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Fort Smith Travel Guide, Arkansas

Fort Smith, the second-largest city in the US state of Arkansas, has everything going in its favor to be deemed a popular tourist hot-spot. It has a temperate climate, great tourist attractions as well as activities galore and a very cultural ambiance.

Founded as a western frontier military post in 1817, the city has a thriving arts community that promotes various art forms - right from fine arts to music, dance and even plays. Band-music is hugely popular in Fort Smith. So, if active pursuits do not interest you, you can easily go and enjoy a live orchestra or a play. If all this does not seem tempting, you still have the shopping malls and the big-box chain retailers to count on. Remember, Fort Smith is one city in the US, which promises you a comparative low cost of living!   


Area: 137.1 sq km

Population: 80,268

Language: English

Currency: USD


In Fort Smith you have an amazing blend of past and contemporary architectural styles. The 1817-built original fort of Fort Smith standing on the Arkansas River is a brilliant example of the architecture of those times. The restored homes in the Belle Grove Historic District also give you glimpses of architectural styles that evolved over a period of some 130 years. If these massive, imposing structures of the yesteryears are still there to remind of the bygone times, there are structures like the Center Mall to represent modern day architecture.


The city of Fort Smith has experienced all-round development. It has a strong economic base and an excellent infrastructure to support the needs of civic life. Standing at the intersection of two major interstate highways, Fort Smith serves as a major transportation hub for the adjoining areas. Its road network is further strengthened by a very commendable public transport system comprising bus services that connect Fort Smith to neighboring counties as intra-city trolley bus services.  

The city has a regional airport. Though the airport is chiefly used for military aviation, three commercial airlines operate in this sector and have flights to Atlanta, Dallas and Memphis. One can also make use of the river route to reach Fort Smith.    

People and Culture

The inhabitants of Fort Smith have varied ancestry - some are African Americans, some Asians or Europeans and yet others Hispanics or Native Americans. Although different languages are spoken in Fort Smith, English is the language that binds all.

The people are an educated, cultured lot and this is clearly manifested in the many festivities that are celebrated here year-round. Most of these are cultural fests and fairs. Be part of the Fort Smith Riverfront Blues Fest if you are a jazz aficionado. If you have a sporting spirit, enjoy the ten days of Wild West activities during the city’s annual Old Fort Days Rodeo and Barrel-Racing event. Fort Smith's Arkansas-Oklahoma State Fair, another ten-day long affair, also promises you a similar thrill.

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