Check out #8.
In the September 2017 issue of Southern Living magazine NWA gets some love
Run, don’t walk to the nearest news stand and pick up a copy of Southern Living. The media has been catching on to NWA for awhile now and Southern Living has decided to see what all the fuss is about.
The cover of the Travel & Culture section features none other than our Fayetteville favorite Maxine’s Taproom with The Silver Shakers laying down some tunes.
This, of course, isn’t the first time Southern Living has noticed us
Fayetteville was ranked as #1 on their Most Affordable Small Towns to Live in and was recognized as one of the Most Budget Friendly Vacation Destinations.
A House in My Own Mother’s Neighborhood was Featured
Rogers Was Cited as one of the Best Places to Retire
Bentonville was called “The South’s Next Culteral Mecca”
With all of of this buzz, I wonder if you think the media is on the mark or missing some great targets. If you were to write to Southern Living about something they missed what would you tell them?
You may think you know Siloam Springs
Five days ago if you had asked me if I knew Siloam Springs I would have said something to the effect of “You mean the 5 miles of strip mall next to the Casino on the way to the Cherokee Turnpike?” and to be fair I wouldn’t be alone in this assessment. The view that most people get is along 412 which is flanked by strip malls, car lots and fast-food joints doesn’t leave the strongest impression. So when we discussed taking our next post to Siloam Springs my husband gave me the “ok, but I think you’re crazy” look. When we got there, however, we both had to scrape our jaws from the floor.
A Case for Inclusion… But Only if When They Want To Be Included
Siloam Springs is the 30-40 min. drive from most places in the greater NWA area down a long stretch of highway 412 with very little on it other than farms, grass and trees. Though pretty, I think this drive is why Siloam Springs is often left out of the NWA metro area and thought of as a stand alone town. A sentiment I’m not sure the locals disagree with because they seem to being holding fast onto an old world charm that most of the “metro” area has lost or is losing. But with the commute from South Fayetteville to Bentonville easily clocking 30-ish min. the distance isn’t really shouldn’t be an issue.
Most of us know at least one person that has purchased or inherited some amazing old house, decided that he (or she) could restore it back to it’s glory days, found out that it was going to be far more complicated than first expected and when life got in the way the house began to really crumble. This is the perfect analogy for so many Arkansas towns.
Springdale Arkansas felt like it might be headed in that direction for a long minute. The strongest illustration, perhaps, being the downtown area. The streets were in need of repairs, the buildings were quickly becoming dated and eventually empty and there was very little pull for any tourism at all.
But then, like little seeds being planted outsiders started to hear about things happening in downtown Springdale. Free outdoor movies, breweries opening, street events and open air markets. Then, all of the sudden, it’s like Brooklyn to New Yorker’s they said they’d never go there but now they feel like they HAVE to! Well, we went… and it was amazing.
In 1985 Fayetteville Arkansas had a population of around 37,000. Most roads west of I-540 were dirt (I-540 is now I-49). There were a couple of Walmarts that didn’t even have groceries back then and going Rogers or Bentonville was like going to the far side of the universe (not to mention there really wasn’t much of a reason to).
Northwest Arkansas is basically a greater metropolitan area that includes Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and the surrounding areas. People commute daily to and from for work, shopping, appointments and leisure. We are showing up on national lists as the best places to live, work and start a business.
With all of this moving and grooving going on I want to share my townie experience. It’s easy to get lost in the throng of all of the shiny new corporate facades (irony of photo not lost here), so I want to chronicle my day to day and then some. I want to share with anyone who would care to listen what it is that makes this place pretty great from the grass roots all the way up to some of the *shiny*.
There will be more to come so please like and share. Feel free to let me know what you’re NWA is too by dropping a line.