Manhattan has been recognized for its quality of life by The Princeton Review, Forbes, CNN Money and Money Magazine. Kansas State University is the largest employer with over 6,000 employees serving nearly 23,000 students. Manhattan Christian College, Manhattan Area Technical College and Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 are additional educational providers. Fort Riley is home to the 1st Infantry Division known as “Big Red One.” The United States Army installation employs more than 3,500 civilians and features a daily population of around 25,000. Ascension Via Christi Hospital offers high-quality medical services and 24-hour emergency care for 25,000 patients each year. Downtown Manhattan and Aggieville feature museums, galleries and shopping hosting events like Fake Patty’s Day.
The beautiful natural surroundings of northeastern Kansas feature amazing outdoor retreats. Flint Hills Discovery Center is a heritage and science center detailing the history and preservation of the Flint Hills. Kansas Day, Flint Hills Festival, National Day of the Cowboy and Community Day are all held at the Discovery Center. Konza Prairie, within the Flint Hills, and Tuttle Creek Lake also provide exciting adventure. Unique destinations include Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University Gardens, Sunset Zoo, Colbert Hills Golf Course and the birthplace of Damon Runyon, the “Inventor of Broadway.”
Distinct seasonal changes are typical of the weather in the region which features hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters. On average, Manhattan, KS receives 218 days of sunshine, 35 inches of rain and 14 inches of snowfall each year.
The Kaw tribe first inhabited the area from the late 1700s until the mid-1800s. The Kansas-Nebraska Act opened the territory for settlement by U.S. citizens in 1854. Free-Staters from New England arrived one year later and formed a settlement named Boston. Ohio settlers reached the area in June 1855 and accepted an invitation to remain, but insisted the town be renamed Manhattan. The name was changed and Manhattan was incorporated in 1857.