Kids play youth baseball in Bentonville, Arkansas.

#8. Bentonville

Once considered a sleepy small town, Bentonville, AR has emerged as a creative capital offering opportunities for entrepreneurialism and innovation. Yes, it’s the home of Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world, but don’t discount the experience this community offers. During the last 15 years, young families have discovered Bentonville’s appeal and helped grow the city’s population by more than 79 percent since 2000. What makes Bentonville one of the Best Cities for Families are the city’s great schools, surrounding natural attractions, strong support systems and small-town values.

Parents in Bentonville easily find ways to keep their children entertained, educated and engaged. Bands perform at several concert events throughout the year, including the Summer Concert Series at Orchards Park. Families stroll through downtown Bentonville, stopping in unique shops, local restaurants, or just admiring the historic buildings and landscaping. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and its 120-acre park inspire young minds. Surrounding lakes give families easy access to boating, fishing and wildlife encounters.

Bentonville residents give local schools high ratings. Parents say communication between them and teachers is excellent, while students say they look forward to going to school. Anchored by the Northwest Health System, Bentonville’s health-care network provides high-quality and affordable care. Doctors in Bentonville provide excellent care. Low crime and low costs of living make Bentonville an even sweeter deal for families with kids.

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