Balanced Lifestyle Places Springfield Among the Best Cities for Young Professionals

More young professionals today are discovering the Springfield region as a great place to live, work and play.

What makes the Queen City one of the top 20 cities for young pros to build a future? It all comes down to balance.

From a vibrant economy with lots of career opportunities, to a variety of cultural options, natural beauty, convenient travel and a low cost of living, it’s got all the ingredients you need to enjoy the life you want.

Career Mobility

Young professionals play a vital role in keeping the Springfield region moving forward, while building their own personal paths to success.

  • The Springfield region features a variety of organizations and industries providing jobs and enhancing our region’s economy, including Bass Pro Shops, O’Reilly Auto, BKD, Prime Inc. and Jack Henry & Associates. For those with an entrepreneurial spirit, Springfield ranks as one of the best cities in America for starting your own business.
  • The Network for Young Professionals promotes professional development for adults under 40. Members get to engage with the community and interact with local leaders.
  • The fast-growing Springfield region still retains a friendly atmosphere of a small town, with access to community officials you most likely would not find in most larger cities.
  • As a collaborative community with a generous spirit, there are lots of ways to give back. According to a report published by Drury University, Springfield is home to over 1,500 nonprofit organizations dedicating their time, talent and resources to help our fellow citizens, preserve a clean environment and make sure the Springfield region remains a great place for future generations.
Old Missouri Bank employees

Quality of Life

Young professionals are drawn to the many flavors represented in the Springfield region’s diverse food, art and cultural scene, as well as close proximity to breathtaking outdoor attractions.

Food and Drink Culture

As one of the top 100 foodie cities in America, Springfield overflows with a wide variety of cool, quality dining options to please every palate, from down-home barbeque to exquisite, upscale fare. Savor Springfield’s own famous take on cashew chicken at Leong’s Asian Diner. Drop in for a cup of joe, along with some friendly food and conversation, at Big Momma’s on Historic C Street. Grab a bite from our growing assortment of food trucks like London Calling and Gooey’s Grilled Cheese.

Access to Entertainment

What makes Springfield one of America’s Top 100 fun cities? It could be the non-stop access to live shows, comedy and more that keep residents entertained year-round.

See the hottest recording stars and music legends at Missouri State University’s JQH Arena and Juanita K. Hammons Hall, the O’Reilly Family Center at Drury University and the historic Gillioz Theatre in the heart of Downtown Springfield.

Tickle your funny bone with well-known and up-and-coming comics at the Blue Room Comedy Club, or laugh along with the best in improv comedy at Springfield Improv.

Enjoy award-winning cuisine along with one-of-a-kind craft beers while enjoying Hollywood’s hottest offerings at Alamo Drafthouse. Fans of indie movies, foreign fare and other films you won’t see anywhere else will fall in love with The Moxie Cinema.

Springfield is also home to the unique Emmy-winning comedy series The Mystery Hour, hosted by Late Night with David Letterman alum Jeff Houghton. Available online and on TV stations in Springfield and Joplin, fans can attend live tapings at the Gillioz Theatre.

Access to the Outdoors

Getting back to nature is a cinch when you live in the Springfield region, whether you love the water, the trail or a little of everything.

Man and Woman Paddleboarding
  • Lake life!!! With 500 miles of beautiful shoreline in Stone County, Table Rock Lake offers a plethora of options from fishing to boating to floating. Enjoy a day of of stand-up paddling (SUP) with rentals from 38 Paddle Co. on spacious Bull Shoals Lake. Or spend a day on the water at Lake Springfield, which offers boat rentals and fishing, along with hiking and picnic areas.
  • Canoeing, kayaking and floating. There’s something for all water lovers at the Buffalo River, from running rapids for the thrill seeker to quiet pools for those craving a little serenity. You can also find great floating spots along the Current River and Jacks Fork.
  • Walking, running and cycling. The City of Springfield boasts 72 miles of scenic greenway trails, with free public access for walkers, runners and wheelchair users. The League of American Bicyclists has named Springfield to its list of Bike Friendly Communities, thanks to 81 miles of on-street bike routes for those who prefer to commute on two wheels.
  • Hiking and rock climbing. Explore 3 miles of hiking trails at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. Hundreds more breathtaking miles abound throughout the region, including the Mark Twain National Forest, the Ozark Highlands Trail and the Ozark National Forest in Northern Arkansas. Rock climbers of all skill levels will enjoy Sam’s Throne in North Central Arkansas. Discover even more outdoor wonders throughout the region with 37 North Expeditions.

Ease of Travel

Ready to hit the skies? Springfield-Branson National Airport lets you hop on a non-stop flight to one of these popular destinations.

CharlotteLas Vegas
ChicagoLos Angeles
Destin/Ft.Walton BeachTampa/St. Petersburg

For those looking to experience the world, direct connections to major hubs make international travel from Springfield a breeze.

Innovative traffic systems and well-maintained infrastructure provide convenient access to Interstate 44 and U.S. Highway 65, just a few short hours from exciting cities like Kansas City, St. Louis, Nashville or Dallas, along with breathtaking outdoor locations throughout the Ozarks.

Cost of Living

It’s super easy to indulge in all of those cultural and outdoor attractions when your salary goes so much further than in many other parts of the U.S.

And with the flexibility to live where you want without a long commute time, the Springfield region lets you enjoy the lifestyle you want right here.

With so much to offer, it’s no surprise that young professionals are choosing the Springfield region as the starting point for building a successful future.

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