Moving to Kansas City
Well, hello there future Kansas Citian! Perhaps you fell in love with the jazz music reverberating through 18th and Vine, or dazzled at the thought of topping off your Sunday brunch with a mouth watering Burnt Ends BBQ platter. Maybe you've just landed your dream job in this vibrant city. No matter the reason, moving to Kansas City, Kansas, is an adventure you're about to embark on. This comprehensive relocation guide has everything covered...from the lustrous boulevards of the Country Club Plaza to the rolling prairie hills of Wyandotte County. Join us as we redefine "Midwestern hospitality".
What to Know Before Moving to Kansas City
1. The Flavor of BBQ Is in the Air
The first thing you'll notice when you land in Kansas City, KS is the captivating aroma of barbeque in the air. This city takes its BBQ seriously, hosting what has been dubbed the "World Series of BBQ" competition annually. Whether you're a pork, beef, or poultry fan, you're primed to find a BBQ joint to satisfy those cravings. Just remember, Kansas City style means thick, sweet, and tangy sauces!
2. Jazz and Baseball History Abound
Did you know that Kansas City has not one, but two national historic sites that were pivotal to the development of jazz and baseball? The American Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum are both located in the same building in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District. These museums are not just for history buffs but are a testament to the integral role of African-American culture in the city's history and growth.
3. 'Paris of the Plains'
Cocktail enthusiasts rejoice! Kansas City was given the nickname 'Paris of the Plains' during the Prohibition era due to its affinity for disregarding dry laws and embracing wide-scale alcohol consumption. Now, a burgeoning craft cocktail scene channels that history. Visit some of the city's speakeasy-style establishments for libations teetering on the edge of artistry and experience.
4. Fountains, Fountains Everywhere!
Are you fond of fountains? You're in luck! With an impressive collection of more than 200 fountains, Kansas City ranks just behind Rome, the 'City of Fountains'. Be sure to take a leisurely stroll around Country Club Plaza, where you will encounter some of the city's most magnificent fountains.
5. The Unique Geography
One less-known fact about Kansas City is its unusual geographic location. It straddles two states, Missouri and Kansas! Though they share a name, the vibe of both parts is distinctly different. It's not uncommon for residents to cross state lines daily, making it an interesting experience for newcomers.
6. Unexpectedly Artistic
When you think of major artistic hubs in the US, perhaps New York or Los Angeles come to mind. But hold on a second, Kansas City offers you a surprisingly rich art scene. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is renowned for its neoclassic architecture and sprawling sculpture gardens. Meanwhile, the Crossroads Art District is a lively enclave filled with unique galleries, boutiques, and food trucks every First Friday of the month.
Whether you're a foodie, history fanatic, cocktail connoisseur, fountain admirer, geography enthusiast, or art lover, Kansas City, KS has something to offer you! Moving to a new city always involves some surprises. In Kansas City, you'll find the charm and warmth of the Midwest blended with a rich history and a vibrant, modern twist. So fear not, embrace your adventurous spirit, and see what Kansas City has waiting for you!
Pros and Cons of Living in Kansas City
Pros of Living in Kansas City
Plethora of Cultural Activities
Kansas City offers a diverse range of cultural activities. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is known for its neoclassical architecture and vast collection of Asian art. In addition, the city is rich in jazz history and gives plenty of chances to experience live music.
Excellent Culinary Scene
Foodies will enjoy the variety of dining options available in Kansas City. Known for its barbecue, Kansas City offers dozens of highly-rated restaurants. Additionally, there are plenty of farm-to-table restaurants that take advantage of the agriculturally rich surroundings.
Affordable Cost of Living
Compared to other major U.S. cities, Kansas City offers a relatively low cost of living. This includes housing, food, and transportation, making it a more affordable option for both individuals and families looking to relocate.
Great Sports Culture
Sports fans will enjoy living in Kansas City, home to the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals. There is also a strong college sports culture, providing plenty of entertainment for sports enthusiasts.
Access to Nature and Outdoor Activities
In and around Kansas City, there are many opportunities for outdoor activities. Residents can enjoy hiking, birdwatching, and fishing in the various parks and nature reserves, and the city is just a few hours' drive from the Ozarks.
