Morning on the White River

Living in Arkansas

Arkansas The Natural State

History, Geography, Homes, and State Resources of Arkansas

Arkansas USA Map
Arkansas USA Map

A wide variety of unique cities and communities call Arkansas home, every one has something distinctive for people visiting to discover. There's a wide assortment of things for people of every age to do, both adventure sports for outdoors and in the retirement communities alike.

The towns and the people in them have been forged by a lengthy agriculture tradition -- a smidgen of the leftover "Old South" continues to be very much alive here. On the western edge of the state, there's Fort Smith, once the nation's frontier military outpost. Today visitors can get acquainted with its history of "Wild West".

The largest retailer in the world, Wal-Mart, has it's headquarters in Bentonville. It and nearby Springdale, Rogers, and Fayetteville are part of the fastest-growing metropolitan regions in the U.S.. Hot Springs, situated within the Ouachita Mountains and Eureka Springs, located in the Ozarks, are a pair of "spa" cities which have been attracting vacationers searching for healing and relaxation for a long time. Enough you to give some thought about relocating to Arkansas; luckily, Arkansas relocation and retirement opportunities run a vast range of choices. Those thinking of retiring in Arkansas will uncover every community from small towns to larger cities to from metropolitan settings to agricultural areas, from action-packed night clubs in Fayetteville to invigorating Hot Springs spas, Arkansas has something for everyone.

Spaniard Hernando de Soto was among the early European explorers to visit the territory in the mid-16th century, but it was a Frenchman, Henri de Tonti, who in 1686 founded the first permanent white settlement—the Arkansas Post. In 1803 the area was acquired by the U.S. as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Part of the Territory of Missouri from 1812, the area became a separate entity in 1819 after the first large wave of settlers arrived. The next several decades were marked by the development of the cotton industry and the spread of the Southern plantation system west into Arkansas. Arkansas joined the Confederacy in 1861, but from 1863 the northern part of the state was occupied by Union troops.

Climate

Little Rock Climate
    Annual high temperature: 72.8°F
    Annual low temperature: 52.5°F
    Average temperature: 62.65°F
    Average annual precipitation - rainfall: 49.57 inch
    Days per year with precipitation - rainfall: 102 days
    Annual hours of sunshine: 3097 hours

Demography

  • Arkansas Geography, History, Facts
  • Arkansas Facts & Trivia
  • Arkansas Flags
  • Famous People from Arkansas
  • Arkansas Timeline
  • Arkansas Official Song
  • Education

    Arkansas Colleges. Arkansas features a network of public universities and colleges, including two major university systems: Arkansas State University System and University of Arkansas System. The University of Arkansas, flagship campus of the University of Arkansas System in Fayetteville was ranked #63 among public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Other public institutions include University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Arkansas Tech University, Henderson State University, Southern Arkansas University, and University of Central Arkansas across the state. It is also home to 11 private colleges and universities including Hendrix College, one of the nation's top 100 liberal arts colleges, according to U.S. News & World Report

    Economy

    Arkansas produced $119 billion of gross domestic product in 2015. Six Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters Arkansas, including the world's #1 corporation, Walmart. Arkansas's per capita income for 2010 was $36,027. The three-year median household income from 2009-11 was $39,806, ranking forty-ninth in the nation.

    Arkansas Official State Flower (Apple Blossom)
    Arkansas Official State Flower (Apple Blossom)

    Arkansas State Tree - Loblolly Pine
    Arkansas State Tree - Loblolly Pine

    According to CNBC, Arkansas currently ranks as the 20th best state for business, with the 2nd-lowest cost of doing business, 5th-lowest cost of living, 11th best workforce, 20th-best economic climate, 28th-best educated workforce, 31st-best infrastructure and the 32nd-friendliest regulatory environment.

    Flora and Fauna

    The state has at least 2,600 native plants, and there are many naturalized exotic species. Cypresses, water oak, hickory, and ash grow in the Mississippi Valley, while the St. Francis Valley is home to the rare cork tree. Crowley's Ridge is thick with tulip trees and beeches. A forest belt of oak, hickory, and pine stretches across south-central and southwestern Arkansas, including the Ozark and Ouachita mountains.

