Everybody knows that Wichita is one of the settings for the movie The Wizard of Oz. But does anybody know what it is like to live there?
Wichita is a pretty boring city with not a lot to do or see. There are no original restaurants, the dining is mostly made up of franchises, and the weather is extremely bipolar. Continue reading for more reasons not to move to Wichita, Kansas.
1. Low-Quality Schools
Wichita is known to be a great place to raise your family, but this city is not known for having the best public school system. Many of the students come from low-income areas and the testing scores are low for the state. Teachers who work there have a hard time working with the students.
Test scores aren’t everything, but most public schools in Wichita rank very low, and that says something about the quality of learning that is happening in Wichita schools. As a parent, you want your children to be well educated and learn core principles from their teachers. What a student learns in grade school affects them for the rest of their lives. They don’t just learn math and reading, but how to handle problems and work with people they don’t get along with.
2. Hot Summers
Not many people know what the weather is like in the state of Kansas. When we think of Kansas we think of fields and The Wizard of Oz. However, something very important to know about Wichita is that the summers are extremely hot, humid, and muggy. Most summer days reach 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the humidity and it feels even hotter than that.
Think the shade will help? Think it will cool off at night? Nope! If you are thinking of moving to Wichita, be prepared for hot and humid summers with nothing to do, if you don’t melt first.
3. Cold Winters
On the other side of the spectrum, the winters are brutal as well. Humidity intensifies whatever weather you are having, whether it is hot or cold. Usually, snow would make the cold temperatures worth it, right? Think again! It hardly ever snows in Wichita. The yearly average is only a few inches. Even though you are moving to a cold environment for winter, you may not have a white Christmas.
Think about your priorities when moving to Wichita, Kansas. You may not have snow storms, but you will have ice storms where it rains and then freezes overnight, creating black ice, which causes accidents everywhere. Your children will grow up with ice days instead of snow days.
Do natural disasters make you anxious? If they do, don’t move to Wichita. Wichita is in the center of the tornado valley, which makes sense why it is the setting of The Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy gets swept up in a tornado.
The state of Kansas is the top state in America for F5 tornadoes, which is the most dangerous category of tornadoes. Not every tornado touches down and causes damage, but you will have to live with the constant anxiety of knowing a tornado could occur. On average, the chances of a tornado occurring in Wichita are twice as high as in the whole United States. Those odds aren’t very comforting.
5. Flash Floods
Wichita doesn’t get rain at all compared to cities in the northwest like Seattle or Portland, but it has its moments. There are certain times of the year when Wichita will have flash floods, leaving cars stranded on the roads and others stuck inside. You better be prepared with rain boots and an umbrella in your car at all times. When it rains, it pours.
If you love growing plants in your backyard and dancing in the rain, this may be the city for you, but flash floods can be an inconvenience when you have a busy life and places to be.
6. Bipolar Weather
After talking about these previous extreme weather conditions that occur in Wichita, you may be thinking that they are equally spread out throughout the year. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The weather in Wichita, as well as the rest of Kansas, is very bipolar, making it unpredictable at times.
One day there could be a flash flood or a tornado forming, and a few hours later, it could be perfectly sunny. Be prepared for all types of weather throughout the day, snow or shine! You’ll never know what you are going to get. You could be wearing a sweater in the morning and tanning by the pool at the end of the day.
Most residents of Wichita tend to lean conservative, so if you aren’t conservative, you won’t like this city. Politics are tricky and messy. Friendships get ruined and issues are undecided for a long time before being resolved. Many states in the midwest are conservative and this doesn’t exclude the city of Wichita. If you are conservative, great! If you aren’t, I would consider another city. However, it’s good to interact with people you don’t agree with. If everybody had the same opinions, life would be boring and uneventful.
8. No Night Life
I would say that this is the biggest con of Wichita. There is nothing to do! It is a very boring and uneventful city. Many people say it is a great place to raise a family, so that means it is boring for single adults. In bigger cities, you can see shows, plays, movies, concerts, and street performers, go to new restaurants or cafes, visit museums, and so much more. There is always something going on and several different opportunities to meet new people. Wichita doesn’t have much to do once the sun goes down, so if you like to go out and be social with others, find a different city!
9. Lots of Franchises
Locals say that Wichita is like the test run for several franchises. There aren’t any original or unique restaurants. Dining and eating are mostly made up of common franchises. So, if you don’t mind eating the same thing every day and enjoy consistency, go ahead and move to this city!
