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Old 02-01-2020, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Hot Springs Village, Ark
418 posts, read 962,190 times
Reputation: 398

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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelsizegirl View Post
Thank you all so much for the input. Hubby and I discussed it again last night with the new information and opinions I received from you guys and my own further research and he's pretty dead set that NWA is the place for us. It's pretty much gotten too hard to disagree, and I'm getting pretty enthused myself. Now we just have to wait out the year lease here, and in the meantime, make all the plans and arrangements. Hopefully the year flies by!
Whoa there, when you get my age the years go by at light speed!!!!
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas via ATX
1,279 posts, read 1,549,809 times
Reputation: 1860
Fayetteville seems like a good fit for you. It is the most liberal city in Arkansas, apart from Eureka Springs.

We have basically all of the amenities you'd find in a big city in the NWA metro, except for pro-sports, super high-end retail and IKEA. Little Rock doesn't surpass NWA in any areas except healthcare and possibly retail, but that would be only a slight edge. We have a "world class" (no, really) art museum in Bentonville, a good concert rotation at the AMP and occasionally at the University. We have Whole Foods and Pottery Barns and most brands like that, even if they aren't all in the same towns. The craft beer/brewing scene here is well-established at this point. Lots of options there. We occasionally go to Tulsa, but rarely. Usually we will visit for a concert or to get a good deal on airfare, although both are getting better here.

We have no skyline to speak of. Fayetteville's downtown is pretty dense and walkable, and there are lots of things to explore. Bentonville has the second-best downtown, but it is mostly focused on their town square. Great restaurants and more of a "Mayberry" feel in Bentonville, whereas Fayetteville is a little more boho and diverse. People are open and friendly, and the University ensures that there are lots of educated, interesting people here.

Construction is booming in NWA, as it is still growing rapidly. West Rogers currently has 1.4 million square feet of commercial/office space under construction. That is more than the downtowns of most mid-sized American "cities", and that is just one sub-market here. There should be PLENTY of work for a plumber right now. Little Rock technically is larger and has "more jobs" overall, but bear in mind that it is not in "growth mode" and a lot of their jobs are in state government. NWA is home to 3 Fortune 500 companies. NWA also has lower crime and most of the areas are liveable and safe.

Floating, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, etc are all going to be really easily accessible in NWA. That culture and opportunity exists in other parts of Arkansas, but the culture around it is not nearly as ingrained as it is in NWA. Weekday and weekend trips to the rivers around here are a spring and early summertime staple. Hiking and mountain biking are available year-round. We get 4 true seasons here (although winter seems to have really gone away for the most part lately).

Fayetteville has a cool downtown, adjacent to the University of Arkansas campus. Lots of little bars and restaurants. Rents can be pricey in that area, but south Fayetteville sounds like it may be good for you, or the area referred to as "midtown" which is where we live. Downtown Bentonville is very busy and very expensive.

Last edited by Rock Climber; 02-01-2020 at 04:29 PM..
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Old 02-01-2020, 05:43 PM
sub
 
Location: Up North
1,446 posts, read 628,059 times
Reputation: 2186
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelsizegirl View Post
Thank you all so much for the input. Hubby and I discussed it again last night with the new information and opinions I received from you guys and my own further research and he's pretty dead set that NWA is the place for us. It's pretty much gotten too hard to disagree, and I'm getting pretty enthused myself. Now we just have to wait out the year lease here, and in the meantime, make all the plans and arrangements. Hopefully the year flies by!
I guess I'll be the one to plug Little Rock. As a city person, I like it better than NWA. Both are lacking for real city feel. The outdoors is just as accessible for those in Little Rock. Check out the Hillcrest neighborhood.
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas via ATX
1,279 posts, read 1,549,809 times
Reputation: 1860
Within an hour of Fayetteville, you have the Kings River (absolutely crystal clear on many days), the Illinois River, the Elk River (Noel, MO) the Mulberry and of course, the Buffalo River (1.5 hours to get to the best spots). There's a manmade kayak "skills course" and whitewater training area at Siloam Springs on the Illinois River. People don't "tube" those rivers as much as the Guadalupe in CenTex. If there's a tubey river, it's the Elk. The upper Buffalo is absolutely stunning scenery, and it almost seems obscene to get drunk and float it. It can be a bit technical at the lower parts of the first leg, and there are waterfalls to hike up to. Anything more than a mild beer buzz is a waste, because there are some amazing spots there like Hemmed In Hollow (google it).