    It's native animals include 15 varieties of bat and 3 each of rabbit and squirrel. Common throughout the state are mink, armadillo, white-tailed deer, and eastern chipmunk. Black bear roam the swamp and mountain regions. Among 300 native birds are such game birds as the eastern wild turkey, mourning dove, and bobwhite quail. Among local fish are catfish, gar, and the unusual paddle fish. Arkansas counts 20 frog and toad species, 23 varieties of salamander, and 36 species of snakes.

  • Arkansas State Bird (Northern Mockingbird)
  • Arkansas Official State Flower (Apple Blossom)
  • Arkansas Official State Tree (Loblolly Pine)
  • Government

    Arkansas State Capitol
    Arkansas State Capitol
    The Arkansas State Capitol, often called the Capitol Building, is the home of the Arkansas General Assembly, and the seat of the Arkansas state government. It sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the Capitol Mall in Little Rock, Arkansas.

    Arkansas Official Government Website

    Executive officers elected statewide are the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, and attorney general, all of whom serve four-year terms. The governor is limited to a maximum of two consecutive elected terms. The governor and lieutenant governor, who run separately, must be US citizens, must be at least 30 years old, and must have resided in Arkansas for seven years. To vote in Arkansas, one must be a US citizen, at least 18 years old, a state resident, and not able to claim the right to vote in another jurisdiction. Restrictions apply to convicted felons.

    Attractions

    Arkansas is culturally rich and endowed with abundant natural resources, The state offers a blend of historical and natural attractions. Hot Springs National Park has a long history almost as steamy as the water that fills its bathhouses, and visitors to the Crystal Bridges Museum can't help but notice the lush Ozark landscapes that surround the five decades of American art. From the wild waters of the Buffalo River to the hallways of Little Rock Central High School, along with the replica Oval Office at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library, you'll find many things to do spread throughout Arkansas.

    Amusement Parks

    Fast Lane Entertainment, Lowell
      An idoor entertainment facility serving American-casual food and beverage. Family-friendly, 8 party rooms, bowling, laser tag, and gaming. An excellent venue for birthdays, school field trips, team building, and business meetings.
    Funland Amusement Park, North Little Rock
      A small amusement park located in Burns Park, North Little Rock, Arkansas.[1][2] The park features several small family rides including a Ferris wheel and a train.[3]
    Magic Springs and Crystal Falls, Hot Springs
      An amusement park and water park located in Hot Springs, about 50 miles from Little Rock. A single price admission includes all day use of the rides and attractions in both parks. The park is open weekends from April through October and daily late-May through mid-August

    National Parks

    Trail of Tears
    The American Legacy of the Cherokee Trail of Tears Image by Paul Andrews

    Hot Springs National Park, Hot Springs, AR

      Water. That's what first attracted people, and they have been coming here ever since to use these soothing thermal waters to heal and relax. Rich and poor alike came for the baths, and a thriving city built up around the hot springs. Together nicknamed "The American Spa," Hot Springs National Park today surrounds the north end of the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Come discover it for yourself.
    Pea Ridge National Military Park, Pea Ridge, AR
      On March 7-8, 1862, over 23,000 soldiers fought here to decide the fate of Missouri and was a turning point of the war in the West. The 4,300 acre battlefield honors those who fought and died on these grounds. Pea Ridge was the most pivotal Civil War battle west of the Mississippi River and is one of the most intact Civil War battlefields in the United States.
    Arkansas State Tourism Website

    National Forests

    Ouachita National Forest - 1,785,468 acres
      Including the namesake Ouachita Mountains, this forest has nearly 800,000 acres  of old-growth forest. The forest has two wilderness areas: Black Fork Mountain and Upper Kiamichi River
    Ozark-St. Francis National Forest - 1,153,374 acres
      Ozark-St. Francis National Forest has more than 400 miles of trails, including the Ozark Highlands Trail. Blanchard Springs Caverns is a three level cave system that is open for public tours

    Sports

    Sports have become an integral part of the culture of Arkansas, and her residents enjoy participating in and spectating various events throughout the year.

