5 reasons why Wichita is better than Seattle

fried chicken

I’ve lived in the greater Seattle area for close to 45 years.  My main residence is still in Auburn Washington where our headquarters is located.  I travel back and forth to the city of Wichita for business and have purchased a home in Andover, KS to be close by our gun range in Wichita.  Whenever anyone has dual residences, people tend to ask how we like Wichita.  The answer is quite easy, I love it.  Of course not everything is better in Wichita as you can imagine.  I love the mountains and the Puget Sound, it’s absolutely beautiful.  The air and water in the Seattle area is fantastic, and as much as it rains there, I prefer weather in the NW to the windy & drastic changes of Wichita.  There are many things to do in Wichita and many reasons to like it. That’s why there are so many amazing thoughts that come up when I hear the phrase, “What do you like about Wichita?”

The first thing that comes to mind is the price of real estate.  For a nice 3 bed/ 2 bath home in the suburbs of Seattle, it may run you $400-600,000.  That same home in Wichita will cost $200-300K.  Yes, 1/2 price!  Commercial real estate is even a bigger difference.  Our 8,000 sq ft location in Auburn appraised for $2.8 million, while I purchased a 45,000 sq ft location in Wichita for $1.4 million.  Not only is Wichita the center of the US for easy shipping times, it’s easy to see why we moved our fulfillment center. It just made business sense.  It’s no surprise that when we announced our intentions to move our fulfillment center, of our team members decided to come with us.

The second biggest difference is how friendly the people are.  If anyone has ever been to a big city, like NY, you notice people are less friendly.  I don’t believe people are “meaner.”  I believe it’s the pace of living is a bit quicker and people mainly mind their own business.  They are too busy to “smell the roses” or take interest in others that’s not in their immediate circles.  In much the same way, Seattle’s pace isn’t quite to NY’s level but it’s definitely quicker than Wichita.  On my latest flight over to Wichita, there was a young family, the mom and dad had their hands full, with babies, baby carrier, baby bags, their own bags, etc.  He got to the side letting others pass while he was trying to grab everything.  He really needed 2 more hands or make multiple trips.  Seattlelites would most likely smile and pass and get to their seat. 

Well, not the man flying to Wichita.  He says, “let me give you a hand.”  The father says, “it’s okay.”  But the Wichita man clearly knew he needed help so he said again, “it’s no problem, let me get that for you.”   I’m sure that may be a common occurrence in Wichita but when you live in Seattle, seeing just how friendly and helpful people are, it’s quite amazing.  That is just one of so many encounters I’ve experienced, I can say without a doubt, people are friendlier in Wichita.  Also, as a side note, people are not prejudice at all.  One of the benefits living in the West coast is there are so many Asians there, you don’t feel like a minority.  Clearly, I’m a minority in Wichita but I don’t feel it at all.  Unlike other parts of the country, down south or even one of my favorite states like TX, you see it and feel it.

The third reason why Wichita is better than Seattle is having so many food options.  I love all the great food that’s available in Wichita.  I didn’t know this before I moved here but there are more restaurants per capita than any other city in the country.   Did I mention it’s also way more affordable that Seattle?  If you want a great steak, we have it.  If you want good pizza, we have it.  If you want fried chicken, holy!  Why do we have so many fried chicken places?  They are all really good too!  I’m sure this may change as I live here longer, but so far, I love Slim Chickens.  Do you want Mediterranean food?  We have that too!  Do you want great Asian food, sorry…stay in Seattle.  I think that’s the only thing we are missing here in Wichita.  Well, with the exception of Vietnamese food, there are no great Asian choices. 

Slim Chickens in Wichita, KS is right down the road from RAFA.

The fourth reason why Wichita is better than Seattle is the price of everything else.  The price of gas is a dollar cheaper than Seattle, the price of groceries, the price of rent.  Speaking of rent, one of my team members was paying $1800 for a 2 bedroom apartment in Federal Way, now they are paying $800 for a 2 larger 2 bedroom apartment that’s on the golf course with unlimited green fees.  Just about everything costs less.  Do you want to park in downtown Seattle?  It’s $20, in Wichita it’s free.  

A few topics that I’ll list as my 5th reason doesn’t need much explanation but is clearly better in Wichita; Traffic or the lack there of, politics including, gun rights, the lack of city homelessness (drug use & tent cities), etc.  Lastly, how many people can say, they own their own indoor shooting range?  Find out about becoming a member.

Things to do in Wichita: visit Rainier Arms Firearms Range

Well, I cheated a little.  As you can see, there are more than 5 things I love about Wichita.  As I spend more time here, I’m sure I’ll find other things I love and also possibly hate.  We will leave that for another article.


  • Wes

    January 21, 2020 @ 2:53 am

    You’re quite right about the food. If you’re still hankering for Asian food, try Yokohoma Ramen for Japanese (they have an east side location just a few miles from the range and one downtown) or there’s a Korean place called Kim Chi that rocks. It’s a little family-run hole-in-the-wall and it’s the bomb.

    • John Hwang

      January 21, 2020 @ 11:13 am

      Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll need to try Yokohoma. I’ve been looking for a good Ramen house. I’ve tried the Kim Chi place, the food is pretty good but the portions are small and expensive. Seattle isn’t as good as LA, Dallas, Atlanta or any other big city in terms of Korean food but compared to Wichita, it’s much better.

  • Mike

    January 21, 2020 @ 5:06 am

    So you like Chicken…or want to try another chicken specialty. I recommend You try
    3661 N Hillside St
    Wichita, KS 67219
    United States

    • John Hwang

      January 21, 2020 @ 11:15 am

      Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll report back after I’ve tried it!

  • Jake

    February 12, 2020 @ 1:54 pm

    There is so many great food places here, most of which are holes in the wall. Example, some of the best Korean food I’ve found is actually out of the kitchen in the back of a Korean market (Grace Market), its not really advertised but select locals know about it. There are lots of Vietnamese options as you mentioned, the one thing I saw missing from the food category was the BBQ, the chains are no good but the solo holes in the wall are usually solid (my favorite is When Pigs Fly), and as someone mentioned Strouds Restaurant (local), it is all homemade / handmade cooking for a solid good comfort food meal. Don’t know if you have tried it or not but Ziggy’s Pizza (local), they have multiple locations but one is only about 2 miles from the range, Oak and Pie is another local pizza that is up there for me (again about 2 miles from the range). If you ever want to try some other local spots and need ideas, just holler. Enjoy Wichita and welcome.

    • John Hwang

      February 20, 2020 @ 7:58 pm

      Those are some really good suggestions. Can’t wait to try it the next time I’m in town.

  • Dory J Hayes

    February 13, 2020 @ 8:54 am

    John Glad your loving your move to Wichita. If you love a burgers check out our rusty staple called Bomber Burger over on 4860 Clifton Ave. Been a long time favorite of mine since I was stationed here in 2007. See you all soon!

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