Unsurprisingly, Manhattan, Kansas is also endearingly known as the “Little Apple.” Nestled in the state’s northeast corner, Manhattan sits at the intersection of the Kansas and Big Blue Rivers. Of the 56,000 people who call Manhattan home, nearly half of them are students at Kansas State University. This college town experiences hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters. Because it was built on a floodplain, the city still deals with flooding issues when there’s significant rainfall.
Manhattan is ruled by its huge population of students from KSU, Manhattan Area Technical College and Manhattan Christian College. KSU is also the city’s biggest employer, with the city school district being the second largest. With Fort Riley located eight miles west of the city, its civilians and military personnel are also big contributors to the economy and over 5,500 civilians are employed there. Many private sector jobs can be found at Farm Bureau and Mercy Regional Health Center. Other than Manhattan’s yearly influx of students, families and retirees tend to be the folks who settle here rather than young professionals looking for a lot of action.
Manhattan prides itself on its clean, well-kept neighborhoods. Northwest of town, you’ll find KSU and the biggest concentration of students, as well as many restaurants and coffee shops. Slightly farther south sits Manhattan High School, while chain shops and restaurants dominate the far east of the city. The very center boasts Manhattan City Park, where nearby residents enjoy an outdoor stage, playground, ball fields, tennis courts and a splash park.
Go for a walk in the tallgrass prairie preserve at Konza Prairie, which sits south of Manhattan, or check out Sunset Zoo, Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art or Flint Hills Discovery and Science Center. KSU provides plenty of spectator sports, and music fans can check out the Country Stampede Music Festival. For nightlife, Aggieville is the place to be, especially during Fake Patty’s Day—Manhattan’s way of milking the Irish holiday a whole week beforehand.