Fort Riley, a key U.S. military base in Kansas, is surrounded by family-friendly communities like Grandview Plaza, Milford, and Junction City, offering diverse housing options and a relaxed lifestyle.
Fort Riley, a key U.S. military base in Kansas, is surrounded by family-friendly communities like Grandview Plaza, Milford, and Junction City, offering diverse housing options and a relaxed lifestyle.Local Guide

Best Family Neighborhoods Near Fort Riley Garrison AKA Summerall Hall

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Located within the Flint Hills Region, Fort Riley is an essential treasure to the U.S. Armed Forces. The base is located in the northeastern portion of the state, about an hour to the west of Topeka, Kansas. It’s tucked into a suburban area, noted for its beautiful natural features and laidback lifestyle. This area has become a highly desirable area to call home for those looking for a comfortable, positive environment to raise a family.

Today, Fort Riley is home to the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), the 3rd Brigade, 1st Armor Division, and the 937th Engineer Group (Combat). The fort itself spans more than 101,000 acres and is located in both Riley and Geary County. It has its own housing development, but many people choose to live in the beautiful surrounding areas of this area.

A History of Fort Riley Garrison

Also known as Summerall Hall, Fort Riley was named after Major General Bennet C. Riley, the first military escort on the Santa Fe Trail. The fort itself was commissioned in 1853. At that time, it was put in place as a way to protect the movement of people westward and to protect trade for those moving to Oregon, California, and the Santa Fe trails in general. After the Civil War took place, this fort became a major US Calvary post. Over time, it would become a valuable school for both cavalry tactics and practice. George A. Custer was, at one point during 1865, stationed at the fort.

In 1887, the location became the site of the U.S. Calvary School. During World War 1, the fort was home to about 50,000 soldiers. Before that, it is noted for being the home of the 9th and 10th Calvary Regiments, later known as the Buffalo Soldiers. It was also the home to the 1st Infantry Division, which quickly became known as the Bid Red One from the 1970s through 1996.

Grandview Plaza

Located about 20 minutes from Fort Riley, Grandview Plaza is home to about 1700 people. As a small town, it has a wide range of benefits to those who are living near the military base. The city has wide open parks and greenspaces and a true small-town feel. There are numerous types of homes here, including single-family homes, townhouses, apartments, and condos. Those who hope to buy a home or rent one in Grandview Plaza will find ample affordability here. A single-family, 2-bedroom home costs around $150,000, with rental costs around $690 per month.

The city is home to a range of smaller amenities, including several industrial companies, the Barton Community College Hazardous Materials and Emergency Service Training Institute, and several restaurants. Recreational sports teams for all ages are also a part of calling Grandview Plaza home.


Milford is another small city located near Fort Riley in the heart of central Kansas. It’s only about 22 minutes from the base. This community has a number of smaller neighborhoods within it, many with walkable, tree-lined streets. A few playgrounds and open green spaces are available, and it’s home to Milford Lake and Milford State Park, which offers miles of walking trails, areas for fishing, and numerous other amenities.

This is a town known as the “City of Beautiful Sunsets” thanks to the beautiful lake they often sink over. It’s only about 12 miles from Junction City, which provides ample shopping and numerous schools, restaurants, and shopping areas. The average sale price of a single-family home in this area is about $288,000, with rental prices around $800 to $950 per month. Milford brings ample affordability with it but also offers a quality of life that’s nature-focused.

Junction City

Junction City is a larger community by the standards of the other areas listed here and offers a wide range of opportunities for those looking for affordable to upper-middle-class living. The city is home to about 23,000 people. Fort Riley is only about a 15-minute drive from the city and serves as one of the largest employment options for those living in this community. There’s plenty to love about this community. It has 18 parks, a large community center, and a library system. There are several elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools in the area, along with three private schools. You’ll also find Junction City is the ideal place to live for those who want to find a job with a proven organization like Foot Locker, ConAgra, and Geary Community Hospital, all of which call this community home.

The key to remember about Junction City is that there is a wide range of home styles and sizes here in various neighborhoods. However, the average median listing price for a single-family, 2-bedroom home here was about $146,000. Home values range from $60,000 up to $350,000. Rental prices are around $700 to $1100 for homes in the area. This area has a huge range of home prices thanks to the numerous neighborhoods present and the diversity of options, including single-family homes, condos, and apartments.

Finding the Right Home for You Near Fort Riley

Any of these neighborhoods and cities near Fort Riley could be the ideal place to call home. For those who do not want to live on the fort, these are some of the most viable locations in this beautiful area of Central Kansas.

Living in neighborhoods near Fort Riley Garrison presents unique considerations and opportunities for military personnel and their families. Whether you're a service member or a family member, understanding the specifics of the area can enhance your overall experience and sense of community.

Exploring On-Post Living vs. Off-Post Living

Living on post at Fort Riley Garrison offers convenience, proximity to work, and a strong sense of camaraderie within the military community. However, it may come with certain restrictions and limited housing options. Off-post living provides more independence and diverse housing choices but may require a commute and additional expenses.

Discovering Community Amenities and Activities

The neighborhoods near Fort Riley Garrison offer a variety of amenities and activities for military families, including parks, recreational facilities, and community events. Explore local resources and organizations to find family-friendly activities and opportunities for social engagement.

Building Connections within the Military Community

Engaging in community events, support groups, and military-sponsored programs is a fantastic way to forge new connections and friendships. Attend social gatherings, join spouse clubs or volunteer organizations, and participate in base-sponsored activities to connect with fellow military families and personnel. Contact local organizations and resources, such as the Family Readiness Group (FRG) or military-affiliated churches, to find support and camaraderie. Building strong connections within the military community provides a sense of belonging and creates a valuable support network during deployments, training exercises, and other challenges that military life may bring. Don't hesitate to get involved and reach out to others—these connections often make living near Fort Riley Garrison feel like home.

Navigating Transportation and Commuting Options

Fort Riley Garrison provides transportation services for residents, such as shuttles, buses, and carpooling options within the area. Owning a vehicle may be necessary for those living off-post, but consider carpooling with neighbors or utilizing rideshare services to reduce commuting costs and environmental impact. By familiarizing yourself with these common questions and available resources, you can optimize your experience living near Fort Riley Garrison and thrive within the military community.

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