About the Fayetteville, Arkansas Area
The center of a region experiencing phenomenal growth, Fayetteville has received so many awards it is hard to keep track. Consistently placed in Forbes Magazine’s top ten Best Places for Business and Careers, named one of America’s “Most Livable Cities”, and high on Money Magazine’s list of the "Best Places to Live in America", this vibrant and historic city of 67,000 has much to be proud of. Set amidst the beauty of the scenic Ozarks, Fayetteville combines the best of small-town family values with fabulous outdoor sport and recreation and all the cultural sophistication of a city three times its size.
Fayetteville is located in Washington County in the far northwestern corner of Arkansas, not far from the Missouri and Oklahoma state lines. It is situated amidst wooded and gently rolling hills at an elevation of 1,401 feet in the Ozark foothills. Fayetteville is 50 miles from Fort Smith, AR, 72 miles from Joplin, MO, and 91 miles from Springfield, MO.
Interesting Facts/Historic Buildings and Places
First settled in the 1820’s, by the time it was incorporated in 1841 Fayetteville had a courthouse, jail, post office and several stores and over 400 residents. It was the scene of much activity and several major battles during the Civil War, and some of its oldest and most charming historic buildings date from this era.
Considered the town’s most beautiful existing antebellum home, the Headquarters House was built for Judge Jonas M. Tebbetts and his family in 1853. Nine years later its owner was taken prisoner and condemned to hang for his Unionist sympathies, but was granted a last-minute reprieve when the general in charge of his case was killed in the Battle of Pea Ridge. The house was at various times used as a Headquarters by both sides in the war, and sustained damage when its grounds were the scene of heavy fighting as Confederate forces attacked the Union army during the 1863 Battle of Fayetteville. Now owned by the Washington County Historical Society, the house still contains furniture and other objects previously belonging to the Tebbetts family.
Fayetteville’s oldest existing home, the Ridge House, provides an interesting link with the region’s original Native-American inhabitants. Built in 1839 it served as a refuge for Sarah Bird Northup Ridge and fourteen Cherokee children after her Cherokee husband, the tribal leader John Ridge, was assassinated. In the same year, Mrs. Ridge helped establish the Fayetteville Female Seminary to provide a quality education for her daughters and other girls in a time when few received any education, and when the mixing of white and Cherokee students was actively discouraged.
More recently, Fayetteville provided Bill and Hillary Clinton with their first home while they taught at the University of Arkansas School of Law during the 1970’s.
With major corporations Tyson Inc. and JB Hunt Transport, and the world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart calling Northwest Arkansas home it is little wonder that this region’s unemployment figures are the lowest in the state and among the lowest in the country. Other major employers include the University of Arkansas, medical and other educational facilities, and a host of thriving large and smaller businesses servicing Wal-Mart and Tyson Foods. Fayetteville’s vibrant economy and marvelous quality of life have placed the city in the top ten performing cities in the US several times in the past decade.
Fayetteville’s housing market is notable for its range of condominiums, medium-priced family homes, upscale neighborhoods, and exclusive residential communities. Demand for housing for the many students at the University of Arkansas, and the high cost of land in the city have resulted in a large number of condominiums, with prices ranging upwards from under $100,000 for 1-2 bedrooms. The market favors buyers in the $150,000- 300,000 range, with a very wide selection of fabulous homes, many under 5 years old currently available. Upscale subdivisions and gated communities offer amenities like walking and cycling trails, tennis courts, swimming pools, and golf.
Set in the midst of the legendary Ozarks, Fayetteville is surrounded by some of the loveliest country and the best outdoor recreation in the nation. The city itself has numerous beautiful parks and gardens, with trails for hiking and cycling and plenty of peaceful picnic spots. Nearby scenic areas including the fabulous Devil's Den State Park, Lake Wedington, White Rock Recreation Area, Beaver Lake, and the Ozark Highlands Trail offer wonderful outdoor sport and recreation, including camping, hiking, horseback riding, water sports, and caving.
The Fayetteville area is a paradise for hunting and angling too, with terrific trout fishing on the White, Little Red, Mulberry and Spring Rivers, and northern pike, walleye, several species of bass and various panfish species abundant in the many lakes and smaller streams. Hunters find plenty of deer, quail, rabbit, squirrel, turkey and other game in the region’s thickly wooded hills and valleys.
Fayetteville’s award-winning Public Library has been welcoming book-lovers for over 90 years. Housed since 2004 in a purpose-built $23 million facility, it won the 2005 Thomson Gale Library Journal Library of the Year award. Hosting regular events including film festivals, book signings, and public forums, the library houses a local coffeeshop and Arsaga’s and has enjoyed spectacular growth in popularity with city residents in recent years.
