The Insider Guide’s to Moving to Fayetteville, AR

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Brief Overview of Fayetteville

Nestled into the rolling Ozark Mountains, Fayetteville may not be easy to get to (yet), but it’s become a place you might never want to leave. There is a magical pull in this undulous region of northwest Arkansas, where the forests are dense and lush with white oak and pine, and the hillsides verdant and inviting. If you bypass the interstate in favor of one of the winding, two-lane highways in the region, you may find it impossible not to be drawn in.  

As the second-largest city in the Natural State, Fayetteville has made a name for itself as a cultural capital and a cyclist’s haven. The robust network of pathways of the Razorback Greenway gives pedestrians in town canopied thruways between neighborhoods, but they can also carry you to parks and museums miles outside of town.  

In nearby Springdale, you can see the Rodeo of the Ozarks each July and picnic and paddle board on the sapphire waters of Beaver Lake.  

Just 30 miles north of Fayetteville, Bentonville, Arkansas, has been busy making itself into a noteworthy cultural destination of its own. With places like the Museum of Native American History, Scott Family Amazeum and the astonishing the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, there is a lot going on near the birthplace of Walmart.   

Whether you’re moving here for a new corporate position at Tyson, an academic post at the University of Arkansas (Go Hogs!) or you just want in on the laid-back life in the Ozarks, Fayetteville has something for everyone.  

Living in a College Town

Roughly a third of Fayetteville’s population of 100,000 is affiliated with the University of Arkansas. More than 32,000 students are enrolled at the U of A, and if you don’t yet have any athletic gear emblazoned by the fearsome swine known as the Razorbacks, you soon will. Their championship SEC teams inspired tens of thousands of fans each year to invoke the school’s famous rallying cry: the hog call.  

But athletics are hardly the only appeal of this fun and youthful college town. Fayetteville is a charming, walkable city, where you’ll find great bakeries and coffee shops, an excellent co-op with locally grown produce and diverse nightlife that caters equally to bar-hoppers, art lovers, bookworms and theatergoers.  

Housing in the historic core is getting hard to come by, as the charming clapboards offer both easy access to the hotspots on Dickson Street but a retreat from the noisy co-eds. Expect to see construction on every block — renovation is the new name of the game.  

Economic Landscape

Cost of Living in Fayetteville

Although the cost of living in Fayetteville may be affordable by most national standards, prices in this increasingly trendy town are trending upward. The median home value in Fayetteville has risen to $255,600 — more than $10,000 above the national average and over $100,000 more than the state average. Homes in Fayetteville are less costly than they are in Bentonville, where the median value is more than $280,000, but they are a far cry from prices in nearby Springdale and the state capital, Little Rock, where the median is still below $180,000.  

You’ll find that there are far more renters than homeowners in Fayetteville, where only 40% of units are owner-occupied. Rent is also far more affordable in Fayetteville than it is nationally, averaging just under $870/month.  

Income levels in Fayetteville are on par with the state’s, but they aren’t keeping pace with U.S. averages. With a median income of $52,111 in Fayetteville, the average U.S. household brings in nearly $17,000 more than Fayetteville residents do. 

Unfortunately, because of these disparities in the cost of living, Fayetteville’s poverty rate is abnormally high by both state and national standards, topping 21%.  

Job Market and Unemployment Rates

Education levels are sky-high in this college town, where 95% of residents have graduated from high school — the national rate is only 89% — and 50% of residents have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. This means a well-equipped workforce for the area, where the biggest employers include the University of Arkansas, Pace Industries, Washington Regional Medical Center and, of course, Walmart. 

The impact of Walmart on the area is difficult to understate, but let’s just say you can’t travel far without seeing the Walton family name or one of its businesses. In town, there’s the Walton Arts Center, the Bud Walton Arena and the Walton College of Business, and that’s just for starters.  

But retail isn’t the only game in town. Poultry farming has long been a major nest egg for the area, and Tyson Foods rules the roost in Fayetteville. In 2022, Tyson announced it was relocating all its corporate positions from its offices in Illinois and South Dakota to its world headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, which is estimated to bring more than 1,000 new positions to the area. Further bolstering the industry, the U of A even has a Department of Poultry Science, where they develop improved production and breeding techniques for the birds.  

Thanks to these prominent institutions, employment in the region is far higher than the national average. In September 2023, the unemployment rate in the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers region stood at just 2.3% while the national rate threatened to break the 4.0% mark. 

The single largest industry in the Fayetteville region is trade, transportation and utilities, which employs 64,300 people. But with 60,400 employees, professional and business services was a close second, followed by the government and education and health services.  

Lifestyle and Entertainment in Fayetteville

 Between the University, the downtown district and the surrounding natural wonder, your Fayetteville entertainment calendar could easily booked with events year-round. There’s the chilly Frost Fest in February that brings everyone outside for a local brew. Then there’s the ReWired Fest in the fall, which combines Esports, action sports and retro gaming. Or maybe the Arkansas Pottery Festival is more your cup of tea? Whatever kind of fun you’re looking for in this college town, you’re bound to find it.  

