Wichita is the largest city in Kansas, home to a bustling downtown urban area and a diverse population. It's home to the state's largest art museum and also offers a number of other cultural attractions and special events. The city has maintained a relatively slow growth rate, but many young professionals are now deciding to take advantage of the many job opportunities in Wichita's diverse economy.
Living in Wichita
Wichita is home to a number of flourishing industries, with manufacturing and healthcare leading the pack and providing many jobs in the area. It's also a home base for many aircraft manufacturers, including Cessna Aircraft Co. and Beechcraft. If you have experience in the medical, manufacturing or retail fields, you're likely to find plenty of jobs to choose from.
The city offers a variety of entertainment options, ranging from museums and galleries to professional sporting events. Many of the local attractions, including the Old Cowtown Living Museum and the Exploration Place, an interactive science center, focus on science and history. Despite being a fairly large city, Wichita has a small-town feel, thanks to its well-established community events. The Wichita River Festival has been an annual event since 1972, with hundreds of thousands of attendees every year. It features children's activities, a large flea market, block parties, a parade and many different food and souvenir vendors.
Neighborhoods in Wichita
Here are a few of the great neighborhoods Wichita offers:
Downtown Wichita is home to many of the city's major landmarks, including the Epic Center, the tallest building in Kansas. The Epic Center was built in the late 1980s and is home to a local office of the U.S. Secret Service.
Old Town is Wichita's central entertainment district, home to a variety of trendy bars, eclectic restaurants and night-clubs. The area was part of a revitalization effort in the late 1980s, when the city transformed many of the historic warehouses into unique lofts and apartments.
College Hill is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Wichita and has a large collection of historic homes. The area is named for its close proximity to Wichita State University, one of the largest post-secondary institutions in the state.
At the heart of the Riverside neighborhood is Riverside Park, offering over 100 acres of green space and large shade trees. At the park, you can visit the Kansas Wildlife Exhibit to see many native animals in their natural habitats.
Wichita Public Schools serves most of the schools in the city and is one of the largest districts in the state. It manages elementary, middle and high schools as well as a large variety of special programs and schools. There are also many private schools to choose from, including both faith-based and secular options.
If you're interested in working toward a college degree, there are a handful of post-secondary institutions in the city. Wichita State University is one of the largest, with several campuses around the city.
Resources for Moving to Wichita
Here are a few helpful resources to make your move to Wichita easier:
Utilities: Westar Energy is Wichita's electricity provider, and the city of Wichita manages water and sewer services.
Garbage and Recycling: There are a few different waste disposal companies that provide curbside collection of trash and recyclables in Wichita, with some also offering bulk pick-up and yard waste services.
Transportation: For public transit, Wichita Bus Line offers a number of bus routes in and around the city. Although the city is not extremely pedestrian-friendly, it does have a well-connected network of highways.
Wichita is consistently named one of the most affordable places to buy a home in the U.S., thanks to a cost of living and median home price that are well below average. There is a wide range of housing options in Wichita, ranging from single-family homes on large lots to trendy apartments with plenty of amenities.