    Team sports and especially collegiate football have been important to Arkansans. College football in Arkansas began from humble beginnings. The University of Arkansas first fielded a team in 1894 when football was a very dangerous game. Recent studies of the damage to team members from the concussions common in football make it clear that the danger persists.

    "Calling the Hogs" is a cheer that shows support for the Razorbacks, one of the two NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams in the state. High school football also began to grow in Arkansas in the early 20th century. Over the years, many Arkansans have looked to the Razorbacks football team as the public image of the state. Following the Little Rock Nine integration crisis at Little Rock Central High School, Arkansans looked to the successful Razorback teams in the following years to repair the state's reputation. Although the University of Arkansas is based in Fayetteville, the Razorbacks have always played at least one game per season at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock in an effort to keep fan support in central and south Arkansas.

  • Arkansas Sports
  • Taxes

    Arkansas has a progressive tax code, with a 1-percent tax on the first $2,999 of taxable income and 7 percent on all income above $25,000 (with graduations in-between). Non-residents and part-time residents who received any amount of income from Arkansas sources must file Form AR1000NR, even if they don't meet the minimum income threshold

    The Arkansas sales tax rate is currently 6.5%. Each county, city and special district may add sales taxes on top of the state rate.

    Tax Facts

    • Income tax: 1% - 7%
    • Sales tax: 6.5% - 12.250%
    • Property tax: 0.62% average effective rate
    • Gas tax: 21.8 cents per gallon of regular gasoline, 22.8 cents per gallon of diesel

    Transportation

    Transportation in Arkansas is overseen by the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT), headquartered in Little Rock. 

    Little Rock National Airport
    Little Rock National Airport

    Aviation

    There are four airports with commercial service: Clinton National Airport, Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, Fort Smith Regional Airport, and Texarkana Regional Airport, with dozens of smaller airports in the state. Click here for Arkansas Airports

    Public transit and community transport services for the elderly or those with developmental disabilities are provided by agencies such as the Central Arkansas Transit Authority and the Ozark Regional Transit, organizations that are part of the Arkansas Transit Association.

    Ports

    Arkansas also benefits from the use of its rivers for commerce. The Mississippi River and Arkansas River are both major rivers. The United States Army Corps of Engineers maintains the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, allowing barge traffic up the Arkansas River to the Port of Catoosa in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

    Rail

    The state is served by 2,750 miles of railroad track divided among twenty-six railroad companies including three Class I railroads. Freight railroads are concentrated in southeast Arkansas to serve the industries in the region. The Texas Eagle, an Amtrak passenger train, serves five stations in the state Walnut Ridge, Little Rock, Malvern, Arkadelphia, and Texarkana.

    Roads

    Several main corridors pass through Little Rock, including I-30 and I-40 (the nation's 3rd-busiest trucking corridor). In northeast Arkansas, I-55 travels north from Memphis to Missouri, with a new spur to Jonesboro (I-555). Northwest Arkansas is served by I-540 from Fort Smith to Bella Vista, which is a segment of future I-49. The state also has the 13th largest state highway system in the nation.

    Arkansas Housing

    The median home value in Arkansas is $122,800. Arkansas home values have gone up 5.3% over the past year and predictions are they will rise 8.3% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Arkansas is $98. The median price of homes currently listed in Arkansas is $174,897 while the median price of homes that sold is $142,300. The median rent price in Arkansas is $1,050.
    Arkansas Association of Realtors
    Arkansas Real Estate Commission
    Arkansas Real Estate Listings

    Arkansas Cities, Towns

    There are numerous unique communities and urban areas in Arkansas, each with something special for guests to find. The general population and towns in the Delta have been formed by a long convention of farming - a touch of the "Old South" is as yet alive there. On the state's western edge, Fort Smith was at one time a military station on the country's wilderness. Today, its guests can investigate its "Wild West" history alongside a wonderfully reestablished architecturally significant area. The world's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart, is headquartered in Bentonville. That city and close-by Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville make up one of America's quickest developing metropolitan zones. Aha Springs, in the Ozark Mountains, and Hot Springs, in the Ouachita Mountains, are two "spa" urban communities in Arkansas that have long attracted vacationers pursuit of mending and unwinding.
  • Arkansas Cities and Towns
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