAST
THE BEST IS YET TO COME Big developments and growth coming to Arkansas
OUR SECRET SAUCE The six best things about living in Arkansas
HIDDEN GEM CITIES
A TASTE OF ARKANSAS The foods we’re known for and where to savor them
GOOD THINGS BREWING An introduction to Arkansas’s thriving craft beer scene
WHERE TO WANDER The best trails to hike, bike and motor for epic views 64 66 68
Hiking Mountain Biking & Road Cycling Motorcycling
64 Arkansas’s state bird: the mockingbird
Arkansas’s fascinating past is rich with music, cinematic and political history including characters like Johnny Cash. Page 16
living IN ARKANSAS
71 62 Garfield Bentonville Rogers
Wiederkehr Ozark Village 40 Mulberry
Van Buren Fort Smith Greenwood
Pine Ridge Mount Ida
70 De Queen
49 Forrest City
67 167 64
70 40 Des Arc Cabot 40 Jacksonville DeValls Brinkley North Bluff Little Rock 40 49 79 70 Hazen Lonoke Marianna 630 440 79 430 Little Scott 30 49 Rock Keo Benton 63 Helena-West Helena Mountain Pine Bryant 165 Barton Hot Springs 70 Bauxite 167 530 England Stuttgart Royal 270 30 79
Lepanto Marked Tree
Bald Knob 5
62 62 Piggott
Pocahontas Rector 62 67 49 Walnut 63 412 Ridge 412 Paragould
62 Ash Flat
Prairie Grove Lincoln
Mammoth Spring 412 Cherokee 63 Village Hardy Salem
Triple Falls is an easy-access waterfall destination close to Boy Scout Camp Orr. It’s sometimes referred to as Twin Falls after the two sources that create the three falls.
St. Charles Altheimer
Magnolia El 82 Dorado 63 Emerson
Junction City 167 7
Pine Bluff 530
Malvern 270 67
Tillar 278 McGehee Monticello
6 ................. Get to Know the Governor
IN EVERY ISSUE
82 Lake Village 65
12................ About the Cover
Flip to page 22 to DISCOVER ARKANSAS
78............... World-class Healthcare 80 .............. Relocation Resources 82............... Arkansas in the News
A regional guide to the state’s best amenities and attractions 21................ Regional Map
24 .............. Northwest Arkansas 30 .............. North Central Arkansas 36 .............. Upper Delta 40 .............. Lower Delta 44 .............. Southwest Arkansas 50 .............. Central Arkansas
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
N ATIVES & N EWBIES Why they love The Natural State—
Pgs. 27, 34, 39, 43, 49 & 53
LEAVE A LEGACY We all feel compelled to make a difference—to leave a lasting impact on our families and the world. Now, you can become part of the solution to help eliminate hunger and poverty for hardworking farm families. Heifer 2020 Legacy Challenge allows you to designate a part of your estate planning to Heifer and have a portion of it matched for our work now. If you’ve ever thought about creating your estate plans and establishing your special legacy, now is the time to act. You will be building a firm foundation for generations through Heifer International, while unlocking the power of a matching gift. TO LE ARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF MAKING A CHARITABLE BEQUEST THROUGH HEIFER 2020 LEGACY CHALLENGE, CALL 888.422.1161 X 4922 OR VISIT W W W.HEIFERFOUNDATION.ORG / LEGACYMATCH.
1 World Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72202 | 888.422.1161 | email@example.com | HeiferFoundation.org
A BO U T T HE COVE R COVER PHOTO BY
JACOB SLATON PHOTOGRAPHY
Deputy Online Editor
HIDDEN GEM CITIES
SALES Account Executives
Charming towns, urban hubs and rural hideaways— where to stake your claim!
ON THE COVER Our cover family consisted of Arkansas natives Heather Schmiegelow and her two sons Luke, 8, and Landon, 5. They love to hike together across the state.
Lindsay Irvin Erin Lang
Our team hiked to the top of Pinnacle Mountain (via the West Summit Trail) to capture the beauty of central Arkansas. The peak is part of Pinnacle Mountain State Park, located in the capital city of Little Rock.
Editor Art Director
EDITION 18 • 2018
Advertising Coordinators Developments & growth across Arkansas—Pg. 18 Why we’re hailed as a foodie state—Pg. 59
The best trails to hike, bike and motor for awe-inspiring sights
Lik Pinnae cle Moun tai Pg. 65 n
Brandy Hubener Heather Smith Linda Vint Annette Terrell Bethany Johnson Jessica Pridmore
Advertising Coordinator Intern
MARKETING & EVENTS Marketing Director
(distance of West Summit Trail)
(elevation at the peak)
2.5 HOURS (time hiking & shooting)
1 WILD ANIMAL (spotted a huge tarantula spider)
DESIGN Production Manager
Senior Art Directors Senior Designers
Irene Forbes Dean Wheeler Vince Palermo
Graphic Design Intern
CIRCULATION Circulation Manager
JACOB SLATON - COVER PHOTOGRAPHY
Arkansas native Jacob Slaton has kept to his Arkansas roots except for brieft stints at a whitewater rafting company in Colorado, and six months living under a volcano in the Guatemalan highlands. Since beginning his photography career in 2009, Slaton has had the opportunity to work for big clients such as Apple, Rolling Stone, Popular Mechanics, Time Inc. and many others. Slaton and his wife, Micaiah, live in North Little Rock with their three kids Emma, Winn and Rosie.
Customer Service Representative
DWAIN HEBDA – “HIDDEN GEM CITIES” FEATURE
Chairman & CEO
Olivia Myers Farrell
Dwain Hebda is a writer, photographer, journalist and president of Ya!Mule Wordsmiths in Little Rock. Nebraskan by birth, Arkansan by the grace of God, Hebda has lived in The Natural State long enough to claim honorary Southern heritage. As such, he enjoys writing about the things that make Arkansas special among other assignments for more than 25 publications in the region. Hebda and his wife Darlene are empty nesters with four grown children and two spoiled rescue dogs.
ADMINISTRATION Accounting Manager Accounting Supervisor
Hal Lammey Kim Clark
Director of Human Resources
Executive Assistant Kristen Heldenbrand & Special Projects Coordinator
President Publishers Online Editor
Mitch Bettis Rachel Pitre Mandy Richardson Lance Turner
©2017 Arkansas Business Limited Partnership Arkansas Business Publishing Group P. O. Box 3686, Little Rock, AR 72203 (501) 372-1443 www.abpg.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
07/2017 60M, Printed in the USA 12
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
adventure Welcome to
conway, johnson, logan, perry, pope, yell counties
Find your peak. With the state’s highest point on Mount Magazine, third highest on Mount Nebo, the legendary Petit Jean Mountain, and the 34,300-acre Lake Dardanelle—there’s something to elevate everyone’s soul here. Explore authentically charming towns, scenic lakes, unspoiled rivers, towering forests, fantastic festivals, unique museums, and tons of fun family attractions. Four State Parks complete the picture, with one on each peak and another at Lake Dardanelle. Visit
introductory video to the tri-peaks area
arvtripeaks.com for more information.
Paid for with a combination of state funds and Arkansas River Valley Tri-Peaks funds.
FOLLOW US ON
#VisitTriPeaks www.RelocateToArkansas.com 13
s a n s a k r
The 4th lowest cost of living in the U.S.
AT A GLANCE
A peek at everything from rainfall and recreation to produce and politics
Joined the Union in 1836 as the 25th state
The Natural State
The word “Arkansas” was derived by French explorers from the Native American name for the tribe now known as Quapaw (or Arkansaw). They called them “Ugakhpah” which means “the people who live downstream.” After the pronunciation was slightly changed (or mispronounced) by the French explorers, the spelling and pronunciation has evolved to become “Arkansas.”
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
median home cost in Arkansas
Behind Michigan, Indiana and Mississippi
Where did Arkansas get its name?
Average household income
Population 2.99 MILLION Ranked
2.5% POPULATION INCREASE SINCE 2010
52,075 square miles of land
people per square mile
according to population estimate July 1, 2016
1,107 square miles of water
53,182 square miles
29th largest state in the U.S.
Annual relative humidity
Average annual temperature
Average annual rainfall
State Gem: Diamond
publicly and privately owned campsites
ACRES OF STATE FORESTS More than half of the state is covered by forestland
A Few Famous People from Arkansas:
State Instrument: Fiddle
• Maya Angelou • Glen Campbell • Johnny Cash • Bill Clinton • John Grisham
in sorghum and grain production in the nation
in cotton production in the nation
in soybean and grape production in the nation
Famous name brands that got their start in Arkansas:
State Mammal: White-Tailed Deer
• Mike Huckabee • Douglas MacArthur • Scottie Pippen • Mary Steenburgen • Billy Bob Thornton
Walmart | 1962 in Bentonville Stephens Inc. | 1953 in Fort Smith Hiland Dairy | 1938 in Little Rock orignally known as Coleman Dairy Tyson Foods | 1935 in Springdale Dillard’s | 1938 in Nashville Yarnell’s | 1932 in Searcy Riceland Foods | 1921 in Stuttgart
Home of the world’s only diamond mine open to the public (Murfreesboro)
in rice and poultry production in the nation
Established in 1972 as the first national river, the BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER flows freely for 153 miles and is one of the few remaining undammed rivers west of the Mississippi.
HIGHEST POINT: Mount Magazine at 2,753 feet above sea level
3 National Forests: Ozark • St. Francis • Ouachita 2,648,825 total acres of National Forest
LOWEST POINT: Ouachita River at 55 feet above sea level
State Flag www.RelocateToArkansas.com 15
From blues, country and folk music to the silver screen and a constant change in the political spectrum, Arkansas has a storied past worth exploring.
MUSIC THE IDEA FOR THE OZARK FOLK CENTER stemmed from the success of the Arkansas Folk Festival, which debuted in April 1963 in Mountain View under the partnership of the Ozark Foothills Handicraft Guild (later known as the Arkansas Craft Guild) and the Rackensack Folklore Society. The town is considered the home of American Folk Music.
HOLDING PATENTS in acoustics, ballistics and geophysics, Paul Klipsch founded Klipsch Audio Technologies in 1946 in Hope during his military service at Southwest Proving Grounds. Today, it is one of the leading speaker companies in the United States and a world-leader in quality audio products.
THE RIVERFEST ARTS & MUSIC FESTIVAL is held annually on the banks of the Arkansas River in Little Rock. Since its beginning in 1978, the festival has featured legendary acts such as ZZ Top, B.B. King, Hank Williams Jr., James Brown, Wiz Khalifa, Carrie Underwood, Billy Currington and the Goo Goo Dolls.
THE LEGENDARY KING BISCUIT BLUES FESTIVAL started in 1986 as a one-day event on the back of a flatbed truck in front of an old train depot. Today, the multi-day festival is celebrated in Helena-West Helena. Famous artists such as Levon Helm, Keb’ Mo’, Robert Cray, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, Gregg Allman and Jimmie Vaughan have performed at the festival.
IN 1964, THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR music group, The Beatles, visited the Lawrence County town of Walnut Ridge en route to Alton, Missouri. The Walnut Ridge airport was ideal for the group to change planes. On Sept. 18, 2011, Walnut Ridge unveiled a monument, designed to look like the cover of the album “Abbey Road,” to commemorate the event.
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
IN 1980, Dyess native and superstar Johnny Cash became the youngest person ever elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
CONWAY TWITTY, born Harold Lloyd Jenkins, was influential in both the country and rock genres. Growing up in Helena, Twitty became a successful rock artist, releasing several singles that hit No. 1 on the pop charts, such as “It’s Only Make Believe” in 1958. THE ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA was incorporated in 1966 after several previous and short-lived attempts to create a sustainable performing group.
ON FEB. 28, 1985, the Arkansas legislature approved Act 277, designating the fiddle as the state’s official musical instrument.
MOVIES DIRECTOR/PRODUCER ROGER CORMAN made two movies in Arkansas, including “Bloody Mama” in 1970 starring Robert De Niro, and “Boxcar Bertha” in 1972, Martin Scorsese’s first Hollywood assignment. AN ARKANSAS LANDMARK was featured in one of the most popular movies of all time. The opening credits of “Gone with the Wind” (1939) include several short scenes of Southern locations, including the Old Mill in North Little Rock, now a city park. The site is the last location from the film still in existence today.
IN THE LATE 1960S, GOV. WINTHROP ROCKEFELLER promoted the state to filmmakers by offering help from his staff and state troopers in scouting out locations during production. In the next decade, Arkansas became a regular shooting site for independent films.
MALVERN NATIVE BILLY BOB THORNTON developed and shot movies in the state in the early ’90s, including “One False Move” (1992), which was shot near Brinkley and Cotton Plant, and notable film “Sling Blade” (1996), shot in Saline County. Thornton won an Academy Award for this screenplay and a nomination for his performance in the film as main character Karl Childers. THE NUMBER OF MOVIE FESTIVALS has grown across the state and includes the renowned Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival that was founded in 1992. In 2015, Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis co-founded the Bentonville Film Festival, which champions for women and diversity in film.
POLITICS THE EARLY 1900S SAW THREE MAJOR POLICIES go into effect. Prohibition of the manufacture and sale of alcohol in 1916, and a ban on alcohol importation in 1917, and in 1917 a law granting Arkansas women the right to vote in party primaries.
ANOTHER MAJOR MOTION PICTURE shot on Arkansas soil in the 1990s was based on the work of an Arkansas native. “The Firm” (1993) was adapted from a novel by best-selling author John Grisham, a native of Jonesboro. Some scenes were shot in West Memphis.
ARKANSAS BECAME THE 25TH STATE and made Little Rock its new capital in 1836. The fledgling state’s population was just more than 50,000.
EDUCATION TOOK CENTER STAGE in 1957 when the Little Rock School District approved an integration plan at Little Rock Central High School. There was local opposition, including Gov. Orval Faubus calling Arkansas National Guard units to prevent the plan. President Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock to guard nine African-American students who became known as the “Little Rock Nine.” *Information courtesy of www.EncyclopediaofArkansas.net
“MUD” (2012) STARRING MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY AND REESE WITHERSPOON was filmed in the Delta region by Arkansas native Jeff Nichols, who utilized locations in Crockett’s Bluff, DeWitt, Dumas, Lake Village, and Stuttgart and hired more than 400 local residents to complete the movie.
HOPE-BORN BILL CLINTON was elected Governor of Arkansas in 1978. After serving for a decade, he pursued the White House and won. Clinton was elected the 42nd president of the United States in 1992, defeating Republican incumbent George H. W. Bush. Inaugurated at age 46, Clinton was the third-youngest president and presided over the country’s longest period of peacetime economic expansion. The William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum opened in Little Rock in November 2004.
THE BEST TO COME FROM BIG DEVELOPMENTS TO ENTIRE BOOMTOWNS, ARKANSAS IS GROWING, THRIVING AND READY FOR MORE
rom the bustling northwest Arkansas metro to the small town of Wilson, Arkansas is making quite a buzz. New museums, ﬂourishing arts districts, ever-expanding bike trails and more — here are just a handful of the recent developments putting Arkansas on the map.
BY LYDIA MCALLISTER
“Festival City of the South”
National U.S. Marshals Museum
Known as “America’s Original Boomtown” after oil was discovered in the 1920s, El Dorado is making a new name for itself. El Dorado Festivals & Events, Inc. aims to transform El Dorado into the Festival City of the South by revamping nearly six blocks of the city into an arts and culture hub. The Murphy Arts District will officially open Sept. 27-Oct. 1, 2017, with the 30th annual MusicFest. Main Street El Dorado is teaming up with MAD to present this year’s MusicFest with bigname headliners including ZZ Top, Brad Paisley, Train, Smokey Robinson and the X Ambassadors.
The future National U.S. Marshals Museum will find a home along the banks of the Arkansas River in Fort Smith. The museum will serve to honor the past and future service of U.S. Marshals through interactive galleries. The design timeline estimates the museum will open its doors on Sept. 24, 2019.
HATCH & MAAS COLLECTIVE
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
LITTLE ROCK CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU
Wildly Growing Trails System
Robinson Center & More
Small Town Renaissance
The long-awaited “second act” for Little Rock’s Robinson Center is in full-swing after closing in 2014 and undergoing $68 million worth of renovations. The performing arts center opened back up on schedule in November 2016, welcoming big acts to the stage such as Disney’s “The Lion King” in the spring of 2018. The center, in addition to an ongoing Main Street revitalization and the establishment of a Creative Corridor downtown, adds to the capital city’s growing list of impactful economic and recruitment endeavors.
Since changing ownership from the Wilson family to The Lawrence Group in 2010, the historic town of Wilson has undergone a renaissance of its own in the heart of the Delta. Wilson’s downtown is anything but sleepy, with beautiful Tudor-style buildings and Wilson Gardens, a small organic farm near Main Street, which opened with the mission to help residents lead healthier lives. In addition, The Delta School brought a college preparatory education and a creative learning environment to Wilson in 2015. And in 2014, the rave-worthy Wilson Cafe opened its doors, attracting foodies from all over for its farm-to-table southern staples.
