Moving to Kansas
Are you considering a heartland hop over to Kansas, the "Sunflower State"? Before you start packing your bags, strike the perfect balance between gleeful excitement and practical anticipation with this comprehensive Kansas relocation guide! As you read through each engaging and captivating section, you'll find yourself playfully stepping into a rich, diverse landscape infused with first-rate professional advice to make your big move a delightful breeze. Get ready to immerse yourself in the quintessential Midwestern experience that awaits you in Kansas.
What to Know Before Moving to Kansas
1. Don't underestimate the friendliness of Kansans
You've heard the term "Southern hospitality," but Kansans give southerners a run for their money with their exceptional warmth. The locals are known for their open hearts and friendliness, so don't be surprised if your new neighbors swing by with some homemade treats and a genuine interest in getting to know you. Be prepared to make new friends quickly and to form lifelong connections with the people you meet in Kansas.
2. They really love their sports (and so will you)
Kansas residents are die-hard sports fans, and passionately support their local college and professional teams. The state is home to the University of Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State University Wildcats, and Wichita State University Shockers – all boasting impressive sports programs. Kansas City, though technically in Missouri, is just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from Kansas proper - and with it comes the Kansas City Chiefs and Sporting Kansas City, both with their own unique fan experiences. Embrace the spirit and join in the camaraderie and tailgating adventures that come with supporting a local Kansas team.
3. Delicious BBQ is everywhere
Meat lovers, rejoice! Kansas is famous for its mouthwatering BBQ joints. Kansas City-style barbecue, in particular, has made a name for itself with its distinctive, thick, and sweet barbecue sauce. Feast on slow-cooked, tender meats, including succulent ribs, juicy brisket, and flavorful pulled pork. Vegetarians, fear not – Kansas has its fair share of scrumptious non-meat dishes too, but no one should pass up the opportunity to try some legit Kansas BBQ.
4. Discover the thrill of storm chasing
Did you know that Kansas sees about 90 tornadoes per year? While this does mean you should definitely be prepared to take tornado safety precautions, it also means you have the opportunity to witness one of nature's most awe-inspiring spectacles up close. Storm chasing tours are increasingly popular in Kansas, and offer the chance to safely observe tornadoes and severe storms in action. Of course, the safety of your home and loved ones comes first, do not seek out storm chasing if you are untrained or unfamiliar with the necessary safety measures.
5. The windiest state and "hot air balloon capital"
With an average wind speed of 14 mph, Kansas is the windiest state in the US. The flat terrain and lack of trees allow the wind to sweep across uninterrupted, making it an ideal location for wind turbines and increasingly popular wind energy production. In a lesser-known fact, this abundance of wind has granted Kansas the title of "Hot Air Balloon Capital of the World.” A visit to Kansas won't be complete without taking a hot air balloon ride through those big, beautiful skies and appreciating this unique aspect of the state.
6. A rich history - both known and hidden
Kansas has a history steeped in Native American heritage and settler stories. This is exemplified by the famed Santa Fe Trail, which runs through Kansas and serves as a prominent connection between the East and West. But there's also a unique underground history in Kansas: the town of Ellinwood has preserved tunnels that were once home to saloons, bathhouses, and other businesses back in the late 1800s. Step back in time and explore this fascinating subterranean world for a truly unique Kansas experience.
In conclusion, Kansas brings together a rich mix of history, food, friendly people, sports, and unique natural phenomena to create a truly special place to call home. The more you learn about the Sunflower State, the more likely you'll find something to love about living in Kansas!
Pros and Cons of Living in Kansas
Pros of Living in Kansas
Kansas has a low cost of living compared to many other states in the US, making it an attractive option for those looking for affordable housing and daily expenses. This also means that residents can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank.
The state offers a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as hiking, fishing, and camping in multiple state parks. The Flint Hills region, in particular, is a popular destination for enjoying nature. Kansas' relatively flat landscape also makes it a great place for biking and running.
