1st Nov 2022 •by Sanelo

Moving To Fort Smith, Arkansas: 7 Must-Know Tips & Pointers If You Love That Laid Back Lifestyle

Fort Smith is a city in Arkansas that has an estimated population of about 90,000. Though it’s small populace, it is the third-largest city in the state and the principal city of the Fort Smith, Arkansas–Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city can be found on the Arkansas–Oklahoma border, so you can expect a little intermingling of the five counties that make up the particular area.

Fort Smith is a great contender if you’re looking for a new place to relocate to that’s far from overcrowded cities. The city is laid back, has a great climate, and scores highly on livability and cost of living.

We’ve collected these must-know tips to help you decide if living in Fort Smith, Arkansas, might be the move for you. We’ll discuss everything from the pros and cons of living in Fort Smith, the cost of living, the best food, and even the job market.


1. Look Up The Pros And Cons of Fort Smith To Know You’re Making The Right Decision

If you decide to move to a new city, you first need to check out what people love about it and what others might feel needs a bit of adjusting to. But the biggest consideration is that what’s good for others might not be so bad. The weather, for example, can go either way.

Fort Smith’s Climate

Fort Smith has a very humid and subtropical climate. The winters are mild, and the summers can get very hot. If you want a tan and more sun, that’s a plus. If you’re used to northern cities that wear a lot of layers, the hot climate might need some getting used to. It’s all about perspective.

Cost Of Living

Fort Smith is a very affordable place to live in. Based on a study, Fort Smith has an overall living index of 75 out of a 100 baseline score for the USA. Fort Smith is 25% cheaper than the rest of the country, with the most affordable metric being housing. The national average for housing cost in the US is around 290,000 USD, while it is only 130,000 USD in Fort Smith.

Quality Of Life

Fort Smith leans more into suburban life, making it one of the best places to live in Arkansas. The cost of living is very affordable, there are a lot of opportunities, it has a high rating regarding population diversity, and education is widespread.


2. Pick The Right Neighbourhood That Fits Your Lifestyle

We’ve mentioned that the population of Fort Smith isn’t that large, and that might have had a say on your decision to move. You can expect that there’s going to be a lot of space, less crowded streets, more tight-knit communities, and a laid-back atmosphere.

This will also inform which neighbourhood you’d want to live in. Do you want more space and stay in the suburbs? Or do you still want to be close to the downtown where the nightlife is alive? Maybe you want to stay somewhere in between. Either way, always do a little digging when choosing the neighbourhood you will be staying in. On that note, here are our top picks.


3. Budget Better And Research On The Cost Of Living In Fort Smith

The cost of living in Fort Smith might surprise you. It is quite lower than the national average, so you have a bit of a breathing room. Despite the lower costs, the quality of life in the city is quite good.

Aside from the low cost of housing, a person might wish to rent a studio apartment starting at 532 USD and can go all the way up to 1,100 USD for a four-bedroom apartment. Of course, these numbers will be greatly affected by where in the city you choose to live.

Housing costs will be your biggest saver, as groceries, utilities, and medical care services will cost the same as national averages. However, transportation and miscellaneous costs such as clothing, recreation, child care, and other services are also cheaper.


4. Level Up Your Career And Join The Industry Leaders in Fort Smith

If you are looking for a new place to stay, you might want to look into the job market. Whether you are looking to further your current career or want to try a search for a new path, the job market in Fort Smith will take you on.

According to a recent census, the top employment in industries in Fort Smith includes health care, logistics, and manufacturing.

The Sparks Health System and the Mercy Hospital Fort Smith employ over 4,000 workers making up the bulk of Healthcare workers in the city. Baldor Electric Company, ArcBest Corporation, and OK Foods are also major employers in the Manufacturing, Processing, and Logistics industries.

There are also a lot of opportunities in the Education sector provided by the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.

The current unemployment rate in the United States sits at 6%, but in Fort Smith, it hovers around 4.6%.


living in fort smith, arkansas

Image Credit: Arkansas.com

5. Don’t Be A Stranger, Visit Some Of The Best Sights In Town

We know how difficult it can be when you are new in town and how moving can be exhausting. Once you’re settled in, bring yourself and your family to one of these top tourist destinations, and maybe you’ll even make new friends along the way.

