You don’t have to be a college student at the University of Arkansas to appreciate just how incredible Fayetteville is. While, yes, the university is the engine that runs the city — providing thousands of jobs and being the town’s cultural hub — people are attracted to Fayetteville because of its low cost of living (a $778 average rent and a $177,000 median home price) and its economic opportunity.
Fayetteville residents could also easily brag about their proximity to scenic outdoor activities in the beautiful Ozark Mountains and their active community that hosts roughly 180 festivals per year.
Top Industries and Employers: Educational services and retail trade are the top industries, and the top employers are the University of Arkansas and Tyson Foods
Best Coffee Shop: Family-owned Basecamp Coffee Co. is a favorite among college students and local professionals alike.
Best Local Beer/Brewery: Try the La Brea Brown from Fossil Cove Brewing, which is the brewery’s most popular beer with chocolate toastiness, citrus, spice and dried fruit.
Must-Have Meal: The Rookie grilled cheese — house cheese blend on sourdough — from Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese is what cheese dreams are made of
Best Co-Working Space: Likewise in downtown Fayetteville has all of the basics of a co-working space (tables, offices, coffee) plus photography studio space, retro arcade games, plant life and “movement areas.”
Best Meetup Spot (When Meeting Up Is a Thing Again): Warm up your mic and grab your friends at Big Box Karaoke, which has both big stages and private karaoke rooms, plus a full bar so you can finally get that liquid courage to tackle a Celine Dion number outside of your shower.
Creative Hub: The Fenix Gallery, run by the Fenix Artists Cooperative, is located in the historic square and features breathtaking works from Northwest Arkansas visual artists.
Favorite Weekend Activity: They don’t call it the “natural state” for nothing — which is why Fayetteville residents use every opportunity they can to get outside, like hiking in the beautiful Kessler Mountain Regional Park, which has 620 acres on and around historic Kessler Mountain, which reaches 1,856 feet above sea level.
Free Way to Have Fun: See where Bill and Hillary Clinton got married — right in the living room of their former, charming one-bedroom home, which has been converted into a museum called the Clinton House Museum.
Local Dream Job: A professor in the business college at the University of Arkansas, which has churned out the likes of Sam Walton (as in the founder of Walmart).
- Jamie Birdwell-Branson