Top 5 Reasons to Move to Kansas City … or as the Locals Say, “KC”
Why Move to KC?
Of all the cities in America, what’s the draw to some mid-sized City in the middle of the country? Why not head to Boston, or San Francisco, or St. Louis?
Well, the answer varies depending on who you ask…so we asked.
The KC RELO team turned to Facebook to find some of the best things the city has to offer from KC locals themselves. So if you’re considering a move, you’ve come to the right place. Read below for the top five reasons you should pack your bags and find a new home in the Kansas City metropolitan area:
1 – Arts and Culture
Living in Kansas City, you’ll never struggle to find something to do. Between art galleries, concerts, and a wide array of performing arts venues, boredom is out of the question.
When it comes to appreciating art, a survey by Visit KC found that the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is Kansas Citians’ favorite spot – and it’s not hard to figure out why. Located in the heart of midtown, the Nelson has been a staple in Kansas City culture since 1933. As stated on its website, the Nelson welcomes approximately 500,000 spectators per year and currently showcases over 35,000 pieces of art.
The Nelson is passionate about providing KC residents access to the arts, free of cost. “We serve as a vital partner in the educational, social and cultural life of our community, using our collections and programs to build an environment where people can gather, share and contemplate the greatest creations of humankind,” the Nelson explains in their mission statement.
If you’re looking to fill your Saturday night with a live performance, Kansas City puts on quite the show. KC has been entertaining audiences for decades through venues such as the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Starlight Theatre, the Kansas City Symphony, Musical Theater Heritage, the Kansas City Ballet, and more.
“Our vision at the [Kauffman] Center is to provide diverse and extraordinary performing arts experiences for everyone in our community,” says Paul Schofer, the CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. “And I focus on the word ‘everyone’ – we want to have something that brings every single person into Kansas City.”
2 – Sports and Entertainment
Not into the arts? Lucky for you, KC just happens to be every sports fan’s dream. We cover all the bases between the Kansas City Chiefs, the Kansas City Royals, Sporting Kansas City, and more. Not only are our sporting teams wildly successful, but you’ll experience a fan base like no other. Thanks to parades, tailgates, and breaking world records, it’s clear that Kansas Citians aren’t afraid to go all out.
But entertainment isn’t just about watching Patrick Mahomes score touchdowns (though that’s pretty fun too) – KC offers something for everyone. From museums to farmers’ markets, to festivals, to charity events, it’s easy to find your niche.
One of KC’s most highly-acclaimed establishments is its World War I Museum. As stated in the museum’s mission and history statement, this historical favorite opened its doors in 1926 and was recognized as a national memorial in 2014.
“The primary focus of the National WWI Museum and Memorial is to honor the memory and sacrifices of all those who served their country and defended liberty during World War I,” the museum explains in a press release. “Additionally, the Museum and Memorial puts into context the consequences of World War I and how they impact the world we live in today.”
3 – Local Businesses
The spirit and personality of Kansas City can be felt through its many local restaurants, boutiques and coffee shops. From Olathe to Liberty, there’s something to satisfy every taste.
Nowadays, major online companies seem to have taken control of the consumer experience. Local businesses often get lost in the chaos between the comfort and quick accessibility of online outlets like Amazon and international clothing brands. But Kansas Citians continue to go against the grain, showing support of local businesses even as the market changes.
To get a better idea of what it’s like running a business in Kansas City, KC RELO talked with Isaac Hodges, the vice president of sales and previous owner of Messenger Coffee.
“The Kansas City coffee community is so good,” says Hodges. “I think we all advocate for each other in a way that supports local over national chains, which makes Kansas City fairly unique. I think we have a spotlight on our city for how we all celebrate local makers and local small business owners, and the coffee community is rich in that way.”
Messenger Coffee is one of the most popular spots among locals. Though COVID-19 took a toll on many local businesses, this three-level coffee shop demonstrated just how supportive Kansas Citians are of the stores they have come to love.
“We definitely found a very large, loyal base of customers,” Hodges says. “It was amazing to see them buy for our survival during the pandemic. I think we’ve come out even stronger on the other side because of our customers.”
New to the city and not sure where to get started? Here are a few of our favorite places:
Prospero’s Books & Media
Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop
Black Dog Coffeehouse + Ibis Bakery
EB & Co.
Made in KC
4 – Affordable Living
Founded in the mid-1800s, Kansas City houses a history. Visit KC reveals that the Kansas City area consists of over 240 neighborhoods, providing residents with a variety of options. While housing prices vary from year to year, Zillow recently reported that Kansas City’s average home value is about $196,318. Though Zillow cites that home values have increased by 17.8% throughout the past year, the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City (EDC) revealed that Kansas City still outperforms many of its peer cities in terms of affordability.
“Kansas City, Missouri, ranked seventh for the most affordable single-family homes for the working class,” the EDC states. “With a cost of living 2.5 percent below the national average, from groceries to gas, utilities and housing, Kansas City is one of the most affordable cities in the Midwest.”
5 – One-of-a-Kind Community
Though other American cities may boast a few of the qualities above, Kansas City offers something you can’t find anywhere else: its community.
“Kansas City has what a lot of larger American cities have, but on a lighter, more intimate scale,” writes Dalton Homolka, a KC native who has also settled in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City throughout his adult life. “We still have art, culture, entertainment, and plenty of things to do, but it all feels a little more feasible.”
Statista reports that approximately 2.16 million people call the Kansas City metropolitan area home. The Kansas City area consists of a variety of both urban and suburban communities, providing residents with a wide range of neighborhoods to settle in. Not to mention, this allows Kansas Citians to constantly be exploring new neighborhoods, restaurants and shops. But anywhere you go, you’re likely to be met with that Kansas City kindness that makes us so unique.
“I think Kansas City is one of the more charming cities I’ve ever lived in,” Homolka continues. “It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the people you meet are welcoming – they like living here and want you to like it, too.”