Lawrence (Kansas)

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Lawrence [1] is a city in Kansas, USA that is situated along I-70, 35 miles west of Kansas City, and home to the University of Kansas. Lawrence provides a mix of academics, bohemia, and small-town Kansas kitsch.

Get in[edit]

Brick sidewalk in Lawrence

By car[edit]

  • Interstate 70. On the north edge of town.
  • State Highway 10. Access from southwest metropolitan Kansas City on the south edge of town.
  • US 24 and US 40. East-west access from Topeka and Kansas City (24 immediately north of town and 40 through the center of town).
  • US 59. North-south access from Ottawa and Atchison through the center of town.

By train[edit]

  • Amtrak. Provides daily service via the Southwest Chief [2] route. The westbound train (from Chicago bound for Los Angeles) stops at 12:32AM and the Eastbound train (from LA to Chicago) stops at 5:49AM.

By plane[edit]

  • Kansas City International Airport (MCI) 46 miles east-northeast is the closest airport to Lawrence with commercial airlines operating, and is a major Southwest hub. Service is also available on major airlines to large domestic hubs such as Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Memphis, Detroit, Salt Lake City, Cincinnati, Cleveland, New York, Houston, and others.
  • Lawrence Municipal Airport (LWC) is a small airfiled with no scheduled service and is only corporate and private jets.

Get around[edit]

Lawrence has a fairly good and inexpensive bus system, known as the T. The fare is only $1 and will get you one transfer or you can pay $2.75 for a day pass.

The city is also relatively bike-friendly and has had a good reputation among the biking community.

The central part of the city, consisting of the downtown, the KU campus, and the student-filled neighborhoods in between, is easily walkable. The Lawrence Convention & Visitors Bureau's Visitor Information Center offers brochures[3] for self-guided walking tours in the city. Outside of the central part of the city, cars are king. Cabs are cheap, though uncommon.

See[edit][add listing]

Spooner Hall, University of Kansas
  • The University of Kansas campus[4] is renowned for its beauty, Hogwarts-like library and collegiate charm. Walk around and enjoy a picnic next to Potter's Lake, or find several of the buildings on campus that are on the National Register of Historic Places[5].
  • There's an interesting rock mural on North Side of the river which was created by local artist Stan Herd. It is visible from the Massachusetts Street Bridge.
  • Historic driving tour [6]. visits many of the sites involved Quantrill's Raid (The Lawrence Massacre) in 1863. You can also see many of these sites on the Quantrill's Raid self-guided walking tour[7] prepared by the Lawrence Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Do[edit][add listing]


Lawrence, Kansas is famous for its basketball heritage. Whether you manage to score tickets to a game in Allen Fieldhouse or are just stopping by to view the original rule book, you will not be disappointed.

  • Booth Family Hall of Athletics, 1651 Naismith Dr., 785-864-7050. [8] The Hall of Athletics in Allen Fieldhouse is a must-see for any sports fan, Jayhawk or not. It houses interactive displays, historic sports paraphernalia, and the orignial center court of Allen Fielhouse  edit
  • DeBruce Center, 1647 Naismith Dr.. [9] The DeBruce Center houses the original rules of basketball written by James Naismith. You cannot pass up the opportunity to see basketball history!  edit

Arts and Culture

  • KU Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum, 1345 Jayhawk Boulevard, 785-864-4450. [10] This on-campus museum is a popular spot for nature lovers and school field trips. It offers four floors of exibits, displaying fossils, Kansas wildlife, and even some live animals. Researches and graduate students work within the museum as well.  edit
  • Spencer Museum of Art, 1301 Mississippi St., 785-864-4710. [11] The Spencer Museum of Art is another KU attraction and was recently renovated into a new and improved space. The Spencer prides itself on the diverse collection of works within its walls; it is the only comprehensive art museum in Kansas.  edit
  • Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St., 785-841-4109. [12] Find all things Douglas County at the Watkins Museum of History. There are educational resources and events, as well as changing exhibits that explore and explain historic Douglas County.  edit
  • Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St., 785-843-2787. [[13]] The Lawrence Arts Center has studios, gallery spaces, a performance auditorium, a gallery shop and an arts-based preschool. The center supports community and professional arts and performances.  edit
  • Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Dr., 785-864-2787, [14]. Located on the West Campus of the University of Kansas, the Lied Center hosts a miriad of university, community, and national performances.  edit
  • Theatre Lawrence, 4660 Bauer Farm Dr., 785-843-7469. [15] Theatre Lawrence thrives on volunteers to produce performances that engage and educate community members of all ages.  edit
  • Free State Fesitval. The festival is a five-day celebration of independent film, innovative outdoor art installations and performance events, along with thought-provoking discussions about art, film, technology and politics. You’ll find it happening throughout downtown and along the 9th Street Corridor in the Lawrence Cultural District  edit

