Lawrence Trip Guide | Midwest Living

Lawrence Trip Guide

The home of the University of Kansas thrums with an energy that feeds high-brow culture and down-to-earth fun. Check out our trip guide for what to do, where to eat and where to stay.


Clinton Lake Four miles west of the University of Kansas, you can bet the sand volleyball courts and beach attract college students. But the 25 miles of hiking and biking trails, nature trails and fishing ponds promise quiet escape.

Crescent Moon Winery Taste wines like the Seyval Blanc made from Kansas grapes in a pastoral setting 10 miles northeast of town. Adirondack chairs alongside a pond invite lingering.

Haskell Cultural Center and Museum Student and Native American art gets displayed in the cultural center at Haskell Indian Nations University. Campus walking tours also start here.

KU Natural History Museum From the dinosaurs that once roamed to the bugs that still buzz, this university museum’s four floors introduce visitors to life on our planet. A bee tree showcases a live bee colony.

Massachusetts Street Buildings from the 1800s house independent shops along this downtown street anchored by Weaver’s Department Store, which opened in 1857.

Quantrill’s Raid of Lawrence One of the Civil War’s greatest atrocities, the 1863 raid ended with 200 dead, 185 homes destroyed and the town’s commercial district in ruins. Follow the path of destruction on a self-guided tour; maps available at the Lawrence CVB.

Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics A 29-foot stained-glass window graces the institute on the KU campus. Exhibits cover the senator’s life and career; sights include a World War II Memory Wall.

Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics

Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics

Spencer Museum of Art Fresh off a nearly $8 million renovation, the free campus museum contains more than 40,000 European, North American and East Asian artworks.


23rd Street Brewery The scent of fresh hops mingles with hot pizza as fans cheer on the Jayhawks on 26 TVs in this brewpub. 

715 Mass Restaurant Handmade pastas, pork processed in-house and more than 100 wines fill the farm-to-table menu. Dishes change seasonally but might include a simple spinach-ricotta ravioli or bold rabbit ravioli at this see-and-be-seen venue.

715 Mass Restaurant

715 Mass Restaurant

Free State Brewing Company The pub’s name acknowledges the aspirations of the town’s abolitionist settlers. It opened in 1989 to become the first legal brewery in Kansas since 1880. Show your support and order the Wheat State Golden. 

Genovese Choose from wood-fired rotisserie meats, pizza and pasta in a historic downtown building.

Merchants Pub and Plate With a something-for-everyone menu, this gastropub satisfies the bar crowd and foodies—even those who eat only gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan or vegetarian.

Papa Keno’s Giant slices of New York-style thin-crust pizza piled with fresh toppings—the Barnyard has cream cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, green onions and almonds—make this joint a favorite.

Rudy’s Pizzeria Spicy-sweet red wine-spiked sauce slathering a whole-wheat crust makes this laid-back joint stand out from the pizza crowd.


Circle S Ranch and Country Inn It looks like a barn, but waffle-weave robes and double-sided fireplaces prove anything but rustic. Sit on porch rockers or get into the country on hayrides or horseback rides.

The Eldridge Hotel Stay in one of 48 luxurious suites in this 1800s building. Indulgence spills over to the TEN restaurant's hand-cut steaks and The Jayhawker bar.

The Oread A fortresslike exterior belies the modern interior of this boutique hotel at the north end of the KU campus. Escape to the top floors for views of the Kaw River Valley.

The Oread

The Oread

For information: Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau

Comments (1)

lauren.feeley wrote:
I was in Lawrence years ago. It was a lot of fun. Teller's is a very cool place. <a href=""></a>

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