Top Reasons for a Family Move to Manhattan

Multiple ranking groups are raving about Manhattan, Kansas as an up and coming place to settle down. And for good reason.

The city, population just over 100,000, has been declared number three on a list of Best Small Places for Business and Careers and one of the top 100 places to live in the U.S.

Also known as the Little Apple, Manhattan has built itself up from a quaint Metropolis college town, to a hub for culture, business and entertainment, all while maintaining that small town feel. Manhattan’s cost of living is about 9 percent below the national average and has a median household income of about $65,000 and price of homes are steadily increasing as more people look to make the move to the city.

The pace of life is slow yet lively, which is typical of a thriving college town. With an endless list of things to do and see, Manhattan has a little bit of something for everyone considering calling the city their new home.

Award-winning education system

For families with children, the kindergarten through 12th grade schooling options are top notch. The primary public school district, Manhattan-Ogden, has more than 6,000 students enrolled, according to Livability. Other options include a handful of private schools with much smaller enrollments of a couple hundred or less. Kindergarten and secondary schools continually receive high ratings in Manhattan.

For higher education, Kansas State University has long-been a character-defining piece of Manhattan. The university was ranked a top 20 university in the U.S. by the Wall Street Journal in 2017 for turning out students with remarkable critical thinking skills. The school is the number one choice for both multicultural students and for Kansas high school graduates.


Unique job opportunities

The university is also one of the largest employers in Manhattan, boasting thousands of faculty members. The city is also considered a nationwide leader in biology and agro-defense. The Forthcoming National Bio and Agro-defense facility (NBAF) offers hundreds of research positions. The city recently invested millions into renovating the facility. The nearly-complete research center employs thousands to study prominent diseases affecting the nation’s animal and agricultural industry.


A vibrant downtown

The college also brought the typical “college feel” to the once-small city with top notch dining, inviting boutiques and a thriving night life. Downtown is the perfect balance of a slow yet dynamic lifestyle.

For dining, there are some timeless classics that have preserved the history of Manhattan such as So Long Saloon, Bourbon and Baker and Harry’s. These iconic restaurants are favorites of the Manhattan community and attract connoisseurs from near and far. When you ask a local where to dine, most likely they will offer up one of these three restaurants and it’s places like these that have made the city into the “foodie heaven” it is referred to as today.

In recent years however, restaurants and microbreweries with more modern flares have begun popping up downtown and elsewhere, bringing diversity to the eating and drinking scene. New restaurants such as Wine Dive and Kitchen and Cowboy Chicken. Regardless of your dining-style preferences and taste buds, there is something to satisfy everyone on nearly every street corner.

If you and your family are fans of museums and the arts, there are multiple centers awaiting you. At Kansas State University, the McCain Performing Arts Center is frequented by various Broadway and symphony tours. There is also the Beach Museum of Fine Arts which is filled with work by regional artists and is known for having long-term collections. Recently, Manhattan added the Flint Hills Discovery Center. The center is very family-friendly, exhibiting the region’s geology and biology over the course of history.


Opportunities for the great outdoors

If your family is more outdoorsy, there are endless options for exploration. Some nearby hiking options include Warner Park and Konza Prairie. Multiple parks such as Bluemont Scenic Overlook and Douglas Park are available in every corner of Manhattan, complete with picnic tables, playgrounds and grills for weekends outings. One of the most well-known parks is Turtle Creek, boasting 1,200 acres or gorgeous greenery and bodies of water.


Public transportation

All that Manhattan offers, from parks to the arts and dining, is easily accessible thanks to the city’s noteworthy public transportation. There have been recent updates to the bus system, which offers fixed routes all throughout the city. Officials have worked over the years to bolster the bus system in accordance with the rapidly-growing population.

The main portion of the city encompasses only about 20 square miles, so commute times are practically non-existent for those working in the downtown area. Just outside the city, there is a “linear trail” which provides easy access to the city by walking or biking. In a big stride towards environmental consciousness, Manhattan also installed a bike share program, allowing residents and visitors alike to make their way around the city at their preferred pace.

As for the Manhattan neighborhoods, there is no shortage of options. The city offers anything from luxury properties situated on a golf course to quaint starter homes for families that are just starting out. Nearly every neighborhood is just an arm’s reach from the lively downtown or a peaceful local park.