Rather than describing us as “the next Austin,” the Walton brothers painted a picture of a place that’s to middle America what Colorado is to the American West–a less crowded state that offers abundant outdoor recreational opportunities, an emphasis on the arts and fine, reasonably priced cuisine. Such a lifestyle not only attracts visitors, it also attracts smart, talented new residents.
Ambitious young college graduates are looking for an affordable home base where they can build their families and careers. Here’s a place that may not (yet) be on their list: Arkansas. For the past decade, coastal metros like New York and San Francisco dominated the landscape for the upwardly mobile, but the main story became how to cope with the high cost of living in those cities. One solution was to move into lower-cost neighborhoods, further pushing up rents and home prices. Others moved to lower-cost metros that shared some of the characteristics of those high-cost places; Austin, Texas, was one of the biggest beneficiaries of that trend.
Pam LeBlanc, one of the co-founders of Austin Travels, went to Bentonville, Arkansas to learn more about everything the area has to offer for mountain bikers.