If you are used to a bigger city like New York City or Los Angeles, you will miss the variety of food. In bigger cities, you can try a new restaurant for every meal and never run out of options. Wichita is landlocked and surrounded by farms, so there isn’t much to draw inspiration from when it comes to creating new restaurants.
10. No Sports Teams
If you enjoy watching professional sports, don’t move to Wichita. Wichita has no major sports teams besides high school and college. You will have to watch them on TV or make a road trip up to Kansas City for a football, baseball, or soccer game. You can watch the games held nearby at Wichita state and be close to Kansas University for March Madness, but it just isn’t the same as a good old NBA or NFL game. Sports are America’s main pastime, but Wichita doesn’t show it.
11. No Concerts
Even though Wichita’s population is almost 400,000 people, there is a lack of concerts. It isn’t near or on the way to any other large cities, so nobody stops there for concerts.
There may be a small few small bands or singers that hold concerts in this city every once in a while, but no major bands or singers come to Wichita to perform. There’s something about live music that reminds you how beautiful life is. It inspires you to appreciate your friends and the people around you and to stop taking things for granted. In order to experience this, you’ll need to travel to the next biggest city, which is Oklahoma City or Kansas City, both 2-3 hours away.
12. Flat Land
Wichita is flat as a pancake, true to its reputation. Used to seeing mountains or beaches or pretty glacier lakes? Wichita has none of that. It is surrounded by miles and miles of flat land, with nothing to see. Over time you may grow to appreciate the simplicity of Wichita scenery, but for the first few months or possibly years, it is going to be rough. This is just how it is in the midwest. To your left, you will see a cornfield, and to your right, you will see a wheat field.
Wichita is landlocked. Yes, there are lakes and rivers and other bodies of water to have fun in, but no ocean. If you are an ocean lover, living in Wichita will be very hard. You have to drive at least 10 hours to get to the closest beach in Texas, and even then, it isn’t the cleanest or prettiest beach in the country. Some people don’t mind this, but if you are used to being by the ocean, this will be very hard to adjust to.
14. High Unemployment Rate and Low Income
Wichita has an unemployment rate of 5.9%. This is two percent higher than the national average. When in Wichita, it is difficult to find jobs, and it is especially difficult to find a job that will pay you enough to live there.
Kansas has a low cost of living, so you are going to receive a paycheck that reflects this. It doesn’t look like there is going to be an increase in jobs either. In the past couple of years, there’s been a 4% decrease in the number of jobs available in the area. However, there isn’t much to do in Wichita, so it is not like you will need extra money for fun activities.
15. Kansas Jokes
As mentioned earlier, Wichita is a setting for the classic movie the Wizard of Oz. I myself am from Kansas, so when I moved out of the state, I couldn’t escape the jokes. Many people will tell you that you aren’t in Kansas anymore and ask where your dog Toto is. This is a minor con, but it can become frustrating after a while.
16. No International Airport
When you do decide to leave Kansas for a vacation or work trip, it will be hard to do so if you are flying. The only airport in Wichita is the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport. Since it isn’t an international airport, there are a few benefits you miss out on compared to an international airport.
Wichita’s airport is much smaller, creating fewer flight options. There also aren’t a lot of direct flights. Oftentimes, your flight out of Wichita will have a layover for a connecting flight. This results in higher ticket prices. Airplane tickets out of smaller airports like Wichita can be almost twice the price of a ticket out of an international airport. There aren’t a lot of food options, and there are only a few gates and airlines.
The airlines that operate out of Wichita are Delta, Southwest, Alaska, Allegiant, American, and United.
17. Everybody Has a Bad Attitude About Wichita
The last con about Wichita, Kansas is that everybody accepts the reputation of being boring. Wichita gets a really bad rap, so if you live in Wichita, it can get annoying. Positive psychology is real, so if everybody is negative about a city that you happen to love, it’s going to be hard. You will constantly be defending the city.
Wichita isn’t all that bad, so there are people that love the city. You may grow to love it as well, but people who don’t love it will let you know. After a few years, you will grow tired of trying to defend your new city from so many people and give up yourself on learning to love it.
Every city has its pros and cons. You just have to figure out what you prioritize and can’t give up when moving to a new city. Wichita has bipolar and extreme weather, not a lot to do, and fewer opportunities than other cities. Make sure to consider this before you relocate.