Low Traffic and Short Commutes
With a smaller population, Kansas does not suffer from the same traffic congestion as larger metropolitan areas. This results in shorter average commute times for residents, which can help reduce stress and allow for more free time.
Kansas is known for its welcoming atmosphere, and residents often find that they can build strong connections in their communities. This can make the transition to living in the state an enjoyable experience, especially for those looking for a close-knit social circle.
Kansas offers residents the chance to experience all four seasons, with distinct changes in the weather throughout the year. This can be a refreshing change for those moving from areas with less variability in the climate and allows for a variety of seasonal activities.
Cons of Living in Kansas
Variable Weather and Tornadoes
Kansas is located in Tornado Alley and experiences a high frequency of severe weather, including tornadoes and thunderstorms. This can result in property damage and a need for residents to prepare for potential disruptions caused by extreme weather events.
Limited Public Transportation Options
Public transportation options are limited in many areas of Kansas, particularly in rural communities. Residents who do not own a car may find it challenging to access job opportunities, amenities, and social activities without reliable public transit options.
The state's landscape is mostly flat and may lack the variety some people desire, particularly those who enjoy mountainous terrain or coastal areas. However, there are still natural features in the state, like the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, which offers a different kind of natural beauty.
Economic Dependence on Agriculture
Kansas' economy relies heavily on agriculture, which can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. While this provides job opportunities in the agricultural industry, it can also make the state more vulnerable to economic fluctuations and climate-related challenges that impact crop production.
Lower Availability of Amenities and Entertainment
Compared to larger cities or coastal states, Kansas has fewer amenities such as shopping, dining, and entertainment options. This can make the state less exciting for some and may require residents to travel farther distances to enjoy certain experiences or attend cultural events.
Is Kansas a Good State to Live In?
Kansas is a great place to live because of its low cost of living, diverse landscape, and friendly communities. The state offers an excellent balance of urban and rural living, with many outdoor recreational opportunities and top-rated schools.
What Is Kansas Famous For?
Wizard of Oz Connection
When people think of Kansas, they often think of Dorothy proclaiming "we're not in Kansas anymore!" That famous line is from the beloved 1939 movie "The Wizard of Oz," based on L. Frank Baum's children's book. Kansas is proud of this connection and the town of Liberal even has a replica of Dorothy's house for tourists to visit!
Did you know that Kansas is also known as the Sunflower State? Acres of beautiful sunflower fields can be found across the state, painting the landscape with bright yellows and greens. Kansas citizens not only take pride in their lovely state flower but also use it as a symbol of their warmth, friendliness, and resilience - more info about Kansas and the sunflower can be found here, on the Kansas Historical Society website.
Geographic Center of the Continental United States
Kansas isn't just any ordinary state – it's right smack in the middle! Located near the town of Lebanon, Kansas is home to the geographic center of the 48 contiguous United States. A small monument marks the exact spot, and visitors can feel the thrill of standing in the center of it all! Here is the official webpage for more detailed information.
While Kansas City itself may be located in Missouri, Kansas City, Kansas shares the reputation as a barbecue haven. The "Kansas City-style" barbecue is famous for its smoky, sweet, and tangy flavor. Foodies and barbecue lovers from all over the world are drawn to the area to sample the delicious meats and sauces at various local eateries, like Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que.
Overview of Tax Rates
Property tax rates in Kansas vary depending on the county, with an average rate of 1.41% as of 2023. This places Kansas in the top half of U.S. states in terms of property tax rates, ranked 14th highest in the country.
As of 2023, Kansas has a state sales tax rate of 6.5%, with local jurisdictions potentially adding up to 4% more, with a combined average sales tax rate of around 8.68%. This ranks Kansas 8th highest among U.S. states in terms of sales tax rates.