Cons of Living in Kansas City
Kansas City experiences a wide range of weather, from hot, humid summers to cold, snowy winters. Moreover, the city is located in Tornado Alley, which means it is prone to severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, particularly in the spring and early summer.
High Crime Rate
The crime rate in Kansas City is above the national average, especially for violent crimes. While certain neighborhoods are safer than others, the overall crime rate might be a concern for potential residents.
While Kansas City has public transportation, it's not as vast or comprehensive as in other larger cities. This can make commuting difficult for those without a personal vehicle.
The job market in Kansas City can be competitive depending on the industry. While certain sectors such as healthcare and education are thriving, others may be more challenging to find opportunities in.
With the changing of seasons and the abundant flora in and around Kansas City, allergens such as pollen can be high at times. This might not be ideal for people with severe allergies or asthma.
Is Kansas City a Good Place to Live?
Kansas City, KS is a great place to live because of its vibrant arts scene, bustling farmers' markets, and access to diverse outdoor activities. The city also presents countless incredible dining experiences, and the family-friendly community makes it a top choice for households. There's always something to experience in this city, making each day a new adventure.
What Is Kansas City Famous For?
Kansas City Barbecue
When you think of Kansas City, BBQ is one of the first things that pops into your mind. Home to more than 100 barbecue restaurants, the city's signature style of barbecue is characterized by its use of a wide variety of meats - everything from pork ribs and sausage to chicken and turkey - slow-smoked over a variety of woods and then slathered in a thick, tomato-based sauce.
Kansas City also has a rich musical heritage, particularly in jazz. The city played a major role in the Jazz Age of the 1920s and '30s. Today, it continues to celebrate its jazz roots, boasting a thriving jazz scene with several renowned clubs and an impressive lineup of jazz events and festivals throughout the year.
Sporting Kansas City
For the sports enthusiasts, Kansas City, KS is home to Sporting Kansas City, a professional soccer team that is part of Major League Soccer (MLS). Winning the MLS Cup in 2000 and 2013, the team's loyal fan base known as the "Blue Hell" is revered for their rowdy and enthusiastic support.
Adrenaline junkies flock to Kansas City for the thrill of Speedway racing events held at the city's Kansas Speedway. The 1.5 miles (2.4 km) tri-oval race track hosts two annual NASCAR race weekends featuring the NASCAR Cup Series, including the Kansas 400 and the Hollywood Casino 400, among other thrilling events.
Overview of Tax Rates
In Kansas City, KS, the average property tax rate in 2023 is at around 1.37%. This is higher than the national median of 1.03%, making the city one of the states with a relatively higher property tax rate.
The sales tax rate in Kansas City, KS, in 2023 is approximately 9.13%. This rate is higher than the United States average of 7.12%, implying that residents of this city pay more in sales taxes compared to the average American citizen.
As of 2023, the state income tax rate in Kansas ranges from 3.1% to 5.7%. This is somewhat in line with the national average, with the top rate being slightly lower than the average top state tax rate across the US which stands at around 6.09%.
The housing market in Kansas City, KS remains more affordable compared to other parts of the US. The median home value is approximately $144,000, significantly lower than the national median. The market appreciates at a steady rate, offering great potentials for investors and homeowners alike. For renters, the average monthly rent is $925, also below the national average. However, Kansas City's vibrant job market and quality of life mean the housing demand remains strong. Therefore, doing thorough research and acting promptly when opportunities present shall be key for both potential renters and homebuyers.
Cost of Living
The current cost of living in Kansas City, KS is lower than the national average, making it more affordable compared to many U.S. cities. Factors such as housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, and healthcare are considered in cost of living, and Kansas City scores lower than the U.S. average in all categories. Thus, individuals and families may find their income stretches further in this midwestern metropolis. Despite the lower cost of living, residents still enjoy a range of amenities and attractions comparable to larger, more expensive cities.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Kansas City, KS experiences a diverse and vibrant climate, with four distinct seasons. Summers are hot, with temperatures often reaching 90+ degrees Fahrenheit, while winters can be quite cold, falling to low 20s at times. Spring and autumn are mild and relatively pleasant, with temperatures ranging between high 40s to high 70s. Rainfall is well-distributed throughout the year, but major precipitation occurs during the storm-prone spring months. Kansas City is situated in "Tornado Alley", making it prone to tornadoes, particularly from April to June. Though rare, blizzards and ice storms can also occur during winter months. Despite these natural disasters, Kansas City's climate overall offers residents an opportunity to experience a broad range of weather conditions throughout the year.
