Bella Vista is a city in Benton County, Arkansas. First established in 1965 as a summer resort town, the community evolved into a retirement community, and continues to change following incorporation in 2006. The city's struggle with incorporation began in 1977 and periodically returned as the community grew rapidly. Following the change, municipal government replaced the Property Owners Association as primary government; entering a new era for Bella Vista. The community is located on the Springfield Plateau of the Ozark Mountains. Valleys, creeks, and steep rises characterize the city's topography. Bella Vista is located north of Bentonville and Rogers and is the northernmost city in the Northwest Arkansas metropolitan statistical area. The city has been experiencing a population and building boom in recent years, as indicated by a 60% growth in population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.
The rapid growth of the Northwest Arkansas area, including Bella Vista, has expedited the need for a fully controlled access highway in the area. Bella Vista is the northern terminus of Interstate 49 (I-49) in Arkansas. The Bella Vista Bypass, currently a two-lane freeway that is ultimately planned to route I-49 to the south and west of Bella Vista, is under construction.