River Valley Artisan Market

This open-air market is an excellent way to start and get to know the city. There’s produce and products provided by locals. You’ll be glad to know that the market isn’t just limited to food products. There are also pottery, jewellery, crafts, and even paintings. The market is filled with the local vibe that we’re sure will be one of your favourite places to visit over and over again.

The Park at West End

If you are a fan of the quaint and laid-back atmosphere, then you’d better spend several afternoons at the park at the west end. It is a walk away from the Arkansas River and is also home to many rides. Some, even originating from the 1930s, like its signature Ferris Wheel.

Fort Smith Museum of History

There’s the Museum of History if you’d like to know more about the city’s history. Housing over 40,000 artefacts and exhibits that tell the story of the city.

Fort Smith Trolley Museum

Before modern transportation, people used to travel in locomotives and railways, and that’s what you can explore in the Fort Smith Trolley Museum. It has a few streetcars that come from the 1900s and are fully restored, where you can take a ride and learn about the history of this period.

The Unexpected Murals Project

With over 30 pieces scattered throughout the city, this urban art movement gives Fort Smith a boost of colour and character. The project started in 2015 and has become a great attraction for the city, ranging from abstract to urban graffiti. Instead of seeing boring grey cement walls, the huge art pieces make for great photos and backgrounds for any selfie.

Elevate Trampoline Park

Bring out your inner kid and just jump around. It has several trampolines to choose from. It’s all safe fun which can also double as a workout. If you have kids, this is the perfect place to spend an afternoon and even be a venue for birthday parties!


pros and cons of living in fort smith arkansas

Image Credit: ArkansasLiving

6. Be Sure To Taste The Local Flavours

When in a new town, it’s easy to feel like a stranger. The best way to remedy that is to taste the local cuisine, as there is no better way to know a city than to taste the flavours that feed its people. When you’ve settled down in your new place and have time to wander around, here are the top Fort Smith staples you should try!

  • Cheese Dip
  • Fried Pickles
  • Delta Tamales
  • Barbecue and Smoked meats
  • Chocolate Gravy

The best thing about food is that it’s not confined to one place. Most of what’s on this list is a favourite of the state of Arkansas as well. Half the fun is tasting how each city puts their own unique spin on it!


7. Don’t Leave Things To Chance, Prepare A Moving List

Moving is a stressful and often confusing thing to go through. Be sure to take note of all the documents, tickets, budgets, materials, and so on. Your list can be divided up like this:

  • To-do list of what to pack, what to give away, and what to sell
  • Documents such as Passport & Visa(for those coming outside the US), Work Permit, IDs
  • Travel tickets
  • Budget
  • Emergency contacts

Writing all these down can make keeping on track easier, and an organised move is important to stop you from accidentally looking over some things.

If you partner with professional movers like Sanelo, you’ll cut down your worries even further. With Sanelo’s years of experience providing moving services to both local and international travellers, you know you are in great hands. With affordable prices and reliable service, you’ll fully enjoy your trip as you won’t need to lug around heavy luggage.

What’s more, you’ll stay worry-free as Sanelo provides shipment protection for your belongings.


Conclusion On Moving To Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith, though a smaller city, has a lot of charm and personality. It’s the perfect place for people who want to leave the fast pace of the overly urban world and settle down in a smaller community with their family.

Despite the seemingly small scale, Fort Smith can still provide the amenities needed for modern life. Plus, with great opportunities, an affordable housing market, and high quality of life, there’s not much to look for.

If you’re considering relocating to Fort Smith, Arkansas, this is your sign!

Want to learn more about the state of Arkansas or its cities? Read our article on Little Rock.


Frequently Asked Questions About Moving To Fort Smith, Arkansas


Is The Quality Of Life In Fort Smith, Arkansas, Good?

Yes, the quality of life in Fort Smith is quite good. With a low cost of living, high ratings in education, and low housing prices, Fort Smith is one of the best places to live in the state.


How Is The Weather In Fort Smith?

The climate in Fort Smith is referred to as a humid subtropical climate. The winters are mild, but the summers can get very hot and humid. Fort Smith, however, is close to an area known to be hit by tornadoes.


How Big Is Fort Smith, Arkansas?

The City of Fort Smith is 176.72 square kilometres and is the third-largest city in Arkansas. With a population of almost 90,000, Fort Smith has a population density of about 537.83 per square kilometre.


Can I Contact Sanelo To Help Me Relocate To Fort Smith?

Absolutely! You may call or email Sanelo using the info on the website, and a representative will be glad to assist you through the process and requirements.

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