Kansas income tax rates in 2023 range from 3.1% to 5.7%, depending on income brackets. These rates are considered moderate and rank Kansas 34th highest in the nation for income tax rates.
Kansas offers an affordable and stable housing market, with a median home value of $163,362, lower than the national average. Home values have enjoyed a steady appreciation, with a 5.5% increase over the past year. Renters will find average monthly rates of $950, offering cost-effective options compared to other states. With low property taxes, a favorable cost of living, and a healthy market growth, Kansas provides appealing opportunities for both renters and buyers in the real estate market.
Cost of Living
The current cost of living in Kansas is relatively affordable when compared to other states across the US. Housing, utilities, and transportation costs are generally lower in Kansas, with the median home cost being significantly below the national average. However, certain aspects such as healthcare and groceries are on par with the rest of the country. Overall, Kansas presents an appealing option for individuals and families seeking a budget-friendly, comfortable lifestyle in a midwestern state.
Weather & Natural Disasters
The climate of Kansas is characterized by a temperate continental climate, with wide variations in weather conditions due to its central location within North America. Summers are typically hot and humid, while winters are cold and dry. Annual temperatures range from an average high of 92°F (33°C) in July, to an average low of 18°F (-8°C) in January. The state receives moderate precipitation throughout the year, with an average annual rainfall of around 28 inches (710 mm), which is fairly evenly distributed between the months.
Severe weather events, such as tornadoes, thunderstorms, and hail, frequently occur in Kansas due to its location within the U.S. tornado alley. Tornadoes are most common during spring and early summer. Kansas is one of the most tornado-prone states in the country, with an average of 50 to 100 tornadoes recorded annually. Besides tornadoes, Kansas is also susceptible to drought, floods, and wildfires. Though less common, winter storms, blizzards, and ice storms can impact the state, disrupting transportation and causing property damage.
Economy & Job Market
Agriculture, especially wheat and cattle production
Aviation, with Kansas being a major manufacturing center for aircraft
Energy, including oil, natural gas, and renewable sources like wind
Bioscience and healthcare
Advanced manufacturing, including transportation equipment and machinery
Historically, Kansas has been known for its strong agricultural foundation, being a top producer of wheat and beef across the United States. Today, however, the state has diversified its industries, becoming a hub for aviation and manufacturing. The aircraft manufacturing industry in Kansas is so well-known, in fact, that the region around Wichita is often called the "Air Capital of the World." The state is also investing in renewable energy sources like wind power, making it a hotbed for innovation in this field. In addition to the above, bioscience and healthcare have also emerged as key industries, supporting both research and healthcare services throughout the state.
For those looking to move to Kansas in search of employment, there's quite a bit to be excited about. With a diverse set of growing industries and the state's rich agricultural tradition, there are ample opportunities for job seekers. Kansas has an unemployment rate that has consistently sat below the national average in recent years, and the state government invests in initiatives to attract new businesses and create jobs. Some of the best areas to find employment in Kansas include Wichita for aviation and advanced manufacturing opportunities, Kansas City for its thriving business scene, and the western region of the state for agriculture and renewable energy jobs. So upon arrival, simply saddle up and get ready to ride toward your next job in the Sunflower State!
Traffic and Transportation
Ah, Kansas! The Sunflower State welcomes you with open arms and an absolutely unified love for college basketball. But did you know that when it comes to traffic and transportation, Kansas has got you covered? Let's dive into this exciting world:
In bustling urban centers like Wichita, Kansas City, and Overland Park, the average commute time is around 20 minutes (you heard it right!). Just imagine all the extra time you'll have to practice your Rock Chalk chant! And, don't be fooled by its nickname "City of Fountains"; Kansas City boasts the supremely efficient 'Ride KC' bus service and the ultra-sleek 'KC Streetcar' to get you where you need to go, in style.
