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living EDITION 17 • 2017

IN ARKANSAS

TM

RelocateToArkansas.com

63

things every Arkansan should do at least once

“WHY I MOVED HERE”

cool locals tell all

happy trails

Hundreds of miles (and growing) of adventure and excitement await you in The Natural State the Likecoln n i L Loop e Lak g. 52 p www.RelocateToArkansas.com 1


Hike It • Bike It • Run It • Catch It • Swim It • Paddle It • Float It

GO SEE

Arkansas’ Adventure R egion

Greers Ferry Lake, Little Red River & Surrounding Areas

Some people dream about it. We explore it. Hike it. Bike it. Run it. Sun it. Catch it. See it. Do it, and have kick back and relax kind of days. Want to get up close and personal with nature? Come play with us.

GoSeeDoAR.org Paid for with a combination of state and regional funds. ©Greers Ferry Lake & Little Red River. All rights reserved. 2

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

DO


Spoiled. But unspoiled. Cradled by the serene lakes and rolling landscapes of Central Arkansas, the neighborhoods in Chenal Valley and Red Oak Ridge bring the four seasons to life and amenities to your doorstep. From championship golf to lush amenities, these amazing communities make coming home feel more like getting away. To begin your search for a new lot, or home in Central Arkansas go to chenal.com, or redoakridge.com and see how life happens here.

www.RelocateToArkansas.com 3


JONESBORO: LOCATED BETWEEN LOW COST OF LIVING AND HIGH QUALITY OF LIFE. Living in Jonesboro is as pleasant as it is affordable. Our cost of living is about 13% lower than the U.S. average, which is amazing considering our low unemployment rate, low crime rate and high overall standard of living. That may explain why many people who visit Jonesboro just once often stay for a lifetime. TO PLAN YOUR VISIT TO JONESBORO, VISIT JONESBOROCHAMBER.COM.

4

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017


Tri-pennanT family Tri-pennan of arkansas lake resorTs

Celebrating over 60 years of our family serving your family.

Three Lake Resorts — Six Decades of Arkansas Memories MOUNTAIN HARBOR RESORT & SPA on Lake Ouachita 870-867-2191 MountainHarborResort.com

IRON MOUNTAIN LODGE & MARINA on DeGray Lake 870-246-4310 Iron-Mountain.com

Tr i Pe n n a n t R e s o r t s . c o m

SELF CREEK LODGE & MARINA on Lake Greeson 870-398-5000 SelfCreek.com www.RelocateToArkansas.com 5


Riding the Delta Heritage Trail State Park in HelenaWest Helena

THE GOVERNOR’S

GUIDE TO ARKANSAS Asa Hutchinson, the 46th governor of Arkansas, is a lifelong Arkansan with a passion for making life better for its people — while enjoying the benefits of the state’s abundant recreational offerings. The Living in Arkansas team caught up with the Governor to learn more about his love for The Natural State.

Q: Where did you grow up? “I was born and raised in Gravette, Arkansas, on a farm in a rural environment. It’s a small town; it had a strong sense of community, family and church. It really represents the best of Arkansas. Later, I went to high school in Springdale, and moving from Gravette to Springdale was like moving to the big city.”

Duck hunting near Stuttgart in the Lower Delta

Arkansas in three words: Scenic, beautiful, natural

Q: Have you ever lived outside Arkansas? “I’ve lived in Arkansas all of my life, except for the four years when I was going to college in South Carolina. I also was in the mission field in Washington, D.C., for a few years, serving in the George W. Bush administration. Although I have spent the vast majority of my life in Arkansas, I have had the opportunity to travel extensively, which has made me grateful for every moment I have had in this state.”

Q: What keeps you here, serving the state? “Being Arkansas’s governor is the best job in the world. This is my home, but I also believe it is the best place in the world. I have lived in Gravette, Fort 6

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

“There’s no place like home — especially when home is Arkansas.” Smith and Little Rock, and I just love The Natural State.”

Q: How do you describe Arkansas to the folks in Washington? “In Washington, D.C., what you lose there is what we cherish in Arkansas — a strong sense of community. You’ll notice that during presidential campaigns, people don’t stay and campaign in D.C. They get out in the ‘real America.’ We have a great deal of pride in our nation’s capital, but there’s nothing like our State of Arkansas.”

Favorite place to eat in Arkansas — what do you order? Lindsey’s Bar-B-Q in North Little Rock; barbeque and apple fried pies

Q: What do you most want readers to know about Arkansas?

Favorite local event: The Tontitown Grape Festival

“Arkansas is a place thriving with opportunity, natural beauty and economic development. Whether you come to Arkansas for business, education or just to visit, as soon as you come, you’ll want to stay.”

First thing a newcomer should do after moving here: Float the Buffalo National River

Q: Someday, will you retire in Arkansas? “Yes. There’s no place like home — especially when home is Arkansas.”

Favorite outdoor activity: “I have always enjoyed backpacking and hiking.” Favorite staycation spot: Eureka Springs


Relocating? Ready for a change? Need a vacation? The Ozark Gateway Region is the perfect vacation or relocation destination. From Pocahontas to Mammoth Spring, Newport to Calico Rock, the region boasts picturesque communities that let you escape the hustle and bustle and embrace the natural beauty, charming towns, outdoor activities, and slower pace of this diverse region. The Ozark Mountains are well known for live music, a burgeoning arts scene, world-class golf courses and outstanding restaurants. The cost of living is surprisingly low, as are the crime rates. Music lovers and craft enthusiasts will appreciate Mountain View, home of the Ozark Folk Center, music on the Courthouse Square, Blanchard Springs Caverns and Loco Ropes who offers entertaining activities for your family. Mammoth Spring is a community busy with fun activities and is the beginning point of the beautiful Spring River. Just a short drive and you will find the vibrant town of Hardy, a strong arts and crafts community with a vintage car museum and the scenic Spring River.

Golf enthusiasts will feel right at home in the Ozarks with enjoyable yet challenging courses in Horseshoe Bend, Batesville, Cherokee Village and Melbourne. Each of these communities offers unique attractions and activities. Visit our region’s six state parks and private outfitters for camping and fishing. Enjoy a taste of the Delta in the Eastern section of our region and travel the Rock-n-Roll Highway where music legends performed in days gone by. From Newport to Walnut Ridge and across to Pocahontas you can still feel the rhythm of their presence on this historic route. Batesville, the largest town in the Ozark Gateway Region, is home to the White River Medical Center and numerous events to keep you busy. So many attractions await you so make plans to visit us soon so you can see for yourself why the Ozark Gateway Region is the perfect choice for a unique vacation or a lifetime of happiness.

It’s all here, waiting for you, in the Ozark Gateway!

YOUR DREAM DESTINATION AWAITS YOU

If you are looking for a unique place to retire or relocate, look no further. The Ozark Gateway Region of North Arkansas is the perfect place for just that!

The region is packed with fun activities for the entire family, wonderful people and unique places await you. Our area guide offers a scenic drive map to help you navigate the area to find that perfect place to call home.

Call or visit our website today for a complete list of area events and great places to relocate. Advertisement paid for with a combination of state and Ozark Gateway Region funds.

VISIT OZARKGATEWAY.COM OR CALL 1-800-264-0316 www.RelocateToArkansas.com 7


cabotcc.org

Cabot, one of the fastest growing cities in Arkansas, is located on US Highway 67/167 twenty two miles northeast of Little Rock and eight miles north of the Little Rock Air Force Base. The family oriented community has a population of some 25,000 residents who enjoy all the amenities offered by a nearby big city and can come home to small town safety and a hometown atmosphere. Locally owned specialty shops, chain stores and a wide variety of eating establishments offer citizens a variety of shopping and dining experiences. Cabot’s health care community features well-equipped clinics and outstanding physicians. Cabot’s outstanding school district, seventh largest district in the state, provides some 10,000 students a challenging curriculum. Cabot schools are known for high academic achievement and top-ranked athletic programs. A bustling economy combined with the amenities of nearby Little Rock, makes the Cabot area a desirable place to live, work and play. 8

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017


living

IN ARKANSAS TA BL E O F CON T E N TS TM

Beaver

Pea Ridge

Bella Vista

71 62 Garfield Bentonville Rogers

Gentry

Cave Springs

Siloam Springs

49

Tontitown

62

Bull Shoals

7

62

Lakeview Flippin

Mountain Home

Cotter Yellville

Norfork

62

Harrison

Calico Rock

Ponca

71

Marshall

49

Pelsor

Shirley

Mountainburg

Alma

Wiederkehr Ozark Village 40 Mulberry

Van Buren Fort Smith

49

Greenwood

10

Charleston

Subiaco

10

10

Mountain Pine

Mount Ida

Hot Springs

270

Royal

Norman

Glenwood

Wickes 278

Daisy

71 Dierks

70 De Queen

371

26

278

26 27

Nashville

278

27 Foreman

71

70

7

26

Hope 278

371

Bradley

79

79

Emerson

64

55

West Memphis

Marianna

49 Helena-West Helena Stuttgart

Barton

St. Charles Altheimer

165

65

Star City

63

167

Dumas

425

65

Hampton Jersey

Smackover

167

Junction City 167 7

63 82

Rohwer

Tillar Warren 278

278

7

Brinkley 49 79

79

63

Fordyce

79

Magnolia El 82 Dorado 63

70

40

Madison

HATCH AND MAAS COLLECTIVE

F E ATUR E S

Gillett

7

McNeil

371

530

270

79

Camden

371

82

71

DeValls Bluff

Hazen

165

Osceola 61

Dyess Wilson

79

167

Sheridan

167

278

Texarkana

70

Keo England

Earle

40

Pine Bluff 530

Prescott

Washington

67 30

Lonoke

Wynne

64

Des Arc

Scott

30

Malvern 270 67

30

67

371

Columbus

Ashdown

70

Arkadelphia

26

Okolona

40 North Little Rock 40

55

Tyronza

49 Forrest City

Cabot Jacksonville

Benton 270

Bismarck

Kirby

27

Murfreesboro

Lepanto Marked Tree

McCrory

5

630 440 430 Little 30 Rock Bryant Bauxite 167 530

Jessieville

Mena

71

Harrisburg

Manila

Turrell Augusta

Searcy

67 167 64

Mayflower

Perryville

7 270 Pine Ridge

Conway

Oppelo

Waldron

71

Newport 49

Bald Knob 5

Greenbrier

40

Morrilton

7 Ola

71

270

167

5

65

64

Dardanelle Centerville

10

63

Jacksonport

Fairfield Bay

Chuck Maxwell pedals his passion for mountain biking from Austin, Texas, to Fayetteville | Pg. 52

Blytheville

49 Jonesboro

67

Pottsville

Russellville

Magazine

Booneville Mansfield

Walcott

63 67

Heber Springs Dover

Paris

10

Hackett

Powhatan

Clinton

Clarksville

64

Altus

Corning

Batesville

Leslie

COVER STORY

62 62 Piggott

67

167

Mountain View

65

7

Winslow

5

Gilbert

Jasper

Boxley

West Fork

Maynard Dalton

Pocahontas Rector 62 67 49 Walnut 63 412 Ridge 412 Paragould

62 Ash Flat

5

412

Huntsville

Fayetteville

Prairie Grove Lincoln

65

Berryville

67

Mammoth Spring 412 Cherokee 63 Village Hardy Salem

Gamaliel

Eureka Springs

Lowell

Springdale

278

278 McGehee

Monticello

Arkansas City

63

165 425

165

82 Crossett 425

65

Jerome

Hamburg

82 Lake Village

Wilmot

65 Eudora

12 AN ARKANSAS CHEAT SHEET Get to know The

Plus!

Natural State with these handy fast facts

How Arkansas exploded onto the CRAFT BEER scene and where to sample the best. Pg. 65

Flip to page 18 to

14 ARKANSAS’S FASCINATING PAST

DISCOVER ARKANSAS

16 OUR BEST-KEPT SECRETS

IN EVERY ISSUE

46 “WHY I MOVED HERE”

6

48 63 THINGS EVERY ARKANSAN SHOULD DO

10 ABOUT THE COVER

A regional guide to the state’s best amenities and attractions 17................ Regional Map

20 .............. Northwest Arkansas 24 .............. North Central Arkansas 28............... Upper Delta 32............... Lower Delta 36 .............. Southwest Arkansas 40 .............. Central Arkansas

55 RIDES OF A LIFETIME

One-of-a-kind motorcycle and bike trails by region

60 WELL-SEASONED

The best things to eat, see and do during our four distinct seasons

GOVERNOR’S GUIDE

80 RELOCATION RESOURCES 68 A PLACE TO CALL HOME 78 WORLD-CLASS HEALTH CARE 82 THE COST OF LIVING IN THE NATURAL STATE

MEET YOUR NEW NEIGHBORS page 46

Meet a diverse group of locals who reveal why they chose Arkansas — and why they never want to leave!

www.RelocateToArkansas.com 9


living

ABOUT THE COVER COVER PHOTO BY

HATCH AND MAAS COLLECTIVE

living

IN ARKANSAS

TM

Edition 17 • 2017

ON THE COVER Chuck Maxwell is the president of the Ozark Off-Road Cyclists Organization. He has helped build more than 100 miles of trails in Northwest Arkansas since relocating from Austin, Texas.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES To capture the cover story photos, we traveled to one of Chuck Maxwell’s favorite trails around Lincoln Lake in Northwest Arkansas, including the Lake Loop Trail.

Publisher Editor Art Director

in arkansas

TM

RelocateToArkansas.com

63

Rachel Bradbury Lindsay Irvin Erin Lang

EDITORIAL

things every Arkansan should do at least once

Writer

Lydia McAllister

Deputy Online Editor

“Why I moved here”

cool locals tell all

happy trails

Rebekah Eveland

Editorial Intern

Maggie McNeary

SALES Account Executives

Hundreds of miles (and growing) of adventure and excitement await you in The Natural State the Like oln Linc Loop Lake . 52 pg

4.25 MILES (the length of Lake Loop Trail)

6 HOURS (time we spent hiking for shoot)

3 WILD ANIMALS (spotted a deer, raccoon & rabbit)

Brandy Hubener Heather Smith Dawn Tomescko

Junior Account Executive

Ashton Hodges

Advertising Coordinators

Annette Terrell Bethany Johnson Jessica Pridmore

www.RelocateToArkansas.com 1

400 ACRES (the size of Lincoln Lake)

Tre Baker

Editor/Researcher

MARKETING & EVENTS Marketing Director

Jake Sligh

Events Director

Leslie Gordy

Marketing Manager

A panoramic view of Lincoln Lake during our cover shoot

Devan Malone

Events Coordinator

Alex Howland

Marketing Intern

Amber Easterly

DESIGN Production Manager

April Scott

Senior Art Directors

Irene Forbes Waynette Traub Dean Wheeler Vince Palermo Joseph Stout

Senior Designers Graphic Designer

Omar Alonso

Graphic Design Interns

Jennifer Bray Maddie Brodell

Photography Intern

Abigail Fowler

CIRCULATION

CONTRIBUTORS

Circulation Manager

Dana Meyer

Circulation Coordinator

Carla Smith

Customer Service Representative

Sarah Clark

ADMINISTRATION

HATCH AND MAAS COLLECTIVE Aaron Menken is the photographer behind our cover story and the owner of Hatch and Maas Collective. The talented photographer moved to Arkansas from Iowa during college and never looked back. He travels the world taking photographs in places like Kenya, the Galápagos Islands and Hawaii, but chose Northwest Arkansas as home base for his business. Aaron says he stayed because of the region’s entrepreneurial spirit, abundant recreational offerings and its natural beauty.

DWAIN HEBDA 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 the more than 25 publications in the region. Hebda and his wife Darlene are empty nesters with four grown children and two spoiled rescue dogs.

Accounting Manager

Hal Lammey

Accounting Supervisor

Kim Clark

Director of Human Resources

Bill Page

Executive Assistant Kristen Heldenbrand & Special Projects Coordinator Administrative Assistant

Denise Brockinton

ARKANSAS BUSINESS PUBLISHING GROUP

Chairman & CEO President Publishers Online Editor

Olivia Myers Farrell Mitch Bettis Rachel Bradbury Mandy Richardson Lance Turner

©2016 Arkansas Business Limited Partnership Arkansas Business Publishing Group P. O. Box 3686, Little Rock, AR 72203 (501) 372-1443 www.abpg.com, info@abpg.com 07/2016 60M, Printed in the USA

10

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017


LIFE is

better up here

and here and here Welcome to

conway, johnson, logan, perry, pope, yell counties

Encompassingthe thestate’s state’s highest highest peak onon Mount Encompassing peak on on Mount MountMagazine, Magazine,third thirdhighest highest Mount Nebo, and the legendary Petit Jean Mountain—the Arkansas River Valley Tri-Peaks Nebo, and the legendary Petit Jean Mountain—the Arkansas River Valley Tri-Peaks Region rises above all your expectations. Discover authentically charming towns, Region above all yourrivers, expectations. charmingunique towns, scenic rises lakes, unspoiled toweringDiscover forests,authentically fantastic festivals, scenic lakes, unspoiled rivers, towering forests, fantastic festivals, unique museums, and tons of fun family attractions. Four State Parks complete the museums, andone tons of fun family attractions. Four State Parks completecan the picture, with on each peak and another at Lake Dardanelle, so everyone picture, with one on each peak and another at Lake Dardanelle, so everyone can enjoy the River Valley to the fullest extent imaginable. enjoy the River Valley to the fullest extent imaginable. Visit arvtripeaks.com for more information. Visit

introductory video to the tri-peaks area 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. Paid for with a combination of state funds and Arkansas River Valley Tri-Peaks funds.

