A Guide to Manhattan KS Neighborhoods
Becoming familiar with the different neighborhoods in Manhattan will help to determine which apartment or house will be the best fit for you, along with knowing how far your commute to Kansas State University campus will be.
To help make your search for Manhattan apartments and housing easier, we have put together a list of neighborhoods that surround Kansas State University. Each of these neighborhoods is within walking distance to campus, or just a short bike, car, or bus ride away.
The city of Manhattan was nicknamed “the Little Apple” as a play on from New York City’s “the Big Apple” but Manhattan is probably best known for being home to Kansas State University. The students of Kansas State create much of the culture in Manhattan and while school is in session they bring unique liveliness to the city. This is especially seen during Wildcat football season when the town is decked out in purple to show their cat pride as they head to the Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Two years back, K-State was even named the number one college town in the nation by LIvability.com! It’s been said that “Students love Manhattan because its big enough to offer opportunities and adventures but small enough to center on the university.”
Kansas State University is located centrally in Manhattan, so the area that surrounds the school is known to locals as the “college area.” This area can be more defined as being between College Avenue and Tuttle Creek Boulevard. Both north and south of campus are the preferred living areas for students and this is where you’ll find a lot of the frat houses. To the south of campus and west of City Park, there are a lot of older homes and the majority of those homes are rented by students. There are over 4,000 residential units that surround Kansas State ranging from single-family homes, duplexes, small apartment buildings, and large luxury apartment complexes so whatever your taste or budget may be you can find it here all in walking distance to campus. If you head east or west you’ll start to run into more residential areas and most students don’t live past Fort Riley Boulevard.
The State Streets is a residential neighborhood that is directly west of Kansas State University but is still considered to be part of Central Manhattan. It is a highly desired area to live in, especially for families, and houses range from ranch-style homes to multi-level and two-story houses. A lot of the older houses have been updated and are usually very large with basements. Strolling down the streets you’ll see big yards and a lot of trees. It’s very common to see a lot of people walking around and children riding bikes. The State Streets is close to the Westloop Shopping Center and Cico Park.
Just blocks away from Kansas State is student hot spot Aggieville. Aggieville is the oldest shopping district in Kansas and over the years has grown to have over 100 different businesses. With a variety of shops, restaurants, and Manhattan’s best nightlife spots, this district is a “go-to” for anyone living or visiting Manhattan. This is the place to be for a night out and some of the popular spots are Mojo’s Beach Bar where you can join the Yacht Club and drink certain liquors and beer for $40 for the entire year! Eighteen63 has the flaming LAX Bomb that always draws a crowd.
Tuby’s and Kite’s are also popular spots due to their cheap drink specials. After a night out, stop over at Varsity Donuts for a grilled cheese or mac n’ cheese. Each year in Aggieville, they host events like the Christmas Parade, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Little Apple New Year’s Even Celebration & Ball Drop, and the K-State Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally. Just north of the campus, each year, the Country Stampede is held, and this is Kansas’s biggest festival which brings top country artists to perform.
Right on campus, students have access to the Kansas State Insect Zoo and the Beach Museum of Art that has a collection of regional art and different traveling exhibits throughout the year. The McCain Performance Series hosts events like comedians, musicians, dance groups, and Broadway musicals. Wildcats don’t just show their school spirit for football on Saturday’s, all sports are popular on campus especially basketball and the Bramlage Coliseum is in walking distance from K-State.
Heading just southeast of the Kansas State University campus puts you in Downtown Manhattan, which runs also the Kansas River. Between Aggieville and the business district of Downtown is several residential streets with houses and apartments throughout the area. Downtown to the university is under two miles, which is not the most ideal for walking to classes but it is only a five-minute drive to campus. If you don’t have a car, the ATA bus can transport you around town and in certain areas so can the K-State shuttle.
In recent years, Downtown has gone under some redevelopment, especially around the Manhattan Town Center. The Manhattan Town Center is mall is in the heart of Downtown that offers residents, even more, shopping and dining options. A few blocks south of the Town Center is the Flint Hills Discovery Center, which has interactive exhibits and theaters that teach people local history and the preservation process of the Flint Hills. The building is also used as a venue for a variety of special events and youth outreach programs.
On the outskirts of Downtown is the Sunset Zoo that is home to over 300 different species of animals and students receive discounted tickets! The Manhattan City Park is a great place to spend the day whether it be hiking the trails, swimming in the pool, or skating on the ice rink this is the perfect place to destress from classes and explore the great outdoors. The park is in the middle of the city too and just minutes from Kansas State.
Heading west of State Streets bring you to West Manhattan or the “Westside.” On the Westside there are several residential neighborhoods like Highland Ridge, Stone Creek, Hawthorne Woods, and Wyndham Heights. These neighborhoods are a short drive away from Fort Riley which is why many of the residents in these areas are soldiers and families of soldiers.
Stone Creek and Highland ridge have many ranch-style houses. Hawthorne Woods has lavish homes on top of hills that overlook the Colbert Hills golf course. Houses in Wyndham Heights also commonly sit atop hills and have breathtaking views of the Flint Hills. Wyndham Heights is near the golf course and the Frank Anneberg Park which has soccer fields, nature trails, and ponds for fishing. The Westside is definitely a more family-focused area in Manhattan and not the preferred choice by the average student, but the area may work well for graduate students who want to stay away from the whole college scene.
To recap, here are some helpful tips/reminders:
All housing in the Manhattan neighborhoods mentioned are in 5 miles to the Kansas State University campus
Most students living off-campus in Manhattan live in Central Manhattan or Aggieville
Housing in different areas, besides Central Manhattan, will require bike, car or bus transportation
Make sure your new place is easily accessible to shopping and grocery stores for running errands
Use Google Maps to determine the distance of a property you are considering to the Kansas State University campus