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Old 09-21-2016, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Van Buren, Arkansas
172 posts, read 71,305 times
Reputation: 156

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Luvarkansas: My wife will be 63 next June and needs to work at least another year to raise up her social security. The insurance company that she works for has a branch office in Fort Smith. We originally thought that we would have to just work that last year or 2 down here, but then that idea came up.

She has pretty much decided that she can do one more in insurance- then maybe just work in something else for another year before filing. I will be 58 by summer, so I will retire from Texas schools and look at teaching another 5 years in Arkansas. Because I would then be over 60, that would have me vested for retirement pension (albeit small) in Arkansas.

So, while FS is not the final stop, it is a required tap on the brakes until we get those required financial matters in order. While we are working, we then can look at a fixer-upper to fiddle with.

This has been a work in progress for well over 5 years, so another year is not a problem. I simply want us to cruise the area and have my wife pass these areas and just smile and say "oh my goodness". That would make my week...
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Old 09-21-2016, 05:28 PM
 
6,448 posts, read 5,693,017 times
Reputation: 12290
Check out Van Buren, right across the Arkansas River from Fort Smith, if you like hills! Main Street is filled with Victorian buildings, and the hills overlooking downtown also have some great old Victorians - houses, not businesses. Greenwood, about 15 miles south of Fort Smith, has ridges just outside of town plus historic sites, and is an easy commute.

Do visit the old Fort Smith itself - it's a national historic site with a very rich history.

Agree that Petit Jean is a must-see. Cabins are great there, too, and more luxurious than most lodge rooms. Dine at the lodge, overnight in a cabin (nearby).

Toad Suck is just outside of Conway - couple of hours or so from Fort Smith. Petit Jean is on the way.

Altus is also en route southeast to Petit Jean, etc. Noted for wineries, German heritage, and a gorgeous Catholic church just outside of town. See it regardless of affiliation or denomination.

To the northwest lies Mountain View, with the Arkansas Folk Center (traditional music and crafts) and nearby spectacular Blanchard Springs Cavern. Check their fall schedule ahead - probably open through Thanksgiving, so you should be okay.

BTW, if it's dry, fall color just might stick around for your visit. It's mighty pretty, anyway!
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Old 09-21-2016, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Van Buren, Arkansas
172 posts, read 71,305 times
Reputation: 156
I have heard about VB. A friend of ours that lives in FS suggested the south and southeast sides of FS and liked what she knew of VB for rental houses. We were thinking that maybe some fall colors might still be around. When we were in Eastern Tennessee and Virginia last T-giving, it was a spotty collection of paintbrush colors. Nice part of this trip will be that we can always see it up close next fall from a closer distance.
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:49 PM
 
54 posts, read 37,120 times
Reputation: 78
Somebody say "Toad Suck" again. Don't it just send a shiver down to your toes?
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Old 09-22-2016, 10:59 AM
 
6,448 posts, read 5,693,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explorearkansas View Post
Somebody say "Toad Suck" again. Don't it just send a shiver down to your toes?
Story goes that there was a moonshiner near the old ferry (across the Arkansas River, west of Conway) whose customers sucked down so much of the "recipe" that they "swole up like toads!"

Conway (otherwise a very nice small college town) has a Toad Suck Daze festival annually and also benefits by a good deal of tourist merchandise. You'll want to purchase a Toad Suck T-shirt as a uniquely Arkansas souvenir!
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Old 09-22-2016, 05:14 PM
 
54 posts, read 37,120 times
Reputation: 78
Toad Store | Toad Suck Daze

"You'll want to purchase a Toad Suck T-shirt as a uniquely Arkansas souvenir!"

I'm in!
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Van Buren, Arkansas
172 posts, read 71,305 times
Reputation: 156
We are currently at the end of day 4 of our run through NWA. Some thoughts:
We spent most of a day driving from Fort Smith to Mena, Hot Springs, through Paris, and back. Nice areas but none really clicked with us. We were disappointed with Hot Springs- that it seemed dirty, run down, and just kinda heavy. The other places were nice, just not quite what we wanted. We spent a day in Fort Smith and liked it just fine. We do have to spend a couple of years there to have my wife finish up her Social Security requirements. We should be good renting there for a bit.