FOLLOW US ON

FOLLOW US ON

#VisitTriPeaks

#VisitTriPeaks

www.RelocateToArkansas.com 11


An

A R KAN S A S Cheat Sheet A peek at everything from rainfall and recreation to produce and politics

CLEAN AIR

Population:

2.98 MILLION

C A P I TA L :

LITTLE ROCK

(33RD IN NATION)

53,187 square miles (27TH IN NATION)

The name Arkansas means “south wind” and is derived from an early tribe in the area. The region was spelled various ways “Ark-an-saw” became the official pronunciation in 1881.

home $116,500 median cost in Arkansas Arkansas home values have gone up 3.6 percent over the past year and Zillow.com predicts they will increse 3.4 percent within the next year.

the height of Arkansas’s highest peak —MOUNT MAGAZINE

Arkansas is the nation’s leading producer of rice and poultry, and grows nearly every crop produced in the United States with the exception of citrus fruits.

MORE THAN HALF OF THE STATE IS COVERED BY FORESTLAND 12

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

21

a name used by some Native Americans to describe the Quapaws, over the years, but entered the Union as Arkansas in 1836 and

2,753 feet

On a scale of 1-100 with 100 being the best, Arkansas’s air quality ranks at 91.9.

52

STATE PARKS

MINUTES

average drive time to work

3

NATIONAL FORESTS

STATE BIRD:

MOCKINGBIRD

IN 1836, ARKANSAS BECAME

THE 25TH STATE TO JOIN THE UNION


PARK 7NATIONAL SERVICE SITES:

DIAMOND STATE GEM Dig for diamonds at the world’s only “keep what you find” diamond site in Murfreesboro. Pro tip: most diamonds at the park are either found on top of the ground, by surface searching, or by digging in ravines between the plowed rows of the search area.

1. Arkansas Post National Memorial 2. Buffalo National River 3. Fort Smith National Historic Site 4. Hot Springs National Park 5. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site 6. Pea Ridge National Military Park 7. President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site

PINE STATE TREE

APPLE BLOSSOM

is the Arkansas state flower

600,000 acres of lakes

is referred to as the Quartz Crystal Capital of the World.

10.4”

2.8”

average annual snowfall in the southern regions of Arkansas

ARKANSAS RIVER

LAKE DARDANELLE

9,700

13

miles of streams & rivers

major lakes

State flag

15%

LOWER COST OF LIVING

compared to the rest of the country

THE NATURAL STATE

At Hot Springs, approximately 700,000 gallons of water a day, with an average temperature of 143°F (62°C), flow from 47 springs. The springs are often visited for therapeutic baths.

In 1962, Sam Walton opened the first Walmart store in Rogers. The world’s largest company is still based in Northwest Arkansas today, but now there are more than 11,000 stores located in 27 different countries, serving 200 million customers each week.

49.6”

average annual rainfall

average annual snowfall in the northern regions of Arkansas

LAKE CONWAY

Arkansas is home to more than 70 kinds of mammals, close to 115 reptiles and amphibians and more than 155 butterflies — the Diana fritillary is our state butterfly.

MOUNT IDA

61.4°

average annual temperature

State nickname

3

MOUNTAIN RANGES

OZARK MOUNTAINS BOSTON MOUNTAINS OUACHITA MOUNTAINS www.RelocateToArkansas.com 13


ARKANSAS’S

FASCINATING PAST

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 ARKANSAS IS STEEPED IN BLUES HISTORY that dates all the way back to the start of the 20th century. It gained momentum in the ’20s and ’30s, then in 1941, “King Biscuit Time,” a blues music radio program, began broadcasting five days a week on KFFA 1360 AM out of Helena. For the first time, blues was heard regularly over the airwaves in its birthplace, and recognition of both “King Biscuit Time” and the blues spread.

HOLDING PATENTS in acoustics, ballistics, and geophysics, Paul Klipsch founded Klipsch Audio Technologies in 1946 in Hope. Today, it is one of the leading speaker companies in the United States and a world-leader in quality audio products.

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 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. Today the town is considered the home of American Folk Music.

THE ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA was incorporated in 1966 after several previous and short-lived attempts to create a sustainable performing group.

IN 1980, Dyess native and superstar Johnny Cash became the youngest person ever elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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 Levon Helm, Keb’ Mo’, Robert Cray, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, Greg Allman and Jimmie Vaughan have performed at the festival. 14

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

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.

ON FEB. 28, 1985, the Arkansas legislature approved Act 277, designating the fiddle as the official musical instrument of the state of Arkansas. THE RIVERFEST ARTS & MUSIC FESTIVAL is held annually on the banks of the Arkansas River in Little Rock. Since its beginnings in 1978, the festival has featured legendary acts such as ZZ Top, B. B. King, Hank Williams Jr., James Brown, Snoop Dogg, Carrie Underwood and the Goo Goo Dolls. *Information courtesy of www.EncyclopediaofArkansas.net


MOVIES 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 1928, AWARD-WINNING SILENT-FILM director King Vidor shot his first talking picture in Arkansas and Tennessee. “Hallelujah” (1929) was the story of an African-American sharecropper-turned-preacher who fought the temptations of a beautiful city girl. It was shot near the banks of the Mississippi River and in a swamp near West Memphis.

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 across the state skyrocketed in recent years and includes the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (founded in 1992) and the Ozark Foothills FilmFest in Batesville (founded in 2001). In 2015, Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis co-founded Arkansas’s newest— the Bentonville Film Festival, which champions for women and diversity in film.

HELGA ESTEB / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

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.

DIRECTOR/PRODUCER ROGER CORMAN made two movies in Arkansas, including 1970’s “Bloody Mama,” starring Robert De Niro and “Boxcar Bertha” in 1972, Martin Scorsese’s first Hollywood assignment.

“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.

SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

SPIRIT OF AMERICA / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

POLITICS 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. 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 — also in 1917 — a law granting Arkansas women the right to vote in party primaries. 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.”

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. www.RelocateToArkansas.com 15


OUR BEST KEPT

SECRETS

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 — the things we locals love to brag about most — are lesser-known. Consider these our hidden gems.

ARKANSANS LIVE AMONG NATURE, LIKE LITTLE ROCK’S CHENAL NEIGHBORHOOD HERE

MICHAEL BAXLEY

1

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. Take a peek at our scenery on page 60. 16

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

2

THERE’S VIRTUALLY NO TRAFFIC.

Arkansas offers laidback charm, even in its larger cities. Compared with major cosmopolitan areas, traffic is rarely a problem. Go for a joy ride on page 57.

3

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. Tour Arkansas’s diverse regions on page 18.

4

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 playground. 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 a must-do list of Arkansas experiences on page 48.

5

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. Learn more about the state’s demographics on page 82.

6

PEOPLE CRAVE OUR FOOD.

Some of the nation’s best Southern food — barbecue, pie, crawfish and fried catfish — is found here, while noted chefs at many Arkansas restaurants are creating worldly dishes with down-home flair. Natives also love the bounty of locally grown, farm-fresh foods from our agrarian state. Craft beer is big here too; turn to page 65.


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

T

here is a place for everyone in Arkansas, a 180-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 Arkansas’s varied regions. Beaver

Pea Ridge

Bella Vista

71 62 Garfield Bentonville Rogers Gentry Cave Springs

Siloam Springs

49

62

Lakeview

62

Cotter Yellville

Harrison 412

Huntsville

Fayetteville

Lincoln

7

Flippin

Springdale

Prairie Grove

65

Berryville

Bull Shoals

Lowell

Tontitown

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

Gamaliel

Eureka Springs

Ponca Boxley

West Fork

71

Marshall

Pelsor

Shirley

Mountainburg

Alma

Wiederkehr Ozark Village 40 Mulberry

Van Buren Fort Smith

49

Greenwood

10

Charleston

Subiaco

Mansfield

Oppelo

10

270

Mena

71

Mountain Pine

Mount Ida

Hot Springs

270

Royal

Norman

Glenwood

Wickes 278

Daisy

71 Dierks

70 De Queen

371

26

278

7

Kirby

Murfreesboro

26 27

Nashville

71

Bismarck

27

278

27 Foreman

70

26

371

Hope 278

67

371

Texarkana

82

Bradley

Sheridan

79

63

167

Hampton

Emerson

Jersey

Smackover

Magnolia El 82 Dorado 63

Brinkley 49 79

79

West Memphis

Madison

Marianna

49 Helena-West Helena

63 Stuttgart

Barton

St. Charles

165

167

Junction City 167 7

63 82

REGIONS

65 Dumas

425

65

Rohwer

Tillar Warren 278

278

7

DeValls Bluff

Hazen

70

55

Altheimer

Star City

79

Camden

40

64

Gillett

79

McNeil

371

79

Fordyce

371

71

530

270

7

278

30

Dyess Wilson

79

167

167

Prescott

Washington

Ashdown

40

Des Arc

Pine Bluff 530

30

67

Columbus

Malvern 270 67

Earle

McCrory

49 Forrest City

Cabot Jacksonville

55

Osceola 61

Tyronza

Wynne

64

5

30

Arkadelphia

26

Okolona

70 270

Searcy

40 North Little Rock 40 70 Lonoke 630 440 430 Little Scott 30 Rock Keo Benton Bryant 165 Bauxite 167 530 England

Jessieville

Pine Ridge

Lepanto Marked Tree

Manila

Turrell Augusta

67 167 64

10

7

71

Conway Mayflower

Perryville

Waldron

270

40

Morrilton

Ola

71

5

Greenbrier

64

7

Bald Knob

65

Pottsville

Centerville

10

Newport 49

67

Dardanelle

Magazine

167

5

Harrisburg

Heber Springs

Russellville

Booneville

63

Jacksonport

Dover

Paris

10

Hackett

Clarksville

64

Altus

Jonesboro

67

Fairfield Bay

Clinton

Blytheville

49

63

Batesville

Leslie

49

Walcott

167

Mountain View

65

7

Winslow

Powhatan

5

Gilbert

Jasper

278

278 McGehee

Monticello

Arkansas City

63

165 425

Jerome

Hamburg

82 Crossett 425

65

165 Wilmot

82 Lake Village 65 Eudora

Northwest North Central Upper Delta Lower Delta Southwest Central VISIT

Arkansas.com/Maps for numerous maps of Arkansas’s regions, waterways, hiking trails, interstates, heritage sites and more. www.RelocateToArkansas.com 17


Petit Jean State Park, located in Central Arkansas, boasts 21 miles of hiking trails, camping, breathtaking waterfalls, a lodge and scenic mountain views.

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LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017


MOVE HERE! Six Distinct Regions to Discover

From mountain towns and suburban sprawl 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.

Northwest

North Central

Upper Delta

Lower Delta

Southwest

Central www.RelocateToArkansas.com 19


DISCOVER ARKANSAS

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 people for jobs. Walmart, the world’s largest company, is a huge job-supplier, as are 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 is a 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 as one of the top 25 art destinations in the U.S. Northwest Arkansas is truly a recreational dream. Mountain biking, kayaking, ziplining, paddleboarding, 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

“To live in Northwest Arkansas is to enjoy a combination of outdoor activities and a healthy, natural lifestyle. Its welcoming people, affordable cost of living, good restaurants and bars, art centers, nationally renowned university, and a bike-friendly community make this area a very attractive option.” —Eloa Jane, settled in Fayetteville after living in Brazil, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. >> Turn to page 46 to read more about Eloa’s relocation to Northwest Arkansas.

20

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017


From top left: Devil’s Den State Park in West Fork | Downtown Eureka Springs | Fayetteville | Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville

level. Other prominent mountains in the area include 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. A kayak park in Siloam Springs is another great new regional attraction. Arkansas’s Wine Country is found in this region, and folks come to try the vino at its multiple wineries. All six offer a variety of wines, tastings and other specialty products. On the southwestern edge of the region lies Fort Smith, whose history dates back to 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 a key city along Scenic Highway 7. Arkansas Tech University calls this city home, as does Lake Dardanelle State Park, with Mount Nebo nearby.

www.RelocateToArkansas.com 21


Siloam Springs Kayak Park

Northwest Arkansas

ATTRACTIONS Enrich your life with culture and history at the region’s finest arts venues, historical sites and attractions. ARTS & THEATERS Arkansas River Valley Arts Center Russellville, RiverValleyArtsCenter.org Arts Center of the Ozarks Springdale, ACOzarks.org Botanical Garden of the Ozarks Fayetteville, BGOzarks.org Center for Art & Education Van Buren, Art-Ed.org Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Bentonville, CrystalBridges.org Eureka Springs May Festival of the Arts Eureka Springs EurekaSpringsFestivalOfTheArts.com Fort Smith Little Theatre Fort Smith, FSLT.org Fort Smith Regional Art Museum Fort Smith, FSRAM.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 The Great Passion Play Eureka Springs, GreatPassionPlay.com University of Arkansas Fine Arts Center Gallery Fayetteville, FNARGallery.com Walton Arts Center Fayetteville, WaltonArtsCenter.org 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

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LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

IN NORTHWEST NORTHWEST ARKANSAS YOU CAN… ARKANSAS IS KNOWN FOR…  sleep next to lions and tigers at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, a big cat sanctuary in Eureka Springs.

 play in the snow The region gets an average of 10.4 inches of snow annually.  yell

“woo pig sooie” at an Arkansas Razorback football game in Fayetteville.

 kayak

whitewater rapids at the new Siloam Springs Kayak Park. nonstop to 14 metros, including Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago from the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport.

 fly

 take an old-time train ride on the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad (board in Fort Smith or Springdale).  watch

elk graze in the Boxley Valley.

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 last year.

 happy

raises. FayettevilleSpringdale-Rogers ranked 12th for “Best Metro for Five-Year Wage Growth” by The Milken Institute.

 giving

opportunities. Fort Smith and Fayetteville were both recognized by Forbes on its 2014 list of “Best Places for Business & Careers.” National Geographic ranked the FayettevilleSpringdale-Rogers area 10th on its list of “Best Medium Cities for Job Growth” in 2014.  job

 growth. WalletHub recognized Springdale for being the No. 6 fastest growing city among 516 U.S. cities that were evaluated in 2014.

lifestyles. Bentonville got the No. 8 spot on Conde Nast Traveler’s 2014 list of “Best Walking Cities in the U.S.”  active


Walmart AMP concert venue  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.”

HISTORY WAS MADE IN NORTHWEST ARKANSAS WHEN…  the

Battle of Pea Ridge was fought here. 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 battlefield in the U.S.

In the heart of Northwest Arkansas, you’ll find a city surrounded by the natural beauty of the Ozarks, with easy access to the region’s best destinations. You’ll also find this community offers unique sporting events, family entertainment and diverse cuisine. The city is Springdale, and we’re making it happen.

Visit ExploreSpringdale.com for more info

 Sam

Walton opened his five-and-dime store in Bentonville in 1950. What started on the town square is now the mega-chain we know as Walmart. As of 2014, the company has stretched across 27 countries serving more than 200 million customers a week.

Photo By: Bashan Bradbury

www.RelocateToArkansas.com 23


DISCOVER ARKANSAS

North Central A R K A N S A S N

estled between the Ozark Mountains and the beautiful forests and farms of the Upper Delta, the North Central Arkansas highlands and its mountain valley towns are a world of their own. It’s a popular region for retirees and vacation-home owners, thanks to the tranquility of the area, and a place Arkansans converge on 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, walleye and bream on lakes like Bull Shoals and Norfolk. Fishing resorts like Gaston’s in Lakeview and Teal Point in Mountain Home are popular getaways. Field & Stream magazine named Mountain Home the second “Best Fishing Town in America.” The city is one of the region’s largest, with 12,400 residents, but serves more than 200,000 people from the surrounding towns. The Buffalo National River is a big draw to the region. Kayakers and canoers, as well as campers and trail-goers, populate its banks year-round for seasonal payoffs — spring flora, autumn foliage, frozen waterfalls in the winter and white water in the summer. Greers Ferry Lake is another chief destination. Whether you prefer the bustling Heber Springs side or quiet Fairfield Bay, the quality of life around this body of water is second to none. Known for sailing, swimming holes, secluded waterfalls, bald eagles, scuba diving and the annual World Championship Cardboard Boat Races at Sandy Beach — Greers Ferry near Heber Springs has it all. Fairfield Bay is known for lake fun and wildlife, but also for mountain biking, parasailing and hiking (especially the island trail on Sugar Loaf Mountain and

24

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

“Mountain View is a friendly place. I’ve always said if you enjoy the outdoors, there’s lots of things to do in Stone County. I think my favorite thing is that small-town living is 180 degrees from my growing up days.” —Tony Guinn, relocated from Columbus, Ohio >>Turn to page 46 to read Tony’s relocation story.