With its splendid climate, marvelous scenery, and over 20 excellent courses within a radius of as many miles, there is plenty for Fayetteville golfers to enthuse about. Private courses like the Fayetteville Country Club – almost a century old- offer superb golf in exclusive surroundings, while the Stonebridge Meadows Golf Club’s 18 hole public course earned 10 points out of 10 in Golf Digest Magazine's Top Rated Golf Courses for Arkansas 2005-2006.
Fayetteville Square, with its beautiful gardens and famous Farmers’ Market, is at the heart of the city’s historic Downtown, venue for the up-and-coming annual Fayetteville Festival of Arts. The cool Dickson Street, with its clubs and non-stop music, great restaurants, and unique shops is also part of the Downtown area, and not far away the fabulous Walton Arts Center presents a breath-taking array of the very best in the performing arts and culture.
The Arkansas Air Museum’s depiction of the State’s aviation history is a popular attraction. Historic and modern aircraft, ranging from early 20th Century racing planes to jet fighters and helicopters are displayed with fascinating artifacts from the world of flight in a vast wooden hangar, itself dating from World War II.
Signs of its rich Civil War history are never far away in Fayetteville. The city was the scene of several important battles, and is home to two major cemeteries, both interesting and moving places to visit. The Fayetteville National Cemetery dates from 1867 and holds the remains of soldiers from both sides who were killed in the famous battles of Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove, while the picturesque Fayetteville Confederate Cemetery contains only Confederate remains from the same battles.
A short drive south of Fayetteville in the beautiful Boston Mountains, Devils Den State Park adjoins the vast Ozarks National Forest and provides a wonderful range of outdoor recreation in a truly marvelous environment. An extensive trail system offers long and short hikes as well as horseback riding and mountain biking. Beautiful fast-flowing mountain rivers are great for canoeing and fishing, and the park’s unusual limestone and sandstone caves and crevices draw spelunkers from far and wide. Charming, historic cabins are available, or you can choose one of many campsites.
Good to Know
Fayetteville has become an odd mixture of apartment complexes and upscale neighborhoods.
The cost of land in Fayetteville has made developers build more upscale homes.
But the lack of affordable homes and ever-growing enrollment at the UA has brought on a demand for even more apartments.
The east side of Fayetteville along the north-south route of Arkansas Highway 265 and east-west route of Arkansas Highway 45 has given birth to many upscale neighborhoods.
Vandergriff Elementary and McNair Middle School just east of the highways 265-45 intersection also brought about a large demand for more homes in east Fayetteville.
Savannah Estates, Fayetteville’s first venture into a secure neighborhood, features a security gate, a scenic pond and houses that start at about $300,000 but are generally closer to double that amount. Neighboring Brookbury Woods subdivision is becoming increasingly popular. Houses range from $225,000 to well over $300,000, with the average square footage about 3,000.
Timbercrest subdivision has homes priced between $135,000-$250,000 on a circular street pattern. Madison Avenue, near Timbercrest, also has circular streets, and homes there range from $135,000-$160,000. Fox Run —outside the city limits—has large lots, beautiful trees and all city utilities except sewer. The homes are priced from $225,000-$400,000.
Candlewood offers custom homes with an average price of $419,400, while Covington offers an average price of $344,500 with some homes as large as 6,000 square feet in each of those neighborhoods.
There are other upscale neighborhoods farther out Highway 45 near Goshen such as Polo Country Estates, Riverlyn and Chestnut Farms.
Polo Country Estates is a gated community bordered on one side by woodland and set in the sweep of the White River valley. The subdivision offers a number of amenities. Black wrought-iron fencing, street signs and attractive gas lighting for streets and yards add a warm welcome to the neighborhood.
An adjacent community barn, horse stables and boarding facilities, and an outdoor arena are available as well as excellent riding trails along the White River area that borders the subdivision. Each home is on 2-2.5 acres, and new homes require a minimum of 3,500 square feet, putting the starting prices there at about $400,000.
Closer to town, The Park Place, Boardwalk, Spring Creek and Hidden Lakes are all quality subdivisions and near Root Elementary School. Park Place and Boardwalk each offer swimming pools and tennis courts!
The nearby Ridge-mont Estates and Ridgemont View neighborhoods feature two-acre sites and jogging trails.
Heading south down Highway 265, Hyland Park has great views. The houses there are either on top of the mountain or hanging off the edge and range from 1,750-3,000 square feet. Near the top of phase II of Hyland Park on Canterbury Drive, homes are more expensive.
Sherwood Forest subdivision includes one of Fayetteville’s landmark drives — Lovers Lane, with many beautiful homes ranging from below $200,000 to over $800,000.
