Welcome to Metropolitan Kansas City, a sprawling 4,000 square-mile area encompassing counties in Kansas and Missouri. Newcomers who are unfamiliar with Kansas City's blend of rich architectural legacy and cosmopolitan amenities are quick to discover a "City of Surprises." Instead of flatlands or prairies filled with tumbleweeds, they find rolling hills, wooded areas, lush parklands, gentle rivers and pristine lakes. Proof of just how unique the Kansas City Area is can be seen in the fact that the City was named one of the Top Destinations in the World for 2012 by Frommer's!
While the region's undeniable natural beauty and abundant open space have certainly contributed to residential and business growth, the metroplex offers an unparalleled quality of life. Metropolitan Kansas City offers a low cost of living, state-of-the-art healthcare, leading educational institutions, and a diverse and robust economy served by a superb transportation network.
Decades of progressive development have resulted in world-class shopping districts and cultural centers, five-star restaurants, professional sports teams and first-rate facilities for every imaginable recreational activity. Add to this picture Midwestern friendliness and small-town values, and it's easy to understand why people who have experienced the Kansas City lifestyle refuse to live anywhere else.
Known traditionally for agribusiness and manufacturing, the metroplex today relies on a diversified and stable economy. Kansas City leads the nation in greeting card publishing, telecommunications, farm equipment distribution, foreign trade zone space, frozen food storage and distribution, hard winter wheat marketing, and underground storage space. More than half of the Fortune 500 companies have offices or headquarters in the metroplex, which provides fertile ground for everything from home-based businesses to international corporations.
Located just 250 miles from the geographic center of the United States, Kansas City has emerged as a national and international leader in shipping and distribution. Eleven railroads serve the area and three of the nation's ten largest trucking companies are headquartered in the metroplex. Kansas City International Airport is recognized for its passenger-friendly and efficient service, complemented by 65 public and private airports throughout the metroplex.
The Kansas City Transportation Authority provides The Metro bus service for local commuters, although most residents prefer traveling on the outstanding network of freeways and highways that connect all corners of the metroplex. Second only to San Antonio for freeway miles per capita, Kansas City offers a faster and easier commute than cities of comparable size. On the average, most commuters reach their destination within 20 minutes.
Housing options in the metroplex are diverse, attractive and surprisingly affordable. Possibilities range from sleek high-rise penthouses with views of the skyline to charming Victorian farmhouses shaded by large native trees. Newcomers can choose from a classic Williamsburg, a Cape Cod, an historic colonial or a rustic contemporary. Many of the well-kept older homes in long-established neighborhoods offer generous square footage, meticulous landscaping, and magnificent architectural embellishments.
The once-rural counties of Cass, Clay and Platte are rapidly developing into residential havens for those who desire a slower suburban pace in close proximity to urban amenities. Homes in the suburbs can offer a patio view of fairway greens, a private boat dock on a placid lake, generous acreage for raising horses or a secluded countryside setting. In most small cities and towns, a wave of commercial and retail development has followed residential growth, bringing daily conveniences even closer to home.
Regardless of what corner of Greater Kansas City you choose to call home, your new neighbors will be quick to extend a helping hand. Community involvement, volunteerism, civic pride and a cooperative spirit are hallmarks of the Heartland. So don’t be surprised if a total stranger extends a greeting or waves as you pass by. The metroplex is known for the most caring and friendly residents in the nation.