From top left: Blanchard Springs Caverns in Fifty-Six | Mellon’s Country Store in Mountain View | Gaston’s White River Resort in Lakeview | Fly fishing for trout on the White River | The Natural Bridge in Clinton

historic Indian Rock Cave). 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 world-champion chocolate roll and visiting the Ozark Heritage Art Center in Leslie, others come to catch a movie at the old-timey Kenda Drive-In theater in Marshall or to see one of the United States’ smallest municipalities, Gilbert. The county also plays host to some unique events like the Arkansas State Championship Hillbilly Chili Cook-Off in Lakeview. Nearby, in the town of Fifty-Six, Blanchard Springs Caverns is one of the most spectacular developed caves in the country. Also 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 and Clinton have treasures of their own. Batesville is known for being the birthplace of NASCAR champion Mark Martin, who retired there and opened the Mark Martin Museum. In Clinton, thousands come to see a geological wonder called The Natural Bridge. About 20,000 people also come to Clinton each year for the Wild West-inspired action of the National Championship Chuckwagon Races in September. www.RelocateToArkansas.com 25


North Sylamore Creek

North Central

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: Kenda Drive-in 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

IN NORTH CENTRAL ARKANSAS YOU CAN…  spot

a yellowbanded trumpeter swan on Magness Lake. Get the band number and email it to the Trumpeter Swan Society. They will send you its birth certificate and story.

 sleep

in a cave and alongside a natural pool at Longbow Resort in Prim.

 see

Arkansas’s Stonehenge. Ancient stone spheres can be found in this region, including one in Murphy Hallow east of Prim.

Old Town Gilbert Gilbert

 hike

Old Town Leslie Leslie, LeslieArkansas.org

 find

Searcy County Veterans Memorial & Veterans Wall of Honor Marshall, SearcyCountyArkansas.org St. Joe Depot Museum   St. Joe Veterans Military Museum Hardy William Carl Garner Visitor Center Heber Springs, VisitGreersFerryLake.org 26

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

an island mountain in Fairfield Bay. the most beautiful waterfall — Triple Falls or Bridal Veil Falls, perhaps? The region is home to many that compete for this title.

 shop

one of the largest antique stores in the nation, Antique Warehouse, in Botkinburg.

 eat

your first chocolate roll, and then a second, at Misty’s in Leslie.

NORTH CENTRAL ARKANSAS IS KNOWN FOR BEING…  adventurous. National Geographic recently ranked Mountain View as one of the “50 Great Adventure Towns” in America.

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 United States. a

undiscovered haven.” That is what Where to Retire magazine called Mountain Home.  “an

capital of the world,” if you’re talking chocolate rolls in Leslie or folk music in Mountain View.

 “the


www.RelocateToArkansas.com 27


DISCOVER ARKANSAS

Upper Delta A R K A N S A S A

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, and yet, residents find worldly amenities within reach in nearby cities like Walnut Ridge, Forrest City, Pocahontas and West Memphis. Communities like Cherokee Village, Marked Tree, Newport, Osceola, Piggott and Wynne all have something to offer those looking for small-town charm and kindly 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 in Jonesboro, which has welcomed people from more than 120 communities throughout 13 states to participate in the educational and theatrical programs. Arkansans come from all over to savor the Southern delights and Delta soul food at notable restaurants like the veggie plate at Tyboogie’s in Tyronza, steak at Jerry’s in Trumann and seafood at Bistro Eleven 21 in Blytheville. 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.

“I love the richness of the culture of the Delta. Recently, due to my work with [the] parks and tourism department, I have come to admire the beauty of the all the state parks and natural diversity of Arkansas.” —John Faulkner, moved from Nashville, Tennessee to Wilson, Arkansas >>Turn to page 46 for John’s relocation story.

28

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017


From far left: DeSoto Bridge in West Memphis | Downtown Jonesboro | Wilson Cafe in Wilson | White River National Wildlife Refuge in St. Charles

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, including visits to the Forrest L. Wood 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, which is a part of The Natural State Golf Trail. Lakes, first-rate state parks — Parkin Archeological and Crowley’s Ridge, in particular — 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 all the way 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 29


Southland Park Gaming and Racing in West Memphis

Upper Delta

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, AState.edu/Museum Delta Gateway Museum Blytheville DeltaGatewayMuseum.weebly.com

IN THE UPPER DELTA YOU CAN…

Greyhound Bus Depot Blytheville

Greyhound Bus Depot

 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

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 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

30

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

 tour the Hampson Archeological Museum State Park to view Native American pottery at the site of a 15acre village along the Mississippi River.

Beatles’ airplane landed in Walnut Ridge. The city celebrates this 1964 brush with history at Beatles Park and with attractions that include a massive archive photo collection, Guitar Walk and an annual music festival.  The

the symphony in Jonesboro.

 see

a Broadway play at Downtown Playhouse in Pocahontas.

 attend

a Beatles music festival in Walnut Ridge.

HISTORY WAS MADE IN THE UPPER DELTA WHEN…  acclaimed

author John Grisham was born in Jonesboro. He lived throughout the region before his career took off — now having sold more than 225 million copies of his 30-plus books.

 Johnny

Cash moved to Dyess with his family at the age of 3. Cash, one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, wrote songs inspired by those early years on the family farm.

THE UPPER DELTA IS KNOWN FOR BEING… great place to live. In 2014, Jonesboro ranked seventh on Kiplinger’s list of “Top 10 U.S. Cities to Live In.” a

 home

to big fish in a small pond. On National Geographic’s list of “2014 Best Small Cities for Job Growth,” Jonesboro ranked No. 14.

HISTORY WILL BE MADE WHEN… Big River Crossing is completed. Arkansas and Tennessee officials are working to renovate the Harahan Bridge, which spans the Mississippi River and connects downtown Memphis, Tennessee, to West Memphis, Arkansas. Upon completion, it will become the longest active pedestrian/cyclist bridge in the world.


What

LEGACY

will you leave? WE ALL DESIRE TO LEAD HAPPY AND FULFILLED LIVES SURROUNDED BY FAMILY AND FRIENDS. Many of us feel a compelling need to make a difference—to leave a lasting impact on the world. To help you fill this need, Heifer Foundation created the Why I Leave a Legacy (W.I.L.L.) Society, which recognizes individuals who have notified us that they have included a gift for Heifer in their will. Although the notification of your intent is not a binding agreement, it allows us to project future support for Heifer International’s mission to end hunger and poverty.

Visit www.HeiferFoundation.org or call 888.422.1161 to learn about the W.I.L.L. Society and more estate planning options.

www.RelocateToArkansas.com 31


DISCOVER ARKANSAS

Lower Delta A R K A N S A S T

his character-rich region is known for its history and agriculture. Agribusiness is the predominant industry, with hundreds of thousands of acres of cotton, rice, soybeans, corn and wheat grown each year. 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, known for being the duck-hunting capital of the world. Duck hunters from across the nation flock here during the season with hopes of limiting out. Arkansas’s storied 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. Its suburb of White Hall is popular with families, especially with the addition of Crenshaw Springs Water Park. Arkansas’s first capital city, Arkansas Post — also the first European settlement in the lower Mississippi River Valley — is located in Gillett. At Louisiana Purchase State Park near Brinkley, there is a monument marking 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 traverse both the Upper Delta and Lower Delta, showcasing hidden gems from Piggott to Helena-West Helena and Blytheville

32

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

From top: Snow Geese in Southeast Arkansas | Duck hunting in Stuttgart | Party Barge at Lake Chicot State Park in Lake Village | King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena-West Helena


to Lake Village respectively. The Arkansas Delta Music Trail also passes through the region — and all of these picturesque drives are popular with motorcyclists. Helena-West Helena, a city famous for its Civil War past and its 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. ADAIR PHOTOGRAPHY

“Before I left Arkansas I thought it was a boring state ... I discovered its beauty over the years. I was never an outdoorsman but now I love and appreciate all [that] the outdoors have to offer.” —Charles Graham, lived in Dermott as a child and returned after traveling all over the world >>Turn to page 47 to read more about Charles’ relocation.

www.RelocateToArkansas.com 33


IN THE LOWER DELTA, YOU CAN…

Lower Delta ATTRACTIONS

 canoe

the Mississippi River with Quapaw Canoe Company.

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

Lakeport Plantation Lake Village, Lakeport.AState.edu

 eat

the best barbecue sandwich you’ve ever had at Jones Bar-B-Q Diner in Marianna.

Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie Stuttgart, GrandPrairieMuseum.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

Rohwer Relocation Center National Historic Landmark Rohwer, Rohwer.Astate.edu

 swim

in the largest oxbow lake in America, Lake Chicot.

 hunt

in the duck-hunting capital of the world, Stuttgart.

Turner Neal Museum of Natural History & Pomeroy Planetarium Monticello, UAMont.edu

 shoot

skeet at the Delta Resort & Spa near McGhee.

WWII Japanese-American Internment Museum McGehee, Rohwer.Astate.edu

 visit

the site where surveys started after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 near Brinkley.

 order

Rhoda’s Famous Hot Tamales (and sweet potato pie) in Lake Village.

Arkansas Post National Memorial Gillett, NPS.gov/ARPO Arkansas Railroad Museum Pine Bluff, ArkansasRailroadMuseum.org

 taste

a pink tomato — the Arkansas state fruit and vegetable — in Warren.

Battery C Park Helena-West Helena CivilWarHelena.com/Travel Delta Cultural Center Helena-West Helena DeltaCulturalCenter.com

 attend

one of the preeminent blues festivals in the

WWII Japanese-American Internment Museum

Harbor Oaks Golf

Arts & Science Center

Established Neighborhoods

Saracen Landing

UAPB

Lake Langhofer

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.

Lake Saracen Walking Trail

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

Paid for with a combination of state funds and Arkansas’ Land of Legends regional association funds.

34

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

Delta Rivers Nature Center


country, the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena-West Helena.

Cash was born in Kingsland in 1932.

 Johnny

Crossland Zoo in Crossett One of only two licensed zoos in Arkansas, featuring more than 75 species

 ride

your motorcycle along the longest bayou in the U.S. (take the Bayou Bartholomew/Rohwer Memorial Loop).

 French

 Delta

Heritage Trail State Park in Barton Boasts an incredible trail system consisting of 20 miles of trails — with a total of 84 miles total planned

 tour

a courthouse built in 1900, (the Desha County Courthouse), in Arkansas City.

 Mississippi

River State Park

in Marianna  St.

Francis National Forest in Marianna More than 20,000 acres, known for herons, terns, bald cypress and swamps, and home to Horner’s Neck Lake

THE LOWER DELTA IS KNOWN FOR… Its incredible number of state parks and wildlife areas, which include but are not limited to:  Cane

Creek State Park in Star City

HISTORY WAS MADE IN THE LOWER DELTA WHEN…

 Felsenthal

National Wildlife Refuge in Crossett Features more than 65,000 acres of fishing, hunting, hiking and wildlife

 Nearly 16,000 Japanese Americans were interned in Arkansas at the Rohwer JapaneseAmerican Relocation Center and the Jerome Relocation Center between 1942-1945.

explorer Henri de Tonti established Arkansas Post, the first permanent European settlement in Arkansas — a French trading post on the banks of the Arkansas River.

 the

single deadliest shot fired was made in St. Charles during the Civil War in 1862.

Owens became the first person to successfully synchronize sound to film. The Pine Bluff native also invented slow motion filming.  Freeman

 Jones

Bar-B-Q Diner in Marianna — a 110-year-old restaurant — won a James Beard Award in 2012.

SCENIC to a tee.

Stonebridge Meadows, Fayetteville

The Ridges at Village Creek, Wynne

YOUR TRIP BEGINS HERE

Big Creek Golf and Country Club, Mountain Home

#VisitArkansas

Glenwood Country Club, Glenwood

With a dozen courses set among rolling hills, hardwood forests and towering pines, and alongside mountain lakes and pristine streams, The Natural State Golf Trail will challenge your concentration and reward your soul. Come see us. For more information, call 1-866-2GOLF-AR or visit NaturalStateGolfTrail.com.

www.RelocateToArkansas.com 35


DISCOVER ARKANSAS

Southwest A R K A N S A S A

rkansas’s beautiful Southwest region is known for the diverse natural beauty of the Ouachita Mountains and lakes, as well as the dense pine and cypress of its timberlands. Some of the finest hunting and fishing in Arkansas happens in these parts. Cities such as Hot Springs, Hot Springs Village, El Dorado, Texarkana, Mena and Arkadelphia are spread across this diverse landscape — each city as unique as the next, and all with attributes that make them a great place to call home. The Ouachitas’ largest city, Hot Springs, is known for horseracing at Oaklawn Park, floral splendor at Garvan Woodland Gardens and historic Bathhouse Row, which consists of turn-of-the-century bathhouses. 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 full-service resorts, water sports, boating, fishing, scuba diving, horsebackriding and golf. Retirees and vacation homeowners particularly love the area. Golf is popular in Hot Springs Village, a 26,000-acre gated community known for its nine championship 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 whatever they find. Easier-to-find quartz crystals are fun to search for at nearby mines in Jessieville and Mount Ida.

36

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017


“Aside from the beauty of our great city, the people are what Hot Springs is all about. After all this time in my life, I finally feel as though I’m part of a community, which I’m so proud to be a part of.” —Anthony Valinoti, moved from Brooklyn to Las Vegas, Santa Monica and other cities before settling down in Hot Springs >>Turn to page 47 for Anthony’s relocation story.

From top left: Bird’s-eye view of The Arlington Hotel on Central Avenue in downtown Hot Springs | Bret Michaels at MusicFest in El Dorado | Wegner Quartz Crystal Mines in Mount Ida | Texarkana State Line

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 in the U.S. 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 new construction. In a city of about 19,000, it’s an impressive plan, and one that’s backed in part by $80 million from local Fortune 500 companies Murphy USA and Murphy Oil. Murphy put El Dorado on the map when they made a commitment to pay college tuition and fees for all graduating seniors of the El Dorado Public School District. This “El Dorado Promise” has drawn many newcomers to the state. Another Timberlands mainstay is Texarkana, a city on the Texas-Arkansas state line. It’s thriving too, with major growth in the past decade on both sides of the border. Arkadelphia, Camden, Hope (President Clinton’s birthplace), Mena and Prescott also have great attractions showcasing their place 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 37


Southwest

ATTRACTIONS 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 Woodlands Auditorium Hot Springs Village, HSVTicketSales.com

Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs

HISTORICAL SITES & MUSEUMS The Gangster Museum of America Hot Springs, TGMOA.com 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…

 attend

 dig

 see

for diamonds (and keep what you find) in Murfreesboro.

 be

in two different states at the same time in Texarkana.

 scuba

dive to see a sunken UFO in Lake Ouachita.

 sleep

in a yurt at DeGray Lake Resort State Park.

 raft

whitewater on the Cossatot River, if you dare.

 sleep

in the same room Al Capone did at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs.

 eat

Mena Train Depot Mid-America Science Museum Hot Springs, MidAmericaMuseum.org Nevada County Depot Museum Prescott, DepotMuseum.org President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site Hope, NPS.gov/WICL Sevier County Museum De Queen

38

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

some of the world’s best watermelon (you’ll be hard-pressed to prove otherwise) in Hope.

 experience

a Wild West gunfight re-enactment in El Dorado.

 soak

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.

 watch

Thoroughbreds make history (e.g. American Pharoah and Smarty Jones) at Oaklawn Racing & Gaming in Hot Springs.

SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS IS KNOWN FOR…  the

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.

 Marks’

Mills Battleground State Park in Fordyce

HISTORY WAS MADE IN SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS WHEN… were discovered here by John W. Huddleston in 1906.

 diamonds

 Hope-native

Bill Clinton was elected president of the United States in 1992.


Relax at The Arlington

The Heart of Historic Hot Springs National Park

Holiday Springs Water Park in Texarkana

 the

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).

Oil established The El Dorado Promise, a one-of-a-kind scholarship program that allows all local school district graduates to attend college for free.

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.

The

Arlington R E S O R T H O T E L & S PA

www.ArlingtonHotel.com

T H E H E A R T O F H I S T O R I C H O T S P R I N G S N AT I O N A L PA R K

For Reservations or Information: (800) 643-1502

A Presidential Experience

 Murphy

Capone and other notorious mobsters made Hot Springs their vacation home.

 Al

a

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.

Come See Our Temporary Exhibits

American Champions: The Quest for Olympic Glory • March 12 – September 11 Ladies and Gentlemen... The Beatles! • October 8 – April 2, 2017

While at the Center, be sure to visit:

of the Clinton Center lobby Glass Heart by James Hayes

Easy Drop-Off Lunch Delivery & Delicious Catering for All Your Events

Clinton Presidential Center

DIRECT TO YOU 501-537-0042 • www.dineatfortytwo.com

501-537-0042 • www.dineatfortytwo.com ClintonPresidentialCenter.org • Little Rock, Arkansas • 501-374-4242 www.RelocateToArkansas.com 39


DISCOVER ARKANSAS

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 high-rise condos. State government, banking and 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, with the headquarters of worldwide nonprofit Heifer International 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-and-coming downtown district. Residents of the capital city find its pet-friendly patios and dog parks, miles of trails and pedestrian bridges and the 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, the 1,700-acre Burns Park (one of the largest city parks in the country), Dickey-Stephens 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.

40

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017


MICHAEL BAXLEY

“When we were first looking for houses, people here would tell us that Little Rock was this secret little gem, and not to share how wonderful it is. I don’t want to be the one that spills the beans, but if you are looking for a welcoming community and relaxed lifestyle in a charming area filled with quaint shops and friendly people — this place is it.” —Jeffrey Nodelman, relocated to Little Rock after living in New Jersey, New York and Burbank, California >>Turn to page 47 for Jeffrey’s relocation story.