Far southeast Fayetteville has Stonebridge Meadows, considered the top public golf course in Arkansas. Its subdivision is located off Goff Farm Road south of Arkansas Highway 16. Homes there range from 2,500-3,600 SF.
Deerfield Place is just off Highway 16. Its homes, adjacent to David Lyle subdivision, will range from 1,700-2,000 square feet.
East Oaks is intertwined with apartment living, but the numerous roads in the neighborhood keep the area quiet.
The northeast side of Fayetteville off Highway 265 begins with the far east side of Paradise Valley Golf Course.
A couple of new subdivisions near the Fayetteville-Springdale border include Stonewood and Copper Creek. Copper Creek is an 81-lot subdivision. Its average home will be 2,500-3,500 square feet. Stonewood has similar sizes.
Yorktowne Square is located about a mile from Fayetteville’s business district and near Summerhill Racquet Club. The upscale subdivision has a wide array of homes. Nearby Brookhaven, a development off Old Missouri Road.
Fayetteville’s Historic District is bounded by Mission Boulevard, Maple Street and Dickson Street.
Larger houses in the area range from 2,500-4,000 square feet. Most of the homes have been completely renovated in the last 10 years.
The Wilson Park neighborhood is in the same general area as the Historic District. Built in the 1950s and ‘60s, Wilson Park homes range from 1,200-2,000 square feet and are priced in the $150,000-plus range.
The neighborhood surrounds a park of the same name. Its amenities include a swimming pool and tennis courts. Shady, tree-lined streets and sidewalks complement the stately homes, many with screened-in porches. Houses in Wilson Park have a low turnover rate; when people buy they tend to stay.
Mount Sequoyah is a unique neighborhood. It is not unusual to find smaller, less expensive homes situated next door to fine, $200,000 + homes. New homes constantly are springing up in this area, where many of the homes are 30 years old, and there are no minimum restrictions on square footage.
Because most of the homes are atop or carved into the side of the mountain, the cost and size of a house on Mount Sequoyah depend only on the imagination and creativity of the architect and builder. Many are so well hidden among the trees that passers-by don’t even know they exist.
West Fayetteville has a variety of styles, sizes and prices to choose from for home buyers.
Crystal Springs, near Holcomb Middle School, has homes ranging from 1,660-2,400 square feet. Some of its homes will utilize a spray-on, bio-based soy oil insulation foam that is said to be three times more energy efficient than common insulation. They will also have metal studs and trusses that are fire- and bug-resistant.
Meadowlands, off Porter Road, includes homes and duplexes. Bridgeport has homes from 2,000-3,000 square feet. Fairfield is another new subdivision just behind Bridgeport that is very popular!
More affordable homes can be found at Regency North, off College Avenue. Homes there are about 1,400 square feet. Fiesta Park, also off College Avenue, has smaller homes (about 900 square feet).
Willow Springs, Fieldstone, Owl Creek, Woodfield, Walnut Grove, Walnut View and Walnut Park all offer homes within 1200-2000 sq.ft.Georgian Place has homes around 1,435 square feet.
Very close to the new Washington Regional Medical Center is Quail Creek, which has homes 1,900 square feet and up.
On the southeast side of town, Sequoyah Meadows is in a lovely pastoral setting. Part of the subdivision surrounds a small lake. Square footage ranging from 1,500-2,300.
Several miles east of Fayetteville on Arkansas Highway 16 is Elkins, which has a new subdivision in Oakwoods. The 186-lot addition will have homes ranging from 1,025-1,400 SF.
In nearby Johnson to the north, Clear Creek Golf Club will open in spring of 2004. There will eventually be about 250 homes in the development. Lots range from a low of about $109,000 to a high of $435,000.
The Fayetteville School District recently received its third consecutive Gold Medal for education excellence from Expansion Management magazine as one of the nation’s outstanding school districts based on statistical data, including graduation rates, teacher salaries, student-teacher ratio and per-pupil expenditures in addition to economic and education indicators communitywide.
The district spans 118 square miles in central Washington County, including the city of Fayetteville as well as Goshen and other outlying communities. The district has a current enrollment of about 8,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade and operates West Campus Technical Center, a one-of-a-kind regional vocational school incorporating academic courses for its students.
Fayetteville has nine elementary schools for kindergarten through fifth grade, two middle schools for sixth and seventh grades, two junior high schools for eighth and ninth grades, a high school and an Adult Education Center. The district is doing a study to determine needs for new elementary and middle schools.
Fayetteville High School recently opened career academies in health professions and business.
A pilot project to put a computer on every child’s desk is expected to expand to include all elementary schools over the next few years.