The major cities in the area are:
Other smaller towns and communities in the area include:
- Bella Vista
- Bull Shoals
- Fairfield Bay
- Green Forest
- Greers Ferry
- Heber Springs
- Mammoth Spring
- Mountain Home
- Mountain View
- Pea Ridge
- War Eagle
- West Fork
- Buffalo National River In northern Arkansas is an unpolluted and free-flowing river in the heart of the Ozarks. It has both swift water and calm streaches.
- Ozark National Forest In northern Arkansas is 1.2 million acres of land in Northern Arkansas.
The Ozarks are largely rural, with hundreds of miles of pristine national forest and protected rivers. However, the area is also home to one of the fastest-growing areas in the mid-south; over the last twenty years the Fayetteville/Springdale/Rogers/Bentonville metropolitan area has turned (under the influence of several large companies headquartered in the area, as well as good quality of life and cheap land) into one connected suburban and semi-urban area linked by a freeway, home to thousands of new residents and full of (arguably poorly planned) strip malls and developments.
Fayetteville is home to the University of Arkansas, and as such is a regional center for cultural events as well as bars and restaurants; an hour or so away, the Victorian town of Eureka Springs has been a tourist destination for generations. A number of popular festivals, drawing motorcycle riders to arts and crafts enthusiasts, sweep the region every year.
But despite this development there are still plenty of small towns and wide spots in the road and isolated places to discover in the Ozarks, and there is still a strong mountain culture in rural areas. The Ozarks are noted for their natural beauty: the low but steep and tree-covered Ozark Mountains are green and alive with the sound of cicadas in summer, brilliantly colored in fall, and sometimes icy in winter.
Traditional Ozark culture is more closely akin to Appalachia than to the rest of the South, or even to the Delta-influenced areas of the rest of the state. There is a strong emphasis on traditional handicrafts, bluegrass music, and subsistence farming. The term "hillbilly" can refer to people from this part of Arkansas as well as parts of Appalachia; it is generally used as a derogative term referring to a poor, rural isolated lifestyle, but it may have positive cultural connotations as well in terms of traditional music and ways of life.
This area of Arkansas is predominantly English-speaking, though in recent years migration to the area has meant many more Spanish speakers. Spanish is by far the most common second language.
The Ozark region of Arkansas covers the northwestern corner of the state. Airport access is available through the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, or XNA. Further away, but possibly more convenient depending on your route and destination, are the airports at Tulsa, Oklahoma and Little Rock.
The nearest Amtrak stop is in Little Rock.
- Pea Ridge National Military Park. Civil War Battlefield.
Hiking and Backpacking - The Ozark Highlands Trail is rated as one of the best backpacking trails in the United States. It reaches from Lake Fort Smith Park to the Buffalo national river, stretching 218 miles. It reaches some of the most remote areas of the Ozark Mountains, like the Hurricane Creek Wilderness Area.
- Go to craft fairs. On the third weekend of October -- known as "War Eagle Weekend" after the biggest of the fairs, at the historic War Eagle Mill -- there are arts and crafts fairs all over Northwest Arkansas. Thousands of people visit the Ozarks for this weekend, to see the fairs, buy handicrafts, and (if the weather cooperates) admire the fall foliage.