From top left: The Arkansas State Capitol building | Downtown Little Rock skyline and bridges | The Promenade at Chenal shopping center

Located within an hour’s drive from the capital are towns like Conway, Scott, Cabot, 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,” with 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 sped

the city’s growth. Over the next 20 years, Conway plans to capitalize on its boom by investing $40 million into their parks with the end goal of every citizen living within walking distance of a park. Further out, the city of England is known for its farms, and Morrilton for its 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.

Continued on page 44 www.RelocateToArkansas.com 41


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LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017


www.RelocateToArkansas.com 43


Central Arkansas

ATTRACTIONS ARTS & THEATERS Arkansas Arts Center Little Rock, ArkansasArtsCenter.org

Enrich your life with culture and history at the region’s finest arts venues, historical sites and attractions.

Central High School National Historic Site Little Rock, NPS.gov/CHSC

Arkansas Repertory Theatre Little Rock, TheRep.org

EMOBA—The Museum of Black Arkansans & Performing Arts Theater Little Rock

Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre Conway, ArkShakes.com

Heifer Ranch Perryville, Heifer.org/Ranch

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Little Rock, ArkansasSymphony.org

Heifer Village Little Rock, Heifer.org/Village

Arkansas Studies Institute Little Rock, ARStudies.com

Historic Arkansas Museum Little Rock, HistoricArkansas.org

Heifer Village

Jacksonville Museum of Military History Jacksonville, JaxMilitaryMuseum.org Lower White River Museum State Park Des Arc, ArkansasStateParks.com/ LowerWhiteRiverMuseum MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History Little Rock, ArkMilitaryHeritage.com

IN CENTRAL ARKANSAS YOU CAN…

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Little Rock, MosaicTemplarsCenter.com

 Visit the Clinton Presidential Library & Museum.

Museum of Discovery— Donald W. Reynolds Science Center Little Rock, MuseumOfDiscovery.org

 bike a 24-mile loop around the Arkansas River.

Old State House Museum Little Rock, OldStateHouse.com Celebrity Attractions Little Rock, CelebrityAttractions.com Center on the Square Searcy, CenterOnTheSquare.org Community Theatre of Little Rock Little Rock, www.CTLR-ACT.org

Plantation Agriculture Museum State Park Scott, ArkansasStateParks.com/ PlantationAgricultureMuseum The Museum of Automobiles Morrilton, MuseumOfAutos.com

Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall Conway, UCA.edu/Reynolds

Toltec Mounds Archaeological State Park Scott, ArkansasStateParks.com/ ToltecMounds

Harding Summer Dinner Theater Searcy, Harding.edu

Searcy Art Gallery–Historic Black House Searcy, Searcy.com/Business/9907

Murry’s Dinner Playhouse Little Rock, MurrysDP.com

White County Historical–Pioneer Village Searcy, www.WhiteCountyPioneerVillage.org

The Joint North Little Rock, TheJointArgenta.com

Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center Little Rock, CentralArkansasNatureCenter.com

Wildwood Park for the Arts Little Rock, WildwoodPark.org HISTORICAL SITES & MUSEUMS Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum & U.S.S. Razorback Submarine North Little Rock, AIMMuseum.org

Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum North Little Rock, ArkSportsHallOfFame.com

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

 race a sailboat on Lake Maumelle.  mountain bike an old wagon route (Enders Fault Trail in Greenbrier).

CENTRAL ARKANSAS IS KNOWN FOR BEING… a land of opportunity. 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.” 

clean and comfortable. The Little Rock Metro ranked No. 6 in the U.S. for “keeping cool” by Apartment Guide and ranked No. 2 on SpareFoot’s “Top 10 Tidiest Towns in America” list. 

Arkansas State Capitol Little Rock, SOS.Arkansas.gov

44

 eat world-famous barbecue at Whole Hog Café.

 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.”

Arkansas National Guard Museum North Little Rock, ARNGMuseum.com

William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum Little Rock, ClintonLibrary.gov

 hike to the top of a mountain (Pinnacle Mountain).

Arkansas Arts Center

 a foodie city. Forbes included Little Rock in its 2014 list of “Five Secret Foodie Cities in the Nation.”


Clinton Presidential Library & Museum

Good Shepherd Community P roviding quality affordable living for seniors since 1979.

Call for your tour our today! today

PH: 501-224-7200 

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.

2701 Aldersgate Road

Little Rock, AR 72205

www.goodshepherdcommunity.com

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 13 months later he announced his victory.

we

here for a better state of health

From cancer to neurosurgery, family care to geriatrics, and everything in between, UAMS continually strives to deliver excellent care for you and your family. With a staff of the best and brightest, personalized medicine, convenient access to clinics and the state’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. UAMShealth.com

www.RelocateToArkansas.com 45


MEET YOUR NEW NEIGHBORS

WHY I MOVED HERE NORTHWEST

NORTH CENTRAL

UPPER DELTA

ELOA JANE PEREIRA

ANTONELLA (TONY) GUINN JOHN A. FAULKNER

Designer and artist, Eloa Jane Art & Design Originally from: Curitiba, Brazil Home now: Fayetteville

U.S. Forest Service Visitor Information Specialist and Gravity BrewWorks Owner Originally from: Cleveland, Ohio Home now: Mountain View

Artist Eloa Pereira moved from Brazil to Massachusetts to Washington, D.C. and, finally, to Fayetteville. When living in D.C. took a financial toll, Eloa began searching for another place to live. When she looked at Fayetteville, she found it had an affordable cost of living and a vibrant art community. “I had already been to Fayetteville a few times visiting my daughter,” she says. “I always loved the hilly, quaint town and its ‘funky’ and open-minded community.” She also enjoyed the natural beauty of Northwest Arkansas and the many art galleries, including the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. “I found what I was looking for,” she says. “After 10 years in America, I was finally able to own a home, and not just any home, but the one I wanted.” And when it comes to retiring, she says, “I’m not going anywhere!” Your town in three words: Funky, artsy, educated Best local event: Block Street Party Must-do: Nightlife on Dickson Street Advice for folks considering the move: “Keep a funky spirit. Get involved. There’s always a party or festival.” 46

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

Tony Guinn and her husband, Bill Riffle, made the move from Ohio to Arkansas to get “back to the land.” Born and raised in Cleveland, Tony met Bill at the Columbus College of Art & Design. Bill’s grandmother grew up on Arkansas’s White River, and after the two of them came for a visit, Tony knew she wanted to move to the area. “We came here first as tourists,” she says. “We weren’t nervous — we’d come on vacation and over time decided we wanted to live here.” The couple settled down in Mountain View and opened Gravity BrewWorks in nearby Big Flat. Tony enjoys living among nature. “It’s pretty quiet most of the time. It’s inspirational, since I also do artwork,” she says. “I think my favorite thing is that small-town living is 180 degrees from my growing up days.” Your town in three words: Quiet, friendly, musical Best places to eat: JoJo’s or Anglers Best local event: Caroling in the Caverns Must-do: See Blanchard Springs Caverns Favorite day trip: Petit Jean State Park

Town Developer for Wilson, Arkansas Originally from: Sarasota, Florida Home now: Wilson

John Faulkner has moved for work to various places: Massachusetts, Connecticut and Tennessee, to name a few. Relocating for work is one thing, but working to reinvent your new home is another. That’s why Faulkner moved to Wilson — to lead a renaissance of the tiny town. John is the Town Developer and is employed by Gaylon Lawrence, who bought the town in 2010 and kick-started its revitalization, according to an article by The New York Times. John is also gettting back to his roots in the Upper Delta. When he was younger, he spent summers on the family farm near the Mississippi River. John says he loves the history and culture in his area, but his favorite thing is the spirit of innovation that pervades the town. “Wilson is in a process of renewal,” he says. “You can feel the positive energy of change here.” Your town in three words: Historic, changing, pure Delta Best place to eat: The Wilson Café Favorite day trip: Little Rock Advice for folks considering the move: “Expect to meet kind-hearted and sincere people.”


Visit RelocateTo Arkansas.com to read more relocation stories from other newcomers!

Get to know vibrant locals who reveal why they chose Arkansas—and why they never want to leave. LOWER DELTA

CHARLES GRAHAM

SOUTHWEST

ANTHONY VALINOTI

CENTRAL

JEFFREY NODELMAN

Music minister and evangelist Originally from: Dermott Home now: Dermott

Owner/operator of DeLuca’s Pizzeria Originally from: Brooklyn, New York Home now: Hot Springs

Vice President of Marketing & Media for ATA International Originally from: Marlboro, New Jersey Home now: Little Rock

Renowned minister and gospel singer, Charles Graham traveled the world before returning home. As a child, Charles lived in Dermott where he and his family worked in the fields. Charles grew up, left for college and lived away for 34 years. He worked and traveled around Europe, Africa and the Americas. He thought he would never live in Arkansas again, but he finally decided to return for good. “I realized God had changed my heart about the place I had once called home,” he says. Back in the Lower Delta, he purchased a property where his family had worked when he was a child. As a boy, Charles dreamt about being able to see inside the house that he now owns. As a man, he uses his home to promote fellowship. “I get to live alongside everyone in my community and share life together,” he says.

Anthony Valinoti was used to city life. As a former resident of Brooklyn, Manhattan, Las Vegas, Santa Monica and Miami Beach, he had moved to more than one big city for a job. He came to Hot Springs for himself. “In a simple twist of fate, an old friend pointed me in this direction,” he says. “I was looking to open up a pizza shop in California and that didn’t work out.” After his friend recommended Hot Springs, “I got on a plane the next day and fell in love with [this] wonderful city,” he said. Fortunately, the move to Hot Springs also provided a job opportunity; he opened up DeLuca’s Pizzeria downtown. Anthony enjoys life in this smaller city. “The ease and pace of the city, having lived in so many concrete jungles, this is truly a breath of fresh air,” Anthony says.

Jeffrey Nodelman moved all the way from the Big Apple to Little Rock. An award-winning animator, he has worked with companies like Walt Disney and Nickelodeon, and opened his own studio. He also produced the animation for the Tony Award-winning musical “Avenue Q.” While in the big city, he trained in ATA (American Taekwondo Association) martial arts, eventually securing a fourth-degree black belt. During a job in LA, he bonded with Mike Chat, better known as the Blue Power Ranger, over ATA. Their friendship led to a position with ATA and Jeffrey’s move down south. “[The job created] an opportunity for a complete change of lifestyle for me and my family,” Jeffrey says. The convenience and community he has found in Arkansas are why his family plans to stay. “Little Rock isn’t just a place we live, it has become our home.”

Your town in three words: Beautiful, serene, magical Must-do: Hike up West Mountain and see the panoramic view. Advice for folks considering the move: “Be prepared to stay; once you’re here you’re never going to want to leave.”

Your town in three words: Right size, endearing, convenient Best local events: Farmers markets and Hillcrest street festivals Favorite day trip: Petit Jean Mountain Advice for folks considering the move: “Do it!”

Your town in three words: Resilient, persistent, history Best place to eat: Dermott Barbecue Best local event: Dermott Community Festival Favorite day trip: Lake Chicot State Park in Lake Village

www.RelocateToArkansas.com 47


THE

ULTIMATE

ARKANSAS BUCKET LIST There are certain things every Arkansan should do at least once. Consider this an Arkansas bucket list, or at least it’s a start. BY REX NELSON WITH EDITOR ASIDES

1

Eat an entire hubcap cheeseburger at the original Cotham’s in Scott.

2

Float in a canoe down the Buffalo National River when the dogwoods are blooming.

3

Attend an event in the back room behind the kitchen at Doe’s in Little Rock. One of President Bill Clinton’s favorite restaurants,

the private party room at Doe’s was where he spent many a night strategizing during the presidential election.

4

Fish for trout early in the morning on the upper White River.

5

Watch the sun rise on a winter morning from a duck blind on the Grand Prairie.

6

48

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

Spend the night at both the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs and the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs. The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa is known not only for its history and grandeur, but also for its ghosts. The hotel has become popular for its nightly ghost tours and its annual ESP Weekend in January.

7

Attend a Battle of the Ravine college football game between Ouachita and Henderson in Arkadelphia.

8 Crescent Hotel

Arlington Hotel

6

Dig for diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro. The biggest diamond ever found in the United States was discovered here. The 40.23-carat white gem was unearthed in 1924, before the park was established, and was dubbed The Uncle Sam Diamond after its finder. A 16.37-carat diamond was discovered by W.W. Johnson, an Amarillo, Texas native in 1975. It

was the biggest diamond found after Crater’s establishment as a state park in 1972. Diamonds continue to be discovered (and kept!) by park-goers every year.

9

Visit Bald Knob when the strawberries are ripe in May and order the strawberry shortcake at The Bulldog.

10

Sample fried chicken at the Mount Nebo Chicken Fry in Dardanelle.

11

Pick wild blackberries while wondering how many chigger bites you’ll have at the end of the day.

12

Eat some peaches at the Johnson County Peach Festival. Started in 1938, this is one of the oldest festivals in Arkansas. Held the last weekend in July each year, activities include peach and peach pie-eating contests, a


20

26 22

12 fishing derby, a greased pig chase, talent show, pageants, live music and more.

13 14

Kayak on the Mulberry River.

Have a steak on Friday night at Jerry’s in Trumann.

15

Hang out with some bikers at Roy’s in Paragould.

16

Attend the Fourth of July community picnics at Corning, Portia and Piggott.

17

Cross the U.S. Highway 62 bridge over Norfork Lake on a clear day and admire how blue the water is.

18

Eat the Gear Salad and the filet mignon at Herman’s in Fayetteville.

19

Sit outside at Basin Spring Park in Eureka Springs on a fall Saturday evening and enjoy the music.

for the Western District of Arkansas for 21 years. His tenure was unique in the history of the federal judiciary; while most U.S. district judges toiled away on civil cases, Parker heard thousands of criminal complaints involving disputes and violence between Indians and non-Indians.

21

Drive along the Talimena Scenic Drive as the leaves are changing.

22

Spend the day walking around Historic Washington State Park when the jonquils are blooming.

23

Take a boat out onto Grassy Lake at night to look for alligators. Each year, the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission awards 72 exclusive alligator hunt permits to control the population.

24

Walk around the courthouse square in El Dorado and go into as many locally owned shops as possible. While still preserving many of its historic buildings, El Dorado is undergoing a renaissance to become “The City of Festivals.” State-of-the-art infrastructure will soon accommodate the thousands who will patronize the city’s many new events. Its Southern Food & Wine festival and the South Arkansas Arts Center already lure people to this noteworthy city each year.

25

Buy more than you need at Mack’s Prairie Wings in Stuttgart.

Wrangle an invitation to one of the Sunday night wild-game dinners at Gene’s in Brinkley.

27

Drink some of the water at the Mountain Valley headquarters in downtown Hot Springs.

28

Grab a weekday plate lunch at the Pickens Store in Desha County during the harvest season.

29

Eat a plate of buffalo ribs at the Lassis Inn in Little Rock.

30

Tour the Lower White River Museum in Des Arc on a Friday afternoon and then have a catfish dinner at Dondie’s.

31

Eat a turkey sandwich at the original Burge’s in Lewisville.

32

Spend a summer Saturday morning at the farmers market on the Fayetteville square. CONTINUED ON PAGE 50

34

24

20

Visit Judge Parker’s courtroom at the Fort Smith National Historic Site. Judge Isaac C. Parker held the bench of the U.S. Court

DERO SANFORD LITTLE ROCK CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

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49

MIKE PIRNIQUE

38 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 49

33

Visit a sand blow in Northeast Arkansas, while contemplating the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-12.

34

Get a sunburn while attending Riverfest in Little Rock and be sure to stay for the fireworks. Riverfest is Arkansas’s largest music fest held every summer in downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock. Famous musicians like Sheryl Crow, Ludacris, Carrie Underwood, Earth Wind & Fire, Blake Shelton, Willie Nelson, ZZ Top, Snoop Dogg and Brad Paisley perform all weekend long on various stages.

35

Buy a stack of books at That Bookstore in Blytheville.

36

Watch Sonny Payne do his “King Biscuit Time” radio show at the Delta Cultural Center in Helena.

50

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

44

37

Fish for bream on a south Arkansas oxbow during the day and go frog gigging on the same lake at night.

38

Watch the cardboard boat races at Greers Ferry Lake and then have dinner at the Red Apple Inn. The World Championship Cardboard Boat Race held every July in Heber Springs is serious fun, but also serious competition. Participants build a person-powered boat made of corrugated cardboard capable of completing four heats around a 200-yard semicircle course. The race draws big crowds from across the state to watch the spectacle, and often garners national attention. In 2005, the races aired live on ESPN and re-aired more than 21 times, reaching 88 million viewers.

39

Sit on the east side of Mount Nebo while watching the sun rise over the Arkansas River Valley.

40

Catch the Memphis fireworks on the Sunday before Memorial Day from a sandbar on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River.

41

Take a slow walk through Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock.

42

Attend a high school basketball game on a winter Friday night at Valley Springs.

Buy some wine in Altus and then visit the monastery at Subiaco. Back in 1880, two European families settled in the Arkansas River Valley, attracted by its fertile, sandy soil and moderate climate. Jacob Post, who came to America in 1872, and Johann Wiederkehr, who immigrated from Switzerland in 1880, found the area reminded them of the wine-making regions of their homeland. They each established vineyards, and thus are the founders of viticulture in Arkansas.

45

Eat a turkey leg at the Arkansas State Fair.

