We’re a fun-loving, a bit bohemian, and full of great things to do and see, eat and drink, discover and learn. This college town is fresh and fun with its famously distinctive main street, a vibrant art and entertainment scene and live music, combined with great food and unique shopping. Home to the University of Kansas and Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence has a fascinating pre-Civil War history, museums, galleries and sports.
The town was established in 1854 by the New England Emigrant Aid Company with a political agenda – to shift the balance of power toward anti-slavery, so Kansas would enter the United States as a free state rather than a slave state. Lawrence became a focal point of that debate and the Bleeding Kansas era that followed, including the Wakarusa War, the sacking of Lawrence and the Quantrill Raid that resulted in the burning of Lawrence and the massacre of over 200 men and boys. Watkins Community Museum and the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area help to tell the tale.
Today Lawrence hosts a vibrant art scene and is known for its live music venues. Our pedestrian-friendly main street, Massachusetts Street, is named for the home state of the founders, but known to the locals as Mass Street. It’s been called “the best destination in Kansas.” There you will find unique shops and art galleries, locally owned restaurants, breweries, coffee houses and, of course, music.
There are also plenty of outdoor activities in this bicycle-friendly town. We have more than 50 public parks and trails, with South Park’s gazebo as the summer setting for free public concerts. The universities offer additional sites of interest for academics, sports fans, historians and visitors.
Phone: (785) 856-5285
Website: Unmistakably Lawrence