Welcome to my first ever “Live Like A Local” post! If you missed my announcement, this is a series I wanted to create in an effort to expand the travel section of my blog beyond where I live and have personally been. I wanted to create a resource for anyone reading who might be 1. traveling to other areas, 2. live in other areas or 3. moving somewhere new! I’ve been to some cool places, but I haven’t lived everywhere and what is better than some insider knowledge, eh?!
Over then next couple months, I’ll be featuring a new town and someone who lives, or has lived, there, and I hope you’ll join me in this fun journey. It’s kind of like taking a trip on your computer 😉 So let’s dive right in with my first town…
Place: Manhattan, Kansas
What is it about Manhattan that makes it different from other cities?
Where do I begin? Since we’re a military family, we have several locations to compare Manhattan to, and there are a handful of things that makes this city unique! For starters, the amount of opportunities to get out and have fun is comparable to those in a bigger city, though square mileage-wise it’s a relatively small town. You can get across town in 15 minutes flat, and there’s never traffic.
What is the best time of year to visit?
Though we get all four seasons here (all for about three months each), the best time of year to visit is the fall (September – November). The weather is perfect, the sunflowers are blooming, the Kansas State Cats are playing football, and the many local farms are constantly offering all kinds of fun things to do for people of all ages. It’s such a blast! I truly love the fall in Kansas.
Are there any cool festivals or annual events that are not to be missed here?
Every June, a big music festival called Country Stampede comes to town and takes over our beautiful Tuttle Creek State Park. It’s 3-4 days of big stars, cowboy boots, tons of RVs, and a good time! We also have the cutest county fair at the end of July that includes an outstanding rodeo (something I’d never seen until we moved to Kansas).
Places to eat?
My favorite places to eat are all local to Manhattan and they include Bourbon and Baker (the best tapas-style restaurant ever!), Varsity Doughnuts, Coco Bolos, and Radina’s Bakehouse.
Places to shop and what to buy?
To be honest, you wouldn’t want to come to Manhattan to shop! Ha! We don’t have much of it. There are a couple of cute boutiques downtown for college students, but otherwise we just head two hours east to Kansas City to do all of our big shopping. We do have a strip of casual stores on Poyntz Ave. which are hit or miss, and our local indoor mall has your typical stores too. We have options, but nothing to rave about.
What do you do on a Friday night?
If we have a babysitter, you could likely find my husband and me at Liquid Art Winery sitting outside enjoying the gorgeous atmosphere and sipping delicious drinks. If we have our kids with us, we’re usually at the huge waterpark-style public pool enjoying their “twilight hour”, which is $2/person to swim. So fun! After that we’d likely head over to watch whoever is playing at the Concert in the Park.
Cool places to stay?
I would recommend the Bluemont Hotel. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s walking distance to many restaurants and bars.
If there isn’t a major airport nearby what is the best way to get there?
Our local airport only operates with American Airlines, but it’s a great option to get here fast. If you want to fly a different airline, you can fly into Kansas City and rent a car to drive over.
Special thanks to Erica for showing us all around her beautiful town! If you’re planning a trip (or PCS) to Manhattan or want to learn more, be sure to follow Erica on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. She blogs full time at Whimsical September, so be sure to check her out there, too 🙂