Arkansas is quickly becoming known as a premier cycling destination in the country. The continuously growing trails system boasts the Razorback Regional Greenway, linking the Bella Vista Trail in north Bentonville to south Fayetteville over the course of 36 miles. A new addition to the trails system is the Back 40 single-track mountain bike trail in Bella Vista. The Back 40 is the first of a multi-phase project that plans for 150 miles of natural-surface trail through Bella Vista. Plus, Bentonville just debuted a one-acre bicycle playground featuring tunnels, bridges and a pump track to encourage riders of all ages develop their cycling skills.
1. Brad Paisley will join Train, Ludacris, Lyle Lovett and more at the grand opening of El Dorado’s Murphy Arts District in September. 2. Artist rendering of the National U.S. Marshals Museum, planned for Fort Smith in 2019. 3. Mountain biking the Lake Loop Trail at Lincoln Lake in Northwest Arkansas. 4. Little Rock’s historic Robinson Center after a $68 million renovation. 5. The renowned Wilson Cafe is proof of successful revitilization efforts in the Upper Delta.
OUR BEST KEPT
Arkansas is well-known for being the birthplace of some pretty important things — Walmart and Bill Clinton, for example. The best things about our state, however, are lesser-known. Consider these our best kept secrets.
Pinnacle Mountain State Park near Little Rock oﬀers sweeping views of the Arkansas River Valley.
WE’RE SURROUNDED BY NATURAL BEAUTY.
From high atop the Ozarks and the Ouachitas, from within the vastness of the fields and the forests or from a more metropolitan perspective at the state’s center — it’s obvious why Arkansas is called The Natural State. The state boasts 52 state parks, seven national parks and many national wildlife areas. Plus, with four distinct seasons, the scenery awes Arkansans year-round. Spring paints the state with vibrant blooms, while autumn sets the forests ablaze with spectacular color. Winter is usually mild with an occasional snowfall, and summer days are long and lazy. 20
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
THERE’S VIRTUALLY NO TRAFFIC.
Arkansas offers laidback charm, even in its larger cities. Compared with major cosmopolitan areas, traffic is rarely a problem. Choose routes to wander on page 68.
WE’RE CLOSE TO EVERYTHING.
Living in a state located in middle America has its advantages. Those who like to visit the big city are just hours from Nashville, Dallas, St. Louis, Tulsa and Memphis — and a trip to the beach isn’t hard to manage with the Gulf Coast just a day’s drive away. Discover Arkansas’s diverse regions beginning on page 22.
THERE ARE ENDLESS WAYS TO PLAY.
Hike, bike, swim, fish, geocache, camp, hunt or even dig for diamonds — the to-do list is as long as it is enjoyable here in Arkansas. No matter your interests, age or abilities, there’s something you’ll love doing in The Natural State’s great big backyard. Golf more than 200 courses, run a marathon in Little Rock, climb to the top of Mount Nebo for stunning views, fly fish in the Ozarks’ clear mountain waters, savor juicy Hope watermelons or hunt the rice fields of the Upper and Lower Deltas — a sportsman’s paradise during duck season. Find these and more in Arkansas’s hidden gem towns on page 54.
IT COSTS LESS TO LIVE HERE.
When you consider housing, taxes, utilities and daily living expenses, the cost of living in Arkansas is considerably lower than in most states. Read what the governor says about Arkanas on page 6.
PEOPLE CRAVE OUR FOOD.
Some of the nation’s best Southern food — barbecue, pie, crawfish and fried catfish — is found here, where noted chefs at many Arkansas restaurants are creating worldly dishes with down-home flair. Natives also love the bounty of local, farmfresh foods from our agrarian state. Learn more about our foodie state on page 59.
Discover Arkansas F I N D YO U R S E L F AT H O M E I N T H E N AT U R A L S TAT E
here is a place for everyone in Arkansas, a 181-year-old state with a history and culture as colorful and diverse as its physical landscape. The state is divided into regions, each with its fair share of excitement, beauty and history. Turn the page to discover the charms and unique characteristics of all six of Arkansasâ€™s varied regions. Beaver
71 62 Garfield Bentonville Rogers Gentry Cave Springs
67 Mammoth Spring 62 Maynard 67 62 63 Dalton 412 Cherokee Corning Piggott 62 Village Hardy Salem Pocahontas Rector Mountain Home 62 62 5 67 Ash Flat 49 Norfork Walnut 63 Calico Rock 412 Ridge 412 Paragould
Wiederkehr Ozark Village 40 Mulberry
Van Buren Fort Smith
70 De Queen
Magnolia El 82 Dorado 63
Brinkley 49 79
49 Helena-West Helena
Junction City 167 7
Tillar Warren 278
Pine Bluff 530
Malvern 270 67
49 Forrest City
40 North Little Rock 40 70 Lonoke 630 440 430 Little Scott 30 Rock Keo Benton Bryant 165 Bauxite 167 530 England
Lepanto Marked Tree
67 167 64
82 Crossett 425
82 Lake Village 65 Eudora
Northwest North Central Upper Delta Lower Delta Southwest Central VISIT
Arkansas.com/Maps for numerous maps of Arkansasâ€™s regions, waterways, hiking trails, interstates, heritage sites and more. www.RelocateToArkansas.com 21
Sugar Loaf Mountain, an island in the middle of Greers Ferry Lake, features a national recreation trail, which rewards hikers with panoramic views of the Ozarks.
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
MOVE HERE! Six Distinct Regions to Discover
From mountain towns and suburban sprawls to lakeside retreats and country hamlets, The Natural State and its six unique regions offer the perfect setting for your next home. Whether you’re retiring, relocating or simply looking for a vacation home, there’s a city or small town in Arkansas that’s perfect for you.
Central www.RelocateToArkansas.com 23
Northwest A R K A N S A S A
region once known for its natural wonders — the Ozark Mountains, Whitaker Point, Beaver Lake and Mount Nebo — is now recognized for being an arts and business hub. Northwest Arkansas’s great outdoors are now flanked by cultural destinations like Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, and the Walmart Amphitheater in Rogers. These arts and culture hubs provide opportunities for year-round enrichment. The metropolitan area of Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale and Bentonville — the latter of which is the headquarters for Walmart — attracts thousands of workers. Walmart, the world’s largest company, is a huge job-supplier, as is Tyson Foods in Springdale and transportation company J.B. Hunt in Lowell. North of the metro are Bella Vista and Eureka Springs. Bella Vista is a golf-lovers paradise and popular retirement spot. Eureka Springs is an artsy town whose entire downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. AmericanStyle has repeatedly named the town one of the top 25 art destinations in the U.S. Northwest Arkansas is truly a recreational dream. Mountain biking, kayaking, fishing — there are endless ways to get outside and explore. The highest point in the state can be found at Mount Magazine State Park in Paris at 2,753 feet above sea level. Another prominent mountain in the area is Mount Nebo near Dardanelle. The Ozark Highlands National Recreation Trail is a 258-mile hiking trail that winds from Lake Fort Smith State Park to the Buffalo National River. Arkansas’s Wine Country is found in this region, and folks from all over come to try the vino at its six wineries. All six offer a variety of wines and tastings. On the southwestern edge of the region lies Fort Smith, whose history dates back to
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
From top left: Rock climbing on Mount Magazine | Downtown Eureka Springs | Mountain biking through Devil’s Den State Park | Downtown Paris
The energy and inclusivity of Fayetteville is what I love most. Partnerships in Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas in general are easy and powerful. The community is itching to collaborate with one another on new ideas and new projects.” - Meg Bourne, moved to Fayetteville from Joplin, Missouri
its establishment as a military post in 1817. Its U.S. Marshals history is so important that a new national museum is planned to open in 2018 and will feature 50,000 square feet of interactive exhibit space. Overlooking 34,000-acre Lake Dardanelle and the Arkansas River, Russellville is another key city along Scenic Highway 7. With Mount Nebo nearby, Arkansas Tech University and Lake Dardanelle State Park call this city home. www.RelocateToArkansas.com 25
IN NORTHWEST ARKANSAS YOU CAN… sleep
next to lions and tigers at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, a big cat sanctuary in Eureka Springs. play in the snow when the region receives its 10.4 inches of average annual snow-fall.
“woo pig sooie” at an Arkansas Razorback football game in Fayetteville.
whitewater rapids at the new Siloam Springs Kayak Park. nonstop to 14 metros, including Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago from the XNA Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport.
take an old-fashioned train ride on the Arkansas & Missouri
Geographic ranked the FayettevilleSpringdale-Rogers area 10th on its list of “Best Medium Cities for Job Growth” in 2014.
Railroad (board in Fort Smith or Springdale). watch
elk graze in the Boxley Valley.
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS IS KNOWN FOR… Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art was named among the “World’s Hottest Museums for 2014” by Smarter Travel. art.
retirees. Bella Vista was named the “Best Place to Retire” in the nation by Money in 2015.
raises. FayettevilleSpringdale-Rogers ranked 12th for “Best Metro for Five-Year Wage Growth” by The Milken Institute.
opportunities. Fort Smith and Fayetteville were both recognized by Forbes on its 2014 list of “Best Places for Business & Careers.” National job
growth. WalletHub recognized Springdale for being the No. 6 fastest growing city among 516 U.S. cities in 2014. active
lifestyles. Bentonville got the No. 8 spot on Conde Nast Traveler’s 2014 list of “Best Walking Cities in the U.S.” fall foliage. USA Today has Eureka Springs as No. 7 on its “10 Best Places to See Fall Colors” list, and Travel + Leisure named Eureka Springs one of 20 “Best Mountain Towns.”
To catch the fall foliage in all its glory, take a picturesque drive across the state. Discover Arkansas’s most scenic routes at http://bit.ly/ARFallDrives.
Retirement Living at its Best! The largest independent and assisted living community in northwest Arkansas, Concordia offers townhomes and apartments on 26 acres of rolling hillside. Experience retirement living as it’s meant to be.
1 Concordia Drive Bella Vista, AR 72715 479-855-3714 concordiaretirement.com 26
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
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collaboration, big city events, and close proximity to beautiful trails and hikes. “The energy here is amazing — from the library to the farmers market, to the local shops where you see the owners’ faces daily — everyone here genuinely loves their city,” Bourne says. “That kind of energy has been contagious and has me hooked. I’m so happy to call this place home.”
Founder & CEO of Art Feeds Originally from: Joplin, Missouri Home now: Fayetteville
rt Feeds CEO Meg Bourne made the move from her hometown of Joplin, Missouri, to Fayetteville to expand her growing organization. Art Feeds is a nonprofit that feeds and facilitates creative development in youth by providing creative and expressive programming to children in partnership with schools and children’s organizations. After moving, Bourne discovered the inclusivity of Fayetteville and fell in love. “I’ve been here a year, and the community has embraced Art Feeds and me with open arms,” she says. “Everyone here is invested in making their community even better than
MEG’S TOP PICKS it already is with local shops and restaurants, wonderful community events like Block Street Block Party and so much more.” Bourne has found a little bit of everything within the Fayetteville community — wonderfully kind people, arts and culture,
Favorite Pastime: Brunchhopping in Fayetteville and Bentonville on Saturdays. Best Hidden Gem: Sit & Spin and The Dirty Apron are two fantastic restaurants that just opened. They are ‘hidden gems’ now that won’t be hidden for long. Your Town in Three Words: One big embrace
Enrich your life with culture and history at the region’s ﬁnest arts venues, historical sites and attractions.
ATTRACTIONS ARTS & THEATERS 21c Museum Hotel Bentonville, 21cMuseumHotels.com
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Bentonville, CrystalBridges.org
University of Arkansas Fine Arts Center Gallery Fayetteville, FNARGallery.com
Arkansas River Valley Arts Center Russellville, RiverValleyArtsCenter.org
Eureka Springs May Festival of the Arts Eureka Springs, EurekaSpringsFestivalOfTheArts.com
Walton Arts Center Fayetteville, WaltonArtsCenter.org
Arts Center of the Ozarks Springdale, ACOzarks.org
Fort Smith Little Theatre Fort Smith, FSLT.org
Botanical Garden of the Ozarks Fayetteville, BGOzarks.org
Fort Smith Regional Art Museum Fort Smith, FSRAM.org
Center for Art & Education Van Buren, Art-Ed.org
Opera in the Ozarks Eureka Springs, Opera.org Original Ozark Folk Festival Eureka Springs, OzarkFolkFestival.com Rogers Little Theater Rogers, ArkansasPublicTheatre.org Sager Creek Arts Center Siloam Springs, Facebook: Sager Creek Arts Center Symphony of Northwest Arkansas Fayetteville, SoNAMusic.org
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
The Great Passion Play Eureka Springs, GreatPassionPlay.com
Simply the Best for 30 Years and Counting Featuring premier amenities and a variety of impressive living options, come discover for yourself why Butterfield is Northwest Arkansas’ BEST RETIREMENT COMMUNITY. Call to schedule your tour today!
HISTORICAL SITES & MUSEUMS Arkansas Air & Military Museum Fayetteville, ArkansasAirAndMilitary.com Pea Ridge National Military Park Garﬁeld, NPS.gov/PERI Prairie Grove Battleﬁeld State Park Prairie Grove, ArkansasStateParks. com/PrairieGroveBattleﬁeld Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge Eureka Springs, TurpentineCreek.org Walmart Visitors Center & The Walmart Museum Bentonville, WalmartMuseum.com War Eagle Mill Rogers, WarEagleMill.com
HISTORY WAS MADE HERE WHEN… the
Battle of Pea Ridge was fought. In March 1862, more than 26,000 soldiers fought to decide the fate of Missouri and the West. The Pea Ridge National Military Park commemorates this important battle and is one of the most intact Civil War battleﬁelds in the U.S. Sam
Walton opened his ﬁve-anddime store in Bentonville in 1950. What started on the town square is now the megachain we know as Walmart. As of 2014, the company has stretched across 27 countries, serving more than 200 million customers a week. 1923 E. Joyce Blvd. | Fayetteville, Ark. | 479.695.8012 | butterfieldtrailvillage.org 28
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
DISCOVERY Naturally Made
It’s time to discover everything that Arkansas has to offer. Because now there’s more stuff to do, see and explore than ever before in The Natural State. Whether you’re into food, art, shopping or the great outdoors, it’s all here, and it’s all waiting to be enjoyed. Get vacation ideas at Arkansas.com and start planning your adventure today. What will you make in Arkansas?
North Central A R K A N S A S N
estled between the Ozark Mountains and the forests and farms of the Upper Delta, the North Central Arkansas highlands and its mountain-valley towns are a world of their own. The tranquil area is a popular region for retirees and vacation-home owners and a place in which Arkansans converge for float trips, cavern exploring, festivals, lake weekends and world-class fishing. In fact, North Central Arkansas fishing — especially on the cold-water segments of the White River — is one of the most popular tourist attractions in The Natural State. Anglers are lured here to catch blue-ribbon, brown and rainbow trout on the White and Little Red rivers as well as striped bass and walleye on Bull Shoals and Norfolk lakes. Fishing resorts like Gaston’s in Lakeview and Mountain Home are popular getaways. Mountain Home, named the “Best Fishing Town in America” by Field & Stream, is one of the region’s largest cities, with 12,400 residents and service provided to more than 200,000 people in surrounding towns. The Buffalo National River is a big draw to the region. Kayakers, canoers, campers and trail-goers populate its banks year-round for spring’s flora, autumn’s foliage, winter’s frozen waterfalls and summer’s white water. Whether you prefer bustling Heber Springs or quiet Fairfield Bay, the quality of life around Greers Ferry Lake is second to none. Whether you go to find secluded waterfalls, bald eagles and swimming holes or to sail, scuba dive or see the annual World Championship Cardboard Boat Races at Sandy Beach, Greers Ferry has it all. Fairfield Bay is known for lake fun, wildlife, mountain biking, parasailing and hiking. The pastoral towns along Arkansas Highway 65 in Searcy County are as beautiful as they are unique. The state’s prized elk population calls this area home, and it’s not because it’s the “Chocolate Roll Capital of the World” — although, that’s one reason Arkansans love to come here. In addition to eating a chocolate roll, visitors come to
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
Cherokee Village has a rich heritage as a recreational and retirement community, and some of the most diverse and eclectic people have settled in the Village. They bring a warmth, richness and quality of life to our lives every day. We love this about our city.” - Pat Clary, moved to Cherokee Village from Southern California
watch a movie at Kenda Drive-In theater in Marshall or see Gilbert, one of the U.S.’ smallest municipalities. The county also hosts unique events like the Arkansas State Championship Hillbilly Chili Cook-Off in Lakeview. In the town of Fifty-Six, Blanchard Springs Caverns is one of the most spectacular developed caves in the country. Nearby, Mountain View is known for being the “Folk Music Capital of the World.” It’s home to the celebrated Ozark Folk Center State Park, a living history attraction. Batesville is known for being the birthplace of NASCAR champion Mark Martin, who retired there and opened the Mark Martin Museum. From top left: Blanchard Springs Caverns in Fifty-Six | Lost Valley In Clinton, thousands come to see a geological wonder called The Natural Trail near Ponca | Cave City Watermelon Festival | Ozark Folk Center Bridge. About 20,000 people also come to Clinton each year for the Wild-Westin Mountain View | The Buffalo National River inspired National Championship Chuckwagon Races in September. www.RelocateToArkansas.com 31
Kayaking to Sugar Loaf Mountain on Greers Ferry Lake in Farfield Bay
ATTRACTIONS Enrich your life with culture and history at the region’s ﬁnest arts venues, historical sites and attractions. ARTS & THEATERS Kenda Drive-In Marshall, Facebook.com/KendaDriveIn North Arkansas Dance Theatre Mountain View, NADT.info Ozark Folk Center State Park Mountain View, OzarkFolkCenter.com Ozark Heritage Arts Center Leslie, Facebook.com/OHACLeslie Searcy County Courthouse Art Marshall, SearcyCountyArkansas.org HISTORICAL SITES & MUSEUMS Blanchard Springs Caverns Fifty-Six, BlanchardSprings.org Blanchard Springs Caverns
Buﬀalo National River Tyler Bend Visitor Center Near Gilbert, NPS.gov/BUFF Hurricane River Caverns Near Pindall, HurricaneRiverCaverns.com Log Cabin Museum Fairﬁeld Bay, FFBChamber.com Mammoth Spring National Natural Landmark & State Park Mammoth Spring, ArkansasStateParks.com/ MammothSpring Mark Martin Museum Batesville, MarkMartinMuseum.com Old Independence Regional Museum Batesville, OIRM.org Old Town Gilbert Gilbert Old Town Leslie Leslie, LeslieArkansas.org Searcy County Veterans Memorial & Veterans Wall of Honor Marshall, SearcyCountyArkansas.org St. Joe Depot Museum St. Joe, StJoeArkansas.org Veterans Military Museum Hardy William Carl Garner Visitor Center Heber Springs, VisitGreersFerryLake.org 32
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
IN NORTH CENTRAL ARKANSAS YOU CAN… spot a yellow-banded trumpeter swan on Magness Lake. Get the Lake band number and email it to the Trumpeter Swan Society. They will send you its birth certiﬁcate and story. sleep in a cave alongside a natural pool at Longbow Resort in Prim.
see Arkansas’s Stonehenge. Ancient stone spheres, including one in Murphy Hollow east of Prim, can be found in this region. hike an island mountain in Fairﬁeld Bay. ﬁnd the most beautiful waterfall — Triple Falls or Bridal Veil Falls, perhaps? The region is home to many that compete for this title. •Continued on page 35
& & &
For for more information on the area visit discoverspringriver.com or call 1-800-264-0316
Ad paid for with a combination of Cherokee Village, Hardy, Mammoth Spring Advertising and Promotion taxes, Ozark Gateway Regional Association, and state funds. www.RelocateToArkansas.com
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PAT & WAYNE CLARY
When Pat and Wayne find downtime, they spend it with their children and grandchildren, who also moved to Arkansas to be near their parents. “Only here, we share this quality of life every day,” Pat said. “We are blessed.”
