Nearest big city: Kansas City
Just 20 minutes from Kansas City, Overland Park is the definition of a family-friendly town. In the spring, visit the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, a model of a Kansas family farm from the early 1900s where kids can feed goats and take pony rides. Maybe they’d prefer a fall day picking apples and sipping cider at Cider Hill Family Orchard, which also grows produce to feed the hungry in the metro area.
Overland Park also boasts 83 parks and open spaces where the whole family can walk, bike, hike and fish. In addition, the town is home to the Museum at Prairiefire, a natural history museum where visitors can dig up fossils and build their own dinosaur using augmented reality technology.
Work, like play, is abundant in Overland Park: The city has an unemployment rate of just 3.6%. With 5,000 employees, T-Mobile is the town’s largest private employer. However, many people commute to Kansas City, where companies such as H&R Block, Hallmark and Cerner are headquartered. — Daniel Bortz
Overland Park, Kansas