Mill Creek – Fort Smith, AR

Mill Creek, named for the creek that flows through the neighborhood balances manufacturing businesses with family residences. Located a few miles southwest of downtown Fort Smith, Mill Creek also lies close to the Arkansas/Oklahoma state line.

Restaurants & Nightlife

If variety is the spice of life, Mill Creek's restaurants bring plenty of seasoning to the neighborhood. Try Patron Mexican Grill for authentic nachos, burritos and Mexican lasagna. Your meal starts with mild tomato, charred tomato and sweet hot canica served with fresh tortilla chips. The tortilla press prominently displayed at the front of the restaurant makes great decor and greater homemade tortillas. You won't be disappointed with the tacos, regardless of the meat chosen, but try the habanero chicken for a spicy new experience. When you feel like breakfast for dinner (or any other meal), try Lucy's Diner. A northwest Arkansas favorite for more than 50 years, Lucy's Diner serves one-third pound hamburgers and hand-battered onion rings. An assortment of homemade pies round out the menu; come in for a free slice. With breakfast served 24-7, Lucy's Diner earns a local following. Evidence of the growing Vietnamese population in Fort Smith, Pho DaNa brings traditional favorites to Mill Creek. The Mien, a light broth brimming with chicken and shrimp, comes topped with pan-fried shallots for a delightful, crispy finish. Try a cinnamon honey banana as an extra yummy treat. Bars and clubs congregate along the Highway 71 Business Loop. Foxfire Club provides a great place to unwind with a group of friends. If you're in the mood to dance, head over to the Electric Cowboy for country music, cheap cover charges and karaoke. Lost Beach features a laid back atmosphere, pool tables and weekly comedy shows.

History & Culture

Mill Creek began as a gristmill built in the 1800s and grew along with Fort Smith into the twentieth century. By the 1930s and 1940s, Mill Creek had become a thriving multicultural community of farmers, industrial workers and miners. The neighborhood became incorporated into Fort Smith as it expanded east and south, limited to the east by the Oklahoma state line. While no museums exist in Mill Creek, several are nearby in downtown Fort Smith. The Fort Smith Museum of History, housed in a historic building listed on the National Registry, has several floors of displays which chronicle the story of the area. Also located in the downtown area are museums documenting the history of trolleys and the U.S. Marshals.

Transportation

Vehicles provide the most common manner of transportation around Mill Creek. The Fort Smith Transit runs six fixed routes to popular destinations throughout the city. Taxi service from the regional airport is readily available, and taxi transportation to and from other destinations requires a quick phone call. Uber doesn't provide service to Fort Smith. Park free at all area shopping centers, parks and restaurants. Portions of downtown Fort Smith have metered parking. Walking and bicycling in Mill Creek may be treacherous. The curves in roads, while a picturesque way to merge the city with the landscape, create hazards with no marked cycling lanes. In an effort to assist area cyclists, the Fort Smith Transit provides a Bike and Ride program to transport neighborhood bicycling fans to parks or other bike-friendly areas. While you have to pay for your ticket, there's no extra charge for the bike

Cost

Mill Creek's cost of living makes the neighborhood an affordable option in Fort Smith. A one-bedroom apartment rents for an average of $400. A single ride pass (with free transfer) on Fort Smith Transit can be purchased for less than $2. Gas prices regularly fall below the national average by 7 percent, and domestic beers cost less than $5.

Shopping

Few shops exist in Mill Creek, but the major shopping corridor lies less than 10 miles to the east along Rogers Avenue. Central Mall houses traditional department stores as well as many service providers such as optometrists, psychologists, tailors and armed forces recruitment centers. Metal Trends, a unique store, stocks apparel, accessories and home decor with a country flair. Need a set of loungewear in camo? Metal Trends has it. Spirit Zone provides all your licensed team needs. From the local favorite Arkansas Razorbacks, "Woo Pig Sooie " to NFL, MBA and NBA teams, Spirit Zone helps you cheer your beloved team to victory in style. For groceries, try Harp's Food Store, an Arkansas-based chain owned by the employees. A demand for culturally diverse food items brings Truong Son to the city. At Truong Son, find live seafood for your home preparation. Produce and fresh herbs cost far less there than on more mainstream grocery stores. Call ahead and the grocery store staff has your selections ready and waiting; sometimes they throw in a tasty surprise or two. The Downtown Farmers Market operates year round with over 75 vendors during the peak months of May to September.

Parks

Head to Creekmore Park, a few miles north of Mill Creek for swimming, playground equipment and a leisurely walking path. Around Christmas, locals flock to Creekmore Park to ride around the train track to view the lights and other decorations. The Fort Smith Dog Park caters to canine residents and their owners with a doggie-friendly pond, acres of trees and wide-open space for running and double gates. Ben Geren Regional Park lands at the top of the list for area parks. From tennis courts to Frisbee golf, Ben Geren provides a leisurely activity for everyone: walking trails, playgrounds, picnic tables, go karts and putt-putt miniature golf. A specially designed bicycle trail winds around the back of the park, separate from the walking and the jogging trails. Annual festivals include the St. Patrick's Day Festival with leprechaun walk and pub crawl, the Riverfront Blues Festival in June for tons of good music and good food in support of a good cause: music scholarships for future musicians and Blues, Cars & BBQ for the time-honored combination of blues music and barbecue with a classic car show thrown in too.