Owners of ﬁtness businesses in Highland, Ash Flat & Horseshoe Bend
Originally from: Fresno, California (Wayne) and Scott Field Air Force Base, Illinois (Pat) Home now: Cherokee Village
at and Wayne Clary have lived in 10 different states. However, when it came time to retire from the corporate world in Southern California, everything they wanted was in Arkansas. They planned to retire after moving to Cherokee Village, but the couple has been busy running their numerous business ventures. “We were looking for a slower pace and loved the natural beauty, wildlife and peace that fell over us whenever we visited Arkansas,” Pat said. In November 2013, Pat opened a Curves franchise with a business
PAT’S TOP PICKS Favorite Restaurants: Artisan Steakhouse Bar & Grill in Highland, Biggers Bluff Steakhouse in Hardy and Carol’s Lakeview Diner on Thunderbird Lake partner. In November 2014, Wayne purchased the local fitness center in Ash Flat and opened Clary Fitness. In March 2015, Wayne and Pat opened a second Clary Fitness location in Horseshoe Bend, and in 2016, they opened a gymnastics center in Highland.
Good Shepherd Community P roviding quality
affordable living for seniors since 1979.
Go-to Outdoor Activity: Watching the fireﬂies by a fire on Lake Omaha Best Hidden Gem: The water passageway that connects Lake Thunderbird to Lake Sequoia in Cherokee Village Your Town in Three Words: Beautiful, friendly, gateway
Win A CAMERA
Call for your tour today!
PH: 501 501-224 501224-7200 2247200
2701 Aldersgate Road 34
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
Little Rock, AR 72205
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Central ArkAnSAS? KnOw sOmeOne wHO is? 2017 2017
Scuba diving the Elephant Rocks beneath Lake Norfolk
•Continued from page 32 shop one of the largest antique stores in the nation, Antique Warehouse, in Botkinburg. eat your ﬁrst chocolate roll, and then your second, at Misty’s in Leslie.
NORTH CENTRAL IS KNOWN FOR BEING… adventurous. National Geographic recently ranked Mountain View as one of the “50 Great Adventure Towns” in America.
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Order a copy today at Store.ArkansasBusiness.com. For bulk copies, contact email@example.com or call (501) 372-1443.
Help them make a smooth transition with central Arkansas’s premier newcomers’ guide.
a great place to retire. Rand McNally Retirement Places and AARP’s Sun Belt Retirement both ranked the Mountain Home area as one of the top places to retire in the U.S. “an undiscovered haven,” according to Where to Retire magazine. “the capital of the world,” if you’re talking chocolate rolls in Leslie or folk music in Mountain View. Photo By: Bashan Bradbury
Upper Delta A R K A N S A S
nchored by Jonesboro and surrounding Craighead County, the Upper Delta offers a unique setting for newcomers. Beautiful forests and the Mississippi River’s Delta shores envelop this charming piece of The Natural State. Throughout the Upper Delta, acres upon acres of bucolic farmland yield soybeans, rice, cotton and pecans, yet residents find worldly amenities within reach in nearby cities like Walnut Ridge, Forrest City, Pocahontas and West Memphis. Communities like Marked Tree, Newport, Osceola, Piggott and Wynne all have something to offer those looking for small-town charm and kind neighbors. Jonesboro, home to around 71,000 residents, is the biggest city within the region and is considered its cultural hub, boasting renowned arts venues like the Fowler Center and the Forum Theatre, which has welcomed people from more than 120 communities throughout 13 states to participate in educational and theatrical programs. Arkansans come from all over to savor the Southern delights and Delta soul food at notable restaurants. The fried chicken at Wilson Cafe in Wilson, steak at Jerry’s in Trumann and seafood at Bistro Eleven 21 in Blytheville are just a few fan favorites. A one-of-a-kind experience can be had at airplane-turned-Parachute Inn Restaurant in Walnut Ridge, and the cold beer and colorful biker stories at Roy’s in Paragould are not to be missed. The Upper Delta is also ripe with historical landmarks just waiting to be discovered. Thanks to Arkansas State University (ASU) in Jonesboro, many treasured museums and historic sites have been established or restored, and much of the region’s history is told through exhibits at ASU’s campus museum. Locals have access to a well-rounded list of recreation. Visits to the Forrest L. Wood
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
From top left: Big River Crossing in West Memphis | Wilson Cafe in Wilson | Powhatan Courthouse in Powhatan Historic State Park | Guitar Walk in Walnut Ridge
“We love that it’s a university town but also has this interesting intermingling of agricultural and urban life.” — Lauri Umansky, moved to Jonesboro from Boston, Massachusetts
Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center (a 170-acre protected wildlife refuge), floats on the Spring River and rounds of golf at the Sage Meadows Golf & Country Club are all top-priority activities. Lakes, first-rate state parks — Parkin Archeological and Crowley’s Ridge, to name only two — as well as excellent hunting and fishing spots make this a desirable place to call home. Explore even more of this great region during planned drives like the historic Civil War Trail or Crowley’s Ridge Parkway, a National Scenic Byway that runs from the very northeast corner of the state at Piggott down to Helena-West Helena. Another National Scenic Byway, the Arkansas Great River Road, begins in Blytheville and winds down to Lower Delta cities Lake Village and Eudora before ending at the Louisiana state line. Along the way, a stop in Turrell at the Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge rewards visitors with sightings of barred owl and great blue heron on Wapanocca Lake and in the flooded cypress swamps. It’s a prime place to be come duck season. www.RelocateToArkansas.com 37
ATTRACTIONS Enrich your life with culture and history at the region’s ﬁnest arts venues, historical sites and attractions. ARTS & THEATERS The Collins Theater Paragould, CollinsTheater.com Delta Symphony Orchestra Jonesboro, DeltaSymphonyOrchestra.org The Forum Theatre Jonesboro, FOAJonesboro.org HISTORICAL SITES & MUSEUMS Arkansas State University Museum Jonesboro, www.AState.edu/Museum Delta Gateway Museum Blytheville, DeltaGatewayMuseum.weebly.com Greyhound Bus Depot Blytheville, MainStreetBlytheville.org Greyhound Bus Depot
Big River Crossing, West Memphis
IN THE UPPER DELTA YOU CAN… visit Johnny Cash’s boyhood home in Dyess. see where Ernest Hemingway worked on “A Farewell to Arms” in Piggott. catch a monster catﬁsh on the Mississippi River. win big money at Southland Park Gaming & Racing in West Memphis. enjoy the symphony in Jonesboro.
Hampson Archeological Museum State Park Wilson, ArkansasStateParks.com/ HampsonMuseum Hemingway-Pfeiﬀer Museum & Educational Center Piggott, Hemingway.AState.edu Johnny Cash Boyhood Museum Dyess, DyessCash.AState.edu Marked Tree Delta Area Museum Marked Tree, MarkedTreeChamber.org Parkin Archeological State Park Parkin, ArkansasStateParks.com/ ParkinArcheological Southern Tenant Farmers Museum Tyronza, STFM.AState.edu St. Francis County Museum Forrest City, Facebook: St. Francis County Museum
see a Broadway play at Downtown Playhouse in Pocahontas. tour the Hampson Archeological Museum State Park to see Native American pottery at the site of a 15-acre village along the Mississippi River.
HISTORY WAS MADE IN THE UPPER DELTA WHEN… Johnny Cash moved to Dyess with his family at the age of 3. Don’t miss the ﬁrst-ever Johnny Cash Heritage Festival Oct. 19-21, 2017. Jonesboro-native John Grisham became an acclaimed author.
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
He lived throughout the region before his career took off, and has now sold more than 225 million copies of his 30-plus books. The Beatles’ airplane landed in Walnut Ridge. The city celebrates this 1964 brush with history at Beatles Park with attractions including a massive photo collection, Guitar Walk and an annual music festival. Big River Crossing was completed in October 2016. Arkansas and Tennessee oﬃcials worked together to renovate the Harahan Bridge, which spans the Mississippi River and connects downtown Memphis, Tennessee, to West Memphis, Arkansas. Upon completion, it became the longest active rail/ pedestrian/bicycle bridge in the country.
THE UPPER DELTA IS KNOWN FOR BEING… a great place to live. Recently, Jonesboro ranked seventh on Kiplinger’s list of “Top 10 U.S. Cities to Live In.” home to big ﬁsh in a small pond. Jonesboro ranked No. 14 on National Geographic’s list of “2014 Best Small Cities for Job Growth.”
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LAURI UMANSKY & PETER ONEK
warm weather, and clean streets. “As actively involved grandparents, we know what a wonderful place [Jonesboro] is to rear a child,” Lauri said. “It’s affordable with plentiful public parks, playing fields and good schools.”
Lauri: Director of Heritage Studies Ph.D. Program & Professor of History at Arkansas State University Peter: Retired criminal appellate public defender for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Originally from: Boston, Massachusetts Home now: Jonesboro
LAURI’S TOP PICKS
auri Umansky and Peter Onek moved to Jonesboro from Boston with their chihuahua Baxter, their two daughters and their grandson, Jack. The couple moved when Lauri took a position as Dean of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences at Arkansas State University. Since relocating to Jonesboro, Lauri and Peter have discovered a very different way of life compared to the big city lives they led in places like New York
Favorite Pastimes: “Walking in our historic West End neighborhood or sitting on our deck and hearing the birds sing and the freight trains whistle,” Lauri says.
City and Boston — a way of life they’ve come to love. The couple is partial to their newfound proximity to the countryside, the friendly neighbors and Jonesboro’s diverse population,
Go-to Local Event: Arkansas Roots Music Festival at City Water & Light Park, which is held annually in April Your Town in Three Words: Relaxed, beautiful, friendly
SCENIC DRIVES Naturally Made
VISIT ARKANSASGOLFTRAIL.COM TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 12 COURSES OF THE ARKANSAS GOLF TRAIL.
Lower Delta A R K A N S A S T
his character-rich region is known for its history and agriculture. With hundreds of thousands of acres of cotton, rice, soybeans, corn and wheat grown each year, agribusiness is the predominant industry of the Lower Delta. In fact, Arkansas is the number one state for rice exports in the nation and 10th for soybeans. The rice fields create a particularly favorable environment for waterfowl, making the area famous for its place on the Mississippi Flyway — a destination for 40 million migratory waterfowl annually. At the heart of the Flyway lies Stuttgart, the duckhunting capital of the world. Duck hunters from across the nation flock here during the season with hopes of limiting out. Arkansas’s place in American history comes to life in the Lower Delta. Pine Bluff is the largest town and the commercial hub, and its past is demonstrated at the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame, the Arkansas Railroad Museum and the Delta Rivers Nature Center. The suburb of White Hall is popular with families, especially with the addition of Crenshaw Springs Water Park. Arkansas’s first capital city and the first European settlement in the lower Mississippi River Valley, Arkansas Post, is located in Gillett. At Louisiana Purchase State Park near Brinkley, a monument marks the initial point for surveys of the 1803 land deal. More of the Lower Delta’s great history can be experienced along the Arkansas Civil War Trail, a statewide trail system spotlighting Confederate and Union campaigns including Confederate approaches to Helena. Crowley’s Ridge Parkway, a National Scenic Byway, and the Arkansas Great River Road travel through the Upper Delta and Lower Delta, showcasing hidden gems from Piggott to Helena-West Helena and Blytheville to Lake Village respectively. The Arkansas Delta Music Trail also passes through the region — and all of these picturesque drives are popular with motorcyclists.
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
From top: Lakeport Plantation in Lake Village | Duck hunting in the Lower Delta | Camping at Mississippi River State Park in Marianna | King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena-West Helena
From the rich Civil War sites to the tremendous impact this part of the state contributed to music via the blues, there is an endless amount of history that ﬁlls the air here.” — Joel Tipton, moved to Helena from Garland, Texas
Helena-West Helena, a city famous for its Civil War past and blues music heritage, is home to more than 13,000 people and is the gathering place of the world-renowned King Biscuit Blues Festival each October, which is one of the preeminent blues festivals in the country. In southeastern Arkansas you’ll find the towns of Warren, Hamburg, Monticello, McGehee, Crossett and Lake Village. Monticello is an active community enjoying plentiful city parks, a lake, a country club, museums, festivals and quality schools, with higher education offered at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. The area is also home to the largest oxbow lake in North America and the largest natural lake in Arkansas — Lake Chicot, located in Lake Village. Known for its cotton and catfish farms, Lake Village is also where you’ll find Lakeport Plantation, the last antebellum plantation in Arkansas that lies along the Mississippi River, and a marker noting where Charles Lindbergh landed in April 1923 and, later that same evening, took his first night flight over the town and the Mississippi River.
ATTRACTIONS Enrich your life with culture and history at the region’s ﬁnest arts venues, historical sites and attractions. ARTS & THEATERS Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas Pine Bluff, ASC701.org Community Theatre Pine Bluff, PBCommunityTheatre.org Fine Art Gallery & University Museum & Cultural Center University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, UAPB.edu HISTORICAL SITES & MUSEUMS Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame Pine Bluff, ArkansasEntertainersHallOfFame.com Arkansas Post National Memorial Gillett, NPS.gov/ARPO Arkansas Railroad Museum Pine Bluff, ArkansasRailroadMuseum.org Battery C Park Helena-West Helena, DeltaCulturalCenter.com/venues/ Battery-C-Park Delta Cultural Center Helena-West Helena, DeltaCulturalCenter.com Lakeport Plantation Lake Village, Lakeport.AState.edu Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie Stuttgart, GrandPrairieMuseum.org Rohwer Relocation Center National Historic Landmark Rohwer, Rohwer.Astate.edu Turner Neal Museum of Natural History & Pomeroy Planetarium Monticello, UAMont.edu WWII Japanese-American Internment Museum McGehee, Rohwer.Astate.edu
WWII JapaneseAmerican Internment Monument
IN THE LOWER DELTA YOU CAN… swim in the largest oxbow lake in America — Lake Chicot. hunt in the duck-hunting capital of the world in Stuttgart. shoot skeet at the Delta Resort & Spa near McGehee. see where surveys started after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 near Brinkley. canoe the Mississippi River with Quapaw Canoe Company. order Rhoda’s Famous Hot Tamales (and sweet potato pie) in Lake Village. taste a vine-ripe pink tomato, the state fruit and vegetable, in Warren. attend one of the preeminent blues festivals in the country, the King Biscuit Blues Festival, in HelenaWest Helena. ride your motorcycle along the longest bayou in the U.S. (Bayou Bartholomew/Rohwer Memorial Loop). tour a courthouse built in 1900, the Desha County Courthouse, in Arkansas City.
THE LOWER DELTA IS KNOWN FOR… its incredible number of state parks and wildlife areas, including:
Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge in Crossett, which features more than 65,000 acres of ﬁshing, hunting, hiking and wildlife. Cane Creek State Park in Star City, where you can explore the park’s 2,171 acres of woodland areas. Crossland Zoo in Crossett, which is one of only two licensed zoos in Arkansas, featuring more than 75 species.
