Isn’t it nice to be known for something other than an F4 tornado?  Yes, yes, yes it is!  According to Yahoo News, Wichita Falls has made the list of the 10 least-expensive U.S. cities to live in.  According to the list, Wichita Falls (ranked # 6) boasts a cost of living that is nearly 14 percent below the national average.  Though they understated our population a bit (103, 931 vs. 104,679-according to city-data.com) the city’s size, median home price (well below $100,000) and relatively low unemployment make Wichita Falls the jewel of the list.  Only Harlingen, Texas had a lower median home price, but factor in their 32% poverty rate (Wichita Falls was at 19.22% according to 2011 data) and median incomes of nearly $5,000 less and clearly we have the more attractive city.

One thing the poll does not go into is commute times.  Let’s be realistic-we don’t have a rush hour to contend with here.  I have noticed that, around 5 pm, everyone likes to take to the far right lane on Kell West and drive under 50.  I think they’re all trying to exit to Kemp Blvd at once.  But when you look at what our friends in the metro mess have to contend with, our commute time is next to nothing.  I’m pretty sure I’ve been stuck on ‘The World’s Largest Parking Lot’ (aka I-35) long enough to finish a book, a sandwich and ponder the origins of nougat.  For most of folks in Wichita Falls you can be from your driveway to your job in less than 12 minutes.  Ever driven in Houston?  Turn signals and stop lights are merely suggestions there.  After my last trip, I was in therapy for three months.

What about the age old complaint that ‘there’s nothing to do in Wichita Falls’?  Well, if your definition of something to do involves hours of club hopping, then I suppose you have a case to argue.  No, we are not busting at the seams with nightclubs and bars, but we’ve got our share in my opinion.  Looking for more family-friendly fare?  There seems to be some stage production constantly in the works at Backdoor and Wichita Theatres.  Castaway Cove Water Park is open thru Labor Day and tickets are about $21.  Yes, you could make the drive to Schlitterbahn, but you’ll pay $71.97 per person for a day there.  And throughout the year we have Falls Fest, Shrine Fest, The Texas-Oklahoma Fair, Cajun Fest, City Lights, gun shows, Nighthawks football, MSU sporting events, Wildcats Hockey, concerts and circuses.  I know I’ve left a few things out but you get the idea.  Wichita Falls is a pretty decent place to be after all!