When we came to Arkansas 10 years ago on vacation, we never imagined that we would end up moving here. After a week hiking through the Ozarks and touring the quaint little towns, we were enamored with this lusciously green and laid back state. It took us a few years to disentangle ourselves from our crazy and hectic lives in metropolitan Dallas, but eventually we took the plunge and moved here with the help of Great Guys Moving. If you spend a week at Tall Timbers Resort, you may find yourself wishing to do the same thing. Here are the top 7 reasons people move to Arkansas and never leave:

1. So Much Natural Beauty

The beauty of the place was the first thing that drew us here. Between the Ozark National Forest, the Buffalo River Valley, and all of the bubbling hot springs, there are so many places of stunning beauty to discover here. This small state boasts an impressive number of public recreational areas including 1 national park, 3 national forests, and 52 state parks, plus dozens of lakes and rivers for boating, fishing, and more. If you’re the outdoorsy type, then this place is certainly for you.

Arkansas, the "Natural State", offers plentiful opportunities to explore the outdoors.

Arkansas, the “Natural State”, offers plentiful opportunities to explore the outdoors.

2. Hunting and Fishing

Speaking of the great outdoors, if you’re an avid hunter or fisherman, there are plenty of opportunities here to practice your skills year-round. The Arkansas Fish & Game Commission has an entire list of hunting season dates that cover everything from alligators and bears to deer and frogs, while fishermen will be delighted to know that there are 29 species of fish they can catch including bass, catfish, and trout.

3. Low Cost of Living

According to USA Today, Arkansas’ cost of living is lower than the national average, with its housing index hovering in the 80s (in comparison to an index of 100 being the national average). Not only are homes affordably priced with a median home value of $114,700, but everything from groceries to utilities to health care is cheaper here too. In fact, if you consider all the costs, Arkansas ranks 10th on the list for most affordable states.

4. Cute Towns

If you missed our blog about favorite cute towns, you’ll have to go back and read it. Arkansas’ small towns have lots of charm and personality, with amenities and attractions that appeal to tourists and locals alike. If you wish you could call Mayberry home, there’s sure to be a small town in Arkansas that suits your fancy.

5. Flea Markets and Antiques

This may not appeal to everyone, but my girlfriends and I love spending our weekends combing through all of the local junk and antique shops that abound here. I almost completely furnished our home here with items that were revamped and revitalized from local shops.

People here go hog wild for some BBQ pulled pork.

People here go hog wild for some BBQ pulled pork.

6. Laid Back and Less Crowded

With just 2.9 million residents, Arkansas has only 56 people per square mile, which means there’s plenty of room to spread out and claim your own space here. Living in a less crowded state means there’s less traffic to deal with, making for happier, more laid back citizens. Coming from Dallas, the lack of crowding here was welcome relief. Instead of spending a couple of hours each day commuting to work, we now have extra time to do the things we want to do instead of pulling our hair out, stuck behind the steering wheel in bumper to bumper traffic.

7. BBQ and Beer

Every Southern state has its signature BBQ meat and sauce, but Arkansas may be the exception. Influenced by all of its neighbors, Arkansas has become a melting pot of BBQ styles and flavors. Though not distinctive in style, Arkansas’ BBQ is nonetheless delicious and mouthwatering, especially when washed down with beer from a local craft brewer. If you live in Arkansas, you definitely won’t have to go hungry for lack of good food.