Economy & Job Market
* Health Care and Social Assistance
* Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
* Retail Trade
In the heart of America's heartland, Kansas City, KS has built a robust and diverse economy. The city was once a frontier town, known for its role in the cattle trade throughout the late 19th century. Today, while agriculture still plays a critical part, other areas like manufacturing, professional services, and healthcare have established a solid footing. The manufacturing sector thrives on the city's strategic location, facilitating the production and distribution of goods. On the other hand, the healthcare industry, sparked by the presence of excellent hospitals and healthcare facilities, contributes significantly to the city's economic health. Retail and education services also provide notable job and revenue sources, adding variety to the city's industrial mix.
If you're considering a move to Kansas City, KS, you'll be glad to know that its employment rate is consistently higher than the national average. Kansas City's resilience to national economic fluctuations is a notable advantage, meaning you're more likely to land a job here. When hunting for work, consider areas with strong economic growth like the healthcare sector or professional services. Indeed, numerous opportunities exist across industries, whether your preferences lie in offices, factories, hospitals, schools, or malls. More so, you'll also find that Kansas' lower cost of living stacks up quite well against the average US salary, meaning you might just enjoy much more bang for your buck!
Traffic and Transportation
Hey there, folks! looking for a city with heartland charm and hawk-eye highways to get around? Kansas City, KS is the place! A hop skip, and a jump in KCK can take you around in no time. Most folks behind the wheel find their average commute times to be 24 minutes, a breeze compared to other US cities! If you fancy ditching the car, no worries! The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA), with its buses and bike sharing programs, has got you covered. Ahoy high fliers! Need to jet off? Kansas City International Airport, 18 miles NW of downtown KCK, offers plentiful flights across the nation and beyond. Skedaddle around Kansas City like a pro, enjoying the simple pleasure of a smooth commute, enjoying the great BBQ, jazz, and soul this city has in abundance!
Best Neighborhoods in Kansas City
1. Downtown KCK
Right in the alluring heart of Kansas City, Kansas, lies Downtown KCK, a neighborhood that's renowned for its vibrant urban energy and robust cultural scene. A couple of centers of attraction include the Strawberry Hill Museum and Cultural Center, where you can immerse yourself in the city's rich history, and the eclectic mix of local restaurants offering succulent dishes that will tantalise your taste buds. After all that, you can wrap up your day with some top-notch Kansas City barbeque or a stroll along the riverfront. Fireworks, anyone?
If you're more inclined to suburban living, Piper nestles on the city's western edge and might just be your sanctuary. This family-oriented neighborhood is recognized for its high quality of life, good schools, and warm, welcoming community. It's perfect for those seeking both tranquillity and easy access to the bustling city-life - after all, you're only a short drive away from the heart of Kansas City! And don't worry, ample parks, trails and outdoor activities mean plenty of opportunities for recreation and staying active.
Referring to Armourdale won't be complete without acknowledging its strong sense of community and its powerful touch of history. Established in the 19th century, this residential neighborhood survived a disastrous flood and has since evolved into a quaint place to live. Armourdale is the community garden of every Kansas City inhabitant's dreams, harboring a slew of neighborhood parks and inviting green spaces. Plus, its access to a variety of community services makes it an all-in-one kind of place.
Located east of Rainbow Boulevard, Rosedale is another gem you should keep an eye on. It's home to University of Kansas Health System and the University of Kansas Medical Center, making it an attractive base for health professionals, students, and academics. Rosedale boasts an impressive collection of local businesses and parks, indicative of its strong community spirit. The community's commitment to health and wellness is evident, with ample opportunities for cycling, walking, and community gardening available.
