WELCOME TO KANSAS & MISSOURI
Welcome to Metropolitan Kansas City, a sprawling 4,000 square-mile area encompassing counties in Kansas and Missouri. Newcomers who are unfamiliar with Kansas City’s blend of rich architectural legacy and cosmopolitan amenities are quick to discover a “City of Surprises.” Instead of flatlands or prairies filled with tumbleweeds, they find rolling hills, wooded areas, lush parklands, gentle rivers and pristine lakes.
While the region’s undeniable natural beauty and abundant open space have certainly contributed to residential and business growth, the metroplex offers an unparalleled quality of life. Metropolitan Kansas City offers a low cost of living, state-of-the-art healthcare, leading educational institutions, and a diverse and robust economy served by a superb transportation network.
Decades of progressive development have resulted in world-class shopping districts and cultural centers, five-star restaurants, professional sports teams and first-rate facilities for every imaginable recreational activity. Add to this picture Midwestern friendliness and small-town values, and it’s easy to understand why people who have experienced the Kansas City lifestyle refuse to live anywhere else.
Known traditionally for agribusiness and manufacturing, the metroplex today relies on a diversified and stable economy. Kansas City leads the nation in greeting card publishing, telecommunications, farm equipment distribution, foreign trade zone space, frozen food storage and distribution, hard winter wheat marketing, and underground storage space. More than half of the Fortune 500 companies have offices or headquarters in the metroplex, which provides fertile ground for everything from home-based businesses to international corporations.
Located just 250 miles from the geographic center of the United States, Kansas City has emerged as a national and international leader in shipping and distribution. Eleven railroads serve the area and three of the nation’s ten largest trucking companies are headquartered in the metroplex. Kansas City International Airport is recognized for its passenger-friendly and efficient service, complemented by 65 public and private airports throughout the metroplex.
The Kansas City Transportation Authority provides The Metro bus service for local commuters, although most residents prefer traveling on the outstanding network of freeways and highways that connect all corners of the metroplex. Second only to San Antonio for freeway miles per capita, Kansas City offers a faster and easier commute than cities of comparable size. On the average, most commuters reach their destination within 20 minutes.
Brimming over with academic excellence, the metroplex is home to highly rated public schools, private and parochial schools, diverse technical and vocational programs, specialty institutes, and private and state-affiliated colleges and universities. Innovative programs involve parents, community members and local businesses in their dedication to supporting high academic standards throughout the educational system.
Excellent student-teacher ratios, highly educated instructors, progressive programs, a dedicated staff and modern classrooms characterize the Greater Kansas City school districts. Many of the area public schools and their educators have achieved state and even national recognition. The area is known for its Teacher of the Year honorees, Triple-A rated schools, Blue Ribbon awards from the U.S. Department of Education, National Merit Finalists, and above-average performance on ACT and SAT tests.
A strong network of community colleges offers area residents an affordable way to launch a four-year degree, update skills or start a new hobby. Institutions of higher education are scattered throughout Greater Kansas City, from the state-affiliated University of Missouri-Kansas City to the intimate atmosphere of small-town private colleges that excel in individualized attention. Career and vocational institutes dot the region with opportunities for specialized study.
Outstanding healthcare facilities include leading research and treatment centers that have achieved national and even international recognition. An abundance of hospitals, medical centers, rehabilitation centers, clinics, fitness centers, social service organizations and three medical schools are all a short drive from home. Many hospitals operate wellness and fitness centers and serve as innovators in community health education.
In a word, Greater Kansas City is livable. Newcomers can look forward to a lower cost of living and more efficient services than most other metropolitan areas are able to provide. More specifically, Kansas City ranks well below the national average in costs for housing, utilities, and grocery items. Residents enjoy more disposable money for leisure activities, entertainment, shopping, arts and culture, recreation and relaxation—all aspects of daily life in which the metroplex excels.
In addition to state, county and municipal parklands, the metroplex is home to a number of beautiful lakes for swimming, fishing, sailing, power boating and water sports. Many parks offer riverside trails or picnic sites with riverfront views. Outdoor enthusiasts will discover campsites, bicycle trails, bridle paths, hiking and biking trails, tennis courts, golf courses, sports clubs and country clubs, ice-skating and roller-skating rinks, swimming pools, ballfields, and organized sports close to home.
Archers, anglers, and hunters will find premier recreational facilities and acres of undeveloped land. Those who prefer to capture animals through binoculars or on film can visit the many well-known conservation centers frequented by birdwatchers and nature students. Gardens, wineries, farmer’s markets, Kansas City jazz, world-famous barbecue, seasonal festivals, ethnic celebrations, riverboat casinos and summer concerts beneath the stars are all threads in the tapestry of Kansas City’s undeniable charm. Professional sports teams never fail to draw a cheering crowd in this area where hometown spirit runs high.
Fine museums and fascinating historical sites document the vital part that Kansas City played in the Westward movement of American culture. Among the cultural attractions in the metropolitan area are world-renowned art collections, opera, dance, symphonies, pop concerts, jazz and comedy clubs, off-Broadway productions and professional theatre. Even the smaller cities and towns showcase amateur and local talent in community theater or collegiate fine arts programs.
Aficionados of shopping can spend the day discovering the quaint shops and antiques nestled in historic districts or browsing through modern, enclosed malls that feature hundreds of specialty stores, restaurants and multi-screen cinemas. Unique shopping areas like The Country Club Plaza, The City Market, or the Crown Center draw visitors and resident alike to their eclectic blend of entertainment spots, museums, performing arts centers, and upscale retail establishments.
Housing options in the metroplex are diverse, attractive and surprisingly affordable. Possibilities range from sleek high-rise penthouses with views of the skyline to charming Victorian farmhouses shaded by large native trees. Newcomers can choose from a classic Williamsburg, a Cape Cod, an historic colonial or a rustic contemporary. Many of the well-kept older homes in long-established neighborhoods offer generous square footage, meticulous landscaping, and magnificent architectural embellishments.
The once-rural counties of Cass, Clay and Platte are rapidly developing into residential havens for those who desire a slower suburban pace in close proximity to urban amenities. Homes in the suburbs can offer a patio view of fairway greens, a private boat dock on a placid lake, generous acreage for raising horses or a secluded countryside setting. In most small cities and towns, a wave of commercial and retail development has followed residential growth, bringing daily conveniences even closer to home.
Regardless of what corner of Greater Kansas City you choose to call home, your new neighbors will be quick to extend a helping hand. Community involvement, volunteerism, civic pride and a cooperative spirit are hallmarks of the Heartland. So don’t be surprised if a total stranger extends a greeting or waves as you pass by. The metroplex is known for the most caring and friendly residents in the nation.