Wichita, Kansas

Doo-Dah (nobody knows why they call it that)

Tornado or no tornado, a girl from Kansas doesn’t let much get to her. -Danielle Paig

The Best Thing About Wichita?

No Traffic + The People Are Friendly

These are the two things residents most often cite as the best characteristics about living in Wichita. It’s extremely easy to get around and people are genuinely friendly. On first blush these might seem disconnected. We think not only are they related but they also are byproducts of something important to consider. Life in Wichita is slower-paced, not so frantic with traffic to put you in a foul mood, or drive you to unfriendliness. That leads both directly and in general to a friendlier population. If you’re looking for a kinder, gentler place for your family put Wichita on your list.

Here's a local on what it's like to live in Wichita:
Cost of living is so cheap here and I genuinely like it here. I was able to purchase a home (pre pandemic) on my own with no bachelors degree. Wichita is pretty chill. It does not have some of the draws that larger cities have but I don't mind it. The food scene here is phenomenal so there is always a good meal to be had. I have been getting more and more into the local music scene and there are some good local bands to enjoy. There is always someone playing what seems like every night. A lot of times they are playing at local restaurants. Shopping is lacking a bit but it has picked up in the last couple of years. Traffic is not bad I live and work on opposite sides of town and I can get home in 25 minutes.

For more reviews of what living in Wichita is like from locals check out: The Buzz

The Worst Thing About Wichita?

The Snooziness

Look, if you seek the pace of New York, or the economic vitality of San Francisco, or the sheer size of Chicago or Los Angeles then you’re probably not considering Wichita anyway. That acknowledgement set aside, Wichita is not going to satisfy even a middling level demand for a city that never sleeps. While there is a growing energy in the downtown area, for a city with a population of 400k it’s still pretty quiet.

Here's a local's pov on the downtown/action issue in Wichita:
Wichita used to have a robust downtown but the downfall started in the ‘80s. There were some business and bank sales that reduced the need for downtown office space amongst other things. You used to be able to walk between most buildings downtown without ever stepping outside. However, the business needs after the ‘80s simply weren’t there. The downtown area has basically been recovering and trying to grow since the ‘90s.

You combine all that and you get a rather boring downtown. The other biggest thing to note is that Wichita’s population isn’t remotely close to any of the competing cities mentioned. Wichita is more closely aligned with a city the size of Des Moines but even then, there are significant differences.

The Lifestyle Of Wichita

Wichita is absolutely one of the cities people describe as “great for raising a family”. If that’s enough for you then come on down (or up or over). Whether you find it active socially depends on where you’re coming from. It’s a small city (or big town) in terms of a downtown social and cultural experience relative to big coastal cities, or midwestern/south central cities like Chicago or Houston. The food, bar and downtown living scene has been growing particularly in the Olde Town neighborhood, but again, it will seem quiet or active depending on your last home.

If you want to see what locals get up to in Wichita check out the calendar of events: https://www.visitwichita.com/events/

The Worklife Of Wichita

The city’s economy has historically centered on the aerospace industry, they call it the “Air Capital of the World”, so people moving here often come to work for companies like: Spirit, Cessna, Beechcraft and Learjet. There are other major employers like: Koch Industries, Coleman, and Cargill, which keep the economy diversifying but expect some growth to start coming from WFH’ers looking to buy homes and raise children in a family-friendly, affordable city.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

If You Want A Conservative Populace In A City

If you’re conservative and think you can’t find a larger city that supports your politics consider Wichita. The state is now consistently Republican and while Wichita recently elected a Democratic mayor it was firmly in Donald Trump’s camp for the presidential election. If you want to avoid a conservative population there are certainly pockets of Wichita that feel more progressive, but overall we advise caution if you prefer a liberal population and policies, given the recent voting trends both for President, and more specifically around abortion and gun rights.