Monday, we cruised to Mountain Home via the pig trail and like it a lot. Tuesday, we used Mountain Home as a base to look at Henderson, Flipping, Yellville, Mountain View, and many others. We liked the areas, but some were too remote- as in no cell service, and other just didn't have the mountain views we wanted.

Tomorrow Wednesday, we are off to Jasper, Berryville, and a 2 night stay in Eureka Springs (The Crescent Hotel). Will spend a day running that area and a day having Thanksgiving at the hotel. This larger area may be were we settle down for good, but that will have to wait.

Thanks to many of you that have given advice and ideas on places to visit. This trip was designed to see if my wife was interested in coming here, and it has worked. We are really excited to get started up here.
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Ozark Mountains Arkansas
1,224 posts, read 673,306 times
Reputation: 2658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes59 View Post
We are currently at the end of day 4 of our run through NWA. Some thoughts:
We spent most of a day driving from Fort Smith to Mena, Hot Springs, through Paris, and back. Nice areas but none really clicked with us. We were disappointed with Hot Springs- that it seemed dirty, run down, and just kinda heavy. The other places were nice, just not quite what we wanted. We spent a day in Fort Smith and liked it just fine. We do have to spend a couple of years there to have my wife finish up her Social Security requirements. We should be good renting there for a bit.

Monday, we cruised to Mountain Home via the pig trail and like it a lot. Tuesday, we used Mountain Home as a base to look at Henderson, Flipping, Yellville, Mountain View, and many others. We liked the areas, but some were too remote- as in no cell service, and other just didn't have the mountain views we wanted.

Tomorrow Wednesday, we are off to Jasper, Berryville, and a 2 night stay in Eureka Springs (The Crescent Hotel). Will spend a day running that area and a day having Thanksgiving at the hotel. This larger area may be were we settle down for good, but that will have to wait.

Thanks to many of you that have given advice and ideas on places to visit. This trip was designed to see if my wife was interested in coming here, and it has worked. We are really excited to get started up here.
Well if you're looking for the mountain views, you'll definitely find them in Newton county tomorrow. The elk are out in Boxley valley all day now that the weather is cooler. I saw about 30 of them this morning. Have fun!
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
62,667 posts, read 68,768,157 times
Reputation: 31121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes59 View Post
We are currently at the end of day 4 of our run through NWA. Some thoughts:
We spent most of a day driving from Fort Smith to Mena, Hot Springs, through Paris, and back. Nice areas but none really clicked with us. We were disappointed with Hot Springs- that it seemed dirty, run down, and just kinda heavy. The other places were nice, just not quite what we wanted. We spent a day in Fort Smith and liked it just fine. We do have to spend a couple of years there to have my wife finish up her Social Security requirements. We should be good renting there for a bit.

Monday, we cruised to Mountain Home via the pig trail and like it a lot. Tuesday, we used Mountain Home as a base to look at Henderson, Flipping, Yellville, Mountain View, and many others. We liked the areas, but some were too remote- as in no cell service, and other just didn't have the mountain views we wanted.

Tomorrow Wednesday, we are off to Jasper, Berryville, and a 2 night stay in Eureka Springs (The Crescent Hotel). Will spend a day running that area and a day having Thanksgiving at the hotel. This larger area may be were we settle down for good, but that will have to wait.

Thanks to many of you that have given advice and ideas on places to visit. This trip was designed to see if my wife was interested in coming here, and it has worked. We are really excited to get started up here.
Thanks for the update and enjoy the next few days. HOpe you find what you are looking for; I remember when we were doing the same about 25 years ago, it can be a challenge but you certainly seem to be doing it the way it should be done. Happy Thanksgiving to you.
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Old 11-23-2016, 11:11 AM
 
3,999 posts, read 4,944,954 times
Reputation: 5122
You will LOVE Jasper/Newton County. It's the coolest.....
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