Live Music

Lawrence has a varied nightlife with a number of opportunities to see live music, both local and national. For a calendar of upcoming shows, visit [16]

  • The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts St., 785-842-1390, [17]. The Granada was originally built in the 1930s as a silent movie theater, and is now Lawrence's largest live music venue hosting local, national and international acts.  edit
  • The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, 785 841-LIVE, [18]. 6PM-2AM. Live music venue featuring a range of local and national rock music.
  • Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St., 785-749-1972, [19]. Liberty Hall is a locally owned and operated historic theater. It includes a concert hall, video store, coffeehouse and independent cinema.  edit
  • Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts Street, (785) 749-7676, [20]. =. Is Lawrence's home for local and national punk and indie rock. It's also has a collection of pinball machines and a large heated smoking porch to keep you from shivering while you smoke and swill your $1 PBR.  edit
  • Jackpot Music Hall, 943 Massachusetts St, (785) 832-1085.[21]. Newly renovated space for local and national concerts.


  • Clinton Lake State Park, 785-842-8562, [22]. Clinton Lake is only four miles west of Lawrence, but offers the scenic beauty and peaceful wilderness that comes with being far outside town. The state park offers campgrounds, educational areas and one of the largest marinas in the state.  edit
  • Prarie Park Nature Center, 2730 Harper St., 785-832-7980, [23]. Prairie Park Nature Center opened in 1999 as a 100-acre nature preserve on the east side of Lawrence. The preserve incorporates wetlands, woodlands and prairie habitats and a five acre lake with a trail weaving in-between. Inside the center there are hands-on exhibits as well as educational events with live animals.  edit
  • Lawrence Levee Trail, [24]. Located along the north bank of the Kansas River, the Lawrence Levee Trail runs along the top of the flood-control levee on the outskirts of Lawrence. This crushed ston,e 9 mile trail provides access to Riverfront Park, which features a disc golf course, off-leash dog park and a wildlife and native grass preserve. At the southeastern end of the trail, various hiking and mountain biking spur trails provide a diverse range of experiences closer to the Kansas River.  edit

Family Fun

  • Epic Fun, 711 W. 23rd St., 785-856-3861, [25]. If you need some indoor entertainment, Epic Fun features affordable laser tag, unlimited access arcade, and mini golf.  edit
  • LOL Family Zone, 1000 Massachusetts St., 785-856-3737, [26]. This downtown location is a great place for parents to bring kids. Inside you will find a great place for jumping, climbing, playing, dancing, building and creative play. There’s abundant seating and free Wi-Fi so parents and grandparents can relax while the kiddos play in a safe place.  edit
  • Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St., 785-843-3833, [27]. The newly renovated public library is a kid-friendly spot where silence is not required. The kids area includes a lego table, reading nooks and lots of fun programs. The Teen Zone has video games and social area, and there is a recording studio you can reserve to capture your own tunes or words.  edit
  • Midland Railway, 1515 High Street, Baldwin City, 913-721-1211, [28]. Leaving from Baldwin City, Kansas, the Midland Railway excursion trains feature a more than 20-mile round trip train ride on vintage railway equipment. Check out their calendar for special events such as “A Day Out with Thomas,” an Easter Egg ride and hunt, and a Santa ride. Baldwin City is approximately 20 miles south of Lawrence via US 59 South.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Massachusetts Street is the downtown shopping district. One can find anything from incense burners to sporting goods. Allergy sufferers, take note: several local merchants (The Dusty Bookshelf, Love Garden Sounds, and Sunflower Outdoor) have resident cats.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Limestone Pizza, 814 Massachusetts, 785.856.2825 - Delicious, locally sourced food, minimally processed & hand-crafted using time-honored techniques. Extensive drink menu.
  • Pizza Shuttle, 785-842-1212 - Dirt cheap, open late. Everybody's top choice for post-bar dining.
  • Pyramid Pizza, 701 W 9th Street, (785)842-3232. Great Pizza. Open Late. City-wide Delivery. Everyday Walk-In Special
  • India Palace, 124 E. 10th St., 785 331-4300. Authentic Indian food. Lunch buffet every day.
  • Jade Garden, 1410 Kasold Drive, 785 843-8650. Chinese and Vietnamese food. Delivery available for orders over $10.
  • JB Stout's Sports Bar and Grill, 721 Wakarusa Drive, 785 843-0704. Steaks, sandwiches and other bar food. Great place to watch a game or play pool.
  • Kokoro 601 Kasold Drive, 785 838-4134. Japanese grill and sushi.
  • Marisco's Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive, 785 312-9057. Somewhat upscale, features seafood dishes and an extensive tequila selection.
  • Rudy's Pizzeria, 704 Massachusetts, 785 749-0055. Unassuming location with the best pizza in town. Free delivery.
  • Sylas and Maddy's, 1014 Massachusetts, 785 832-8323. Best ice cream in town.
  • Tortas Jalisco, 534 Frontier, 785 865-1515. Authentic Mexican food.
  • Thai Siam 601 S. Kasold Drive, 785 331-2525. Thai and Chinese food in what used to be a Subway (really).
  • Yello Sub 1814 W. 23rd St., Phone: 785 843-6000. Locally owned sandwich shop with a number of vegetarian options. Delivery available.
  • Zen Zero, 811 Massachusetts, 785 832-0001. Thai, Nepalese, and Japanese noodle shop. Prices are low, and the atmosphere is casual. [29]
  • A.B's Crepes and Coffee, 17 West 9th Street (Between Weavers and Wheat Fields) (From any part of town go to 9th and Massachusetts, then head west towards 9th and Iowa (up the hill). A.B's is on your left between Massachusetts and Vermont.), (785) 856-0650. Hours change weekly. A.B's is a cool little crepes and coffee shop. The owner is SUPER friendly...he loves to talk. The only problem is that the hours are non-consistent, so you have to check the white board every week. Recommended Items: The Jason. $5-$10.  edit
  • Encore Cafe, 1007 Massachussetts St., 785-856-3682, [30]. Specializes in Asian-American food, as well as bubble tea. Karaoke rooms available.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Lawrence has a varied nightlife with a number of opportunities to see live music. For a calendar of upcoming shows, visit [31]

