St. Francis County Museum in Forrest City, Arkansas.

8 Top-Ranked Towns In Arkansas For Retirees

Arkansas has everything one needs in their retirement age. For beautiful outdoors, look no further for the top-rated towns. The 25th state in the Union is called the Natural State for good reason. The geologic activity that produced the Hot Springs National Park was the same that ensured Arkansas was the only state ever to produce diamonds naturally. Catch the golden sunset on the most beautiful horizon on Earth. Welcome to the land of hush puppies, possum pie, and biscuits covered in chocolate gravy.


Art Alley in downtown Searcy, Arkansas.
Art Alley in downtown Searcy, Arkansas. Image credit: Brandonrush via Wikimedia Commons.

East Coasters feel unusually at home in Searcy as town pioneer Israel Moore named the original streets after those in Philadelphia. The town caressed by Gin Creek is described thus on the town's website: "Searcy continues to provide a small town feel with big city opportunities." Residents can step into a more humble past with a visit to the Pioneer Village. The Village is open daily with opportunities for self-guided tours that do not include the well-preserved, locked buildings. Unity Health's White County Medical Center keeps Searcians safe 24 hours/day. The historic Rialto movie theater was built in the 1920s and retains its distinctive art deco style.


Aerial view of downtown Helena, Arkansas
Aerial view of downtown Helena, Arkansas. Image credit: 37and7 via Wikimedia Commons.

Helena is somehow as affordable as it is beautiful, with a median household income of $22,177. Helena is where America's longest-running daily radio program, King Biscuit Time, introduced many an aspiring artist to the sound of the blues. The town was a wellspring of inspiration, producing musicians such as CeDell Davis, George Smith, and Robert Lockwood Jr., the only blues guitarist to learn directly from legendary master Robert Jordan. Sleep in a fortress of historic wooden charm at the Edwardian Inn. The building was completed in 1904 and features elegant oak paneling throughout the structure.

Forrest City

The Sports Complex in Forrest City, Arkansas.
The Sports Complex in Forrest City, Arkansas. Image credit: Ardelta via Wikimedia Commons.

Join new friends for lunch at the Forrest City Senior Life Center. The Forrest City Senior Life Center is open Monday-Friday and includes an impressive roster of recreational activities to keep the mind and soul humming. It is easy to stay carefree in an affordable town where the average property tax floats around $378. The well-reputed Forest City Medical Center is confident enough to post its low ER wait times at the top of its website. Full regular membership dues at the Forrest City Country Club, which includes voting rights, restaurant, bar, special events, the pool, and the golf course, are only $145/month.

West Memphis

Tilden Rodgers Park in West Memphis, Arkansas.
Tilden Rodgers Park in West Memphis, Arkansas. Image credit: SaltySemanticSchmuck via Wikimedia Commons.

The eclectic town of West Memphis rests along the Arkansas-Tennessee border, on a bulbous bend in the Mississippi River, just west of Greater Memphis. The town is oddly affordable for being so close to a major metropolitan area. The average property tax in West Memphis is $547. History near and far are well within reach in West Memphis. Venture a few minutes out of town to Marion, where a Native American mound believed to be up to 3,500 years old awaits. Learn about the deadliest maritime mishap in US history at the Sultana Disaster Museum. 


Welcome sign to Hope, Arkansas.
Welcome sign in Hope, Arkansas. Image credit: Jimmy Emerson via

Welcome to Hope, the birthplace of the 42nd President, where the home price to income ratio is 2.06. Hope's Wadley Regional Medical Center is on constant stand-by for emergencies, big and small. Phonetic fiends will fall in love with the Klipsch Museum of Audio History, which is open by appointment. The National Park Service has opened Bill Clinton's childhood home to the public. The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places while he was serving as President in 1994. Enjoy an unforgettable hotel experience with a stay at the Jailhouse Bed and Breakfast in nearby Historic Washington State Park.

El Dorado

An elderly couple at the South Arkansas Arboretum. 
An elderly couple at the South Arkansas Arboretum. 

So named because of the sheer scale of oil production and refining, El Dorado was known as the 'Queen City of South Arkansas' in the 1920s. The stunning architecture is the best part of living in an early 20th-century boomtown. The 2.08 home price-to-income ratio helps matters, too, as El Dorado remains one of the most affordable towns in Arkansas. The vision of El Dorado's South Arkansas Regional Hospital is to "be (a) trusted provider of superior healthcare, dedicated to serving and improving the health of our community." There is no finer or more fragrant scene for afternoon strolls than the South Arkansas Arboretum.


Arkansas Aeroplex in Blytheville, Arkansas
The control tower of the Arkansas Aeroplex in Blytheville, Arkansas. Image credit: Krelorian1917 via Wikimedia Commons.

Join the smiling crowd for lunch at the Mississippi County Senior's Center in Blytheville. Finding and keeping one's own place in Blytheville is no problem, as the average property tax is only $453. The town is just west of beautiful Crooked Lake and south of the Missouri border. A promenade through town is illuminated by the electric orange hues of the 1937-built, streamlined, modern architectural style Greyhound Station. Sample the best of southern barbeque at the Dixie Pig restaurant. Blytheville's Great River Medical Center is ready for whatever comes 24/7 and provides all prices on their services as per their transparency policy.


Downtown Harrison, Arkansas.Lake Harrison Park and downtown Harrison viewed from a hot air balloon during the Balloon Festival. Image credit: Mattsrealm via Wikimedia Commons.

Harrison is the home of the Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship. While eye-popping colors may dot the sky, prices remain firmly on solid ground. The median household income in Harrison is $40,271. Rates of violent crime in the town are 59% lower than the national average. Stay at the wonderous, brick 1929 Seville Hotel, just steps from the town's historic shopping district. Explore the Earth's underground mysteries at nearby Hurricane River Cave and Mystic Caverns. Harrison's Farmer's Market features fresh local produce and friendly faces every Tuesday and Saturday.

Arkansas is a place where the past is remembered and reinvigorated by the present. Everywhere one travels, one will find towns built by people who love them and have dedicated their lives to remaking them anew according to one shining principle: kindness. Hence, these towns are among the most welcoming in the country for retirees looking forward to spend their golden years in peace.

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