Living in Metro Little Rock
Find lower costs and way more opportunity in Central Arkansas.
In the center of it all is Metro Little Rock, a cost-effective, diverse and naturally stunning environment in which to live, work and do business. With the cost of living well below the national average, getting way more in Central Arkansas doesn’t mean paying way more. Residents enjoy excellent education and housing options, world-class healthcare, unique arts and culture, and some of the south’s finest trails and lakes. All at an affordable cost.
Cost of Living
Affordable Appeal in Central Arkansas
Progressive job opportunities and a dynamic environment are part of Metro Little Rock’s attractiveness, and the low cost of living – 10.8 percent below the national average – drives the appeal home.
Metro Little Rock residents pay less than people in other areas nationwide for housing, healthcare, groceries and utilities. Housing is the biggest factor in the difference, with the median home price in Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway at $137,600. It’s little wonder then that places like Conway, Benton, Bryant, Lonoke and Cabot top Niche’s list of Best Suburbs to Buy a House in Arkansas.
The Natural State’s Playground
They don’t call Arkansas the Natural State for nothing. Our abundance of clear rivers and lakes, lush green forests and curated trails are one of the reasons the state ranks No. 7 for Quality of Life in U.S. News & World Report’s Best States 2018.
Almost 70 national, state and regional parks are woven throughout Central Arkansas. Just west of Little Rock, Pinnacle Mountain State Park welcomes kayakers, hikers, cyclists and families with 15 miles of trail, picnic sites, ponds and rivers. Choose your own adventure in the Ouachita National Forest, a 1.8 million-acre retreat in Garland that’s home to a multitude of outdoor amenities. The Arkansas River Trail is a regional gem. Big Dam Bridge, the world’s longest bridge for pedestrian and bicycle use, serves as a gateway to the 88-mile trail, which connects to 38 parks and museums.
Arts & Culture
Festivals, Fine Arts & Flavor
Metro Little Rock is a hub for food, art and culture. Works by Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol line the walls at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Little Rock, and Hot Springs is a haven for artists and art lovers, with multiple galleries and an annual 10-day arts and culture festival.
Keeping the beat is the Conway Symphony Orchestra, a world-class group of musicians who perform ambitious symphonies, operas and pops programs. Memorial Day weekend in Little Rock ushers in Riverfest, a three-day festival made up of some of the biggest names in modern and classic rock, pop and country music.
The Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock is a can’t-miss. The 20,000 square feet of exhibit space houses one of the largest collections of American presidential history. The center also hosts events, including lectures highlighted by past U.S. Cabinet members and leaders from across the arts and culture spectrum.
Raise a glass to Central Arkansas’ craft beers thanks to a boom in breweries. When you’re done, feast or nosh on any of the establishments that make up the region’s foodie nation. Local produce and cheese headline the Pea Farm Bistro in Cabot, and over in Conway, the WunderHaus serves up pork poutine, bratwurst and other selections. Take in some meals on wheels at downtown Little Rock’s food trucks or plan a trip to the annual Food Truck Festival.
Stellar Education Options
Whether your family is looking for the private school experience, a large public high school with great sports teams or technical training, Metro Little Rock has no shortage of options for K-12 education. Public, private, charter, magnet and special needs schools provide options to Metro Little Rock parents and students. Multiple public-school districts host 130-plus K-12 schools where the average class size is 18, and nearly 40 private schools operate in the region.
Benton School District places among the top five in Niche’s list of best school districts in Arkansas, with recognition for its AP and gifted programs. Schools in Little Rock, Bentonville and Hot Springs caught the attention of U.S. News & World Report, who put them on its “best of” for Arkansas high schools. Want to know more? Search for Central Arkansas schools.