In Lawrence, it feels as though all roads lead to Mass Street ... and for good reason. The main drag through downtown brings University of Kansas students and locals together for creative sipping, dining and shopping. Free State Brewing Company is a Mass Street legend, having become the first legal brewery in Kansas after Prohibition. And don’t miss the resident felines at Love Garden Sounds record store, Espurresso Cat Cafe, crafty shop Wonder Fair, and bookstores The Raven and The Dusty Bookshelf. 

For a break from the bustle, learn about the city’s ongoing journey toward racial equality at the free Watkins Museum of History, which also tells the story of KU’s sports icons. On campus, the Spencer Museum of Art (also free) features a collection of more than 48,000 works. Two floors of galleries showcase artwork across geography, cultures and eras from ancient to contemporary.

Return to the Mass Street area for your choice of two refined overnights. The grand lobby and spacious rooms at The Eldridge recall a glam lodging era. For a somewhat more modern take, The Oread Hotel perches like a limestone castle overlooking the KU campus.




52 miles from downtown Lawrence

Get a pic in front of the red clapboard barn, then load up year-round on traditional autumn delights (apple cider, cider doughnuts, apple butter) in the Cider Mill Country Store.        

PLAZA 1907


26 miles from downtown Lawrence

The oldest operating purpose-built cinema in the world boasts a small Movie Memorabilia Museum with film props, costumes, scripts, and— allegedly—a tuft of Elvis’ hair.            


Bonner Springs

22 miles from downtown Lawrence You’ll feel free as a Jayhawk as you zoom up to 50 mph on nine ziplines, perhaps even spotting Lawrence on a clear day. The grand finale: a zero-gravity line with a 12-foot free fall.

Keep the party going with more fun-filled getaway ideas in the 2024 Official Kansas Travel Guide.