Aerial view of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

9 Best Places to Live in The Ozarks in 2024

For people who have watched the Netflix TV drama series, Ozark, you might wonder if the mountainous regions encompassing the states of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Illinois are as intense and chaotic as the show depicts. Fortunately, many locations have proven to be some of the best places to live. From the lakeside charm of Lake Ozark to the healing springs of Eureka Springs, these towns have a load of benefits and attractions. Affordable housing, great connectivity, and friendly locals are just some reasons that make the Ozarks so special. Thus, consider the following towns and cities if you are looking for a home in the American mountains this 2024, near majestic lakes and entertained by many historical interests.

Lake Ozark, Missouri

Homes along Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Houses lining the coast of Lake of the Ozarks near Lake Ozark, Missouri.

The first place to consider living out your humble life in the Ozarks ought to be in Lake Ozark, located near the Lake of the Ozarks. Due to the town's prime location next to a premier lake resort, Lake Ozark promotes a bounty of recreational events and natural parks for people who want to escape the concrete jungles of the big cities. For example, swimming, surfing, and boating are just a few ways to have a blast. Or, opt to stay on land with areas like The Ridge Golf Course and the Majestic Oaks RV Park where golf, hiking, and camping are popular.

With a median household income of $74,094, $9,000 higher than the state average, Lake Ozark is a promising locale to reside. Any retirees need not worry too much about taxes as there are no state taxes on Social Security benefits in Missouri. While the average home in Lake Ozark costs $284,200, higher than the state average of $199,400, the stunning waterside locale justifies the price.

Branson, Missouri

A vibrant street in Branson, Missouri.
A street lined with stores in Branson, Missouri. Editorial credit: NSC Photography /

For those itching to experience the thrills and catharsis of the theater, then you should definitely live well in the town of Branson. A plethora of cultural establishments line 76 Country Boulevard, offering over a hundred and more performances and entertainment almost every month of the year. In addition, one can find several unique attractions in the same area, such as the Marvel Cave, the Wild West-style Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Theater, and Silver Dollar City—an 1800s-themed amusement park where music and celebration come alive.

Although the poverty rate is 26.8%, Branson compensates by having an affordable housing market, with an average home costing $201,900. Moreover, with a reasonable median rent of $916, those who don’t plan on buying will have no trouble renting an amazing house.

Battlefield, Missouri

Wilson's Creek National Battlefield near Battlefield, Missouri.
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield near Battlefield, Missouri.

Battlefield, with its rugged name, is far from being a war-ravaged or dangerous location for you to dwell. As a matter of fact, Battlefield is one of the safest and most simplistic cities in Missouri, with a low poverty rate of 4.2% and a high median household income of $82,302. Bolstered by a healthy population of 6,000, the town has a homely vibe palpable through the friendly conversations throughout. It is also a short drive away from Springfield, offering easy access to the amenities and services of the major city.

As for the local attractions in Battlefield, you will find American Civil War-themed memorabilia at the Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, a historic landmark as seen in Ray Farmhouse, and quaint learning centers like the Missouri Institute of Natural Science. Food joints are also plentiful, such as Godfather’s Pizza and Wire Road Brewing Company which are known for their pizza and drinks respectively.

Jasper, Arkansas

A view of the Buffalo River in Jasper, Arkansas.
View of the Buffalo River and surrounding foliage in Jasper, Arkansas.

For people desiring to stroll spectacular forest camps and hiking trails, the town of Jasper has enough treasures and treats for you to enjoy. As the gateway to the Buffalo National River, also called the Little Buffalo River, and the magnificent Round Top Mountain, you can experience all the grand features of the daunting Ozarks within walking distance. Many outdoor opportunities keep locals busy in Jasper, whether hiking, biking or even whitewater rafting.

The town also houses two locations sharing the name “Bradley,” the Bradley House Museum and Bradley Park, offering an insight into local history and nature respectively. In terms of affordability, Jasper sits in the mid-range, with a median housing value of $162,000, the same as the state average. Moreover, with less than 1,000 residents, the town offers a natural reprieve from urban hustle and bustle.

Van Buren, Missouri

A bridge connecting Van Buren, Missouri to Arkansas.
A stunning bridge in Van Buren, Missouri.

The town of Van Buren is a resplendent community in the Current River and was named after President Martin Van Buren. It offers people perfect access to the Mark Twain National Forest, so named after the famous American author Mark Twain. Just 45 minutes away, the massive forest showcases 1.5 million acres of hills, forests, and rivers in the heart of Missouri’s wilderness. There is also the Ozark National Scenic Riverways which people are always sauntering beside.

