A family cycling in Bella Vista, Arkansas.

8 Best Small Towns To Retire In Arkansas In 2024

Arkansas is proof that landlocked states can still have more than enough tranquil bodies of water to go around. Generations of care have ensured Arkansawyers can now enjoy the returning wildlife that was once driven away by industrialization. Retiring in 2024 in the Natural State has never been better. The state is packed with perfect small towns with the best Senior Centers in the nation. Put the feet up and exhale: the land of apple blossoms is on the horizon. Arkansas is the place to be for retirement this year.

Bella Vista

Tanyard Creek Waterfall near Bella Vista, Arkansas.
Tanyard Creek Waterfall near Bella Vista, Arkansas. Image credit: Natalieshort via Wikimedia Commons.

Walk along trunks of hickory and oak toward cascading runoff from Windsor Lake on Bella Vista's Tanyard Creek Nature Trail. Just ten minutes outside of town, fine art and architecture lovers both get their fill at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, designed by Moshe Safdie. The Museum has a mission to "welcome all to celebrate the American spirit," and as such, admission is always free. Bella Vista has top-notch medical care, with a well-rated Mercy ER running 24 hours per day. The Bella Vista Country Club is a semi-private golf course with 18 holes, a slope of 128, and a rating of 72.7, perfect for golfers in their golden years.


 City Hall of the City of Centerton, Arkansas
City Hall of the City of Centerton, Arkansas. Image credit: Brandonrush via Wikimedia Commons.

Centerton offers safe adventure with its many caving opportunities. War Eagle Cavern near Beaver Lake is the most inexpensive way to experience some of the North American continent's most intriguing geologic structures. Healthy, local food has never been more accessible thanks to the Centerton Farmer's Market. The Victoria in Bentonville, just next door to Centerton, is the most elegant place to stay while checking out the town. The Victoria allows travelers to sleep in historic luxury, with two rooms offering fireplaces. The Northwest Medical Center's ER ensures no one in Centeron lives their wisest years without the best medical care possible within arm's reach.

Prairie Grove

Prairie Grove, Arkansas.
Civil War Battlefield Mountain Landscape at Prairie Grove, Arkansas.

Prairie Grove holds history in its clutches, lying just east of beautiful Bob Kidd Lake. Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park preserves 900 acres upon which the Battle of Prairie Grove was fought on December 7, 1862. Admission to the Hindman Hall Museum, which displays artifacts from the battle, is always free. Retired antique hawks can find treasures from their childhoods at Daisies and Olives antique stores. Beat the heat and spoil the grandkids with a splash at the Prairie Grove Aquatic Park. Prairie Grove was rated one of the ten safest towns in Arkansas by Safewise.


Downtown Cabot, Arkansas.
Downtown Cabot, Arkansas. Image credit: Brandonrush via Wikimedia Commons.

Inspiration strikes the very streets in Cabot. Prospective visitors can download a PDF guide of the town's art walk before arrival, ensuring every piece can be enjoyed in the serene Arkansas outdoors. Cabot is great for birders. The town lies just north of the Holland Bottoms Wildlife Management Area. Sample expensive oils before buying them at Squizito Tasting Room. Squizito offers cooking classes to adults looking to expand their talents and palettes. There is always more than enough green space at Kerr Station Park. Kerr's 18-hole disc golf course is always a top option for safe, enjoyable exercise for retirees.


Scenic landscape along Highway 10 near Maumelle, Arkansas
Scenic landscape along Highway 10 near Maumelle, Arkansas. Image credit: Arkansas Highway via Flickr.com.

Maumelle is located on the banks of the Arkansas River and also has several lakes within and outside its limits, endowing the town with abundant natural beauty. Everyone can relax in a place with a crime rate that is 31% lower than the national average. Make new friends at the Maumelle Center on the Lake and listen to the water gush by with them while spotting birds at the Park on the River. Plan a trip around a sensational show at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center. Saunter along the picturesque walking bridge at Lake Willastein Park. The entire family can soak in the scents and flavors of Pueblo-style Mexican food at El Charro Mexican Bar & Grill.


Historic home on Main Street Batesville, Arkansas in winter.
Historic home on Main Street Batesville, Arkansas in winter.

The legend lives in Batesville, an Eden built on a bend in the winding White River. The town that birthed NASCAR great Mark Martin has no less than three National Register Historic Districts. Catch a flick in one of America's last remaining classic cinemas. The bright neon sign of the Melba Theater splashes the Batesville nightscape with electric color. Soothe aching joints and build muscle at Batesville Community Center and Aquatics. The Old Independence Regional Museum's Gothic Revival and Art Deco features let visitors know they have arrived in a truly special place. Old Independence Regional Museum showcases the history of Independence County with artifacts forgotten by time.


Highway 170 passing through Farmington, Arkansas.
Highway 170 passing through Farmington, Arkansas. Image credit: Brandonrush via Wikimedia Commons.

Farmington was settled in the 1820s and has not lost an ounce of charm since. The town was established as an agricultural hub but has grown countless urban assets in the intervening centuries. The Farmington Senior Activity and Wellness Center is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Rent a pavilion in Creekside Park for $25-$50 and have a homebase for a day spent walking the disc golf course or one of the many trails. Visiting has never been more affordable, thanks to rooms rented by the University of Fayetteville's Candlewood Suites.

Siloam Springs

Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Editorial credit: RaksyBH / Shutterstock.com.

Siloam Springs gained traction as a medical tourism destination in the late 19th century due to the healing waters of Sager Creek, which runs across the border into Oklahoma. The town is named after the miraculous waters of the Siloam Pool from the New Testament's book of John. Travelers who feel especially lucky tend to stay at the Cherokee Casino and Hotel West Siloam Springs. Stretch weary arms and shoulders with a relaxing paddle (avoiding white water) through Siloam Springs Kayak Park. Taste the very best of down-home Arkansas cuisine at Cathy's Corner. Cathy and Al know how hard seniors have worked to earn their retirement and have imbued their dishes with all the love needed to keep their customers smiling.

Senior citizens settling down in these small towns in 2024 can also help keep Arkansas beautiful for many generations more by supporting conservation efforts whenever possible. It is a great way to be busy while at the same time do something meaningful in the retirement years. You can organize clean-up drives to keep the environment free of trash. Report invasive species to the state's Department of Agriculture. Remember that before the arrival of Europeans, the Caddo, Chickasaw, Osage, Quapaw, and Tunica tribes lived free in Arkansas. So, consider supporting Native American owned businesses in Arkansas wherever possible.

  1. Home
  2. Places
  3. Cities
  4. 8 Best Small Towns To Retire In Arkansas In 2024

More in Places