Did someone say "air travel"? Oh, we've got that too! You'll find modern airports in Kansas City (MCI), Wichita (ICT), and Topeka (FOE). In no time, you'll be soaring 'Kansas-style' to your next destination, be it in state or out. Happy travelling and remember, there's no place like Kansas!
Things to Do
So you've decided to move to the Sunflower State! Kansas is not just about farmlands; the state has numerous hidden gems spread across its vast landscape, perfect for adventure-seeking individuals and families. Here's a list of seven top things to do in Kansas for newcomers, mixing the well-known essentials with some unique and lesser-known experiences to help you feel right at home in your new state.
1. Explore the Cosmosphere
Located in Hutchinson, the Cosmosphere is an internationally acclaimed space museum that's home to the largest combined collection of U.S. and Russian space artifacts. Get ready to blast off into the history of space exploration as you explore the hands-on exhibits, catch a movie in the impressive digital dome theater, and even participate in a space camp! The Cosmosphere promises an out-of-this-world experience for all ages.
2. Feel the Freedom at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
Head to the Flint Hills and transport yourself to an untamed past in the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Strong City. This beautiful landscape covers over 10,000 acres, making it the last intact North American Tallgrass Prairie. Savor the sights and sounds of this vast land on a free self-guided or ranger-led tour, hike or bike the trails, enjoy a picnic, and spot bison roaming freely in their native habitat.
3. Zoom Through Time at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
Housed in Kansas City, the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures features one of the largest collections of antique toys, dolls, and miniatures in the world! The nostalgia will hit you as you explore the fascinating exhibits and admire the detailed craftsmanship on display. It's a great place to connect with the past and share your childhood memories with your kids.
4. Indulge Your Taste Buds in a Kansas Wine Adventure
Did you know that Kansas has around 45 active wineries? That's a lot of vino! Get to know your local wine scene by exploring some of the many wineries throughout the state, like the picturesque Wheat State Winery in Winfield, the family-owned and operated Wyldewood Cellars in Mulvane, or Holy-Field Vineyard & Winery in Basehor with its award-winning wines. And don't forget to bring home some Kansas-crafted bottles to share with friends and neighbors!
5. Get Lost in the Forbidden Fruit Garden
This is one for those who love a good mystery visit! Kansas has its very own Forbidden Fruit Garden, also known as the "Garden of Eden," located in Lucas. Created by Samuel P. Dinsmoor, this unusual, fascinating, and slightly eerie concrete sculpture garden showcases Dinsmoor's political and religious beliefs, tackling subjects like temptation, sin, and the afterlife. Roam the garden and decide for yourself what message the artist intended!
6. Discover a World of Art at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
Located in Overland Park, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art showcases an impressive collection of contemporary artwork from artists worldwide. This highly-acclaimed museum features over 4,000 square feet of exhibition space, making it a fantastic destination for those who appreciate modern art. Don't miss the outdoor sculpture park or the free children's art classes for an enriching family activity!
7. Jump Into the World's Largest Collection of Smallest Things at the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things
Visiting this quaint, delightful, and certainly unexpected traveling museum in Lucas is a must for those who love the whimsical side of life. Run by Erika Nelson, an artist and Kansas native, you'll find a fascinating collection of unique and small-scale reproductions of the world's largest things. Prepare to be amazed and delighted!
As you embark on your Kansas adventure, keep this list in mind and be sure to explore all that this beautiful, diverse state has to offer. It may seem like you're discovering everything at once, but before you know it, you'll be a true Kansas local!
Find Movers for Your Kansas Relocation
Now that you're well informed about relocating to the beautiful state of Kansas, it's time to take the next step in your moving journey. Ensure a seamless transition by entrusting your move to professional and reliable movers. Great Guys Moving is here to help by connecting you with top-notch, licensed, and insured moving companies in our network that suit your specific needs and budget. Don't delay, get a head start on your exciting new chapter by requesting a free moving quote for your upcoming Kansas relocation. Simply enter your details, and let us guide you to the perfect movers!
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