Manhattan KS downtown

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 49
Demographics 29
Economy 50
Education 70
Health 73
Housing 57
Infrastructure 55

#81. Manhattan, KS

Home to Kansas State University and Fort Riley Military Base, Manhattan, KS – aka “The Little Apple” – is an affordable place to live with high-quality health care and great access to education. The city’s 55,000 residents love rooting for the Wildcats, doing four-seasons outdoor recreational activities and supporting local small businesses. Manhattan is diverse and eclectic, as appealing to college students as it is to retirees and veterans.

Top Colleges/Universities: Kansas State University

Top Industries & Employers: Fort Riley Military Base and Kansas State University

Weekend Plans: Cheer on the Wildcats, grab some fresh produce at the Manhattan Farmers Market or ride bikes on the Linear Trail.

Favorite Place to Feast: Varsity Donuts, a beloved local doughnut shop that also has a food truck serving up late-night eats like a mac-and-cheese grilled cheese sandwich. Their maple bacon doughnut bar is out of this world.

Beloved Beverage: Any of the “Nancy” drinks at the So Long Saloon start with the basic Nancy (made with Busch Light or Old Milwaukee and pineapple juice) and increase in fanciness up to the Pirate Nancy, which adds Parrot Bay Rum to the O.G. recipe!

Outdoorsy Activity: Hunting and fishing the 108,000 acres of public hunting land in Manhattan.

Rooftop Bar: Tallgrass Tap House, an award-winning and popular brewpub with views of downtown Manhattan and the Flint Hills.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: Dogs and humans alike can take advantage of the fresh air at Manhattan’s 29 public parks, including an off-leash dog area at CiCo Park!

Remote Work Perk: Since Manhattan is so affordable, you can work fewer hours or pursue a remote job or project you’re passionate about without having to worry so much about paying the bills. Median home prices here are just $213,000.

One More Thing … Manhattan will soon be home to the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security facility for researching diseases that threaten crops and public health.

– Sarah Kuta

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