As we’ve previously discussed, the heart of Arkansas is located in its many small towns. Arkansas isn’t a bustling state with a large number of big cities; instead it’s full of small towns and small town charm. Some of those towns are
so small everyone knows your name, some are just super cool, and some are full of surprises. The dozen small towns we’re talking about today are slow-paced and untouched by big city drama. So if you’re looking for a place to get away from the medium-sized or big time hustle and bustle of your medium-sized or big city, look to these tiny towns for a place to rest and rejuvenate.
Ravenden is an adorable little town, and it’s even got a big bird to greet you when you come to visit. Life is certainly slow here, but if you want some excitement, you can always float the nearby Spring River. The population of this town is only 455 souls and only one slightly creepy, probably soulless, enormous raven statue.
When it comes to size, Winslow is tiny. 399 people live there, in the beautiful Boston Mountain section of the Ozarks, where they’re truly living the good life. In close proximity to both Lake Fort Smith State Park and Devil’s Den State Park, this tiny town is a nature lover’s dream.
Placed near the gorgeous Lake Norfork, the town of Norfork sits at the confluence of the White River and the North Fork River. This town of around 500 residents has a reputation for being both a haven for hunters and a favorite spot for fishermen in search of record-setting brown trout. It’s also home to one of the oldest structures in Arkansas, the Wolf House, which is pictured above.
The town of Emerson, population 354, is really, really fond of the purple hull pea. They’re so fond of it that they have a Purple Hull Pea Festival every year, complete with the unique tradition of rotary tiller racing. Life may be slow in Emerson, but we're guessing they've got the fastest rotary tillers around.
5. Mammoth Spring
Coming in at 979 residents, Mammoth Spring is one of the biggest small towns on this list. Don’t let that booming population of nearly a thousand fool you though, the people of Mammoth Spring know how to take it easy. You see, Mammoth Spring is named for the massive spring that flows there. Mammoth Spring State Park offers locals and tourists alike the opportunity to hang out near the biggest spring in Arkansas, which comes complete with a ten acre lake, a cool old dam, and the headwaters of the Spring River. If those bodies of water won't encourage you to take it slow, I don't know what will.
Home to 861 humans and one or more mythical beasts, the town of Fouke is famous for being inhabited by the Boggy Creek Monster, sometimes called the Fouke Monster. You can learn all about the monster and purchase monster-themed souvenirs at Fouke’s iconic Monster Mart. You can take your time and take it easy in Fouke, and hunt for a monster at the same time.
The town of Alpena is so laid back it doesn’t mind being in two different counties at the same time. It was built on top of an old graveyard in 1908, but Alpena hasn’t yet experienced any kind of supernatural revenge or zombie apocalypse. The people there mostly just enjoy the Ozarks all around them and decide if they’d rather buy a house in Boone County or Carroll County.
Dyess began as an experiment by FDR’s administration to help relieve suffering during the Great Depression, and it continued to be an interesting place because it’s the boyhood hometown of the legendary Johnny Cash. The town only has a population of 388, and you can take it nice and slow as you tour the Man in Black’s boyhood house.
The fewer than 1400 people who live in Flippin are probably tired of hearing our flippin’ Flippin jokes, but that doesn’t stop the town from being a popular place for people to come and take pictures of signs. And hey, while you’re there why not drive the Flippin road to the Flippin Church of God, buy Flippin groceries, stay in a Flippin hotel, and if you have some very unlikely Flippin trouble in this laid back place, you can call the Flippin Police Department and get some good, old-fashioned flippin’ Flippin help.
(If you are from Flippin, I’m so flippin’ sorry not sorry.)
Only 278 people in Arkansas can truly say they live in Delight. Delight is a tiny town in southwest Arkansas, and it’s a delightful place to spend some time. This little slow-paced town is the hometown of country music legend Glen Campbell.
11. Arkansas City
The tiny delta town of Arkansas City is only home to 349 people, but it’s near one of the most famous rivers in the world - the mighty Mississippi. It has a long history of resilience, as the great flood of 1927 nearly destroyed the entire community. It’s also a fantastic place to look for birds due to its proximity to Choctaw Island, which is recognized as an important birding area by the Audubon Society.
12. Evening Shade
The town of Evening Shade is best known for being the setting of the 1990s TV show,
Evening Shade. The town was named for the tall pines on an adjacent hill, which means it was the perfect place to relax even back in the 1800s. Today you won’t find much sitcom action, but you will find 424 friendly residents, and a laid back time.