Is Wichita, KS a Good Place to Live? 10 Pros and Cons to Consider

Updated on May 1st, 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes

When considering a new place to call home, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of the location. Wichita, Kansas, has much to offer its residents, with affordable housing, a diverse food scene, and plenty of outdoor activities. The central location of Wichita makes it a convenient destination for business and leisure travelers, with easy access to other major cities in the region. However, there are also drawbacks to living in Wichita, such as extreme weather conditions, limited entertainment options, and traffic congestion. 

So, before you start looking at homes for sale or apartments in Wichita, KS, check out this Redfin guide on the top 10 pros and cons to consider before moving to Wichita.

family blowing bubbles in a park

Pros of living in Wichita

1. Affordability

Wichita, KS, has a more affordable cost of living compared to other nearby major markets, making it a great place to consider calling home. In contrast, Kansas City, KS, located on the eastern border of the state, is known for being a more expensive city, with a cost of living that is 44% higher than Wichita’s. One of the primary reasons for Wichita’s low cost of living is the relatively inexpensive housing. For example, the median sales price in Wichita is $210,000, nearly 48% lower than the national average of $400,500. If you’re ready to move to Wichita, Kansas, you’ll want to check out this related article on popular Wichita suburbs.

2. Great food scene

Wichita boasts a diverse, vibrant food scene that suits every taste and budget. Local restaurants and cafes offer a variety of cuisines, including classic Kansas-style barbecue, Tex-Mex, international cuisine, and specialty coffee. Popular barbecue joints include Hog Wild Pit Barb-B-Q, B&C Barbecue, and Pig In Pig Out BBQ. For Tex-Mex cooking, Abuelo’s, Felipe’s, and El Agave are top choices. International cuisine options include Indian, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Mediterranean, with local favorites like The Spice Merchant & Co, Saigon, and Yokohama Ramen Izakaya. The city also has a thriving coffee scene, with artisanal coffee shops like Reverie Coffee Roasters, The Donut Whole, and Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates.

smoked meat platter

3. Outdoor activities

There are plenty of outdoor activities offered to Wichita’s residents and visitors. The city has several parks, such as Sedgwick County Park and Pawnee Prairie Park, which provide hiking, picnicking, and bird-watching opportunities. The Arkansas River, which runs through the city, is also a popular sport for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. Wichita has various top-rated courses, such as the Auburn Hills Golf Course and the Reflection Ridge Golf Club, for those who enjoy golfing.  

4. Activities for all ages

This Kansas city has something to offer people of all ages, with a variety of activities and attractions available. There are many parks and playgrounds for those who enjoy outdoor activities, as well as Sedgwick County Zoo and Exploration Place, which offer interactive exhibits and events for all ages. In addition, Wichita hosts several annual events that bring people together, such as the Wichita Riverfest, which features popular performers like Shaggy and Eli Young Band, and the Kansas State Fair in September.

Heads of two giraffes in front of green trees

5. Central location

Wichita, Kansas, is located in the central United States, making it convenient for business and leisure travelers. The city is located at the intersection of various major highways, including Interstate 35 and Interstate 135, which provide easy access to other major cities in the region. For example, Kansas City, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City are all within a few hours’ drive from Wichita. The city is also served by Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport, which offers non-stop flights to several major US cities.

Cons of living in Wichita

1. Extreme weather

Wichita is known for its extreme weather conditions, with hot summers and cold winters. During the summer months, temperatures can reach up to 100 (°F), with high humidity levels, making it uncomfortable for those not used to such conditions. Thunderstorms and tornadoes are also common during the summer months, which can threaten public safety. In the winter, temperatures can drop below freezing, and snow and ice can accumulate, making driving and walking hazardous.

Supercell Thunderstorm on the Great Plains, Tornado Alley, USA

2. Limited entertainment options

While Wichita, Kansas, has a variety of attractions and activities, some may find the entertainment options in the city to be limited compared to larger metropolitan areas. While there are options for museums, parks, and local events, such as the Wichita Riverfest, there are fewer options for nightlife and cultural events. 

3. Lack of professional sports teams

Unlike other cities of similar size, Wichita does not have a major league baseball, football, basketball, or hockey team. While some argue that Wichita’s strong college sports scene fills the void for local sports fans, others believe that the absence of professional sports teams limits the city’s potential for economic growth and cultural vibrancy. Nonetheless, Wichita does have minor league and semi-professional teams in various sports, as well as community sports leagues and recreational programs for all ages and skill levels.

4. Limited diversity in employment opportunities

While Wichita, Kansas, offers a variety of employment opportunities, some may find the assortment of jobs to be limited. The city’s economy is primarily driven by the aerospace and manufacturing industries, with companies such as Spirit AeroSystems and Textron Aviation being significant employers in the area. While these industries provide many job opportunities, they may not be a fit for individuals seeking careers in other fields.

Workers walking at chemical plant

5. Lack of public bike infrastructure 

Wichita, Kansas is a sprawling city with a low Walk Score and Bike Score, making it challenging for residents and visitors to get around without a car. While there are some areas of the city that are more walkable and bike-friendly, many neighborhoods are spread out and lack sidewalks or bike lanes, making it difficult to travel by foot or bike safely. The lack of infrastructure for non-motorized transportation options also makes it less appealing for people who prefer walking or biking as a way to commute or exercise.

Additionally, the public transit system in Wichita is not as developed as in other cities, which further limits transportation options. The city’s bus system, Wichita Transit, operates on a limited schedule with fewer routes, which makes it difficult for residents to access some parts of the city without a car.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.

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