At the juncture of the Kansas River and the Big Blue River, in the Flint Hills region of Kansas, is the lively town of Manhattan, a rare Midwestern gem that manages to be both family and student friendly at the same time. Housing in Manhattan is as diverse its community, as traditional single-family colonials and ranches, arts and crafts bungalows, historic mid-century gothic revivals and posh downtown lofts can all be found within its 19 square miles.
Manhattan is home to Kansas State University and the culture and economy of the town are squarely linked to the school. The university is not only the largest employer in Manhattan, but its student body of 24,000 plays a large role in shaping the community. Unlike many other college towns where big campuses and large student populations cause friction with residents, Manhattanites take pride in their team and purple shirts can regularly be spotted all over town. The university’s influence can especially be felt in Aggieville, a six block area of Manhattan consisting of shops, restaurants and bars that cater to the college-age crowd.
While Kansas State is a large influence on the town, it is certainly not the only one. The location of Fort Riley just 27 miles west of Manhattan means that the town is shaped by a military presence as well. In fact, Manhattan’s proximity to Fort Riley means that real estate is a particularly sound investment since housing is always in demand. Manhattan not only has the same name as a pricey east coast city, it boasts many of its luxuries as well. Downtown offers a vibrant mix of shopping, restaurants and community events. Manhattan offers wonderful entertainment, plentiful jobs and colorful people while retaining a small town feel. It’s mix of business, family and student friendliness makes Manhattan’s ranking as number one on Livability.com’s 2015 "Best College Towns" and number 70 on its overall "Top 100 Places to Live" no surprise to anyone who has been lucky enough to call it home.