43

Attend a high school football game on a fall Friday night in Nashville.

44 32


46

Attend the seasonal craft fairs at War

47

Fish for smallmouth bass on the Kings

48

Eat a tamale spread at McClard’s in Hot

61

54

Eagle.

River.

Springs.

49

Attend the King Biscuit Blues Festival at Helena-West Helena. This is one of the nation’s leading blues festivals. Held for three days annually in October, tens of thousands of blues enthusiasts converge on historic downtown HelenaWest Helena in the Upper Delta to hear stirring performances by blues greats on the banks of the Mississippi River.

50

Stand in the state Capitol rotunda and

look up.

51 52

Climb Pinnacle Mountain.

Spend the night on a houseboat on Lake Ouachita.

53

Attend a county fair parade.

54

Drive the Pig Trail when the leaves are turning with a stop at the Turner Bend Store.

55 56

Pig out at Jones BarB-Q in Marianna.

Watch the elk graze in the Boxley Valley in Newton County. As the largest species of mammal currently found in Arkansas, elk are one of the state’s most soughtafter animals for viewing and photography. They can commonly be seen in Boxley Valley along Arkansas Highways 43 and 21.

57

Listen to the music on a Saturday night in downtown Mountain View.

58

Take a bath on Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs.

59

59

Stand along the rail at Oaklawn Park on Arkansas Derby day. For 80 years, this annual stepping-stone race to the Triple Crown has featured some of the best Thoroughbreds in the country. The Derby attracts people from across the country and state, some even donning seersucker and fancy hats.

60

Hang out on Dickson Street in Fayetteville with the college students after a Razorback game.

61

Tour the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home in Dyess and then head over to Wilson to see the English Tudor architecture. This historic Dyess Colony home has been restored to its appearance when young Johnny Cash and his family lived there from 1935 to 1954.

62

Read the Civil War markers at DeValls Bluff and then have barbecue at Craig’s.

58

63

Eat a slice of melon at the Hope Watermelon

Festival.

63 www.RelocateToArkansas.com 51


HAPPY

TRAILS

Among Chuck Maxwell’s favorite mountain biking trails is the Lake Loop Trail at Lincoln Lake, a 4.25-mile loop that offers access to large rock formations and remote wooded areas. 52

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017


An exodus from Austin to Northwest Arkansas gave Fayetteville’s Chuck Maxwell a chance to live his passion and make his mark on the Ozarks’ mountain biking scene.

Atop the dam at Lincoln Lake, Maxwell follows the Spillway Loop Trail at sunset.

By Dwain Hebda Photos by Hatch & Maas Collective

D

on’t try to tell Chuck Maxwell that there’s no such thing as love at first sight, because the 46-year-old transplanted Texan knows better. “Literally, as we drove over the ridge coming up Highway 71 to first come to town it was like, ‘Wow. Yep, this feels right.’ And it has ever since,” he says. “There was this vibe; I knew I had found what I was looking for in a place to live. It felt really similar to Austin, where I grew up.” Chuck’s wife Gail, a fitness instructor, was in the car and was similarly impressed. “I was blown away by Fayetteville,” she says. “It has a real community feel. I like the fact that we get the four distinct seasons, that was very appealing.” So began the long-running love affair between Northwest Arkansas and the Maxwells. The Texas natives moved from the concrete and oil fields of Houston where Chuck finished his post-baccalaureate work in perfusion. Fayetteville’s wild and unspoiled landscape — coupling interesting topography with miles of roads to explore — spoke to them both; he as a lifelong cyclist and she as a marathoner and triathlete. It wasn’t long before they’d found a circle of kindred spirits. “We immediately made friends,” Gail says. “It was a community of very active people, like-minded, open-minded, all-around friendly people.”

100 MILES AND COUNTING What Fayetteville and the surrounding communities did not have at that time was a well-developed set of trails, particularly to accommodate the emerging mountain biking segment of the cycling population. “Before the 1980s there were no mountain

bikes, cycling was virtually all done on the roads and then gravel roads,” Chuck says. “As mountain biking started taking off, people could see that this was not just a fad and was actually going to continue to progress. At that point, mountain bikers started recognizing in order to have more and better trails, they were going to have to help build and maintain them.” Ozark Off Road Cyclists, a chapter of the International Mountain Biking Association, formed for just this purpose, a group Chuck not only joined but has helped lead as its president. Throughout its history, the OORC and its members has helped advocate and develop local trails, promote the sport through group rides and sponsor competitive events as part of the Arkansas Mountain Bike Championship Series. But the group’s most enduring contribution has been building more than 100 miles of mountain bike trails throughout the region. Over the years, the group’s members have become experts in designing and constructing trails that keep one eye on the sport and one on conservation. “For years, mountain bikers have been educating themselves on how to do it sustainably; how to build trails so they wouldn’t erode, which is a big issue with hiking trails,” Chuck says. “There’s a need for trails, but trails that aren’t damaging to our environment and that are going to be there for longer than the next significant rain event.”

MORE TO BE DONE This grassroots effort has come a long way over the years. The work that has been accomplished has lent considerably to the quality of life in this part of Arkansas, a lifestyle that has revolved around and long revered the outdoors. “In Arkansas, you’re looking at 3 million people in the whole state. That’s the population of Houston alone,” Chuck says. “I think that’s a big benefit. Even though this area is growing, it’s still a beautiful environment with a lot to offer people who enjoy being outdoors and active, not just for the cycling, but hiking and canoeing and rock climbing, as well.” “Plus, it’s easy to access that natural environment. You can be just a few minutes away from your local park or take a 30-minute or an hour’s drive to your favorite trail that’s way out in the wilderness where you can go and not see another person for the entire day. There’s an enormous variety in what we offer.” The trails system developed through OORC and other public and private entities benefit a wider community than just mountain bikers, providing walkers and runners of all ages the facilities to stay active. Gail has experienced this firsthand through her own training as a runner and cyclist. “The diverse terrain is amazing,” Gail says. “The work that Chuck has done at Lake Fayetteville is beautiful; there’s more than six CONTINUED ON PAGE 54 www.RelocateToArkansas.com 53


Chuck touts the diversity of mountain biking trails in Northwest Arkansas. “You’ve got everything from the Railyard in Rogers to jump-oriented parks,” he says.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 53

miles there and there are runners out there all the time.”

NATIONAL ACCLAIM Today, the trails in Northwest Arkansas represent some of the best riding in the country. Particularly noteworthy are routes at Black Bass Lake and Lake Leatherwood in nearby Eureka Springs, Devil’s Den State Park and Mt. Kessler in Fayetteville, Hobbs State Park in Rogers and Slaughter Pen in Bentonville. “The mountain biking here represents a real diversity,” Chuck says. “You’ve got everything from The Railyard in Rogers that is specific to a jump-oriented, trickoriented park for someone in their youth who really enjoys getting off the ground. And, you’ve got very beginner-friendly trails like what’s around Lake Fayetteville or some of Slaughter Pen, just gentle, easy slopes for people to get out on the trail and see what it is to ride off the pavement.”

BEST-KEPT SECRET Perhaps the most conspicuous testament to the active, outdoor culture of Northwest Arkansas is the Razorback Regional Greenway. Completed in 2015 at a cost of about $38 million, the project is comprised of 36 miles of primarily off-road, shareduse trails extending from Bella Vista at the Missouri state line south to Fayetteville. Along the way, six communities and dozens of popular attractions are linked including the University of Arkansas, shopping areas, historic sites and neighborhoods. 54

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

The trail has also brought economic development to the communities it connects; all along the Greenway, you can find local restaurants, shops and a growing number of microbreweries and populations as diverse as the geography. Hop off the trail in Fayetteville after a run for a hand-crafted brew at Columbus House or Fossil Cove breweries, or cycle up an appetite for one of Pedalers Pub’s wood-fired pizzas in Bentonville. It’s an eclectic scene Chuck compares to the Austin of his youth. “I think it has to do with the towns and the environment they create and the age of the families that are living here,” he says. “Especially in today’s day and age ... society recognizes that we have to find a way to be sustainable.” The Razorback Regional Greenway project, funded primarily through grants by the Walton Family Foundation and the U.S. Department of Transportation, is also the capstone on this growing area’s reputation for excellent outdoor amenities that is gaining nationwide attention. “We’ve definitely been getting a lot more press that Northwest Arkansas is an affordable place to live and extremely desirable,” Gail says. “I have a connection with a lot of people in Austin and some of them haven’t been to Fayetteville yet, and now they’re asking more questions about it.” “Sometimes we feel like we’d like to keep it our little secret,” she laughed. “It’s just very comfortable here, definitely a little piece of heaven.”

INSIDER’S VIEW OF FAYETTEVILLE HOMETOWN EATS GREEN HOUSE GRILL “Local fare, a lot of farm to table. I like their shiitake quinoa stir fry.” KONA “Our new Indian restaurant. I really like the vibe here.” KOBE “Love the sushi.” PESTO CAFE “Great Italian.” FAYETTEVILLE EVENTS SQUARE 2 SQUARE BIKE RIDE “Covers Springdale, Fayetteville and goes into Bentonville. Pretty fabulous.” BIKES BLUES & BBQ “We get a huge crowd of visitors through here. Lots to see and do.” SPRINGFEST “We’ve added music to this event to make it more of a street festival to go along with the local vendors.” CHILE PEPPER RUN “Always been a favorite off-road course. Just beautiful.”

DAY TRIPS BENTONVILLE (30 minutes north) “The Walton family’s legacy looms large here, including the outstanding Crystal Bridges Museum and Walmart Museum on the town square.” ROGERS (30 minutes north) “Catch a concert at Arkansas Music Pavilion or a foul ball at a Northwest Arkansas Naturals baseball game.” EUREKA SPRINGS (1 hour northeast) “A place like no other. Eclectic shops, interesting people—the entire cliff-hugging downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places.”


GREAT MOUNTAIN BIKING/CYCLING

The Northwest Arkansas Razorback Regional Greenway

TRAILS

TO EXPLORE IN EVERY REGION

The Natural State has no shortage of outdoorsy charm, but we’re especially proud of our 52 state parks and countless trails to hike, bike and explore. Listed below are our picks for great mountain biking and road cycling trails in each region. No matter where you are in the state, you’ll find a trail to blaze or a mountain to climb.

NORTHWEST MOUNTAIN BIKING HIDDEN DIVERSITY Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area • 24 miles

Explore 24 miles of singletrack in Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area, only a few minutes from Rogers. Expect quick turns and substantial climbs. Race through the pine forest on your own or join in the annual Battle for Townsend Ridge mountain bike race. LAKE LEATHERWOOD Eureka Springs • 25 miles

You’ll find 25 miles of multi-use trails and other delights in this destination town. On the trails, expect good downhill riding, creek crossings and different types of terrain. MOUNT KESSLER Fayetteville • 9 miles

If “urban mountain” sounds like an oxymoron, it shouldn’t: this is the only way to describe Mount Kessler. A mountain in a town like Fayetteville, with population of nearly 80,000 people, might seem out of place. However, you’ll find great sights and a unique experience when you ride there. SLAUGHTER PEN Bentonville • 20 miles

The Slaughter Pen trail system in Bentonville may have an intimidating name, but the trails have something for everyone. Beginner? Try the All-American and Seed Tick Shuffle trails. Expert? Go for Scott’s Alley and Medusa. Art lover? Perfect! You can ride right past the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. UPPER BUFFALO

Ozark National Forest • 40 miles

This is an IMBA Epic ride. You’ll see and experience the Ozark Forest in all its gritty glory on these routes. This area is remote, don’t go alone. Bring a friend on these steep climbs and great descents, as well as some provisions.

ROAD CYCLING RAZORBACK GREENWAY Fayetteville • 36 miles

The Northwest Arkansas Razorback Regional Greenway stretches from Bentonville to Fayetteville. Although it is primarily off-road, that doesn’t mean you won’t see traffic. This trail connects six downtowns, three hospitals, over 20 schools (including the University of Arkansas), historic sites and parks.

NORTH CENTRAL MOUNTAIN BIKING LYON COLLEGE BLUFF TRAIL Batesville • 1.25 miles

The Lyon College Bluff Trail follows the bluff on the north side of the campus in Batesville. The system has two loops: the Barrel of Monkeys trail and the Student Wellness Advocacy Team Trail. PIGEON CREEK Mountain Home • 14 miles

Ride this beginner-friendly loop for some small up- and down-hills and keep your eyes open for scenic spots. If it rains, be careful: the nearby lake tends to flood the trail. OAK RIDGE Bull Shoals-White River State Park • 4 miles

Moderately difficult with serious uphills or moderately easy? You choose. 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. SYLLAMO Mountain View • 50 miles

Serious riders only at the Syllamo. This IMBA Epic ride consists of 50 miles of trail system, featuring big rocks and river views and singletrack throughout. Enjoy the natural beauty of the St. Francis-Ozark National Forest, as well

BETH HALL

as the technical challenges these trails provide.

UPPER DELTA MOUNTAIN BIKING CRAIGHEAD FOREST PARK Jonesboro • 16 miles

Want a good ride in a convenient location? The trails at Craighead Forest Park (simply known as Black Loop, Green Loop and Yellow Loop) are less than 20 minutes from Jonesboro. Some of the hills have steep drops and harder trails have fast turns. VILLAGE CREEK Wynne • 30 miles

Head to Village Creek State Park for more than 30 miles of trails on Crowley’s Ridge. Although you may have to share the multi-use trails with non-bikers, you’ll be treated with creek crossings and small (but steep) hills during your ride. ST. FRANCIS LEVEE GRAVEL GRINDER ROUTE Helena/West Memphis • 21 miles

Head north on the St. Francis Levee to see the Crittenden County Eco-Park. This terrain can get a little rough, so try it with a fat tire bicycle.

ROAD CYCLING DELTA FLATLANDER ROUTE Marianna/West Memphis • 62 miles

Home of the annual Arkansas Delta Flatlander race. Start this 62-mile 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. Parts of this route are gravel. Some of this route overlaps the massive Mississippi River Trail. PARAGOULD-PIGGOT LOOP Paragould • 89.5 miles

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.” While in Piggott, consider CONTINUED ON PAGE 56

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making a stop at the HemingwayPfeiffer museum, the home where Ernest Hemingway wrote some of “A Farewell to Arms.”

DANIEL MOODY

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 55

Big Dam Bridge

Junction Bridge

LOWER DELTA MOUNTAIN BIKING CANE CREEK LAKE TRAIL Star City • 15 miles

Make the trip down south to the Lower Delta to visit Cane Creek State Park near Star City. Ride 15 miles of trail system through the forest, over hills and over rivers. Don’t worry, the rivers have bridges — more than 50, in fact. After riding, go camping or fishing on the lake. Or camp right on the trail in a conveniently located hut.

Iron Iron Mountain Mountain Trail

ROAD CYCLING MISSISSIPPI RIVER TRAIL

West Memphis to Helena-West Helena • 85 miles

While the entirety of the 3,000-mile Mississippi River Trail is not in the Lower Delta of Arkansas, you can ride a respectable 85-mile section here. Ride the section from West Memphis to Helena-West Helena, then decide if you want to continue on this 10-state long network of roads into Mississippi and Louisiana. Make sure to do your research before embarking on a dayslong adventure. MONTICELLO–WARREN LOOP Monticello • 45 miles

Ride this route for smooth roads, substantial shoulders and a few hills. Schedule your ride from Monticello to Warren in early June to catch the Annual Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival.

SOUTHWEST MOUNTAIN BIKING FERN HOLLOW TRAIL White Oak Lake State Park • 10 miles

If you’d rather bike in the peaceful countryside, go on the Fern Hollow Trail. The nearly 10-mile long trail is multi-use, so watch out for hikers. It’s in a remote part of the state, so come prepared to make a trip out of it. IRON MOUNTAIN TRAIL Arkadelphia • 24 miles

The Iron Mountain Trail, outside Arkadelphia, is smooth and well-takencare-of but not without its thrills. Bike along the shore of DeGray Lake, then make your way up the trail. You’ll be rewarded with a breathless ride down and lovely views of the lake. LOVIT Hot Springs • 40 miles

For those who like the wilderness and 56

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

the city, you’ll love the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (LOViT). Bike this challenging IMBA Epic ride across five mountains, then relax your tired muscles at one of Hot Springs’ famous spas. Riders say that while the uphills aren’t easy, LOViT has the best downhills in Arkansas. OUACHITA NATIONAL RECREATION TRAIL Montgomery County • 108 miles

The Ouachita National Recreation Trail is the longest hiking trail in the state of Arkansas: 223 miles long, to be exact. For 108 of those miles, you can bring your mountain bike. Bikes are allowed on the part of the trail between Highway 88 and Scenic Highway 7. This IMBA Epic ride is located in the Ouachita National Forest, the South’s oldest national forest. WOMBLE TRAIL Ouachita National Forest 37 miles

Get ready for some beautiful views from up in the mountains — and also for the steep climbs you’ll take to get there on this IMBA Epic ride. Many creeks have bridges, but be careful with the ones that don’t.

