Extraordinarily Lawrence

This welcoming city of the arts is best known for its museums, public parks, and buzzing food scene. Asian fusion, gourmet Italian, classic southern favorites and mouth-watering donuts give this little town a big city flavor.

Exploring the City

Lawrence starts and ends with new ways to learn and experience. Whether you’re walking the halls of a historic museum, or enjoying outdoor Midwestern life, find out what makes Lawrence unforgettable.

Academic building on KU's campus
Natural History Museum of the University of Kansas

The Natural History Museum has four floors for exploration of public exhibits including the historic Panorama; live snakes and insects; vertebrate and invertebrate fossils; parasites and microbes; and the flora and fauna of the Great Plains. The museum provides content-rich, hands-on informal science learning for all visitors.

Man wake boarding on the lake
Clinton State Park

One of the largest marinas in the state, Clinton State Park offers more than 380 campgrounds, open field and reservable shelters for picnicking, marina, swim beach, 25-mile hike/bike trail, 5-mile cross country ski trail and children’s fishing pond. There is something for anyone who wants to get out and explore nature. 

Lawrence Festivals

Lawrence is a city of locally-owned shops, and of residents who love celebrating the Arts and cultural traditions. Each month, there are several unique to Lawrence events and festivals all visitors and students should attend. These are a glimpse of Lawrence's annual festival list:

Haskell Indian Art Market and Powwow

Held every September at the Haskell Indian Nations University and is open to the public. This event provides cross-cultural understanding, beautiful arts, crafts and jewelry made by various members of native American tribes for purchase, and a symbolic powwow.

The Free State Festival

A true summer festival that is one week full of film, music and arts. The Free State Festival is a must-see that includes more than fifty international and national feature and short films, outdoor concerts and art installations in the heart of Lawrence.

St. John's Mexican Fiesta

This two-day event celebrating the diversity of the Mexican American culture in Lawrence. The St. John's Mexican Fiesta is packed full of live music, dancing and authentic Mexcian food.

Other popular attractions to see

Eclectic local bookstores are a treasured part of Lawrence with The Raven, The Dusty Bookshelf, and Signs of Life as favorites. Lawrence hosts more than 50 public parks; check out more must-see destinations below:

Original Rules of Basketball

The 13 Original Rules of ``Basket Ball`` is a piece of sports history that is interweaved with the University of Kansas. James Naismith, who wrote the original rules in 1891, was KU’s first basketball coach and started what would become one of the most successful basketball programs in the nation, and the most tradition-rich. The Original Rules were acquired by KU and is housed in the DeBruce Center on the University of Kansas campus for free public viewing.

Spencer Museum of Art

With an international collection of more than 45,000 art objects and works of cultural significance, the Spencer is the only comprehensive art museum in the state of Kansas. The collection includes the history of European and American art from ancient to contemporary and includes broad and significant holdings of East Asian art.

Lied Center of Kansas

The Lied Center has a robust calendar of events that range from Broadway productions and world-class artistic performances to KU School of Music and the KU Department of Dance productions. The Lied Center serves KU, its students, the Lawrence community and greater Kansas as a catalyst for the arts, creativity and engagement.

Watkins Museum of History

The Watkins Museum hosts exhibits and programs exploring the cultural heritage of Douglas County from its settlement in the ``Bleeding Kansas`` period through the Civil War, reconstruction, westward expansion, and Civil Rights eras. A must-see for anyone who has an interest in local history.

Lawrence Arts Center

The Lawrence Arts Center provides an expansive calendar of exhibitions, performances and classes. The Arts Center features exhibitions by artists from around the world in five gallery spaces. The 300-seat theatre and Black Box Theater provide performance space for a variety of theatrical and musical productions. Classes and workshops are offered in fully equipped studios for drawing, painting, ceramics, jewelry, photography and printmaking.

Dole Institue of Politics

The Dole Institute of Politics provides public programming, research and educational opportunities, a museum gallery and other events. Museum gallery features include the world’s largest stained-glass American flag, Kansas veterans WWII memory wall and World Trade Center beams. It is home to the Robert J. Dole Archive & Special Collections, which includes over 35 years of congressional papers, as well as objects and materials from the U.S. Senator’s life.

Ready for adventure on campus?

KU has more than 600 student organizations to choose from and meet new people.