Written by Arkansas Real Estate
Bella Vista is located at the pinnacle of Northwest Arkansas between Bentonville and the Missouri border. The village was established 100 years ago as a vacation and recreational retreat. Quiet countryside living and ample leisure amenities have traditionally attracted retirees, but as the Northwest Arkansas area continues to grow, Bella Vista is welcoming a new, more diverse population. Nowhere is this change more evident than at the Bella Vista Country Club and Golf Course.
Kenny Walker, who works as a starter at the country club, moved to the area about 10 years ago, but he purchased his first Bella Vista property in 1985.
"That's when golf was a little different than what we have nowadays. We had more retirees back then. Mostly now it's working class people coming in to play," Walker says.
The six golf courses in Bella Vista are experiencing an influx of younger players from around the region and across the country. According to Walker, golfers can't seem to get enough of Bella Vista's courses.
"The only reason we close is if they can't play – too much snow or too much rain," he says.
Ed Morgan, a member of the Bella Vista Foundation, plays golf year-round, about three times a week, at the Bella Vista Country Club. He and his wife Bobbie often visit the club restaurant, Café Amici, for Sunday brunch. The restaurant is a popular gathering place for golfers, residents and the general public.
"We eat here quite often. We love it. The architecture of the building, the view – it's just beautiful," says Bobbie.
The lodge-style restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the golf course and outdoor patio. Interior elements of wood, glass and stone are well-known hallmarks of world-renowned architect, E. Fay Jones, the native Arkansan who designed the building. With a wet bar and plenty of space, Café Amici is a popular reception site to the nearby Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel, another of E. Fay Jones' landmarks.
Attractive home prices and low crime rates are attracting more affluent families, investors and business owners to Bella Vista, and town leaders are planning to connect the city's extension of walking trails to the Northwest Arkansas Razorback Greenway Trail.
With seven natural lakes, six golf courses, several walking and biking trails, indoor and outdoor pools, clubhouses and fitness centers – it's no wonder Bella Vista is one of the most popular recreation destinations in the Northwest Arkansas area.