  • Free State Brewing Company, 636 Massachusetts, 785 843-4555, [32]. This microbrewery and eatery claims to be the 'First Legal Brewery in Kansas'. Monday nights offer $1.50 pints of tasty microbrew.
  • 23rd Street Brewery, 3512 Clinton Parkway, 785-856-2337, [33]. This brewery not only boasts quality small-batch beers, but also has many entrees on the menu named after people and places of Lawrence.  edit
  • Louise's, 1009 Mass, 785-843-9032. One of the few Lawrence bars frequented by both locals and students, featuring pool tables, foosball, and a double-decker heated outdoor smoking deck.
  • The Bourgeois Pig, 6 E 9th Street. 6PM - 2PM. Lawrence's original coffee bar is in a small brick building on 9th Street, just east of Massachusetts Street downtown.  edit
  • Henry's Upstairs, 11 E. 8th St., 785-331-3511. Henry's coffee shop hosts an upstairs bar after-hours. Climb the narrow staircase for cozy corners and a hidden outdoor space.  edit
  • Red Lyon Tavern, 944 Massachusetts St., 785-832-8228. Red Lyon Tavern is a traditional Irish pub and a hot spot to watch all the Sporting KC soccer games.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Halcyon House Bed & Breakfast
  • The Eldridge Hotel, 701 Massachusetts St., 785-749-5011. Email: The Eldridge Hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places - as one of the buildings that Quantrill burned during his raid of the city in 1863. It was renovated in the spring of 2005. Room rates climb higher the weekend of KU graduation. $120-$145.  edit
  • Halcyon House Bed & Breakfast, 1000 Ohio Street, Toll free: 888-441-0314 / Local: 785-841-0314, [34]. A lovely bed and breakfast with rooms to suit most budgets. Within walking distance to the city center (and all the shopping and eateries on Massachusetts St.) and the University of Kansas. Delicious homemade breakfast that will give you a good start to the day. Helpful tourist information is provided by the owners upon request. $55-$149.  edit
  • The Oread Hotel, 1200 Oread Avenue, 785-843-1200, [35]. The Oread Hotel is located right at the edge of the University of Kansas campus, and thanks to Mount Oread, it is the tallest point in all of Kansas. The Oread's limestone, castle-looking walls house posh rooms, five different restaurant options, and a gift shop full of Jayhawk attire. The hotel also offers meeting and event spaces. Reservations are made years in advance for graduation, so get on that wait list!  edit
  • SpringHill Suites Lawrence, One Riverfront Plaza, Lawrence, Kansas 66044 USA, 1-785-841-2700, [36].  edit

Get out[edit]

Routes through Lawrence
Wichita/HaysTopeka  W noframenoframe E  Kansas City, KSKansas City, MO

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