Fort Smith is perhaps best known for being the setting of True Grit, the serialized 1968 novel that was adapted into two feature films. In fact, Fort Smith has reentered the popular imagination with film adaptation starring Jeff Bridges. True to the story, Fort Smith was historically a major depot for western law enforcement. In fact, a national United States Marshals museum is currently under development in the town.
History aside, Fort Smith is a friendly town located right on the Oklahoma border in the heart of the Ozarks. Remnants of the city's significance in western expansion exist in the historical downtown district, which still resembles a small depot straight out of Western movies.
Well, new Fort Smith resident, you'll be glad to know that most of your winters will be quite mild, with little snowfall and relatively brief periods of low temperatures. You'll pay for the winter pleasantries, however, with hot, humid summers.
In 2006, Forbes ranked Fort Smith as the US city with the lowest cost of living. This will become quite apparent as you begin your apartment search. If you are relocating to Fort Smith from any other large or medium sized city, you'll think someone is playing a joke on you. The monthly rental rates around town will make even the most stoic of new residents squeal with delight.
South and East Southern and eastern neighborhoods means anywhere in Fort Smith proper south of Rogers Avenue and east of Interstate 540. Lucky for you, much of Fort Smith's development has sprawled southward, so there's a lot available here.
To the far south lies Fiana Hills, which is a more newly developed neighborhood. Nearby to the Fiana Hills Shopping Center and replete with newer, suburban-type development, you'll be able to find nicer, more suburban living in this portion of town.
North and West In the north and west portions of Fort Smith, there is a mix of housing options. This area is also located close to Central Mall.
Van Buren Look to the far north! Just five miles from downtown Fort Smith, across the Arkansas River, lies Van Buren, an adorable, historic town. However, be advised that Van Buren is located in the dry county of Crawford, so you'll have to cross back over the river into Fort Smith to toss back a couple.
You are definitely going to need a car in Fort Smith. Though the city has a fairly condensed metropolitan area, most of the shopping and commercial centers are located farther out in the suburbs. Rush hour in the city is relatively calm, with slight delays going into downtown, particularly from Van Buren to the north, but nothing bad enough to make you want to be fire off your six-shooters.
Fort Smith Transit adorably operates four bus line around town that will get you downtown if you live pretty close to a main street.
So welcome to town, partner! Enjoy the low cost of living and your new friendly neighbors!