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6 Reasons St. Joseph, Missouri, Is a Great Place To Live

Find out why residents stay and visitors relocate.

By Lindsey Hyde on November 1, 2022

Pony Express statue in St. Joseph, MO
Lura Landis Photography

Visit St. Joseph, a small city in Northwest Missouri, and you’ll notice an infectious energy that brightens moods and invites people to linger. It’s a place where history gently collides with the present day, with multiple museums, colorful public art and a lively dining scene — a place where locals have more than one spot where they’re considered regulars.

Here, job opportunities run the gamut, and residents often find that perfect house or apartment they can call home for years to come.

Thinking of moving to St. Joseph, MO? Here are six reasons St. Joseph is a great place to live.

Community & Convenience

While there are many things that set St. Joseph apart from other communities, its residents are high on the list. People usually know their neighbors and seeing a familiar face when out and about is not uncommon. 

“It’s a city, but it still operates like a town,” says St. Joseph resident Shirlee Lyons. “It’s helpful people who go out of their way to help others. (There are) lots of charitable organizations here in town. I think that’s what makes it unique. People really embrace helping each other out.”

In addition to its friendly demeanor, St. Joseph makes it easy for residents to travel to other destinations. 

“I like that it’s big enough to have all the conveniences that I need at a drop of a hat, but it’s close enough to Kansas City and to the airport to make travel easier,” Lyons says. “We’re literally 30-35 minutes from the airport, which is nice. It makes the rest of the world accessible.”

Affordability

Residing in St. Joseph means you can have a superb quality of life and not break the bank in the process. Here, the typical home value comes in at $140,824, according to Zillow, compared to $231,132 in nearby Kansas City and $355,852 for the country as a whole. Renting is also reasonable.

And the best news? Saving on housing costs means residents can spend more of their money on things they love.

Abundant Arts

The arts, both visual and performing, are quite popular in St. Joseph. Outdoor art can be found all over the city. The Allied Arts Council has created a Sculpture Walk, where folks can walk around and admire an eclectic mix of sculptures downtown. Plus, the city is home to a collection of murals, many of which depict scenes that honor the community’s past.  

“I like to just walk and look at all the murals that are downtown,” Lyons says.

In addition to art for the eyes, St. Joseph has plenty of art that appeals to the ears, as live music always seems to be on the calendar. From May through October, the St. Joseph Downtown Association hosts live music under the stars every third Friday. Plus, the city is home to the St. Joseph Symphony and the RiverSong chorus. 

Bee and Thistle in St. Joseph, MO
Lura Landis Photography
Bee and Thistle in St. Joseph, MO

Bustling Boutiques

One fun pastime, especially for those who love shopping, is to peruse the city’s many boutiques. A few examples include Jamie’s Secret Garden, which sells clothes, jewelry, home décor and more; The Unique Unicorn, which sells one-of-a-kind houseplants; and Bee and Thistle, a unique shop with bee-related items such as honey and so much more. 

History Haven

Traces of St. Joseph’s past can still be seen throughout the city. As the home of the Pony Express, a form of mail service that was popular in the early 1860s, the community boasts the Pony Express National Museum, which locals and visitors love. Also popular is the Jesse James Home, where the outlaw was shot and killed in 1882. 

“There is a museum for Joseph Robidoux, who is the founder of St. Joe, and our major streets are actually named after his children,” Lyons says.

Live music during Kansas City Chiefs training camp
Courtesy of St. Joseph Chamber
Live music during Kansas City Chiefs training camp.

Sports Scene

Step just one foot in St. Joseph and you’ll see the community’s love of sports. Here, the Missouri Western State University Griffons bring adoring fans to their feet every season — be it for basketball, football, baseball, you name it. Plus, locals love watching the Mustangs, the city’s summer collegiate baseball team.

Also pretty exciting? St. Joseph is where the Kansas City Chiefs host their training camp each year, meaning residents can catch glimpses of their practices.

“(Locals) just take blankets and chairs and sit on the hillside and watch them practice and scrimmage. It’s a hot thing to do,” Lyons says. 

Not satisfied to sit on the sidelines for sporting events? There are multiple opportunities to join team sports or pursue individual endeavors for adults and children alike.

This article was sponsored by the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce.

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