And if you’re struggling to find your niche, why not start an establishment of your own? That’s what two quirky musicians did when they established the Ozark Ball Museum…inside their own home! 

The Historic Downtown Square is a popular hangout spot and the site of many Fayetteville favorites. From May to October, the monthly First Thursday event brings the wild, weird and wondrous to the center of the city. This arts and culture fest features live music, food vendors, performances and family-friendly activities, all wrapped around a new theme every four weeks.  

Throughout the year, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the Historic Downtown Square transforms into the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market, where you’ll find the best produce, flowers, meat and eggs in the four-county area. Artists and crafters frequently have booths as well, so while you’re stocking your kitchen with farm-fresh fare, why not served it with locally carved spoons and hand-thrown pots on a table made from a local carpenter? 

Outside the Square, there are plenty of shops and restaurants you’ll want to explore. There are great vintage marts like Recollect, Ltd. and Fayetteville’s Funky Flea Market. Hit the Dickson Street Bookshop for those hard-to-find used and out-of-print volumes that your family bibliophile has been longing for. Or meet a local author at a reading at Pearl’s Books on Center Street.  

When it’s time to eat, why not try Hugo’s? This humble pub has been Fayetteville’s favorite subterranean dining destination since 1977, and you’ll have no complaints about their burgers, po’ boys and fries. Save room for the grasshopper crepes for dessert, which contain mint ice cream and zero insects. Back above ground, a Fayetteville restaurant would be hard-pressed to achieve higher marks than the Farmer’s Table Café. Vegans will rollick in the mushroom mash (made with house-made meatless sausage) and omnivores will dig the grits and greens, topped with over-easy eggs and accompanied by local Arkansawyer bacon.  

After dark, sports bars will be crowded will Razorbacks fans and music lovers will be packed into venues like George’s Majestic Lounge, where you’ll hear live music spilling out onto Dickson Street — the city’s main drag — every night after 7 p.m. Despite their tiny size, George’s has hosted some of the hottest acts over the many years their doors have been open, from Brandi Carlisle to Coco Montoya to the Old Crown Medicine Show. 

There’s plenty to do outside the city center, too. You’ll find the quickest ticket out of town is the Razorback Greenway, which makes the city a hotbed for cyclists. Fayetteville and Bentonville are now certified IMBA Ride Centers — two of only 40 in the world. The Greenway’s 40 miles of trails begin at nearby Kessler Mountain Regional Park — located just southwest of the city — and travel past Bentonville to Bella Vista Lake. Mountain bikers will want to hit the trails at Kessler, which has breezy beginner’s paths, like Saddle Up, difficult trails like Crazy Mary, and for those who want to push their limits, there’s a double black diamond pass called Flight Training, that you might need a pair of wings to attempt.  

Casual riders who enjoy a good endurance exercise can ride the Greenway all the way from downtown Fayetteville to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and their newest space, the Momentary, which features performances, pop-up shows and markets, along with a food truck in the warmer months.   

A few miles northeast of downtown, the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks is an oasis within the splendor of Lake Fayetteville Park. In the Ozark Native Garden, you can take in the state-born beauties from the comfort of a shady porch swing. The Butterfly Pathway winds its way to the Butterfly House, which is a registered stop for monarch butterflies. The charming children’s garden was largely hand-built by Fayetteville horticulturist Gerald Klingaman, who was once the park’s operational director.  

Tips for a Smooth Move to Fayetteville, AR

Find a Trustworthy Mover

Are you ready to move to Fayetteville? If so, then it’s time to start looking for the right moving company to help you relocate. Just follow these tips on how to hire the best movers to get started. When you work with a trusted, long-distance moving company like Mayflower, you’ll know you’re making your move to Fayetteville a seamless experience.  

Get a quote today on moving to Fayetteville, Arkansas. 

Whether you’re moving locally or cross-country to Fayetteville, Mayflower’s professional team will be there for you Every Step of the Way®. For almost 100 years, we have been the nation’s most trusted moving company.  

Consider Moving Full Service

Making cross-country move to Fayetteville? Our nationwide network of movers is licensed for interstate moves, and Mayflower’s long-distance movers can help you move from anywhere in the country. Our dedicated agents can assist you with full-service moving solutions and custom moving packages, including packing and unpacking, car shipping, storage services, debris removal and more. The Mayflower Move Portal will keep all the details of your move organized and easy to retrieve.  

Moving to Fayetteville from another city in the Natural State? Mayflower can also help you find local movers in Fayetteville and Arkansas. Mayflower’s Arkansas movers and our movers in Fayetteville can perform local moves independently under their own brands. 

Get Moving Tips and Resources from the Pros 

Moving to Arkie on your own? Mayflower’s moving resources and this handy moving checklist and planner can help anyone — including do-it-yourselfers — keep their move track and on budget. Learn more about the Natural State and the northwest Arkansas region in Mayflower’s state guides, city guides and in our Moving Guide to Arkansas

And even after you’ve arrived, Mayflower is there for you. Check out our tips for settling into a new home.  

Get a moving quote for Fayetteville. 

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