Rounding off our list of top Kansas City neighborhoods is Turner. This hidden gem is especially attractive to young professionals, as it provides a perfect balance between city hustle and suburban serenity. Turner grants you an escape into nature's arms with its lush woods, beautiful parks, and a multitude of recreational activities. Take a relaxing walk along the Turner Riverfront, or cherish a tranquil morning birdwatching by the lake in Pierson Park. The neighborhood also sports a diverse range of restaurants for your gastronomic exploration!
That wraps up our tour of the top five neighborhoods in Kansas City, Kansas. Each neighborhood is special in its own unique way, offering a brilliant blend of culture, history, and community spirit. Whether you prefer a bustling downtown scene, a quiet suburban vibe, or a balance between both, you're sure to find your perfect match somewhere in Kansas City, KS. Happy moving!
Things to Do
If you're planning on taking up residence in the heartland of America, Kansas City, KS is an excellent choice. This bustling city is rich with culture, history, and an array of thrilling activities for everyone to enjoy. So strap in and get ready as we share with you seven amazing things to do in the BBQ capital of the world.
1. Explore the Heim Barbecue & Brewery
Okay, we're starting with an obvious one, because no trip to Kansas City is complete without diving into its delectable barbecue culture. Heim Barbecue & Brewery not only offers mouth-watering, smoked-to-perfection barbecue, but you can also wash it down with a variety of locally crafted beers. This spot will have you feeling like a true Kansas City local in no time.
2. Marvel at the Strawberry Hill Museum
This unique and somewhat unknown gem is a cultural immersion not to be missed. The Strawberry Hill Museum, housed in a Victorian-style mansion, provides an intriguing glimpse into the customs, traditions, and history of the diverse communities that built Kansas City. With artifacts from Croatian, Slovenian, Polish and Russian immigrants, you'll leave with a new found appreciation for this city's rich cultural tapestry.
3. Enjoy the Outdoors at Wyandotte County Lake Park
A must-see for nature enthusiasts is Wyandotte County Lake Park. It offers a refreshing escape from the city bustle, boasting 1,500 acres of woodland hikes, picturesque picnic spots, a lovely lake for fishing or boating, and even an archery range. This beautiful park is the perfect getaway for the adventurous spirit.
4. Travel Back in Time at Old Quindaro Museum
History buffs will love the Old Quindaro Museum, nestled in a neighborhood that was once an active Underground Railroad site. This off-the-beaten-path museum educates visitors about the resilient survivors from the Quindaro Townsite - a safe haven for those escaping slavery. The museum highlights the strength, striving for freedom, and the community's invaluable contribution to the city's growth.
5. Visit the Epic Kansas Speedway
For adrenaline junkies, a visit to the famous Kansas Speedway is a must. This 1.5-mile racetrack regularly hosts major NASCAR events, providing an exhilarating experience for spectators. Even if you're not a racing fan, the electric vibe of this place is infectious and worth a visit.
6. Discover the Kansas City Renaissance Festival
Spectacles galore await at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. This annual event enthralls visitors with jousting knights, wandering minstrels, royal parades and a rich offering of crafts and food. It's a fun, immersive experience that brings history to life.
7. Art Appreciation at The Nelson-Atkins Museum
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, actually located in Kansas City, MO, but a must-visit for anyone living in Kansas City, KS showcases an extensive collection spanning 5,000 years. It features American and European paintings, Asian art, contemporary and modern art, and much more. This world-class museum is a haven for art lovers and a spectacular cultural gem in the Kansas City landscape.
So, there you have it, a glimpse into the vibrant world of Kansas City, KS. These activities, ranging from cultural experiences to natural escapes, vibrantly embody the spirit of this remarkable city. No matter where you turn, Kansas City, KS offers something to charm, educate, and entertain. So gear up and start exploring!
Find Movers for Your Kansas City Relocation
As you consider a fresh start in the vibrant city of Kansas City, allow Great Guys Moving to help simplify your transition. Our mission is to connect you with the most reputable movers in the industry offering quality service at affordable rates. We save you the legwork by connecting you with licensed and insured movers who are ready to service your move. Experience a seamless relocation process by requesting a free moving quote through Great Guys Moving. Begin your Kansas City adventure with peace of mind knowing your move is entrusted to dedicated professionals.
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