Prentiss Earl, III, kisses his son Max, 3, during a Legacy East Neighborhood Night in July. Christopher Smith | Special to Ink

Love where you live — the search for KC’s happiest neighbors

Chuck (left) and Cassie Haren played with toy trains with their 2-year-old son, Woods, at Brew Lab. The Harens say they enjoy many of the perks, including the farmer’s market, shops and restaurants in downtown Overland Park. ALLISON LONG | along@kcstar.com
Natalie and Ryan Haultain hold their French bulldog, Winston on the upper deck of their home in the Beacon Hill neighborhood in Kansas City. The Haultains say they enjoy walking 3-year-old Winston in the neighborhood and running into other neighbors. ALLISON LONG | along@kcstar.com
Kelsey and Matt Owens enjoy spending time at Il Lazzarone’s bar. In fact, Matt used to live in a loft above Il Lazzarone, which inspired Kelsey’s love for River Market. File photo | .
Kelsey and Matt Owens say the River Market neighborhood helps them live near downtown, the streetcar and green spaces. Allison Long | along@kcstar.com
Ryan and Natalie Haultain say they enjoy walking 3-year-old French bulldog Winston and running into neighbors in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. Allison Long | along@kcstar.com
Chuck and Cassie Haren and their 2-year-old son Woods enjoy the perks of living in downtown Overland Park, including the farmers market, which is open Wednesdays and Saturdays. Allison Long | along@kcstar.com
Kelly Roos and her dog, Piggy B, live in the Union Hill neighborhood, where she says it is “close to everything and people are very friendly.” Keith Myers | kmyers@kcstar.com
Prentiss Earl III and Kyrah Sims played a game of catch during a Legacy East’s Family Fun Night in July. “We serve hot dogs, roll out tarps, play games and just hang out with the neighborhood kids to get to know them and their families better,” Earl says. Christopher Smith | Special to Ink

Kansas City encompasses hundreds of neighborhoods. To find Kansas City’s happiest residents, we asked you.

It was a love fest. From patios and pie bakeries to inspiring neighbors, Ink readers had plenty to shout out. So which neighborhood is Kansas City’s best? Whichever feels like home to you.

Kelsey, 29, and Matt Owens, 28

River Market since 2016

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“River Market has the best balance of being close to the city and by nature. There’s the advantage of hopping on the streetcar and going downtown. You can also step out of your front door and just walk for miles around the river and bike or run. I’d recommend going to the market and picking up some flowers. For $10, you get the most beautiful bouquet on this side of the Mississippi. If you want to have a variety of activities at your disposal and be able to get a feel for Kansas City without being directly downtown, it’s a really nice option as you’re trying to learn more and explore.” — KO

Prentiss Earl, 41

Legacy East since 2016

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“We do what we call Family Fun Night at a local park, and we serve hot dogs, roll out tarps, play games and just hang out with the neighborhood kids to get to know them and their families better. A couple weeks ago, a kid got locked out of his house all day. He didn’t have a way to contact his mom. People in the neighborhood made sure he was OK until his mom came home from work. It’s really a community of people who care about one another.”

Ryan, 29, and Natalie Haultain, 33

Beacon Hill since 2014

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“When I first moved in, I would stand on my front porch and you could’ve told me that I was out in the country. There was no traffic, it was quiet, it was eerie. Now, we’ve got this vibrant community, there’s a new neighbor each week that I’m meeting. I can’t take my dog for a walk without running into five people and talking to them. It’s changed from this quiet and reserved neighborhood to somewhere that’s vibrant and active. Beacon Hill is really proving that downtown revitalization is something that requires a community. It takes a collective of individuals.” — RH

Cassie and Chuck Haren, both 31, and Woods, 2

Downtown Overland Park since 2017

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“I love to take my son to the playground. We walk downtown, there’s a little fountain by the farmers market area. There’s a couple of good lunch places, Homer’s coffee shop, and for my insatiable sweet tooth, we go to Upper Crust, which is a pie bakery. It’s a lot of independent mom-and-pop shops, which retain the community aspect. There’s everyone from choreographers and ballet dancers across the street, to union workers, to retired personnel, firemen. … it’s just a lovely mix of occupations and diversity.” — Cassie

Kelly Roos, 34

Union Hill since 2015

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“I’m so glad that I moved to Union Hill. It’s a great neighborhood, people are very friendly. People sit on their patios and chat with me as I walk by on my way to Martini Corner or take my dog on a walk. I like that Union Hill is an older neighborhood, and all the houses look unique and different. It’s not a cookie-cutter neighborhood.”


Love where you live — the search for KC’s happiest neighbors