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
Delta Heritage Trail State Park, which boasts an incredible trail system consisting of 20 miles of trails with a total of 84 miles planned. Mississippi River State Park in Marianna where you can travel two national scenic byways: Great River Road and Crowley’s Ridge Parkway. St. Francis National Forest in Marianna, which contains more than 20,000 acres and is known for herons, terns and swamps, and is home to Horner’s Neck Lake.
HISTORY WAS MADE HERE WHEN… Nearly 16,000 JapaneseAmericans were interned in Arkansas at the Rohwer JapaneseAmerican Relocation Center and the Jerome Relocation Center between 1942-1945. Johnny Cash was born in Kingsland in 1932. French explorer Henri de Tonti established Arkansas Post, the ﬁrst permanent European settlement in Arkansas and a French trading post on the banks of the Arkansas River. the single deadliest shot ﬁred during the Civil War was made in St. Charles in 1862. Freeman Owens became the ﬁrst person to successfully synchronize sound to ﬁlm. The Pine Bluff native also invented slow motion ﬁlming. Jones Bar-B-Q Diner in Marianna — a 110-year-old restaurant — won a James Beard Award in 2012. In 2016, Jones Bar-B-Q Diner secured its place in the inaugural class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame.
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JOEL & AMBER TIPTON
free time.” In addition to the rich history surrounding the area, Joel says one of his favorite aspects of Helena-West Helena is the abundant outdoor activities ranging from river adventures on the Mississippi River and endless miles of biking trails to fishing on the multitude of lakes and kayaking the cypress swamps.
Owners of The Edwardian Inn Originally from: Dallas, Texas Home now: Helena-West Helena
oel and Amber Tipton wanted a change of pace from the corporate world in Texas. The couple had always talked about buying a bed-and-breakfast not too far from their home in Garland. The affordable property values in Arkansas’s Delta made The Edwardian Inn the perfect move for the Tiptons. Moving from a Dallas suburb with a population of 300,000 to a small town of 12,000 in HelenaWest Helena took some adjusting, but Joel said the community pleasantly surprised them. “There’s always so much going on here,” he said. “We find ourselves busier here than we
THE TIPTONS’ TOP PICKS Favorite Restaurant: Bailee Mae’s in Helena-West Helena
ever were in Dallas! From one of the largest blues festivals [in the nation] to smaller community activities like the Cherry Street Fair, one can always find something to occupy their
Favorite Local Event: King Biscuit Blues Festival, held annually in October Best Hidden Gem: Louisiana Purchase State Park near Brinkley Your Town in Three Words: Historic, surprising, possibility
Harbor Oaks Golf
Arts & Science Center
Lake Saracen Walking Trail
A Great Place to Visit. Work. Play. Learn. Live! Come to Pine Bluff and discover a great little city that offers a world of things to do and see. A vibrant business community. Endless leisure options. Good schools and colleges. Make yourself at home in a historic neighborhood or a manicured development. Pine Bluff, the Heart of Southeast Arkansas.
www.pinebluffcvb.org www.jeffersoncountyalliance.com 1 Convention Center Plaza • Pine Bluff, AR 71601 • 1.800.536.7660
510 Main Street • Pine Bluff, AR 71601 • 870.535.0110
Delta Rivers Nature Center
Paid for with a combination of state funds and Arkansas’ Land of Legends regional association funds.
Southwest A R K A N S A S A
rkansas’s Southwest region is home to some of the state’s finest hunting and fishing spots created by the Ouachita Mountains, many lakes and dense timberlands. Cities such as Hot Springs, Hot Springs Village, El Dorado, Texarkana, Mena and Arkadelphia are found within this diverse landscape and, each in its unique way, is wonderful to call home. The Ouachitas’ largest city, Hot Springs, is known for horse racing at Oaklawn Park, floral splendor at Garvan Woodland Gardens and historic Bathhouse Row. Hot Springs was named for the mineral waters that bubble up from 47 underground springs and maintain a consistent temperature of 143 degrees Fahrenheit. The region’s “Diamond Lakes” include lakes Hamilton, Ouachita, Catherine, DeGray and Greeson. They draw millions of visitors from Arkansas and nearby states for the fullservice resorts, water sports, boating, fishing, scuba diving and golf. Retirees and vacation homeowners particularly love this area. Golf is popular in Hot Springs Village, a 26,000-acre gated community known for its nine championship golf courses and large pickleball following. A new Rod & Gun Club, farmers market and Rock Porch concerts have been met with much enthusiasm. One of Arkansas’s gems, the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, is located in this region. Visitors can dig for diamonds and keep what they find. Easierto-find quartz crystals are fun to search for at nearby mines in Jessieville and Mount Ida. El Dorado, a south Arkansas town with a storied past, is set to make history again. The city is reinventing itself to become a destination for world-class festivals and events. Plans include new theaters, art galleries, culinary hotspots, Broadway productions, a cabaret, an outdoor amphitheater, a playscape for kids and a new hotel — all going in downtown. Historic buildings will be restored and woven into
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
From top left: Bird’s-eye view of historic Central Avenue in downtown Hot Springs | Four States Auto Museum in Texarkana | Cossatot River at Cossatot River State Park | Oil Heritage Park in El Dorado
[I love the] close proximity to worldclass mountain biking and so many wonderful outdoor activities. The arts, craft and music scenes are amazing in Hot Springs!” — Adam Moore, grew up in Hot Springs and returned after living in various cities across the country
new construction. In a city of about 19,000, it’s an impressive plan, costing over $100 million. It’s backed in part by local Fortune 500 companies including Murphy USA and Murphy Oil. Murphy put El Dorado on the map and drew many newcomers to the state when they made a commitment to pay college tuition and fees for all graduating seniors of the El Dorado Public School District. Another Southwest Arkansas mainstay, Texarkana, is thriving with major growth in the past decade on both sides of the Arkansas-Texas border where it lies. Arkadelphia, Camden, Hope (President Clinton’s birthplace), Mena and Prescott also have great attractions showcasing their places in Arkansas history. Historic Washington State Park in Washington preserves antebellum and Civil War milestones, and significant Southern festivals are hosted in rustic towns like Emerson (PurpleHull Pea Festival), Malvern (Brickfest) and Mena (Lum & Abner Festival). www.RelocateToArkansas.com 45
As one of the cleanest lakes in the U.S., Lake Ouachita is perfect for water sports, swimming, water skiing, scuba diving, boating and fishing.
Enrich your life with culture and history at a few of the region’s ﬁnest arts venues, historical sites and attractions. ARTS & THEATER Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival Hot Springs, HSDFI.org Hot Springs Music Festival Hot Springs, HotMusic.org Perot Theatre Texarkana, TRAHC.org/Perot-Theatre South Arkansas Arts Center El Dorado, SAAC-Arts.org South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra El Dorado, SouthArkansasSymphony.org Texarkana Regional Arts Center Texarkana, TRAHC.org
Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs consists of eight bathhouses dating from 1892 to 1923.
Woodlands Auditorium Hot Springs Village, HSVTicketSales.com HISTORICAL SITES & MUSEUMS Garvan Woodland Gardens Hot Springs, GarvanGardens.org Historic Washington State Park Washington, HistoricWashingtonStatePark.com Hot Springs National Park Visitor Center in Fordyce Bathhouse Hot Springs, NPS.gov/HOSP Mena Depot Center Mena, VisitMena.com
IN SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS YOU CAN… dig
for diamonds (and keep what you ﬁnd) in Murfreesboro.
in two different states at the same time in Texarkana.
dive to see a sunken UFO in Lake Ouachita.
Mid-America Science Museum Hot Springs, MidAmericaMuseum.org Mena Depot Center
in a yurt at DeGray Lake Resort State Park.
raft on the Cossatot River, if you dare.
in the same room Al Capone did at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs.
some of the world’s best watermelon (you’ll be hardpressed to prove otherwise) in Hope.
Thoroughbreds make history (e.g., American Pharoah and Smarty Jones) at Oaklawn Racing & Gaming in Hot Springs.
a Wild West gunﬁght re-enactment in El Dorado.
SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS IS KNOWN FOR…
President William Jeﬀerson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site Hope, NPS.gov/WICL
Sevier County Museum De Queen, SevierCountyMuseum.com
The Gangster Museum of America Hot Springs, TGMOA.com
Nevada County Depot Museum Prescott, DepotMuseum.org
in healing thermal water at a turn-of-the-century bathhouse in Hot Springs. the World Championship Rotary Tiller Race in Emerson. 22 vistas along the Talimena Scenic Drive.
world’s largest watermelons. Hope farmers have set many weight and size records in the “Guinness Book of World Records,” with records dating back to the 1920s.
Mills Battleground State Park in Fordyce. •Continued on page 48
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
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Sunrise at DeGray Lake Resort State Park, located near Bismarck
•Continued from page 46
HISTORY WAS MADE HERE WHEN… diamonds
were discovered by John W. Huddleston in 1906.
Bill Clinton was elected president of the United States in 1992.
2015 Arkansas Derby champion American Pharoah became the ﬁrst Triple Crown winner in 37 years. He is the ﬁrst Arkansas Derby champion to win this title.
Major League Baseball Teams held spring training in Hot Springs at the turn of the 20th century (teams like the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox). Murphy
Oil established The El Dorado Promise, a one-ofa-kind scholarship program that allows all local school district graduates to attend college for free. Capone and other notorious mobsters made Hot Springs their vacation home. Al a
The Talimena National Scenic Byway near Mena
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
small store founded in 1938 in Howard County turned into Dillard’s, a Fortune 500 company and one of the top department stores in the U.S.
T H E
NE IG H B O RS
down in his native Spa City. Moore says when he’s not roasting coffee, he takes advantage of the close proximity to world-class mountain biking and other outdoor activities Hot Springs and the Southwest Arkansas region have to offer.
Owner & Roaster at Red Light Roastery
Hometown: Hot Springs Home now: Hot Springs National Park
ll it took was one great cup of Guatemalan medium-roast coffee to make Adam Moore a coffee fanatic. After his wife introduced him to the complex ﬂavors of craft coffee, Moore quit his job as a nurse and became a full-time owner and roaster at Red Light Roastery in Hot Springs. Moore opened his roastery in the summer of 2015. To keep up with the growing demand, Moore expanded Red Light to include both a coffee house for customers, and a new roasting
ADAM’S TOP PICKS Best Hidden Gem: “The tap water here is tasty, but the water available from the fountains in Hot Springs National Park is amazing,” Adam says. Favorite Local Event: Valley of the Vapors Music Festival in Hot Springs center that debuted in 2017. The Hot Springs native lived in places such as Bend, Oregon; Athens, Georgia; and Starkville, Mississippi, before settling back
Your Town in Three Words: Outdoors, water, tourism
Arkansas’ Award-Winning Duck Hunting Magazine
Relax at The Arlington TSIDE VIEW OU NEW EYES ON ARKANSAS P.49 WHY I HUNT
WATERFOWLERS IN THEIR OWN WORDS
TOP FLIGHT FAKES
A DECOY EVOLUTION
GO DOG GO
SUPER RETRIEVERS SHOW THEIR STUFF
The Heart of Historic Hot Springs National Park
nt to Arkansas Business Special Suppleme 33, Issue # 33 Aug. 15, 2016, Volume
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Thermal baths and spa. A national park outside any door. Great dining choices. Twin cascading outdoor pools. Championship golf courses. Private beauty and facial salon.
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For Reservations or Information: (800) 643-1502 www.RelocateToArkansas.com 49
Central A R K A N S A S A
t the heart of Arkansas you’ll find Little Rock. The capital city’s downtown area thrives with restaurants, art galleries, museums, boutiques, bars, hotels and highrise condos. State government, banking centers, financial centers and statewide media are located here, most within walking distance of the bustling River Market District. The William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum draws visitors from around the world, and the headquarters of worldwide nonprofit Heifer International sits right next door. Little Rock’s best dining options are spread across the city, with everything from white-tablecloth service to world-famous barbecue. Food trucks, craft breweries and farm-to-table establishments are the latest craze and have put Little Rock on the map as a foodie destination. Several popular locations are found in SoMa, an up-andcoming downtown district. Residents of the capital city find its pet-friendly patios and dog parks, miles of trails and pedestrian bridges, and renowned arts offerings foster a meaningful, active lifestyle. Along the southern edge of Little Rock next to the suburbs of Benton and Bryant, a boom of new retail is underway, bringing the state’s first-ever outlet mall — The Outlets of Little Rock — and Bass Pro Shops to the new Gateway Town Center. Across the river, North Little Rock is home to the popular Argenta Arts & Historic District, Burns Park (one of the largest city parks in the country at 1,700 acres), DickeyStephens Park (a AAA-baseball stadium with skyline views) and nearby Verizon Arena (host to artists like Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift). The Little Rock Air Force Base, located in the City of Jacksonville, is the country’s only C-130 training base and employs more than 4,500 people. Located within an hour’s drive from the capital are towns like Conway, Scott, Cabot,
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
From top left: View of downtown Little Rock skyline along the Arkansas River | Sailboats on Lake Maumelle | Nightlife in downtown Little Rock | Hiking on Petit Jean Mountain near Morrilton
We love Little Rock because it is a big enough city to not know everyone, but small enough not to have big city issues like traﬃc congestion and smog. We love that we can walk out our door and be on our bicycles, and that we live within minutes from our jobs and friends. There is something for everyone.” — Scotti Lechuga, moved to Little Rock from Waco, Texas
Searcy, England, Morrilton and Greenbrier — each with their own individual charms. Conway, the region’s fastest-growing city, has been dubbed the “City of Colleges” because of the three world-class higher education institutions based here — the University of Central Arkansas, Hendrix College and Central Baptist College. The colleges keep Conway young and in a constant state of flux. A quaint downtown, 17 city parks, four golf courses and popular festivals like Toad Suck Daze accelerated the city’s growth. Over the next 20 years, Conway plans to capitalize on its boom by investing $40 million into its parks with the end goal being every citizen living within walking distance of a park. More remotely, the city of England is known for its farms, and Morrilton is known for picturesque Petit Jean State Park. Cabot’s annual Strawberry Festival shouldn’t be missed, and Searcy lures anglers to the Little Red River and college students to the esteemed Harding University. www.RelocateToArkansas.com 51
Enrich your life with culture and history at the region’s ﬁnest arts venues, historical sites and attractions.
IN CENTRAL ARKANSAS YOU CAN… visit the Clinton Presidential Library & Museum. bike a 24-mile loop around the Arkansas River.
ARTS & THEATERS Arkansas Arts Center Little Rock, ArkansasArtsCenter.org
EMOBA—The Museum of Black Arkansans & Performing Arts Theater Little Rock
Arkansas Repertory Theatre Little Rock, TheRep.org
Heifer Ranch Perryville, Heifer.org/Ranch
Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre Conway, ArkShakes.com
Heifer Village Little Rock, Heifer.org/Village
Arkansas Studies Institute Little Rock, ARStudies.com
Historic Arkansas Museum Little Rock, HistoricArkansas.org
Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Little Rock, ArkansasSymphony.org
Jacksonville Museum of Military History Jacksonville, JaxMilitaryMuseum.org
mountain bike an old wagon route (Enders Fault Trail in Greenbrier).
Lower White River Museum State Park Des Arc, ArkansasStateParks.com/ LowerWhiteRiverMuseum
see nearly 700 animals at the Little Rock Zoo. Every Monday and Thursday children (ages 1-5) are welcome to attend Critter Tales for story time and the chance to meet an animal ambassador at the zoo’s amphitheatre stage.
MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History Little Rock, ArkMilitaryHeritage.com Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Little Rock, MosaicTemplarsCenter.com Museum of Discovery— Donald W. Reynolds Science Center Little Rock, MuseumOfDiscovery.org
hike to the top of Pinnacle Mountain. eat world-famous barbecue at Whole Hog Café. race a sailboat on Lake Maumelle.
CENTRAL ARKANSAS IS KNOWN FOR BEING… a land of opportunity.
Old State House Museum Little Rock, OldStateHouse.com
Celebrity Attractions Little Rock, CelebrityAttractions.com Center on the Square Searcy, CenterOnTheSquare.org
Plantation Agriculture Museum State Park Scott, ArkansasStateParks.com/ PlantationAgricultureMuseum The Museum of Automobiles Morrilton, MuseumOfAutos.com
Community Theatre of Little Rock Little Rock, CTLR-ACT.org
Toltec Mounds Archaeological State Park Scott, ArkansasStateParks.com/ ToltecMounds
Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall Conway, UCA.edu/Reynolds
Searcy Art Gallery–Historic Black House Searcy, www.Searcy.com/Business/9907
Harding Summer Dinner Theater Searcy, Harding.edu
White County Historical–Pioneer Village Searcy, WhiteCountyPioneerVillage.org
Murry’s Dinner Playhouse Little Rock, MurrysDP.com
Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center Little Rock, CentralArkansasNatureCenter.com
The Joint North Little Rock, www.TheJointArgenta.com Wildwood Park for the Arts Little Rock, WildwoodPark.org
William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum Little Rock, ClintonLibrary.gov
HISTORICAL SITES & MUSEUMS
Arkansas National Guard Museum North Little Rock, ARNGMuseum.com Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum North Little Rock, www.ArkSportsHallOfFame.com Arkansas State Capitol Little Rock, SOS.Arkansas.gov
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
tech savvy. In addition to an impressive new tech park in the works for downtown, Little Rock was recognized by Google as a “2014 eCity.” a foodie city. Forbes included Little Rock in its 2014 list of “Five Secret Foodie Cities in the Nation.” a great place to retire. CNN Money recently named Conway the 24th best place to retire in the nation.
a recreational paradise. The region has so many options for outdoor fun, but the star of the area’s recreational menu is the Arkansas River Trail System, which boasts 5,000-plus acres of parkland and paved paths for walkers, runners and cyclists.
Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum & U.S.S. Razorback Submarine North Little Rock, AIMMuseum.org
Central High School National Historic Site Little Rock, NPS.gov/CHSC
Forbes gave Little Rock the No. 46 spot on its top 200 list of “Best Places for Business & Careers” in 2014, and the city ranked 47th on Sperling’s list of “Top Opportunity Cities for 2014.”
Arkansas Arts Center
T H E
NE IG H B O RS
“The terrain is so awesome and beautiful in central Arkansas,” Scotti said. Although the couple has lived all over the country, in cities such as Kansas City, Missouri; Charlotte, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; and Los Angeles, California, Scotti says that Arkansas feels like home. “We have traveled all over the world and sometimes talk about living in different places, but we come home to Arkansas. It just feels cozy,” Scotti said. “The pace of life suits us.”
ERNIE & SCOTTI LECHUGA
Both: Owners and operators of Leborne Coaching, LLC in Little Rock Scotti: Professional cyclist for Hagens Berman / Spearmint Women’s UCI Team Originally from: Ensenada, Mexico (Ernie) and High Point, North Carolina (Scotti) Home now: Little Rock
rnie and Scotti Lechuga made the move to Little Rock for jobs. Ernie finished his professional cycling career in 2004 and was hired to work for Orbea, headquartered at the time in North Little Rock. Scotti finished her degree at Baylor University in 2005 and moved to Little Rock for work. The couple now owns and operates Leborne Coaching, which
THE LECHUGAS’ TOP PICKS coaches athletes of all ages and fitness levels. When it comes to biking, Little Rock has much to offer. Scotti and Ernie love that they can ride their bikes to the east and have ﬂat farm roads, or go west and get to the mountains.
Go-to Local Events: The Big Dam Bridge 100 and Christmas time in the River Market Best Hidden Gem: The ride to the top of Mount Magazine Your Town in Three Words: Familiar, natural, thriving
HISTORY WAS MADE IN CENTRAL ARKANSAS AT… the Big Dam Bridge. Spanning 4,226 feet across the Arkansas River, this pedestrian and cycling bridge is the longest of its kind in the world.
Little Rock Central High School. The school
is recognized for the role it played in the desegregation of public schools in the United States in 1957. MacArthur Museum of Military History. General Douglas MacArthur was
born here, back when it was still operating as the Little Rock Arsenal. the Old State House. This Greek
Revival structure, which once served as the ﬁrst state capitol, is where Bill Clinton announced his bid for the presidency
on Oct. 3, 1991, and where 13 months later he announced his victory. www.RelocateToArkansas.com 53
A RARE BIRD: EUREKA SPRINGS
A city that provides arts, music, nature and attractions appealing to every person must have a unique personality all its own. Being surrounded by the Ozark Mountains doesn’t hurt either.
HIDDEN GEM CITIES Charming towns, urban hubs and rural hideaways — where to stake your claim! BY DWAIN HEBDA & LINDSAY IRVIN
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
IF “UNIQUE” IS WHAT YOU’RE GOING FOR There are some communities that defy description and proudly so; these communities march to the beat of their own drum and wear individualism on their sleeve. It’s hard to put these rare birds into a certain category. When it comes to oneof-a-kind cities, the unquestioned leader of the pack is Eureka Springs, which is a potpourri of arts, nature, music and attractions, set to a daily rhythm as unique as the people who live there. One look at the double-decker Main Street carved into the scenic Ozark mountainside and you know you’re in an extraordinary place.
Other Rare Birds WALNUT RIDGE: In 1964 the Beatles made a surprise stop in Walnut Ridge. The town has never forgotten that brush with rock ‘n’ roll royalty; there’s a music festival and permanent exhibit to mark the event.
SEARCY COUNTY: Known as the “Chocolate Roll Capital of the World,” this North Central county is famous for unique beauty, an immense elk population, historic small towns and gems like the Kenda Drive-in Theater.
MURFREESBORO: Visit the Crater of Diamonds State Park, the only place in the world where you can dig for diamonds on the surface of a volcanic crater and keep what you find.
A WINE LOVER’S DREAM Imagine living near lush, rolling vineyards and spending weekends tasting local, hand-crafted wines in a scenic lodge. But you’re not in Sonoma or Napa Valley, you’re in Arkansas’s River Valley. At the center of the River Valley lies Altus, a charming rural community and a hub of the wine industry. Six wineries reside in or around Altus and provide endless opportunities for tastings and tours. Don’t miss the annual summer Grape Festival, celebrating the area’s German-Swiss heritage and viticultural past.
Nestled in wine country, Subiaco Abbey is a monastery and boarding school in Logan County that was founded in 1891.
A Stone’s Throw from Wine Country OZARK: Take in the renovated riverfront area or test your motorcycling skills on the legendary Pig Trail (Scenic Highway 23). 8 minutes from Altus
Balboa Golf Course in Hot Springs Village, a residents‘ favorite, is one of the state’s top 10 course layouts.
PARIS: If beer’s more your thing, check out Prestonrose Organic Farm & Brewing Co. in the quaint valley community of Paris. 31 minutes from Altus
RUSSELLVILLE: This fast-growing community offers a vibrant downtown and big-city amenities, in addition to tournament-quality fishing in the surrounding lakes. 45 minutes from Altus
WHEN IT’S TIME TO RETIRE Where better to retire than a city surrounded by gleaming waters and verdant terrain? When it comes to natural beauty and leisure in the great outdoors, few communities compare to Fairfield Bay. Situated on Greers Ferry Lake, this community regularly celebrates life on the water through festivals, highlighted by the annual Surf the Bay and Boati Gras. Hike Sugar Loaf Mountain, ride the trails through the surrounding woods or just kick back and watch the sun set over the water. Nestled up to the Ouachita Mountains and multiple lakes, Hot Springs Village lures retirees from across the country. The village boasts great golf – nine courses, in fact – along with fun on the water and natural beauty lining the 30 miles of
walking trails. From lakeside beaches to movies to pickleball and concerts in the park, there’s always something going on.
Also Great for Your Golden Years BELLA VISTA CHEROKEE VILLAGE Both Bella Vista, located in Northwest Arkansas, and Cherokee Village in North Central were founded with retirees in mind. Each are in prime position beside sparkling lakes and scenic mountains. These communities are top picks for Arkansas retirees, and rightfully so.
They’re both ripe with amenities such as golf (Bella Vista boasts six courses), tennis, swimming, parks, local events, and diverse clubs and organizations (Cherokee Village has more than 125 different clubs). These two towns are proving equally attractive to families too, especially given their proximity to major universities and corporate headquarters.
WHERE THE ACTION HAPPENS If it’s autumn, Northwest Arkansas is the place to be for all things Hog. On homefootball Saturdays, thousands of Razorback www.RelocateToArkansas.com 55
Dickson Street in Fayetteville is a renowned strip for shopping and dining in Razorback Nation.
fans make the trek to this scenic corner of the state. In Fayetteville the best amenities of the region come together; it’s home to the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, which competes in the elite Southeastern conference, and a growing food and craft beer scene. It’s also surrounded by the lush natural beauty of the Boston Mountains. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Fayetteville “No. 1 Most Affordable” (2016) and “No. 5 Best Place to Live” (2017). There’s also a popular Ale Trail that tours 11 area breweries and more than 200 miles of mountain biking trails that host dozens of events annually.
Best Bets for Hustle & Bustle BENTONVILLE: Walmart put this Degray Lake, a 13,400-acre lake in the Ouachitas, is home to Arkansas’s only resort state park.
surging city on the map, but now it stands out on its own. Bentonville is home to the world-class Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, a remarkable museum hotel (21c Museum Hotel), and hundreds of miles of trails including an IMBA ride center. The food scene is a flurry here too, garnering national attention.
HOT SPRINGS: Once a hideout for Al Capone and his gangster cronies, Hot Springs has a ribald and romantic past that still stirs the imagination. It’s thriving with three busy lakes, multiple shopping districts with big city retailers and restaurants, unique arts venues and festivals, and a lively gaming area and racetrack—Oaklawn Park, one of the premier Thoroughbred racing venues in the country.
LITTLE ROCK & NORTH LITTLE The Scott Family Amazeum in Bentonville is an interactive science and arts museum for families.
ROCK: From the daily pulse of the River Market to the quiet, cool green of its walkable neighborhoods, Little Rock is the heartbeat of The Natural State— clean, friendly and poised for the future. Sister city North Little Rock is a lovely mix of architectural charm, restaurants, performance venues and a baseball stadium.
BEST CITIES FOR FAMILIES Arkansas is an ideal place to raise a family. Several large corporations have headquartered here, and communities have invested heavily in parks, 56
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
A TRANQUIL TRAIL: SUGAR LOAF
Sugar Loaf, a mountain that sits as an island in Greers Ferry Lake, can only be reached by boat, but the trail known as Sugar Loaf Mountain Trail is not on this island and actually got its name for the view of Sugar Loaf Mountain from the plateaued peak of the trail.
education and infrastructure to provide fun opportunities for all ages.
droves to downtown events like the annual Juneteenth Festival.
Rogers has been ranked among the top family-friendly cities by websites like NerdWallet, Niche and Movoto. Money Magazine recently named it one of Arkansas’s best places due to low crime, above-average reading and math scores, and annual job growth projected at 10 percent. U.S. News & World Report ranked Rogers High School fourth in the state.
More Gems for Families
Meanwhile in El Dorado, parents appreciate the promise of free college tuition for their students. The El Dorado Promise is a scholarship program established and funded by Murphy Oil Corporation, which is headquartered here. All graduates of El Dorado High School receive a scholarship covering tuition and mandatory fees that can be used at any accredited two- or four-year, public or private educational institution in the United States. Better yet, the city is undergoing major revitalization. There is a deep focus on music and the arts, and locals and tourists alike come out in
BENTONVILLE: With annual growth of 18 percent, Bentonville is young (average age 32), family-friendly (average family size 2.67) and prosperous (average income $79,000). Livability.com ranked it No. 8 on its list of best places for families; NerdWallet ranked it fifth best for working parents.
MAUMELLE: Ranked “No. 1 for families” by Movoto.com. Maumelle features outstanding public parks, athletic facilities and one of the highest per capita income areas in the state.
PERFECT FOR PEACE & QUIET Sometimes, all you want to do is just be still and soak it all in — tranquil lakes, unique wildlife, gorgeous sunsets. Maybe you want to stroll through the woods, tend
to your garden or have a leisurely game of golf with friends. If that sounds like your idea of good time, then Arkansas has just the ticket for you with many small towns known for their restful way of life. Northwest Arkansas neighbors, Dardanelle and Morrilton are small towns with charm. Petit Jean Mountain offers residents ample recreation and a beautiful view from their backyards. There’s quiet, for sure, but the proximity to Fort Smith, Fayetteville and Little Rock give locals access to it all.
Top Tranquil Hamlets ARKADELPHIA: With two small universities, this close-knit community cherishes good, old-fashioned family values and down time in the beautiful Ouachita Mountains.
BULL SHOALS: Enjoy quiet time on Bull Shoals Lake and the White River below the dam, which are the pinnacle of the state’s largemouth and black bass fishing. Bassmaster Magazine ranked the impoundment one of the country’s top 100 lakes. This retirement and vacation www.RelocateToArkansas.com 57
community is also popular for birding, caverning, horseback riding and hiking.
LAKE VILLAGE: This Delta hideaway can be found on the Great River Road National Scenic Byway and lies on the curving shore of Lake Chicot, a 20-mile long abandoned channel of the Mississippi River.
FAVORITE FARM TOWNS Meet the city of Wilson. This Upper Delta town is undergoing a rebirth so noteworthy The New York Times wrote about it. Under new leadership, this upand-coming community is now a Southern treasure for folks looking for a slower pace and lovers of hunting, fishing and all the recreational offerings of the mighty Mississippi River. Plans for a museum and many new events are in the works, but Arkansans are already flocking to the Wilson Cafe, perhaps the cornerstone of the entire town.
During the Festival of Murals artists make their mark on downtown Fort Smith’s historic walls.
More Farm Towns to Love STUTTGART: The “Duck Hunting Capital of the World” is as famous for its rice fields as it is for its waterfowl.
MARIANNA: You can’t have the blues without barbecue, and Jones’ Bar-B-Q Diner is considered one of the best in the nation with 100 years and a James Beard Award to its credit.
DYESS: The newly-restored Dyess Colony houses the boyhood home of Johnny Cash and hosts the Johnny Cash Heritage Festival in the fall.
BEST FOR MOVERS & SHAKERS When it comes to cities on the verge of big things, it’s hard to beat El Dorado. With millions being invested downtown, the community built on oil is now a major stop on the concert and music festival circuit. Big things are also in store for Arkansas’s second largest city, Fort Smith. The city’s Old West mystique, a city-wide murals project and the forthcoming U.S. Marshals Museum combine to create a one-of-a-kind community. 58
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Soybeans claim more land in Arkansas than many other row crops combined at 3.1 million acres.
More Boomtowns CONWAY: This central Arkansas city has been near the top of the fastestgrowing Arkansas communities list for more than a decade. Three colleges and the city’s quality of life have attracted a wave of new businesses in the health care, retail and technology sectors. Over the past 10 years, the area has added more than 8,000 jobs and 1,000 new businesses.
LITTLE ROCK: The capital city is investing millions in a revitalized Main
Street and Creative Corridor, as well as welcoming innovation and technology hubs that are growing jobs and the city’s cache.
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS: No. 5 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 list of “Best Places to Live” is Fayetteville. Reasons cited include “an active local food movement, live music venues and a dynamic festival scene.” It gets this ranking in large part thanks to job-rich Bentonville.
TASTE of Arkansas
EAT YOUR WAY THROUGH ARKANSAS’S DELICIOUS FOODIE SCENE
From barbecue to cheese
dip, Arkansas has a palate
Arkansas is known for many things, but one of the best — and the most delicious — has got to be our world-famous cheese dip. The delicious cheesy concoction, (not to be confused with queso), had its humble beginnings in Hot Springs at Mexico Chiquito. Recently, Arkansas senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton brought one version of the state’s cheese dip to the Senate floor in a face-off against Texas queso. Cheese dip was proclaimed victorious. We weren’t surprised.
as diverse as the state’s topography. We thought we’d do the Southern thing and share a few of our favorite foodie staples here for you to enjoy.
Little Rock’s Heights Taco & Tamale Co. won the World Cheese Dip Championship in 2016 with this dish.
BY LYDIA MCALLISTER
Try Charlotte Bowls’ renowned coconut pie at Charlotte’s Eats & Sweets in Keo (above). A taste-test of Arkansas’s food scene would be remiss without trying Rhoda’s famous hot tamales in Lake Village (below).
Don’t miss it: PIE COCONUT PIE Charlotte’s Eats & Sweets, Keo “COMPANY’S COMING” PIE Cliff House Inn & Restaurant, Jasper FRIED FRUIT PIES Ms. Lena’s Pies, DeValls Bluff KARO NUT PIE Franke’s Cafeteria, Little Rock BLUEBERRY CREAM PIE Mud Street Café, Eureka Springs
BARBECUE MCCLARD’S BAR-B-Q Hot Springs JONES BAR-B-Q DINER Marianna HB’S BARBECUE Little Rock RALPH’S PINK FLAMINGO BBQ Fort Smith PENGUIN ED’S BAR-B-QUE Fayetteville
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
SLICE OF HEAVEN We know a thing or two about pie here in The Natural State, but don’t just take our word for it. In the Jan. 22, 2010, edition of USA Today, SeriousEats.com creator Ed Levine highlighted The Family Pie Shop in DeValls Bluff as one of his top 10 pie spots in the nation. If you can’t get enough of the tasty treat, try out Arkansas’s Pie Trail. The trail, which traipses across the state, stops at some of the best down-home pie eateries in Arkansas. For more about the Pie Trail, visit http://Bit.ly/ARPieTrail.
SOUTHERN STAPLES If you couldn’t tell, Arkansas loves its foodie (and craft beer) trails. But we’d be remiss without mentioning the state’s BBQ Trail. As you make your way through our most popular dry rubs, mustard or mayo vinegar sauces atop the beloved pork varieties, you’re sure to discover why we have such an affinity for barbecue and all the sides that inevitably come along with it.
DOWN-HOME EATS The state has been blessed with longstanding favorite dining destinations across the state. This year, the Department of Arkansas Heritage designed the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame awards to highlight all things delicious, and Arkansan nominations were opened to the public and judged by
a 12-member committee. The inaugural class honorees included Jones Bar-B-Q Diner of Marianna, Lassis Inn of Little Rock and Rhoda’s Famous Hot Tamales of Lake Village. These Arkansas staples have withstood the test of time while staying true to their tasty roots. For more about the BBQ trail, visit http://Bit.ly/ARBBQTrail.