ROAD CYCLING HOT SPRINGS LOOP Hot Springs National Park 51 miles

For a view of the Ouachita Mountains without the intensity of mountain biking, try the Hot Springs Loop. This route will take you through Hot Springs National Park, the 15th most-visited

national park in the United States. Start your 51-mile trip at the intersection of Grand and Central Avenues. RICH MOUNTAIN RIDE Mena • 60 miles

Start on the Arkansas side in Mena, then cycle up the very strenuous 14 miles to the top of Rich Mountain. You’ll come down into Oklahoma. To prolong your visit, stay in a “Castle in the Clouds” – at the lodge at Queen Wilhelmina State Park. TOUR OF COLUMBIA COUNTY Magnolia • 65 miles

Get acquainted with some Ark-La-Tex geography and history on this tour of Columbia County. In Magnolia, visit the Columbia County Courthouse, a centuryold building surrounded by magnolia trees that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

CENTRAL

MOUNTAIN BIKING BOYLE PARK Little Rock • 7 miles

In The Natural State, mountain bike trails can be found even in the heart of the capital city. Beginners can start on the northwest side of the park and graduate to the northeast, which is steep and rocky. CAMP ROBINSON TRAILS North Little Rock • 40 miles

With 25 different trails totaling at least 30 miles of ground, Camp Robinson has something for everyone. You can’t just run in and start riding; you’ll need to

DISCOVER MORE

Visit Arkansas.com/ bicycling for details on more rides across Arkansas. You can also request a copy of the state’s mountain biking and road cycling guides, view cycling videos and find information about cycling events.

purchase an annual or three-day pass at the Visitor Center. ENDER’S FAULT Greenbrier • 9 miles

Ender’s Fault is located in Woolly Hollow State Park in Greenbrier and was designed for mountain bikers. Hang a left to go on the North Loop for tight turns and quick climbs.

ROAD CYCLING ARKANSAS RIVER TRAIL Little Rock • 15-88 miles

Provides a leisurely ride through the very center of the state. Ride along the river and past museums, bridges and landmarks, including the Clinton Library and the Big Dam Bridge. LAKE MAUMELLE LOOP Little Rock • 37 miles

Start at Pinnacle Mountain State Park, then head toward Wye Mountain. On your way, you’ll see the lovely Lake Maumelle. Get ready for a workout when you go up Wye.


JOY RIDES

PIG TRAIL SCENIC BYWAY

FOR BIKERS AND ROAD WARRIORS

The state is filled with scenic and historic routes for motorcycle enthusiasts and day-trippers. Here’s a look at a few to get your journey started.

NORTHWEST EUREKA SPRINGS ART & HERITAGE TOUR (112 miles)

Situated on the northern section of AR 23, Eureka Springs is one of the top motorcycling destinations in mid-America, with highways consistently ranked among the top 10 best driving roads in the country by various publications. The scenic route features wooded terrain dotted with pastures, and is suitable for most levels.

Discover Even More

Visit Arkansas.com/Motorcycling for details on more rides across Arkansas. You can also request a copy of the state’s motorcycling guide book and subscribe to the motorcycling e-newsletter for events, deals and travel tips.

Things to see: Eureka Springs Historic Downtown; War Eagle Mill, Rogers; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville

PIG TRAIL SCENIC BYWAY/SIDETRIP TO OARK (80-98 miles)

While the entire length of AR 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 16, that comprises the famous ride, which was named number one on USA Today’s 10-best list of the country’s motorcycle routes and number two in North America. It has become synonymous with winding pavement and gorgeous scenery, often through deep tunnels of overhanging trees. Things to see: Oark General Store, Oark; Withrow Springs State Park, Huntsville; St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, Eureka Springs

GROWL AND LASSO RIDE

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NORTHWEST/ SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS SCENIC 7 BYWAY (296 miles)

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 — running through the Arkansas River Valley and the dense pine woodlands of south Arkansas to Louisiana. The tour includes snaky curves, steep hills and flat sections, making it a varied and fun route for any motorcycle enthusiast. Things to see: Buffalo National River, Jasper; Mt. Nebo State Park, Dardanelle; Hot Springs National Park, Hot Springs; Oaklawn Racing and Gaming, Hot Springs; Union Square District, El Dorado

Biking Events in Arkansas BIKES, BLUES & BBQ IN FAYETTEVILLE

58

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

Wild Hog Motorcycle Rally & Music Fest, Helena-West Helena (April) Mountains, Music & Motorcycles, Mountain View (August) Hot Springs Motorcycle Rally (September) Bikes, Blues & BBQ, Fayetteville (September) For a complete listing of all rallies and events, visit Arkansas.com/Motorcycling.


Learn More!

OLD HWY 161 IN SCOTT

The Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism publishes a

CENTRAL

variety of helpful guides full of information about the state.

PINNACLE MOUNTAIN/ GREERS FERRY LOOP

Parks & Tourism at 800-NATURAL or Arkansas State Parks

(230 miles)

This beautiful ride gets started at Pinnacle Mountain State Park, extends to Greers Ferry Lake and circles back to Central Arkansas. After crossing the Arkansas River near Morrilton, riders begin their ascent into the Ozarks on a smooth course to the Greers Ferry Lake area. Riders can stop at Greers Ferry Dam near Heber Springs before heading back to Little Rock on US 67. Things to see: Little Red River, Heber Springs; William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum, Little Rock; Drasco Trading Post, Drasco

UPPER DELTA GATEWAY GAP/ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGHWAY

The free publications listed below can be obtained by calling at 888-AT-PARKS. Helpful websites include Arkansas.com, ArkansasStateParks.com and NaturalStateGolfTrail.com. 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 Tour 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.

(180 miles)

U.S. 67 is nicknamed the Rock ‘N’ Roll Highway in recognition of the many famous musicians — like Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash — who played at the venues along this highway. The route also winds through the Ozarks’ eastern foothills. Things to see: Mammoth Spring State Park, Mammoth Spring; Jacksonport State Park, Newport; Mark Martin Museum, Batesville; historic downtown Hardy; Beatles Sculpture & Guitar Walk, Walnut Ridge

LOWER DELTA BAYOU BARTHOLOMEW/ ROHWER MEMORIAL LOOP (123 miles)

The longest bayou in the United States begins in Star City and loops through the Delta. The route is divided into two distinct geographical regions: the flat, Mississippi River-bottom agricultural land and dense Timberlands. Things to see: Desha County Museum, Dumas; World War II Japanese-American Internment Museum, McGehee; Cane Creek State Park, Star City

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

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SPRING WILDFLOWER IN THE NATURAL STATE

WILD MAN TWIN FALLS NEAR PARIS

WELL SEASONED Experience the best of Arkansas’s four distinct seasons with this forecast of monthly offerings.

HORSE NEAR FAIRFIELD BAY

WHITAKER POINT NEAR PONCA 60

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017


SPRING

Spring Forecast AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURE:

53°

March

63° April

70° May

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION:

4.66”

5.1”

5.02”

March

April

May

Look out for: Early March holds winter weather, but through April, temperatures start to rise. April showers bring May flowers and Arkansas’s iconic natural beauty, but also high pollen counts and occasional severe storms. PETIT JEAN STATE PARK OVERLOOK

NATURE’S BOUNTY Farmers markets are a thing of beauty, and starting in spring, we have plenty to choose from. From Jonesboro to El Dorado, the map is dotted with places to get your hands on the freshest ingredients, from farm to table. Sink your teeth into locally grown strawberries, spinach, peas and kale that have just been freshly picked when you visit markets in April and May. Find a nearby market at Arkansas.com/Dining/Farmers-Markets.

love Bentonville’s 40-mile mountain biking trail network and Central Arkansas’s 88-mile Arkansas River Trail system. Campers pick up where autumn left off by pitching tents at one of Arkansas’s 52 state parks, and horseback riders explore scenic parks like Village Creek State Park in Wynne or DeGray Lake Resort State Park in Bismarck. Spring lures anglers out for bass fishing on Beaver Lake, walleye on Lake Ouachita and trout on Bull Shoals Lake. Locate strategic spots for catching the big one at Arkansas.com/Outdoors/Fishing.

RECREATION

SUMMER

RIDES

Spring is when Arkansans emerge from their winter slumbers. To get reacquainted with nature, many hit the trails running or hiking in the Ouachita or Ozark Mountains. Cyclists

GOLF WEATHER While spring is a beautiful time of year to hit the links, golfers know that Arkansas’s mild weather makes for great rounds all year, which is why you’ll find them teeing up at courses across the state, including those on The Natural State Golf Trail. The trail includes 12 of the most scenic courses in the state in 11 different locations: Mountain Home, Hot Springs, Pine Bluff, Glenwood, Fayetteville, Drasco, Jonesboro, Wynne, Alma, Fairfield Bay and Heber Springs. Book a tee time at NaturalStateGolfTrail.com.

Arkansas has five International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Epic rides.You’ll find every type of ride here — from old-school technical singletrack to groomed and bermed-out downhill runs. Choose your own adventure at every trailhead.

NATURE’S BOUNTY

PADDLEBOARDING ON BEAVER LAKE

Never fear, fruit lovers. Berries abound here in the summer months, especially strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. Arkansas peaches are delicious, too. You can even pick your own at the Cabot Patch, Mountain High Produce, BoBrook Farms and Wye Mountain Flowers & Berries. Festivals across the state pay homage to summer’s bounty. The Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival in Warren is a summer staple, as are the Altus and Tontitown grape festivals, Wiederkehr’s Annual Winefest, Harrison’s Crawdad Days and the watermelon festivals of Cave City and Hope.

www.RelocateToArkansas.com 61


Summer Forecast AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURE:

78° June

84° July

80°

August

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION:

3.71”

3.41”

3.32”

June

July

August

Look out for: Outdoor activities abound during the summer months, especially around the nearest watering hole. It’s not unusual for temperatures to climb to the triple digits, while high humidity levels are a beast all their own. That can only mean one thing: a trip to the lake.

SUMMER (CONTINUED) RECREATION If you’re from the South, you know all about lazy summer days. If you’re new here, let us direct you to the nearest water source. Grab a life jacket and head to Lakes Ouachita and Hamilton for some boating fun in Southwest Arkansas, fish the White and Red Rivers or go cliff diving at Greers Ferry Lake. Paddle boarding is a hip new watersport, and SUP Outfitters on Beaver Lake in Northwest Arkansas can help with gear and lessons. The Buffalo, Big Piney, Cossatot and Caddo rivers are some of the best in the state for canoeing, kayaking and rafting, whether you’re looking for rapids or a leisurely float.

AUTUMN

EVENTS

WATERMELON FESTIVAL

NATURE’S BOUNTY September brings the start of the Arkansas rice harvest. Farmers in more than 40 counties produce grain, harvesting 50 percent of all rice grown in the United States. Soybeans, apples, sweet potatoes, grapes, corn and sorghum will be fresh and readily 62

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

Another way to beat the heat in Arkansas is to find a good breeze, and there are many ways to do so. Zip line through the trees at more than a dozen spots across the state (including near the Buffalo National River, pictured), climb aboard a hot air balloon, hang glide near Mount Magazine or skydive at Skydive Skyranch in Siloam Springs. Too extreme? Head inside to cool off and be enlightened by Arkansas’s history and heritage at one of the state’s renowned historical sites or museums. Visit Arkansas.com/Things-To-Do to find the perfect summer activities for you.

Summer is festival season in Arkansas, and we’ve got more than enough to choose from to fit whatever your fancy. Just above the Louisiana state line, you’ll find the town of Emerson, known for its PurpleHull Pea Festival & World Championship Rotary Tiller Races (pictured). Then head northeast for the annual Cave City Watermelon Festival (pictured), and west for Eureka Springs’ Fleur Delicious week-and-a-half celebration of French cuisine.

Autumn Forecast

AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURE:

74°

September

64°

October

52°

November

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION:

PUMPKIN HOLLOW IN PIGGOTT

available at local markets. If pumpkins are one of the first things to come to your mind when you think of fall, you’re in good company. Load up the family and visit one of the many pumpkin patches around the state, including Pumpkin Hollow in Piggott, Suzanne’s Fruit Farm in Hampton

3.4”

2.91”

4.15”

September

October

November

Look out for: By the end of September, you’ll be singing a different tune. Pleasant temps and the beautiful statewide transition to a new season make these months a get-out-and-play kind of season for locals and visitors alike.

and Peebles Farm between Augusta and McCrory. Most include hayrides, concessions and even corn mazes.

RECREATION The mild autumn temperatures in Arkansas mean an influx of outdoor adventures. The


EVENTS

One of Arkansas’s best fall events is the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena-West Helena. The iconic blues bash pulls visitors from all over the world with acts like Bonnie Raitt and the late B.B. King. The Arkansas State Fair in Little Rock, MusicFest in El Dorado and nationally noted Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival are can’t-miss fall events, as are football games, cook-offs, corn mazes and haunted houses. Visit Arkansas. com/Events to discover them all.

AUTUMN (CONTINUED) Natural State is ideal for geocaching, rock climbing, canoeing, exploring caves like Blanchard Springs Caverns and camping at one of more than 9,000 Arkansas campsites. Swimsuit season may be gone, but most summer activities are still fair game.

In November, float on the upper Ouachita River and cast for blue ribbon smallmouths. Experience autumn by scouting historic sites and exploring state parks. Retreating heat is great for digging for a treasure to keep at Arkansas’s diamond mine or quartz mines in Southwest Arkansas.

PEAK TIME FOR LEAF PEEPING The changing of the leaves is a Natural State spectacle. It starts in early October in the Ozark Mountains with black gum trees, followed by maple, hickory and oaks turning by the end of October and November. In the Ouachita Mountains, the change begins in mid-to-late October, with the Lower Delta bringing up the rear in late October to mid-November.

SNOW AT MOUNT MAGAZINE STATE PARK

WINTER

Winter Forecast

AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURE:

44°

December

45°

February

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION:

4.13” December

4.6”

3.89”

January

February

Look out for: Fulfilling the promise of four true seasons, windchills approach the single digits, with the heaviest ice and snowfall descending in January and early February. But just like every other season, the state’s beauty will hold you captive.

CHRISTMAS TREE FARMS

NATURE’S BOUNTY

There’s nothing like a family outing to the tree farm to put you in the holiday spirit. Get your own Christmas tree while enjoying festive goodies and family activities at Geisler’s Holiday Forest in Jacksonville, McAlpine Christmas Tree Farm in Bismarck, Pine Grove Christmas Tree Farm in Charleston and Christmas in the Ozarks Tree Farm in Omaha.

Winter brings some of the best vegetables to fill your holiday menus. This time of year, you can find rutabagas, squash, parsnips, green onions and carrots, with plenty of mushrooms and pecans to boot. Some farmers markets remain open (by moving indoors) and Arkansas Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) groups work to get locally grown items to residents year-round.

EVENTS

42°

January

Are you a sucker for twinkling lights? Check out Fayetteville’s Downtown Square for the Lights of the Ozarks display (pictured), complete with hot chocolate, holiday music, carriage rides and more than 400,000 light bulbs. Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs boasts more than 4 million Christmas lights, too, with Santa sightings and a light show.

RECREATION Even during colder months, Arkansans still enjoy the great outdoors. November is a great time to fish for trout, particularly on the White River below Bull Shoals and Norfork dams, where brown trout make their spawning runs. Another low-temp pastime is hunting. Thousands take to the woods and blinds starting in September and early winter to bring down deer, turkey, elk, waterfowl and more. In fact, Arkansas is famous for duck hunting. Located along the Mississippi Flyway, the delta regions are prime for waterfowl enthusiasts. Stuttgart is considered the duck hunting capital of the world. For Arkansas fishing and hunting info, visit the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission website at AGFC.com.

www.RelocateToArkansas.com 63


THE CLOSEST PLACE to get far, far away.

YOUR TRIP BEGINS HERE

Cedar Creek Falls, Petit Jean State Park

Scott Family Amazeum, Bentonville

#VisitArkansas

River Market, Little Rock

Greers Ferry Lake

Arkansas’s 9,700 miles of rivers and streams and 600,000 acres of lakes have magic powers to rejuvenate. Throw in attractions like you won’t see anywhere else and people who genuinely want you to have a good time here, and you’ve got the perfect vacation. Come see us. ARKANSAS.COM 64

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017


STONE’S THROW BREWING

FLYWAY BREWING COMPANY

BIKE RACK BREWING COMPANY

GOOD THINGS brewing The 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, each with a new take on craft beer. The Little Rock metro alone currently boasts nine breweries, and the Fayetteville Ale Trail is a fun way to travel around the region tasting beer made by 23 different Northwest Arkansas breweries. Time to try your new favorite brew. CONTINUED ON PAGE 66 www.RelocateToArkansas.com 65


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 65

NORTHWEST BENTONVILLE BENTONVILLE BREWING COMPANY

A relative newcomer on the block, Bentonville Brewing Company is known for its hoppy offerings, regular live music and Razorback watch parties. Pro tip: Try the West Fork Witbier. BIKE RACK BREWING COMPANY

Bike Rack is Bentonville’s first brewery. Located next to Pedaler’s Pub and Bike Bentonville, the brewery attracts many a cyclist for a cold brew after a long ride.

FAYETTEVILLE APPLE BLOSSOM BREWING COMPANY

Apple Blossom brews all styles of beer using traditional German techniques with a modern twist. The brewery also offers evolving menu specials as well as fresh breads and pastries baked in-house daily. COLUMBUS HOUSE BREWERY

Columbus House was the brain-child of two friends turned business partners. The brewery keeps it simple with four main beers on tap — an IPA, an oatmeal stout, a nut brown and a golden ale. FOSSIL COVE BREWING COMPANY

Fossil Cove’s tasting room boasts a bright, happy atmosphere where you can kick back and enjoy a delicious pale ale (among other varieties) with friends.

