Lawrence population: 95,000. Location: Northeast Kansas, 40 minutes west of Kansas City, MO, and 20 minutes east of Topeka, KS.
Nearest major airport: Kansas City International (MCI), 1 International Square, Kansas City, MO 64153, 45 minutes
Lawrence was founded in 1854 by the New England Emigrant Aid Society in an effort to keep the territory free from slavery. It is said that Lawrence is one of the few cities in the U.S. founded strictly for political reasons.
Lawrence and Douglas County are part of the Freedom’s Frontier Heritage Area. The Heritage Area was designated by Congress as an area of significant shared heritage where history, culture, and landscape combine to tell the stories that contribute to our national and individual freedoms. The area encompasses counties in eastern Kansas and western Missouri.
The city is located between the path of both the Oregon and Santa Fe trails. The trails ran through the area, and the wagon swales are still visible in parts of Douglas County.
Approximately 28,000 undergraduates attend KU, which is ranked as one of the nation’s most beautiful campuses.
Haskell Indian Nations University is the nation’s only inter-tribal university for Native Americans. Haskell’s students represent more than 150 tribes from all across the country.
Lawrence boasts one of the most vibrant downtown shopping, dining, and entertainment districts in the Midwest. Massachusetts Street, named after the home state of the city’s founders, and the entire downtown district, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s known to the locals as Mass Street. It’s been called “the best destination in Kansas.”
Today, Lawrence hosts a vibrant art scene and is known for its live music venues that host national touring and local acts.
Kansas’ first legal brewery since prohibition, Free State Brewing Co., is located in Lawrence’s historic downtown.
Dr. James Naismith, inventor of basketball, is buried in Lawrence, where he lived and coached most of his adult life. Naismith’s Original Rules of “Basket Ball” are housed in the DeBruce Center adjacent to the top college basketball venue in the nation, Allen Fieldhouse. The Kansas Jayhawk men’s basketball team is consistently ranked among the best in the country.