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Even naysayers and Debbie Downers have to admit the metro is having a moment. We have an irresistible panache the world is beginning to notice. Hello, fabulousness. The arts are growing and thriving, as is our commitment to keep them top tier. Head to the Lenexa City Center. No matter where you call home in the Kansas City area, chances are your hood has been selected as one of the best places to live. Overland Park has earned accolades from multiple organizations. Livablity, a website that showcases top cities, named Overland Park one of the best places to live, and personal finance website WalletHub called the city the best place to raise a family.
Leawood got a shoutout from WalletHub, too, for being the best small city in America. None of this is surprising, though. With great schools, amazing parks, ample employment opportunities, abundant entertainment, as well as considerable affordability and value, the Kansas City area has a winning formula for a good quality of life. Many mornings you can start your day with a sweater, change into shorts to take in the lunchtime sunshine, segue to a light jacket as you leave work and don a parka while you scrape ice off your windshield at 9 p. Meteorologist Gary Amble says the schizophrenic weather occurs because Kansas City is perfectly placed to get a smorgasbord of arctic wind from the north and steamy tropical wind from the south.
Basically, our climate is a case study in which way the wind is blowing. No, really. Newbie congressional representative Sharice Davids can quite literally kick your ass. For more than a decade, Brenda Tinnen has overseen the Sprint Center and grown it into one of the top arenas in the world. From her mission of pursuing social justice to her plethora of hard-core volunteer responsibilities, Grant is like a superhero fighting for truth, equality and economic advancement for all.
Two words: Janelle Monae. This multi-talented actress, singer, songwriter and producer hails from Kansas City, Kansas. She credits an English teacher at F. Schlagle High School for encouraging her writing and getting her involved with the Coterie Theatre. By the time she was 18, Monae headed to New York City, and in the next 15 years she made multiple albums, was nominated for eight Grammys and starred in two Academy Award-nominated films. From the majestic Liberty Memorial to the newbie architectural icon that is the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, our downtown vista is equal parts grand and friendly think: Western Auto .
Add in the latest additions of high-rises like One and Two Light and we have a cityscape that wows you and then woos you in. Last year our tech jobs grew by percent. This year, keep your eye on new companies Pepper, Site and PayIt. Who would have thought three years ago that a 2. This new route is slated to open in In the meantime, you can also buzz around the area on an electric scooter.
Lime and Bird scooters are located throughout downtown and available via an app. But be careful: emergency medical service logs show there have been more than two dozen rental-scooter accidents since July, and most of those were due to riders losing their balance and face-planting. Our restaurants are bestowed with accolades. Local chefs whose stars are rising, such as JCCC culinary grad Kelly Conwell, executive chef at Stock Hill, credit the program for laying the groundwork for their success.
That calls for a communal high-five. Education reigns supreme in the metro. In fact, four Blue Valley high schools made the U. Union Station has metamorphosed into being the touchstone for Kansas City — again. Now, two-plus decades later, the ,square-foot love letter to beaux-arts architecture has reclaimed its spot as the epicenter of our city.
All you have to do is count the of beards, ironic nerd glasses and tattoos to grasp the fact that KC is turning into a hipster paradise. Basically, Kansas City is a beacon for millennials. In fact, our downtown is seeing a population boom, and the Mid-America Regional Council is forecasting that more than , people will move into the urban core in the next 20 years.
Kansas City is having a farm-to-market renaissance. Never before have so many organic farmers and restaurants teamed up to create menus devoted to the local harvest. Dani Hurst owns Quite Contrary Farmstead, a small-scale organic farm, and she says more and more Kansas Citians are realizing the value of locally sourced food.
The midtown restaurant is currently working with 20 family farms to help keep its menu fresh and local. The Sundry, also in midtown, has built a menu on sustainable food choices and features vegetables harvested from Cultivate KC. Community Supported Agriculture networks are also changing how Kansas Citians procure their food. The venerable National Geographic listed Kansas City as one of the most exciting destinations in the world for Yes, world.
We will give you one hint — barbecue goddesses. But this is the year when things will start happening, so prepare yourself to be impressed by a single terminal loaded with amenities and more than 40 airport gates. The best news may be that the new KCI will have more than double the of restrooms the current airport has — roomy stalls that will fit even the largest carry-ons. Adults would give anything to meet him. Kids wanting to emulate him dress up like 15 on Halloween — or on a normal Tuesday. Chiefs fans have long clamored for a young franchise quarterback, and wow, has he ever arrived.
The year-old Texas native says he likes us — he really likes us! The amiable, fan-friendly Mahomes exudes integrity and professionalism. He seems too good to be true, but Chiefs insiders share that the Mahomes you see is exactly the person he is. The quarterback is as dedicated to giving back as he is about winning football games, from helping build homes for veterans to surprising deserving kids with a holiday shopping spree at a sporting goods store.
When we say you can drink local in Kansas City, we mean really local — like the booze is made here. Lifted Spirits keeps it Kansas with locally grown red wheat whiskey. Restless Spirits continues growing its fan base with offerings such as the Sons of Erin Irish whiskey. Strong digs deep — really deep — to make award-winning sprits: Its Parkville distillery is located in a cave 65 feet underground.
In terms of lower-voltage alcohol, the still-young KC Bier Co. Winemakers are also thriving in KC. Terra Vox has blossomed into a flourishing winery that focuses on vino made with American Heritage Grapes. Somerset Ridge has a growing wine business and club. And who knew grapes could be grown in Olathe? Kansas City has major comedy chops. Some of the biggest comedians in the world grew up in the Overland Park area and attended Shawnee Mission schools. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is experiencing robust attendance, with more than , visitors this past year.
The Kemper is vigorously growing its permanent collection of modern and contemporary art. Part of the funds will be used for construction of a new state-of-the-art exhibition gallery. Now you can take a foodie trip around the world without leaving the metro. Parlor, the newest upscale food hall concept in the Crossro, has three vendors offering up international fare.
Finally, Karbon combines the flavors of the Yucatan and Middle East to bring you an unconventional menu that ranges from musakhan carnitas to sweet plantains. We love our Royals through good times and bad. A majority of students in the metro stay in state for college, and once they graduate, they enter the local workforce. Close to 16 percent of Mizzou graduates put down roots in KC after graduation.
Kansas City makes both the Yahoo Finance and Zip Recruiters list for the best job market for recent college graduates. Kansas City is one of the best places in the country to start a business. Entrepreneur Magazine called the metro one of its hottest startup cities. Access to an educated work force, capital investment and lower cost of living all play into the metrics. In the past two years, 71 new food companies were started in the metro. up to get the latest from Kansas City Magazine delivered to your inbox.
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