Part of northwest Arkansas’ River Valley region, Crawford County is bounded by the Oklahoma border to the west, the Arkansas River to the south and the majestic Boston Mountains—a portion of the great Ozark Mountain range—to the north. Van Buren is one of nine incorporated cities in the county and makes up one element of the growing Fort Smith-Van Buren metropolitan area.
The city is conveniently located along several major thoroughfares, with I-540 and I-40 meeting on the east side and Arkansas Highway 59 and U.S. Routes 64 and 71 winding through town. The Arkansas & Missouri Railroad, an exceptional transportation option for leisure travelers, operates in Van Buren. In addition to its passenger services, the railroad provides transload services through its sister company, Ozark Transmodal, Inc., along with regular freight service via BNSF, UP and KCS.
Fort Smith Regional Airport serves as a valuable transportation hub and economic contributor in this region. The airport is served by two commercial airlines—American Eagle/American Airlines and Delta Airlines—as well as Federal Express, several general aviation service providers, car rental agencies and a taxi/limousine service. Additionally, the Arkansas Air National Guard’s 188th Fighter Wing is based at Fort Smith Regional Airport. The modern facility features a state-of-the-art terminal complex, which was completed in 2002, and new passenger jet bridges that opened in February 2005.