Early retirement sounds like a solid plan, right? Even if you’re one of those folks who thinks retirement sounds boring, you may reconsider after you check out these eleven towns. Arkansas’s cities consistently top lists of best places to retire, and for good reason. Cost of living in the Natural State famously low, the natural beauty here is unsurpassed, and you’re never very far from interesting things to see and do. Below you’ll find 11 towns that will have you looking at your 401k and wondering how long until you can pull up stakes and move there.
1. Bella Vista
Bella Vista was first established as a resort town, and it turns out it was so pleasant that it eventually evolved into a retirement community. Today lots of different kinds of people live in Bella Vista, retirees and young families alike. Its numerous lakes and golf courses, all on the backdrop of the Ozarks, make it an ideal place to while away your time, which is why Bella Vista is repeatedly named as the top spot in Arkansas for retirees.
2. Hot Springs Village
Hot Springs Village is the largest gated community in the U.S., and there are tons of things to do there. There are eleven recreation lakes in Hot Springs Village with amenities like full service marinas and swim beaches. There are also nine golf courses, ten tennis courts, and indoor and outdoor swimming complexes. In short, it would be hard to be bored in Hot Springs Village, no matter how long you stay retired.
3. Cherokee Village
Cherokee Village used to be a retirement community, but now it’s an incorporated city. The city remains welcoming to retirees because it’s affordable, friendly, and has a small town vibe that just can’t be beat. The recreation opportunities are similar to that of Hot Springs Village and Bella Vista, but Cherokee Village is much smaller in population. If small town living is your thing, you can’t do much better than Cherokee Village.
Conway is close enough to Little Rock that you have access to all the attractions of the city while living in what feels like a relatively small town. Three of Arkansas’s biggest colleges are also located in Conway, offering an atmosphere that keeps folks feeling young. Lake Conway is fully stocked and great for fishermen, and Conway is literally centrally located in the Natural State, just hours from whatever region of Arkansas you’d like to visit next.
5. Lake Village
Those who like to pass the time camped out on a shore or sitting in a bass boat are going to adore Lake Village. This Delta town is located on the largest oxbow lake in North America, and the fish are usually biting there, too. You can’t do better than Lake Village for economical living near a lake you’ll never get tired of exploring.
6. Eureka Springs
Eureka Springs is a place where you’ll never run out of things to do. The Victorian village set up in the mountains has a rich history and a reputation for being a hub for artists, musicians, and generally folks like your favorite quirky aunt who wears broomstick skirts year-round. All of that, plus the attractions all around the small town make it a great place to spend your leisure years.
7. Mountain View
Mountain View is the Folk Music Capital of the World and has a serious old timey charm. The small town is a great place to put down roots, offering you the chance to experience multiple music festivals every year and to find adventure in the forest surrounding the homey little town.
Greenwood has small town charm with just a short driving distance to Arkansas’s second largest city, Fort Smith. Life is slow in Greenwood, the roll of the mountains is incredibly beautiful, and it’s one of the safest towns in Arkansas. Taking into account that the small town is an hour drive away from five state parks and two national forests, you can’t go wrong in this little hamlet.
9. Walnut Ridge
There’s only one place you need to retire to if you’re an avid Beatles fan. Walnut Ridge loves the Beatles so much that they’ve got a yearly festival themed after the iconic band. In fact, in Walnut Ridge you can visit Abbey Road any time you want without having to get on a plane to do so—they have a sculpture of the album cover.
Who doesn’t want to spend a little more time on the tallest mountain in Arkansas? Paris sits in the shadow of Mount Magazine, making it an absolutely gorgeous place to spend your time. This friendly little town has old timey charm and frequent community events. With that combination of natural beauty and downhome charm, Paris is a definite winner for people looking to retire to the mountains.
With a population of just under 24,000, Cabot is a mid-sized town by Arkansas standards. The commute to Little Rock isn’t far, which means you can visit the attractions there without much effort. Cabot is also a very safe community with a low cost of living and recreation opportunities that will appeal to retirees.