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7 Arkansans Tell Us Why They Love Arkansas


I wasn’t born and raised in Arkansas, but I have grown to love this beautiful state over the last 26 years. I’ll admit, I didn’t fall in love overnight. It took me a while to truly appreciate all the unique and special things about Arkansas. It took years to welcome the relatively snowless winters and the oppressive summer heat. It took lots of travel to embrace the various geographic regions and diverse scenery between Arkansas’s borders.

I’ve traveled to the four corners and places everywhere in between and have experienced firsthand what makes so many people love Arkansas. I am fortunate enough to have the ability to share some of my favorites with you regularly. Therefore, today, I bring to you the voices of seven people from around Arkansas. I’ll let them tell you all the reasons why they love Arkansas so you don’t have to just take my word for it.

Photo courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.

Zachary Hall | Professional Storm Chaser | Greenwood

“I love Arkansas because it’s home. I love the variety in landscape, the people and the history of our state.”

Favorite Restaurant: CJ’s Burgers in Fayetteville
Favorite Store: Stu’s Clean Cookin’ (6 locations in Northwest Arkansas)
Favorite Activity: outside of storm chasing, probably hunting and fishing!
Favorite Museum: Downtown Fort Smith Historic Museums
Favorite City: Fayetteville; I love the Hogs!
Favorite Arkansas Getaway: Stonewind Retreat in Chester

Follow Zachary Hall Online: Arkansas Storm Tracker Facebook

Barth Grayson | Mayor of Bald Knob / Owner, Grayson Farms Amphitheater | Bald Knob

“I love to travel all around Arkansas enjoying the State Parks and eating at every single BBQ joint along the way. We are blessed to have so many awesome places to hunt, fish and camp in Arkansas. I love everything about Arkansas.”

Favorite Restaurant: Bald Knob Bulldog (Try the Strawberry Shortcake) and Who Dat’s
Favorite Festival: Bald Knob Strawberry Fest

Courtesy of Arkansas State University Museum, Jonesboro, AR

Elizabeth Kimble | AGFC Educator / Women Outdoor Network Coordinator NEA | Jonesboro

“What I love about Arkansas is the outdoor experiences it has to offer. We are the only state that offers black bear, elk, whitetail deer, and alligator hunting opportunities in the United States. How cool is that?! Do you want mountains? Arkansas has them! Do you like to kayak? We have some amazing lakes and rivers for kayaking! Birding more your thing? Arkansas has 81 year-round feathered residents and over 100 migratory ones you can spot throughout the year. There’s a reason we are called the Natural State, and I’m here for it.”

Favorite Activity: anything outdoors with friends! Hiking, kayaking, outdoor photography, archery, trap shooting. The list goes on and on.
Favorite Museum: Arkansas State University Museum
Favorite City: Mountain View
Favorite Arkansas Getaway Location: Ponca, Jasper, Ben Hur, Low Gap Area.

Photo courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Holly and Kevin Gillbee | Educator and Pastor | Calico Rock

“What we love about Arkansas are the rewarding views we earn when driving or hiking as well as the joy of seeing Little Rock and the Christmas Lights at the Saline County Courthouse. We also love Calico Rock, the cute little town we currently live in.”

Favorite Restaurant: Noodles in Eureka Springs and Printing Press in Calico Rock
Favorite Store: Peppersauce in The Marketplace and Peppersauce in Mitchell’s Pharmacy in Calico Rock. They’re always so friendly.
Favorite Activity: Holly likes running in the Little Rock Half Marathon. Kevin likes reading.
Favorite Museum: Crystal Bridges and Calico Rock Museum
Favorite City: Benton
Favorite Arkansas Getaway: Hot Springs

Alicia Dowell | Photographer | Hope

“What I love about Arkansas is the beauty of the state, from the waterfalls to the rivers.”

Favorite Restaurant: Meomyo’s Bayou Cafe or Lagniappe Specialty Meats, both in Texarkana.
Favorite Store: Martin’s in Hope
Favorite Activity: exploring the backroads of Arkansas
Favorite Museum: Historic Washington Print Museum
Favorite City: Hot Springs
Favorite Arkansas Getaway Location: Petit Jean State Park
Favorite Recording Artist: Johnny Cash
Favorite Arkansas College: Southern Arkansas University

Connect with Alicia Dowell Photography Online

Photo courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism

Talya Tate Boerner | Author / Blogger / Freelancer | Fayetteville

“What I love about Arkansas is its natural beauty. From the Ozarks to the Delta, the state is blessed with diverse topography, varied plant and animal life, and plenty of wide-open space for enjoying the outdoors. And I love that we have four distinct seasons.”

Favorite Restaurant: Wilson Café (Wilson)
Favorite Store: Tie: Dickson Street Bookstore (Fayetteville) and Me & My Sister (Blytheville)
Favorite Activity: Saturday morning at Fayetteville Farmer’s Market
Favorite Museum: Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum (Piggot)
Favorite City: Fayetteville
Favorite Arkansas Getaway Location: Lake Norfork
Favorite Nursery: White River Nursery (Fayetteville)

Connect with Talya Tate Boerner Online: Blog: Grace Grits and Gardening  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Instagram

What do you love about Arkansas? Leave a comment so we can discover new places to love.

Cover photo courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.

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Julie Kohl works from home as a writer and teaches art part-time at a local private school. A former Yankee who was "converted" to the south by her husband, Julie has grasped on to rural life in a sleepy, blink-your-eyes-and-you'll-miss-it town in central Arkansas where they raise chickens, farm hay and bake bread. Julie loves adventure and sharing it with her husband and son. They frequent the trails, campgrounds and parks of Arkansas, always on the hunt for new adventures and new stories to share. Learn more on her blog Seek Adventures Media.

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One response to “7 Arkansans Tell Us Why They Love Arkansas”

  1. Mary Quilhot says:

    What I love about Arkansas is the NATURAL beauty, trees and green landscapes abound. Retiring here from a town 20 miles south of Chicago I love the low to practically nil traffic, at least where I live, near Mountain Home, AR.
    And the clean air I breathe in daily. We have all 4 seasons with Winter being short and sweet. I love the snowy landscape when it happens but also love that 99% of the time its melted by the following day!

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