Nestled among the fertile farmland and blazingly colorful wildflowers native to the state of Kansas is the lovely city of Olathe. Although it’s considered a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, it’s nothing like the cookie-cutter suburban community you might envision.
In 2008, CNNMoney.com ranked Olathe No. 11 in the nation on its “Best Places To Live” list.
With a population of 125,872 at the 2010 census, it is growing faster that any other community in Kansas. However, the city’s leadership and its residents work together to ensure Olathe never strays too far from its prairieland roots and small town neighborly feel.
Being a suburban community has its advantages, especially when it comes to shopping, dining and other entertainment options. With your home in Olathe, you can always hop on Interstate 35, head north by north east and in about 30 minutes, you’re in metro Kansas City, MO, with its myriad shops, restaurants, sports and entertainment.
Another advantage of living in Olathe is that as the state’s fifth most populous city, it has plenty to offer on its own. Some of the higher-echelon chain eateries like Chili’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Outback Steakhouse peacefully coexist with local favorites like the 54th Street Grill & Bar, Smokin’ Joe’s BBQ and Mi Ranchito & Cantina Mexicana.
You might never leave Olathe. You sure won’t have to in order to enjoy one-stop shopping at Olathe’s own Great Mall of the Great Plains, to hunt for bargains at Target, Kohl’s and Marshalls or to treat yourself at one of any number of specialty shops like Burlington Coat Factory, Mia’s Bridal & Tailoring and Bass Pro Shops.
The City of Olathe maintains a number of parks among its peaceful family neighborhoods. Picnic shelters, playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts, baseball, soccer and softball fields are found at many of these parks, as well as biking and pedestrian trails and a public golf course.
If you and your kids love the water and think Kansas is a bit challenged in this regard, you might be right. However, a great new aquatic option opens on Saturday, May 28, 2011, when a huge water park called Black Bob Bay opens for business. This aqua-recreation lover’s dream contains raft water slides, a 50-meter pool and shallow water play structures.
Olathe not only offers you and your family convenient shopping and dining choices, but also offers employment opportunities at some of the largest companies in the U.S., such as Honeywell, Farmers Insurance Group and Garmin.
The city’s arts and culture community presents you with numerous options for entertainment. Take in a play at the Osborne Performing Arts Center; enjoy live musical performances from the Olathe Community Chorus, Olathe Community Orchestra or the Olathe Youth Symphony and Philharmonic; and don’t miss any of the myriad events and festivals going on throughout the year.
The Olathe School District, along with the Blue Valley School District, provide about 30 elementary, 9 middle and 4 high schools. It also is home to the Kansas State School for the Deaf, Johnson County Community College and MidAmerica Nazarene University.
As a relatively small city, Olathe is somewhat unique in that it offers a bus system for public transportation, run by Johnson County Transit.
Hospitals and medical centers located in the Olathe area include the Olathe Medical Center, Overland Park Regional Medical Center (about 7 miles away) and Saint Luke’s South Hospital (about 6 miles away).