This Lawrence itinerary will help you enjoy a weekend filled with art & culture. Known as the home of the Jayhawks, Lawrence is a college town you want to keep living in. Lawrence has a thriving local art scene, surprisingly good food, and is also home to & our favorite Winchester boys.
You can have a lot of fun in Lawrence that has nothing to do with sports. Here are some ideas for things you can do in Lawrence that do not involve being stuck in the jam-packed, beer-soaked, sweaty mess that is Allen Fieldhouse on game day. Instead, here is an art-focused 2 day Lawrence Itinerary:
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Itinerary Day 1 – Walking Tours, Crafts & Theater
Start your morning with breakfast at The Roost or Milton’s, which both offer great egg breakfast options in downtown Lawrence. After your meal, walk over to the Watkins Museum of History on Eleventh Street & Mass to learn more about how the city of Lawrence formed. Walking tours are available with advanced notice on subjects from Quantrill’s Raid to Bleeding Kansas for a fee. While Lawrence was founded to protect the area from slavery, it is important to note that Indigenous people didn’t become U.S. citizens until 1924 (not everyone was free in this “free state”).
Grab a coffee from Sid & Nancy’s as you walk north on Mass street. You will pass several art galleries between tenth and eighth street, with more likely to show up in the future. Nurture your creative side by signing up for a candle-making class at local favorite Waxman’s Candles (sign up in advance). If you are hungry, stop at Minskys or Archibowls for lunch, both offer gluten-free or vegan options.
Round out your Lawrence Itinerary with board games and a meal at RPG, a restaurant that offers board game rentals. Check out the schedule at Theatre Lawrence for the opportunity to watch plays, musicals, or other art forms on stage. Arrive early for a chance to view the various art exhibits on display. Additional theater options in Lawrence include the Lied Center of Kansas for Broadway shows at KU or the Lawrence Arts Center, which offers the best in contemporary art plus local events.
Itinerary Day 2 – Art Museums & Public Art
On the second day of your Lawrence Itinerary, visit the Spencer Museum of Art at KU. One of their main exhibitions is Healing Knowing Seeing Body, which encourages viewers to celebrate their unique body. Then, stop at the Art & Design Gallery on the third floor of Chalmers Hall, which allows students to install and exhibit their work.
Next, head out to the east ninth area of Lawrence and stop by the wishing bench. This “bus stop to nowhere” allows locals to sit and make a wish. Before your arrival, watch The Wishing Bench, a multi-screen video installation that tells the story of two characters as they meet one fateful morning.
As you may already know, Lawrence is the hometown of Sam & Dean Winchester. The tv show Supernatural aired on the CW for 16 years before its finale in 2020 (what a year to end, right?). Supernatural was mostly filmed in Canada, so there are few real-life film locations in Kansas.
One of those is Stull Cemetery, where our favorite Angel Castiel called Lucifer an “ass-butt.” The real-life stull cemetery has some creepy lore to it, as does Lawrence. However, instead of visiting the cemetery, which has county sheriffs on-site to cite trespassers, sign up for a Lawrence Ghost Tour. Or you can simply enjoy some of the best pie in Kansas just as Dean would at Ladybird Diner.
The Basics – Lawrence, Kansas
Best Time to Visit:
Visit Lawrence in the summer, when the University is out for summer break and Massachusetts street hosts most of their events. Average highs in July are 91°F (33°C).
How to Get There:
Fly into Kansas City International Airport & rent a car
Rent a car, metered parking available
Public Bus System, Lawrence Transit (download the My Bus Lawrence app)
The Eldridge Hotel (located downtown on Mass. street)
The Oread Hotel (next to the University of Kansas)
TownePlace Suites by Marriot (located downtown on Mass. street)
What to Eat:
Green juice and quinoa bowl from t.Loft (dedicated gluten-free)
Ribs from Stanley James Smokehouse
Pizza at Minskys (gluten-free & vegan options available)
Pretty bird pie from Ladybird Diner
What to Read:
The Big Sea by Langston Hughes
Haunted Lawrence by Paul Thomas
Supernatural: Nevermore by Keith R. a. DeCandido
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