Introduction to Overland Park, Kansas
Overland Park is one of Kansas' most populous cities. Located in Johnson County just 13 miles southwest of Kansas City, Overland Park is surrounded by several major highways including Interstates I-35, I-70, I-435, I-635, and I-670; and U.S. Routes 50, 56, and 69. The closest large airport to Overland Park, about a 40 minute drive away, is Kansas City International (MCI). Several smaller airports located in or near Johnson County include Johnson County Executive Airport, New Century Air Centre, and Kansas City Downtown Airport.
The origins of Overland Park trace back to 1905, when its founder William B. Strang Jr. platted a series of subdivisions whose defining characteristics would be self-sustainment and a "park-like" atmosphere. One of these subdivisions, called Overland Park, boasted continuous growth throughout the first half of the 20th century up to its incorporation in 1960. During the 1980s, Overland Park experienced a boom in both residential and commercial development, culminating in a population total surpassing the 100,000 mark by 1988. By the turn of the 21st century, Overland Park had achieved national recognition as one of the nation's premiere cities in terms of quality of life index. The city was named 2001's second-best city in America to live by Business Development Outlook magazine, "One of the Best Places to Live and Work" in 2005 by Expansion Management magazine, and one of the top six cities on Money Magazine’s 2006 annual list of "America’s Best Places to Live".
Points of Interest in and around Overland Park
Both Overland Park and nearby Kansas City offer a wealth of attractions from museums and live theater to parks and petting zoos. The Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is a 300-acre site which includes a children's discovery garden within a natural setting complete with walking trails, flowers, and waterfalls. The Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead, where visitors can feed farm animals or enjoy a hay ride on a horse-drawn wagon, features a replica of an early-1900s farmhouse. The Nerman Museum, the largest contemporary art museum in the Midwest, features galleries for both temporary exhibitions and permanent collections. The New Theatre Restaurant, a city dining and entertainment fixture for over 30 years, has been cited by the Wall Street Journal as "the best dinner theatre in the country."
Visitors to Overland Park are only a short drive away from a wide variety of quality professional sports venues. Local teams include Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals, the National Football League's Kansas City Chiefs, and Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards. Other pro sports teams in Kansas City include the Brigade of the Arena Football League (AFL), the Explorers of World Team Tennis (WTT), and an independent minor-league baseball team, the Kansas City T-Bones, who compete in the Northern League.