THE BEST IN BEER WHAT’S Arkansas is home to ON TAP: many a great beer. From For more the heavy hitters like about The Diamond Bear Brewing Natural Company in North Little State’s Rock, to smaller craft great breweries like Saddlebock brews, ﬂip to page 62. Brewery in Springdale, you can taste all that Arkansas’s beer scene has to offer along the Arkansas Brewery Trail (http://Bit.ly/ ARBeerTrail). The trail starts in Rogers and winds its way down the state to Hot Springs hitting the state’s finest breweries.
Mylo Coffee Co. owners, the Mylonases, brought their product from the crop to the cup and from the farmers market to the storefront.
Made in Arkansas These recognizable name brands were born and raised in The Natural State. Mountain
Valley Water’s distinctive green bottle with the red or blue label (red for the spring water, blue for the sparkling) has replaced Perrier as the house water of choice at some of the ﬁnest restaurants in the world. is one of the world’s largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef and pork, as well as prepared foods such as appetizers and snacks.
BREWING GOOD THINGS…
Arkansas is quickly FORT SMITH COFFEE CO. becoming known for its Fort Smith extensive coffee scene. Onyx THE BLACKBIRD CAFÉ Coffee Lab has brought Mountain Home the craft coffee scene THE EDGE COFFEE HOUSE to Northwest Arkansas Jonesboro with inventive creations. JITTERBUG COFFEEHOUSE In Little Rock, Blue Sail Heber Springs Coffee Roasters and Zeteo ONYX COFFEE LAB Coffee have recently opened Fayetteville/Springdale/Rogers locations in downtown. In MYLO COFFEE CO. Hot Springs, Arkansas native Little Rock Adam Moore opened Red MUGS CAFE Light Roastery where he North Little Rock serves small-batch, complex JAVAPRIMO COFFEE HOUSE roasts. And with more shops Hot Springs opening, it’s safe to say the coffee culture in Arkansas is on the rise.
& Orangette: These famous sodas came out of Camden in the 1920s as one of the “Fooks Flavors” sold by Benjamin Tyndle Fooks out of the trunk of his car.
VIVA LA BRUNCH Northwest Arkansas takes brunch very seriously — and that’s apparent in the number of imaginative brunch spots that have opened up in recent years. Try down-home Southern breakfast favorites at The Buttered Biscuit in Bentonville or head to the square for one of the town’s most popular spots, the Pressroom. In Fayetteville, be sure to check out Prelude for their delicious pancakes or Arsaga’s for new takes on all things toast. Fayetteville resident Meg Bourne (page 27) even said brunch-hopping around Northwest Arkansas is her favorite weekend pastime.
Jean Meats came about in 1926, when Felix Schlosser and Ellis Bentley opened a meat market in Morrilton. Petit Jean Meats sells hams, bacon, summer sausages, hot dogs and more across the country. Cavender’s
Greek Seasoning: Since 1971, Cavender’s has ﬂavored burgers, steaks, chicken and even popcorn for eaters all over the world. Located
in the Arkansas River Valley, Post Familie Vineyards is the largest winery in Arkansas and the ﬁrst commercial vineyard to produce here. Muscadine wine is their claim to fame. Yarnell’s
Arkansas produces far more rice than any other U.S. state. Riceland, based in Stuttgart, is the world’s largest miller and marketer of rice and rice products.
Ice Cream: Founded in Searcy in 1932, more than a dozen ﬂavors – including Homemade Strawberry, Death by Chocolate and Ozark Black Walnut – are available in grocery store freezers all over. www.RelocateToArkansas.com 61
TOURS Fayetteville Ale Trail: This self-guided beer tour lets visitors and residents experience the local brewery scene and engage with brewmasters while learning about their craft.
Bluewing Berry Wheat
Arkansas Red Ale
Flyway Brewing in North Little Rock
Core Brewing & Distilling Co. in Springdale
Locally Labeled: A great way to explore central Arkansas’s homegrown craft breweries, wineries and Rock Town Distillery.
Love Honey Bock Lost Forty Brewing in Little Rock
North Central Brewery Trail: Tour Gravity Brew Works and the sights of Mountain View. North Little Rock Loop: North Little Rock boasts a taproom and two breweries—one of Arkansas’s oldest and newest—all within walking or biking distance of one another. Southwest Arkansas Breweries: Tour the Superior Bathhouse Brewery on historic Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs before heading west to Bubba Brew’s Brewing Company in Bonnerdale.
FOR ALL THINGS ARKANSAS BEER, VISIT www.Arkansas.com/Taste/Breweries-Distilleries
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Belgian Style Golden Strong Ozark Beer Co. in Rogers
Pale Ale Diamond Bear Brewing Co. in North Little Rock
A peek at Arkansas’s thriving craft beer scene
he Natural State is right in the middle of a craft brew boom. With fewer than ﬁve breweries
in 2010, the past few years
have seen an exponential growth in Arkansan breweries and brewpubs — now there are more than 30. You can ﬁnd at least one in each major city in the state — each with a unique take on craft beer and local ﬂavors.
Northwest Arkansas Apple Blossom Brewing Company Bentonville Brewing Company Bike Rack Brewing Co. Black Apple Crossing Columbus House Brewery Core Brewing & Distilling Company Fossil Cove Brewing Company New Province Brewing Co. Ozark Beer Company Saddlebock Brewery West Mountain Brewing Company North Central Arkansas Gravity BrewWorks Central Arkansas Blue Canoe Brewing Co. Damgoode Pies Brewhouse Diamond Bear Brewing Company Flyway Brewing Company Lost Forty Brewing Rebel Kettle Brewing Co. Reﬁned Ale Brewery Stone’s Throw Brewing Vino’s Brewpub The Water Buffalo & Buffalo Brewing Co.
Superior Bathhouse Brewery & Distillery
Southwest Arkansas Bubba Brew’s Brewing Company Superior Bathhouse Brewery & Distillery Gravity BrewWorks www.RelocateToArkansas.com 63
Whitaker Point is one of the most photographed points of interest on Arkansas’s many scenic trails.
Wander The best trails to hike, bike and motor for epic views and awe-inspiring sights
here are countless trails in Arkansas, especially across the western half of the state, ranging from a few feet to a few hundred miles in length. Listing all the possible hiking, cycling, mountain biking and motorcycling trails would constitute its own publication, but here are a few of our favorites.
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Hiking NORTHWEST BENCH ROAD TRAIL Mount Nebo State Park 3.5 miles | Easy This trail is actually an old wagon road that circles just below the rim of the mountain.
> Detour: If you climb to the top of Mount Nebo, Mount Nebo Falls is located only 100 yards down the trail. LOST VALLEY TRAIL Lost Valley near Ponca 2 miles | Easy to Moderate This trail, which is one of the most popular trails near the Buffalo National River because of its breathtaking scenery, is home to caves, a natural bridge and 350-foot Eden Falls.
WHITAKER POINT Near Ponca 3 miles | Moderate Whitaker Point (also known as Hawksbill Crag) is a favorite among hikers. It’s known for being one of the “Best Places in Arkansas to Get Kissed,” the backdrop for the opening scene in the film “Tuck Everlasting,” and a prime location for engagements and photography.
HEMMED-IN-HOLLOW Buffalo National River 6 miles | Hard Find the waterfall via the Compton Trailhead. The falls is the tallest-known waterfall between the Rockies and Appalachians standing at 210 feet tall.
NORTH CENTRAL MIRROR LAKE TRAIL Near Mountain View 2 miles | Easy This trail explores the area outside Blanchard Springs Cavern. The water that flows out of the cavern eventually reaches the Civilian Conservation Corps-era dam and creates Mirror Lake. You will also see a CCC mill and beautiful cascade waterfall.
BRIDAL VEIL FALLS TRAIL Near Heber Springs 0.5 mile | Easy A scenic, simple trail with a beautiful waterfall pay off — a bucket list hike in Arkansas.
SUGAR LOAF MOUNTAIN TRAIL Heber Springs
1.5 miles | Moderate to Hard The fairly worn path gains elevation rather quickly. Once
you reach the base of the peak, some rock climbing is required in order to reach Sugar Loaf’s peak, but once on top, the peak plateaus affording you panoramic views of Sugar Loaf Mountain.
UPPER DELTA BUTTERFLIES & BLOOMS TRAIL Lake Charles State Park 0.3 mile | Easy The trail meanders through wildflowers and a wildlife habitat that changes each week through the season.
DANCING RABBIT TRAIL Crowley’s Ridge State Park 1.5 miles | Easy This trail leads hikers through a Native American campground with multiple bridges, including a swinging bridge, and explores the hills and valleys of Crowley’s Ridge.
GREAT BLUE HERON TRAIL Lake Poinsett State Park 1.1 miles | Easy This trail loop leads to beautiful views of Lake Poinsett. Be on the lookout for white-tailed deer, red fox, grey squirrel and wood ducks.
> Detour: This trail walks through different songbird and waterfowl habitats and is a great trail for bird watchers.
LOWER DELTA ARKANSAS POST NATIONAL MEMORIAL TRAIL SYSTEM Near Gillett 2 miles | Easy Behind the museum, two miles of trails guide hikers through the historic town surrounding the site and the Civil War trenches that still remain from the Battle of Arkansas Post in 1863.
DELTA VIEW TRAIL Cane Creek State Park 2.5 miles | Moderate Uniquely sitting between the Gulf Coastal Plain and the Delta, this trail provides the terrain of the plains’ rolling hills with the view of Cane Creek Lake in the Delta.
Ozark National Forest’s Sam’s Throne Trail in the winter (above) and Eden Falls, a 350-foot waterfall located along the Lost Valley Trail (right)
SOUTHWEST CADDO BEND TRAIL Near Mountain Pine 4 miles | Moderate This trail leads to views of wild flowers, large boulders, and quartz, as well as Lake Ouachita and a peninsula on the east side of the lake— offering another beautiful vantage point.
EAGLE ROCK LOOP Near Caddo Gap 25 miles | Hard This long trail is used yearround for hiking, camping, fishing, and backpacking. Because there are five trailheads, hiking smaller portions of this trail is also a really great option. One of the five trailheads provides a shorter hike to Little Missouri Falls.
CENTRAL SEVEN HOLLOWS Petit Jean State Park 4½ miles | Moderate This trail was called one of the best hiking trails in the state by photographer Tim Ernst, thanks in part to its verdant canopy of hardwood forest. The prime feature, however, is the grotto located halfway through the loop, which consists of a waterfall, water holding area and rock overhang.
PINNACLE MOUNTAIN– WEST SUMMIT TRAIL
Pinnacle Mountain State Park 1½ miles | Moderate to Hard The easier of the two trails to the peak of Pinnacle Mountain (featured on the cover of this magazine!) begins at the picnic grounds and winds up the top of the mountain on a relatively flat path until reaching the area near the top, which becomes more and more rocky.
> Detour: As you hike along the canyon on the south side of Petit Jean, you’ll encounter a natural stone arch, rock shelters and other signs of the Native Americans who used to inhabit the area.
Left: The Northwest Arkansas Razorback Greenway Above: The Sunken Lands Cultural Roadway Top, opposite page: The Arkansas River Trail (Big Dam Bridge in background)
NORTH CENTRAL MOUNTAIN BIKING SYLLAMO 50 miles | Mountain View
Mountain Biking & Road Cycling
Serious riders only. This fiveloop, 50-mile trail system has big rocks and river views on some routes through the St. Francis-Ozark National Forest. Singletrack throughout. BETH HALL
NORTHWEST MOUNTAIN BIKING SLAUGHTER PEN 20 miles | Bentonville This trail system may have an intimidating name, but there’s something for everyone. Beginner? Try the All-American and Seed Tick Shuffle trails. Expert? Go for Scott’s Alley and Medusa. Art lover? Ride past the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. In the fall, don’t miss the Slaughter Pen Jam, an annual race and festival.
UPPER BUFFALO An IMBA Epic ride! 40 miles | Ozark Forest Get ready for a wild ride. You’ll see and experience the Ozark 66
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
Forest in all its gritty glory on these routes. This area is remote; bring a friend on these steep climbs and great descents, as well as some provisions.
ROAD CYCLING RAZORBACK REGIONAL GREENWAY 36 miles | Fayetteville The greenway stretches from Bentonville to Fayetteville. Although it’s primarily offroad, that doesn’t mean you won’t see traffic. This trail connects six downtowns, three hospitals, more than 20 schools (including the University of Arkansas), historic sites and parks.
> Detour: Stop in nearby Mountain View, “The Folk Music Capital of the World.” OAK RIDGE 4 miles | Mountain Home Follow the blue blazers on the trail for a harder ride, or look for the green for an easier time. Take a ride through the forest at Oak Ridge and look for the creek crossings and long downhills. Don’t have a bike of your own? Rent one from the park’s Camper Registration Center.
UPPER DELTA MOUNTAIN BIKING ARKANSAS DELTA FLATLANDER ROUTE 62 miles | West Memphis Start this ride at the corner of East Broadway and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in
West Memphis. Follow the Mississippi River south, circle Horseshoe Lake and head back to the beginning. Some of this route overlaps the massive Mississippi River Trail.
ROAD CYCLING PARAGOULDPIGGOT LOOP 89.5 miles | Paragould Ride the hills of Crowley’s Ridge Parkway from Paragould to Piggott and back. Arkansas. com calls this route “one of the most beautiful bike routes in the USA.”
> Detour: While in Piggott, stop at the HemingwayPfeiffer museum, the home where Ernest Hemingway wrote portions of “A Farewell to Arms.”
LOWER DELTA MOUNTAIN BIKING CANE CREEK LAKE TRAIL 15 miles | Star City Ride 15 miles of trail system through forest, over hills and over rivers. Don’t worry, the rivers have bridges — more than 50, in fact. After riding, camp right on the trail in a hut.
Riders say that while the uphills aren’t easy, LOViT has the best downhills in Arkansas
More IMBA Epic Rides in the region: Ouachita NRT and The Womble Epic
ROAD CYCLING RICH MOUNTAIN RIDE 60 miles | Mena
ROAD CYCLING DELTA SHOTGUN RIDE 46 miles | McGehee Bikers will ride over mixed terrain with flat roads and stretches of gravel past small bayous and pastoral farmland. Leave time to stop for a bite to eat at Hoots BBQ and Steaks in McGehee.
SOUTHWEST MOUNTAIN BIKING LOVIT An IMBA Epic ride! 40 miles | Hot Springs For those who like the wilderness and the city, you’ll love the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (LOViT), which begins at the Little Blakey Dam and rides across five mountains.
Can’t get enough of the mountains? Ride up Rich Mountain and back down. Start on the Arkansas side in Mena, then cycle up the 14mile climb to the top of Rich Mountain. You’ll come down into Oklahoma.
CENTRAL MOUNTAIN BIKING ENDER’S FAULT 9 miles | Greenbrier Ender’s Fault is located in Woolly Hollow State Park in Greenbrier and was designed for mountain bikers. It has two
sections: the north side and the south. Hang a left to go on the North Loop for tight turns and quick climbs. Turn right for the South Loop, which will give you a bit of a climb before you roll on to easier hills and a view of Lake Bennett.
ROAD CYCLING ARKANSAS RIVER TRAIL 17-88 miles | Little Rock The Arkansas River Trail provides a leisurely ride through the very center of the state. Ride along the river and past several museums, bridges and landmarks, including the Clinton Presidential Library and the Big Dam Bridge.
> Detour: Ride to Pinnacle Mountain State Park, where this trail connects to the 223-mile Ouachita Wilderness Trail.
Come See What's New In
Siloam Springs Whether you are hitting the trails, splashing in rapids, or grabbing a bite after all the excitement, Siloam Springs has it all! Sager Creek Mountain Bike Trail is located on the campus of John Brown University and runs along Sager Creek. The trail includes 5 miles of soft-surface trail designed for varying skill levels. Improvements are planned for City Lake Park including 5 miles of dirt trails, a wooden truss bridge, birder blind, bike skills course, fishing dock and disc golf course. Construction is currently underway and trails are set to be completed in 2017. Visit the Siloam Springs Kayak Park, recently named a "Top 4 Must Visit Destination for Water Sport Families." The park is located about 4 miles south of Siloam Springs, off of Hwy 59.
siloamchamber.com While you're in town, visit our one-stop bike shop, Dogwood Junction!
Siloam Springs Kayak Park www.RelocateToArkansas.com 67
Beaver Bridge, also called the “Little Golden Gate Bridge” by locals, is a onelane suspension bridge over table rock lake that is perfect for an afternoon ride (pictured left). Mount Nebo’s scenic byways also make for excellent motorcycle adventures (pictured right).
NORTHWEST TO SOUTHWEST
NORTH CENTRAL GROWL & LASSO RIDE 128 miles | 3 hours
ARKANSAS SCENIC 7 BYWAY 296 miles | 6 ¾ hours Most motorcyclists will agree that the Arkansas Scenic 7 Byway is pretty special. In fact, it has become a nationally recognized riding treasure. The Scenic 7 covers two mountain ranges—the Ozarks and the Ouachitas—and runs through the Arkansas River Valley and the dense pine woodlands of the Arkansas Timberlands to Louisiana. The tour includes snaky curves, steep hills and flat sections, making it a varied and fun route.