The Mulberry can be VERY technical in higher water.

Hiking areas include Devil's Den State Park (I can be on the YellowRock Trailhead 20 minutes from my driveway in central Fayetteville), Hobbs State Park, and there are many different dedicated hiking trails on the Buffalo (Google search the "Goat Trail" on the Buffalo River. Wowza)

I believe the Buffalo National River area is the best natural area between the Rockies and the Smokies. The Ozarks are the Texas Hill Country, but taller hills, wetter, and far less development and fewer people. Same type of clear water rivers, clean lakes and limestone bluffs and formations. Plus Elk Herds and generally better scenery.

We literally have downhill mountain biking areas in the city limits of Fayetteville and Bentonville. Cycling culture is VERY strong here. The big towns are criss-crossed by paved cycling paths and there's a central spine called the Razorback Greenway that will take you from Kessler Mountain in south Fayetteville to parts of Bella Vista, 36 miles away.

I occasionally hunt, and took it up in my late 20s. It helps to just ask around. I met my hunting buddies at Maxine's Tap Room in Fayetteville, and they're all liberals, and absolutely would not be the first people you would consider to be hunters. Haha. We hunt Duck and Deer and pretty much anything else.

Not necessarily hunting related, but a good spot to learn to shoot handguns (even if you don't own one) is Ozark Sportsman's Supply in Tontitown. It's a modern, high-tech indoor range, and you can rent various handguns and buy ammo and targets. It's very reasonable. An hour all included there with handgun of choice, "bad guy targets" and plenty of ammo might cost 35 bucks.

Last edited by Rock Climber; 02-01-2020 at 10:20 PM..
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Old 02-02-2020, 05:38 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
74,220 posts, read 86,601,875 times
Reputation: 44671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Climber View Post
Fayetteville seems like a good fit for you. It is the most liberal city in Arkansas, apart from Eureka Springs.

We have basically all of the amenities you'd find in a big city in the NWA metro, except for pro-sports, super high-end retail and IKEA. Little Rock doesn't surpass NWA in any areas except healthcare and possibly retail, but that would be only a slight edge. We have a "world class" (no, really) art museum in Bentonville, a good concert rotation at the AMP and occasionally at the University. We have Whole Foods and Pottery Barns and most brands like that, even if they aren't all in the same towns. The craft beer/brewing scene here is well-established at this point. Lots of options there. We occasionally go to Tulsa, but rarely. Usually we will visit for a concert or to get a good deal on airfare, although both are getting better here.

We have no skyline to speak of. Fayetteville's downtown is pretty dense and walkable, and there are lots of things to explore. Bentonville has the second-best downtown, but it is mostly focused on their town square. Great restaurants and more of a "Mayberry" feel in Bentonville, whereas Fayetteville is a little more boho and diverse. People are open and friendly, and the University ensures that there are lots of educated, interesting people here.

Construction is booming in NWA, as it is still growing rapidly. West Rogers currently has 1.4 million square feet of commercial/office space under construction. That is more than the downtowns of most mid-sized American "cities", and that is just one sub-market here. There should be PLENTY of work for a plumber right now. Little Rock technically is larger and has "more jobs" overall, but bear in mind that it is not in "growth mode" and a lot of their jobs are in state government. NWA is home to 3 Fortune 500 companies. NWA also has lower crime and most of the areas are liveable and safe.

Floating, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, etc are all going to be really easily accessible in NWA. That culture and opportunity exists in other parts of Arkansas, but the culture around it is not nearly as ingrained as it is in NWA. Weekday and weekend trips to the rivers around here are a spring and early summertime staple. Hiking and mountain biking are available year-round. We get 4 true seasons here (although winter seems to have really gone away for the most part lately).

