Lawrence — home to both the University of Kansas (KU) and Haskell Indian Nations University — has long had the reputation of being an independent, hippie outpost with iconic basketball roots. During basketball season, Allen Fieldhouse — the notoriously energetic arena that more than one ESPN host has called their favorite place in America to watch a college basketball game — is where it’s at.

KU’s leafy, hilly campus with its historic Romanesque-style limestone buildings, museums, and pond makes for a beautiful stroll. “Mass” Street is Lawrence’s lively and eclectic heart, where you can take in a live show at the rock-and-roll pinball bar, Replay Lounge, or dine on burgers and craft beer at Free State Brewery (the name is a nod to the state’s abolitionist history).

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