Motorcycling NORTHWEST PIG TRAIL SCENIC BYWAY / SIDE TO OARK 98 miles | 2 ¼ hours While the entire length of AR Hwy 23 is typically referred to as the “Pig Trail,” it’s actually just the 24 miles from I-40 to Brashears, located at the junction of AR Hwy 16. The
The monikers of these rides are the “Bear Creek Growl” and the “Leslie Lasso,” both of which are short and characterized by beautiful scenery and sweeping curves through the heart of the Ozarks. Begin the serpentine ride in downtown Marshall, and pass lovely farms, thick stands of timber, and a community named Snowball.
Pig Trail was named No. 1 on USA Today’s list of the 10 best motorcycle routes in the country and No. 2 in North America. The byway is synonymous with winding pavement and gorgeous scenery, often through deep tunnels of overhanging trees.
UPPER DELTA DELTA MUSIC RIDE 281 miles | 5 ½ hours
Arkansas’s Delta has contributed its share of innovators in two genres of popular music – blues and rockabilly. Along this
“Y” City Pine Ridge
Ouachita National Forest
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El Dorado Junction City
Helena-West Helena Elaine
e se es Te
St. Francis National Forest
DeValls Bluff Clarendon
West Marion Memphis
Hot Springs Village
North Little Rock
Osceola Trumann Weiner
Leslie Mountain View
Ozark National Forest
Alma Van Buren
Norfork Calico Rock
Bentonville Siloam Springs
Learn More! The Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism publishes a variety of helpful guides full of information about the state. The free publications listed below can be obtained by calling Parks & Tourism at 800-NATURAL or Arkansas State Parks at 888-AT-PARKS. Helpful websites include Arkansas. com, ArkansasStateParks.com and ArkansasGolfTrail.com.
memorable motorcycle ride, uncover musical history about King Biscuit, Johnny Cash and The Beatles.
> Detour: Stop at Parkin Archeological State Park, where you can explore a preserved Native American village that existed from AD 1000 to 1550. Archeologists recently discovered the possible remains of a Christian cross erected here in 1541 by Hernando de Soto.
LOWER DELTA BAYOU BARTHOLOMEW / ROHWER MEMORIAL LOOP 113 miles | 2 ¼ hours The longest bayou in the United States located right here in The Natural State, begins in Star City and loops through the Delta. The route is divided into two distinct geographical regions: the flat Mississippi River agricultural land and dense Timberlands.
NOTABLE RALLIES & EVENTS Wild Hog Motorcycle Rally & Music Fest, Helena-West Helena (April) Mountains, Music and Motorcycles, Mountain View (August) Hot Springs Motorcycle Rally (September) Bikes, Blues & BBQ, Fayetteville (September) Visit Arkansas.com/Motorcycling for details on more great rides and rallies, or to request a copy of the state’s motorcycling guidebook.
SOUTHWEST TALIMENA NATIONAL SCENIC BYWAY 136 miles | 3 hours While this gorgeous ribbon of roadway is pretty spectacular any time of the year, it is known for its vibrant foliage in autumn. Starting in Mena on AR Hwy 88, the curvy road passes Queen Wilhelmina State Park and at the Oklahoma line becomes OK Hwy 1 and comes back through Arkansas at Waldron.
CENTRAL PINNACLE MOUNTAIN / GREERS FERRY LOOP 225 miles | 5 hours This beautiful ride gets started at Pinnacle Mountain State Park and extends to Greers Ferry Lake before circling back to central Arkansas. After crossing the Arkansas River near Morrilton, riders begin their ascent into the Ozarks via a smooth course to the Greers Ferry Lake area. Looping around the lake to Heber Springs, US Hwy 67 leads riders back to Little Rock.
Arkansas Calendar of Events lists festivals, fairs, concerts and other special events. Arkansas State Parks Guide includes fees and amenities for all state parks. Arkansas Travel Guide lists attractions divided into six regions, along with information on history and heritage, golf, family fun, free things to do, what’s new and arts & entertainment. Arkansas Adventure Guide includes detailed ﬂoating information and a list of outﬁtters for 18 major rivers and streams; all federal, state, private and municipal campgrounds; backcountry driving routes; and in-depth information on state and federal hiking trails, plus multi-use trails. Arkansas State Highway Map includes an oﬃcial highway map of the entire state, plus individual highway maps for 20 of Arkansas’s largest cities. For information about other activities, here are some good places to start:
Arkansas Game & Fish Commission 501-223-6300 www.AGFC.com Arkansas State Golf Association 501-455-2742 www.ASGA.org Arkansas Tennis Association 501-227-7611 www.ArkTennis.com www.RelocateToArkansas.com 69
A Place to Call Home
Great Places to Relocate or Retire in Arkansas
t’s no question that Arkansas is among the best places in the country to call home. The natural beauty, the lower cost of living and the world-class health care are lures enough, but Arkansas’s friendly people, Southern cuisine, engaging cultural scene and never-ending list of adventures are what truly charm potential new residents. And while selecting Arkansas as your new home state isn’t hard, choosing between its incredible cities and towns is. From slow-paced small towns and bustling resort communities to metropolitan settings and everything in between — how do you choose? Easy. Flip through the following section, within which we’ve spotlighted extraordinary communities from different regions, each with distinct personalities and amenities you’ll love. When you’ve chosen, visit Arkansas.com/Cities-And-Towns to learn more about your new hometown. SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL SECTION
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Bella Vista People Population: 28,288 Median Age: 50.8 Median Household Income:
Homes Average Home Price:
Cost of Living: 5% lower than the national average
Newsworthy “Top 10 Best Healthy Places to Retire” U.S. News & World Report “Top 25 Best Places for Affordable Homes” CNNMoney.com/Money Magazine
Learn More Bella Vista Property Owners Association firstname.lastname@example.org 479-855-5048 BellaVistaPOA.com
Amenities for an active life of any age or pace
estled into the Ozark Mountains, Bella Vista provides scenic, affordable living catered to active lifestyles at any pace. U.S. News & World Report ranked Bella Vista one of America’s “Top 10 Best Healthy Places to Retire,” and it’s easy to see why. The community boasts seven golf courses, seven stocked lakes, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, walking, nature and biking trails, a gun range, recreation centers, an RV park, playgrounds, miniature golf, racquetball, basketball and boating, as well as several parks, pavilions and clubhouses. Two-legged members and guests aren’t the only ones enjoying the amenities, thanks to the Loch Lomond Dog Park, opened in 2010, and a general pet-friendliness throughout the community. The social calendar is equally robust: The Bella Vista Property Owners Association hosts several community-wide celebrations throughout the year. Many events feature live entertainment and food trucks, lending a festive and tasty accompaniment to the goings-on. Add to these the many opportunities to get involved in civic and volunteer activities in Bella Vista, and there’s always something to see and do. There are a variety of churches, an outstanding public library and close proximity to renowned institutions of higher education.
Offering such wide-ranging amenities has earned Bella Vista the misnomer of being prohibitively expensive, but nothing could be further from fact. CNNMoney.com and Money Magazine have ranked the city one of the “Top 25 Best Places for Affordable Homes.” Property owners dues are less than $300 annually, and the overall cost of living is five percent under the national average. Those who think of Bella Vista as strictly a retirement community are also in for a big surprise. The median age of the city has been dropping steadily and today is just over 50, while the fastest growing category of residents is young professionals. Many of these residents work nearby in the bustling commercial corridors of Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale—all within a 20-minute radius— home to several of the world’s largest companies, such as Walmart and Tyson Foods. Another major area employer, Mercy Health, also provides caring, top-quality medical services to Bella Vista residents. Mercy Clinic Primary Care–Lancashire is a fixture in town, and Mercy opened the first freestanding emergency department in the region, Mercy Bella Vista at One Mercy Way. The $2.6 million investment is just the beginning of Mercy’s strategic plan to increase access to health care across the community.
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Conway People Population: 64,000 Median Age: 26 Average Household Income:
Homes Average Home Price:
Newsworthy No. 2 of “25 Most Giving Cities in the U.S.” Travelocity Kiplinger No. 19 for “Where are the Jobs?” CNNMoney.com/Money Magazine
“Fastest-Growing City in Arkansas” The Washington Post No. 3 of “Most Affordable College Towns” The Simple Dollar No. 51 of “Best Small Cities for Working Parents” NerdWallet No. 7 of “South’s Best College Towns” Southern Living. College Values Online
ConwayArkansas.org GetSmart@ conwayarkansas.org 501-327-7788
Economic development, higher education have Conway booming.
onway is a community that thinks big while retaining its small-town friendliness and charm. This central Arkansas city takes a back seat to no one when it comes to amenities and quality of life, and its rate of growth and ongoing economic development have set the bar for similarly sized Arkansas communities. The city is in the midst of a “construction boom” on the commercial, residential, and civil fronts. The “Lewis Crossing” shopping development opened in late 2016 and includes more than 400,000 square feet of nationally known retail and restaurant brands. Residential building permits were up 48% in 2016 and overall real estate sales were up 3%. Finally, more than $40 million in local transportation projects will open in the third quarter of 2017 as three projects including an interstate exit, overpass and highway make Conway a more convenient place to live, work, or visit. Conway is referred to as the “City of Colleges” and with good reason: Three of the state’s finest institutions are here including the University of Central Arkansas, Hendrix College and Central Baptist College. The three campuses provide an array of entertainment, sports, guest lecturers and culture for the general citizenry. A prime example, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, takes over the city in June hosting thousands who attend the performances. Conway’s primary and secondary schools are also second to none. Be it public (Conway Public Schools, 9,700 students) or private (St. Joseph Parochial Schools, 500 students; Conway Christian School, 455 students), the quality of education is one
primary driver of growth among young families. When class isn’t in session, many families take to the great outdoors. Lake Conway, the largest man-made game and fish commission lake in the U.S., hosts competitive sport fishing tournaments and has a full complement of Arkansas sport fish. Lake Beaverfork, a city-owned recreational lake and park, accommodates skiing, boating, fishing and swimming, disc golf and pavilions. Conway boasts 17 other parks and is one of four Arkansas communities dubbed a “Bicycle-Friendly City,” thanks to the Tucker Creek Trail offering pedestrians and cyclists dedicated trail and park space. In 2017, the city partnered with Zagster to offer the state’s first bike sharing program. The full roster of community events and festivals is long, headlined by Toad Suck Daze in May. The largest free festival in Arkansas, Toad Suck Daze welcomes more than 150,000 people to the city’s historic and charming downtown for activities including free concerts, World Champion Toad Racing and a 5K/10K road race, to name a few. Increasing local health care options are another success story: Conway Regional Health System is a full service, 154bed hospital with 1,400 employees and 125 physicians. In 2014 it was awarded the Governor’s Award for Quality, thanks in part to more than $60 million invested in new technology and services over the past decade. In fall of 2016 Baptist Health opened a 111-bed, full-service hospital, employing 450. And in 2017, Acadia Health will open a new, 80-bed behavioral health hospital, employing 150.
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LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018 2017
oes living on an Ozark Mountain Lake sound like your idea of the good life? Visit Fairfield Bay—a natural People People playground situated on the beautiful 40,000-acre Greers Population: 2,338 Ferry Lake. An outdoor-lover’s paradise, Fairfield Bay offers Population: 2,338 Median Age: 64 residents and visitors all the amenities of a resort nestled into Median Age: 64 Average Household Income: the natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains. Median Income: $33,339 $33,339 Fairfield Bay is one of the region’s premier family recreation Homes Homes destinations offering swimming, sailing, camping, hiking or Average Home Value Range: just watching the sun set over the clean, clear water. Fishing on Average Home Value Range: $75,000-$95,000 $75,000-$95,000 Greers Ferry Lake is superb throughout the year as every game Cost of Living: 44% lower Cost of Living: fish native to the state has been stocked by the Arkansas Game than otherthan Arkansas 4.4% lower other cities & Fish Commission. 13% lower Arkansas citiesthan the national For true outdoor enthusiasts, nothing quite compares to average 13% lower than national hiking Sugar Loaf Mountain via the Terrace Trail and walking average Learn More across the top on the Mule Trail. Getting to Sugar Loaf is part Fairfield Bay Conference of the adventure—the 300-million-year-old-mountain is the Learn More and Visitor Center only island mountain in Arkansas, accessible only by a scenic Fairfield Bay Conference 501-884-4202 cruise on the Sugar Loaf Shuttle or by renting a kayak and andVisitFairfieldBay.com Visitor Center paddling the 1.5 miles of open water. No matter how you get 501-884-4202 *Paid for with a combination of state there, the view from the top is always a breathtaking reward! *Paid for with a combination of state VisitFairfieldBay.com and Greers Ferry Lake/Little Red River and Greers Ferry Lake/Little Red River Other popular pastimes include exploring the boulders Association funds. visitgreersferrylake.org for visitgreersferrylake.org for *PaidAssociation for with a funds. combination of state ourfree free area guide. Red River area guide. and our Greers Ferry Lake/Little and history of the caves at Indian Rock. Nearby, find Ozark Association funds. visitgreersferrylake.org for National Forest, the Little Red River and Blanchard Springs our free area guide. Caverns. Some of the states most unique festivals happen right here, including: Bloomin’ Blues and BBQ (May); BayFest (May); Surf the Bay (June); Paddle Battle and BoatiGras
A Family Recreation Destination, Where Friends and Family Meet, Play, and Live the Good Life.
(September); Oktoberfest/Storyfest (October); and Festival of Trees (December). There’s never a shortage of things to do. Fairfield Bay offers two 18-hole championship golf courses, a USTA certified Tennis Center with eight championship courts, miles of trails to explore and plenty of parks and gardens to play and relax. This vibrant community buzzes with local goings-on, restaurants, area live theatre, outdoor music and countless community attractions. Fairfield Bay also boasts a thriving business community and a range of services to meet residents’ needs. The Hart Fitness Center, located in the center of town, offers a wide range of weight and exercise equipment, Olympic size swimming pool, indoor track, pickleball and basketball courts, hot-tub and sauna onsite. And learning never ends, with classes, seminars and events at the Community Education Center on subjects like painting, music lessons, technical courses, and historical lectures that highlight the rich history of Fairfield Bay. The list of Fairfield Bay’s attractions landed it the prestigious Henry Award from the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, one of a long list of accolades from various ranking entities that also includes City of Distinction for Quality of Life and Green Initiatives. So if you’re looking to live the active life where breathtaking lake and mountain views come standard, Fairfield Bay is the place to call home.
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Hot Springs Village People Population: 14,000 Median Age: 68 Median Household Income: $54,236
Homes Average Home Price: $177,100 Cost of Living: 2.7% lower than the U.S. average.
Newsworthy Voted Best Lake Community by Ideal Living
Learn More Hot Springs Village Village Homes & Land 501-922-5560 ExploreTheVillage.com
ucked into a wooded 26,000-acre stretch lies one of the best kept secrets in Arkansas — Hot Springs Village. Originally created as a planned retirement community featuring premium golf, a slower pace and peace and quiet, the Village has retained all of that as well as updated with the times. If you think you know what Hot Springs Village is all about and you haven’t been there recently, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. The updated master plan for Hot Springs Village takes advantage of the community’s incredible scale, which is roughly the size of San Francisco, layering in new cultural experiences, expanded opportunities for recreation, retail and restaurants, and new homes and home types throughout the community. While the median age of residents is 68, that number has dropped appreciably in recent years as more families have discovered the natural beauty and many amenities Hot Springs Village offers. The convenient and well-maintained highway system leads to Interstate 30, which whisks commuters the short 45-minute drive to Little Rock or 20 minutes to Hot Springs. The community’s 700 resident students are aptly served by high quality area school systems including Jessieville, Fountain Lake and the prestigious Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences & the Arts in Hot Springs
Living in the Village is all about natural beauty and an active, outdoor lifestyle. Of the community’s many recreational offerings, golf is the headliner. Nine championship-quality courses can be found here, some of which are considered among the best in Arkansas. Equally appealing are the community’s 12 lakes, which provide endless recreational opportunities from boating and fishing to kayaking and swimming. The lakes are surrounded by the breathtaking natural beauty of the Ouachita Mountains, which can be enjoyed up close along the Village’s 30 miles of nature trails or simply taken in with a morning coffee from one’s back porch. Hot Springs Village is made for relaxing and slowing down, but not for lack of things to do. Browse the weekly Green Market farmer’s market from May through October or catch a performance during the outdoor Rock Porch Sessions concert series. The July Fourth Stars & Stripes Festival is a particular highlight, as are the spring and fall festivals in Grove Park featuring artisans, street food, games and activities for adults and children alike. At just 14,000 residents, Hot Springs Village offers the friendliness and slower pace of a small town while still being close to major attractions including Hot Springs’ historic district, Oaklawn racetrack and Magic Springs amusement park.
