Those who are considering a move to the Kansas City area should look no further than Overland Park. This city is a perfect mix of urban and suburban living, and it was recently named one of the top 100 places to live in the country.
Overland Park has great schools, plenty of family-friendly activities and an easy commute to nearby Kansas City. Still unsure about the move? This guide will tell you everything you need to know about making Overland Park your next home.
Dating back to 1905, Overland Park was planned with greatness in mind. Today, the city boasts plenty of high-quality local businesses, recreation options, lively neighborhoods, and top-notch schools. The city’s population is growing rapidly, from around 170,000 people in 2010 to more than 190,000 in 2017. Today it is the second-most populated city in the state.
Overland Park is also home to Sprint’s World Headquarters Campus, making Sprint the top employer in the city. The next top employers in the city are the Shawnee Mission and Blue Valley School Districts. Other popular industries include:
Most people in the city drive to get around. Both Interstate 435, which goes through Kansas City, and Route 50 travel through Overland Park. The average commute time within town is approximately 20 minutes.
It takes on average 30 minutes to get to Kansas City, and about 45 minutes to get to Kansas City International Airport. The Johnson County Transit bus has several routes that connect Overland Park to nearby suburbs and Kansas City for a base fare of $1.50.
The city is split into several smaller communities including downtown Overland Park, South OP, and those surrounding. The cost of living is below average compared to the rest of the U.S., with the average home price around $225,000 and the price of rent around $975. Last year, SmartAsset named Overland Park as one of the top 20 places where millennials are moving.
People looking to start a family will be happy to know Overland Park has some of the best public schools in America. The city spreads through four public school districts:
Olathe Public Schools
The city is home to several higher education institutions, including University of Kansas-Edward, Ottawa University’s adult campus, and Johnson County Community College.
Things to Do
The Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is one of the top attractions in the state. This 300-acre park has several trails that pass through wooded areas and gardens. One of the newest garden’s is the Monet garden, which takes inspiration from the artist’s gardens in Giverny, France. Admission to the arboretum is free on Tuesdays and for one weekend in March and October.
Kids will have a ball at the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, a local petting zoo with nearly 200 animals and birds. Check out their prairie dog display, feed a pygmy goat or go on a pony ride. Other activities include fishing and horse drawn wagon rides. Weekend admission is $2, with additional activities costing extra.
Residents of Overland Park are generally pretty active, and there’s no better place to run around than the city’s world-class soccer complex. The complex covers 92 acres, and it has 12 lighted, regulation-size turf fields with technology to keep it cool in the summer. The complex is open year-round.
It’s easy to stay healthy and support local businesses through the city’s Farmers’ Market. The open-air market operates from April to September, and people can find goods such as fresh produce, flowers and live entertainment. This year, the Farmers’ Market will host the Overland Park Fall Festival. This festival is a fun family affair, with a parade, concerts and hundreds of local artists and vendors.
With a family-friendly atmosphere, affordable living and fun activities year-round, there’s plenty of reasons to make Overland Park your next home.
Special thanks to Lexi Carr for contributing this awesome article to Houses of Kansas City. Living in KC you can easily forget how important each city is for the entire metro and Overland Park is one of the best!