DIAMOND BEAR

HOG HAUS BREWING COMPANY

A two-story New-Orleans-style building on Dickson Street is home to Hog Haus. The brewery boasts a second-story patio and full-menu to sip and eat on Fayetteville’s iconic street. WEST MOUNTAIN BREWING COMPANY

Pizza and beer: a match made in heaven. West Mountain Brewery is part of Tiny Tim’s Pizza, serving up pies and brews in downtown Fayetteville.

ROGERS OZARK BEER COMPANY

Ozark Beer Company boasts unique offerings in

the craft brew scene. Try the Onyx Coffee Stout, a collaboration with Onyx Coffee Lab. Think: cream stout base with Guatemalan french roast coffee. NEW PROVINCE BREWING COMPANY

What’s in a name? For New Province, quite a bit of history. When the citizens of Benton County voted to repeal prohibition in 2012, New Province stepped in to give NWA diverse craft brew options.

SPRINGDALE CORE BREWING & DISTILLING COMPANY

Core has grown exponentially since opening its doors in 2010, now boasting eight year-round brews and even more seasonal favorites. Fun fact: The company mascot is a wiener dog. His name is Barney. BLACK APPLE CROSSING

Simply the best.

The premier cider company in Arkansas was recently recognized by Nightclub & Bar Media Group as one of 2015’s “Top Rated New Hot Spots.” For those new to hard cider, flights are available so you can discover which one you like best. SADDLEBOCK BREWERY

Eco-friendly with a dedication to fine Euro-style beer? That’s Saddlebock Brewery. The tasting room features 18 taps containing an assortment of Saddlebock dark, light and seasonal craft beer.

NORTH CENTRAL BIG FLAT GRAVITY BREWWORKS

Gravity BrewWorks is a small nano-brewery with small batches of hand-crafted beer. With 45 different options, there’s something for even the pickiest beer-lover.

SOUTHWEST Featuring premier amenities and a variety of impressive living options, come discover the Butterfield lifestyle for yourself – celebrating 30 years as Northwest Arkansas’ BEST RETIREMENT COMMUNITY. Call to schedule your tour today! 1923 E. Joyce Blvd. | Fayetteville, Ark. | 479.695.8012 | butterfieldtrailvillage.org 66

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

BONNERDALE BUBBA BREW’S BREWING COMPANY

Located 15 minutes southwest of Hot Springs, Bubba Brew’s offers hoppy options like Hop Wolf Imperial or a smoother option with the Sandbar Pilsner.


LOST FORTY BREWING

HOT SPRINGS SUPERIOR BATHHOUSE BREWERY & DISTILLERY

Fun fact: Superior Bathhouse Brewery is the only brewery in the country that’s located within a National Park. They keep it local by using the city’s thermal waters for brewing and naming each beer for a person or place in Hot Springs’ history.

CENTRAL LITTLE ROCK LOST FORTY BREWING

This Little Rock favorite knows how to do it right. With crisp brews like the Love Honey Bock, delicious food and an industrial atmosphere, this raved-about brewery lives up to the hype. BLUE CANOE BREWING COMPANY

Blue Canoe is a nano-brewery and taproom in the heart of downtown Little Rock. The company recently grew to include a Mexican-inspired eatery next door called Taco Beer Burrito. STONE’S THROW BREWING

This downtown Little Rock nano-brewery had its humble beginnings with a Kickstarter campaign and quickly became a city favorite with its rotating craft brews and revolving schedule of on-site food trucks. VINO’S BREWPUB

Vino’s, which began brewing in 1993, is Little Rock’s oldest brewpub. The brewpub is home to a variety of delicious craft beers, plenty of pizza and live music. MOODY BREWS

Little Rock local Josiah Moody launched his own label, “Moody Brews.” One of the most popular beers is the Half Seas Over.

REBEL KETTLE BREWING COMPANY

This new brewery made a huge splash with one of the best patios in town, according to Rock City Eats. The huge area offers plenty of seating and views of the Clinton Library and Heifer international.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK DIAMOND BEAR BREWING COMPANY

A veteran brewery in North Little Rock, Diamond Bear came on the brew scene in 2010 and has since expanded throughout Arkansas and the South. FLYWAY BREWING COMPANY

Located in North Little Rock near the Verizon Arena and Dickey-Stephens Park, Flyway Brewing Company — which is named after the Mississippi Flyway — produces handmade, small-batch beers.

GRAVITY BREWWORKS

ARKANSAS wineries

D

id you know parts of Arkansas share similarities in climate and soil with Switzerland’s and Germany’s winemaking regions? Dating back to the 1880s, the region between the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains is home to several wineries, making Arkansas the South’s oldest wineproducing state. Paris, Ozark, Wiederkehr Village and Altus — located just off Interstate 40 northwest of Little Rock and east of Fort Smith — offer tastings, tours and events. Make a day trip or enjoy another glass and stay the night at a nearby bed and breakfast.

NORTHWEST ALTUS

• CHATEAU AUX ARC VINEYARDS & WINERY • MOUNT BETHEL WINERY • DIONYSUS WINE & BREW • POST FAMILIE WINERY

CHARLESTON • CHARLESTON WINERY

EUREKA SPRINGS • RAILWAY WINERY & VINEYARDS • KEELS CREEK WINERY

PARIS • COWIE WINE CELLARS & VINEYARDS

SPRINGDALE

CENTRAL

• SASSAFRAS SPRINGS VINEYARD

LITTLE ROCK

TONTITOWN

(OPENING IN SEPTEMBER 2016)

• RAIMONDO WINERY

• TONTITOWN WINERY

MORRILTON

WIEDERKEHR VILLAGE

• MOVIE HOUSE WINERY

• NEUMEIER WINERY • WIEDERKEHR WINE CELLARS

NORTH CENTRAL

ROLAND • RIVER BOTTOM WINERY • AN ENCHANTED EVENING WINERY

MOUNTAIN HOME • RAIMONDO WINERY

SOUTHWEST HOT SPRINGS

• WINERY OF HOT SPRINGS • SPA CITY TROPICAL WINERY www.RelocateToArkansas.com 67


A Place to Call Home

Great Places to Relocate or Retire in Arkansas

I

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

68

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017


Bella Vista Village

N

estled into the Ozark Mountains, Bella Vista provides scenic,

People Population: 27,642 Median Age: 50.8 years Median Household Income:

$58,632

Homes Average Home Price:

$177,438

POA Dues: 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”

Amenities for an active life of any age or pace.

Offering such wide-ranging amenities has earned Bella Vista

affordable living catered to active lifestyles at any pace. U.S.

the misnomer of being prohibitively expensive, but nothing could

News & World Report ranked Bella Vista one of America’s

be further from fact. CNNMoney.com and Money Magazine

“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,

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

playgrounds, miniature golf, racquetball, basketball and boating,

are also in for a big surprise. The median age of the city has been

as well as several parks, pavilions and clubhouses. Two-legged

dropping steadily and today is just over 50, while the fastest growing

members and guests aren’t the only ones enjoying the amenities,

category of residents is young professionals. Many of these residents

thanks to the Loch Lomond Dog Park, opened in 2010, and a

work nearby in the bustling commercial corridors of Bentonville,

general pet-friendliness throughout the community.

Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale—all within a 20-minute

The social calendar is equally robust: The Bella Vista Property Owners Association hosts several community-wide celebrations

radius—home to several of the world’s largest companies like Walmart and Tyson Foods. Another major area employer, Mercy Health, also provides

CNNMoney.com/Money Magazine

throughout the year. Many events feature live entertainment and

Learn More

food trucks, lending a festive and tasty accompaniment to the

caring, top-quality medical services to Bella Vista residents. Mercy

goings-on. Add to these the many opportunities to get involved

Clinic Primary Care–Lancashire is a fixture in town, and Mercy

in civic and volunteer activities in Bella Vista, and there’s always

opened the first freestanding emergency department in the region,

something to see and do. There are a variety of churches, an

Mercy Bella Vista at One Mercy Way. The $2.6 million investment

outstanding public library and close proximity to renowned

is just the beginning of Mercy’s strategic plan to increase access to

institutions of higher education.

health care across the community.

Bella Vista Village Property Owners Association info@bvvpoa.com 479-855-5048 BVVPOA.com

special promotional section www.RelocateToArkansas.com 69


Conway People Population: 64,000 Median Age: 26 Average Household Income:

$46,500

Homes Average Home Price:

$135,000

Newsworthy No. 9 of “10 Cheapest U.S. Cities to Live” 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. 45 of “50 Best Small College Towns in America” College Values Online

Learn More

ConwayArkansas.org GetSmart@ conwayarkansas.org 501-327-7788

Economic development, higher education has Conway booming.

C

onway is a community that thinks big while retaining its smalltown friendliness and charm. Once considered a bedroom community to Little Rock, 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. More than $300 million in commercial construction projects are underway and an additional one-million square feet of retail is slated to come online over the next three years. The city had barely christened its new airport in 2014 before expanding to meet the demand for additional general aviation and private hangars. Plus, a comprehensive highway project, set for a 2016 completion, will make the easy drive to neighboring communities and points of interest in Central Arkansas even more convenient. 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. special promotional section

70

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

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. 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 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. Local health care options are another success story: Conway Regional Health System is a full service, 154-bed 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 will open a 111-bed, full-service hospital, employing 450.


Eureka Springs

Make the ‘Extraordinary Escape’ to Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Population: 2,073 Median Age: 53

A

the state, this community of 2,073 is home to attractions of

architecture, you won’t have to look far — the entire

Homes

every sort. Natural scenery is breathtaking, with two rivers

historic downtown area is on the National Register of

Median List Price: $212,000

and three lakes offering fishing, guided cruises and canoeing

Historic Places thanks to charming 19th-century Victorian

Livability

or kayaking opportunities. Take in a different kind of view

construction. Other attractions include the towering Christ

Cost of Living Index: 93

when you head to the treetops for a zip line experience you

of the Ozarks statue, the world’s largest big cat sanctuary

Median Travel Time to Work:

won’t soon forget.

at the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, and Thorncrown

People

100=U.S. Average

12 minutes

national destination whose popularity belies its size, Eureka Springs defies all expectations. Set in the Ozark Mountains in the northwest corner of

There is something happening in Eureka Springs every

Festival of the Arts. Watch the beauty of the past come to life in Eureka Springs. With all the historical monuments and

Chapel, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice

Value

week, from the longest-running folk festival to a passion

and Arkansan E. Fay Jones and ranked by the American

Quality of Life: 122

play that holds the title of the world’s largest outdoor

Institute of Architects as the fourth-greatest architectural

drama. Catch free music in Basin Spring Park every

achievement of the 20th century.

100=U.S. Average

Learn More EurekaSprings.org 479-253-7333

month from May to October, or see the city’s month-long celebration of its large and famed art community at the May

Whether you come to play or come to stay, Eureka Springs will make a lifelong impression.

special promotional section www.RelocateToArkansas.com 71


Fairfield Bay People Population: 2,338 Median Age: 64 Median Income: $33,339

Homes Average Home Value Range:

$75,000-$95,000

Cost of Living: 4.4% lower than other Arkansas cities 13% lower than national average

Learn More Fairfield Bay Conference and Visitor Center 501-884-4202 VisitFairfieldBay.com *Paid for with a combination of state and Greers Ferry Lake/Little Red River Association funds. visitgreersferrylake.org for our free area guide.

A Family Recreation Destination

D

oes living on an Ozark Mountain Lake sound like your idea of the good life? Visit Fairfield Bay—a 40,000-acre natural playground situated on beautiful Greers Ferry Lake. An outdoor-lover’s paradise, Fairfield Bay offers residents and visitors all the amenities of a resort nestled into the natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains. Fairfield Bay is one of the region’s premier family recreation destinations offering swimming, sailing, camping, hiking or just watching the sun set over the clean, clear water. Fishing on Greers Ferry Lake is superb throughout the year as every game fish native to the state has been stocked by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission. For true outdoor enthusiasts, nothing quite compares to hiking Sugar Loaf Mountain via the Terrace Trail and walking across the top on the Mule Trail. Getting to Sugar Loaf is part of the adventure—the 300 million-year-old-mountain is the only island mountain in Arkansas, accessible only by a scenic cruise on the Sugar Loaf Shuttle or by renting a kayak and paddling the 1.5 miles of open water. No matter how you get there, the view from the top is always a breathtaking reward! Other popular pastimes include exploring the boulders and history of the caves at Indian Rock. Nearby, find Ozark National Forest and Blanchard Springs Caverns. special promotional section

72

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

Some of the state’s most unique festivals happen right here, including: Bloomin’ Blues & BBQ (May); Surf the Bay (June); BoatiGras (August); Paddle Battle and BayFest (September); OktoberFest (with Storyfest) at the Bay (October); and Festival of Trees (December). Fairfield Bay offers two 18-hole championship golf courses and the Fairfield Bay Tennis Center features eight championship courts, two night courts and tennis instruction for beginners. Fairfield Bay also boasts a thriving business community and range of services to meet residents’ needs. The Hart Fitness Center, located in the center of town, offers a wide variety of weight and exercise equipment, Olympic size swimming pool, indoor track, basketball court, hot-tub and sauna onsite. Find out about local goings-on, restaurants, area live theatre or countless other community attractions Fairfield Bay has to offer by downloading the free app at fairfieldbayapp.com. 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 (2014) and Green Initiatives (2015); Safest City in Arkansas and Happiest City in Arkansas (2015). 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.


Heber Springs People Population: 7,177 Median Age: 40 Median Household Income:

$36,000

Homes Mean Home Price: $141,600

Learn More

Heber Springs Area Chamber of Commerce chamber@heber-springs.com 501-362-2444 heber-springs.com Paid for with a combination of state and Greers Ferry Lake/ Little Red River Association funds. visit greersferrylake.org for our free area guide.

F

rom the pristine Greers Ferry Lake and Little Red River to three immaculate championship golf courses on The Natural State Golf Trail, life in Heber Springs is all about the outdoors. Greers Ferry Lake stretches 40,000 acres and is consistently named among the top ten cleanest lakes in North America. The Little Red River is the home waters of the third largest brown trout ever caught in the U.S. Whether you prefer swimming, hiking, fishing, shopping or kayaking, Heber Springs offers a spectacular quality of life for its residents. Heber Springs boasts more than 70 non-profit and civic organizations leading the city to be recognized a Volunteer Community of the Year for more than 12 years. Highlight events include April’s Springfest, the Annual World Championship Cardboard Boat Race, held in July, and the Heber Springs Fireworks Extravaganza held on Greers Ferry Lake every Independence Day weekend which attracts thousands. Community amenities include a full-service hospital, an Arkansas

Spectacular by Nature

State University system campus, and an excellent public school system. The Community & Aquatics Center features two basketball and racquetball courts, indoor track, aerobics, cardio and women’s fitness rooms plus a therapy and lap pool. Stroll the historic downtown to discover specialty boutiques and art galleries. Enjoy lunch or dinner at one of the locally-owned restaurants or watch the sun set over the water at resort lodging on both the lake and the river. Economic development efforts have resulted in a thriving tourist trade and a healthy local business district. Major employers include Arkansas State University-Heber Springs, Baptist Health Hospital, Aromatique, the public school system, St. Jean Industries, and Defiance Metal. The career opportunities provided by these and other employers have pushed the city’s median age steadily younger as more professionals and families make their home here. Whether at work or at play, life in Heber Springs provides the ideal setting to build a career, raise a family and enjoy every stage of life.

special promotional section www.RelocateToArkansas.com 73


Hot Springs Village Learn More Hot Springs Village 501-922-5556 ExploretheVillage.com

H

ot Springs Village is a unique community nestled on the edge of the Ouachita National Forest. Stunning vistas throughout its 26,000 acres, 11 adventure-ready lakes, eight majestic Troon golf courses, rolling hills and forested landscape provide an active experience that is unmatched in Arkansas. Numerous amenities and events make living in or visiting The Village an attractive proposition. Hot Springs Village has become a destination for all types of families and individuals, especially those seeking outdoor thrills without sacrificing proximity to city life. The bustling town of Hot Springs is only a 30-minute drive from The Village, where one can find boutique shopping, a thriving art scene and the historic treasures of “America’s First Spa.” While an excursion to Hot Springs National Park is encouraged, it isn’t necessary, because Hot Springs Village has many appealing comforts of its own. Enjoy a chef-crafted meal followed by drinks and conversation around the fire pit at the newly renovated DeSoto Club or grab your locally-roasted morning coffee and enjoy the view of the lake at The Waypoint at DeSoto Marina. The home foodie won’t need to travel far for natural ingredients as they can obtain

special promotional section 74

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

Golf, trails and natural beauty abound in the heart of Ouachita High Country.

fresh, local produce and artisan goods at the Green Market at Grove Park. For those 4-legged members of the family, The Village is very “paws-on,” boasting a lovely dog park and many dog-friendly concerts and events. Meanwhile, bocce ball, pickleball, lawn bowling, tennis and basketball courts provide family fun and recreation for a “game-night” everyone will enjoy. If peaceful wonder is what you seek, watch a meteor shower from your kayak with the outdoor adventure community at HSV Basecamp, or kick it up a notch and join Basecamp for a heartpumping, mountain bike jaunt through some of the 30 miles of lush Ouachita Forest trails available in The Village. If art and music are your passion, Woodlands Auditorium, the Village’s 654-seat, state-ofthe-art performing arts center, is host to approximately 75 cultural and entertainment events a year, where some of the biggest names in entertainment perform. The community of Hot Springs Village combines the best of the natural world with a rich culture of arts, entertainment, food and recreation. This is truly a resort you can call home, so escape from the day-to-day, and come explore The Village.