Supplementing these majestic riverways is the Big Spring, a stark blue, geologic wonder renowned for being Missouri's biggest spring and among the US's biggest, with a daily flow of about 280 million gallons of water. Back in town, Van Buren offers residents great amenities and services as it is the county seat of Carter County. From the Van Buren Senior High School for teenagers to the Riverways Manor Nursing Home for seniors, people living here can rest assured for basic comforts. Moreover, the town is very affordable, with a median property value of less than $150,000.

Batesville, Arkansas

A historic house in Batesville, Arkansas.
A historic house in Batesville, Arkansas.

About 90 miles northeast of Little Rock, the town of Batesville is one of Arkansas’s oldest towns, founded more than 200 years ago. Nowadays, it is home to many merry folks and fine individuals who enjoy watching shows at the Melba Theater or strolling the Polk (or Poke) Bayou Park along the White River. The Mark Martin NASCAR Museum is a prime attraction, built in honor of NASCAR racing star Mark Martin, and showcases many of his memorabilia.

You might also fancy taking a peek at the past in one of the many historic trails of the Arkansas Heritage Trails System, each showcasing a unique side of local history and nature. Whatever the case, rest assured that getting around town is easy, as Batesville has a mean travel time to work of just 13 minutes. It is also connected via six state highways for great connectivity, so residents can always head out when needed.

Bella Vista, Arkansas

View from a lakeside house in Bella Vista, Arkansas.
A lakeside house with stunning views in Bella Vista, Arkansas. Editorial credit: shuttersv /

Need to reside in a place with beautiful views of the Ozarks? Then the town of Bella Vista (Literally Spanish for “beautiful views”) is an apt home for you. Bella Vista is a sublime and soothing town with a low poverty rate of 3.2% and a high median household income of $83,989. Sinuous trails weave and wind in the Tanyard Creek Trail and Bluebird, and one can experience lofty explorations around Lake Windsor and Lake Ann.

You can feel the tranquility of the pristine city at the Cooper Memorial Chapel, a magnificent combination of nature and human ingenuity. Or, one can learn of Bella Vista’s history at the Museum of Native American History and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, a short drive in Bentonville. Along with all the activities, Bella Vista is an excellent place for retirees, as more than 32% of the local population is above 65. Thus, there is never a dull moment in town.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Historic buildings in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Historic buildings in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Editorial credit: Rachael Martin /

Eureka Springs is a magical and majestic settlement in the Ozark mountains near Beaver Lake. Feel safe and warm as a Christ of the Ozarks Statue watches over the quaint town. One can take a refreshing dip in the many cold spring waters of the area, which Native American legends say can cure any ailment and ease all worries away. Be mindful of bears and big cats in Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, and spelunk through the many “living” caves and caverns at Onyx Cave Park.

Residents here can let their anxieties disappear since the town boasts an affordable housing market. The average rent costs less than $800, which is on the lower end for cities in Arkansas. Moreover, an array of homes are available, from small bungalows to large waterside mansions, so everyone can find their dream residence in Eureka Springs.

Fulton, Missouri

Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.
Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. Editorial credit: RozenskiP /

Fulton is a charming town that exudes vibrant heritage through tales of the past. At Westminster College in town, Sir Winston Churchill delivered his “Iron Curtain” speech, forewarning the threat of the Cold War. Thus, history enthusiasts love to call Fulton home and have plenty of ways to enjoy themselves. For example, the National Churchill Museum elaborates on the Prime Minister’s harrowing ventures during England’s “darkest hour.”

Similarly, one can see the Breakthrough sculpture made by Churchill’s daughter, Edwina Sandys, to celebrate the Berlin Wall’s dismantling. Those who decide to live in Fulton can find many amenities at the Brick District or trek across the Stinson Creek Trail for leisurely strolls. With a friendly community of 12,600 residents and an affordable median house value of $144,000, you will not feel bothered to spend many of your years in Fulton.


As the largest area of fierce topography between the Rockies and the Appalachian Mountains, the Ozarks has remained the land of hidden beauty and secluded secrets. Among these beautiful secrets are the best places to spend years living a simple yet beautiful lifestyle. Most of the aforementioned towns and cities are primarily located in Missouri and Arkansas, but there may undoubtedly be a few unmentioned and underrated residences in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Illinois that are suitable and affordable to live at. Whether you are lounging in Jasper or Eureka Springs, enjoying the theatrics, or admiring history at Van Buren or Branson, these towns and cities are amazing destinations to settle down.

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