Best Places to Live

Manhattan, KS

Population: 55,911
Photo Courtesy of Manhattan Convention and Visitors Bureau

Far from the hustle and bustle of NYC is “The Little Apple” — better known as Manhattan, Kansas — home to Kansas State University, a blossoming food scene and a charmingly restored downtown.

Manhattan scored high on our list this year because of its housing affordability, which clocks in at 16% below the national average, a far cry from the unobtainable high rises in New York. Manhattan also got high marks for being a healthy city, thanks to fresh air from the nearby Flint Hills as well as many biking and walking trails around town that promote an overall healthy lifestyle.

Local Obsession: The Little Apple loves two things the most: Legendary former head coach Bill Snyder and their K-State Wildcats.

Climate Described in 6 Words Or Less: Be constantly prepared for all seasons

Top Employers: Fort Riley Military Base and Kansas State University

Local Dream Job: A Curator of Education at the Flint Hills Discovery Center, which works to preserve and educate about the Flint Hills — the last substantial area of tallgrass prairie in North America.

Quintessential Meal: The red velvet cake donut from Varsity Donuts, a charming donut shop housed in a former drug store

Favorite Weekend Activity: If it’s Saturday in fall, you can guarantee the whole town is heading for some tailgating and cheering at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

After-Work Meetup Spot: Nothing will make you forget your work troubles quicker than a Nancy from the So Long Saloon — made with Old Milwaukee and pineapple juice. Just trust us on this one.

Best Brewery: Named the “Best Beer Bar in Kansas” by the Brewers Association, Tallgrass Tap House is a local favorite for some delicious craft beers.

Beloved Bookstore: Claflin Books is a destination store for readers who want to learn more about local and regional history, and specifically about the history of the beautiful Flint Hills.

Free Way to Have Fun: Stop and smell the roses (and the daylilies and peonies) in the Gardens at Kansas State University, which is an ever-evolving horticultural display that will eventually be a 19-acre garden.

Truly Hidden Gem: Take a trip back to the 19th century in the Wolf House, a former boarding house made of limestone. But beware — many in town say it’s haunted.

- Jamie Birdwell-Branson

Read More:

Why Manhattan, KS is a Best Place to Live

8 Reasons to Move to Manhattan,KS Right Now.

The Best Places to Live in Kansas

“The people truly do make the place, and I am thankful to live somewhere with such great people! Whether you are thinking about living in Manhattan for a short or extended period of time, I don’t think you can go wrong. Being able to live in a town full of people who are proud to call it home definitely changes your perspective on what it means to be a community.”


Kynedee Hodges
Marketing Coordinator for the Flint Hills Discovery Center

Manhattan, KS Ranking Data