Very rarely do we ever dissuade anyone from avoiding anything in the great state of Arkansas. However, there are certain activities and places that should stay out of your plans if your time in the Natural State is going to be well spent. Consider this a guideline of what you should do whenever the question of “What should I never do?” ever arises. (Not that your life will necessarily be in danger in many of these situations–but these are things just better avoided.)
10. Holiday shopping lines
Yes, the malls are decorated lovely during the Christmas season. However, the ambiance of a crowded parking lot leaves little to be desired. If you really have to leave your laptop or desktop to shop until you drop, Arkansas has a wealth of small boutiques and locally owned shops where you'll find a variety of gift options for family and friends.
9. Early morning traffic
If you're living and working in an Arkansas metro area you know how driving between 7:30 to 8:30 am can be incredibly frustrating in a state where traffic isn't even that bad of an issue (the construction is another story). If you have the fortitude, waking up at an early hour and leaving before the rush is always a good idea.
8. Settling into unemployment
It's no good to wait around for a hand out when there are so many extending a hand for help. Unemployment in Arkansas is the lowest it's been in a long time, thankfully. There are a lot of great agencies around the state that assist residents in remaining productive members of the workforce.
7. Getting Attacked
Arkansas is pretty prepared when it comes to defense. No matter how you feel about violence against others, your well-being is paramount. Always be able to physically protect yourself, whether with arms or hand-to-hand combat. There are a number of classes that train Arkansans in both methods of physical protection.
6. Getting Arrested
Arkansas just isn't the place you want to get hauled in by the cops, that's all. We're proud of the men and women on patrol here in the Natural State keeping us safe. For those who cross the line, good luck getting your mug shot off the internet. Those pictures get around social media rather quickly.
5. Practicing intolerance
As much as Arkansas has changed over the past 60 years, there's little point to speak intolerance and bigotry. We've come a long way from the Central High Crisis, and the state is now a melting pot of diversity. To be intolerant of any other Arkansan simply because of race or culture is to shut yourself off from something as large as a potential business connection or something as deep as a lasting friendship.
4. Overpriced chain restaurants
I'll never accept the concept of paying extra money for 'upscale' quick-service chain restaurants when the food quality is the same as a regular fast food chain. Instead of waiting on your order at a pop-up popularity eatery, grab lunch at a locally owned restaurant, diner, or cafe. Arkansas has plenty of them and they're great!
3. Visiting Tiger Stadium without wearing red
WPS, LSU. WPS. It doesn't matter to me if you spent a lifetime on the bayou and graduated from LSU only to move up to Arkansas in your later years. If you've got an Arkansas address (and especially if you support the Hogs) there's no reason for you not to strut proudly into Tiger Stadium wearing your Razorback red.
2. Excessive debate of religion
Spoiler alert: nobody wins. Arguing about religion and spirituality here in Arkansas where opinions run strongly about both--well, it's just best to agree to disagree. You might enlighten someone, but you probably won't change their point of view.
1. Discussing politics in a formal setting
Leave the politics at the State Capitol. If you're at a dinner party or neighborhood holiday gathering somewhere in Arkansas, you like for the mood to stay pleasant, right? So keep politics out of the conversation, as hard as it may be. Much like with religion, numerous Arkansans are deeply entrenched in their political opinions. Nobody wants their wine tasting party ruined by what some guy thinks about the elections.
Tread lightly, tread carefully, Arkansas! Have as much fun as you want in the Natural State. Arkansas is one of the last of the lower 48 states where freedom and God-given beauty go hand in hand. But play fair, though; you don’t want to end up frustrated, in jail, or worse, during your time here.