Mountain View People Population: 2,839 Median Age: 47

R

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

Outhouse Races and the Mountain View Bluegrass Festival offer

Arkansas offers the sights, sounds, tastes and experiences

samples of the culture of the Ozarks.

of the Ozark Mountains.

If you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere amid gorgeous

The courthouse square is a popular gathering place for people to both play and listen to music. The mild weather and changing

Homes

scenery, it’s a wonderful retirement option and an excellent

seasons make it appealing for almost year-round jam sessions. The

Median List Price: $130,000

vacation choice.

Arkansas State Fiddle Championships are held at the Folk Center,

Livability

Thanks to the tourism-based economy, the town – known as

which offers workshops on the banjo, dulcimer and various crafts.

Cost of Living Index: 85 Median Travel Time to Work:

the Folk Music Capital of the World – is home to a number of

The Arkansas Crafts School has courses for aspiring and practicing

bed and breakfast inns, cabins, hotels and restaurants. The town

craft artisans.

National Average is 24.3

caters to visitors of the Ozark Folk Center State Park, Blanchard

Value

Springs Caverns, and the White River with its world-famous trout.

featuring private rooms, a 24/7 emergency department and a

Quality of Life: 166

Travelers as well as residents enjoy hiking, camping, biking and

state-of-the-art surgery center, is ranked in the top 98th percentile

motorcycling in the Ozark National Forest.

in patient satisfaction by Press Ganey.

18 minutes

100=U.S. Average

Learn More YourPlaceInTheMountains.com 870-269-8068 | 888-679-2859

High-quality, one-of-a-kind handmade products are available

Stone County Medical Center’s new Critical Access facility,

Known for its dedication to preserving the music, crafts, and

at the Arkansas Craft Guild gallery and other local shops. Events,

heritage of the past, friendly, affordable Mountain View also holds

including the Arkansas Folk Festival, the Arkansas Bean Fest &

a bright future for anyone seeking “Your Place in the Mountains.”

*This ad is paid for with a combination of State and Ozark Gateway Regional Funds

special promotional section www.RelocateToArkansas.com 75


El Dorado People Population: 19,000 Median Age: 37 Median Household Income:

$32,000

Homes Mean Home Price: $93,000

Newsworthy “City of Distinction Award” (2 times) Arkansas Business

“America’s Best Downtown” CNN “Great American Main Street Award” National Main Street Center “America’s Best Small Town Comebacks” CNN.com “Arkansas Festival of the Year” (6 times) Arkansas Festivals & Events Association

“Top 100 Events in America” American Bus Association

Learn More El Dorado Festivals & Events Austin Barrow info@eldofest.com 870-863-4547 eldofest.com

T

Jonesboro

his south Arkansas jewel holds two City of Distinction Awards, was voted “America’s Best Downtown” by CNN and its MusicFest is perennially named “Festival of the Year” by the Arkansas Festivals & Events Association. Other special events range from historical reenactments to festivals around quilts, chili and mayhaw jelly. Yearly attractions include the El Dorado Film Festival, annual performances by the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and gallery exhibitions at the South Arkansas Arts Center. New performance venues are in the works to host cabaret and Broadway productions as well as county- and state-wide festivals and conferences. A children’s playscape is going in near a new amphitheater and a large hotel is in the works, too. This impressive redevelopment is supported by more than $80 million in local investments, including millions from resident Fortune 500 Murphy USA and Murphy Oil. Murphy Oil is also behind The El Dorado Promise; a unique program providing graduates of El Dorado High School a tuition scholarship that can be used at any accredited Arkansas public university or community college or any accredited private or out-of-state university. Other notable services here include the El Dorado Conference Center, the South Arkansas Regional Airport and South Arkansas Community College. Medical services are provided through the Medical Center of South Arkansas.

People Population: 74,000 Median Age: 32 People move here from:

Little Rock, St. Louis & Memphis

Homes Average Home Price: $179,353 Cost of Living: 12-14% lower than the national average

Newsworthy “Top 10 U.S. Cities to Live in” Kiplinger “Best Small Cities for Job Growth” National Geographic

Learn More Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce Cari White info@JonesboroChamber.com 870-932-6691 JonesboroChamber.com

SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL SECTION 76

LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

W

hether enjoying the Arkansas countryside or taking part in a popular civic celebration, there’s always something fun to do in Jonesboro. The thriving community, which boasts a full spectrum of activities and world-class medical and educational options, is one of the fastest growing in the state. The high quality of life is surprisingly affordable with a cost of living that’s well below the national average. The city’s well-rounded list of recreation offerings includes the Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center (a 170-acre protected wildlife refuge) and the Sage Meadows Golf & Country Club, which is a part of The Natural State Golf Trail. Plus, more than 900 acres of city parks boast dozens of athletic fields, water features, community centers, recreation programs and events. Community pride is on ready display in Jonesboro. The historic downtown is a bustling network of shopping, dining and entertainment and hosts some of the year’s most popular events, headlined by BBQ & Music Fest in the fall and Alive After 5 on the first Thursday of every month. Five public school districts and four private schools, all with sterling academic standings, entice families to plant roots here. Others come for Arkansas State University, with more than 13,000 students, which promotes intellectual growth through a combination of worldclass research and a long tradition of student-friendly instruction.


New to CeNtral arkaNsas? kNow someoNe who is?

Sherwood People Population: 30,400 Median Household Income: $57,000 Cost of Living: 11 percent lower than the national average

Homes Median Home Value: $142,000

Safe & Secure Sherwood has one of the lowest

crime rates in Arkansas.

Newsworthy The Wall Street Journal and Sperling’s Best Places have both recognized Sherwood on “Best Cities” lists.

Learn More Sherwood Parks Darren Austin | 501-835-6893 Darren@SherwoodParks.com City of Sherwood 501-835-5319 CityofSherwood.net

ADVERTISING & PROMOTIONS COMMISSION

W

ith 18 parks and recreational facilities, its own sports complex and recreation center and a worldclass golf course, Sherwood is the epitome of an active, thriving community. This central Arkansas gem tucks neatly into a commercial and residential enclave within a few short miles of North Little Rock and Little Rock. Headlining the attractions is the Greens at North Hills, the only Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed golf course in the state. Other great facilities include the Bill Harmon Recreation Center, featuring a gymnasium, track, lap pool and more, as well as the Sherwood Sports Complex, a magnet for regional and national baseball and softball league tournaments. Sherwood also offers activities for those looking for something a little slower, including miles of walking paths, the Jack Evans Senior Center and the Fairway Dog Park to give four-legged family members some room of their own. Annual festivals are widely attended in this tight-knit town. Some of the most popular are Sherwood Fest and the Trail of Lights & Christmas Parade. CHI St. Vincent North offers a full range of inpatient, outpatient and emergency services (like a Level IV Trauma Center) and CHI St. Vincent Rehabilitation Hospital provides excellent therapies. For small-town living at its finest—close to the action, but far from the noise—Sherwood is the place to be.

Help them make a smooth transition with central Arkansas’ premier newcomers’ guide.

order a copy today at Store.ArkansasBusiness.com. For bulk copies, contact circulation@abpg.com or call (501) 372-1443.

www.RelocateToArkansas.com 77


ARKANSAS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

ST. BERNARD’S HEALTHCARE

MERCY NORTHWEST ARKANSAS

world-class

HEALTH CARE

BAPTIST HEALTH MEDICAL CENTERARKADELPHIA

NORTHWEST

UPPER DELTA

Johnson Regional Medical Center Clarksville, www.JRMC.com

Arkansas Methodist Medical Center Paragould, www.MyAMMC.org

Mercy Hospital Fort Smith Fort Smith, www.Mercy.net/FortSmithAR

Great River Medical Center Blytheville, www.MCHSys.org

Mercy Northwest Arkansas Rogers, www.Mercy.net/NWA

St. Bernards Healthcare Jonesboro, www.StBernards.info

Northwest Medical Center-Bentonville Bentonville, www.NorthwestHealth.com

LOWER DELTA Helena-West Helena Regional Medical Center

Arkansas boasts nationally recognized doctors and health care 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.

Northwest Medical Center-Springdale Springdale, www.NorthwestHealth.com

St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center Russellville, www.SaintMarysRegional.com

Baptist Health Medical CenterArkadelphia Arkadelphia, www.Baptist-Health.com

To learn more about the state’s renowned hospitals, visit ArkHospitals.org.

Washington Regional Medical System Fayetteville, www.WRegional.com

CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs Hot Springs, www.CHIStVincent.com

Willow Creek Women’s Hospital Johnson, www.NorthwestHealth.com

Medical Center of South Arkansas El Dorado, www.TheMedCenter.net

Sparks Medical Center-Van Buren Van Buren, www.SparksVanBuren.com Sparks Regional Medical Center Fort Smith, www.SparksHealth.com

NORTH CENTRAL Baxter Regional Medical Center Mountain Home, www.BaxterRegional.org White River Health System Batesville, www.WhiteRiverHealthSystem.com

Helena, www.HelenaRMC.com Jefferson Regional Medical Center Pine Bluff, www.JRMC.org SOUTHWEST

Mena Regional Health System Mena, www.MenaRegional.com National Park Medical Center Hot Springs, www.NationalParkMedical.com Ouachita County Medical Center Camden, www.OuachitaMedCenter.com Wadley Regional Medical Center Texarkana, www.WadleyHealth.com

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LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017


Are you certain that you and your family are protected? UNITY HEALTH

• Have you appointed someone to make healthcare decisions for you if you become unable to make them? • Would you like to avoid the public humiliation and expense of being declared incompetent in a court if you need a guardian? • Do you have a current Power of Attorney that appoints an agent to handle your financial affairs in the event you are unable to do so? • Do you worry about a child losing his or her inheritance in a divorce or due to an overbearing spouse or bad habits? • Are you prepared for the expense of long term care? • Do you have a properly executed will or trust? Does it consider current tax law and Arkansas law, and provide for a disability panel and trust advisor? Does it protect your children if your spouse remarries?

CHI ST. VINCENT HOT SPRINGS

CENTRAL

• Do you understand the pitfalls of adding names to the title of your property (on deeds and accounts)? • Does your living will (regarding life support, stomach tube feeding, IV fluids and CPR) comply with the Healthcare Decisions Act of 2013? • Would you like to keep your affairs private & avoid the cost of probate?

Arkansas Children’s Hospital Little Rock, www.ARChildrens.org

A comprehensive estate plan will consider these issues and more. We offer professional legal services in a casual and friendly atmosphere.

Arkansas Heart Hospital Little Rock, www.ARHeart.com Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway Conway, www.Baptist-Health.com

Call for a free consultation to learn how planning will benefit you and those you love — during your lifetime and beyond.

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

M. Gayle Corley and Wayne B. Ball 415 N. McKiNley Street, Suite 310 little rocK, ArK ANSAS 72205 501-312-8600 \ www.bAllcorley.coM E s t a t E

P l a n n i n g

|

E l d E r

l a w

|

P r o b a t E

|

F a m i l y

l a w

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 Saline Memorial Hospital Benton, www.SalineMemorial.org Unity Health Searcy, www.Unity-Health.org University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock, www.UAMS.edu

WIN

Ac cAmerA eNTer ONLINe AT

LIvINgINArkANsAs.NeT/gIveAWAy www.RelocateToArkansas.com 79


RELOCATION RESOURCES ATTORNEYS Ball Corley PLLC 501-312-8600 www.BallCorley.com SEE AD ON PAGE 79

ATTRACTIONS / RESORTS The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa 800-643-1502 www.ArlingtonHotel.com SEE AD ON PAGE 39 Clinton Presidential Center 501-374-4242 www.ClintonPresidentialCenter.org SEE AD ON PAGE 39 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

Cabot Chamber of Commerce 501-843-2136 www.CabotCC.org SEE AD ON PAGE 8

Mountain View Chamber of Commerce 870-269-8068 www.YourPlaceInTheMountains.com SEE AD ON PAGE 75

Cherokee Village A&P Commission 870-257-5522 www.CherokeeVillage.org SEE AD ON PAGE 27

Russellville Tourism & Visitors Center 479-967-1762 www.DiscoverRussellville.org SEE AD ON PAGE 83

City of El Dorado 870-863-4547 www.EldoFest.com SEE AD ON PAGE 76

Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce 501-268-2458 www.SearcyChamber.com SEE AD ON BACK COVER

City of Sherwood 501-835-5319 www.CityofSherwood.net SEE AD ON PAGE 77 Conway Convention & Visitors Bureau 501-327-7788 www.ConwayArk.com SEE AD ON PAGE 70 Eureka Springs CAPC 479-253-7333 www.EurekaSprings.org SEE AD ON PAGE 71 Fairfield Bay 501-884-4202 www.VisitFairfieldBay.com SEE AD ON PAGE 72 Heber Springs Area Chamber of Commerce 501-362-2444 www.Heber-Springs.com SEE AD ON PAGE 73

Arkansas Land of Legends/ City of Pine Bluff 870-536-8742 www.ARLandofLegends.com SEE AD ON PAGE 34

Hot Springs Village 501-922-5556 www.ExploreTheVillage.com SEE AD ON PAGE 74

Bella Vista Village Property Owners Association 479-855-5048 www.BellaVistaPOA.com SEE AD ON PAGE 69

Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce 870-932-6691 www.JonesboroChamber.com SEE AD ON PAGES 4 &76

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LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

Springdale A&P Commission 800-972-7261 www.ExploreSpringdale.com SEE AD ON PAGE 23

COMMUNITIES The Atrium at Serenity Pointe 501-760-1140 www.TheAtrium.us SEE AD ON PAGES 42-43 Butterfield Trail Village 479-695-8012 www.ButterfieldTrailVillage.org SEE AD ON PAGE 66 Chenal Valley 501-821-5555 www.Chenal.com SEE AD ON PAGE 3 Good Shepherd Community 501-224-7200 www.GoodShepherdCommunity.com SEE AD ON PAGE 45 Red Oak Ridge 501-262-3080 www.RedOakRidge.com SEE AD ON PAGE 3

KEY

Central Northwest North Central

HEALTH CARE University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences 501-686-8000 www.UAMSHealth.com SEE AD ON PAGE 45

INFORMATION Arkansas Parks & Tourism 800-872-1259 www.Arkansas.com SEE AD ON PAGES 35 & 64 Gilbert Realty 800-562-7893 www.GilbertRealty.com SEE AD ON PAGE 23

ORGANIZATIONS Heifer Foundation 855-343-4337 www.Heifer.org SEE AD ON PAGE 31

REGIONS Arkansas River Valley Tri-Peaks Tourism Association 479-967-1762 www.ARVTripeaks.com SEE AD ON PAGE 11 Greers Ferry Lake & Little Red River Tourism Association 844-939-7567 www.VisitGreersFerryLake.org SEE AD ON INSIDE FRONT COVER Ozark Gateway Tourist Council 870-793-9316 www.OzarkGateway.com SEE AD ON PAGE 7

Upper Delta Lower Delta Southwest


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Complete the response card and drop it in the mail to win an Olympus PEN E-PL5. A winner will be selected by June 9, 2017.

ENTER ONLINE AT LIvINgINARkANsAs.NET/gIvEAwAy

www.RelocateToArkansas.com 81


ARKANSAS by the numbers BEST PLACES FOR BUSINESS & CAREERS NATIONWIDE (Large cities list):

No. 23 - Fayetteville No. 71 - Little Rock No. 179 - Fort Smith Source: Forbes.com, May 2016

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

$75,674 in D.C. $117,116 in Manhattan

$71,680 in Seattle $72,147 in L.A.

… 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 2015.

Fayetteville was recognized as No. 40 of the “50 BEST COLLEGE TOWNS IN AMERICA”

by Best College Reviews.

TOP

15

Business Insider named Little Rock one of the 15 most underrated foodie cities in the U.S. Source: BusinessInsider.com, October 2015

Hot Springs National Park was the 15th mostvisited 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!)

TOP 25 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. (December 2015)

TOP 10

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. (December 2015)

BuzzFeed named Little Rock one of “9 American Cities You Didn’t Know You Needed to Visit.” (Oct. 3, 2015)

HOT SPRINGS

was named one of Food & Wine’s Best BBQ Cities.

with Darley named Little Rock’s #1 Travels Lost Forty the top craft brewery in the U.S.

Southern Living named Little Rockbased distillery Rock Town one of “The South’s Best Distilleries.” (2016)

TOP 15:

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.” (May 6, 2015)

TOP

5

Fayetteville was named the “Best Affordable Place to Live in the U.S.” Little Rock was named No. 4. Source: USNews.com, May 2016

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LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

TOP 10:

Little Rock was seventh among the top 10 “Cities with the Lowest Startup Costs” by SmartAsset.com. (September 23, 2015)

The Arkansas River Trail was named No. 3 of “10 Great American Cycling Adventures” by AirfareWatchdog. (April 15, 2016)


Explore

Expand your Horizons Experience RUSSELLVILLE TOURISM & VISITORS CENTER

479-967-1762 www.discoverrussellville.org www.RelocateToArkansas.com 83


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LIVING IN ARKANSAS 2017

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