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LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
Live Where You Play
Little Rock People Population: 198, 541 Median Age: 36 Median Income: $46,409
Homes Average Home Price:
Livability Cost of Living Index: 89 100=U.S. Average
Median Travel Time to Work:
Value Quality of Life: 129 100=U.S. Average
Learn More LittleRock.org facebook.com/CityLittleRock Twitter: @CityLittleRock 501-371-4510
“... a terrific place to live and a destination for a memorable, affordable getaway.”
iterally at the center of everything in Arkansas, Little Rock is both a terrific place to live and a destination for a memorable, affordable getaway. In the city’s thriving downtown area, you’ll find high-rise condominiums alongside attractions like the Clinton Presidential Library, the eco-friendly Heifer International headquarters and the peaceful Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden in Riverfront Park. Hugging the southern bank of the Arkansas River, the vibrant River Market District is full of things to do and served by charming trolleys. Little Rock is home to many malls and one-of-a-kind boutiques, not to mention the state’s exclusive retail outlets of names like Apple. Food lovers enjoy both worldly cuisine and down-home cooking, and when it comes to arts and entertainment, Little Rock has it all — from Broadway-style plays and musicals at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and the Arkansas Arts Center. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy 6,000 acres of city parks. The 34-mile-long Arkansas River Trail, the Big Dam Bridge – the longest pedestrian/bicycle-intended bridge in the world! – and the Bill Clark Wetlands are all popular recreation destinations. Top-notch medical facilities include the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, St. Vincent Health System, Baptist Health and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Higher ed opportunities abound at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the Clinton School of Public Service, Pulaski Technical College and more. All of these opportunities are available in an energetic, manageable city with affordable housing and few traffic snarls.
Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy 6,000 acres of city parks. The 34-mile-long Arkansas River Trail, the Big Dam Bridge – the longest pedestrian/ bicycle-intended bridge in the world! – and the Bill Clark Wetlands are all popular recreation destinations.
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Monticello People Population: 10,237 Median Age: 37.5 Median Household Income:
Homes Average Home Price:
Cost of Living: 22.40% lower than the U.S. average.
Learn More www.MonticelloEDC.org Nita McDaniel: 870-367-3076 Director@MonticelloEDC.org
Indoors or out, Monticello features the best of all worlds
hether it’s the pursuit of learning or of a trophy buck or fish, Monticello is the place to call home. Located in the southeast portion of the state, Monticello boasts small-town living with amenities typically found only in much larger communities. At just over 10,000 permanent residents, Monticello runs at a slower pace, making it an ideal retirement destination. Throw in a vibrant college campus, a median age of 37.5 and median property values over $100,000, and it’s easy to see why Monticello is also a popular community to raise a family. In many ways, the University of Arkansas at Monticello is the hub for life in this community. The university is a major employer, attracts student spending to community businesses and provides many of the athletic and social attractions enjoyed by residents here. Other major employers include manufacturing and healthcare companies, including Drew Memorial Hospital, a nonprofit, 49-bed, community-owned acute care facility. The hospital, which serves a regional population of over 200,000, is currently upgrading its facilities with the addition of new surgery and obstetrics wings. Monticello earned “City of Distinction” status for its quality of life according to Arkansas Business in 2014 and 2016, thanks in large measure to its cost of living (22.4 percent lower than the U.S. average) and its many community events. Major annual happenings include the Drew County Fair, Rockin’ L Ranch Chuck Wagon Races & Rodeo, Historic Highway 35 Junk Hunt, Market in the Park Farmers Market and Fall Fest on the town square. The community has also invested heavily in recreational facilities, which are home to the Babe Ruth 13-year-old World Series League Championship as well as a range of local athletic leagues including youth baseball, soccer, swim team, youth and adult softball and golf. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy hunting, fishing, boating, water skiing or just taking in the beauty of Lake Monticello, a 1,500acre lake with surrounding parks and the recently-opened Allen Maxwell Nature Trail. Cultural and historic facilities include the community’s Historic District featuring a tour of historic homes, the state-of-the-art Monticello Regional Library, Seark Concert Association, Malco movie theater and a community musical theatre. special promotional section
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
At just over 10,000 permanent residents, Monticello runs at a slower pace, making it an ideal retirement destination.
Mountain View People Population: 2,839 Median Age: 47
Homes Median List Price: $130,000
Livability Cost of Living Index: 85 Median Travel Time to Work: 18 minutes National Average is 24.3
Quality of Life: 166 100=U.S. Average
YourPlaceInTheMountains.com 870-269-8068 | 888-679-2859 *This ad is paid for with a combination of State and Ozark Gateway Regional Funds
If you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere amid gorgeous scenery, it’s a wonderful retirement option.
ich in history and culture, Mountain View in northern Arkansas offers the sights, sounds, tastes and experiences of the Ozark Mountains. If you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere amid gorgeous scenery, it’s a wonderful retirement option and an excellent vacation choice. Thanks to the tourism-based economy, the town – known as the Folk Music Capital of the World – is home to a number of bed and breakfast inns, cabins, hotels and restaurants. The town caters to visitors of the Ozark Folk Center State Park, Blanchard Springs Caverns, and the White River with its world-famous trout. Travelers as well as residents enjoy hiking, camping, biking and motorcycling in the Ozark National Forest. High-quality, one-of-a-kind handmade products are available at the Arkansas Craft Guild gallery and other local shops. Events, including the Arkansas Folk Festival, the Arkansas Bean Fest & Outhouse Races and the Mountain View Bluegrass Festival, offer samples of the culture of the Ozarks. The courthouse square is a popular gathering place for people to both play and listen to music. The mild weather and changing seasons make it appealing for almost year-round jam sessions. The Arkansas State Fiddle Championships are held at the Ozark Folk Center, which offers workshops on the banjo, dulcimer and various crafts. The Arkansas Crafts School has courses for aspiring and practicing craft artisans. Stone County Medical Center’s new Critical Access facility, featuring private rooms, a 24/7 emergency department and a state-of-the-art surgery center, is ranked in the top 98th percentile in patient satisfaction by Press Ganey. Known for its dedication to preserving the music, crafts, and heritage of the past, friendly, affordable Mountain View also holds a bright future for anyone seeking “Your Place in the Mountains.”
Events, including the Arkansas Folk Festival, the Arkansas Bean Fest & Outhouse Races and the Mountain View Bluegrass Festival, offer samples of the culture of the Ozarks.
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ARKANSAS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
ST. BERNARDS HEALTHCARE
MERCY NORTHWEST ARKANSAS
BAPTIST HEALTH MEDICAL CENTERARKADELPHIA
NORTHWEST Johnson Regional Medical Center Clarksville, www.JRMC.com Mercy Hospital Fort Smith Fort Smith, www.Mercy.net/FortSmithAR
LOWER DELTA Helena-West Helena Regional Medical Center
Northwest Medical Center-Bentonville Bentonville, www.NorthwestHealth.com
Helena-West Helena, www.HelenaRMC.com
Northwest Medical Center-Springdale Springdale, www.NorthwestHealth.com
To learn more about the state’s renowned hospitals, visit ArkHospitals.org.
Washington Regional Medical System Fayetteville, www.WRegional.com
Sparks Medical Center-Van Buren Van Buren, www.SparksVanBuren.com Sparks Regional Medical Center Fort Smith, www.SparksHealth.com St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center Russellville, www.SaintMarysRegional.com
Willow Creek Women’s Hospital Johnson, www.NorthwestHealth.com NORTH CENTRAL
Jefferson Regional Medical Center Pine Bluff, www.JRMC.org SOUTHWEST Baptist Health Medical CenterArkadelphia Arkadelphia, www.Baptist-Health.com CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs Hot Springs, www.CHIStVincent.com Medical Center of South Arkansas El Dorado, www.TheMedCenter.net Mena Regional Health System Mena, www.MenaRegional.com National Park Medical Center Hot Springs, www.NationalParkMedical.com
Baxter Regional Medical Center Mountain Home, www.BaxterRegional.org
Ouachita County Medical Center Camden, www.OuachitaMedCenter.com
White River Health System Batesville, www.WhiteRiverHealthSystem.com
Wadley Regional Medical Center Texarkana, www.WadleyHealth.com
UPPER DELTA Arkansas Methodist Medical Center Paragould, www.MyAMMC.org LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
St. Bernards Healthcare Jonesboro, www.StBernards.info
Mercy Northwest Arkansas Rogers, www.Mercy.net/NWA
Arkansas boasts nationally recognized doctors and healthcare facilities, with several large providers and the state’s teaching and research institute located in Little Rock. If you’re considering retiring or relocating to Arkansas, rest assured that your long-term health will be in good hands.
Great River Medical Center Blytheville, www.MCHSys.org
CENTRAL Arkansas Children’s Hospital Little Rock, www.ARChildrens.org
here for a better state of health
CHI ST. VINCENT HOT SPRINGS
Arkansas Heart Hospital Little Rock, www.ARHeart.com Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway Conway, www.Baptist-Health.com Baptist Health Medical Center -Little Rock Little Rock, www.Baptist-Health.com Baptist Health Medical Center -North Little Rock North Little Rock, www.Baptist-Health.com Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute Inc. Little Rock, www.CARTI.com Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System Little Rock, www.LittleRock.VA.gov CHI St. Vincent Little Rock, www.CHIStVincent.com CHI St. Vincent Morrilton Morrilton, www.CHIStVincent.com Conway Regional Medical Center Conway, www.ConwayRegional.org
From cancer to neurosurgery, family care to geriatrics, and everything in between, UAMS continually strives to deliver excellent care for you and your family. Thanks to our world-class research, patients from all over the globe travel to UAMS for treatment. That means you have access to the best care, close to home. With a staff of the best and brightest, personalized medicine, convenient access to clinics and the stateâ€™s only Adult Level 1 Trauma Center, you can feel confident that we are here for a better state of health.
To find a doctor, visit UAMShealth.com or call 501.686.8000.
Saline Memorial Hospital Benton, www.SalineMemorial.org Unity Health Searcy, www.Unity-Health.org University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock, www.UAMShealth.com
RELOCATION RESOURCES ATTRACTIONS / RESORTS The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa (800) 643-1502 www.ArlingtonHotel.com SEE AD ON PAGE 49 Iron Mountain Lodge & Marina (870) 246-4310 www.Iron-Mountain.com SEE AD ON PAGE 5 Mountain Harbor Resort & Spa (870) 867-2191 www.MountainHarborResort.com SEE AD ON PAGE 5 Self Creek Lodge & Marina (870) 398-5000 www.SelfCreek.com SEE AD ON PAGE 5 Tri-Pennant Family of Arkansas Lake Resorts www.TriPennantResorts.com SEE AD ON PAGE 5 CITIES
City of Sherwood (501) 835-5319 / (501) 835-6893 www.CityofSherwood.net SEE AD ON PAGE 53 Conway Convention & Visitors Bureau (501) 327-7788 www.ConwayArkansas.org SEE AD ON PAGE 72 Eureka Springs CAPC (479) 253-7333 www.EurekaSprings.org SEE AD ON PAGE 27 Fairﬁeld Bay (501) 884-4202 www.VisitFairfieldBay.com SEE AD ON PAGE 73 Hardy Advertising & Promotion Commission (870) 847-4604 www.VisitHardyArkansas.com SEE AD ON PAGE 33 Hot Springs Village (501) 922-5560 www.ExploreTheVillage.com SEE AD ON PAGE 3 & 74
Bella Vista Property Owners Association (479) 855-5048 www.BellaVistaPOA.com SEE AD ON PAGE 71
Mammoth Spring Chamber of Commerce (870) 625-3235 www.MammothSpringChamber.org SEE AD ON PAGE 33
Cabot Chamber of Commerce (501) 843-2136 www.CabotCC.org SEE AD ON PAGE 4
Monticello Economic Development Commission (870) 367-3076 www.MonticelloEDC.org SEE AD ON PAGE 76
Cherokee Village A&P Commission (870) 257-5522 www.CherokeeVillage.org www.DiscoverCherokeeVillage.com SEE AD ON PAGE 33
Mountain View Chamber of Commerce (870) 269-8068 www.YourPlaceInTheMountains.com SEE AD ON PAGE 77
City of Clarksville (479) 754-6486 www.ClarksvilleAR.gov SEE AD ON PAGE 8 City of Little Rock (501) 371-4510 www.LittleRock.org SEE AD ON PAGE 75
Pine Bluff Convention & Visitors Bureau (870) 536-7600 www.PineBluffCVB.org SEE AD ON PAGE 43 Russellville Tourism & Visitors Center (479) 967-1762 www.DiscoverRussellville.org SEE AD ON PAGE 83
Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce (501) 268-2458 www.SearcyChamber.com SEE AD ON PAGE 84 Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce (479) 524-6466 www.SiloamChamber.com SEE AD ON PAGE 67 COMMUNITIES Butterﬁeld Trail Village (479) 695-8012 www.ButterfieldTrailVillage.org SEE AD ON PAGE 28 Concordia Retirement Community (479) 855-3714 www.ConcordiaRetirement.com SEE AD ON PAGE 26 The Cottages of Good Shepherd (501) 224-7200 www.GoodShepherdCommunity.com SEE AD ON PAGE 34 Good Shepherd Community (501) 224-7200 www.GoodShepherdCommunity.com SEE AD ON PAGE 34 HEALTH CARE UAMS (501) 686-8000 www.UAMSHealth.com SEE AD ON PAGE 79 INFORMATION Arkansas Parks & Tourism (800) 872-1259 www.Arkansas.com SEE AD ON PAGE 29 & 39
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
Gilbert Realty (800) 562-7893 www.GilbertRealty.com SEE AD ON PAGE 35 RE/MAX Hot Springs Village (501) 922-3777 www.HotSpringsVillageHouses.com SEE AD ON PAGE 47 Village Homes & Land in Hot Springs Village (501) 922-5560 www.ExploreTheVillage.com SEE AD ON PAGE 3 & 74 REGIONS Arkansas Land of Legends (870) 536-8742 www.ARLandofLegends.com SEE AD ON PAGE 43 Arkansas River Valley TriPeaks Tourism Association (501) 354-9743 www.ARVTriPeaks.com SEE AD ON PAGE 13 Discover Spring River (800) 264-0316 www.DiscoverSpringRiver.com SEE AD ON PAGE 33 Greers Ferry Lake & Little Red River Tourism Association (501) 745-6101 www.VisitGreersFerryLake.com SEE AD ON PAGE 2 Ozark Gateway Tourist Council (870) 793-9316 www.OzarkGateway.com SEE AD ON PAGE 7
ORGANIZATIONS Heifer Foundation (855) 343-4337 www.Heifer.org SEE AD ON PAGE 11
Central Northwest North Central
Upper Delta Lower Delta Southwest
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ARKANSAS making headlines BEST PLACES FOR BUSINESS & CAREERS NATIONWIDE (Large cities list):
No. 23 - Fayetteville No. 71 - Little Rock No. 179 - Fort Smith Source: Forbes.com
If you earn $50,000 yearly in Little Rock, you will need to earn a yearly salary of …
$56,691 in Denver $60,270 in Chicago
$71,680 in Seattle $72,147 in L.A.
$75,674 in D.C. $117,116 in Manhattan
… to enjoy the same lifestyle. Figures gathered from Money.CNN.com, which used data provided by researchers at C2ER. The data was generated from an average of the past four quarters ending December 2016.
Fayetteville was recognized as No. 40 of the “50 BEST COLLEGE TOWNS IN AMERICA”
by Best College Reviews.
Afar magazine named Fort Smith number 7 of the most surprising cities in the world with amazing street art. Source: Afar magazine
TOP 25 Hot Springs National Park was the 15th most-visited national park in the U.S. in 2015, according to USA Today. (This means that Hot Springs National Park is more visited than the Everglades!)
JONESBORO ranked No. 17 on the “Best-Performing Small Cities” list compiled by Best Performing Cities. Fayetteville-SpringdaleRogers came in at No. 24 on the “Best-Performing Large Cities” list.
The Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway metropolitan area was named one of the 10 “Best Cities To Find A Job” in 2016 by ZipRecruiter.
Realtor.com named Little Rock the 8th cleanest city to live in the U.S. based on air and water quality. (February 21, 2017)
was named one of Food & Wine’s Best BBQ Cities.
U-Haul named Arkansas the number 10 U.S. Growth State for 2016. (January 22, 2017)
Southern Living named Little Rockbased distillery Rock Town one of “The South’s Best Distilleries.”
Forbes named Little Rock one of “15 Best Cities for Young Adults.” Source: Forbes.com VacationIdea named the Little Rock’s
Main Street Food Truck Festival one of the “Best Food Truck Festivals in the United States.”
Fayetteville was named the “Best Affordable Place to Live in the U.S.” Little Rock was named No. 4. Source: USNews.com
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
Bentonville was named one of the top five “Newest Hipster Neighborhoods Across the U.S.” by Yahoo.com.
The Arkansas River Trail was named No. 3 of “10 Great American Cycling Adventures” by AirfareWatchdog.
The Natural Choice in the Natural State.
RUSSELLVILLE TOURISM & VISITORS CENTER
479-967-1762 | www.discoverrussellville.org Paid for with a combination of state funds and private regional association funds.
Award-winning public and private schools including Harding University, a private Christian liberal arts university. World-class health care services provided by Unity Health, a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, with over 2,000 associates. Year-round events, activities and festivals including The Living Nativity, Get Down Downtown Music Festival, historical Pioneer Village and the Holiday of Lights festivities. Outdoor fun on the Little Red River, Greers Ferry Lake or the local wildlife refuge. An affordable and safe place to live and work. Come see what unexpected surprises await you in Searcy!
www.searcychamber.com 501-268-2458 email@example.com 84
LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2018
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