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    Moving to Fort Leavenworth: Your Guide to the Best Army Hometown

    Receiving orders to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas (or anywhere new), can bring up a mix of emotions—excitement for a new adventure, apprehension about the unknown, and maybe even a little trepidation, especially if you haven’t lived in the Midwest yet. 

    When you ask your network about Fort Leavenworth, you usually hear two things about the post.

    1. There’s a strong sense of community, and connecting with neighbors and friends should be easy. 
    2. If your spouse is stationed there for school, they’ll have a lot of downtime to hang out with the family.
    These are great reasons to look forward to moving to the place many military families call the Best Hometown in the Army. This historic post, noted for its campus setting, open green spaces, and hometown character, is an excellent place to call home. aerial view of Fort Leavenworth

    Photo from army.mil

    About Fort Leavenworth

    Fort Leavenworth is one of the oldest permanent military installations west of the Mississippi River, with a rich history dating back to 1827. Located in northeast Kansas along the Missouri River, the installation sits just 30 minutes from the Kansas City metropolitan area, providing access to various big-city amenities and attractions.

    You probably know Fort Leavenworth as the home of the Army's Command and General Staff College. In many ways, it’s the home base for most field grade officers across the Army. It’s also the location of the Army's Combined Arms Center. Fort Leavenworth is a hub for military education and training, with a population of around 8,000 military members, civilians, and family members. 

    Yes, tornado season is a threat. It runs from April through October, but twisters can appear any time of year. You’ll learn to stay tuned to your local weather. Fort Leavenworth keeps everyone updated through the Fort Leavenworth Garrison Homepage, Facebook Page, and Digital Garrison App. 

    Fort Leavenworth housing

    Housing photo via Frontier Heritage Communities

    Fort Leavenworth Housing Options

    Fort Leavenworth offers a variety of on-post and off-post housing options. Leavenworth Residence Communities manages the on-base neighborhoods, including single-family homes, duplexes, and townhomes with two to five bedrooms. The residences have modern amenities and access to community perks like playgrounds, sports courts, and a community center.

    If you'd prefer to live off post, the nearby city of Leavenworth has several family-friendly neighborhoods to choose from. Some popular off-post areas include River Front, Parkview, and Heritage. MilitaryByOwner has homes listed for sale in those areas ranging from about $400,000 to $600,000. Rental properties are also available. You can expect a three-bedroom home to cost around $2,000 to $2,500 monthly.

    If you’re interested in MilitaryByOwner’s current Fort Leavenworth housing inventory, here’s your chance to review the options. 

    Children at school classroom

    Photo from Canva

    Childcare and Schools at Fort Leavenworth

    One of the top priorities for many military families is finding quality childcare and education options, and many parents start with the on-post Child Development Center (CDC). The CDC cares for children ages six weeks to five years old, and it has multiple locations across the installation and before- and after-school programs available.

    For school-age kids, the Unified School District 207 operates the on-post schools, which include two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. These DODEA-accredited institutions maintain the academic standards and a wide range of extracurricular activities. Many military families also choose to enroll their children in the nearby Leavenworth public school district or local private options.

    Off-base families typically attend the schools assigned to their address, with occasional exceptions. However, some families choose to live in Missouri to attend public schools. 

    Kids frequently attend these school districts near Fort Leavenworth.

    Missouri School Districts

    If you need help researching public schools, read Kansas School Report Cards and Missouri School Report Cards for more information.  

    view of kansas flint hills

    Mike Blair, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Photo

    Exploring the Area Near Fort Leavenworth 

    While Fort Leavenworth may feel a bit remote initially, there are plenty of ways to stay entertained and engaged, both on the installation and in the surrounding region. Just thirty minutes away, the Kansas City metropolitan area offers big-city amenities like professional sports, world-class museums, and a vibrant arts and culture scene.

    Closer to home, the city of Leavenworth has a charming, historic downtown filled with locally-owned shops, restaurants, and breweries. Nature lovers love the miles of hiking and biking trails along the Missouri River, including the beautiful River Front Community Park right on post. The area also has several golf courses, including the on-post Trails West Golf Course.

    The Flint Hills region southwest of Fort Leavenworth is a natural wonder for outdoor enthusiasts. This expansive tallgrass prairie landscape is perfect for hiking, mountain biking, and scenic drives.

    History lovers will enjoy visiting sites like the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, the Fort Scott National Historic Site, and the Richard Allen Cultural Center.

    For a truly unique experience, you can even tour the maximum-security Lansing State Penitentiary just down the road. It’s now vacant, and the Lansing Historical Society hopes to turn it into a tourist attraction.   golf course near Fort Leavenworth

    Trails West Golf Course, MWR, Fort Leavenworth

    Life on Fort Leavenworth 

    Of course, Fort Leavenworth has a whole list of amenities and programs specifically catered to the unique needs of military families. The on-post fitness facilities, sports leagues, youth activities, and community events make it easy to stay active and engaged.

    One of Fort Leavenworth's best assets is the Trails West Golf Course, an 18-hole championship-caliber layout winding through the scenic Missouri River valley. Golfers of all skill levels can enjoy the beautiful views and well-maintained fairways and greens.

    The installation also has various fitness facilities, including a state-of-the-art gym, indoor and outdoor sports courts, and a year-round indoor aquatics center. Families will also find plenty to keep kids entertained, from multiple playgrounds and parks to the community center with basketball courts, game rooms, and youth activity programs.

    History buffs can delve into Fort Leavenworth's rich military legacy by exploring the Buffalo Soldier Monument, the Frontier Army Museum, and the Disciplinary Barracks, the U.S. Army's only maximum-security prison. The original historic U.S. Disciplinary Barracks on Fort Leavenworth allows visitors. The current Disciplinary Barracks do not offer tours, but you can visit the First City Museum on Thursdays to see its extensive jail and prison displays.

    Fort Leavenworth Military Spouse Resources 

    Military spouses, if your time at Fort Leavenworth is one for personal and professional development, connect with these resources to start on the right track.  

    A Tight-Knit Military Community

    Perhaps the greatest asset of Fort Leavenworth is its strong sense of community. This is a place where neighbors look out for one another, and military families support each other. With some exploration, you'll discover that the Fort Leavenworth area has so much more to offer than you might have initially expected. So start exploring, get plugged into the community, and embrace all Fort Leavenworth offers. Before you know it, this corner of Kansas will feel like home.

    Moving to Fort Leavenworth? See all homes for sale or rent near Fort Leavenworth below!

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    Dawn M. Smith


    Dawn M. Smith

    Dawn is a real estate and military life writer who has a serious HGTV habit. When she is not writing, her teen daughter, Army husband, and golden retriever keep her busy through chauffeur duties, travel planning, and long dog walks. Dawn is pleased to share her experiences with MilitaryByOwner readers who are hoping to simplify military family journeys of all kinds. Follow Dawn on Pinterest for more ideas and resources and visit her site at Dawn M. Smith Custom Content Creation.

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