Fayetteville has a cool downtown, adjacent to the University of Arkansas campus. Lots of little bars and restaurants. Rents can be pricey in that area, but south Fayetteville sounds like it may be good for you, or the area referred to as "midtown" which is where we live. Downtown Bentonville is very busy and very expensive.
Pretty much agree with what you are saying: I also love downtown area of Bentonville but yes, it is pricey. l
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Old 02-02-2020, 05:40 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
74,220 posts, read 86,601,875 times
Reputation: 44671
Quote:
Originally Posted by sub View Post
I guess I'll be the one to plug Little Rock. As a city person, I like it better than NWA. Both are lacking for real city feel. The outdoors is just as accessible for those in Little Rock. Check out the Hillcrest neighborhood.
Of course you would prefer Little Rock: you would never opt for NWA!
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Old 02-02-2020, 07:20 AM
sub
 
Location: Up North
1,446 posts, read 628,059 times
Reputation: 2186
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
Of course you would prefer Little Rock: you would never opt for NWA!
No, I wouldn't.
I would never live in Little Rock again either, but it's the only place in Arkansas I'd go back to if forced.
The OP was inquiring about both areas, and since Little Rock wasn't getting much representation, I see no reason not to mention it's attributes.
LR is just as close to just as many outdoor activities.
It's in just as a pretty a setting, if not more so, thanks to the way it's situated along the Arkansas River. It has similar "mountains" (if we want call them that) on one side, and wetlands on the other. Bike trails? Check.
History, architecture, culture. Skyline. Downtown. Best healthcare in the state.
The biggest downside might be crime, but there are plenty of good areas.
Another potential downside might be that while the outdoors options are similar, weekend road trips to other cities (if that's going to be a thing with them) will be a good bit different. NWA has Kansas City somewhat nearby, while Little Rock has Memphis. We're talking places within 3-4 hours. I like both quite a bit, but KC has by far a lot more stuff to see and do for those sort of short trips. Chalk one up for NWA.
I guess Tulsa and OKC are in that range for NWA, but while neither are any real advantage over Memphis, at least they're a couple more options for NWA road trips.
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:03 AM
 
13 posts, read 2,526 times
Reputation: 60
I appreciate the plug for LR. The city girl in me felt much more comfortable with that option, but I think hubby is right. We don't actually engage in a lot of the amenities a large city has to offer, anyway.

We live a strange mix of frugal and indulgent. We don't eat out hardly ever, so that when we do, we can guilt-free splurge on a $300 steak if that's what we want. Or a massive pile of the best BBQ in town.

We buy a lot of tech gadgets and other luxuries, but I live by a motto of "get exactly what I want, at the cheapest price possible." So I buy expensive phones, but I buy them refurbished. We go on cruises, but on the shoulder season when it's way cheaper and still likely to have good weather.

We drive cheap cars (when we even have one) because we don't care to be flashy and we can't bring ourselves to spend a lot on a depreciating asset. We don't wear designer clothes, and the few statement pieces we have, we bought in good shape, second-hand online.

I feel like this is a lifestyle we could maximize on in NWA. It's exactly what we want, but at the cheapest price possible, while still providing some culture and opportunities to work, plus outdoor activity opportunities that just don't exist where we are.

I think it could be perfect for us.
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:51 PM
 
3,893 posts, read 3,405,236 times
Reputation: 12065
I would agree with NWA over Little Rock. I'm not a LR fan and rate it as the worst place I ever lived. I felt really closed in there. NWA is a lot prettier. It's more centered with things to do around it. If you are an outdoors adventurer, there is stuff within a couple of hours. If you want to do more 'big city' type things, Branson, Kansas City and Tulsa aren't that far away. Of course, the area itself has some of it's own attractions. Imo, NWA is more affordable and feels safer.
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Old 02-02-2020, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
74,220 posts, read 86,601,875 times
Reputation: 44671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarahsez View Post
I would agree with NWA over Little Rock. I'm not a LR fan and rate it as the worst place I ever lived. I felt really closed in there. NWA is a lot prettier. It's more centered with things to do around it. If you are an outdoors adventurer, there is stuff within a couple of hours. If you want to do more 'big city' type things, Branson, Kansas City and Tulsa aren't that far away. Of course, the area itself has some of it's own attractions. Imo, NWA is more affordable and feels safer.
So very very true and much lower crime. I am not quite sure how anyone could think Little Rock area is a pretty as NWA. I am not saying it is ugly, but certainly would never enter my mind as a place to live unless there was some reason for the choice. We do have some friends who have recently moved there from So CA. They had a good reason. Both are getting up in years, their daughter married a doctor in Little and our friends felt they needed to be close to family, plus they just couldn't stand living in So. Ca any longer. Now, for them the move was fine. BTW, if it hadn't been for their advancing years and him having some related health issues they would have considered NWA.
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